“I form the light, and create darkness.” Isaiah 45:7
Suggested Further Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:1-10
Since God has made the ecliptic, or the circle, the great rule of nature, it is impossible but that eclipses should occur. Now, did you ever notice that in providence the circle is God’s rule still. The earth is here to-day; it will be in the same place this day next year; it will go round the circle; it gets no further. It is just so in providence. God began the circle of his providence in Eden. That is where he will end. There was a paradise on earth, when God began his providential dealings with mankind; there will be a paradise at the end. It is the same with your providence. Naked you came forth from your mother’s womb, and naked you must return to the earth. It is a circle. Where God has begun, there will he end; and as God has taken the rule of the circle in providence, as well as in nature, eclipses must be sure to occur. Moving in the predestined orbit of divine wisdom, the eclipse is absolutely and imperatively necessary in God’s plan of government. Troubles must come; afflictions must befall; it must needs be that for a season you should be in heaviness, through manifold temptations. But I have said, that eclipses must also occur in grace, and it is so. God’s rule in grace is still the circle. Man was originally pure and holy; that is what God’s grace will make him at last. He was pure when he was made by God in the garden. That is what God shall make him, when he comes to fashion him like unto his own glorious image, and present him complete in heaven. We begin our piety by denying the world, by being full of love to God; we often decline in grace, and God will bring us back to the state in which we were when we first began.
For meditation: This sermon was occasioned by the anticipation of the solar eclipse on the following day. Meditate on the significance of the most important solar eclipse in all history. Remember this was not an astronomical eclipse, since it occurred at Passover—full moon (Luke 23:44-46)!
Sermon no. 183
14 March (1858)