‘And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.’ Genesis 9:16
Suggested Further Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8–13
Whenever we think of Christ let us be little children, and look, and look, and look again; and let us long to get at him, for unlike the rainbow, we can get at him. Pliny, who by the way talks a deal of nonsense, declares that wherever the rainbow’s foot rests the flowers are made much sweeter; and Aristotle says, the rainbow is a great breeder of honey-dew. I do not know how that is, but I know that wherever Jesus Christ is he makes the perfume of his people very sweet. His ‘name is as ointment poured forth,’ and I know he is ‘a great breeder of honey-dew.’ There is sure to be much more loving-kindness in that man’s heart who has seen much of Jesus. I recommend to you to follow that divine rainbow till you reach the foot of it, and till you embrace it, and say with Simeon, ‘Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace … for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.’ Play the child then. While we gaze, ought we not to praise and admire? One or two of the nations of antiquity had it as a part of their religion always to sing hymns when they saw the rainbow. Should not we whenever we see Christ? Should it not be a red-letter day marked in our diary? ‘This day let us praise his name.’ And as we ought always to see him, I may improve upon this, and bid you say—‘I will praise thee every day.’ And again, when we see Christ, we ought to confess our sin with humiliation. An old writer says that the Jews confess their sins when they see the rainbow. I am sure, whenever we see Christ, we ought to remember the deluge of wrath from which he has delivered us, the flames of hell from which he has saved us; and so, humbly bowing ourselves in the dust, let us love, and praise, and bless his name.
Sermon no. 517
28 June (1863)