The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
Robert Hawker (1753-1827)
"And there was a rainbow round about the throne."—Rev. iv. 3.
Mark this, my soul, and connect with it what God said after the destruction of the old world by water: "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh." And was not this rainbow round the throne which John saw, to tell the church of Jesus, on whom the Father is always looking, to remember his everlasting covenant of grace? And what doth it say but this, there shall be no more a deluge, nor floods of vengeance poured out upon the sinner that believes in Jesus. He looks to Christ, while the Father beholds Christ: he trusts in Jesus, whom the Father hath trusted with his honour: he accepts Jesus as the whole of the covenant, in whom the Father beholds the whole of the covenant fulfilled. Help me, Lord, in the view of every renewed token of the rainbow in the heavens, to connect with it the promise of Jehovah to his poor redeemed upon earth. Yes, blessed Lord, there is a rainbow round about the throne; and Christ is the bow which Jehovah hath set in the cloud. On him, my soul, gaze and feast thy ravished eyes. On him thy God and Father looks, and is well pleased.
"Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey."—Psalm 76:4.
My soul, the more thou turnest over the word of God in inquiries after thy beloved, the more writ thou be astonished at the relation given of him in his excellency and glory. By every thing that can represent the adorable Redeemer, in his beauty, loveliness, grace, fulness, and all-sufficiency, whether considered in his absolute, his comparative, his relative, or his official glory, or in his glory as the head of his body, the church, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all; thou art constrained, with the church to cry out at every view, "Yea, he is altogether lovely; the chief among ten thousand." There is somewhat particularly striking to this amount in this verse for thine evening portion: "Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey." Yes! it must be so: for when the soul hath found Jesus, like the merchant-man seeking goodly pearls, having found this one of immense and incalculable value, the soul gladly parts with every thing beside, to attain it. Hence one of old, having got possession of Jesus, cries out with holy joy and rapture, "I rejoice at thy word as one that findeth great spoil;" Psalm cxix. 162. In life men become mountains of prey to one another; and too frequently find, to their sorrow, that the pursuit and chase is folly, and the end of the game, vanity and vexation of spirit. But in following thee, thou blessed Jesus, every renewed discovery of thee is glorious, and every new attainment most excellent indeed. In thy person, offices, character, relations, thou art most glorious and excellent. Thou art a glorious Redeemer, a glorious head of thy church and people; a glorious husband, brother, friend; a glorious prophet, priest, and king, in thy Zion. And when I behold thee in all these relative excellencies, and can and do know thee, and enjoy thee, and call thee mine, under every one of them, surely I may well take up the language of this sweet scripture, and say," Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey?"