I have sometimes looked at a rainbow, when the sun was shining
beautifully over my head, on the top of a hill; I have looked on the left, and
the rain was pouring down, and the same on the right hand, but I have
gazed until I have forgotten it rained and saw only the beauties of the bow.
That is happy living, when the soul looks at the bow till it forgets its
miseries, and concentrates its gaze upon covenant love, until it feels the
warmth of the sun. That is high living, “I will look upon it” (Gen 9:16) says
Jehovah; do you reply, “So will I”? I have nothing else to look upon, to
comfort me. If I look down, I am sure it is very dirty; if I look around, it is
very stormy; if I look before me, it is very cloudy; if I look within me, it is
very filthy. Where shall I look? Look at the bow. Look at the covenant
faithfulness and love of all the Persons of the Deity, engaged infallibly to
bring the believing church home to glory.
And when I get beyond this stormy world,
Have traversed all this dreary desert o’er,
And entered into that eternal scene,
Where bliss and joy perfume the holy air
In which the best inhabitants abide;
O’er Jesus’ head and round about His throne,
Encircling Him and me, Jehovah’s bow,
Like some protecting arch, of beauteous hues,
Shall stretch across His own immensity,
Unfolding attributes divine, cloudless
And permanent, majestic treasury
O covenant love.
By Joseph Irons of Camberwell (1785-1852)