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and the circular manner of the defcending of this thick and fine rain which, from the caufe in view, is always convexing towards the fun, gives, as has been obferved, the beautiful and fublime phenomenon of the bow in the cloud.

It appears, therefore, that the rainbow, as a token of the everlasting covenant, is wonderfully expreffive of the grace of the gospel by the Holy Ghoft; which, in the manner of the fhedding forth, pouring out, or fprinkling of rain, or of the bleffing of the dew, defcends and comes upon us from heaven-and, as being thus fignificant of the ministration of the fpirit, it may be seen to have a near relation, in the divine fyftem, to the ordinance of gospel baptifm,

The rainbow is a fign from heaven-and it exhibits the high arch, or the crowning half, of that circle of glory, which is contemplated in the divine will. The vifion of John took in the whole sphere. The rainbow, in the view given there, was feen round about the throne. The throne of God is spoken of, as having a back part and a face-for being in nature, as has been fhewn, of an eternal frame, the fcriptures fpeak of it thus, as they often do of God himself. This diftinction plainly intends the two ftates, according to the divine will, viz. That of the archangel, and that of the glory of the Son of God.—

Hence Mofes, Elijah, &c. agreeably to the archangel ftate of the church, had their faces covered, either by the hand of the Lord, or by their own mantées and vails, when the

glory of the Lord paffed by them, that they Thould fee only his back parts. But we all with open face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are changed into the fame image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of our God. I am folemnized when I fee exhibited figns from the deep; for I know that these things belong to the divine will; but I tremble, when I fee them mistaken and fubftituted for gofpel figns.

Jefus, our Lord, was indeed delivered for our offences; but he was raifed again for our juftification. Our juflification, whereof we have a baptifmal fign, relates to the Holy Ghoft, the holy quickening fpirit; which is giv en to us as a fruit of the exaltation of Chrift, and of that righteoufnefs, which it was pro mifed that the heavens fhould declare.The rainbow round about the throne, as it enclosed the back parts as well as the face thereof, like the pillar of cloud and fire, was a double fign-the Ebal and Gerizim, the bleffing and the curfing, were both in it-and it gave notices as from the dark clouds of the fky, and the watery deep; as well as from the gentle heaven of grace. Hence, there iffued from the throne in heaven, lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail; vials of wrath, and many overflowing, Jordan waters; as well as the feven lamps of fire burning, and the four and twenty harps tuned in concert, and golden vials full of odours; and the pure river of the water of life, clear as cryftal, the freams whereof shall make glad the city of God

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With fuch views, the Pfalmift exclaimed, Fuftice and judgment are the habitation of thy thy throne: Mercy and truth fhall go before thy face. Bleed is the people that know the joyful found; they fhall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.

It has been obferved, that numerous ques tions and disputes have arifen from the caufe of not clearly distinguishing subjects which relate to the law, or the archangel-ftate of the church, from those which belong distinctly to the gospel. One among thefe, is the difpute about the mode of baptifm. A confcientious brother, fome years fince, becoming doubtful and perplexed concerning the mode of baptifm, undertook, with great care, to fet down, on each fide, the paffages of fcripture which feem to favour the different modes of immerfion and fprinkling; but after much fearching and labour, he found his doubts and perplexities not in the leaft relieved for his evidencies, on both fides, were juft equal. And this, doubtless, is the fact, that the fcriptures do equally fpecify, in relation to the church of Chrift, a baptifm as by immerfion, and a baptifm by the fprinkling or pouring of water. And the only poffible means of reconciling the fcriptures upon the subject, and of relieving the church from this perplexity, are to be had by a recurrence to the doctrine of Chrift, and clearly diflinguishing what belongs to the flate as under the bond and difcipline of the covenant, from what belongs to the ftate of the gospel kingdom, That there exifts fuch a diftinction as

this, in relation to the divine administrations in the church, is as evident, both from the theory and the scriptures, as that there is a heaven above and a deep beneath.

The Scribes and Pharifees queftioned with Chrift, feeking of him a fign from heaven, tempting him; but he anfwered, This is an evil generation; they feek a fign, and there fhall no fign be given it, but the fign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a fign unto the Ninevites, fo fhall alfo the Son of Man be to this generation. Woe unto them, to whom no other fign fhall be given, than that of an immerfion, or a burial in waters!

Section 13. The Ordinances of the Covenant,

A conftitution being made, by the faith of God, and a charter given for the new world; and by his grace through faith, a family or fociety being eftablifhed upon it; ordinances are inftituted for the proper exercise and regulation of the fociety, agreeably to the nature of its establishment. The ordinances now inftituted, together with thofe instituted before and continued in this adminiftration, commonly called the precepts of the fons of Noah, are feven, viz. the Sabbath, Marriage, the Altar of Witnefs, Sacrifice and Offering, Family Government, Abftinence from Blood, and Inquifition for fhedding of the Blood of Man.

Thefe ordinances have the same relation

to the everlasting covenant, as right flatutes or laws of civil adminiftrations have to a civil conftitution. And though the breaking of fuch laws or ftatutes be an offence against the conftitution, and require punishment; yet thousands may fo offend, and bring evil upon themselves, and be even cut off from the fociety, and the constitution remain unaffected. Thefe ordinances, indeed, may be confidered diftinctly as a covenant of grace; as obedience to them, by the grace and promife of God, connects with the enjoyment of all the bleffings of the redeemed world; and as difobedience not only forfeits the grace of God, but fubjects the offender to the foreft punifhment, yet, they must be carefully distinguished from the covenant conftitution, which is the fource of all grace, as has been confidered particularly in the two laft fections.

The want of clearly diftinguishing the covenant of the ordinances of grace, from the immutable covenant conflitution of grace, has led to innumerable errors, but they are most clearly diftinguishable; the one of these covenants exifts from everlafting, and in its nature is everlasting; the other exifts in time, and in its nature is temporary. The parties of the one are God and Chrift; the parties of the other are Chrift and men. The one cannot be broken, changed, or in the least varied, for with either party there is no variablenefs nor fhadow of turning; the other may be broken, as one party is the mutable creature, and it requires to be varied and changed, as all flatutes and laws of ad

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