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and others lower, the different colours, one above another in such exact order, beautifully represents the church of saints of different degrees, gifts, and offices, each with its proper place, and each with its peculiar beauty: each drop may be beautiful in itself, but the whole as united together, much more beautiful. Numb, xxiv. 5, 6. “How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob! and thy tabernacles, O Israel! as the valleys are they spread forth, as the gardens by the river's side ; as the trees of lign-aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as the cedar-trees beside the waters.” Ps. xlviii. 2. “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Zion.” Ps. 1. 2. “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.” Ps. cxxii. 3. “ Jerusalem is builded as a city compact together. Part of this bow is on earth, and part in beaven, so it is with the church. The bow gradually rises higher and higher from the earth towards heaven, so the saints from their first conversion are travelling in the way towards heaven, and gradually climb the hill, till they arrive at the top. So this bow in this respect is a like token of the covenant with Jacob's ladder, which represented the way to heaven by the covenant of grace, in which the saints go from step to step, and from strength to strength, till they arrive at the heavenly Zion; so in this bow the ascent is gradual towards the top in the way to heaven; the beginning of the ascent is sharpest and most difficult; the higher you ascend the easier the ascent becomes. On earth this bow is divided, the parts of it that are here below are at a distance from one another, but in heaven it is united, and perfectly joined together. So different parts of the church on earth may be divided, separated as to distance of place, have no acquaintance one part with another, and separated in manner of worship and many opinions, and separted in affection, but will be perfectly united in heaven. The parts of the rainbow, the higher you ascend, the nearer and nearer do they come together, so the more eminent saints are in knowledge and holiness, the nearer they are to a union in opinion and affection, but perfect union is not to be expected but in heaven.
This beautiful, pleasant light, appears after the heavens have been covered with blackness, and have poured out rain on the earth, seeming to threaten its destruction by a deluge; so it is a fit simbol of his mercy after his anger, the turning away of his anger, his mercy appearing in the forgiveness of sins. So the glorious gospel follows the law, and Christ's glory follows his sufferings, and comfort in the hearts of the saints follows sorrows of conscience ; yea this light is light in darkness, it is a beautiful light reflected from the dark cloud, showing God's love in his anger, his love appearing in his frowns. God's love never so greatly appeared as in the sufferings of Christ, the greatest manifesta
tion of his anger against sinners, and his love when the shower is over in past threatenings, and convictions, and terrors of conscience, which the saints have been the subjects of.
The rainbow, if completed, would be a perfect circle, the most perfect figure in every part united, fitly representing the most excellent order and perfect union that there shall be in the church of Christ. The rainbow is sometimes in scripture represented as a circle, Rev. x. 1, " And a rainbow was upon his head." The reason why the circle is not now complete, is because a part of it is as it were under the earth'; but if we by standing on an high mountain, or otherwise see it all raised above the earth, we should see it a complete circle. So the church of Christ is now incomplete, while a part of the elect church is buried under the earth, and a part has never yet received being, but after the general resurrection, when that part of the church that is now under the earth shall be raised above it, then the church of Christ would be in its complete state. If we could view the resurrection church from an high mountain, as the apostle John viewed it, and saw it in the colours of the rainbow, reflected from these precious stones, we should see the circle completed without any part wanting, all disposed in the most perfect union and beautiful order. The order of the drops of the rainbow, supposing them to represent saints, and the sun to represent Christ, is the most apt, commodious, and beautiful, both with respect to the sun and each other. They are in the most apt order with respect to the sun, all opposite to him, and so placed in a fit posture to view the sun, and to receive and reflect his rays, all at an equal distance from the sun, and all in a sense round about him to testify their respect to him, and yet none behind him, but all before his face, and all in the most apt order to behold and reflect light on, and converse together, and assist and rejoice one another. On the whole, here is an image of the most pleasant and perfect harmony, or a great and blessed society dependent on, blessed in, and showing respect to, the fountain of all light and love.
The sun is as it were in the centre of this beautiful circle of little jewels or stars, as the sun is in the centre of the orbits of the planets, and as the ark, and mercy-seat, and the seven lamps were in the midst of the tabernacle of blue, and purple, and scarlet, those colours of the rainbow, and as Christ is in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, and as the throne of the Lamb is in the midst of the saints of heaven, who are round about that throne, and also a rainbow round about the throne, Rev. iv. 3, 4; and as the Lamb, who is the light of the new Jerusalem, has that city adorned with the colours of the rainbow round about him.
Each drop contains in itself a beautiful image of the sun reflected after its manner according to that part of the sun's glory which is most conspicuous in it: one contains a red image of the sun, another a yellow one, another a green one, and another a blue one, &c. : so each saint reflects the image of Christ, though each one has his particular gift, and there be some particular grace or spiritual beauty that is most conspicuous in him. The whole bow, when completed into the form of a circle, or all that multitude of shining jewels or stars together united into that excellent form and order, do together constitute one complete image of the sun. Though the image differs from the sun itself in the following things: 1. That whereas the disk of the sun is full within its own circumference, the image is empty, it is a circle not filled, but left empty to be filled with the sun, so Christ has all fulness in himself, but the church is in itself an empty vessel, and Christ is her fulness. 2. Whereas the light is single in the sun, in the bow it is diversified, reflected in a great variety, the distinct glories of the sun as it were divided, and separately reflected each beauty by itself, as it is in Christ and his church. 3. Though there he so many that each one reflects a little image of the sun, and the whole bow or circle be of so great extent, and be so beautiful, yet the sun infinitely exceeds the whole in light, the whole reflects but a little of the brightness of the fountain.
A drop of rain fitly represents man. It is a very small thing, of little value and significancy ; a drop of the bucket, and light dust of the balance, are mentioned together as small and worthy of no consideration. It is very weak, very mutable, and unstable, exceeding liable to perish, soon falls and is dissipated, and cannot be made up again. The continuance of a drop of rain is but short, it is a thing of a very posting nature, its course is swift, and in a moment it sinks into the earth, and is no more, which fitly represents the frailty and mortality of man, whose days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, who is but a momentary thing, and hastens with a swift course to the grave. Man's dying and sinking into the grave is compared to this very thing, of water's being spilt on the ground, sinking into the earth, and so being irrecoverably gone, 2 Sam. xiv. 14.
The drops of rain reflecting the light of the sun in the rainbow fitly represent the saints, for in them fire and water are mixed together, which fitly represents the contrary principles that are in the saints' flesh and spirit. In those drops are a brighter spark of heavenly fire in the midst of water, and yet it is not quenched, it is kept alive by the influence of the sun, as the heavenly seed and divine spark is kept alive in the saints in the midst of corruption and templation, that seem often as if VOL. IX.
they would overwhelm and extinguish it. So God suffers not the smoking ilax to be quenched. The drop in itself is wholly water, as the nature of man in itself is wholly corrupt; in the saints, that is, in their flesh, dwells no good thing; they have no light or brightness in them, but only what is immediately from heaven, from the Sun of Righteousness. In the drops of the rainbow is represented both the saints descending to the grave by the flesh, and also their ascending to heaven by the spirit of holiness, for the water descends swiftly to be buried in the earth, but by the fire a beautiful light, in them is represented an ascent as it were up an hill from the earth to heaven.
These drops fitly represent the saints on another account, as Mary's alabaster box of precious ointment represented the heart of a saint ; this drop, though itself is weak and frail, yet is clear and pure as alabaster, and contains as it were a spark or show of beautiful heavenly light in it, which represents the same divine grace that Mary's precious ointment did.
 Gen. x. and xi. The dispersion and first settlement of the nations. By the descendents of Jophat were the isles of the Gentiles divided, Gen. x. 5. By the Isles, the llebrews denoted not only such countries as were on all sides encompassed by sea, but also such countries as were so divided by the sea from them as that they could not be well come unto, or at least used not to be gone unto, but by sea : in brief, they called islands, all beyond sea-countries, and all people islanders, which were wont to come by the sea to them and to the Egyptians, among whom the Jews lived a long time, and so called things by the same names, at least in Moses's time, when the people were lately come out of Egypt. Now such are not only the island of Cypress, Crete, and other islands of the Mediterranean, but also the country of the Lesser Asia, and the countries of Europe ; and indeed those countries, so many of them as were then inhabited and known to the Jews, were not only beyond the sea, but peninsulas mostly encompassed by the sea, as the Lesser Asia, Greece, Italy, and Spain. And that not only Europe, but the countries of the Lesser Asia were called isles, seems manifest by Isai. x. 10, 11, “ The Lord shall recover the remnant of his people from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea." Lesser Asia is either here included under the term, islands of the sea, or wholly left out: but it is not likely the countries of Asia would be mentioned so many
of them to the south-east and north of Judea, far and near, and the countries of Europe beyond the Lesser Asia, and all countries of the Lesser Asia wholly passed over.
The sons of Japhet were seven, Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodenim, Gen. x. 2. 4.
To begin with Gomer and his sons, to whom we may assign the greatest part of the northern tract of the Lesser Asia for their first plantations. Josephus tells us expressly that the Galatians who lived in this tract were called Gomerites, and Herodotus tells us that a people called Cimmerii dwelt in those parts; and Pliny speaks of a town in Troas, a part of Phrygia, called Cimmeris. All the northern part of Lesser Asia was anciently called Phrygia by the Greeks, wbich is a word that in the Greek language signifies torrid or burnt country, as Gomer in Hebrew is from the Radix Gamar, which signifies to consume; and its derivation Gumra, or Gumro, signifies a coal, and it is certain there was a part of this country which was specially called by the Greeks, bouyia Kexaupevn, Burnt Phrygia,
Ashkenaz, who of the three sons of Gomer is first named by Moses, was seated in the western part of the nation of Gomer, i. e. in the north-west part of the Lesser Asia ; as it is hardly to be questioned, there being so plain footsteps of his name to be found in those parts; for in Bythinia there is a bay formerly called the Ascanian bay, together with a river and lake of the same name, and in the lesser Phrygia, or Troas, there was both a city and province anciently known by the name of Ascania, and there was isles lying on the coast called the Ascanian isles; nor is it any way unlikely but that in honour of this Ashkenaz, the king and great men of those parts took the name of Ascanias, of which name besides, Ascanius, the son of Eneas, we find a king mentioned in the second book of Homer's Iliads, which came to the aid of Priamus at the siege of Troy, and from hence probably came name that the Greeks gave to the sea, the Eurine sea. From the family of Ashkenaz, upon the coasts along which lies the entrance into this sea, with some variation of the sound, which length of time might naturally introduce. And the prophet Jeremiah foretelling the taking of Babylon by Cyrus, has this expression, chap. li. ver. 27. “ Call together against her the kingdom of Ararat, and Miseni, and Ashkenaz;" where, by the kingdom of Ashkenaz, may very well be understood the inhabitants of those parts we are speaking of, for Xenophon, as Bochart has well observed, tells us that Cyrus having taken Sardes, sent Hystaspes with an army into Phrygia, that lies on the Hellespont, and that Hystaspes having made himself master of the country, brought along with him from thence a great many of the horse and other soldiers of the