When the ark, which had floated many a day on a fearful
flood, rested on the happy Ararat, and Noah, and the numerous creatures
which were to replenish the world again, had the pleasant sight of spacious
fields, just delivered from a dreadful deluge—how vast must have been their
joy! And with what transport must they have gone forth into unbounded
liberty, called the earth their own, and appropriated the whole world,
without any to dispute the amazing possession!
So, when the ark of the covenant of grace, built by a
greater than Noah, and wherein is contained the seed of the new creation,
shall rest on the heights of glory, how shall all the happy ones go forth
with transport into the liberty of the sons of God—to possess a paradise of
pleasure, an heaven of ecstacy, and a world of bliss! And though they shall
never go out of the covenant through eternity, yet, so to speak, they shall
spread abroad to people the heavenly Canaan, and possess the many mansions
that are in their Father's house.
Here, in the covenant, we are borne above the floods; for
the curse, like a deluge, overspreads the whole world, so that all are in a
perishing condition—except those who have gotten inside the ark! And in a
little while, when the great deeps of eternity shall be opened, the floods
of vengeance swelling high shall sweep the whole unbelieving world into
oceans of eternal wrath! It is true, indeed, our safety is the same, being
ravingly interested in him whom the Father has given for a covenant to the
people, whether the ark be floating on the waters, or set down on the stable
mountain's top; but there is a difference between fluctuating on the waters
of adversity, and sitting down on the mountains of bliss, in the presence of
Jehovah and the Lamb.
Again, as their safety was secured, and their provision
plenteous in the ark of old; so, in the New-Testament ark, we are secure,
being hidden in him who sits on the floods, and governs in the storms, and
who will never let the deluge overthrow his own people—but cause them to
swim safely among the swelling billows, and walk securely, as Israel of old,
amidst devouring deeps. And our provision is not only plenteous and
profuse—but spiritual and divine.
Besides, in this ark, by the eye of faith, even while the
deluge is not wholly gone, we get, which Noah could not boast of—reviving
views of the tops of the eternal mountains and gladdening glances of the
heights of glory.
Again, when the flood of wrath shall be at the highest
with all the wicked world, our ark shall sit down on the celestial Ararat.
Then, as Noah sacrificed to God when he was gone forth from the ark, which
he could not do while in it; so, in that triumphant state of glory, we shall
worship him in a manner to which we never could attain in the militant
state; and, to our eternal joy, shall look up and see the "rainbow about the
throne," in its most beauteous colors, showing, as it shines, that the flood
of divine wrath, which once pursued the human race to swallow up all who had
not fled to the sacred ark for safety—shall never return again to swallow up
the ransomed nations.
Then, dwelling in that land where "there is no more sea,"
we shall walk at liberty, enjoying beatitudes unlimited as our thought, and
extensive as conception itself; and through the unnumbered years of his
right hand we shall proclaim the compassion, and dwell upon the love of him
who was himself our divine, our glorious ark—who bore us above the waves of
vengeance, (though, to perform that kind office, he himself for a while was
carried "into deep waters, where the floods overflowed him,") and brought us
into his presence, where rivers of pleasures flow evermore!