"As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease." Genesis 8:22

Centuries have elapsed since this promise was given, and to many it now appears as an idle word. The bright and beautiful opening blossoms of spring--the rich glow of summer verdure, the profusion and bounty of harvest--the frost and cold of winter--are regarded merely as matters of course--inspiring neither hope nor fear--awakening no emotion of gratitude or consolation in the soul. Not so was it at the time when they were first uttered. Then, the whole earth had just been swept by the devouring deluge--then everything seemed unfixed and uncertain--the fountains of the great deep had been broken up--the sea, once confined within its boundaries, had rolled in upon the land--the windows of heaven had been opened, and the waters that are above the skies swelled those that were below. Each gathering cloud might mantle the world in final ruin. Each falling drop might open the sluices of another deluge. All was uncertainty. What had happened yesterday might occur again--the hills and valleys might once more be submerged--the mighty deep might again burst its accustomed limits, and the whole earth become a desolation and a wreck. Where was the security to Noah and his sons? Who could assure them that the scarcely-subsided sea would not again devastate the land, and pour its rushing torrents over the face of nature?--Only that God who made heaven and earth--who guides and governs all things according to His will and pleasure.

And so it was. He gave back to the earth the blessing which had been removed from it for a time, and restored the feeling of peace and safety to the little remnant that was still left. And ever since, the seasons have returned in their order, the sun has gone forth on his mighty journey--the earth has been refreshed by the gentle showers of heaven--and the husbandman has gathered in the rich treasures of harvest.

What a proof of the faithfulness of God! He remembers His promise, and, mindful ever of His grace and truth, "He gives us all things richly to enjoy." In every returning harvest, in every passing year, He has been saying to the children of men, "My covenant I will not break, nor alter that which has gone out of my lips."

What a proof of the infinite power of God! Man may alter the surface of the earth; he may sow, and plant, and reap, but all his genius and science cannot clothe the field with golden corn, or fashion one leaf of the forest tree. The power of creation God alone has retained; it is sacred and incommunicable; and His glory will He not give to another.

What a proof of the goodness of God! Men have despised and defied Him; they have sought to banish Him from His own creation; yet, still he has continued to shower down His blessings. He his given them "rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness." Wherever, on the wide surface of the world, there is the cry of need, or the utterance of necessity, there is a hidden yet intelligible voice that points to the supply. "Man requires sustenance, and the earth springs with teeming produce, and spreads its wide and unremitting supply of manna for his maintenance! Man asks for bread, and the dews have furnished their ministry, and the sower has gone forth and sown, and the gracious rains have descended, and the sun, that mighty, vegetative principle, has poured his light and warmth! A working has been going on, still and unseen, but certain in its result. The seed cast into the ground has not lain dormant--first, has appeared the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear, and then, waving with myriad golden spears, the hosts of the harvest have awaited the rejoicing husbandmen, and the needs of man have been supplied." Reader, you see in all this the incessant illustration of a goodness of God--a confirmation of the truth, that, "though the mountains may depart, and the hills be removed, yet His kindness shall not depart, neither shall the covenant of His peace be removed."

Four thousand years have well-near elapsed since God thus spoke to Noah. Generations on generations have all passed away, and yet it is as true now as then, that "God has appointed the moon for seasons, and the sun knows his going down." Christian, see, in the return of harvest, and the succession of seasons, an evidence of the faithfulness, the power, and the goodness of your covenant God.

"Father of mercies, from whom comes down every good and every perfect gift, and who keeps covenant unto all generations, impress me with a sense of Your faithfulness, of Your power, and of Your unmerited goodness; and enable me to show my gratitude by a sober, faithful, and charitable use of all Your mercies, to the good of my brethren, and the glory of Your blessed name."

"Since You, the everlasting God,
My Father has become,
Jesus, my Guardian and my Friend,
And heaven my final home--
I welcome all Your sovereign will,
For all that will is love,
And, when I know not what You do,
I wait the light above.
Your covenant, in the darkest gloom,
Shall heavenly rays impart,
Which, when my eyelids close in death,
Shall warm my chilling heart."


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