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The Epistle to the Hebrews.
Heb. 11: and the rainbow of faith.
pp. 11 - 14
Chapter 10: as we have seen ends on the exhortation to live by faith. The words "we
are not of them who draw back unto perdition" imply the alternative, "we are of them
who go on unto perfection". In our last study we drew attention to the meaning of
perdition when set over against perfection. To live by faith is evidently very closely
allied with perfection, and in chapter 12: comes the exhortation to run with patience,
"looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith".
For those who have a desire to "go on unto perfection", here in Christ is the great
example. Even as we say the words however we are conscious of a "great gulf" between
the Lord and ourselves. It is just here that Heb. 11: so wonderfully fits in and comes to
our aid. Here, living by faith is sub-divided for us, and we see one phase in one example,
and another phase in another, and are gently led on to contemplate the perfecter Himself
in Whom all faith was resident in its fullness.
Light from the works of God.
It will be profitable for us to turn aside for a moment from the written Word that we
may obtain help from an analogy in the works of God. The light of the sun untinted by
the atmosphere through which it comes is pure white. If falling rain or water-mist
intercept the rays of sunlight, we have the phenomenon called the rainbow. We have all
seen with pleasure in our childhood the colours of the rainbow caused by a decanter of
water standing on a white tablecloth, or by the prism-shaped pendant ornaments that our
grandparents had upon the mantelshelf. These are but demonstrations of the fact that
pure white light is made up of three primary colours, red, yellow, & blue, and these
mingling form the secondaries, orange, green, & violet. For reasons the explanation of
which lies outside the scope of this paper, the actual spectrum or rainbow is found to
contain bands of seven colours, always in the following order, red, orange, yellow,
green, blue, indigo & violet.
All colour in nature is dependent upon the fact that sunlight contains in itself the
whole range of colour that exists. The red rose is called red because the petals have the
power of absorbing the blue and the yellow rays of light, and throwing back to our eye
the red. A leaf is green because it lays hold upon the red rays and throws back the blue
and the yellow. A white chalk cliff throws back the blue rays, while a black felt hat
retains all the rays. Hence, a white dress is cooler than a black one as the light and heat
rays are in measure treated alike. Now it is not our intention to attempt to give a paper
upon the spectrum as an illustration of the place of Heb. 11:
If we see the pure white light of the sun, as representing perfect light, composed of
the perfect number of colours, viz., seven, this will represent Christ, as set forth in