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The Descent of the Holy Ghost

“And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”—Gen. ix. 16.

A Sermon of John Mason Neale for Whitsun Day.

Now that we have come to the feast of Him Who gives their grace and virtue to all sacraments, it will not be unfit that I should speak to you of the first sacrament. The rainbow that was given to Noah as a sign—for till then rainbows had never been seen—was indeed a sacra­ment. It was an outward visible sign of a promise then made; that the earth should never more be destroyed by water,—that as long as the world should last, cold and heat, day and night, winter and summer, should never cease. And now see how this rainbow itself, then appearing for the first time in heaven, was a type of that Holy Ghost, Who, as on this most holy day, for the first time descended from heaven on His Church. “the bow shall be in the cloud.” And to the eleven Apostles, those ten days between the promise of the sending, and the sending of the promise, must have been days of gloominess and doubt and distress; not­withstanding that the faith of the disciples, (more…)


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