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lingering and backward bride ; " Arise, and comeaway," and more documents of his being in good earnest cannot be given, than in his reapeating these kindly words, and ending his arguments with them here : so he begins with, ver. 10. “ Rise up, iy love, my fair one, and come away;" where thechurch and spouse of Christ relates the gracious words he spoke to her, and is a faithful recorder of what lie said to her soul, and a faithful relater thereof, for the encouragement of others;
My Beloved spake and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” And having told how kindly he invited her, she next tells how strongly lie urged the invitation, with motives and arguments
, saying, For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone ; the flowers appear on the earth ; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard on our land; the figtree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape, give a good smell,” ver. 11, 12, 13. q. d. If thou wilt hearken to my call, and come to me, thou shalt be delievered from that sad winter-like case and condition thou hast been in, and have a pleasant delightful life, a flourishing spring-tide of spiritual joys, which shall be still on the growing hand, until it end in a harvest of glory : thou shalt have advantages beyond all the rest of the world; thy walk shall be in the garden of the Lord, where the sweet promises, and the precious blessings thereof, are as so many fruitful trees, pleasant to the eye, savoury to the taste, delightful to the ear, with the singing of birds upon the branches thereof; and in all respects, ravishing, melodious, and commodious. I now invite thee to come, and share of the sweet spring I have brought along with me. It is a pleasant season : “ The voice of the turtle is heard in our land, the flowers appear on the earth;" a fragrant and fruitful season," The fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape, give a good smell,” ver. 12, 13. The spiritual flourishing and fruitfulness is represented by these various similitudes; all which show how, that as Christ's absence makes a winter, his presence makes a summer; yea, he brings a spring with him, were it
even in the midst of winter. Sad and heavy times may pass over the Lord's people; yet his approach and return can make a winter-like dispensation heartsome, with abundant up-making.
Our Lord having given the call, and urged it with motives drawn from the heartsome spring-time he brought along with him, in so many parts of it, (all which I have formerly spoke to at large,) he comes in the close of this verse, to renew the former invitation, saying, “ Rise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
In which words you have three things to be considered: 1. The kindly compellation ; " My love my fair one." 2. The earnest invitation ; -- Arise, and come away.” 3. The words considered in connection with ver. 10. and the arguments intermixed between that verse and this, are a repetition of the same call from this affectionate Suitor, who will not take a refusal, nor a nay-say; " Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away;" and again, “ Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Having spoke formerly to the context, and particularly some months ago to these words as they stand in the 10th verse, as I need not enlarge upon them now; so my especial design is to consider them as a repeated call, and a renewed invitation, a courtship earnestly in
“ Arise my love, my fair one, and come away." From which words we may observe the following doctrine. OBSERV. That the repeated call, and renewed invi
tation of our Lord Jesus Christ, to his drowzy and disconsolate people, whom he makes his love and fair one, is that they rise, and come away with
him. You see here, that the vision is doubled; the truth of the doctrine is established, by the repetition of the same words, and the renovation of the same suit.
In speaking to it, I would, through supernatural aid, observe the following method and order. I. Premise a few things with relation to the party
here, to wbom the invitation is directed. II. I would open up a little the import of the titles
sisted upon ;
here given to that party ; My love, my fair
one.” 111. The import of these calls; “ Rise, and come
away." IV. I would point out what may be implied in the
repetition of these words; and why the call and
invitation is thus renewed :—and then, V. Deduce some inferences for the application.
1. We would premise a few things relative to the party to whom the call and invitation is directed.-And,
Ist, In some sense it may be viewed as directed even to sinners who are dead in trespasses and sins, whom Christ hath a mind to quicken by his kindly voice in the gospel : “ You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins,” Eph. ii. 1. It is true, it is not the immediate intent of this text to call the unconvert. ed; yet it may be useful for engaging and bringing in strangers to Christ, as well as for recovering and rousing these that are brought in already. He speaks to sinners, that are the objects of his benevolence and good will, as well as he speaks to saints, that are already the objects of his complacence and delight. Even as the sacramental supper, though it is not, in its immediate design, a converting ordinance, for bringing in sinners ; but a confirming one, for establishing saints; yet God may bliss a sacramental occasion, as often he has done, for bringing in strangers to a saving acquaintance with Christ. Thus the call given to Christ's dull and drowzy bride, to rise and come away to him, may be useful for rousing dead sinners out of their natural security : yea, the general call of God in the gospel being directed to mankind sinners, on account of his PHILANTHROPIA, Philanthropy, or mankind love, Tit. iii. 4. may be supposed to be in these terms, “ My love, my fair one, rise, and come away : for he calls them by names which are not their natural names, when he is courting their heart; but courting them by kindly and winning names, which will be truly applicable to them, whenever they answer his call.
There are two sorts of names he gives men whom he courts : 1. Some names from what they are in thiemselves : 2. Some names from what they are in his purpose and design.
1. The names he gives them as secure sinners, lying sleeping in their natural estate. In this respect he calls them children of disobedience; children of wrath ; a generation of vipers; stout-hearted sinners and far from righteousness; ignorant creatures, not knowing that they are poor and miserable, wretched, blind, and naked. By many such names as these they are called in scripture, pointing out what they are by nature : and what a dreadful wrath they are obnoxious to, by the curse of the law they are under.
2. He names them sometimes from what they are in his desire towards them, or his decree and design about them; which though it be a secret, as it relates to eternal election, yet it is no secret as it is laid out in the word of grace, for sinners of mankind to claim and apprehend in the gospel order: that is, by apprehending Christ himself, and the promise in him; and consequently that very name, “ My love, my fair one;" for, though in themselves they are not his love, nor the objects of his love, but rather of his hatred, as enemies in their minds by wicked works; and though in themselves they are not fair, but foul, black, and deformed; yet, in a way of rising and coming at bis call, and laying hold on Christ, they will evidence that in Christ, they were from all eternity his love, bis fair one, “ Chosen in him before the foundation of the world, and now saved in him according to his purpose and grace, which was given them in Christ before the world began,” Ephesians i. 4. 2 Timothy i. 9.-" I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore, with loving-kindness have I drawn thee,” Jer. xxxi. 3. And, indeed, it cannot but be most astonishing to a sensible sinner, if in a day of conversion, the cord of love be let down in such surprising compellations as these, “ My love, my fair one; rise, and come away ;" for, how can either these that are dead in sins and trespasses, or believers themselves, while they are in this world, lying among the pots, all defiled with the spots and leprosy
of sin, be honoured with these titles, “ My love, iny fair
But the matter is, Christ speaks of them and to them, not with respect only to what they are at present, but with respect to what he intends to make them to all eternity: yea, even at present, when be makes the call effectual, his word of power, by that call, makes them to be what he calls them, namely, his love, his fair one; for there needs no more to make them so, than his calling them so, as Rom. ix. 25. “I will call them my people; and her beloved, that was not beloved:” of which more perhaps afterwards.
2dly, the call and invitation here is directed immediately and of purpose to the converted bride; and that as she is considered either,
1. In a secure, sleepy, and up-sitten condition ; laid by from duty, being asleep, and unmindful of her duty till he, by his voice, rouze her up as he had done before, when she started, as it were, to her feet, saying, ver. 8. « The voice of my Beloved ! Behold, he cometh? Or,
2. In a disconsolate and discouraged condition ; like a disconsolate wife, in the absence of her husband, sitting solitary, till he comes and invites her to rise up, and go
with him to the field, to refresh herself with the pleasant spring and fair weather, that are so charming when the winter storms are all over.
The nature of the invitation, “ Rise, and come away,” supposes to be her present case, that either she is in a dull and sleepy, or in a damped and discouraged condition, or both: and, I think, both are here intended; as appears both from the motives drawn from the sweetness of the spring-time she is invited to come to, and share of; and also from this renewed call, prosecuted ver. 14. that she should come out of her lurking holes, and appear with confidence before him. He speaks to her, partly as secure and dead, to quicken her, and set her to her duty; and partly as discouraged, in order to encourage and cheer her up: of which more afterwards.
11. The second thing proposed was, To open up the import of the titles here given to her, “ My love, my fair one.” There are four things imported therein.