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whom he will not suffer to sleep in a bed of security, but stirs up to be spiritually busy; for, “ Thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee, Psalm ix. 10,
-The Lord is nigh to them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth,” Psal. exlv. 18. The rising and seeking soul, is not a forsaken soul.
3. “ Rise up, and come away, it imports, that as conviction of sloth is not enough without uprising and diligence : so diligence is not enough without constancy; not only must we rise up, but come away,
and in our motion : convictions may make people rise, and get to their feet; but it comes to little account, if it be but a flash and away again: Some may begin in the Spirit, and end in the flesh, Gal. iii. 3. Some may run well, but who hinders, them? The call of Christ is, that we “ rise and come away;" that being set on our feet, we sit not down again : this call is directly levelled against the upsitten case of God's people at this day.
4. “ Rise up, and come away," is a call importing something the Lord would have his people leave, relinquish and turn their back upon. There are terms from which we must rise and come away. As the gospel-call concerns unconverted sinners, it requires them to come out of a state of nature and unregeneracy, out of a Christless state unto Christ, and to a gracious state in him: for, it is the call of that God who quickens the dead ; and he can make his call effectual to bring them from death to life. But then, as it concerns believers, who were once quickened, and made alive in Christ, and have relapsed into a deadness of disposition, there are many things they are called to abandon and leave behind them : they are called to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, Tit. ii. 12. Particularly, there are four things they arē called to leave, and are to relinquish or come away from, namely,
(1.) The world, and the things of time; and that not only in judgment, apprehending them to be vain and vanishing, yea, nothing but vexation of spirit; but also in affection and esteem, counting all things but loss and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord, so as to be delivered from the plague of minding earthly things; and likewise in practice by a moderate, sober, and mortifying walk, making no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
(2.) The unrenewed frame of spirit, the remainders of the world, and the lusts thereof, are what they are called to relinquish and come away from. They must forget their own people and their father's house, Psalm xlv. 10. They are called daily to be leaving and lamenting over a body of sin and death, Romans vii. 24. We need to be always turning our back upon ourselves with loathing, Job xiii. 6. Christ's disciples must deny themselves, Luke ix. 13. And hence,
(3.) From their own righteousness they must rise and come away to the Lord their righteousness; being dead to and divorced from the law, and being clothed with the Sun of righteousness, they must seek, with Paul, more and more to be found in him, not having their own righteousness which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of God through faith, Phil. iii. 9. ; and saying with the church, “ We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags,” Isa. Ixiv. 6. (4.) They must relinquish their attainments, Phil. iii.
Forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching forth to those things that are before, and preşsing toward the mark.” When people make the things they have attained to, their sleeping bed and their pillow, then their attainments are ready to be their neckbreak; but from all these, and the like things, the call is, “ Rise, and come away. To beware of claiming
new acquaintance with their renounced delights; like Lot's wife, glad to be out of Sodom, but very quickly looking back again; and like Israel, glad to be out of Egypt, but soon they made a captain to return hack again.
5. “Rise and come away,” the call imports something to which they are called to come; leaving the things that are behind, there must be a coming to what is before them. There are some professors who let out a devil at one door, but let in seven worse at another. It is not enough to turn from what is evil, but there
must be a turning to what is good ; a turning from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God; it is a coming away to Christ, the glorious Bridegroom, shaking off every thing that may hinder you from following after your husband, Christ Jesus; and removing every impediment that may obstruct your fellowship and communion with him. Rise, and come away with me, to share of my righteousness, for justification; my grace and holiness, for sanctification. The two extremes here from which and to which we are to rise and come away, are from sin, and every thing that may mar communon with God; to Christ, and every thing that tends to further this fellowship with him. And then,
6. “ Rise, and come away,” imports, a looking to the motion that is made between these two extremes, that it be a speedy and an honest motion, and also an affectionate motion, as it were, on the wings of love. Though a slow and simple motion, if it be but a real and upright is what has the promise. “ Him that cometh, I will in no wise cast out;" yet the scripture speaks of a hasting striving, running, fighting, and wrestling that should be aimed at. A man that is running from the greatest misery to the greatest happiness, would endeavour to have his motion such as would evidence his hatred at the one, and his love to the other ; his great loathing of the one, and his great liking to the other. • Rise up, and come away,” then, imports such a progressive motion towards Christ, as may witness our abhorrence of what we come from, and our delight in what we come to; and particularly, our love and estimation of Christ, and our earnest desire to come to him at his call, with a “ Behold we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God.”
In a word, the strain of the call and invitation, taken altogether, imports the notice our Lord Jesus takes both of the good state and bad frame of his bride; her good state is noticed in the compellation he gives her; " My love, my fair one;" her bad frame, or her dead, dull, and discouraged case, is noticed and imported in the invitation : « Rise, and come away." Our Lord takes notice of every thing about his children; and while he shows his love and approbation of their persons, he will show his disapprobation of their sins. The same word that bearsan intimation of their loveliness in Christ, bears also a reproof of their laziness ; " Rise, and come away,” But while he takes notice of the dull and disconsolate case of the believer, it is with pity and compassion : for, as it is, Psal. ciii. 15.6 As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear him : for, he knows our frame, and remembers that we are dust:" therefore, in such a call as this, he shows his design of recovering them from their security, distress and distrust; and his design of making the call effectual, and bringing them to communion and fellowship with him; and by this call signifying his will, that they may come away with all holy and humble boldness and confidence to him.
IV. The fourth head proposed was, To enquire, why the call and invitation given, ver. 10. is renewed; or the import of the repetition thereof. - Between that verse and this, he had used a good many motives and encouragements, showing, that he had removed the winter-storms of the law, and the heavy rain of the curse and bondage thereof, and that he had brought along with him a sweet spring-time; " For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear," &c. verses 11,12, 13. And now, upon the back of all this, Christ resumes and repeats the exhortation, which he had given before, that his bride might not abuse these encouragements; but remember, that all of them are afforded her for this very end, that she might be roused from her security, and raised from her discouragements, to come to him and with him “ Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away” Now, the import of this repetition may be opened in the following remarks, .
Remark 1.“ That Christ is very true and constant in “ his love to, and esteem of his people; and therefore “ doth repeat over again, that the bride is his love and “bis fair one." Lest any should think that his calling her so in the 10th verse, was but the result of inadvert ency, or that unawares such a commendation had fal
den from his mouth; therefore, he repeats (it here, to show, that there is a rooted love and fixed esteem of his people in his heart; and that when he repeats the exhortation, he remembers what he had called her, and so repeats also the compellations and commendation he had given her. This may encourage the bride of Christ, to lean unto, and rely upon his declared and manifested love in his word, as a thing that is true and * constant, and may be trusted to. Much flattery and many fair words, we may get from men, that common prudence will not suffer us to lay weight upon, because they flow from sume design, dissimulation, or inadvertency; but our Lord Jesus Christ ponders every word that he speaks to the advantage of his bride, and will never retract any of his words again, on' which he has caused his people to hope. Isa. xi. 6, 7, 8. “The voice said, Cry, and he said, What shall Į vry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth ; but the word of our God shall stand for ever." Therefore, they may well lean to all the expressions of his love.
Remark 2. “That Christ Jesus is real and serious in “ seeking the welfare of his people.” He doth not make a fashion of dealing with them for his exoneration; but when they are out of the road, in a dead and discouraged case, he follows them with call after call, saying, Arise; and again, “ Arise my love, my fair one, and cnme away." He is serious and instant in desiring and seeking the good and welfare of his church and people. Hence comes his constant affording the means to them, to set them right when they are wrong; and his sending his messengers, rising up early, and send. ing them, because he bad compassion on them, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 15. till it is said (viz. of the most part of the visible church, thus privileged) they mocked his mes. sengers, despised his word, and misused his prophets, and his wrath rose against them, that there was no remedy, ver. 16. Hence also are his heavy complaints of, and lamentations over, people that will not hear his re