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mother; the choice one of her that bare her. 3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes Whether Jew or Gentile, they are one in

that are twins. Christ. He hath made both one. He gathers 4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine together in one the children of God which eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the are scattered abroad. He prays that they of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.

gate of Bath-rabbim : thy nose is as the tower may be all one ; as the Father is in Christ, | o 5 Thine head upon thee is like Carmel

, and he in them, so they may be one in both. and the hair of thine head like purple; the (John xvii. 21.) Nor are they one only in king is held in the galleries. point of number. They are one in state,

6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O spirit, and design. They are all included love, for delights ! in

7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, covenant; bought with the same

and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. blood; justified by the same righteousness;

8 I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I led by the same Spirit. They all see their

will take hold of the boughs thereof: now sin; all trust in Jesus Christ; all love his

also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the name; all walk in his ways; all press on to vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples ; his kingdom. They are but one. .

Saints 9 And the roof of thy mouth like the best before his coming; saints when he appeared;

wine for my beloved, that goeth down saints since his appearing, are all one. They sweetly, causing the lips 'of those that are

asleep to speak. form one body; one flock; one company; one

10' I am my beloved's, and his desire is church; one people. Blessed unity! May

toward me. it be largely verified, and visibly increase

11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into more and more! (v. 9.)

the field ; let us lodge in the villages. How lovely does the church appear when 12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; thus arrayed in her spiritual unity! Bright

let us see if the vine flourish, whether the as the morning; fair as the moon; clear as

tender grape 6 appear, and the pomegranates

bud forth : there will I give thee my loves. the sun; and terrible as an army with ban

13 The mandrakes give a smell, and at ners, does she appear in the eye of her Lord,

our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, and stand forth in the face of all beholders ! new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O And when the Lord is pleased to visit his

my beloved. garden, how often is the soul enlivened with

(4) Heb. straightly. his presence, and enraptured with his beauty and love! Oh, may he make our soul like the chariots of Ammi-nadib! May he set us on

The description of the graces of the church, the chariot of his willing people; and en

as given and commended by Christ, in the able us to ride on speedily and triumphantly preceding portion, is carried on still further in our appointed course; till, at length, the in this chapter. Connected with this descripchariot-wheels of his grace stay their pro

tive commendation is their professed faith gress, when they reach the confines of and desire.

and desire. Let us examine this subject eternal glory; and our happy souls are more closely for our own advantage and landed safe among the redeemed multi-improvement. tudes on high !

Is there any thing, in any of the Lord's people, arising from themselves, which can

call forth either the Lord's approval, or praise? CHAPTER VII.

Certainly not. In us dwelleth no good thing. 1 A further description of the church's graces. 10 The church We are a people of unclean lips; and we professeth her faith and desire.

dwell among a people of unclean lips. The OW beautiful are thy feet with shoes, o leprosy of sin hath utterly tainted our soul prince's daughter! the joints of thy

and polluted our nature. From the sole of thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.

the foot to the crown of the head, there is no 2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which

soundness in us. (Is. i. 6.) wanteth not 'liquor: thy belly is like an heap Is there any thing, done by any of the of wheat set about with lilies.

Lord's people, arising from themselves, which


(1) Heb. mixture.
(2) Or, crimson.
(3) Heb. bound.

(5) Or, of the ancient. (6) Heb. open.

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can command his approval, or praise? Cer- more and more of his salvation, it is because tainly not. Before their conversion takes he hath made them willing in the day of his place, all their works are sinful. After they power, and drawn them with the cords of believe in Christ, there is so much evil love to himself; that they may both parmixed, even with the best they do, that, if ticipate the blessings of his grace, and

, the Lord were to enter into judgment with dedicate themselves to his service. them on that score, they could not answer The doctrine of gracious imputation, and him one of a thousand.

abundant impartation, is absolutely needful How, then, can the Lord ever commend or to be known and received, in order to see praise, either themselves, or any thing that how Christ can approve, or commend, any is in them; or any thing which has been thing in any of those who hear his voice, and done by them? It arises solely from what follow him as the Shepherd of their souls. In the Lord hath done for them, and wrought short, every giving forth of his love, every

, in them; from what he hath put upon new and old fruit brought forth in the life of them, and given to them. It is his work, faith, and all the stores laid up for the bewhich is commended. They are his gifts loved of his soul, are all from him. So that and graces, which are approved. If the in this respect, also, Christ is All and in all; prince's daughter's feet are beautiful with and to rest short of this, is to fail in the shoes, it is because she has been shod by truth; to deprive our soul of peace; and to him with the preparation of the gospel of rob Christ of the glory due to his name. peace. If she be clothed with jewels, they Have we not, then, a great deal yet to are the ornaments which he hath put upon learn in all these respects? Is the Saviour her. If she be espoused to his royal person, thus viewed; thus lived upon; and thus it is because he hath taken her into that near honoured, by all who bear his name? What relation to himself. Take any blessing re- mean such passages as these ? “It hath ceived ; any grace of the Spirit exercised; pleased the Father, that in him should all any fruitfulness brought forth; and you will fulness dwell” and “of his fulness have all find, that it is he who hath given all; granted we received, and grace for grace.” (Col. i. 19; all; wrought all. If the king be held in the John i. 16.) Oh! that we may live upon galleries, it is under the reflected gracious that Saviour; draw out of his fulness; and manifestations of himself, which he hath experience, in the full assurance of faith,

, made to her soul. In short, all is from the more and more the efficacy of his full and Lord. Of him, and through him, and to him, complete redemption; his present and everare all things. The apostle thus expresses lasting salvation ! this truth in these words. “Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open

CHAPTER VIII. faces beholding as in a glass the glory of the

1 The love of the church to Christ. 6 The vehemency of love. Lord, are changed into the same image from 8 The calling of the Gentiles. 14 The church prayeth for

Christ's coming. glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. iii. 17, 18.)

THAT thou wert as my brother, that The same might be said of all that blessed

sucked the breasts of my mother! when

I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; assurance of the soul's interest in Christ, and

yea, 'I should not be despised. of Christ's love to the soul, which forms so

2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into great a part of that secret of the Lord which my mother's house, who would instruct me: is with them that fear him. If they can say, I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of “ I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward the juice of my pomegranate.

3 His left hand should be under my head, me,” it is because he hath manifested his love to their soul; given them to see their

and his right hand should embrace me.

4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, interest in him; and drawn out their desire


ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until towards him. So, also, if they feel pleasure he please. and delight in his ways, and long to know 5 Who is this that cometh up from the

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wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? 1 distinct assurance of faith. (Eph. ii. 5.)


raised thee up under the apple tree: there Still they saw and knew enough of his thy mother brought thee forth: there she

glorious person and great salvation, as to brought thee forth that bare thee.

rejoice in the prospect of his day ; to esteem 6 | Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as

all things as nothing compared with him; death; jealousy is : cruel as the grave: the

and to exult and triumph in his salvation. coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a

(John viii. 56; Heb. xi. 26; Is. xii.) most vehement flame.

Now, what they longed for, we enjoy. Christ 7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither is as our brother. He did, as it were, suck can the floods drown it: if a man would give

the breasts of our mother. He is bone of all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

our bone, and flesh of our flesh.

He was

born 8 { We have a little sister, and she hath

a woman. He was suckled and no breasts : what shall we do for our sister

fondled at his mother's breast, as we were in the day when she shall be spoken for? when we were born. He partook of our

9 If she be a wall, we will build upon her infirmities, such as hunger and thirst, cold a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we and nakedness; and was a man of sorrows will inclose her with boards of cedar.

and acquainted with grief, as we are. We 10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found ‘favour.

may then approach him in the confident and 11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;

affectionate manner, which is here described ; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every

and be assured that, thus approaching him, one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thou- we shall not be despised; nor rejected. sand pieces of silver.

Does the incarnation of Jesus thus en12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before

courage your soul?

Does the interesting me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two

fact, that he was born, and lived, and died, hundred.

in the form of man, though without sin, 13 Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the

inspire you with hope in seeking the blessings companions hearken to thy voice : cause me

of his salvation? Surely it should have that to hear it.

effect. The glorious Immanuel, God with us, 14 | Make haste, my beloved, and be thou should draw the heart; and lead us to trust like to a roe or to a young hart upon the in him, as the Prince of peace. Be it also mountains of spices.

remembered, that love to Jesus is the best (1) Heb. they should not despise me. (2) Heb. why should ye stir up, or, why, &c.

proof of your knowing his person, or tasting (3) Heb. hard. (4) Heb. peace. (5) Heb. Flee away.

his salvation. And when you are stayed, and

upheld by his tender arm, you will not be What were the exact views, which the Old backward in testifying your attachment to Testament saints had of the promised Re- his person, and your devotion to his ways. deemer, may not be easy to determine. That Who, then, “is this that cometh up from they knew him as their Saviour, and rejoiced the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?” in his salvation, is beyond all doubt. But To whom is Christ all their salvation, and all whether they were favoured with such distinct their desire? Who is this, that leaves the views of his incarnation, suffering, and death, world; and seeks for heaven? Who is this, and the glory that should follow, as we enjoy that separates from evil; and follows the under the clear light of the gospel, is not so Lord ? Every one, that leans upon the apparent. Possibly there might have been as beloved, thus comes out and is separate. great a difference between the views of some Every one, that thus comes out from the matters among them, as there still is between world, and presses towards heaven, leans many among ourselves; though our position

upon the beloved.

But, who is it? Is it is far superior to theirs. The earnest desire you? Are you among this happy number? here expressed, in the opening of this chapter, Are you coming up from the world leaning seems to denote more what believers hoped upon Christ as the beloved of your soul? might be the case, in regard to the glorious Say, where and when were you born again? Immanuel, than what they knew upon the Where and by whom were you brought forth,

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and brought up ? When were you led to for them; and seeks the conversion of the make this happy choice, and to take this poor Gentile race; and the family long since decided step? What led you to seek the cast off? Cannot others be brought to love Saviour; to take him as your all; to set your the Saviour as well as we? May they not affection on things above; and thus to press be saved as well as we? Do they not need on toward the mark ?

salvation as well as we? Read over the Consider another inquiry. Whose love is latter part of this chapter. See the yearnings so fervent towards Christ, as is here set forth? of the true church of God, towards others, Who longs to be set as a seal upon his heart; who have not as yet found grace in his sight as a seal upon his arm? Who feels his love (v. 8–11). Are there not vast multitudes as strong as death? Who cannot endure the of our fellow-men, little esteemed by many, thought of another saviour, or another hope, and low in their degradation and abasement, than Christ alone? Who finds that no waters who may yet become our brothers and sisters can quench that love; and that no floods can in Christ; who may form a large portion of drown it? Who see that, in comparison of the redeemed family of God; and who may the object so beloved, all other things are yet become the loving, faithful, and devoted utterly to be contemned, and esteemed as followers of the Lamb? Then, how do we dung and dross for the excellency of the regard them?

How do we feel towards knowledge of Christ the Lord ?

Are our

them? Oh! thou most blessed and most hearts sound in these matters? Have we an compassionate Redeemer! thou that dwellest approving conscience in all these respects ? in the various gardens and sections of thy Even if we see how we fail and come short, church! to whose voice our companions in are we still panting and breathing after the kingdom, and patience of thy kingdom, higher and more distinct enjoyment of that hearken with the greatest delight! cause us “love of Christ, which passeth knowledge ?” and others to hear that voice, and to follow Sensations of this kind cannot be unknown, thee! Oh, do thou make haste, thou bewhere they exist. Who, then, can adopt loved of our soul; manifest the riches of thy Peter's reply, and, looking to the beloved of grace; unfold the stores of thy love; gather his soul, say, “Lord, thou knowest that I in thy redeemed to the fold; remove every love thee?” (John xxi. 15–17.)

hindrance out of the way; subdue every Such love as this will compassionate others; enemy; leap over every difficulty; and fulfil as well as rejoice in Christ alone. Who, all thy good pleasure to the glory of thy then, feels for others? Who pities and prays name!


Winchester : Printed by Harry Woollridge.

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