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the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having Spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy without blemish. The end of this undertaking is, that the church might be thus gloriously presented unto himself; because he is of purer eyes than to behold it with joy and delight, in any other condition. He leaves not his fpoise, until he says of her, thou art all fair my love, there is no spot in thee, Cant. iv. 7. partly he takes away our spots, and stains by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, Tit. ii. 4. and wholly adorns us with his own righteoufness; and that because of the purity of his own eyes, which cannot behold iniquity; that he might present us to himfelf holy.
3. Discerning. He sees us doves, quickly, clearly, throughly; to the bottom of that which he looks upon. Hence-in another place it is said that his eyes are as a flame of fire, Rev. i. 14. and why so? That the churches might know, that he is he, which searcheth the reins and heart, Rev. ii. 2 3. he hath discerning eyes, nothing is hid from him; all things are open, and naked before him, with whom we have to do. It is said of him whilst he was in this world, that Jesus knew all men, and reeded not that any Mould testify of mail, for he knew what was in man, John ii. 24, 25. his piercing eyes look through all the thick coverings of hypocrites, and the snow of pretences that is on them, he sees the inside of all; and what men are there, that they are to him; he fees not as we fee, but ponders the hidden man of the heart, no humble, broken, contrite foul, shall loose one figh, or groan after him, and communion with him; no pant of love, or desire is hid from him, he sees in fecret; no glorious performance of
the most glorious hypocrite will avail with him, his eyes look through all, and the filth of their hearts lies naked before him.
4. Beauty and glory are here intended also. E. very thing of Christ is beautiful, for he is altogether lovely, ver. 16. but most glorious in his fight, and wisdom; he is the wisdom of God's eternal wisdom itself; his understanding is infinite, what spots and stains are in all our knowlege? when it is made perfect, yet it will still be finite, and limited; his is without spot of darkness, without foil of limitedness.
Thus then is he beautiful and glorious, his head is of gold, his eyes are doves eyes, washed in milk and fitly set.
3. The next thing insisted on, is his cheeks, ver. 15. His cheeks are as a bed of spices; as sweet Howers, or towers of perfumes, or well grown flow
There are three things evidently pointed at in these words.
la A sweet savour as from spices, and flowers and towers of perfume.
*. Beauty, and order, as spices set in zows or beds, as the words import.
3. Eminency in that word, as sweet or well grown, great flowers.
These things are in the cheeks of Christ: the Chaldee paraphrast, who applies this whole song to God's dealings with the people of the Jews; makes these cheeks of the churches Husband to be the two tables of stone, with the various lines drawn in them, but that allusion is strained; as are most of the conjectures of that scholiast.
The cheeks of a man are the seat of comeliness, and man-like courage; the coneliness of Christ, a
hath in part been declared, is from his fulness of grace in hinself for us. His manly courage refpects the adıninistration of his rule, and government, from his fulness of authority, as was before declared. This comeliness and courage; the spouse de scribing Christ.as a beautiful, desireable personage, to thew that spiritually he is so, calleth his cheeks; so to make up his parts, and proportion. And to them doth the afcribe,
1. A sweet savour, order, and eminency, as God is said to siell a sweet favour from the grace and obedience of his servants, Gen. viii. 21. The Lord smelled a sweet savour of rest from the sacrifice of Noah; fo do the saints fmell a sweet favour from his grace laid up in Christ, Cant. i. 3. It is that which they rest in, which they delight in, which they are refreshed with. As the smell of aromatical fpices, and flowers, please the natural sense, refresh the spirits, and delight the person, fo do the graces of Christ to his faints; they please their fpiritual fense, they refresh their drooping spirits, and give delight to their souls. If he be nigh thein they fmell his raiment as Isaac the raiment of Jacob; they say it is as the smell of a field that the Lord hath bles fed, Gen. xxvii
. 27. and their fouls are refreshed with it. 2. Order and beauty are as spices set in a garden bed, fo are the graces of Christ. When spices are fet in order, any one may know what is for his use, and take and gather it accordingly. Their anfwering also one to another makes them beautiful; fo are the graces of Christ in the gospel, they are distinctly and in order set forth that finners by faith may view them, and take from him according to their necessity. They are ordered for the use of saints in the promises of the gofpel. There is light in him, and life in him, and power in him, and all consolation in him; a constellation of graces, shining with glory, and beauty. Believers take a view of them all; see their glory and excellency, but fix especially on that, which in the condition wherein they are, is most useful to them. One takes light and joy; another life and power; by faith and prayer do they gather these things, in this bed of spices. Not any that comes to him goes away unrefreshed. What may they not take, what may they not gather? what is it that the poor soul wants? behold it is here provided, set out in order in the promises of the gospel; which are as the beds wherein these spices are set for our use; and on the account hereof, is the covenant said to be ordered in all things, 2 Sam. ii. 3, 4.
3. Eminency. His cheeks are a tower of perfumes, held up, made conspicuous, visible, eminent; so it is with the graces of Christ, when held out, and lifted up in the preaching of the gospel. They are a tower of perfumes; a sweet favour to God
The next clause of that verse is, His lips are like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. Two perfections in things natural are here alluded unto. The glory of colour in the lilies, and the sweetness of favour in the myrrh. The glory, and beauty of the lilies in those countries was such, as that our Saviour tells us, that Solomon in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of them, Mat. vi. 29. and the Saviour of myrrh, such as when the scripture would set forth any thing to be an excellent favour, it compares it thereunto, Psal. xlv. 8. and thereof was the sweet and holy ointment chiefly made, Exod. XXX, 26. mention is also made frequently of it is
other places to the fame purpose. It is said of Christ that grace was poured into his lips, Psal. xlv. 2. whence men wondered, or were amazed, at the words of grace that proceeded out of his mouth, so that by the lips of Christ, and their dropping sweet smelling myrrh, the word of Christ, its favour, excellency, and usefulness, is intended. Herein is he excellent, and glorious indeed, surpassing the excellencies, of those natural things which yet are most precious in their kind, even in the glory, beauty, and usefulness of his word. Hence they that preach his word, to the saving of the souls of men, are said to be a sweet favour to God, 2 Cor. ii. 15. and the favour of the knowlege of God, is said to be manifested by them, ver. 14. I might infist on the several properties of myrrh, whereto the word of Christ is here compared; its bitterness in taste, its efficacy to preserve from putrefaction, its usefulness in perfumes and unctions, and press the allegory in setting out the excellencies of the word in allusions to them. But I only insist on generals; this is that which the Holy Ghoft here intends; the word of Christ is sweet, favoury, precious unto believers, and they see him to be excellent, desireable, beautiful, in the precepts, promises, exhortations, and the most bitter threats thereof.
The spouse adds; his hands are as gold rings fet with beryl; the word beryl in the orginialis Tarshish, which the Septuagint have retained, not restraining it to any peculiar precious stone; the onyx say some, the Chrysolite say others; any precious stone fhining with a sea green colour, for the word signifies the sea also; gold rings set with precious, glistering stones are both valuable, and defireable for profit and ornament; so are the hands of Christ, that is,