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til I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me, I charge you, Oye daughters of Jerusalem, &c.
1. She tells you how she came to him; she found him: what ways and by what means, is not expresfed. It often so falls out in our communion with Christ; when private and public m:aans fail, and the soul hath nothing left but waiting filently and walking humbly, Christ appears, that his so doing inay be evidently of grace. Let us not at any time give over in this condition. When all ways are past, the summer and harvest are gone without relief, when neither bed nor watchmen can afliit; let us wait a little, and we shall see the salvation of God. Christ honours his immediate absolute actings fometimes; though ordinarily he crowns his ordinances. Christ often manifests himself immediately, and out of ordinances, to them that wait for him in them. That he will do so to them that despise them, I know not. Though he will meet men unexpectedly in his way; yet he will not meet them at all : out of it. Let us wait as he hath appointed; let him appear as he pleaseth. How she deals with him when found; is nextly declared. She held him, and would not let him go, &c. They are all expressions of the greatest joy and delightimaginable. The fum is, having at length come once more to an enjoyinent of sweet communion with Christ, the soul lays fast hold on him by faith, (to hold fast is an act of faith) refuses to part with him any more in vehemency of love; tries to keep hin in ordinances, in the house of its mother, the church of God, and so uses all-means for the confirming of the mutual love between Christ and her; all the expressions, all the allusions used, evidencing delight to the
utmost capacity of the soul. Should I pursue all the instances and testimonies that are given hereunto in that one book of the Song of Solomon, I must enter upon an exposition of the greatest part of it, which is not my present business. Let the hearts of the faints that are acquainted with these things; be allowed to make the close. What is it they long for? they, rejoice in? What is it that fatisfies them to the utmost, and gives sweet complacency to their spirits in every condition? what is ie whose loss they fear, whose absence they cannot bear? is it not this their Beloved, and he afone?
This alfo they further manifest by their delight in every thing that peculiarly belongs to Christ, as his, in this world. This is an evidence of delight, when for his fake whom we delight in, we also delight in every thing that belongs to him.' Christ's great interest in this world, lyes in his people, and his ordinances; his houshold and their provision: now. in both thefe do the saints exceedingly delight for his fake. Take an instance in both kinds in one man, viz. David, Pfal. xvi. 3. in the saints and the excellent, or the noble of the earth, is all delight; my delight in them. Christ says of his church, that she is Hepbzibah, lfa lxii. my delight iz her; here says David of the fame, Hephziban, my delight in them. As Christ delights in his saints, to do they.ja one another on his account. Here says David is all my delight. Whatever contentment he took in any other persons, it was nothing in comparison of the delight he rock in them. Hence mention is made, of laying down our lives for the brethren, or any common cause wherein the interest of the community of the brethren does lye.
2. For the ordinances, consider the same person; Psal. xlii. and 84. and 48. are such plentiful testimonies throughout, as we need no farther enquiring; nor shall I go forth to a new discourse on this particular.
And this is the first mutual consequential act of conjugalaffections in this communion between Christ and believers. He delights in them and they delight in him: he delights in their prosperity, hath pleasure in it; they delight in his honour and glory, and in his presence with them: for his fake they delight in his servants, (though by the world contemned) as the most excellent in the world; and in his ordinances, as the wisdom of God, which are foolishness to the world.
CH A P. V.
Other consequential affections; 1. On the part of
Christ. He values his faints. Evidences of that valuation. 3. His incarnation. 2. Exinanition. 2 Cor. viii. 8, 9. Phil. ii. 6, 7. 3.
3. Obedience as a servant. 4. In his death his valuation of them in comparison of others. Believers estimation of Christ. i. I hey value him above all other things. and persons.
2. Above their own lives. 3. All Spiritual excellencies: the sum of all on the part of Christ. The sum on the part of believers.
The third conjugal affection on the part of Christ, pity or compassion, wherein manifested. Suffering and supply, fruits of compafion. Several ways whereby Christ relieves the saints under temptations.. His compassions in their affctions. Chastity the third conjugal affection in the saints. The fourth
on the part of Christ, bounty: on the part of the saints duty.
HRIST values his faints, values his believ
ers. Which is the second branch of that conjugal affection he bears towards them, having taken them into the relation whereof we speak. 'I shall not need to insist long on the demonstration hereof. Heaven and earth are full of evidences of it. Some few considerations will give life to the assertion. Consider them then,
1. Absolutely. 2. In respect of others: and you will see what a valuation he puts upon them.
1. All that ever he did or doch, all that ever he underwent, or suffered as Mediator, was for their fakes. Now these things were so great, and grievous that had he not esteemed them above all that can be expressed, he had never engaged to their performance and undergoing. Take a few instances,
1. For their fakes was he made flesh; manifested in the flesh, Heb. ii. 14. Whereas therefore the children pertook of flejb and blood, even he in like manner pertook of the same; and the height of this valuation of them the apostle aggravates, ver. 16. Verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the feed of Abraham, he had no such esteem of angels. Whether you take epilambanesthai properly to take, or to take hold of, as our translators, and so supply the word nature, and refer the whole unto Christ's incarnation, who iherein took our nature on him and not the nature of angels: or for analambanesthai, to help, he did not help nor fuccour fallen angels; but he did help and succour the feed of Abraham, and so consider it as the fruit of
Christ's incarnation, it is all one as to our present business; his preferring the seed of Abraham before angels, his valuing them above the other is plainly expressed. And observe that he came to help the feed of Abraham, that is believers; his esteem andyaluation is of them only.
2. For their fakes he was fo made flesh, as that there was an emptying, an exinanition of himself, and an eclipsing of his glory, and a becoming poor for them, 2 Cor. viii. 9. Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich, for us became poor. Being rich in eternal glory with his Father, John xvii. 5. he became poor, for believers. The fame perfon that was rich, was also poor. That the riches here meant can be none but those of the Deity, is evident by its opposition to the poverty which as man, he undertook. This is also more fully expressed, Phil. ii. 6, 7. Who being in the form of God, counted it no robery to be equal to God, but he emptied himself, taking the form of a fervant, and being made in the fashion of a man, and found in form as a man, &c. That the form of God is here the essence of the Deity, sundry things inevitably evince. As,
1. That he was therein equal to God, that is his Father. Now nothing but God, is equal to God, not Christ as he is Mediator in his greatest glory: nothing but that which is infinite, is equal to that which is inGnite.
2. The form of God is oppofed to the form of a fervant, and that form of a servant, is called the fashion of a man, ver. 8. that fafhion wherein he was found when he gave himself to death; wherein as a man he poured out his blood and died: morphen doulou labon, (he took the form of a servant) is ex