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from the blood of his atonement, Eph. V. 2. So from the graces wherewith for them he is anointed, his faints receive a refreshing cherishing favour, Cant. i. 2. A sweet favoar expresses that which is acceptable and delightful, Gen. viii. 21. He is also the Lily of the vallies, that of all flowers is the most eminent in beauty, Mat. vi. 29. Most desireable is he for the comeliness and perfection of his person incomparably fairer than the children of men, of wliich afterwards. He then being thus unto them, abundantly satiating all their spiritual senses, their refreshment, their ornament their delight, their glory; in the next verse he tells us what they are to him: As the lilie among the thorns, fo is my Be. loved among the daughters. That Christ and his church are likened unto, and termed the same thing, (as here the Lily) is, as from their union by the indwelling of the same Spirit, so from that conformity and likeness that is between them, and whereunto the saints are appointed. Now she is a lily, very beautiful unto Christ; As the Lily among the thorns. 1. By the way of eminekcy; as the lily excelleth the thorns, so do the saints all others whatever in the eye of Christ, let comparison be made, so will it be found to be. And, 2. By the way of trial; the residue of the world, being pricking briers and grieving thorns to the house of Ilrael, Ezek. xxviii

. 24. The best of them is a brier, and the most upright of them sarper than a thorn hedge, Micah. vii. 4. And thus are they among the daughters; even the most eminent collections, of the most improved professors, that are no more but fo. There cannot be in any comparison, a greater exaltation of the excellency of any thing. So then is Christ to them indeed, ver. 1. So are they in his esteein, and indeed, ver. 2. How he is in their esteem and indeed, we have ver. 3.


As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my Beloved among the fons, I sat down under his fbadow with great delight and his fruit was sweet to my taste. To carry on this intercourse, the {poufe begins to speak her thoughts of, and to shew her delight in the Lord Christ. And as he compares her to the lily among the thorns, fo The him to the apple-tree among the trees of the wood: and she adds this reason of it, even becaufe he hath the two eminent' things of trees, which the residue of them have not: fruit for food: shade for refreshment: of the one she eateth, under the other the resteth, both with great delight. ` All other sons, either angels, the fons of God by creation, Job i. 6, xxxviii, 7. or the fons of Adam, the best of his off{pring, the leaders of those companies, which, ver. 2. are called daughters, or fons of the old creation; the top branches of all its defireable things, are to an hungry, weary foul, (such alone feek for shade and fruit) but as the fruitless, leaflefs trees of the forest, which will yield them neither food nor refreshment. In Christ, faid fhe, there is fruit, fruit sweet to the taste. Pea his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed, John vi. 55. Moreover he hath brought forth that everlasting righteousnefs, which will abundantly fatisfy any hungry foul, after it hath gone to many a barren tree for food, and hath found none. Besides he aboundeth in precious and pleasant graces, whereof I may eat, yea he calls me to do so, and that abundantly. Thefe are the fruits that Christ beareth. They Speak of a tree that bringeth forth all things need ful for life in food and raiment. Chiift is tha: Tre


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of life, which hath brought forth all things that are needful unto life eternal: in hiin is that righteousness which we hunger after: in him is that water of life, which whofodrinketh of, shall thirst no

Oh how sweet are the fruits of Christ's me. diation to the faith of his saints! He that can find no relief in mercy, pardon, grace, acceptation with God, holiness, fanctification, &c. is an urter strang, er to these things, (wine in the lees) that are prepared for believers. Also he hath fhades for refreshment and shelter. Shelter from wrath without, and refreshment because of wearinefs from within. The first use of the shade, is to keep us from the heat of the sun, as did Jonah's gourd. When the heat of wrath is ready to scorch the foul; Christ interposing bears it all; under the shadow of his wings, we sit down constantly, quietly, fafely putting our trust in him. And all this with great delight. Yea who can express the joy of a foul safe-thadowed from wrath, under the covert of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus? There is also refreshinent in a shade from wearinefs. He is as the Shadow of a great rock in a weary land, Ifa. xxxii, 2. From the power of corruptions, trouble of remptations, distress of persecutions, there is in him quier rest and repose, Matth. xi. 27, 28.

Having thus mutually described each other, and so made it manifest, that they cannot but be delighted in fellowship and communion; in the next verses, that communion of theirs is at large fet forth and described. I shall briefly observe four things therein. 1. Sweetness, 2. Delight, 3. Safe

. 1. Sweetness. He brought me to the banquetingoufe; or house of wine. It is all set forth under


ty, 9. Comfort.

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expressions of the greatest sweetness, and most delicious refreshment, flaggons, apples, wine, &c. He entertains me (faith the spouse) as some great perfonage. Great personages, at great entertainments are had into the banqueting-houfe, the house of wine, and dainties. These are the preparations of grace and mercy, love, kindness, fupplies revealed in the gospel, declared in the assemblies of the saints, exhibited by the Spirit. This love is better than wine, Cant: i. 2. it is not in meats and drinks, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, Rom. xiv. 17. Gospel dainties are fweet refreshments. Whether these houses of wine, be scriptures, the gospel, or the ordinances dispensed in the affemblies of the saints, or any eminent and signal manifestations of special love, (as not every days work, nor used at ordinary entertainments) it is all one. Wine that cheereth the heart of man, it maketh him forget his mifery, Prov. xxxi. 6; 7. it gives him a cheerful Icok and countenance, Gen. xlix. 12. is that which is promised. The grace exhibited by Christ in his ordinances, is refreshing, strengthening, comforting, and full of sweetness to the souls of the faints. Woe be to such full souls, as loath these honey combs. But thus Christ makes all his afsemblies, to be banqueting houses, and there he gives his saints entertaininent.

2. Delight. The spouse is quite ravished with the sweetness of this entertainment, fin ling love and care and kindness bestowed by Christ in the affemblies of the faints, hence she cries out yer. 5. Stay me with flaggons, comfort me with apples, fior I am sick of love. Upon the discovery of the ex cellency and sweetness of Christ in the banquetin


house, the soul is instantly overpowered, and cries out to be made partaker of the fulness of it. She is fick of love, not as some suppose, fainting for want of a sense of love, under the apprehensions of wrath, but made fick, and faint, even overcome with the mighty actings of that divine affection, after she had once tasted of the sweetness of Christ in the banqueting house. Her desire deferred, makes her heart fick, therefore she cries stay me, &c. I have seen a glimpse of the king in his beauty: tasted of the fruit of his righteousness, my foul melteth in longing after him, Oh support and sustain my spirit, with his presence in his ordinances, those flaggons and apples of his banqueting house, or I shall quite sink and faint! Oh what hast thou done blefsed Jefus? I have seen thee, and my foul is become as the chariots of Amminadab; let me have fomething from thee to support me, or I die. When a person is fainting on any occasion, thefe two things are to be donestrength is to be ofed to support him, that he sink not to the ground; and comfortable things are 10 be applied to refresh his fpirits. These two, the foal overpowered, and fainting with the force of its own love, raised by a sense of Christ, prayeth for, it would have strengthning grace to support it in that condition, that it may be able to attend its duty; and consolations of the Holy Ghost, to content, revive, and satiate it, un, till it come to a full enjoğment of Christ. And thus sweerly and with delight is this communion carried on.

3. Şafety, His banner over me was love, ver. 4. The banner is an emblem of fafety and protection, a sign of the presence of an hoft. Persons belongng to an army, do encamp under their banner in


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