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Full text of "Clavis cantici, or, An exposition of the Song of Solomon"




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Clavis Cantici: 


^W R, AN 


OF THE / 1^^ ^. 

jiSbffgf of Solomon* 


The Reverend Mr. JAMES DURHAM, late Mi- 
nifter of the Gofpel at Glafgow. 

Col. iii. 1 5. £tt fta PPW ofCkrifi dwell in you richly ^ in all Wifdom, 
teaching and admonijhing one another in Pfalms and Hymns r and 
fpiritual Songs, finging with Grace in your Hearts to the Lord. 
Eph. v« 2. And walk in Love, as Chrifl alfo hath loved us—" 
i Cor. xiii. 13. And now abide th Faith % Hope, Love, thefe three j- 
but the great eft of thefe is Love. 


Printed by Thomas Lumisden and Company, and fold at 
their Printing-houfe in the Fifi-market, and by James Thomfcn 
Bookfeller, at his Shop in the Entry to the Parliament -Clefs. 1723* 




^ C 4 *fe#j 




Chriftian Reader. 

T) leing the immortal SouPs chief Good, it mtifi needs 
follow, that what unites the Soul unto God, muft be 
the SouPs chiefOrnament and Grace: Andfuch is Love, 
that Principium uniens, or Principle uniting the Soul 
unto God. Whence it is, that, even in good, fpiritual 
and elevated Reafon, the oApoftle prefers Love a- 
mong the SouPs three cardinal Virtues, i Cor. 13. 11. And now a- 
bideth Faith, Hope and Love ; and the greateft 01 thefe is Love. 
Indeed, Faith, going out from the Sinner, to reft upon Jefus Chrift the 
Juftifier of the Ungodly ; and there is no Sinner nor unclean Thing in 
Heaven ; and Hope, looking unto, and after, a Country that we are 
notyetPojfefforsof; and Love, yea, Love alone, filling Heaven unto 
all Eternity ; it is certain that Love is the SouPs moft adorning Orna- 
ment, its moft heavenly frame. 

Now, of all Booh in holy Scripture, it hath pleafed the Holy Ghofi 
to entitle The Song of Solomon, or his Book of Loves, thus, 
D 7f? ^P, The Song of Songs: <AU Songs, all Loves, all Outgoings 
of the Soul being invaluable to this SouPs Song, and Love uniting 
Chrift and the Soul. 

This pofthume Work, then, of the precious Author, Mr. Durham, is 
commendable to the Churches (if there be need of any additional Com- 
mendation beyond the naming of his Name to it) upon moe oAccounts 

A 2 than 

iv To the Chriftian Reader. 

than one : Firft, It is done upon the higheft, fweeteft, deepefi Subje& % 
Love between the Soul ana its chief eft Goody even God in Chrift. 
Secondly, It is done spiritually, yet plainly, upon a moft Spiritual, yet 
tnyfterious Portion of holy Scripture. &4nd, Thirdly, The Churches of 
Chrift are obliged to God in this, that they have had, from this bright 
Candle among ft the Candle flicks, a Light flming upon, and difcover- 
ing thofe Two myfterious "Booh of Scripture, Canticles and Revela- 
tion. Fourthly, If a Word fitly fpoken is as Apples of Gold in 
Pi&ures of Silver, Prov. 25.11. fure, then, it was highly commend- 
ing of God's Goodnefs to the Author, that he was led on this Work of 
Preaching, Lecturing, and Writing, on this Song of Loves, thofe 
fweet Concords, and begun Mufick of Heavtn between Chrift and 
Souls, and that in Time of fad T>ifcords and very immufical Jarrings 
in the Church ; eAn Argument of an excellent Soul-frame in a very evil 
Time : A Demon(lration whereof, and of his healing Difpofition, 
how apparent is it, in that rare Piece of his, upon Scandal ! 

I jhall not trouble thee any further, fave that I cordially wifl? the 
Lord may be pleafedf^ to blefs thy Perufal of this prefent Treat if e, as 
it may tend, not only to the prefent, but alfo to the everlafting WelU 
being of thy Souh aAndfo I bid thee fareweU 



Clavis Cantici : 

OR, A 

KEY of the SONG, 

Ufeful for opening up thereof. 

lHIS is a place of fcripture, the expofition whereof many 
in all ages have fhunned to adventure upon*, and truly I 
have looked upon it, of a long time, as not convenient 
to be treated upon before all auditories, nor eafy by 
many to be underflood -, efpecially becaufe of the height 
of fpiritual expreifions, and myfterious rapts of Divine 
Love, and the fiiblime and excellent expreilions of the 
Bridegroom therein contained,which would require much 
livelinefs of frame, and acquaintance in experience with the things here fpoken 
of,andnearnefs in walking with God, as being necehary for finding out the 
mind and meaning of the Spirit of God therein : Yet we are now brought,by 
help of his Grace, to effay the Interpretation of it, upon thefe following con** 

Firfi y Becaufe it is acknowledged by all, not only to be authcntick fcrip- 
ture, but an excellent piece thereof*, and therefore is to be made ufe of by 
the Church, and not to ly hid, nor to be laid afide, as if the meaning there- 
of were not to be fearched into, becaufe it feems dark and obfcure. 

2. Becaufe the fubjecl and matter of it is fo Divine, carrying alongft wfefit 
it many various cafes, both of particular fouls, as alfo of the Church, both 
vifible and invifible, with many excellent commendations of Chrift the 
Bridegroom, which ought to be the fubjeft of his friends meditations, and 

B can 

% A J^ey ufeful 

cannot but be profitable, if he blefs them 7 there being here maps, alrnoft for 
all conditions. 

3. Becaufe the ftile and compofition is fo divine and excellent, carrying 
affeftions alongft with it, and captivating them in the very reading •, fo that 
few can read this Song, but they muft fall in love with it : We would there- 
fore fee what is within it, if at leaft we may get a tafte of that which doth 
fo fweetly reliih. 

4. It feems the Holy Ghoft, by putting it into fuch a mould, intended to 
commend it : and if it be true, that all the poetical pieces of fcriptiire ought 
efpecially to be learned and taken notice of, fo fhould this, it being fo com- 
mended to us in that frame. 

5. The ftrain and liibjeft of it is fo very fpiritual, that it neceffitates the 
ftudents thereof to aim at fome nearnefs with God, and ordinarily it leaves 
fome ftamp upon their affections -, which is not the leaft caufe, nor the 
ftnalleft encouragement to me in this undertaking. 

We fliall not ftand to prove the authority of it : It carries a divine ftile in 
its bofbm •, nor is there need to inquire who was the penman of it, it being 
clear that Solomon, who was furnifhed with wifdom and underftanding, as ne- 
ver a king before or fince was, is honoured to be the Amanuenfis of the Holy 
Ghoft, in putting this Song upon record. Whether after,, or before his back- 
Hiding, it is not much to us j though it be molt probable that it was after 
in the warmnefs of a fpirit fenfible of this fo great a deliverance : For here we 
may, as it were, fee him making ufe of that experience of the vanity of all 
things he had found, coming to the fear of God as the conclufion of the whole 
matter ^ whereof this Song of Love is not a little evidence, and which looks 
like his own faying, Ecclef 12. 13. 

The means which are necefTary for our more perfpicuous handling, and 
your more profitable hearing, of this profound Scripture, will be r 

r. Some acquaintance with the whole word of God, but mainly the book 
of the Pfalms y and other fongs recorded in the word *, as alfo, with the gof- 
pel,. and iuch places as have molt likenefs to it. 

2. Acquaintance with the cafes of others either by reading or mutual fel- 
lowihip :, but moft of all, it is requifite,that one have fome experimental know- 
ledge of the way of God towards his own heart : He who is jo wife as to under- 
frand thefe 'Things, even he fall under ftand this loving kindnefs of the Lord^ Such 
kind of experience is one of the beft commentaries upon this text. 

3. Watchfu-nefs over our felves, keeping our heart with all keeping, and 
ftudyhig a tender frame ofipirit, that we may have a confcience always void 
of offence towards God: Loofhefs all the week will not be a frame for the 
Cam ides. 1 is not the fimple being of grace, but the lively operation and 
sxercife thereof, which prompts and difpofes either to fpsak to purpofe,. or 


for opening up the Song. 7 

to hear of this with profit; he would grow in grace who would grow in know- 
ledge here : neither have others ground to expect, that this fecret of the Lord 
jhall be with them, or that they ihall be of a quick underftanding who fear 
him not. One may have grace, and not a lively frame for this, except grace 
be a&ing, and in exercife. 

4. Much converting with the Bridegroom,efpecially by prayer,that he,who 
caufes the dull to underftand doctrine, may manifeft himfelf, and open our 
eyes to behold thefe wondrous things, and that he may blefs us in the 
knowledge of his will in this we undertake, which fo fpecially concerns 
him and us } for this fcripture may be dark to thefe who fpeak on it, if this 
be not \ and a fealed Book to you who hear it, if thefe things be wanting : 
whereas, if thefe be in us and abound, we jloall neither be barren nor unfruitful in 
the knowledge of this piece of facred fcripture. 

Now. that we may have the more clear accefs to fpeak profitably of the 
matter of this Song, and that our way of opening and applying of it (which 
may poiTibly in fbme things be different from others) may be the better clear- 
ed, we mall, 1. premit fome proportions concerning it *, 2. draw fome con- 
clufions from thefe 7 both which we Ihall endeavour ihortly to clear and con- 
firm, as ufeful to be taken alongft in our proceeding. 

The Firft Propofition then is this, This Song is a piece of divine fcripture, 
and a moft excellent part thereof (which we ihall fpeak to more folly on the 
title) and fo of equal authority with other fcriptures (wherein holy men 
fpoke, as they were infpired by the Holy Ghoft) and tendeth to the edifying 
of the Church, and making of the man of God perfect, even as they do. For", 

Firft y This Song hath ever been received into the Canon, and accounted 
(as they fpeak) for canonick, as the reft of the fcriptures were. It was never 
queftioned by the Jews fas Mercer, prof at. ad Cant, cleareth) but was ftill re- 
ceived by them, and tranfinitted to the Gentile Churches, who received the 
fcriptures of the Old Teftament from them, who had the Oracles of God in 
keeping : and that the fame hath been univerfally received by Chriftians,may 
appear by the records of the Councils, and writings of the Fathers, where 
the catalogue of the books of the holy fcripture is fet down. 

2. It carrieth the authority of the holy Ghoft engraven upon it, as evi- 
dently as any piece of fcripture. not only as to its matter, manner of expref- 
fion, divine ftile \ but moftly in that divine power and efficacy it hath on 
hearts and fpirits (efpecially of the more difcerning, who beft know Chrift's 
voice, as his fheep) whereby it relifhes fo fweetly, and elevates them to fuch 
an holy ravifhment, that it obtaineth the teftimony from all, that there is 
fomething divine in it, and more than can be in humane writings, even tho' 
they cannot particularly tell the meaning of it-, that holding true here, which 
one laid of a book which was fomething obfcure, fh& which I underftand (Taid 

B 2 he) 

4l A Key ufeful 

he) is excellent • therefore I judge, that which I underfland not, to be fo alfr 
though it exceed my reach. And that it is Chrift who fpeaketh, and that it is 
the language of the Holy Ghoft, andean be applied to no other, is by a di- 
vine convi&ion extorted from the reader, and hearer of it • fo that confe/fed- 
ly and defervedly, it beareth this title, A Song of Songs. 

This Song muft either be attributed to the Spirit," as the chief Author of 
it, tho' Solomon was the penman •, or we muft fay, it was not only penned 
but indited merely by fome man, (Solomon, or whoever he be) led by his 
own fpirit, or fome other fpirit, without the Spirit of God : But none of 
thefe lair can be faid. What other fpirit can fo fpeak of Chrift and the 
Church ? What other fong, even of the moft holy men, can be compared 
to this ?. Was it ever equalled? Or can it be equalled? And if it cannot be the 
fruit of the fpirit of a mere man, tho 5 in the moft holy frame ; then it misft 
be infpired by the Spirit, in wonderful wifdom, and a moft Divine Stile, com- 
paring the myfteries of communion with God in Chrift, in this ihort Sons : 
Wherefore we fay, it is juftly called, A Song of Songs , whereby it is prefer- 
red, not only to all humane fongs, but even to other fcriptural longs \ which 
Were blafphemous to-do, were it not of a Divine rife and authority. 

There are two objections, which fometimes have been ftarted by fome \ 
but they will not be of weight to infringe this truth*. The Firft i's, That 
there is no paftage of this Song cited in the New Teftament : But citation 
of fcriptures in the New Teftament doth not give authority to them. They 
are cited as having authority, and not to get it } and therefore there are ma- 
ny fcriptures in the Old Teftament,which were never ci ed in the New : Al- 
though it may be faid, there are many near refemblances (at leaft) in the 
New Teftament, to- divers paffages in this Song •, as the often ftiling the 
Church a Vineyard, Matth. 20. and comparing the Church's union with Chrift 
to Marriage, Matth. 22, &c. That Chrift fiandeth at the door and knochth, 
Rev. 3. 20. taken as it were from Song 5.2. The Virgins falling aflcef; Matth. 
25. The efficacy of grace, called drawing, "John 6; 44. taken from Chap-, 1. 4, 
eh;. Chrift in the parables called a King, or the King (which by way of erni- 
nency is applied to him, Vfal. 45. 1, 2.) Neither is the fecond objection of 
greater weight, to wit, That no proper Name of God is to be found in this 
Song : For, 1. 'Tis fo alfo in other Scriptures, as in the book ofEfther -, The 
fcriptures authority doth not depend on naming the Name of God, but on 
having his warrant and authority. 2. Tlrs Song being allegorical and figu- 
rative, 'tis not fb meet,nor confiftent with its ftile, to have God named under 
proper names, as in other fcriptures. Yet, 3. There are titles and defcri- 
ptions here given to an excellent perfon, which can agree to none other, but 
thrift, the eternal Son of God - 7 as the King, thou wlwm my foul lover b, the 

for opening up the Song, y 

chief of ten thoufand, the Eofe of Sharon, and the like, whereby his eminency 
is fingularly fet out above all others in the world. 

In Jiim, there are none of the characters, ufually condefcended on as ne- 
ceilary for evidencing the authority of holy fcripture, wanting here •, this 
Song being a Div'ne fubjett, received into the Canon, bearing a Divine ftamp, 
having much majefty in its ftile, agreeing with itfelf and other fcriptures ful- 
ly :, impartiaUy (peaking out the blots and adverfities of the Bride, as well as 
her beauty and profperity, and written by a prophet and penman of holy 
writ, to wit, Sol m- . 

The Second Proportion is, That this Song is not to be taken properly, (and 
wo. 79 P * T ) or literally, that is, as the words do at firft found ; but it is 
to be taken and underftcod fpiritually, figuratively and allegorically, as having 
fome (pirjtual meaning contained under thefe figurative expreftions, made ufe 
of throughcut this Song : My meaning is, that when it fpeaketh of a Mar- 
tiage, :p vfe y &ifrer r ' Beloved, Daughters of Jerufdem, &c. thefe expreffions are 
not to be imderftood properly of fuch, but as holding forth fomething of a 
fpiritual nature under theie. 

I grant it hath a literal meaning j but I fay, that literal meaning is not im- 
mediate, and that which firft looketh out, as in hiftorical fcriptures, or others 
which are not. figurative , but that which is fpiritually and efpecially meant 
by thefe allegorick and figurative fpeeches, is the literal meaning of this Song : 
fo that its literal fenfe is mediate, reprefenting the meaning, not immediately 
from the words, but mediately from the fcope, that is, the intention of the 
Spirit, which is couched under the figures and allegories, here made ufe of.. 
For, A literal fenfe (as it is defined by Rivet out of the School-men) is that 
which fioweth from fuch a place of fcripture as -intended by the Spirit in the words , 
whether properly or figuratively ufed,. and is to be gathered from the whole complex 
expreffion together, applied thereunto, as in the expofition of parables, allegories arul 
figurative fcripturej, is clear . And it were as improper and abfiird to deny a 
figurative fenfe (tho' literal) to thefe, as it were to fix figurative expoiitions 
upon plain fcriptures, which are properly to be taken,. 

For there is a twofold literal fenfe of fcripture. i. Proper and immediate, 
as where 'tis faid, Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter. The fecond is figu- 
rative and mediate, as when it is faid, Matth, 22. 2. A certain King made a 
marriage to his Sen, &c. Both have a literal meaning •, the firft immediate, 
fulfilled mSoLmra , the fecond is mediate, letting out Gods calling Jews and 
Gemiles unto fellowihip with his Son ; and fo that parable is to be underftcod 
in afpiritual fenfe. Now, we fay, this Song (if we would take up its true 
fenfe and meaning) is not to be underftood the firft way, properly and im- 
mediately -, but the feco.-.d way, figuratively and mediately, as holding forth 
fome fpiritual thing under borrowed expreffions :. Which 'will further "appear: 
from thefe things , , Brfi 

6 A Kjty ufeful 

Firft, There can be no edification in fetting out humane love (amongft par- 
ties properly underftood) fo largely and lively •, and yet edification muft 
the end of this Song, being a part of fcripture : it muft have therefore 
higher meaning than the words at firft will feem to bear. 

2. There can be no parties mentioned, befide Chrift and his Bride to 
whom this Song can agree \ nor can any proper meaning thereof be aiTigned 
which can make it applicable to thefe parties : and therefore it cannot be un- 
derftood properly, but figuratively - 9 and that not of any other, but of Chrift 
and Believers. To Sc lemon it cannot agree in its application, nor to his 
Queen, yea, to no man, if it be taken in a proper fenfe: For, i. Thefe 
commendations given to the Bridegroom, Chap. 5. to the Bride, Chap. 4, 6, 7. 
if properly underftood, would be monftrous, blafphemous, and ridiculous • 
fuch as to have teeth like a flock of Jlieep, an head like Carmel, &c. and fb in 
many othe^. things. 2. Some things are attributed to this Solomon, who is 
the iubjeft of this Song, that were not within Solomon^ reach, as that, his 
prefence at the table (Cuap. 1 . 1 2.) maketh her fpikenard to fmell, which in- 
fluence cannot proceed from one man more than another ; and Chap. 3. 1 1 # 
where it is faid, He made a chariot , and paved it with love, which is no mate- 
rial thing, and fo could be no pavement in Solomon's chariot. 3. That Solo- 
men b< Iilg the penman of this Song, yet fpeaketh of Solomon in the fecond 
perfon, Thou, O Solomon, Chap. 8. 1 2. makes it appear that fome other was 
defigned than himfelf - 7 and many fuch like expreifions that fill up the matter 
©f this Song, (fuch as fpices, gardens, c£r.) cannot be underftood properly 
of thefe very things themfelves, but of fome other thing vailed under them : 
And fo alio, when fhe is called terrible as an army with banners, it cannot be 
underftood of Solomons Queen ; and applying it to the Church, we cannot 
underftand it of any carnal terror, which the external afpe£t- of the Church 
doth beget in beholders. 

3. The ftile and expreifions will bear cut more than any humane love, or 
any humane obje&, upon which men fet their love : We are, (lire, no fuch 
love would be proponed to believers as a warranted pattern for their imita- 
tion, as if it would be commendable in them to be fo much ravifhed and taken 
up, even with the moft lovely creature. 

4. Many things here are inconfiftent with humane love, and that modefty 
that is required in it, (as the Hebrews themfelves, apud Mercer, obferve) as 
to propone him to others, to excite them to love him, others undertaking 
to follow after him, her fpeaking to him in her fleep, Chap. 5. 2. running in 
the night through the ftreets, and flighting him at the Door ; which by no 
means can admit a proper, literal, immediate fenfe, but muft needs aim at 
fomething figurative. Befide, what reafbn can there be to plead a proper 
fenfe here,more than in other figurative fcriptures of the fame fort, as of thefe 



for opening up the Song. 7 

that fpeak of the foul's union with Chrift, under the fimilitude of a marriage,' 
and particularly that of Ffal. 45. which is (as it were) a compend of this 
Song, and is looked upon by all as figurative ? 

If it be enquired in what fenfe we call this Song figurative, whether as ty- 
pical or allegorical ? The anfwering and clearing of this queftion will further 
us in rhe interpretation of this excellent fcripture. We fhall therefore ihew, 
i. How allegorical, properly fo called, differeth from tjpical. And, 2. Why 
we call this Song allegorical, aud not typical. 

Allegorical fcriptures, or allegories, (we take allegory here as Divines do, 
who take it not as Grammarians or Rhetoricians, for a continued difcourfe of 
many figures together) properly and ftri&ly taken (for fometimes allegory may 
be taken largely, and fo may comprehend whatever is figurative, whether 
typical, topological, analogical, &c. as the Apoftle taketh it, Gal. 4. fpeak- 
ing of Abraham's two fons, which is yet properly a type) differeth from 
types, or typical fcriptures, thus, 

■Fl?f, Types fuppofe flill the verity of fome hiftory :, as "Jonas cafting in 
the fea, and being ,in the fifh's belly three days and three nights, when it is 
applied to Chrift in the New Teftament, it fuppofeth fnch a thing once to 
have been. Allegories again have no fuch neceffary fuppofition, but are as 
parables proponed for fome myftical end : thus, while 'tis faid, Matth, 22. 2. 
A certain King made a marriage, planted a vineyard, &c. that place fuppoleth 
it not neceffary, as to the being of the allegory,that ever inch a thing was -, it 
in ay be an allegory without that : but a type cannot be without reality in 
the thing or fa&, which is made a type. 

2. Types look only to matters of fact :, and compare one fact with another 
fas ChrifVs lying in the Grave for fuch a time, to that of Jonas, who did \y 
fo long in the whale's belly) but allegories take in words, fentences, doctrines 
both of faith and manners, as in the former examples is clear. 

3. Types compare perfons and facts under the Old Teftament,with Perfons 
and fads under the New, and is made up of fomething that is prefent, pre- 
figuring another to come : allegories look efpecially to matters in hand, and 
intend the putting of fome hid fpiritual fenfe upon words, which at firft they 
feem not to bear 5 whether the allegory be only in the Old Teftament, or 
only in the New, or in both, it looks to the fenfe and meaning, being fo 
confidered in itfelf^ as the words may beft ferve the fcope, and teach or ma- 
nifeftthe thing the Spirit intends, without any companion betwixt this, and 
that of "the Old Teftament and New : Yea, an allegory may be in precepts,, 
as, Muzjzje not the m-iah of the ox, and, cut off the right hand, &c„ which: 
have an aHegorick fenfe in them. 

4,. Types are only hiftorical as fuch, and the truth of the fact agreeing irr 
the anti-type, make them up, it being clear in fcripture that fuch things are 

types J 

g A \ey ufeful 

types ; for we muft not forge types without fcripture-warrant : but allegories 
are principally doctrinal, and in their fcope intend not to clear, or compare 
fa&s, but to hold forth and explain doctrines, or by fuch fimilitudes to make 
them the better underftood, and to move and affeft the more, or the more 
forcibly to convince j as Nathan made ufe of a parable, when 'he was about 
to convince David, 2 Sam. 12. 1,2, &c. 

5. Types in the Old Teftament refpecl: only fome things, perfons and e- 
vents } as Chrift, the gofpel, and its fpreading, &c. and cannot be extended 
beyond thefe : but allegories take in every thing that belongs either to do- 
ctrine, or inftruttion in faith, or to practice for ordering one's life. 

Hence we may fee, that allegories are much more extenfive and compre- 
henfive, in their meaning and application, than types (which cannot be ex- 
tended further than fome one thing) and fo are much more doftrinal, and 
concern both the faith and manners of God's, people much more, and may, 
for that, more warrantably be applied, and made ufe of for thefe ends. 

2. We fay, that this Song is not typical, as being made up of two hifto- 
ries, to wit, Solomon's marriage, and Chrift's j nor doth it any way intend 
the comparing of thefe two together in the events, as to their fa&s or deeds: 
but it is allegorick, not refpe&ing Solomon , or his marriage, but aiming to fet 
out fpiritual myfteries in figurative expreifions, in fuch a manner as may moft 
effectuate that end, for inlightning the judgment, and moving of the affecti- 
ons, without any refpeft to that ftory, or faft: of Solomon's : For, 

Firfr, The ftrain and feries of it is clearly allegorick, as the reading and 
confidering of it will clear. 2. There can be no hiftory to which it can re- 
late, unto which the" things fpoken in this Song can be properly applied, as 
is faid. 3. Solomon's marriage was at leaft twenty years before this Song was 
written. See on Song 7. concerning the Tower of Lebanon, and compare it 
with 1 Kings 7. 1, 2. and Chap. 6. tilt. Therefore it cannot be thought fo 
much as to be penned on that occaiion, as an Epithalamium which was to be 
fimg that night on which he was married, (and altho' occaiion of penning of 
it were taken from that, yet would it not prove it typical, and to refpecl: 
that as its type.) And, 4. What more is this allegory of a marriage to be 
accounted typical, than other places of fcripture, where this fame manner of 
expreifion is ufed ? 5. If it be partly typical, hpw is this type to be made 
up? for Chrift's love unto, and marriage with his Church, is not only fet 
out here as peculiar to the New Teftament,* but is applicable to believers un- 
der the Old: There can therefore be here no comparing of fa&s of the Old 
Teftament, with any thing anfwering to them in. the New. If it be faid, 
Solomon's marriage typified Chrift's marrying of the Gentiles •, I anfwer, Befide 
that there is no fcripture for this conjecture (and. 'tis hard to coin types with- 
out fcripture authority, othervvife we might make Solomon a type in his nv-ny 


for opening up the Song. p 

wives, poilibly, and in many other fuch things - 7 alfo that of his marrying 
Pharaoh's daughter was againft a law, as well as this) it cannot be laid that 
this Song fetteth out only Chrift's love to the Gentiles, or the believing Gen- 
tiles their carriage and love to him : For, was it not fulfilled (in that which 
they would make its anti-type) before Chrift came in the flefh, in the belie- 
ving Jews ? yea, before ever that marriage was *, and therefore there can be 
no typical refpecl: had to that marriage here. Befide, it would much darken 
the fpiritualnefs and divinenefs of this Song, to make it in fuch a way typi- 
cal, as having any proper fulfilling or meaning, that were poifibly verified in 
the deed of any man. We conclude then, that this Song is fimply allegorick. 

We come now to a Third Proportion, which is this : The divine myfteiy 
intended, and fet forth here, is the mutual love, and fpiritual union and com- 
munion that is betwixt Chrift and his Church, and their mutual carriage to- 
wards one another, in feveral conditions and difpenfations. The comprehen- 
five fum of this is contained in this Song, and compended by the Spirit, for 
the comfort and edification of the Church, under thefe figurative expreffions : 
This, we fay, is the fcope and fiibjecVmatter of this Song *, For, 

Firft, If the intent of this Song be to fet out the fpiritual carriage amongft 
fpiritual parties, and the fpiritual love which each hath to other - 9 then it 
muft fet out Chrift's love to his Church, and hers to him : The reafon is, 
Becaufe there are no other fpiritual Marriage-parties known, but Chrift and 
his Church *, there is no other fpiritual marriage, or fpiritual marriage-love, 
but this. But this Song in its fcope is to fet out a fpiritual marriage of fpiri- 
tual parties, and their fpiritual love *, therefore it muft fet out this. 

2. The fcope of this Song muft be agreeable to the matter contained in it. 
Kow the matter contained in it can agree to no other parties, and be approven 
in no other love : Therefore thefe defcriptions given to the Bridegroom, can 
be given to no other but Chrift •, and thefe given to the Bride by him, can 
be given to no other but the Church, and muft fpeak out no lefs love, than 
that love of Chrift's, the expreffions being far beyond the love of all o- 
thers : This will more fully appear in the opening up of the Song. 

3. What is the fcope of thefe allegories, in other fcriptures, as that of 
Pfal. 45. that of planting a vineyard, Matth. 21. that ofmarriagej Matth. 22. 
(which none can deny) is meant of eipoufing fpiritually (See this fame allego- 
ry of marriage, Jer. -3. Hof. 2. 3. E^ek. 16. Matth. 22. Luke 14. 2 Cor. 1 1. f. 
Rev. 19. 8.) that muft be the fcope of this alfo. For, 1. There cannot be 
two fpiritual marriages, to which thefe fcriptures and this can be applied. 
2. Scripture muft agree with Scripture, and one more obfeure place muft be 
expounded by others more clear j and therefore, feeing this fcope is clear in 
other fcriptures of this nature, we may conclude 'tis the fcope here alfo. 
That Jfalt 45. doth agree with the expreffions and ftrain of this Song, is 

C clear 

clear by comparing them y and that it fpeaketh of that ffftftual marriage be- 
twixt Chrift and his Church, is clear by the citations drawn from it, and 
applied to that end by the Apoftle, Heb, i. 8, 9. 

4. Either this muft be its fcope, or it muft have fome other fcope, or none 
at all. To fay none at all, is biafphemous : If it be faid another fcope than 
this, then it muft either be fuch a fcope as agreeth with thefe other fcriptures, 
or which differeth from them ^ but not fuch as differeth from them, that can- 
not be faid, therefore it muft be the fame : and fo it fetteth OttS Chrift's way 
with his Church, and hers with him, drawing them, as it were, in a map to- 

Objeft. If any would argue, that it might better be prophetically applied, as 
foretelling events in the Church, as fome do : For anfwer, We fuppofe, it 
would be hard to make that out to be the fcope and intention of the Spirit. 
. 2. It would be. more hard to get help from other fcriptures, in the applica- 
tion ox it to fuch events, and fuch times 3 and fb this would leave it wholly 
to uncertainty, or mens pleafure, as their invention,' and groundlefs conje- 
ctures, would lead them to apply it : (as we fear fome good men have taken 
too much liberty, without any ground but mere conje&ures, to wreft the 
fcope of this Song) and befide, fcich an interpretation would exceedingly fpoil 
believers of that inftru&ion and confolation, which the true fcope givetn them \ 
for then they were not to apply it to themfelves, or to the Church, but at 
fuch* a time, and in fuch an age : becaufe, if it fhall be once fulfilled in 
others, or, if it be not applicable to them, becaufe they live not in fuch a 
time,, it will certainly mar their confidence in making any comfortable appli- 
cation of it to themfelves. 

Befide^ thefe confiderations may clear, that, in its fcope, it cannot be pro- 
perly prophetical, of fuch and fuch times and events, but dogmatical and pra- 
ctical, for believers ufe, in all times and events. 

Firfl y If the fcope and matter of this Song will agree: to any one time, or 
if all of it will agree to believers at any time, then it cannot be prophetical ; 
for, prophecy fupponeth adiverfity of time,, for divers events, and cannot 
be faid at any one time alike to be fulfilled : But all the fubjecl: of this Song 
may be. fulfilled in one believer or other, at any one time , there are ftill " 
iome enjoying Chrift, fome deferred, fome praying, fome fufferirig, &c. and 
fb" of whatever part of it we can think upon, it may be faid of one time, as 
well as of another, that it hath its accomplifhment in one believer .or other •, 
and therefore, it is not properly prophetical. 

2. If all of it may now be applied to believers, yea, and at any time be- 
fore the end o*f the' world, may be as well applied, as being then fulfilled, .as 
well as when it was written ^ then it is not prophetical, feeing prophecies 
have their particular accompliihments : But ail parts of this Song, even the, 


for opening up the Song. 1 1 

firft parts, may now be applied, and will ftill agree to believers, as properly 
as it did in Solomon's time. Therefore, &c. 

3. If all the parts of it were in the fame way applicable to, and true, in 
the cafes of believers, then when it was written, even as now, or will be be- 
fore the end \ then it was not intended to be prophetical, but do&rinal, nar- 
rative, and confolatory : But the firft is true *, was there any believer in Sola- 
mon's days, but thefe commendations, properties, promifes, practices, &c, 
did agree to them, as they do to us ? and was not Chrift's way fuch to them 
alfo, as it is to us ? 

4. Confider further, if the fcope of it be to fet out Chrift's way to his 
Church, and hers to him, as is faid *, and if, according to this fcope, it fhould 
be made ule of by a believer in any time *, then it is not prophetical, but 
doctrinal, as hath been faid : But the former is true, as is cleared -, There- 
fore, &c. 

5. If it be applicable to believers, according to their feveral cafes •, and if 
it be the cafe agreeing with any part of this Song, which grounds the ap- 
plication of it to any party, ^ and not the' time when that cafe is not ; then 
it is not prophetical, deducing cafes by times, but doctrinal, &c % applying 
directions, warnings, and comforts to believers cafes, in whatfoever time. 

6. The matter of it is the ordinary cafes which are incident to believers m 
all times •, and what may make it look prophetical like, may be confidered in 
the Expofition. 

7. If its fcope be one and the fame with other allegories of this kind, then 
it is not prophetical, but doctrinal : But the former is true \ Therefore, &c. 
The truth of both which may appear by what is faid, and will further appear 
in that which followeth. 

We leave this then, and come again to the Propofition, to wit, That the 
great fcope of this Song is to fet out that mutual love and carriage, that is be- 
tween Chrift and his Church, That this Propofition, which is a main one, 
may be the more clear, we fhall take it in Five diftinct branches. 

Firft, It holdeth out (we fay) the Church's cafe, and Chrift's care of her," 
in all her feveral conditions, and under all difpenfations ; fuch as, (1.) Her 
finful infirmities, and failings in duties, Chap. 1. 6. Chap. 5. 2, 3. and alfo, 
under livelinefs in duties, Chap. 1. 2, 3, 4. and 5. 5. and almoft throughout. 
(2.) Under croffes, Chap. 1.6. as being a lilie among thorns, and hated of the 
World, Chap. 2. 2. and alfo in profperity, wherein fhe is commended as ter- 
rible, Chap. 6. 10. (3.) As defertedand fick of love, Chap. 3. i, 2. and 5. 
4, 5. and again, as enjoying her Beloved, Chap. 1. 4. Chap. 3. 4, 5. (4.) As 
under faithful fhepherds, and lively ordinances, Chap. 1. 4. Chap, 3. 4, 5. and 
alfo, as under carnal watchmen, Chap. 5. 7. And in all thefe, her various 
conditions, in all ages, are painted forth, before Chrift's incarnation, as well 

C 2 as 

\i A f\ey nfefut 

as now, without refpeft to any particular time or age \ for, ceremonial things 
are not here meddled with, but what was fpiritual : befide, the Church then 
and now is one, as in the next confideration will be cleared. (5.) As in pri- 
vate, dealing with Chrift, and longing after him, and praying for him, Chap f 
4. i<5. Chap. 8. 1, &c. almoft throughout ^ and alfo what me was in publick 
duties, going to the watchmen, Chap, 5. 7. and Chap. 3. 3. and what ihe was 
in fellowfhip with others, Chap. 5. 8, 9. Chap. 6. 1, 2. (<5.) It fets out be- 
lievers as more ftrong, and furniihed with a greater meafure of grace and 
knowledge *, and alio, as more weak in gifts and grace. (7.) And Laflly, It 
holds forth the fame believers, as more and lefs lively in their conditions. 

This book, in its matter, is a comprehenfive fum of all thefe particulars 
formed in a Song, put together, and drawn as on a broad, for the belie- 
vers edification } to fhew. 1. What fhould be,and will be their carriage, when 
it is right with them as to their frame. 2. What are their infirmities, and 
what they ufe often to fall into, even they who are believers, that they may- 
be the more watchful. 3. To fhew what they may meet with, that they may 
make for fufferings, and not {tumble at them when they come. 4. That the 
care and love of Chrift to them, in reference to all thefe, may appear, that 
they may know upon what grounds to comfort themfelves in every condition, 
and may have this Song, as a little magazine^ for direction and. confutation in 
ever.y condition; 

Therefore this Song is not to be aftri&ed to any particular cafe or time, 
and is (even by Bernard^ Serm. 1.) therefore obferved to differ from other 
ipiritual fbngs, in three things *, 1 . That 'tis penned upon no particular oc- 
cafionj as others are*, fuch as that of Mofes, Exod. 15. and Judges 5. &c. 
2. That it is compofed by way of conference,between feveral Parties. 3. That 
there are in this conference, moe parties than two, Chrift, the Bride, Watch- 
men, Daughters of Jerufalem, Sec. all which do fhew its extenfftrenefs, and 
comprehenfivenefs, in refpeQ: of its fubjeft and ufe. 

2. This Song holdeth forth the Church's, or Bride's conditions, under all 
her feveral confiderations. We may conflder the Bride,or Church,fbur ways, 
all of which we will find here } 1. As vifible, and viiibly profeifing Chrift, 
and wormipping him in ordinances : in this refpeel: there wee Watchmen fpoken 
of, a Mother* shouft, Gardens of many believers together, and a. Vineyard let 
out to Keepers, and a Mother having Children, f called alfb Daughters ofje- 
rufalem) who are profefling believers^ and fuch like, which agree only to die 
Church, as vifjble. 

2. Confxder her as invifibl'e> having true faith in Chrift, fpiritual union 
with him, love to him, and real exercife of Graces, &c. Thus Chrift is hers, 
and ihe his \ {he is drawn by him, and brought into the Chambers of lively 
fenfe and communion : thus- Ihe is near him,cr abfent from him, and fuch li&e, 


for opening up the Song. i 3 

which only agree to the Church, or faints, as members of the in vifible Church, 
having real (and not only profefled) union with Chrift-, and thus fhe is diftin- 
guifhed from the mother's children,which are outward profeffors of the vifible. 
Church *, and thus the moft of the commendations fhe gets throughout this 
Song, agree unto her as invifible. Neither can it be thought ftrange, that 
both thefe confiderations take place in one and the fame Song : For, 
1. That diftm&ion of the Church in vifible and invifible, is not a diftri- 
bution of a whole into diftincl: parts, as, fuppofe one would divide a heap of 
chaff and corn, into corn and cliaff \ but this is a diftincl: uptaking of the fame 
whole, (to wit, the Church) under two diftincl: confiderations j as, fuppofe 
one would confider the fbrefaid heap, as it is aheap, comprehending both 
com and chaff, or, as it is only comprehenfive of corn : fo the Church, thus 
diftinguifhed, is but one, confidered in whole, as having both renewed and 
unrenewed in it, and as having renewed only *, yet fo, as the renewed are a 
part of the who 1 e, under one coniideration, to wit, as they are vifible pro^ 
fe/fors ; and alfo^are the invifible Church, being diftin&ly confidered, as they 
have more than a vifible profeffion : therefore, the fibnefs being lb great and 
near, it is- no marvel they be frequently conjoined in this Song, fo as they 
muft be diftinguifhed in refpefl: of thefe diftincl: confiderations, feeing the 
vifible Church, in its confideration as fuch, comprehends the invifible mili- 
tant Church under it, but not contrarily. 2. 'Tis ordinary upon this ground 
thus to conjoin them in other fcriptures \ as when an epiftle is written to a 
Church, fome things are filid of it, and to it, as vifible, fome things again 
are peculiarly applicable to believers, who are members of the invifible. 
Church in it 5; as by looking to thefe epiftles, Rev.i. 3. is clear: all are com- 
prehended in every epiftle, yet is the matter diverfly to be applied •, and thefe 
who have ears to hear (that is, are real Members of the invifible Church 
alfb) are particularly fpoken unto,altho' indefinitely : And why then may not. 
the Church, in both thefe confiderations, be fpoken of here in this Song ? 

2. If we confider either the vifible or invifible Church, as whole or catho- 
lick, fomething is fpoken to her under that confideration, namely as catholick j 
fb fhe is faid to be one, Chap. 6.9. made up of many, the morher having many, 
daughters, a vineyard intrufted to all the keepers, having feme children be- 
loved, others hated,crr. which muft be applicable to her, as fib confidered. 

4. If we look to particular members, either, 1. As profeffors. of the vi- 
ble Church, fuch as the Daughters of Jeru/alem, ieeking the Beloved with 
the Bride, and one of them are diftincl: from another, and fro rr the watch- 
men ; fuch are the three/core Queens, and four/core Concubines, a^ diftincl front' 
the Church, confidered as one. Or 2. As members in particular of the invi-- 
fible Church j fo the Bride, is diitingu'fhed from other profeifors, and be- 
lievers 3., 

t4 A I(ey ufeful 

lievers •, fhe fpeaks to them, and they to her, Chap. 2, fb is one queen and 
concubine diftinguifhed from another *, thus alfo is the Church confidered 
in general, and in individuals, in their carriage *, yea, it ferveth much 
to the fcope of edifying believers, that the Church, in thefe refpe&s, be 
thus diftinttly confidered and lookt upon : neither will this be thought 
ftrange, if we confider, that the Church however underftood, and the parti- 
cular and individual members thereof (elpecially of this invifible Church) are 
of an homogeneous nature *, fb that what may be faid of the whole, may be. 
faid of all its parts \ and what may be predicated concerning the whole eifen- 
tially,may be predicated of every part,dx As, when we confider the whole 
element of water, it is water \ fo when we confider a drop, it is alio water : 
and what effential properties do agree to the whole, as fuch, agrees to every 
drop of the whole. So is it in the Church \ all faints,members of the invifible 
Church, have the fame Spirit, Faith, and Privileges, the fame Covenant, Huf- 
band, &c. and what thus effentially agrees to one, agrees to all, and what 
may be faid of all, may be faid of one : I fay, in efTentials, becaufe, though 
there may be many circumftantial and gradual differ ences,as one believer may 
be ftronger than another, &c. yet that will not mar this onenefs and agree- 
ment in efTentials. 

Yet, 3. We fay, every thing in this Song is not to be applied to all within 
the Churc, or to the Church under every confideration, in the fame manner ; 
what agreeth to the Church as vifible, will not, at leaft in the fame manner, 
agree to her, confidered as invifible, & contra - nor will every thing which 
agrees to a believer in one cafe, agree to all \ nay, not to that fame believer 
always. Therefore, there is great need of warrinefs in application, that the 
word may be rightly divided, and the diverfe cafes of the Church and parti- 
cular believers would be rightly taken up for that end. Every place is not to 
be applied to all ( tho' fometimes a place may be taken up under diverfe con- 
fiderations, as from other fcriptures, and the formerly cited epiftles, is clear ) 
but what agrees to every one, would be fb applied, and fblely upon that con- 
fideration, and under that notion,as it agrees unto fuch a perfon,or fuch a cafe. 

For helping us in this diftincl: application, it is necefTary that we lay down 
thefe following rules : 

1. We muft weigh the particular fcope of fuch a place of fcripture, if it 
fpeak fomething concerning a believer in particular, or the Church in general - 7 
if it fet out fome outward or fome inward thing concerning them. 

2. We would confider the matter fpoken to,and fee how it agreeth, whether 
to the Church under one confideration, or under another *, and if the matter 
predicated of her, or attributed to her, will agree to her as vifible, or as in- 
vifible only, for fo it is to be applied •, if to the whole Church, or if alfo to 
all its members, and every particular believer \ for fo it is to be underftood. 

3. We 

for opening up the Song. 1 5 

3. We would fee, how the fame matter is applied in other fbngs and fcrip- 
tures, and it will be fafe for us to follow the fame way of application here. 

4. We would coniider, what the particular circumftances, that may be ob- 
ferved in fuch a particular fcripture, will help in finding out the lenie \ as 
who fpeaketh, to whom, in what frame, on what occafion, Crc. 

Yet, Fourthly, We fay, that this Song doth moft generally agree, and is e- 
jfpecially applicable to the cafes of particular believers : Becaufe, 

1. The fcope is not fo much to fpeak to all collectively, as diftributively 
to hold forth the feveral cafes, that all of them, at all times, are fubjeft: un- 
to * 7 for altho' every place do not point out the cafe of the Church in general, 
or her duty, yet, we conceive, it is ftill, in every part, pertinent to fome one 
believer, or other; fuch places muft therefore be underftood diftributively. 

2. The nature and ftrain of the moft of thofe things mentioned in this 
Song, generally, will agree beft ( if not only ) to particular believers j As to 
love Chrift, to feek him, to be commended fo by him, to be out of one cafe 
into another, purfuing after him from one duty to another : which indeed 
fhews the way of the Church in general, but fo as confidered in the exercifes 
of her individual members, and in the inter courfe of com munion, which ufeth 
to be betwixt Chrift and them \ and fo agreeth to the Church, only in refpeft 
of particular believers. 

3. There is a plurality of parties (peaking, differenced not only from car- 
nal profeffors, but from one another, who are commending the Bride, and io 
loving her and Chrift alfo •, which fays, that the feveral parts of this Song 
muft especially be diftributively coniidered of believers federally. 

4. There is no time we can conceive all believers to be in the like cafe, fo 
that one cafe or word will not fuit them all} as to be fick of love, to have 
his right hand under her head, &c. Something then muft agree to one, fome- 
thing to another, and both alfo at different times to the fame perfon : And 
therefore we muft consider this Song, as fpeaking diftributively the Church's 
condition, to be applied according to the feveral cafes of the faints, and ac- 
cording to their feveral conditions } fomething as fpoken to one, and fomething 
to another. 

5. The putting of thefe exercifes in a Song, as it were, to be learned and 
fang by. particular believers (as a little compend, both of what concerns their 
faith and manners) was certainly for helping their memories, and' further- 
ing their confolation *, which would be much impaired, if^in fmging °f 
if, particular believers might not fuck their own confolation in particular from 
Chrift's words unto them : And what can hinder, but a believer may fay, I ' 
am his ,,. and he is mine, and that thefe, and other, places applicable to them, 
may not be fo applied, feeing their comfort and edification is the fcope of this 
Song I: 

j»v Th?; 

\6 A I\ey ufeful 

5. The laft branch of the Proportion is, That this Song holdeth forth the 
fame love and care in Chrift to his Church, and the fame exerciies and duties 
of believers, under figurative terms, which are plainly and properly holden 
forth in other fcriptures, which are not figurative, fuch as are in the Gofpel, 
in the Pfalms, &c. There are now new, ftrange, or uncouth cafes here, but 
believers ordinary cafes *, there is no uncouth way of Chrift 's here, but what 
he ufeth to his Church : 'Tis often the folly and vanity of mens minds, that, 
when expreifions of fcripture look fomewhat ftrange like, they foppofe ftill 
fbme uncouth and ftrange thing to be there, and therefore lothe that which is 
plain. 'Tis true, the cafes mentioned here are moft fpiritual, having love 
often drawn in its moft bright and lively colours *, yet, for fubftance, the 
exerciies are the fame, which in other plain fcriptures are otherwife expreffedj 
for it muft exprefs the fame cafes, or, we muft fay, it expreffeth fomething 
different from them, not incident ordinarily to believers, and not mentioned 
any where in fcripture *, which to affirm, were both dangerous and abfurd : 
Befide, Chrift being ftill the fame in his way with believers, and they having 
ftill the fame Spirit, and being ftill under the fame covenant, &c. we can con- 
ceive no other thing here, but what he hath expreffed concerning himfelf 
and them, other-where in fcripture. And certainly, the fcope of this Song 
is rather, in a fweet way, to compatt together the ordinary cafes of believers, 
and their confolations, for their edification, than to pitch on ftrange things, 
or make new cafes, which would not be fo profitable unto them, and would 
wrong and enervate the great intent of this Song, 

We proceed now, and pall draw fome Conclusions from thefe Propofttions, 
Firft Conclufion. We may then warrantably read, and expone this Song ; 
it being fcripture,it muft be edifying,and ought to be made ufe of. 'Tis true, 
this and fbme other fcriptures, were of old reftrained by the Jews from the 
younger fort, that none ihould read them, but thefe who were at thirty years 
of age : Orlgen marks four pieces of holy fcripture, thus reftrained by them •, 
the hiftory of the creation, Genef. 1. the defcription of God's appearance, 
Ez.e1t m 1. and of his temple, Chap. 40. &c. and efpecially this Song •, becaufe 
the matters in them were fo fublime, that there needed more than ordinary 
humility and experience in thofe who mould meddle with them. This indeed 
faith, men ought to be fober, and with holy fear fearch thefe fcriptures : but 
that reftraint Gf peremptory) was unwarrantable, feing the Lord hath put none 
fuch on his people, as to any portion of facred fcripture. And tho' this Song 
be obfcurer than many other fcriptures, yet,generally, the reading of it, and 
hear/ng of it, will affeft •, and as to the compofing of the fpirit, edify as 
much as other more plain fcriptures: which faith, 'tis to be enquired into,that 
the meaning being found out, the profit reaped thereby may be the more di- 
itinc> and apparent. 2 - Corl ~ 

for opening up the Song. 17 

2. Concluf. We gather from what hath been faid, that feeing this Song may- 
be expounded, Then doctrines for grounding our faith, and directing our pra- 
ctice, may warrantably be drawn from it, for the edification of God's peo- 
ple, feeing it is fcripture \ and altho' it be allegorick, it is in a fpecial way ufe- 
fulVor edification, and may as bread be broken to the children : 'tis not only 
confident with the nature of plain fcriptures, but alfo of allegories, that they 
be thus extended in their ufe. We ihall clear this conclufion, in thefe three, 
Firft, There may be do&rines drawn from this Song, in reference to all 
cafes that are incident to a believer-, As, 1. In reference to the cafe of the 
Church, in all its confiderations, vifible or invifible, catholick or particular. 
And, 2. In reference to the more private and perfbnal cafes of believers, do- 
ftrines inftrutting them both in faith and manners, &c. For the do&rines muft 
rife as extenfively as their fcope and.matter •, and thefe are of a great reach 
and extent, as formerly hath been faid : Such doctrines then, when handled 
in this Song, would not be thought ftrange, nor unfuitable to it \ but the 
broader they arife, the Spirit's wifdom and contrivance in this Song will be 
the more wonderful and evident. 

Secondly, Thefe doctrines muft not be taken from the words properly, but 
ailegorically underftood, according to the intention of the Spirit in them •, 
even as from parables, and other clearer allegories and figures in fcripture, it 
ufeth to be done. 

'thirdly, Thefe doctrines fo drawn, when rightly concluded from the text 
and fcope, are folid and Hire, ufeful for faith and manners, as doctrines, drawn 
from other places of fcripture, are : For, 1 . 'Tis certain, that many fcrip- 
tures are ailegorically fet down •, and, is their authority therefore any way 
lefs than that of other fcriptures? And if their authority be fuch in them- 
felves, as Is the authority of other fcriptures \ then their expofition, and 
doftrines drawn from them, muft be folid and ufeful, as thefe that are drawn 
from other fcriptures : Or, 2. We muft fay, there is no ufe of fuch fcriptures, 
which were blafphemous \ and if they be ufeful, there may be folid ufes 
drawn from them, as from other fcriptures. 3. Our Lord ufeth parables 
and allegories often in the Gofpel, and that in things relating both to faith 
and manners * 9 which faith, the ufe of them is folid and fafe, when they are 
rightly underftood and applied. 

All the difficulty is in the right underftanding of them : and becaufe alle- 
gories are frequent in fcripture, and this Song is wholly made up of allego- 
ries *, therefore, both for removing prejudices, and facilitating our w r ay, I fhall 
fpeak fomething to thefe three. 1. We mail mew what an allegorick expo- 
fition, or rather the expofition of an allegory, is, 2. When it is'neceflary to 
underftand a fcripture ailegorically. 3.H0W to walk in attaining the folid mean- 
ing, or how to know if fuch a thing be the meaning of an allegorick fcriptwre. 

D x For 

i 8 A I(ey ufeful 

For trie Frrfi, There is a great difference betwixt an allegorick expofition 
of fcripture, and an expofirion of allegorick fcripture : The firft is that whicl 
many fathers and fchool-men fail in, that is, when they allegorize plain fcri 
ptures and hiftories, feeking to draw out fome fecret meaning, other than ap- 
peareth in the words *, and fo will faften many fenfes upon one fcripture. 
This is indeed unfafe, and is juftly reprovable ; for this maketh clear fcripture 
dark, and obtrudeth meanings on the Words, never intended by the Spirit } 
As, fuppofe one fpeaking of GoliaWs combat and David's, mould pafs by the 
letter, and expound Goliah to be the flefh, or the devil, and David to be the 
Spirit, or Chrift : Such expofitions may have fome pleafantnefs, but often 
little folidity ; and fuch, who moft commonly thus interprete fcripture, often 
fall in errors. As guilty of this fault, Origen is generally complained of, 
tho' moe alfo be guilty, as might be cleared by many inftances. 

idly, And expofition of an allegorick fcripture, is, the opening and ex- 
pounding of fome dark fcripture (wherein the mind of the Spirit is couched and 
laid under figures and allegories) making it plain and edifying, by bringing 
out the fenfe according to the meaning of the Spirit in the place, tho' at firft 
It feemed to bear out no fuch thing : So, Matth. 1 3. Chrift expoundeth that 
parable or allegory (for, tho' Rhetoricians make a difference between fimi- 
litudes, or parables, and allegories \ yet, in Divinity, there is none, but 
that allegories are more large and continued) calling the Seed, the Word -, the 
Sowe r, the Son of man, &c. This way of expounding fuch dark fcriptures, is 
both ufefiil and neceffary, and was often ufed as edifying by our Lord to his 
difciples. Now, 'tis this we fpeak of, which teacheth how to draw plain 
doftrines out of allegories, and not to draw allegories out of plain hiftories 
or do&rines. 

2. It may be asked then, When are we to account a place of fcripture al- 
legorick, and are we to feek out fome other meaning than what at firft ap- 
peareth ? Avf. 

1. When the literal proper meaning looketh abfurd like, or is empty, and 
nothing to edification ^ as when it is faid, we muft eat Chrift's flefli, where- 
by believing isexpreffed: and fo, thefe fcriptures that do command to pluck 
cut the right eye, cut off the right hand, take tip our crofs, &c. All which, if 
literally underftood, were abfurd and ridiculous j and therefore, the miftaking 
fuch fcriptures hath occafioned many errors, as that of the Jnthropcmorphites, 
attributing members, to wit, head, hands, feet, &c. to God • and paifions, 
yea, infirmities, as anger, repenting, &c. becaufe the fcripture fpeaking of 
God, after the manner of men, doth allegorically attribute to him, eyes, 
hands, wrath, &c. 

2. Thefe places of fcripture are to be accounted allegorick, which reach 
not. the fcope of edification, intended by them if literally underftood j as when 


for opening up the Song. ' l 9 

Chrift hath fpoken of [owing, the difciples thought, that fome more was in- 
tended than at firft appeared ; for his aim could not be to difcourfe of hus- 
bandry to them : So gathers the Apoftle an allegory from thefe words, Thou 
fljalt not muTjdt the mouth o[ the ox 9 that treadeth out the corn ; and fo alio, that 
and the like precepts, discharging the Jews the [owing their*fieids with diverfe 
grains , &c. Which tho' they be not wholly allegorick, but have in the letter 
their own truth, yet fomewhat in thefe beyond what appears, was aimed at 
by the Spirit ; for, faith the Apoftle, Doth God care [or oxen . ? that is, that 
precept hath a further fcope, i Cor. 9. 9, 10. 

3. When a literal fenfe would obtrude fome falfity on the fcripture, then 
fuch a fcripture is to be underftood allegorically \ as when Chrift faid, Deftroy 
this temple , and I will build it up in three days ', it is not to be underftood of 
the material houfe, or Jewifh temple, becaufe then Chrift's word would not 
have had its accomplishment \ but allegorically of his body : So, when Chrift 
faith, Except a man eat his flejh, he Jh all not live, John 6. 53. it cannot be un- 
derftood literally, feeing all who have obtained life, did never eat his fleSh in 
a carnal bodily way. 

4. Any fcripture is to be accounted allegorical, when the literal fenfe a- 
greeth not with other fcriptures, and is not repugnant to the analogy of faith, 
or rules of right manners *, As, when we are commanded to heap coals of 
fire upon the head of our enemy. Now, it were againft the command of 
not avenging our felves, if literally and properly underftood ; it muft there- 
fore iignify fome other thing. 

5. When a literal fenfe anfwereth not the prefent fcope of the fpeaker, and 
the fpeaker would be thought impertinent, if his words were properly taken, 
then it would feem neceffary to expound it as an allegory : So, Matth. 3. 10. 
when John is pre fling repentance, he faith, The ax is laid to the root of the 
tree. &c. and that parable of Chrift's, Luke 13. 7. fpeaking of the husband- 
man that fpared his tree three years. If thefe places were only properly under- 
ftood, they would not infbrce repentance, which is aimed at -, they muft 
therefore be expounded, as having fbmething more in them, of a deeper reach, 
which may conduce to that fcope. 

And feeing, according to thefe rules, all the abfurdities mentioned would 
follow, if this Song were literally and properly expounded •, it muft therefore 
be taken allegorically, and the do&rines muft be drawn from its infide, or 
fcope, when the vail of the allegory is laid by. 

But, Thirdly, Becaufe 'tis dangerous to leave men to coin what expofitions 
they pleafe of fuch fcriptures, therefore, as upon the one hand, 'tis abfurd 
to caft all doctrines from them, as unfolid •, fo, upon the other hand, we 
would fee what may fix us in a folid expofition, and fo what may be efteemed 
a well-grounded do&rine, drawn from fuch an allegory. 

D 2 I Shall, 

2.0 A %ey ufeful 

I ihall, in order to our help in this, name five rules, whereof the laft is 

i. Some allegories at the firft view ieem plain, and imprint their meaning 
on thefe that have the leaft capacity, that it may be known, at leaft, what 
in general they aim at \ and therefore, fuch are left frequently in fcripture 
unexpounded, and are nfed to prefs moft obvious truths, fuch is that of John 
Matth, 3. io. The ax is laid to the root of the tree \ and he hath his fan in his 
hand ? &c. the meaning whereof is at firft obvious to be a peremptory certi- 
fication, preifing prefent repentance : So is the parable of the m$rizge,Matth. 
22. 1. which at firft view appears to be underftood of efpoufing believers ro 
Chrift as their husband • And fo Chrift's command to take up the crofs, &c. 
Thefe, as to their meaning, are obvious j and we think fuch is this Song in 
its general feries : the very reading of it feems to imprint, that Chrift and 
his people muft be taken up as the parties, and the love here fpoken of, muft 
be fuch as is betwixt them } andtho' particular expreifions be dark, thus far 
it is obvious. 

2. The meaning of an allegory may be gathered' from the common life of 
fuch phrafes and expreftions, in our common ufe } So kiffing and embracing, 
&c. fignify love, and are expreflions of mutual afteftion. In an allegory, 
then, thefe, and fuch like, are to exprefs analogically fome fpiritual thing, 
anfwerable in our fpiritual life to fuch things m our bodily life , thus they 
exprefs fpiritual love, : and the fenfe of it : Thus eyes, hands, feet, &c. ap- 
plied to God, denote fome fingular property in him j if allegorically applied 
to believers, they denote fome qualification of the new man, that hath fome 
analogy and refemblance to thefe, as knowledge, activity, patience, &c. be- 
caufe by our eye we fee, by our hand we work, and by our feet we walk and 
travel, &c. Thus are they transferred, to hold out fome other thing than 
appeareth at firft from the words \ and the work of the interpreter is to bring 
out the fcope and matter in plain expreflions, that it may look like the thing 
it is, and which is aimed at as the fcope. 

3. 'Tis helpful in expounding of allegories, to know how fuch phrafes are 
expounded in other places \ as when fome things are fpoken of David, that 
cannot literally agree to David, then fee who is meant, in other places of 
fcripture, by him. If it cannot be known what is meant by a marriage-tie 
here, feeing it can be no humane thing, fee what other fpiritual marriage is 
fpoken of in any other place of fcripture, and who are the parties, and this 
is to be expounded by that. . 

4. Being to interprets any allegorical place of fcripture, we would fee, 
not only to the fcope of all fcripture, and the analogy of faith in general, 
but to the fcope of the Spirit in that place : As for example, If we would 
nnderftand what is intended by the parable of the Prodigal, we would firft 


for opening up the Song. 2 i 

confider the fcope, which is to fhew God's ready welcoming of a fmner, and 
then lavel the expofition, as ferving to illuftrate that fcope. So we would con- 
fider what is the Bride's fcope, Chap. 5. 10. and 'tis to defcribe Chrift \ and, 
CbajL 7. 1. we would coniider what is the Bridegroom's fcope, and 'tis to 
defcribe her : So then it agrees with the fcope, to open thefe places, and ap~ 
ply them to what is commendable in him, and her. And thus the expoiition, 
and do&rines from it, do not only fuit with the analogy of faith, and are 
not contrary to found do&rine 5 but alfo fuit with the intention of the Spi- 
rit there, and are agreeable to it : For the Holy Ghoft, under general commen- 
dations, may include all particulars,which may ferve to make out the general ; 
and fo, when the fcope is to hold Chrift out as all defires, then whatever 
makes him appear defirable, and ftandeth with the analogy of the expreilion, 
may well ftand with that fcope. This is fure, efpecially when negatively 
'tis inferred -, that is, when fuch a fcope neceffarily inferreth fuch a do&rine, 
and when that fcope could not be attained, if flich a doftrine were not fuppo- 
fed : As when in general, Chrift and his Church are holden out to ftand in a 
near relation together, and fb to carry one towards each other, as being un- 
der fuch a Relation \ this will necelfarily infer a covenant, and an union by 
faith upon the grounds of it, and fome evidencing of the proofs of Chrift 's 
love, &c m becaule without thefe that relation could never have been, nor can 
itf without them be underftood by us; 

5. The laft rule, which we call moft fure, is this, Then we may fafeiy 
conclude, that we have reached the true meaning of an allegorical fcripture, 
when, from the fcripture, in the fame, or other places,agreeing with the fcope 
of the prefent allegory, we gather in plain expreilions what is meant there- 
by, or what was intended by the Spirit in fuch an allegorical exprefTion j as 
when Chrift clears the parable of the Sower, he calleth the feed the word, &c. 
which makes, the meaning clear, and above queftion v Or, when a plain ex- 
preilion is mixed in with the allegory \ So that expreffion, Cfefii, U Let him 
kifs me, &c. in the words following is expounded by a more plain expreilion, 
to wit, thy loves are better, &c. Hence we folidly gather that by kiffes are 
meant love : and this do&rine is fure, Chrift's love is vehemently defired by 
the Bride. Thefe ways for rinding out what is the fenfe of fuch fcriptures, are 
fafe ; and therefore, that faying, fymbolick fcriptures are not argumentative^ 
is to be underftood with a limitation, to wit,, except in fo far as the fcope and 
meaning of the Spirit is known, and in fo far as the allegory, or the feveral 
parts thereof,agreeth with, and conduceth. to the clearing and making up. of 
the known fcope. 

All thefe ways going together, and taken along with us, we may, through 
God's bleifing, undertake the opening of this Song, and draw doctrines from 
it,, fo expounded, not only agreeable to other fcriptures, and the. analogy of 


n A Ksy vjejui 

faith, but alio as agreeable to the fcope of this Song- yea, even the fcope of 
fuch a portion of it, though poffibly every expreffion in its meaning, be not 
fo fully reached 5 which is not the thing we dare promife, bur humbly to effay 
the making of it in fome meafure clear, relilhing, amiable, and comfortable 
to God's people* And fo we leave this conclufton. 

The 3d Concluf. and laft is, That the doctrines which this Song yieldeth for 
all conditions, and which for believers ufe are to be drawn from it, are the 
fame plain, folid, fpiritual truths, which are drawn from other fcriptures 
wherein Chrift's love to his Church and people, and their exercifes, are fet 
down : and if in its expofition it refolve in the fame meaning with other 
fcriptures, then muft alfo the doctrines be the fame •, and therefore fuch do- 
ctrines concerning faith and manners, for believers direction in all cafes as 
arifeth from the gofpel, and other plain fcriptures, pfalms and hiftories, may 
be folidly drawn from this Song : and fiich, when they are drawn, are folid, 
( being according to the forefaid general rules ) and weight is to be laid on 
them, in a chriftian walk. We mall therefore endeavour to make this out 
that when the doctrine of faith, repentance, diligence, &c. and fuch other 
doctrines as are in the gofpel, concerning the covenant, or Chrift, are fpoken 
of, ye may not think it ftrange, nor unfuitable to this Song. And therefore 
we fay, 

1. If the doctrines be fuitable to the fcope and matter contained in this 
Song, then they are fure and folid, and weight is to be laid upon them : but 
the doctrines concerning Chrift's love to, and care of, his Church, and con- 
cerning her exercifing of faith, repentance, &c. are fuitable to the fcope, and 
agreeable to the matter of it. Or thus, If the fcope and matter of this Song 
do agree with the goipel ( I call the gofpel what in the New Teftament 
is more fully holden forth and more clearly ) in the fcope and matter of it ; 
then muft the doctrines which arife from it, be the fame with thefe that rife 
from the gofpel : but the firft is true, as is formerly cleared, therefore muft 
this laft be fo alfo. And what is the fcope of the gofpel, but to fet forth 
Chrift's love to his Church > to fhew her duty, &c. And is not that fame the 
fcope here alfo ? Only what is preceptively, or do&rinally delivered there, is 
here as it were acted in a fort of comedy, and compiled in a fong, but ftill for 
the fame end. 

2. If the fame allegories, in other places of fcripture, will bear folid do- 
ctrines concerning Chrift, his covenant, faith, &c. even mch as are in plain 
fcriptures^ then muft this Song do the like, feeing it is the word of God, tend- 
ing "to the fame fcope with thefe. But it is clear, If a. 5. 2. Jer. 3. Matth. 22. 
Rev. 19. 7. that the fame allegories of vineyards, fruits and marriage, &c. 
are ufed, and to the fame fcope with this, and are made ufe of to yield folid 
doctrines concerning faith, fhiitfulnefs, and other doctrines belonging to a 


for opening up the Song. 2 5 

believer's faith and practice : therefore it muft be fo here ; for tho 3 this Son 
be larger, and is made up of moe allegories together, that will not alter the 
nature of it, or of the doctrines which muft be drawn from it. 

3. If we compare this Song with the 45 Pfalm, it cannot be denied, 1. but 
that Pfalm and this Song are to one fcope, and of one ftile or ftrain, in pro- 
fecuting that fcope \ 'tis a Song of love for the King, and a fpiritual marriage 
is the fubject thereof, as is clear from the very reading of it. 2. It cannot 
be denied, but that folid proofs and doftrines, concerning many points of 
faith and practice, which are in other plain fcriptures, are, and may be war- 
rantably drawn from it, even as if it were plain gofpel : therefore muft the 
doctrines be fuch which arife from this Song alfo *, for that pfalm is ufed, even 
by the apoftle, Heb. 1. 8, 9. to confirm the great truths of the gofpel. 

4. If this whole Song be one piece, and of one nature, driving all along 
the fame general fcope, then fuch doctrines, as the places in it, which are 
clear, do yield •, fuch, I fay, muft be contained ( if we could difcern them ) 
inthefe places of it which are moft obfcure : but what is moft plain in this 
Song, fpeaks out fuch plain doctrines, experiences, &c! therefore what is 
more obfcure, may be refolved in fuch alfo : for we may beft know what 
kind of doctrines floweth from what is obfcure, by* the places that are more 
clear, feeing God in the moft dark fcriptures ordinarily hath infert fome plain 
paffages, or given fome hints of his mind, to be as a key for opening all the 
reft. Now, if we will 7 for inftance, confider fome fuch places as thefe, My 
beloved is mine, &c. / called, but he gave me no anfwer, they yield plain do- 
ctrines, as other plain fcriptures do : and therefore, feeing it is one continued 
Song, and each of thefe dark and plain places anfwer one another, to con- 
tinue the feries of the difcourfe upon the fame fubject, we may know by what 
is plain, how tounderftand what is couched within that which is more dark. 

5. As one piece of the allegory is to be refolved, fo by proportion muft 
all the reft, there being one threed and fcope : now, that fome pieces 
of the allegory may be expounded in clear doctrines, concerning Ghrift and 
his Church, may be gathered from paralleling fome parts of it with other 
fcriptures , as if we compare that excellent defcription of Chrift, Chap. 5. io.' 
with that which John fets down, Rev. t. 13. we will fee a great refemblance 
betwixt the two (if this laft have not refpect unto the former) efpecially in 
that which is fpoken anent his feet, and legs, and his countenance : But it 
is certain, that defcription, Rev. 1. 13. is given him with a purpofe to de- 
fcribehim, and to {et out the feveral attributes and excellent qualities he is 
ftrniihed with •, as Omnifcience by his eyes, Juflice by his legs, walking 
furely v Omipotence by his arms, &c, which are particularly fo applied in 
the epiftles to the feyen Churches, Chap. 2. and 3. and afterward. If then 
there, by the Spirit's warrant, we may draw from Chrift 's being faid to have 


24 4 K?y ufeful 

eyes, that he is omnifcient (and fo in other properties) may we not alfo 
think, that feeing 'tis the fame Spirit that fpeaks here, in the particular de- 
fcription that is given of Chrifl and the Bride in their feveral parts, that thefe 
fame particular properties may be aimed at ? and may we not make ufe of 
fuch interpretations elfewhere given, for our help in the like particulars, and 
fo alfo in other things ? 

6. Thus we argue, Either this Song is fo to be refolved, as hath been faid, 
and fuch doctrines are to be drawn from it, as arife from the Gofpel, for ex- 
pre fling the way of believers with Chrift, and his with them^ Or then, i. 
There are no doctrines to be drawn from it, but this Song is a mere compliment, 
and but ignorantly, with holy blind affection, to be fung •, which is abfurd : 
Or, 2. The docrrines are -but to be gueffed at, and fo the truth of them is 
only conjectural ^ which will come near the former abfurdity, and fpoil the 
believer of any folid edification he could have from it i Or, 3. It muft con- 
tain fuch a kind of love, fuch cafes and doctrines concerning Chrifl and be- 
lievers, which are different from the Gofpel, and the cafes of faints plainly 
recorded elfewhere \ now, this would neceflitate an uncertainty of its mean- 
ing, and hazard the coining of two ways of Chrift's dealing with his people, 
as alfo, of theirs with him, two unions, two marriages, &c. Or, 4. It muft 
contain the fame doctrines concerning faith, Chrrft, the covenant ,the Church, 
■&c. which are contained in other fcriptures, and in the Gofpel ^ which was 
the thing to be proven. 

We have been the larger on this, to obviate two extremes, that men are 
given to follow, in reference to this Song. 1. Some lothing plain truths, 
which are plainly delivered in fcriptures properly to be taken \ and becaufe 
this in expreflion and ftrain difTereth, they conclude there muft be fome un- 
couth, ftrange and odd thing here. It is true, if we look to the degree of 
warm affections that breathe forth here, we may conceive that there is fome- 
thing odd and lingular in this Song : But, as to the kind of doctrine here de- 
livered, there is nothing new * 7 and to imagine the contrary, were as if a 
man fuppofed, there behoved to be fome -ftrange liquor, or meat in curious- 
like glaifes, and difhes, becaufe the mafter of an houfe might ufe variety of 
veffels, for the delegation of the feafters, yet ftill giving the fame folid 
food and drink, tho' diverfly prepared-, Or, as if a man would fuppofe, Paul 
and Barnabas, Chrifl: our Lord, and Job??, did preach different Gofpels, becaufe 
they were of different gifts, and had a different manner of expreflion. 2. On 
the other hand, fome are ready to. caft at this book as ufelefs, becaufe they 
fee not plain truths at the firft in it, and poflibly think all endeavours to ex- 
pound it, or draw ^doctrines from it, but a gueifing ; and are ready to offend, 
when they meet with nothing but fome fuch truths as are. obvious in fome 
other fcriptures. This wrongs the worth, and divine authomf V of this fcrip- 


for opening up the Song. 25 

ture alio \ and tho' many (and we among others) may mifapply fome things 
>n this Song, yet to fay they cannot be rightly applied, or that fuch doctrines 
as we have before mentioned, are not native to it, is too precipitant, to fay 
no more. 

For further clearing and confirming of thefe proportions and conclufions, 
we fhall anfwer fome objections or queftions which may be propofed concer- 
ning what is laid. 

Hr/r, It may be objected, If allegorick fcriptures be fo to be expounded, 
and fuch doctrines to be drawn from them j then, why are fuch fcriptures fet 
down under fuch figurative expreflions > Might they not be better in plain 
words ? or might not fuch plain fcriptures be rather expounded, which bear 
fuch doctrines with lefs difficulty ? 

Anf. If this were urged, it would not only reflect on this Song, but on 
many places of fcripture, and alio on the expounding of fuch fcriptures * 7 
yea, it would reflect on the wifdom of the Spirit, and his fovereignty, 
who may choofe what way he pleafes, to exprefs his mind to his people \ 
and whatever way he take to do this, fore, it is ftill the beft, and it may 
warrant us to acquiefce in the way he hath taken to fpeak his mind, that it is 
he that fpeaks : Yet there may be good ends given of this his way, or weigh- 
ty reafbns (even for our behoof) why he fpeaks to his people in fuch terms 
and language •, As, 1. Here he putteth all the conditions of a believer toge- 
ther, as in one map, which are more lparfly, and, as it were, here and there, 
to be found elfewhere through the fcriptures 3 we have them here compend- 
ed together, in a fort of fpiritual dependence one upon another, and in a 
connexion one with another. And they are put in a Song, to make them the 
more fweet and lovely *, and under fuch poetical and figurative expreflions, 
as belt agreeth with the nature of fongs and poetical writings, that fo belie- 
vers may have them together, and may fing them together, for the help of 
their memory, and upftirring of their affections. 

2. Thefe figures and fimilitudes have their own ufe, to make us the better 
take up and understand the fpiritual things which are reprefented by them ^ 
when, in a manner, he condefcends to illuftrate them by fimilitudes, and fo 
to teach (as it were) to our fenfes, things which are not otherwife fo obvi- 
ous : for which caufe, Chrift often taught by parables the greateft myfteries 
of the gofpel. 

3. Thus not only the judgment is informed, but it ferveth the more to 
work on our affections, both to convince us of, and to deter us from what is 
iUn when it is propofed indifferently in an allegory, as Nathan in his parable 
tij^pavid did : And alfo, it conduceth the more to gain our/ affections to love 

1 fuch things as are here fet out j wherefore, even Heaven itfelf is fo defcribed 
s from fimilitudes of fuch things as are in account with men, Rev. 21. 22. And 

E ChrifFs 

26 A Fiey ufeful 

Chrift's love becomes thus more comfortable, and our relation to him the 
more kiudly-like, when 'tis illuftrateby Marriage, and the kindly expreflions 
of a Eusband and Wife ; for this alfb, God is compared to a Father, and his 
pity to a father's pity to children,to make it the more fenfible and comfortable. 

4. Thus alio any knowledge that is attained,or any impreifion that is made* 
is the better fixed and kept: fimilitudes are often retained, when plain truths 
are forgotten, as we may fee in experience *, yea, the retaining of the fimili- 
tude in the memory, doth not only keep the words in mind, bnt helps to 
fome acquaintance with the thing which is fignified, and finthereth us in un- 
derftanding the manner how fiich and fuch things, the Lord doth to his peo- 
ple, are brought about. 

5. Thus both the wifdom and care of God and his Spirit appeareth, who 
taketh divers ways to commend his truth unto men, and to gain them to the 
love of it, that they who will not be affetted with plain truth, he may, by 
more taking expreflions, commend unto them the lame thing -, which 
is the reafon why he hath given divers gifts and ways of holding forth his 
truth unto minirters } fome have one way, like tons of thunder •, fome ano- 
ther, like fons of confolation •, and yet all to carry on the fame end, that the 
one may be helpful unto the other. Indeed, if God had delivered his truth 
only in obfcure terms, the obje£Hon might feem to have fome weight •, but 
when he doth it both in plain and obfcure ways, this is his condefcendency 
and wifdom, by all means feeking to gain fome. 

6. Thus alfb the Lord removeth occafion of lothing from his word, by put- 
ting it in fome lovely artifice, in the manner of its delivery ; and alio, he doth 
hereby provoke his people to more diligence, in fearching after the meaning 
of it } it being often our way to efteem leaft of what is moft obvious, and 
moft of that which is by fome pains attained. 

7. Thus alfo the Lord maketh the fludy of his word delegable, when both 
the judgment and affe&ions are jointly wrought upon *, and to ihew thnt all 
the believer's conditions may be matter of a fweet fbng to him ; whereas 
fome things, if plainly laid down, would not be fo cheerfully digefted: Thus 
he maketh the faddeft matter fweet, by his manner of propofmg it. 

8. Alfo the Lord ufeth to keep the Songs, and fpiritual allowance of his 
own, fbmewhat vailed from the reft of the world ; for they have meat to eat 
the -world knowtth not of, that believers may fee, and feed fweetly, where they 
difcern nothing •, and that they, having this commented on by experience be- 
twixt him and them, may fing that fong, which none other in the world can 
learn, as the hundred and forty four thoufand do, Rev. 14. 1. for thus 'tis 
faid, Matth. 13. 9, to, i i, &c. that Chrift fpake in parables, that not only 
he might condefcend to the weaknefs of his own, fo as they might bear it, 
£fark f, 33,34. but alfo, that Others, feeing might fcc y and not terceive^ 


for opening up the Song. 27 

Often that fame way which his own gets good o£ proveth a ftumbling to 
others, through their own corruption. 

9. There may be alio fomething of God's defign here, to try the humility 
and fincerity of his people, if they will ftoop to every way he ufeth, becaufe 
'tis his \ and if they will love the word, not as fo, or fo propofed, but as it 
cometh from him, and is his, and as fuch humbly receive it, as being that 
which (tho' it feem to others fboliihnefs, yet) makes them wife untofalvation. 
The mockers taunted Eaekiefs meffage, under this notion, that he fpake pa- 
rables, Ez.ek. 20.49. but Zech. it. to, ii. when the -prophet broke the two 
(laves, (which was a dark and myfterious-like action) the poor of the flock wait- 
ed on him, when (as 'tis like) others fiumbled alfo. By all which, we may 
fee, why the Lord hath fo compared together plain ufefiii doctrines, under 
fuch expreflions, in this Song*, and alfo, why our undertaking to open it,may 
be well conftructed,even tho' thefe fame truths may elfewhere as clearly arife ; 
yet thefe truths are here in fuch a way connected together, and fo not only 
propofed, but alfo commended to us, as will not any where elfe be found. 

Obj. 2d. If any fay, The raifing of fuch Gofpel-doctrines makes this Song 
look more like the Gofpel of the New Teftament, than a Song of the Old. 

Anf. 1. Is it the worfe, that it look like the Gofpel ? Or, are not fuch 
doctrines (if they follow from it) the better and more comfortable ? Certain- 
ly there is no doctrine, more edifying and comfortable to believers, and more 
like, or more becoming Chrift's way with believers, or theirs with him 
(which is the fcope and fubject of this Song) than Gofpel-doctrines are. High 
foaring words of vanity, and myfteries having nothing but an empty found, 
are much more unlike this fpiritual Song, than thefe. 2. If it fetout Chrift's 
way to believers, even under the Old Teftament, and believer's way of keep- 
ing communion with God even then *, is not that the fame Gofpel-way which 
we have now ? Their faith and communion with God flood not in the out- 
ward ceremonies, which were typical •, but in the exercife of inward graces, 
faith, love, &c. which are the fame now as then : Was not Chrift the fame 
to them as to us ? Had they not the fame Spirit, Covenant, &c. and fo the 
cafes and experiences of, or incident to believers then, are alfo applicable to 
us now ? That Chrift was then to come, and hath now fuffered, and that the 
way of revealing him then, was fbme way different from that we have now, 
will not make another Gofpel, Covenant, Faith, yea, nor Church •, we being 
grafted in that fame Stock which they once grew upon, and being, by faith, 
heirs of the fame promifes, which fometime they poffefTed. 

Obj. $d. If any mould yet doubt, if Solomon knew or intended fuch doctrines 
as thefe, and that therefore they cannot be well digefted, if drawn from this 
Song, beyond his mind and meaning. \Anfwer y 1. Our great purpofe is to 
know what the Spirit intended, and not what Solmtm understood : and if this 

E 2 be 

28 A I(ey u/eful 

be the Spirit's intention, to fet out Chrift's way with his Church, then fuch 
do&rines as agree therewith, muft be agreeable to his meaning. 2. Yea, fup- 
pofe Sohmon and other prophets Ihould be ignorant, in a great meafiire, of 
the meaning of fuch things as the Spirit foretold by them (as ic is not im r 
poilible in fome extraordinary things, efpecially when their knowledge in 
thefe was not effential to the truth of their prophecy •, for they might have 
a kind of nefcience in the particulars, tho' they were lure the things'they de- 
livered were, in the complex prophecy, God's word) yet, will any fay, that 
we ihould limit the words fpoken by them, to their underftanding of them ? 
If fo, by what rule would we know, if, or how they did underftand them ? 

3. Therefore we- fay, It was with Sohmon here, as with other prophets, 
(as Ifaiah, and others) who fpake many of the Gofpel-truths, which in parti- 
cular they might not fo fully know, as we do now, when thefe prophecies 
are fulfilled ^ yet was it never doubted, but the moft deep myfteries of die 
Gofpel were contained in their prophecies. 

Yet, 4. We fay, There is no ground to think, but Solcmon knew much of 
the mind of the Spirit in this Song, yea, more than many learned men now 
a-days. For, i/r, He was not only a believer, but one eminent for gifts and 
knowledge : and none will fay but he was fo for divine knowledge,^ as well 
as humane \ as his books, particularly, Prov. 4, 8, 9 chapters, in his defcri- 
ption of Chrift, the fubftantial Wifdom of the Father, &c. do mew. And can 
it be thought, he wrote this book, without any fenfe of what he wrote? 
.2aly y Can it be thought, but he lavelled what he wrote here at a fcope, and 
that afterward himfelf made life of it, for his edification and comfort ? which 
could not be done, if he had not underftood the moft of thefe Gofpel-myfte- 
ries, upon which all this fweet conference betwixt Chrift and believers is 
founded. $dly y His writing in fuch term's mews, that the words were notig- 
norantly fallen upon*, but he, having knowledge of all herbs, i pices, C~r. 
and how to apply them to fpiritual things, pitched upon thefe as the moft 
pertinent fimilitudes y which are therefore, by the fpecial wifdom of the Spi- 
rit, made ufe of in this Song, as in other his writings: Yea, certainly his 
knowledge, how fpiritual myfteries are couched up in thefe fimilitudes, and 
reprefented by them, was beyond what we can reach unto now *, and there- 
fore we dare not infift, or be peremptory in the particular application of thefe 
fimilitudes. 4'^y> The fubjecl: of this Song not being prophetical, but narra- 
tive and do&rinal, containing fuch exercifes as might be, and certainly were 
found in believers, even then, and fuch difpenfatibns as they ufed to meet 
with, will any fay he was a ft ranger unto them-, feeing there was acceft to 
know thefe much better than prophecies of things which were to come ? Yea, 
5f/;/y, Is there any thing here, but what in other fcriptures of the Old Te- 
fcuvient (and efpecially Songs and Pfalms) is to be found, where the cafes and 


for opening up the Song. 29 

efcercifes ofGod's people are let down? And it needs not be thought ftrangc,if 
we equal him in knowledge with others of his time, or before him;, and that 
he fetb down in a more artificial manner, according to his meaiure of gifts, that 
which others fet down in more plain terms, yet both by the fame Spirit. 

We may then confidently hazard to draw the fame do&rines concerning 
Chrift, the Gofpel, Church, &c . from it, that are to be found in other more 
clear and plain fcriptures. One of the Fathers (Jthanaf in Synopf.) comparing 
this Song with other fcriptures of the Old Teftament, fays, h is 04 John 
Baptift among the Prophets : Other fcripwcs [peak of Chrift as ccm ; ng, (faith he) 
And afar off" ; this fpeaks of him, and to him*) as already com?, and near hand : 
And indeed it is fo *, for fo, even then, he was fometimes very familiar and 
prefent both to the faith and fenfe of his people, as well as now. Thus alfo, 
even Or i gen (tho r in plain fcriptures too luxuriant, yet in this he) feems to 
own this fame fcope. Thus alfo Zanch. in Eph. 5. makes it a compend and 
copy of the fpiritual marriage with Chrift. And Bodius in Eph. pag. 114, 
fays, "Tis ipfim fidei^.& religionis chriftiana^ medulla. 

If it be faid, "if we. interprets this Song after this manner, then all the ob- 
servations will run upon believers cafes only •, which would feem to fay, that 
no do£lrines may he drawn from it, for the edification of thefe who are yet 
unrenewed ; and what ufe can it then be of, to them, who yet are. the great- ' 
er part in the Church ?* 

r Anfi The Gofpel hath doctrines fuitable to all' within the Church ; and 
this Song, being in fubftance Chrift's way with his Church, muii alfo con- 
tain doctrines ufeful for all within the feme. 

2. In this Song the Church is not only confidered as invifible, and unite 
by true faith to Chrift y but alfo as vifible, and as under external ordinances, 
as hath been faid : and, in that refpeel, it furnifhes doctrines fit for all. 

3. This Song will furnifh doctrines ufeful for thefe, as other parables or al- 
legories of that kind do,which Chrift u\ed often even for the edification of fiichi 

4. Doctrines from all places of fcrlpture may be raifed by analogy ; as 
from fuch places, where God holdeth forth the way he ufeth with his own, 
when they have wronged him by fin, which is to humble them, and bring 
them to repentance •, ere they fee his face again, fin becomes bitter even to 
them : From fiich places, I' fay, we may gather by proportion, that God ? s 
way with unrenewed finners, whom he minds to bring to peace and friend- 
iliip Xvith h^mfelf^ is to humble them, and make fin bitter to them, feeing 
the recovering of peace, and the firft founding of peace, as. to this, is brought 
about after the fame manner. 

5. From fuch places, as fpeak dire&ly Chrift's fpecial love to believeny 
there may be drawn good ufes and applications to others *, partly, to engage 
them to him* who lb; loves his own y partly^ to* ternfie'' thefe who are 


JO A l^ey ufeful 

not his, by their being debarred from any right to fuch excellent privileges 

6. Where the Bride's carriage is commendable, 'tis a copy and pattern to 
all, even as examples and precepts are ordinarily given in common to all, and 
ferve to diretf: every one in what they mould aim at, and alio to convince for 
what they are ihort of: The duties me is taken jwp with, being moral, her 
example in thefe muft lay an univerfal obligation upon all ^ and in fuch 
things wherein me falleth through infirmity, her carriage ferveth well to 
deter all from thefe evils. 

In the lafi place, for better 'understanding of the fubjeft of this Song, we 
would take alongft with us, Firfi, Some Obfervations. Secondly, Some Rules. 

(i.) Thefubjeft thereof is to hold forth the mutual and interchangeable 
exercife and out-lettings of love, as well betwixt Chrift and particular belie- 
vers, as betwixt him and the Church : As alfo, his various difpenfations to 
the Bride, her divers conditions and tempers, and both his and her carriage 
under them, and her out-gates. 

(2.) The manner how this fweet fubjeft is fet down, is by way of dialogue, 
in feveral conferences, after a dramatick way (as it is called) becaufe thus the 
mutual love of thefe parties is beft expreiTed : In which there are, 1. The 
principal parties in the difcourfe ; 2. Others, as friends or attendants waiting 
on. In the Gofpel, John 3. 28, 29. there are mentioned the Bridegroom, and 
his Friends, and the Bride ; And Children of the marriage-chamber are fpo- 
ken of^ Matth. 9. 1 5. by which are underftood Virgins and Companions, that 
attend her, and alfo go forth to wait on him -, which are of two forts, fome 
wife, being really fo, fome fool ijh, being wife in profeilion only, Matth. 25* 
1, 2. There is alfo mention made of a Mother , GW. 4. 26. which hath two 
forts of children, fome born after the flejh, and but children as it were of the 
bond-woman *, others born after the Spirit, and true members of the Church 
invisible : The former perfecutes the latter ; and of both kinds of children, 
are fome of all ranks, amongft Priefts, Apoftles, Minifters, &c. 

We will find all thefe parties in this Song, a&ing their feveral parts. 

1. The Bridegroom is Chrift} John 3. 24. called the one Husband, 2 Cor. 1 1. 1. 
for there is not another fpiritual husband, to whom believers can be match* 
ed. He is the Kings Son, for whom the marriage is made, Matth. 22. 1,2, 
&c. He is the Lamb, unto whofe marriage the hearers of the Gofpel are in- 
vited, Rev. 19. 9. And Pfal. 45. he is the King, unto whom the Queen is to 
be brought after ihe is adorned -, by this name he is alfo ftiled in this Song* 
The King, Chap. 1 . 4, 1 2, &c. and the Beloved. Thofe, and foch titles are 
given to him, which cannot be underftood to be attribute to any but to Chrift 
only, by believers. 

2. The Bride is the Church, and every believer in divers confiderations (as 
is faid before) who are married to Chrift, and are to be made ready and 


for opening up the Song. J i 

adorned for the folemnizing of the marriage. Of the nature of this marriage 
lee more, Chdf. 8. 8. ■'* 

3. The Bridegroom' } s friends are honeft minifters, who rejoice to fee 
him great \ fuch as John was, Jo. 3. 29. and fuch were the apoftles, Jo. 1 5. 
15. Such are here the Watchmen, trufted with the overfight and edification of 
others, fpoken unto. Chap. 2. 15. and fpoken of, Chap. 3 3. 

4. The Virgins, or children of the marriage-chamber, are here called 
Daughters of Z ion, Chap. 3. 1 1. and ofjerufalem (many whereof are weak,ready 
to ftumble, Chap. 1. 6. and of little knowledge, Chap. 5. 9. and ready to flir 
up the Bridegroom, Chap. 3. 5.) and the Virgins that love Chrifi, Chap. 1. 3 V 
and the upright, Chap. 1. 4. 

5. The Mother is the univerfal vifible Church, wherein are many true 
believers, who are converted to Chrift by the Word and Ordinances difpen- 
fed therein, and to which alfo many hypocrites belong as members. 

6. The children of the promife, are true virgins that love Chrift •, the children 
of the bond-woman, m& the fieih,are unrenewed profeffors in the Church,as alfo 
falfe teachers, who aft their part here likewife, Chap. 1.6. and 2. 15. and 5. 7. 

(3.) This conference, as it is betwixt Chrift and the believers followed as 
betwixt married parties. 1. In their titles,they attribute to each other. 2. In 
their claiming of this relation one in another, as that he is hers, and me is 
his. 3. In their expreilions, which are fuch as ufe to be betwixt moll loving 
parties, who live, exercifing conjugal love, moft kindly and intimately toge- 
ther. The reafon whereof is, 1. To fhew the near union that is betwixt 
Chrift and his Church *, there is a relation, and a moft near relation betwixt 
them, that is not betwixt him and any others. 2. To ihew the kindly effe£ts 
of that relation in both the parties, efpecially the faithfiilnefs and tendernefs 
of the husband,in walking according to it in every thing. 3«'Tis to fweeten 
every piece of exercife, the believer meets with ' 7 yea, to make all difpenfa- 
tions digeft the better, feeing they are difpenfed, and ordered by fuch a 
loving husband. 4. 'Tis for warming the believer's heart the more to Chrift, 
and to make this Song heartfom and delightfom, that fo believers may have 
always a marriage-fong, and every night may be to them as a marriage-night. 

(4.) The purpofe or fubje& of this Song, is Chrift, and divine things of all 1 
forts ; but mainly the experiences of grown Chriftians, held forth in moft 
noble and lively exprefhons, as. was before a little cleared. 

(?.) The fcope of all is, to exprefs the defirablenefs of fellowfhip with the 1 
Bridegroom, and how the Bride thirfteth and longeth for it^ and how careful 
file is to entertain it, and by laying out his matchlefs excellencies to com- 
mend him to others - 7 and which alfo feems to be the fcope and defign, for 
which this fcripture is given to the Church : And fo her breathing after 
communion with him, doth here begia the conference, v.JZ<Let bim.fcfs me&c. 

(6.) Th3 

I 3 A K^y ufeful, 8tc. 

(6.) The manner of their expreifion is, i . Sweet and loving •, and therefore 
this conference is carried on, under the terms of marriage, and the titles of 
Beloved , my Love, Spoufe, Sec. (as being the moft lively that can exprefs that 
relation, and moft appofite for entertaining of mutual love) are here made 
ufe of. 2. The manner of expreiHon is fomething obfeure, tho' fweet, that 
fo the Lord's people may be ftirred up to painfulnefs, and diligence in fearch- 
ing out his mind \ and alfo, becanfe the myfteries here contained, are great, 
and cannot, as they are in themfeives, be conceived : therefore, that they 
may be illuflrate, parables are ufed, as Mat. 13. 34. compared with Mark 4. 
3B. where it is clear, that the intent and effecl: of the lord's fpeaking by 
parables, is to help fome to take up thefe myfteries, and to leave lome ig- 
norant. 3. The Spirit of God doth here make ufe of borrowed expreflions, 
the more lively to. let out the fpiritual matter contained under them •, and, by 
things moft taking, and beft known to our fenfes, to hold out divine myfte- 
ries, unto which thefe expreilions are to be applied. 4. Often thefe fame 
expreilions are made ufe of in one place, in fpeaking to the Bridegroom, and 
in anorher fpeaking to the Bride, he calling her chief among the Daughters, 
and me him chief among the Sons, but in a different fen{e \ for, he ftiles her 
from his acceptation of her, and from his imputation and communication of 
his graces to her : but fhe ftiles him from his own excellency and worth, he 
having all in himfelf, and nothing borrowed from any other, but imparting 
that which is his, to her. 
Secondly, The Rules we would take alongft with us in our proceeding,are thefe: 

1. We would find out, who (peaks in every palTage of this Song j for this 
Terves much to clear what is fpoken. 

2. We would carefully ponder, what is the purpofe of the Spirit in every 
part thereof^ 

3. We muft apply and conform expreflions to the fcope, and expound 
them by it, and not ftick too much in following of every thing, which 
thefe allegories feem to bear '■> but draw the doftrines from them, being 
compared with the fcope, and other places of fcripture, not infifting too far 
upon the fimilitudes. 

4. We are to take fpecial notice of the Bride's frame, in her manner of 
fpeaking : For we may obferve, that often,in the vehemency of her paflionate 
love, fhe breaks out without any feen connexion, or order, as Chap. 1. 2. and 
by cutted, broken, and vehement expreifions, in her divers frames and ten- 
der fits, as her cafe is up or down, (abruptly, as it were) me ufeth to exprefs 

5. We muft not apply all fo to the Church, as to fhut out believers, nor 
contrarily *, but take in both, where both my come in •, and more efpecially 
apply to the one, where the purpofe makes moft for it, as hath been faid, 

O rl A *♦ 



Verfe i. The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.' 

[Efbre we enter upon the purpofe of this chapter, or give the 
division of it,we would firft fpeakto the Title contained,wr. i. 
We account this Title Scripture, it being in the Original, 
even as other titles, prefixed to divers Pfalms, as to Pfal. 51, 
102, &c. In it three things are fet down*, 1. The nature of 
this fcripture. 2. Its excellency. 3. Its inftrumental au- 
thor, who was made ufe of by the Spirit i n penning of it. 
Firft, For the nature of this fcripture, It is a Song. Songs, in fcripture,are 
fuch portions or books thereof, as were efpecially intended to be made ufe of, 
for the praifing of God, the edifying and comforting of his people, in finging 
of them. Three forts of them were in ufe among the Hebrews (as the titles 
of our pfalms do clear, and as they are mentioned by the apoftle, Eph. 5. 19.) 
1 . Ffalms, fuch were tifed, both with voice and inftruments. 2. There were 
Hymns (fo the 145 pfalm is intituled) fuch in the matter of them, were 
wholly made up of praife, and what immediately led to that. 3. There were 
fpiritual Songs, which were more extenfive in the matter, taking in hiftories, 
cafes, and exercifes of all forts •, and might be fling with the voice, without 
inftruments, either publickly or privately. Of this laft fort, is this Song, in- 
tended to be made ufe of in the praifes of God -, and fo compofed, both for 
matter and manner, as it might beft attain that end, and prove edifying and 
comfortable alfo to believers, in their finging of it. 

2. The excellency of this Song is expreft in this, that it is A Song of Songs f 
A moft excellent Song •, this being the manner how the Hebrews exprefs their 
fuperlatives. While it is called A Song of Songs, it is compared with,and pre- 

F ferred 

34 An Expofition Chap. r # 

ferred to all other fbngs. And we conceive the comparifon is not only be- 
twixt this and humane fongs , but, i. It is compared with, and preferred to 
all thefe which Solomon wrote \ and 'tis preferred to all tliefe One thoufand and 
five, mentioned, i. King. 4. 32. 2. It" is compared with all other fcriptural 
fongs, fuch as is recorded.JE.voi. 15. and Jud*. 5. &c # Of all which, this is, 
the moll excellent, as being, 1. Purpofly intended to treat of the moil choice 
and excellent fubjeft, to wit, Chfift and his Church •, which is not done upon 
particular occafions, as in other fongs, but is the great Purpofe that is only 
defigned and purfued. 2. It treats ofChrift and his Church, in their moil 
glorious, lively, and lovely a&ions, to wit, his care of, and his love unto 
his Church, and that in its moft eminent degree - 7 and alfo, of her love to 
him, in its various meafures and workings. 3. It i* in a moft excellent man- 
ner compofed, by way of conference and fryeet colloquies betwixt thefe two* 
parties,' having in it many excellent expreffions,- and variety of them, well 
interwoven with fundry cafes of feveral forts, to make the whole draught the 
more taking and excellent. 4. It is fet forth in a moft lovely, excellent, m&- 
?eftick ftile and ftrain, which exceedingly ravifhes and captivates affections 
making the love contained in it,fweetly favour and renin, through the beauti- 
ful garment of borrowed expreilions, which is put upon it. 5. It.js a jnoft' 
excellent Song, in refpecl: of its comprehenfivenefs : here is an armory and 
itore-houfe of fongs in this one, where there is fomething treafured up for e- 
very cafe, that may be edifying and comfortable, which will not be fb found 
in any other fong *, there being fomething here fuiting all forts of believers, 
under all the variety of cafes and difpenfations wherewith they are exercifed \ 
and alfb,all the relations under which the Church flandeth : All which mould 
commend this Song unto us. 

It is recorded of the Hebrews, that whatever fcripture was delivered m a 
poetical frame, they accounted rhemfelves fpecially bound to take notice of 
that, and to get it by heart: and indeed it is not for nought,that fomefcrip- 
tures, and not others, are caften in that mould: and fomething of this, as 
the intent of the Holy Ghoft, may be gathered from Mofes his putting his 
lait words in a fong, Veut. 32. that they might be the better remembred. 

The 3d thing in the title, is the penman made ufe of by the Spirit, in 
the writing and recording this Song : It is Solomon, a great man, rich, wile, 
yea, an ele& faint: yet, one, who had alfo fallen into many foul faults, whom 
the Lord hath fufTeredto die, without recording exprefly any thing of his 
recovery, tho' we make no doubt of it , which (becaufe Bc!la/'mlne y llb. 3. de 
Juftif. Chap* 14. pag. 368. Ttinnovius and others, are at pains in contradicting 
this} yea, Auguftine doubts of it, becaufe nothing is direftly recorded of his 
recovery) we lira 11 endeavour to make clear, from. thefe confident ions. 

y er fe i . of the Song of Solomon. 3 5 

Firfii From the Lord's promifes to him, 2 Sam. 7. 14, 15. where thefe 
three things are obfervable, which the Lord undertakes concerning him. 
1. That he will be to him a father. 2. That he will correct him with the 
tods of men, if he fhall fin; which faith, he would not eternally punifh him. 
3. That he would not do with him as he did with Saul, whom he reje&ed } 
he would not take away his mercy from Soitm-n, as he had'done from him : 
And if no more were in thefe promifes, but what is temporal, there would be 
no great confolation in them to David (whofe confoiation is one chief part of 
the fcope of that place.) Befide,thefe promifes, PJal. 89. 3 1, 32, 33. (which 
are the fame with thefe, 2 Sam. 7.) are looked upon as fpecial evidences of 
God's love, and peculiar promifes of his faving-covenant. 

2. When he is born, the Lord gives him his name, yea, fends Nathan 
2 Sam. 12. with this warrant, to name him Jedidiah, becaufe the Lord loved 
him *, which cannot be a love flowing from any thing in him, as if he had 
been well pleafed with his carriage, {Solomon had not yet done any thing 
good or evil) but it mull be a love prior to his works, and fo not arifmg 
from his good deeds, and therefore not cut off by his fins ; which,being like 
the love God had to Jacob, before he had done good or evil, Rom. 9. 1 1 . mutt 
/peak out electing love, as it doth in that place. 

3. He is made ufe of by the Spirit, to be a penman of holy writ, and a 
prophet of the Lord; all which are, by our Lord, Luke 13. 28. faid, to fit 
down with Abraham, Ifaac and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven ; and there is 
no reafon to exclude him, feeing that univerfal {all the prophets, &c.) would 
not be a truth, unlefs he were there. And tho' fome wicked men have pro- 
phefied, as Balaam did, yet are they never accounted prophets of the Lord, 
as Solomon was, but falfe prophets and inchanters ', neither were they penmen 
of holy writ ; who were, as Peter calleth them, 2 Pet. i. 21. Holy men of 
Cod, freaking as they were infpired by the Holy Chop. 

4. Neither are the peculiar privileges, he was admitted unto, to be .^got- 
ten : By him the Lord built the temple, by him the covenant was expli- 
citely renewed with God, 1 King. 8. 9. and his prayers are often particular- 
ly mentioned, to be heard • yea, after his death, fbme teftimonies are record- 
ed of him, which cannot confift with his rejection : See 2 Chron. 11. 17. 
where the ways of Solomon are put in, as commenable, with David's, tho 7 
there were defects in both -^ and this being immediately after Solomon's death, 
it would feem he left the worfhip of God pure,andfo had turned from his ido- 
latry ,tho' all the monuments of it were not abolifhed. And efpecially in this, 
he was Angularly privileged, that,in a moft lively way,he was the type of our 
blelfed Lord Jefus, in his interceifion, reign, and peaceable government : be- 

F 2 fide 

36 An Expofitio?i Chap. 

fides that, by particular covenant, the kingdom of Chrift, and his defcent from 
him, was eftablifhed to him. 

5. It is of weight alfo, that it feems more than probable, that Solomon 
wrote Ecclefiafies after his Recovery j it be : ng neither among the Proverbs 
nor Songs which are mentioned, 1 King. 4. 32. And in it, he fpeaks out the 
experience he had both of folly and madnefs, and the vanity he had found in 
all created things, even when he had perfected his effay of all the polfible 
ways of attaining, either the knowledge, of their perfections, or fatisia&ion 
an the enjoyment of them. 

The fcripture, therefore* hath not left his recovery altogether dark ^ yet, 
as to any hiftorfcal narration- thereof, the Lord hath fo ordered, that he pap- 
feth away under a cloud, for thefe good ends : 

1. Thereby, Solomon is chaftifed with the rods of men (even after death) 
upon his name j for, his mifcarriages are fet down exprefly, but his recovery 
(as to any direct teftimony thereof) is paft over. 

2. By this, the Lord maketh his difpleafure with Solomons ways, known } 
tho' he had favour to his perfon, and gave him his foul for a prey, 

3. Thus the Lord would affright others from declining, and hereby teach- 
eth his people to be afraid to reft upon gifts, yea, or upon graces, feeing he 
hath left this matter fo far in the dark, as might yield an occafion (as it were) 
to queftion the eternal condition of Solomon. 

4. It may be alfo, that Solomon, after his recovery, did never recover his 
former luftre, nor attain to fnch a profitable way of appearing in God's pub- 
lick matters, for which formerly he had been fo obfervable : for fo it is taken 
notice even of David, after his fall, that his following life is ftained, as diffe- 
rent from what went before j therefore it is the commendation of'Jehofh*pbat 9 
1 Chron. 17. 3. that he. walked, in the fisit ways of his father David, which 
certainly is not done to condemn David's ftate after that time* but to leave 
that mark (as a chaftifement) on his failings i~ and feeing Solomon's were grea- 
ter, therefore may this filence of his recovery be more univerfal as to him. 

Before we draw any thing from this, by way of ufe, I fliall anfwer a doubt, 
and it is this, How can all thefe thoufand and five fongs, mentioned 1 Kings 
4. 32. be lonV without wronging the perfection of canonick fcripture ? Or, 
what is become of them ? Oivwhat is to be accounted of the lofs of them I 

Anf. We fay,. 1. The fcriptures may be full in the articles of faith, even 
tho' fome portions thereof, which once were extant, were now a-miifing } 
except it could be made out, that fome points of faith were in thefe books, 
which are.not to be. found in other fcriptures. 2. Yet, feeing it is not fafe, 
and it wants not many inconveniencies, to affert that any book once defigned 
sf.God to his Church, as a canon or rule of faith and manners, fliould be loft , 


Verfe l. of the Song of Solomon. 37 

and feeing \t is not confident with that wife providence of his, whereby he 
hath fHU carefully p;eferved the treafures of his oracles in his Church •, we 
rather incline to lay, that tho' thefe fongs were poifcbly uieful, and might 
be written by the Spirit's direction, yet that the^ were not intended for the 
univerfal edification of the Church, nor inrolled as a part of his word, ap- 
pointed: for that end. Neither can it be thought flrange that it mould be 
fo v for, that a thing be fcripture, 'tis not only needful that it be infpired,, 
but alio that k be appointed of God for publick ufe. 'Tis not improbable, 
but Ifaiah r . Mofes y David, Paul y and others, might have written many moe 
writings, upon particular occafions, or to particular perfons, which were rife- 
fill in themfelves for edification , and yet were never appointed of God to be 
looked upon, or received as fcriptures for publick ufe in his Church : So do 
we account of thefe longs mentioned in the objection, and other writings of 
Sohmon, now not extant. And, it may be, the Spirit hath pitched on this 
Song, to be recorded, as the fum and chief of a r the reft •, as he did pitch 
upon foma particular prayers of David and Mofes,. &c. palling by others. 

And Uftly-, We are rather to be thankful for the great advantage we have 
by this, than arrxioufly to enquire what hath become of the reft* 

There are four things,we would propofe for ufe, from the title of this Song; 

Btftt That fmging of believers cafes, even their feveral cafes, is allowable \ 
or, that fmging of divers and different cafes, yea, even their faddeft cafes, is 
not inconfiftent with, but very agreeable unto, the work of praife. Ye fee^. 
this is a Song for the nature of it, which Song is to be.fung , yet, for mat- 
ter, exceeding comprehenfive of all forts of cafes, and thefe various. 

There are (amongft others) five cafes, in which to fing, doth fometimea 
fiumble, at leaf!, ftick much with thofe who are weak and tender ^ all which 
we will find cleared in the Bride's practice of fmging this Song. 

1. 'Tis doubted if fad cafes- fhould be fung, feeing, James 5. 13. 'tis faid,' 
Is any mm merry ? let him fing PJalms. Anj. 'Tis true., thefe who are merry 
fhould iing ; but not only they^ no more than only they who are afm'&ed, 
fhould pray : 'Tis not our cafe, nor our cheerful cHfpofition, but the dirty that: 
fhould be refpetted in this work of praife.^ yea, we mould fing, for cheering 
our difpofition, and mitigating and fweetning our croffes : So doth the Bride 
here fog her fufferings v C%. 1. 6. Chap. 5. 7. when fhe. was fmitten • yea, . 
her defertions, fhe putteth thefe alfo in a Song. 

2. 'Tis ftumbled at fometimes, to fing complaints of our owir fmflilhefs,\ 
and to turn our failings into fongs j What matter of cheerfulnefs is there in' 
thefe, may. one think? But we fay here, fhe doth fo, Mine own -vineyard have 
I not kept (faith fhe) Chap, i . 6 t J jleep> &c. Chap^. 2. 'Tis a ground of cheer- - 
lumels, that- wa may £ng over. thefe unto God, with' exneaation ta be par- 
doned and delivered frojn thenyas Pfal. <5j, 3, ~ ~ • ' s Whm< 

3 8 An Expo fit ion Chap. I. 

3. When the matter is different from our cafe, fome think it is hard to 
fing fuch pfalrns. An]. Certainly in this Song there are different, yea, con- 
trary cafes ; yet none can think, but a believer may fing it all at one time. 
Yea, 2. There had never, then, been a pfalm fung in publick. \ for in no 
congregation can all the members ever be in one cafe. 3. The feme might be 
objected againft publick prayers alfo, feeing there may be many petitions that 
are not fuitable to all joiners \ yet hath the Lord commanded both publick 
praying and praifmg. 

4. When the matter, which is fung, is above us, being a thing we have 
not yet reached, and fo cannot afiert it in our particular condition as truth * 7 
As thefe words, Pfal. 18. 20, 21. I have kept his ways, &c. Anf. By this Song, 
all, at leaft moft part of believers, are made to fing many things, beyond 
their own attainments poifibly •, yea, Chap. B. that phrafe, My vineyard which 
is mine, is before me^ is of that fame extent with that, Pfal. 18. 20. Yet will 
not any think, that the Spirit propounding this Song, and that Pfalm, as a 
fubjecl: for publick praife, did ever intend that none mould fing it, but fuch 
as were as holy as David *, yea, it would feem, that if either David or Solo- 
mon had ftuck to the abfoiute perfeftion which thefe words feem to hold forth 
(if they be expounded according to the ftricl: rule of the Law, and be not ta- 
ken in an Evangelick fenfe) that neither of them would, or could have fung 
them : Yea, it is obfervable, that in this Song there are fpots mentioned ; 
and not keeping of the vineyard^ Chap. 1. is one part of the Song, as well as 
keeping of it, Chap. 8. is another. 

How then may we join in thefe ? Anf. 1. We fmg not our own fenfe and 
experience only, but what may attain the end of praife, which is attained, in 
our acknowledging what others have reached, tho' we our felves come fhort. 
2. Not only our own cafe, as particular members, is to be fling \ but, in pu- 
blick, we take in the praifes of the whole body. 3. That expreffion, Chap. 
1. 6. Mine own vineyard, &c. holds forth the fenfe fhe had of her negligence, 
not as if fhe had no way done her duty, but fhe confeffeth her failings in it } 
which fhe fmgs to the praife of that free grace, that had pardoned her. Again, 
the other expreffion, Chap. 8, 12. My vineyard which is mine, is before me, ex- 
preifeth her fenfe of her fmcerity, bleffing God for it, and refrefhing her 
felf in the acknowledging of it : and both thefe may agree, ;is to fome mea- 
fure, in the believer's experience, at one and the fame time , tho 5 , when 
the believer fmneth more grofly, they do not fo well agree to him, except in 
refpe£l of different times and cafes. 

In praifing, then, we would neither fimply look to our frame, nor to the 
matter in itfelf which is to be fung, nor to the cafes we are in, as if thefe 
were the warrant of our tinging, or the rule to regulate us in it *, but unto 


Verfe 1. of the Song of Solomon. 59 

tiiefe three things. U The end wherefare finging is appointed. 2. The com- 
mand. 3. The notion or confideration, in refped of which the believer joineth 
in the duty of praife. 

The ends are principally; three. Firft, Glorifying God, and making his 
praife glorious : Thus hiftories of the Lord's dealing with his people of old, 
and thus the cafes of others, in our finging of them, ferve to that end, that 
he aii inch works, that fuch a cafe was once fung to him, and fuch a faint 
was fo ucalt with :, otherwife, we might fcmple to fing, Pfal. 44. We have 
he, rd with our ears-, cur fathers have told us 7 and other fcriptures, as well as 
cafes : And fo the mod part of the fubjeft of praife, and the book of the 
Vfalms, would be laid afide as ufelefs, and not fo much as to be read , for we 
ought not to read, or fay an untruth, more than to fing it. 

A fecorid end is, edifying of others with whom we join, as well as flu dy- 
ing edification our felves : So, Col. 3. 16. the end to be propofed in finging, 
is, teaching- and admoniflring one another, in pj ~alms , and hymns, and Spiritual fongs\ 
And fuppofe fome found themfelves unfuitable in their own cafe, to the pur- 
pofe that is to be fung, yet, will it not teach them what they mould be, and 
admonifh them becaufe they are not fuch ? 

A third end we are to aim at in finging, is, our own cheering and refrem- 
ing, making melody in our hearts to the Lord, Bph. 5. 19. Which arifeth not 
always from the matter fimply confidered, as it holds true in our own experi- 
ence^ but, 1. From our conscientious going about it, as a piece of worfhip 
to God ; and fo doing, we are accepted in that. 2. From the heartfomnefs 
of that foul-refrefhing exercife of praife ; and fo that fcripture which might 
be more fadning in meditation to us, yet fhould be cheering in praife, becaufe 
it is then ufed in that ordinance. 3. From the poifibility, that is herein dif- 
covered, of attaining fuch a bleiling, frame, or experience, becaufe once a 
faint did attain it : and fince they were men of the like paffions and infirmi- 
ties with us, why may not we aim at, and hope to be made fa ; nts of the like 
graces with them, fince they were, what they were, by the grace of God. 
4. From this, that it was once made good in another \ which mercy mould 
be a ground to us to mention it to the Lord's praife. 5. From its being a part 
of fcripture, appointed for his praife, whether it agree with our cafe or not :• 
That being the end wherefore it was defigned to be fung, is a fufficient war- 
rant for our joining in the finging thereof!' 

Secondly, We would confider the command we have, not only to praife, but 
to praife in thefe words of David, and other penmen of holy Plalms \ for 
whxh caufe, God hath funvlhed his Church with Songs (but not fo with 
forms of prayers, to which he would have us aftri&ed) and that for prevent- 
ing doubts concerning the matter : For, 1. If God did propone thefe longs 


4° An Expojition Chap. 


to be lung, then they are fit to praife him. 2. If Jie did allow none to fing 
them, but fuch as had no hefitation or fcruple to a/fert them, with application 
to themfelves *, then, either never fhould they be lung, or never in publick. 
But, 3. Did he not appoint them to be ufed in David's time ? and joiners 
then were not all of one fize : Sure they had never been committed to publick 
ufe, if none might have joined in finging them, but thefe who could fing 
them from their own experience •, or, will a believer be challenged for prai- 
iing God, in the rule and words laid down by him ? Certainly not : however 
he may be challenged, if he be not fuitably affected in the finging of them. 
^ Thirdly, We would confider the notion, or capacity, under which believers 
join in this duty : For they join, either as parts of the whole Church, and fo 
they go about their part of the duty of praife (as the matter holdeth true 
In any member indefinitely, even as they join in prayers) fo being that which 
Is fung, be allowed matter for that end : Or, they join as true believers ; and 
then what points out infirmity, they look on it as agreeing to their flefh j 
what points out fmcerity, they as fpiritual, tho' not perfect, join on that ac- 
count in the thankful acknowledging of it •, what confe/Teth a fin, if guilty, 
they acknowledge it } if not, they blefs God they are preferved by grace \ 
yet they are made to fee their corruption, which hath the feed of that fin in 
it, and take warning: as in finging the 51 PJ aim is requiiite, when all are 
not under that guilt, which David there confeffeth. 

A 5th cafe in finging, which hath been matter of doubting to fbme, is, 
when they are put to fing with others, who poffibly are Grangers to God. 
Anf, Such may be cleared from this, that the Bride joineth with the Daugh- 
ters ofjerufalem^ often they have a fhare in holding up this Song -, fo doth 
*he go to the Watchmen , being willing to join with them who fmote her : 
And certainly this and other fongs being to be fang in publick in the congre- 
gation, and fuch a congregation as none will plead that it ought to have been 
Separate from, it is clear they joined, and that upon the account of the for- 
mer grounds. 

The Second thing, we are to obferve for ufe, is from the commendation of 
this Song, being, for its excellency, A Song of Songs : and it is this, That the 
believer hath the choiceft fong, and moft excellent mirth in the world j4iot 
fiich fongs or joy as the world hath, or giveth, John 14. 27* Yea, their fongs 
are fuch fongs as none can learn but themfelves, Rev. 14. 3. O how happy 
and cheerful a life might a believer have, if he did not fometime marr his 
Gwn comfort ! All is moft excellent which he hath} his fongs are fo, for they 
have the moft excellent fiibjett, to wit, Cbrifi, Pfal.^. and the moft excel- 
lent grounds of rejoicing, and moft folid •, the largeft, fweeteft, and moft com- 
fortable allowance in the world, Confidering all this Song together, tho' it 


Yerfe t. of the Song of Solomon. ^ 

hathfundry fad and perplexing cafes, yet it is moft excellent-, Or, right 
thoughts of Chrift will make every condition fweet, and a fong : Nothing 
will come wrong to a believer ; Chrift, Chrift maketh up all, and maketh all 
excellent : every condition with him is excellent •, whofo covets him,coveteth 
what is beft •, whofo negletts him, negle&s what is only worth the feeking, 
and what can only afford a fong to the owner : And it isclearnefs in Chrift's 
worth, and an intereft in him, that turns all conditions into a fong. 

Thirdly, From the author ( I mean the penman) confider, That piety and 
tendernefs is not unbecoming, but is rather an ornament to the moft noble, 
moft rich, and moft wife men in the world : It is a greater glory to Solomon., 
and a greater evidence of his eternal good condition, that he was acquainted 
with, and taken up in holy exercifes, than that he was a king •, yea, places, 
parts,riches, &c. are beautiful,when made fubfervient to piety ; piety maketh 
thefe to ihine in Solomon : And the Spirit alio maketh ufe of natural and mo- 
ral wifdom, which the Lord had beftowed upon him, to fet out deep myfte- 
ries in thefe writings *, which mews, that the Lord would have any mealure 
of thefe gifts he hath beftowed onus, adorned with the exercife of grace, 
and made fubfervient to his glory. Alfo we may fee here, that much bufinefs 
in mens common affairs, and a tender walk, are not inconfiftent -, if men 
would prudently manage their time, they might have accefs to their imploy- 
ments, and keep a fpiritual frame alfo, as Solomon, David and others did. It 
is our corruption, and not the multitude of lawful imployments, that diftra&s 
us : David went home to blefs his own family, in the midft of publick affairs, 
2 Sam, 6. 20. • : 

Fourthly, From the confideration of the penman (ftained with fitch faults) 
made ufe of by God in the compolition of this Song, we may obferve, 1 .That 
neither place, parts, nay, nor graces, will exempt any man from falling : O 
believers, what need is there to be watchful and humble ! May not thefe ex- 
amples of David, Solomon, Peter, &c. lay your pride, and put you to your 
arms, and neceffitate you to be upon your watch ? Who of you will claim to 
Solomonh knowledge, experience or privileges ? Yet even he, the penman of 
this fweet fcripture, had his affections to God cooled, and became an offence 
even to this day ; what is fpoken of his fearful backfliding and fall, being (till 
a rock of offence, upon which many ftill break their necks. 2. There may 
be much corruption dwelling befide much light and grace, and yet the one 
not fully put out or extinguish the other. 3. Grace hath fitted and made ufe 
of many a knotty tree for the Lord's work •, for what Solbmon naturally hath 
been, may appear in his carriage (feeing mens finful carriage and way is but 
theproduft of the natural corruption that is in their heart) notwithstanding 
he is thus made ufe of. 4, Corruption may ly long under grace's feet, and 

G grace 

4* An Expofition Chap. 

grace may attain to a great height, and yet corruption may again ftrangel^ 
break out, and grace be brought very low : What knowledge had Solomon 
what prefence and clearnefs had he gotten by the Lord's appearing to him 
what hearing of prayer ? how ufeful was he in God's work, in building the 
temple, ordering all the Levites, &c. and continued thus eminent for many 
year's, even till he was well ftricken in years, and then fell fo foully ? How 
may this ftrike us with fear ? It is much to win fair off the ftage, without a 
fpot. Be humble *, and he that flan deth, let him take heed left he fall. 5. Grace 
can warn foul fpots out of believers garments, feeing no queftion Solomon was 
wafhen •, and as he was recovered, fo grace is able to recover the faints from 
their moft dangerous and fearful backflidings, 6. Sometime the Spirit will 
honour the penmen of holy writ, by mentioning and recording their names, 
other times not j as is clear from ibme books, unknown by whom they were 
written : the Lord doth in this according to his pleafure, and as he feeth it 
may tend to edification, 

Verfe i. Let hint htfs me with the kiffes of his mouth : for thy 
loye is better than wine. 

Having fpoken to the Title, we come now to the Song itfelf \ which being 
by way of conference or dialogue, we fhall divide the feveral chapters accor- 
ding to the number of the Speakers, and their feveral intercourfes in fpeak- 
ing : Andfo in this chapter we have 5 parts. In the 1. the Bride fpeaks to 
verfe 8. In the 2. the Bridegroom, to verfe 12. In the 3. the Bride again, to 
verfe 15. And 4. the Bridegroom fpeaks, verfe 14. Andlaftly,the Bride, in the 
two laft verfes. 

The Bride begins this fweet conference, verfe 2. and continues to verfe 8. 
1/, She fpeaks to Chrift, verf. 2, 3, 4. Then, id'y, to the daughters ofjeru- 
falem, verf 5, 6. Laftly, She turns her felf again to the Bridegroom, verfe 7. 

In the firft of thefe, there is, 1. Her aim and defire, by way. of an earned 
vvilh laid down, verfe 1. 2. The motives that ftir up this defire in her, and 
whereby flie preffeth it on him, verf. 2, 3. 3. There is a formal p-ayerfet 
down, verfe 4. which is amplified in thefe three, 1. In the motive propofed. 
2. In the anfwer obtained, and felt. 3, In the effects that followed on it. 

Her great wifh is, Let him kifs me with the hffes of his mouth. That it is 
the Bride that fpeaks, is clear : She begins, not becaufe love arifeth firft on 
her fide (for here fhe begins, as having already clofed with him \ and there- 
fore me fpeaks to him, as one who knows his worth, and longs for the out- 
lettings of his love) but becaufe fuch expreffions of Chrift's love, as are to be 
found" in tljis Sone;, whereby his complacency is vented and manifefted to- 

Verfc 2. of the Song of Solomon. 45 

wards us, doth firft prefuppofe the working of love in us, and our exercifing 
of it on him, and then his delighting (that is, his expreifing his delight) in 
us : For altho' the man firft fuit the wife (and fo Chrift firft fueth for his 
Bride) yet when perfons are married, it is moil fuitable, that the wife fhould 
very preflingly long for, and exprefs defire after the husband, even as the 
Bride doth here after Chrift's kiffes, and the expreifions of his love. Of this 
order of Chrift's love, fee Chap. 8. verfe 10. 

In the words confider, 1. What fhe defires, and that is, the kijfes of his 
mouth. 2. How fhe points Chrift forth, by this fignificant demonftrative, 
Him. 3. Her abrupt manner of breaking out with this her defire, as one that 
had been dwelling on the thoughts of Chrift, and feeding on his excellency } 
and therefore now fhe breaks out, Let him kifs me, &c. as if her heart were 
at her mouth, or would leap out of her mouth, to meet with his. 

Firft, By kijfes, we understand moft lovely, friendly, familiar and fenfible 
manifeftations of his love : kiffes of the mouth are fo amongft friends * 7 fo it 
was betwixt Jonathan and David, and fo it is efpecially betwixt husband and 

Next, There are feveral delightfom circumftances, that heighten the Bride's 
efteem of this, the fo much defired expreffion of his love. The 1. is implied 
in the perfon who is to kifs y it is Him, Let him kifs ; He who is the moft 
excellent and fingular perfon in the world. The 2. is hinted in the party 
Whom he is to kifs ; it is me, Let him kifs me, a contemptible defpicable crea- 
ture ; for fo fhe was in her felf, as appears from ver. 5, 6. yet this is the 
perfon this love is to be vented on. 3. Wherewith is he to kifs? It is with 
the hffes of his month ; which we conceive is not only added as an Hebraifm, 
like that expreffion, The words of his mouth, and fuch like phrafes •, but alfo 
to affecl: her felf, by exprefling fully what fhe breathed after, to wit, kiffes, 
or love, which are the more lovely to her, that they come from his mouth, 
as having a fweetnefs in it (Chtp. 5. 16.) above any thing in the world. That 
Chrift's love hath fuch a fweetnefs in it, the reafon fubjoined will clear, for 
thy love is, &c. That which is here kijfes, is immediately denominate loves-, 
it is his love that fhe prized, and whereof kiffes were but evidences. 

They are kiffes, in the plural number, partly to fhew how many ways Chrift 
hath to manifeft his love, partly to fhew the continuance and frequency of 
thefe manifeftations, which fhe would be at. The thing which fhe here de- 
fires, is not love fimply,but the fenfe of love *, for fhe queftioned not his love, 
but defired to have fenfible expreflions of it, and therefore compares it not 
only to looks, that fhe might fee him, but to kiffes •, which is alfo clear 
from the reafon annexed, while fhe compares his love to wine. 

Again, Her manner of defigning Chrift is obfervable, f£im* It is a relative, 

G 2 where 

44 An Expo/ttion Chap. 

where no antecedent goes before *, yet certainly it looks to Chrift alone,as t^ 
reafons fhew : Here no rules of artarekept,for love ftands not on thefe. This 
manner of fpeaking is to be found alfo in moral authors, when one eminent is 
fet forth, who is Angularly known befide others,, as having in the eftimation 
of the fpeakers no match \ fo Pythagoras'* fcholars ufed to fay of their mafter 
wet e<p» , He laid it : And in fcripture, when the faints fpeak of the Lord, they 
thus defign him, becaufe they are not afraid to be miftaken, Pfal. 87. 1. His 
foundation^ &c. and I/a. 53. 2. He jhall grow up like to a tender flant. This is 
neither for want of titles due to him, or rhetorick in her :, but becaufe in this 
manner of expreifion the faints fet forth, 1 . Chrift 's fingular excellency ,which 
is fuch, that he hath no match or equal } there is but one Him. 2. Their fin- 
gular efteem of him, whatever others think. 1 Cor. 8. 6. To vu there is hut 
cne Lord, Jefus : only Chrift is efteemed of by them. 3. A conftant and ha- 
bitual thinking and meditating on him \ for tho' there be no connexion in the 
words expreffed, yet what is expreffed may have, and hath connexion with 
the thoughts of her heart : and if all were feen that were within, it would be 
cafily known what Him ihe meant. And fo we are to gather its dependence on 
the arTe&ion, and meditation it flows from, rather than from any preceeding 
words •, for here there are none. 4. It is to ihew, her thoughts of Chrift 
were not limited, or ftinted to her words, or her fpeaking of him : for tho* 
there be no words preceeding, to make known who this Him is, fpoken of - 7 
yet we may well conceive her heart taken up with defire after him, and me- 
ditation on him 1 and fo there is a good coherence 5 Let him, that is, Him 
I have been thinking on, Him whom my foul defires, he only whom I efteem 
of^ and who hath no equal, &c. This fort of abruptnefs of fpeech hath no 
incongruity in fpiritual rhetorick. 

Whence we may obferve, 1. That Chrift hath a way of communicating his 
love, and the fenfe of it, to a believer, which is not common to others. 2. 
That this is the great fcope and defire of a believer •, if they had their choice, 
it is to have fenfible communion with Chrift : this is their one thing, Pfal. 
27. 4. It is the firft and laft fuit of this Song, and the voice of the Spirit and 
Bride, and laft prayer that is in the fcripture, Rev. 22. 17. 3. That belie- 
vers can difcern this fellowfliip (it is fo fweet and fenfible) which is to be had 
with Jefus Chrift. 4, That they have an high efteem of it, as being a fpeci- 
al fignification of his love. 5. That much inward heart-fellowship with Chrift, 
hath fuitable outward expreffions flowing from it. 6. That believers, in an 
habitual walk with Chrift, will be abrupt in their fiiits to him, fometimes 
meditating on him, fometimes praying to him. 7. That where Chrift is 
known, and rightly thought of, there will be no equal to him in the heart. 

2. In the next place, fhelays down the motives that made her fo defxre 


Verfe 2. of the Song of Solomon. 45 

this ? which are rather to let forth Chrift's excellency, to ftrengthen her own 
faith, and warm her own love in purfuing after lo concerning a fuit, than 
from any fear me had of being miftaken by him, in being (as it were) ib 
bold and homely with him in her defires. Firft, The reafon is generally pro- 
pofed, verfe 2. and inlarged and confirmed, verfe 3. The fum of it is, Thy 
love is exceeding excellent, and I have more need, and greater eiteem of it, 
than of any thing in trie world •, therefore I feek after it,and hope to attain it. 

There are four words here to be cleared, i/r, Thy loves (lb it is in the Ori- 
ginal in the plural number) Chrift's love is fbmetimes (as the love oi God) 
taken effentially, as an attribute in him, which is himfelf ^ God is love, 1 Jo. 
4. 8. Thus the Lord, in his love, is the fame in all times. 2. For fome ef- 
fect of that love, when he doth manifefl it to his people, by conferring good 
on them, and by the fenfible intimations thereof to them : So it is, John 14. 
21, 23. We take it in the laft fenfe here j for me was in Chrift's love, but 
defired the manifeftations of it 5 and it is by thefe that his love becomes fen- 
fible and refremful to believers. It is Loves in the plural number, altho' it be 
one infinite fountain in God, to fhew how many ways it vented, or how ma- 
ny effe£ls that one love produced, or what efteem me had of it, and of the 
continuance and frequency of the manifeftations thereof to her *, this one love 
of his, was, as many loves. 

The fecond word to be cleared,, is Wine. Wine is cheering to men, VfaU 
104. 15. and makes their heart glad: under it here is underftood, what is 
moll cheering and comfortable in its ufe to men. 

3^/y, Chrift's love is better, 1. Simply in itfelf, it is moft excellent. 2. In 
its effects, more exhilarating^, cheering and refreshing. And, 3. In her efteem, 
to me ("faith me) it is better ; I love it, prize it, and efteem it more, as PfaL 
4. 8, 9. Thereby thou haft made my heart more glad \ &c. This his love is every 
way preferable to all the moft cheering and refrefhing things in the world. 

4^/y, The inference, for r is to be confidered : it fheweth that thefe wordi 
are a reafon of her fuit •, and fo the fenfe runs thus, Becaufe thy love is oi' 
great value, and hath more comfortable effe&s on me, than the mi>ft delight- 
fom of creatures,therefore let me have it. Out of which reafoning we may fee 
what motives will have weight with Chrift, and will fway with fincere fouls 
in dealing with him, for the intimation of his love: for the love of Chrift, 
and the fweetnefs and fatisfattion that is to be found in it, is the great pre- 
vailing motive, that hath weight with them * 9 and fenfe of the. need of 
Chrift's love, and efteem of it, and delight in it alone, when no creature- 
comfort can afford refrefhing, may and will warrant poor hungry and thirfty 
fouls, to be prefting for the love of Chrift, when they may not be without it;. 
Which fhews, 

k That: 

4<S An Expofttion Chap. U 

i . That a heart that knows Jefus Chrift, will love to dwell on the thoughts 
of his worth, and to prefent him often to itfelf, as the moft ravifhing ob- 
ject, and will make ufe of preifing motives and arguments, to flir up itfelf to 
feek after the intimations of his love. 2 That the more a foul diveth in the 
love of Chrift, it is the more ravifhed with it, and preffeth, yea, panteth 
the more after it : It was Him before, Let him kifs me^ as being fomething a- 
fraid to fpeak to him ; it is now, Thou, Thy love^ &c as being more inflamed 
with love, fince me began to fpeak, and therefore more familiarly bold, in 
preiling her fuit upon him. 3. The exercife of love flrengthens faith } and 
contrarily, when love wears out of exercife, faith dieth: Thefe graces ftand 
and fall together, they are lively and languish together. 4. Where Chrift's 
love is lerioufly thought of, and felt, created confolations will grow bare, and 
lofe all relifhy wine, and the beft of creature-comforts, will lofe their favour 
and fweetnefs with fuch a foul, when once it is feen how good he is. 5. An 
highefteem of Chrift is no ill argument inrpreiCng for, and purfuing after 
his prefence *, for, to thefe that thus love and efteem him, he will manifefl 
himfelf, Jo. 14.21, 23. 6. Where there hath been any tafte of Chrift's 
love, the foul cannot endure to want it ; it cannot enjoy itfelf if it do not 
enjoy him : this is the cordial that cheareth it in in any condition, and maketh 
every bitter thing fweet. 

Verfe 3. Becaufe of the favour of thy good ointments, thy Name 
is 06 ointment poured forth 3 therefore do the Virgins loVe thee. 

The fecond reafon (which is alfo a confirmation and inlargement of the 
former) is verfe 3. and it runs upon thefe fuppofed and implied grounds. 
1. That there are" many precious excellencies in Chrift. So that, 2. the 
fpeaking of his Name, is as if a man would open a fweet favouring box of 
ointment, as that woman did, Jo, 12. 3. There is no title, or office, or 
qualification in Chrift, but all are favoury •, his very garments fmell ofmyrrhe, 
and does, and cajfia,8cc. Tfal.^. 8. 3. It fuppones that this worth and love- 
linefs of Chrift raviflies all that ever knew him ( here called Firgins) with 
love to him : and therefore (which is the ftrength of the reafon) it is no mar- 
vel, would ihe fay, 1 love him fo fervently, and defire fo earneftly the mani- 
feftations of his love, which I have found fo fweet. 

So the verfe may be taken up in thefe four things. 1. Chrift's furniture y 
he hath many favoury ointments, and good. 2. The further explication, and 
amplification of this his commendation, expreifing both what ihe meant by 
ointments, and alfo the abundance and frefhnefs of thefe ointments wh'ch 
were in Chrift *, in thefe words, thy Name is as ointment 'f cured forth. 3. The 
effeft that followed on thefe, or the attractive virtue of them, which is fuch, 


Verfe 3. of the Song of Solomon. 47 

that the moft chaft, who kept their affettions from other obje£t.3,are yet,wkh- 
out prejudice to their chaft nature, taken up and ravifhed with that lovelinefe 
of Chrift : Therefore (faith fhe) do the virgins love thee. 4. There is the fcope, 
which is partly to fhew the reality of thrift's worth, which, not only fhe, 
but all believers were in love with ^ partly to fhew, that it was no ftrange 
thing, to fee her fo taken up with him \ it would be rather ftrange, if it were 
otherwife, feeing it is not poffible for any to fee and tafte what Chrift is, 
and not be ravifhed with his love. 

Ointments are both of an adorning and refrefhing nature, efpecially to the 
fenfe of fmelling, PJal. 104. 15. Ointment makes mens face to foine, and the 
houfe where it is, to favour, when it is precious and good, Jo. 12. 3. Men 
in vanity ufe fweet powders, and fuch things as thefe, which can but little 
commend them $ but Chrift 's ointments are his graces, Pfal. 45. 2. where- 
with he is anointed, for opening the blind eyes, for preaching glad tidings to the 
foor^ to bind up the broken-hearted, to give the oyl of joy for mournings Sec. as it 
is, If<z.6\. 1, 2, 3. Which qualifications, are both more deli ghtfom and 
favoury in themfelves, and to the foul that is fenfible of its need of him, 
than any ointments the high prieft of old ufed, which were but typical of 
the graces and qualifications wherewith Chrift is furnifhed : Hence is the go- 
fpel, 2CV.2. 14, 15. (whereby thefe graces are manifefted) called a fweet favour. 

Again, thefe ointments are faid to be good : fo are they in their nature,and 
in their effe&s on tinners, as is clear from Ifa.6i. 1,2, &c. And 2. they are 
faid to favour, the fcent and fmell of them is fweet and yefrefhful to the fpi- 
ritual fenfes. And 3. they are called his, (thy good ointments : ) They are 
his, not only as he is God, having all-fufhciency effentially in him, but as 
Mediator, having purchafed eternal redemption, and having the Spirit without 
meafure communicate to him, Jo. 3. 34. and, in that refye&jan&inted with the 
oyl of gladnefs above his fellows, Pfal. 45. 7. that out of his fulnefs we might all 
receive grace for grace, Jo. 1. 14. Our graces being of that fame nature that his 
are of It is comfortable, that Chrift hath many good ointments ; that they 
are his own, and that he hadi the right of difpofing of them \ and that, as 
Mediator, they are given unto him for that very purpofe. 

Obferv. 1. Grace is a cordial and favoury thing, no ointment h like it. 
2. Chrift abounds in grace, he is/a// of grace and truth, Jo. 1. 14* Hence our 
wants are faid to be made up, according to his riches in glory, by Jefm Chrift, 
Phil. 4. 19. 3. They are good and excellent graces and qualifications, where- 
with the Mediator is furnifhed • fuch as do exactly anfuer all the necefiities 
and wants of empty and needy finners. 

2. The commendation is explicate, or illuftrate by a fimilitude. The thing 
flie explains, and which fhe underftood by ointments, is his Name 5 the fi- 

48 An Expofttion Chap. il 

militude, whereby it is illuftrate, is, Ointment poured forth. Chrift's Name 
himfelf, or the knowledge of himfelf, or every thing whereby himfelf is 
made known, his Attributes, Word, Works, efpecially thefe of Redemption 
his Ordinances, Covenant, Promifes, &c. which are all his Name ( for fo 
the preaching of the gofpel is called the bearing of his Name, A&s 9. 15. and 
making known, or declaring of his Name, Pfal. 22. 22. Heb. 2. 12. &c. ) 
This is the thing illuftrate. Now, this Name is compared, not to ointment 
fimply, as fealed up in a box, but to ointment as poured forth and dif- 
fufed : whereby, 1. The abundance of thefe graces is holden forth ^ there is 
no icarcity of them in him. 2. His liberality in communicating of them :, he 
pours them out, as one opening a box of ointment, fhould fo diffufe and di- 
ftribute it. 3. By this is fet out, the lively favourinefs of his graces ; they 
iavour not only as ointment clofed up, but as ointment diffufed. In a word, 
there is nothing in Chrift ffbr whatever is in him, is comprehended under 
his Name J but the unfolding of it will be more refrefhful, and abundant in 
(piritual delights, than if men would break and open many boxes of coftly 
ointments, and pour them all out on others. 

Obferv. 1. Believers are not foon fatisfied in taking up, or expreifing of 
Chrift's worth. 2. Chrift, and all that is in him,is as full of fpiritual life and 
refrefhing, as a box that is full of the moll precious ointment : Chrift is 
well ftored with grace, it is poured into his lips, Pfal. 45. 2. 3. This favour of 
Chrift's graces is not felt by every one*, the box of his ointments is not open 
to all, but only to feme, and that is to them that believe *, for to them he is 
precious, and every thing that is in him is moft cordial and favoury to the 
believer. 4. The more Chrift and his worth be enquired into, it will favour 
the better, and be the more refrefhful (for it is his Name which is this oint- 
ment ) Chrift in his excellent worth, through men's ftrangenefs to him, is 
unknown in the world:, they do not enquire into this favoury Name : but if 
he were once known, they would find that in him that would make them 
give over their other unprofitable purfuits, and pant after him. 

The effeft of thefe his ointments (which is a proof of the reality of this 
truth, and the third thing in the verfe) is in thefe words, 'therefore the vir- 
gins love thee. By virgins here, are not underftood bare profeilbrs, but fin- 
cere believers, who are not counterfeit in their affeftion, nor fo common in 
their love, as to bellow it on any creature whorifhly, but who referve it for 
Chrift only : So the Church is called, 2 Cor. 11. 2. A chafi virgin ; and fo 
thefe who were kept unfpotted, and fealed for the Lord, 2^.14. 4, 5. are 
called virgins. They are here called virgins , in the plural number, becaufe 
this denomination belongs to all believers, diftributively, and in particular. 
They are faid to love Chrift, that is, whatever others do, who have no fpi- 

Verfe 4. of the Song of Solomon. 49 

ritual fenfes, and whole example is not to be regarded j yet thefe (faith fhe) 
defire thee only, and delight in thee only : and this differenceth true vir- 
gins from others. 

If it be asked, whether that be fingle love, which loves Chrift for his oint- 
ments ? We anfwer, ChrifVs ointments may be two ways confidered, i. As 
they make himfelf lovely and defirable •, fo we may, and mould love him, 
becaufe he is -a mod lovely object, as being ib well qualified and furnifhed. 
2. As by thefe, many benefits are communicate to ' us \ thus we ought to 
love him for his goodnefs to us, altho' not principally, becaufe no effect 
of that love is fully adequate, and comparable ■ to that love in him, which 
is the fountain from which thefe benefits flow - yet, this love is both gra- 
titude and duty, taught by nature, and no mercenary thing, when it is fuper- 
added to the former. Hence obferve, 

1. All have not a true efteem of Chrift, tho' he be moft excellently love- 
ly : for, it is the virgins only that love him. 2. There be fome that have 
an high efteem of him, and are much taken with thefavoury ointments, and 
excellent qualifications wherewith he is furnifhed. 3. None can love him 
and otljer things exceffively alfo ; they who truly love him, their love is re- 
served for him, therefore they are called virgins : It is but common love, and 
ftarce worth the naming, that doth not fingle out its objecl: from all other 
things. 4. They who truly love him, are the choice and wyle of all the 
world befide } their example is to be followed, and weight laid on their 
practice (in the eflentials of fpiritual communion) more than on the examples 
of kings, fchollars, or wife-men : fo doth fhe reafon here from the virgins, 
and paffeth what others do. 5. True chaft love to Chrift, is a character of 
a virgin-believer, and agrees to them all, and to none other, 6. The love that 
every believer hath to Chrift, is a proof of his worth j and will be either a 
motive to make us love him, or an aggravation of our neglect 

Verfe 4. Draw me, we will run after thee : the I\ing hath brought 

me into his chambers : we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we 

will remember thy loVe more than wine : the upright loVe thee. 

Being now more confirmed in her defire, from the reafons fhe hath laid 
down, fhe comes in the 4th verfe more directly to propound and prefs her 
fuit : for, rational infifting upon the grounds of grace, in preffing a petition, 
both fharpens defire, and ftrengthens the foul with more vigour and boldnefs, 
to purfue its defires by prayer. In the words we may confider, 1 . The petition. 
2.The motive made ufe of to prefs it. 3.Theanfwer,or grant of what was fought. 
4. The effects of the anfwer following on her part, fuitable fome-way to her 
engagement. H " The 

5° An Expofitlon Chap, 


The petition is, Draw me; a word ufed in the gofpel, to fet forth the .effi- 
cacious work of the Spirit of God upon the heart, ingaging the foul in a mod 
fweet, powerful and effectual way to Jefus Chrift: None can come to me (faith 
Chrift) except the Father draw him, Jo. 6. 44. It is ufed here, to fet forth the 
Bride's defire to brought into fellowfhip with Chrift, by the power of this 
fame Spirit •, that as me defires a vifit from Chrift, f fhe defires his Spi- 
rit, that he may by his powerful operations draw her near to him. And 
altho' a believer be not at a total diftance with Chrift, and fo needs not re- 
novation, as one in nature doth •, yet, confidering what a believer may fall in- 
to, a deadnefs of frame, as to the lively exercife of grace, and a great diftance, 
as to any fenfible fweet communion with Jefus Chrift, and that it muft be 
by the power of that fame Spirit (without which even thefe that are in 
Chrift can do nothing) that they muft be recovered, and again brought to 
tafte of the joy of his falvation (as is clear from David's prayer, Pfal, 5 1 . 
10. to have a clean heart created in him, &c. Seeverfe 12. of that pfalm. ) 
and that there are degrees of communion with him,and nearnefs to him,none 
of which can be win at without the Spirit's drawing, more than being made 
near at the firft in refpecl: of ftate : I fay, all thefe things being confidered, 
it is clear, that this petition is very pertinent, even to the Bride, and doth 
import thefe particulars: 1. A diftance, or ceafing of correfpondence for a 
time, and in part, betwixt Chrift and her. 2. Her fenfe and refentment of 
it, fo that fhe cannot quietly reft in it, being much unfatisfied with her pre- 
fent cafe. 3. Anefteem of Chrift, and union with him, and a defire to be 
near, even very near him \ which is the fcope of her petition, to be drawn 
unto him, that fhe may have (as it were) her head in his bofom. 4. A fenfe 
of felf-infufficiency, and that fhe had nothing of her own to help her to this 
nearnefs, and fo a denying of all ability for that in herfelf 5. A general 
faith, that Chrift can do what fhe cannot do, and that there is help to be got- 
ten from him (upon whom the help of his people is laid) for acting fpiritual 
life, and recovering her to a condition of nearnefs with himfelf. 6. An actual 
putting at him (fb to fpeak) and making ufe of him by faith, for obtaining 
from him, and by him, quickning, efficacious and foul -recovering influences, 
which fhe could not otherwife win at. 7. Diligence in prayer:, fhe prays 
much, and cries for help when fhe can do no more. 

The motive whereby fhe preifeth this petition, is, We will run after thee : 
wherein we are to eonfider thefe three things, 1 . What this is, to run •, 
which is, in fhort, to make progrefs Chrift-wa <d, and advance in the way of 
holinefs,with chearfulnefs and alacrity (having her heart lifted up in the ways 
of the Lord J for, the believer's life is a race, heaven is the prize, 1 Cor. 9. 
34. andP/^7. 3. 13, 14, &c. and the graces and influences of the Spirit give 


Verfe 4. °f the Song of Solomon. 5 1 

lees, ftrength and vigour to the inner-man to run, as wind doth to a fhip, 
ttTcaufe her make way ', as it is PfaL 1 19. 32. Then J fhall run the way of thy 
commandments, when thoujhalt inlarge my heart ; which is, on the matter, the 
fame with drawing here. And this running is oppofed to deadnefs, or flownefs 
in her progrefs before ^ Kow (faith ihe) I make no way > but draw nve^nd 
we mall go fwiftly, fpeedily, willingly and cheerfully. Hence we may gather, 

1. That often when there is defertion as to Chrift's prefence, there is an 
up- fitting in duty and the exercife of grace. 2. That bonds in duty are as ob- 
fervable and heavy to believers, as want of comfort. 3. That there is in 
them an high eftimation, and a ferious defire of inlargement in duty, or of 
liberty to run in the way of God's commandments. 4. This defire is very 
acceptable with Jefus Chrift, and therefore is made ufe of as a motive in 
preifing her petition before him : He takes it well, when a believer is like to 
ly by and fit up, that he look up to him, and pray and pant for help, to fet 
him to his feet again. 

idly^ Confider why the perfon is changed, Draw me (faith fhe) and we 
fhall run. If" we take the'Church collectively under me, then we y will fet out 
the particular members •, and it is this much, Do me good, or pour thy Spi- 
rit on the Church, and we fhall run in our ftations who are members : It is 
the better with all the members, when it is well with the Church in general. 
But it would feem to look to particular believers, the efFecl: of drawing being 
moft proper and peculiar on them : and fb it is to be underilood thus, If thou 
wilt draw me, and by the power of thy grace work erTeclually upon me, then 
many moe fhall get advantage by it j which holds true, partly by reafon of 
the fympathy that is amongft the members of that one body, partly becaufe 
a work of grace fits and engages one the more to be forthcoming for the good 
of others, partly becaufe of the influence which livelinefs in one may have 
upon the quickning and ftirring up of others •, even as often, when deadnefs 
begins in one, it leaveneth and infe&eth moe, fo by God's blefling may live- 
linefs do. This fame argument is made ufe of by David, PfaL 51. when he 
is dealing for the eftablifhment and liberty of God's Spirit, Then (faith he, 
verfe s 12, 13.) I will teach (inner s thy way, and they fliall he converted unto thec m 
He was not only purpofed to flir up himfelf, and walk tenderly in the ftrength 
he fhould receive, but that he would lay out himfelf for the good of others ; 
and he promifed himfelf fuccefs therein, through the grace of God. And fo 
Jojlm^ 24. 15. / and my houfe will ferve the Lord : which fpeaks, that his fer- 
ving the Lord, would have influence upon his houfe. Experience doth often 
make out, that a lively foul in a congregation, or family, will readily occa- 
fion and provoke others to flir and feek with them. 

3«ty> The force of the reafon, in the connexion it hath with the petition, 

H 2 im- 

52 An Expofition Chap. i. 

imports, i. That fhe was much in love with holinefs, and had an ardent de- 
fire after more of it. 2. That fhe refolved ta improve her receipts, for the 
edification of others. 3. That thefe defigns were very acceptable to Chrift. 
4. That except fhe were drawn, fhe would come fhort of both. 5. A cheer- 
ful engaging to be forthcoming to his honour and the good of others, and to 
undertake what he fhall call to, and fit for : Thefe go well together, that 
when we fee and are fenfible, that we of our felves, as of our felves, can do 
nothing, 2 Con 3.5. yet we may humbly engage, to do all things through Chrifi 
firengthning us. In a word, I have need (would me fay) to be drawn, if ho- 
linefs be needful *, and I hope, thou, who refpetts holinefs in me and others 
of thy people, will grant what I feek. Her engaging to run, if he would 
draw, is no vain undertaking *, but a humble preffing motive, holding forth 
fome fincerity given from him, but no ability in herfelf, but as he who hath 
given her to will, muft alfo work in her to do. 

The "Third thing in the verfe, is, the return or grant of this fuit •, The 
King (faith fhe) hath brought me into his chambers , He hath indeed brought 
me where I was defirous to be. The words, he hath brought me, being com- 
pared with the petition,, draw me y and the effe&s following, whereby fhe 
changeth from praying to praifing, and that with expreffions holding forth a 
kind of furprifal, do evidence this to be a real return to her prayer, and a 
comfortable alteration upon, and change in her condition. 

In this anfwer, confider, 1. what fhe receives, a noble privilege j fhe is 
admitted into the Kings chamber -s 7 to nearnefs with him, which fhe longed 
for, and now fhe hath it. Chambers are the moll intimate places of famili- 
ar fellow fhip, efpecially with kings, where none but courtiers indeed come j 
they were the place where the Bridegroom and the Bride rejoiced together : 
and it hath a tacite oppofition to a faiutation by the way,or admiffion to outer 
rooms *, this, to which fhe is admitted, is more, yet is it fomething here- 
away attainable *, which, we conceive, is the enjoying of that love fhe for- 
merly fought for, and which afterward fhe engageth to remember, as having 
now obtained it. In a word, fhe is where fhe would be, as the effects fhew. 

2. Confider who brought her into thefe chambers , it is the King, even him 
fhe prayed unto, to draw her, he hath heard her : This King (as being the 
chief of all that ever bare that name) is called the King, by way of eminency , 
and fo, PfaU 45. 1 , 2. and Zech. 4. 9. he is not only King,, and Supreme, as 
God, having the fame effential dominion with the Father, over all the crea- 
tures •, but alfo (which is here efpecially meant) as Mediator, he is a King 
by donation, Pfal. 2. 6 7 7. and alfo by conqueft, having purchafed his king- 
dom with his blood, and by the power of his fpiritual arms, that are effectual 
upon the hearts of finners, brings them to fubjeS: to him, Pfal. 45. 5. So he 


Verfe 4. of the Song of Solomon. 5 j 

con'effeth himfelf to be a King before Pontius PiUte^ Jo. 18. 36, 37, altho' 
his kingdom be not of this world. It is he, who by his blood hath made ac- 
ceis for believers to nearnefs with God, as it is, Eph* 2. 18. through that new 
and living way, Heb. 10. 19,20. (b that fhe may well fay, He brought her 
in. She attributes this to him exprefly, i#, For his commendation, and to 
give him the acknowledgment due to him in this work, which would never 
have been wrought without him : All nearnefs and accefs to God, all progrefs 
in holinefs, and comfort in duties, fhould not only be fought by, and from 
Chrift •, but he acknowledged for thefe,and the praife of them returned to him. 

2^/y, She obferves the return of her prayer, and his readinefs to be intreat- 
ed ; I prayed to him to draw (faith fhe) and he did it effectually : He drew 
tne, and brought me into the chambers . Here we may fee, 1 . Chrift is eafily 
intreated, Ifa.6^. 24. Before they call, Twill anfwer. 2. Believers mould ob- 
ierve returns of prayer, and blefs Chrift for them. 3. She acknowledged! he 
had brought her into the chambers, to magnifie and to commend the mercy 
the more : It is the greater honour, that not only fhe is there, but that the 
King himfelf (like the prodigal's father) met her, and took her in : ChrifFs 
convoy is much worth, and finners may hazard forward with it, and not de- 
fpair of accefs. 4. She attributes it to him, that fhe may keep mind of his 
grace, whereby fhe flands and enjoys thefe privileges ; and that fhe may be 
ftill humble under them, as having none of thefe from her felf : It is much, 
under fenfe and a fair gale of flowing ,jk>ve, to carry even, and to be humble ^ 
and it is rare to be full of this new wine, and bear it well. 

3. Confider the importance of the word in the Original :, it is here tran- 
flated, he brought me w, as it is Chap. 2. verfe 4. but the word in that conju- 
gation, in which it is ufed in the firft language, fignifieth, he made me come, 
or go in \ implying, 1. A fort of averftefs and inability in her felf 2. Ma- 
ny difficulties in the way. 3* An efficacious work overcoming all thefe, and 
effe&ually bringing her over all, as the fame word is ufed, Pfal. 78. 7 1. where * 
God's bringing David from the fold to be king, over fo many difficulties, is 
fpoken of. 

The lafi thing in the verfe is, the effecl: following on this her admiffion, 
which is both exceeding great fpiritual cheerfulnefs in her felf, and gladnefs 
of heart alfo in others, whereby both her own, and their hearts were much 
inlarged in duty, as fhe undertook (and therefore the perfon from me to we 
is changed again) for before, fhe faith, he brought me , &c. but now,, we will 
be gUd, &c. The effects, by way of gratitude, are in two exprelfions, iJVe 
will rejoice and be glad in thee. And, 2. We will remember thy love mere than 
wine. And as fhe took her motive, while fhe defired ChrifFs love, from that- 
efteem which all believers (under the title of virgins) had of it j fo now, h?.-. 

54 4n Expofition Chap. i. 

ving obtamed wiiat me fought, me confirms her eftimation of that enjoy- 
ment, from the experience of the fame believers, under the name of upright ; 
that, by fuch an univerfai teftimony in both affertions, me might the more 
confirm her faith anent the reality of Chrift's worth, feeing her efteem of him 
did flow from no deluded fenfe in her, but was built on fuch folid reafons, 
as ihe durft appeal to the experience of all believers, who thought Chrift well 
worthy the loving : And fo this is not only brought in here to mew the na- 
ture of believers, whofe difpofition inclines them natively to love Chrift but 
alfo toihew the excellent lovelinefs of Chrift, as an object worthy to be lo- 
ved, in the conviction of all that ever knew him. The firft exprefljon holds 
forth a warm change upon her affections } no fooner is ihe admitted into the 
chambers, but ihe crieth out, we will rejoice and be dad in thee. Where, 
Firft, Ye have her exercife and frame, it is to rejoice and be glad : Cheerful- 
nefs and joy, difpofing the heart to praife, are fometimes called for, as well 
as prayer. If we look on this joy as it ftands here, it fays, i. There are 
degrees and fteps in communion with Chrift j and the faints are fometimes ad- 
mitted to higher degrees thereof, than at other times : Sure, it is a heartfbm 
life to be near Chrift, and in his chambers. 2. This joy, and that nearnefs 
with Chrift, which is the ground of it, are both often the effect of prayer, 
and follow upon it, when faith is in a lively way exercifed in that duty, 
3. That faith, exercifed on Chrift, can make a fudden change to the better 
in a believer's cafe, Pfal. 30. 6, 7, &c. 4. That a believer mould obferve 
the changes of Chrift's difpenfations, the returns of their own prayers, 
and be fuitably affected with them, whether he delay the anfwer, or give 
them a prefent return. 

The Second thing in the expreifion, is, the Object of this joy , it is in thee : 
Not in corn or wine, not in their prefent fenfe, but in him as the Author of 
their prefent comfortable condition, and as being himfelf their happinefs, even 
in their greatefl enjoyments *, according to that word, 1 Cor. 1. 31. Let him 
that rejoiceth, rejoice in the Lord : And this qualifies joy, and keeps it from de- 
generating into carnal delight, when he that rejoiceth, rejoiceth in the Lord^ 
and it is a good character to try fuch joy with, as may warrantably pafs under 
that name of the joy of the Lord, and as will have that effect with it, to 
Strengthen us in his way, Neh. 8. 10. 

$dlyi We may confider a twofold change of the number in the Bride's 
fpeaking^ it is We, which was Me : The King brought me, faid ihe \ but now, 
We will rejoice. The reafons were given on the Petition *, and further, we 
may add here, that it is to fhew her being conform in her practice to her 
■undertaking ♦, and to fhew, that that admijlion of hers redounded to the good 
of moe, and ought to take them up in praife with her. The other change of 


Verfe 4. of the Song of Solomon. 5 5 

the perfon is, from the third to the fecond, from He, the King, to lice in 
the fecond Perfon, (we will rejoice in Thee) which mews a holy complacency 
and delight, fometimes making her to fpeak of him, fometimes to him, yet 
fo, as me loves to have Chrift both the objecl: and fubjecT: of her difcourfe •, 
and the more he be to her, fhe is the more fatisfied : This being another 
character of ipiritual joy, and exulting in Chrift, it ftill makes him to be the 
' more to them, and they are ftill preffing under it to be the nearer to him. 

The Second effect is, We will remember thy love more than wine. What is un- 
derftood by love and wine, as alfo, why the number is changed from the An- 
gular to the plural, hath been formerly cleared. The word, remember, doth 
import thefe three things, ift, A thankful acknowledgment of the favour re- 
ceived, and a making of it to be remembred to his praife 5 this remembring 
is oppofite to forgetting, Tfal. 103. 2. From which we may obferve two 
things, 1. The acknowledgment of the mercies we have received, is a necef- 
iare piece of the duty of praife •, they will never praife" for a mercy, who 
will not acknowledge they have received it : forgetfulnefs and unbelief doth 
much marr praife. 2. They that pray much for any mercy, will moft really 
praife when it is received j and this laft is a duty as well as the former, but: 
is not made confeience of, nor fuitably performed, but by hearts that acknow- 
ledge God's goodnefs to themfelves. idly, It imports a recording of this ex- 
perience of God's goodnefs, for her own profit for the time to come : Thus 
every manifeftation of his grace is to be kept as an experience for afterward, 
when that frame may be away, and he may hide his face, w'hereupon there 
will follow a change in the believer's frame. It is good keeping the imprefc 
fion of his kind manifeftations ftill upon the heart ; fo the Pfalmift endeavou- 
red, PfaU 1 19. 93. I will never forget thy precepts, for with them thou hafi quicl- 
7ied me, yJ.ly, It imports the doing of both thefe with delight : we will re- 
member thy love (faith me) more than wine ; that is, the thoughts of Chrift 's 
love doth and fhall reb'fh more fweetly than wine, or any comforts amongft 
creatures ; the very thoughts of it are, and will be fo cordial and refrefhful. 

The laft expreftion, the upright love thee, is added for confirmation, as was 
faid on verfe 3. and may be lookt upon, as brought in by way of obviating an 
obje&ion 5 Who (might it be faid to the Bride) will fo rejoice in Chrift with 
thee ? She anfwers, Whatever the moft part of the world do, yet thefe who 
have fpiritual fenfes, love Chrift as I do. The difference betwixt this and 
the former expreflicn in the end of the 3d verfe, is in two, 1. Tho' the per- 
fons be the fame, yet fhe- gives them different : ftiles : There fhe calls them 
virgins, as being cbifte in their love, not joining themfelves to idols, nor go- 
ing a-whoring after creatures; here ftie calls them uprigl.t, as being fin- 
cere, neither diffemblers, nor hypocrites, but fuch as were really that which- 


5 6 An Expofttion Chap. I. 

" ""* — ***** ^^-— — — ■ ' ' - — — — — . i ^ 

they appeared to be, having a practice fuitable to their profeffion -, fuch was 
Job, Job I. I. an upright mm *, fuch was Nathanael, John 1.47. an Ifraelite 
indeed : Thefe have not double ends, nor double hearts, but are tfraight and 
may abide the touch-ftone, their practice being their very heart turned out- 
Ward. The other difference is in the fcope : formerly they were brought in 
as being defirous of Chrift, as he was \ here as delighted with Chrift: when 
he is enjoyed j both go together : And whoever are defirous after him, will 
be delighted in him while prefent, and affli&ed for, and arTedied with his ab- 
sence *, in both fhe evidecceth a fuitablenefs in her frame to the generation of 
God's people, and cares not from whom fhe differ, if fhe be conform to them. 
Obferv. 1 . Where there is love to Chrift, there is fmcerity in practice : nei- 
ther is there true love to be found in any hypocrites^ for, fmcerity and love 
to Chrift go together. 2. Sincerity is a character of a virgin and true belie- 
ver ; If we would know who are the virgins fpoken of, verfe 3. fhe tells us 
here, they are the upright. 3. All who are iincere, or upright, come-in in 
one category and reckoning ? they are all of the fame fpiritual nature or dif- 
pofition, and what may be faid of one of them (as to that) may be faid of 
them all. 4. God reckons believers, not by the degree of their progrefs* 
but by the kind and nature of their walk, if it be fmcere or not, that is, if 
they be ftraight as to their ends, motives, and manner in duties, or not. 1 
5. Thefe characters which agree in common to believers as fuch, and thefe 
cafes which agree with the ordinary way of all the faints in fcripture, are fb- 
lid} and weight- may be laid upon them in concluding our fmcerity, or the 
goodnefs of our ftate : but peculiar evidences, or lingular experience, would 
not be leaned unto in that } as if our uprightnefs, or the goodnefs of our 
ftate, could not be made out without thefe, wherein poflibly an hypocrite 
can go nearer to refemble a child of God, than in that which is more ordi- 
nary to faints, as fuch. 

Verfe 5. I am blacky but comely, ye daughters of Jerufalem, 
as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. 

Verfe 6. LooJ^ not upon me becaufe I am blacky becaufe the fun 
hath looked upon me : my mother's children were angry with me^ 
they made me the keeper of the Vineyards, but mine own vineyard 
baVe I not kept. 

In the 5th and 6th verfes, we have the fecond piece of the Bride's firft dif- 
courfe, and it is the fpeech fhe hath to the daughters of Jerufalem : wherein, 


Verfc 5. of the Song of Solomon. 57 

verfe 5. fhe gives a defcription of her felf*, then, verfe tf. applies and clears 
it, for fome edifying nfe unto thefe beginners. 

'For clearing of this place, let us, 1. See, who thefe daughters tf Jerufalem 
are. 2. What is the fcope of thefe words. 3. What is their dependence 
upon; and connexion with the former. 4. What is rriore particularly the 
meaning of them. 

By daughters of Jerufalem, in common, are certainly underftood profeffors, 
members of the Church •, and fo born in, and belonging unto Jerufalem : but 
becaufe there are members of feveral forts, fome ftrong, fome weak, fome 
found, fome unfound, fome tender, fome profane *, we muft inquire a little 
further who are meant by thefe daughters of Jerufalem, they being often 
mentioned in this Song. 

i/r, We look on them as diftind from mother's children, mentioned in the 
following verfe, as a party different from the daughters here fpoken to j and 
fo they are not to be accounted amongft the profane, imbittered heart-enemies 
of godlinefs, who yet live in the Church : They are not the worft then of 
them that are in the vifible Church, idly. We take them alfo as diftingtii- 
fhed from the virgins and upright , who loved and delighted in Chrilt, in the 
former verfe *, for, chap. 5. 8, 9. and 6. 1. we will find them very ignorant 
of Chrift, altho' they have fome affection. In a word, we take them to in- 
clude two forts of profeffors, (1.) Such as are weak and fcarcely formed, yet 
are docile, and refpe&ive to outward ordinances, and godlinefs in the practice 
of it: So their refpefl: to the Bride, and the queftion propounded by them, 
chap. 5. 9. doth clear. (2.) They comprehend fiich as are formed believers, 
really honeft, and who have fome found beginnings, yet mixed with much 
weaknefs, ignorance and infirmity, and fo not come up the length of grown 
Chriftians *, fuch who need milk, and cannot endure ftrong meat : fo their 
queftion and undertaking, chap. 6. 1. doth evidence *, they were daughters, 
while yet they were really very ignorant of Chrift, and were ready to pro- 
voke him before he pleafed (as the often repeated charge the Bride gives 
them throughout this Song imports) and they were daughters (till, even after 
they were fomething better taught and engaged. We find, 1 John 2. 13. the 
apoftle fpeaks of three forts, 1. Fathers , that are grown believers, rich in 
experience •, fuch we efteem to be underftood by the Bride in this Song, 2. 
Young men, who are ftrong, well-advanced believers ; fuch were the virgins 
and upright here made mention of. A $d. fort are ftiled little children , that 
is, fome who (as it were) are yet on the breafts, and that in knowledge, pra- 
ctice, or experience, had not come to a confidence, or to have their fenfes 
exercifed to know good or evil, as it is, Heb. 5. 14. fuch we account thefe 

I daush- 


58 An Expofition Chap. 1. 

daughters of Jerufalem, and fo may comprehend under them profeffors, who 
ftand not in the way of their own edification, tho' they be weak, 

SecondlvJYhQ fcope of her difcourfe to them, is to prevent their Stumbling at 
the crofs, or being deterred from godlinefs, becaufe of any blacknefs or fpots 
that were to be feen in her - it being a great {tumbling to weak profelfors, to 
fee fufferings accompany tendernefs (efpecially when it is perfecuted,and pur- 
fued by profeffors of the fame truth) as alfo, to fee infirmities and finful ble- 
mishes in perfons eminently godly : Now her fcope is, for their edification 
to condefcend to fatisfy them in both. 

Thirdly, The reaibn why fhe breaks in with this difcourfe, upon the back of 
the former, (which Shews the connexion) may be twofold, Firfr, To remove 
an objection that might be made : If any mould Jay, What needs all this re- 
rejoicing ? Are ye not both flained with fin, and blackned with fuftering ? She 
anfwers by a distinction. Granting that in part fhe was black, and that was 
truth, yet that blacknefs was not inconfiftent with comelinefs, which fhe clears 
and that therefore fhe might in part rejoice alio. The other way that this 
depends on the former, is, that fhe may further her project of engaging others 
to rejoice with her, fhe endeavours to remove thefe two occalions of Hum- 
bling (taken from the failings and fufferings of the godly) out of the way of 
weak profefforsj that fhe may get them alongft with her j and fo it agrees 
well with the fcope. 

Fourthly, More particularly conlider the words, wherein fhe endeavours to 
fatisfy thefe doubts ; and ye will find thefe things in them, 1. She concedes 
what is truth, 2. Qualifies it by a diftin&ion, 3. Illuftrates it ; And thefe 
three are in the y.verfe. 4. Inverfe 6. She applies it ; And 5. more parti- 
cularly explicates it. Firfl then (faith fhe) I anfwer, by conceding what is 
truth, / am black, both with croffes and corruptions, that cannot be denied, 
2dly, She qualifies her conceffion, Tho' I be black, yet I am comely } that is, 
I am not univerfally or altogether unlovely , mine eftate is mixed, being made 
up of croffes and comforts, corruptions and graces, beauty and blacknefs. 
%dly, She illuftrates this defcription of her felf, or her mixed condition, by 
two fimilitudes, both tending to one thing, or oae of them tending to fet forth 
her blacknefs, the other her beauty : I am (faith me) like the tents of Kedar r 
which were blackifh,. and of no great value, being, by thefe who lived in 
them, fo frequently tranfported in fr.ch hot countries \ this fets forth her 
blacknefs. The fecond fimilitude is, that fhe was like the curtains of Solomn : 
he built glorious dwellings, and being a rich king^ no queftion had rich hang- 
ings ; this fets forth her beauty : As if me would fay, Ye mull not judge of 
my worth from one fide, efpecially my out-fide, or upon one confideration ; 
for I have, in me, both to humble and comfort me, It may be alio, tho' thefe 


Verfe 6. of the Sonv of Solomon. 59 

tents ofKedar were not outwardly beautiful, yet they were within well fur* 
nifhed \ and that the curtains of Solomon, which were moft rich, had outer 
coverings of fmaller value, as the tabernacle had of badgers skins. And fo 
the fimilitudes illuftrate her condition, and fet out the thing more to the lite; 
As Kedarh tents (faith fhe) look poor and bafe-like, yet, if ye look within, 
they are glorious*, fo think not flrange, if I appear without beaut to the eye, 
there may be, yea, there is comelinefs within, if ye could diicern it j for 
within the King's daughter is all glorious, Pfal. 45. 13. which way of diftingui- 
fhing is a notable piece of fpiritual wifdom and learning, and a great mean of 
peace in our felves *, when what is true of our infirmities, 13 acknowledged, 
and yet the conclufion that tentation would infer, is denied. Here obferve, 
1. The conditions of believers, even the beft of them, are mixed of good and 
ill, fin and grace, comfortable privileges and fad fnfFering*. 2. There is a 
mixture of blacknefs in believers beauty, even in her beft frame and conditi- 
on ; for fhe is now in the King's chamber, and yet we find her faying, / am 
black. 3. Believers, if they would confider what they are rightly,they would 
look on themfelves as having contraries in them. 4. Where challenges are 
juft and well-grounded, they mould be acknowledged, and taken with. 5. It 
is wifdom fo to acknowledge our fin, as we may difference it from any work 
of God's grace in us. 6. Believers their obferving of their fmfulnefs, mould 
not make them deny their grace *, and their obferving their grace, mould not 
make them forget their fmfulnefs. 7. The crofs that follows godlinefs, or the 
ftain and fpot that is on a godly perfon, is fooner taken notice of by on- 
lookers, than either the advantages that follow holinefs, or the graces and 
fpiritual beauty of holy perfons \ this makes it needful to remove this of- 
fence. 8. When it may be edifying, believers would affert the worth and 
beauty of holinefs, and their own comelinefs thereby, as well as confefs their 
own infirmities ; and Chriftian communion will require both. 

Having illuftrate her anfwer, in the 4th place fhe applies it, verfe 6. Look 
not on me (faith ihe) becaufe I am black, feeing I am comely as well as black - 
look not on me only as fuch, and think it not flrange that I am fb. Looking 
here, implieth indignation anddifdain *, andfb, Look not, is hereto be taken, 
1 . As being a caveat againfl indignation or difdain : Look not, &c. that is, 
difdain me not, as if nothing defirable were in me , for, fin often wait ; ng on 
the affliction of God's people, obfeures the beauty of grace, and makes them 
to be difdained and undervalued in the world. 2. This Look not, is a caution 
to diffwade them from gazing, or curious wondring at any crofs that was on 
her, or fin that was in her : It fhould not be the objeel: of their curiofity,much 
lefs of their delight or contentment, to fee it fo, Ob ad. 12. It is condemned 
in Edom, Thcufmtldfi not have looked upon the day of thy brother* Next, while 

I 2 fee 

60 An Expo/ttion Chap. I. 

me faith, Look not upon me becaufe I am black, fhe doth not diffwade them from 
looking on her blacknefs limply, but from looking only on it j that mould not 
be the alone ground of their fearch into her condition, but they mould take 
notice of what good was in her, as well as what was wrong. So then, her 
blacknefs mould not be the only caule of their looking on her *, it mould not 
be their work to ask after her croffes and infirmities, and no more } this ihe 
fuppones may affright and terrify them : And fo it is implied here, that on- 
lookers often pore more on believers infirmities, than, on their graces j and 
this is the fruit which follow s,they procure a {tumbling and fall to themfelves. 

Fifthly, In the reft of the 6. verfe me doth more fully explicate her anfwer, 
in fo far as concerned her blacknefs (for fo the words run in the 6. verfe) two 
ways, i . In fetting out her fufferings in general. 2. In a more particular 
diftribution of the kind and occafions of her feeming unlovelinefs. Generally, 
her fad condition is expreffed in thefe words, The fun hath looked i<pon me. 
The fun in thefe countries had great heat, as we may fee in Jonah 4,, 8. where. 
the beating of the fun upon him did fore vex him. Jacob alfo fays, it burnt 
him in the day-time, (Sea. 31.40. Therefore, Matth. 13. 6,21. the Lord 
expreffeth perfecution, under the fimilitude of the fcorching heat of the fun. 
Here the meaning is, as if fhe hadfaid, It is no marvel I be black, I have 
been made obnoxious to all forts of perfecution, and therefore can have no 
outward beauty, but muft be in the eyes of the world contemptible \ even as 
one cannot endure the hot fun-beams, and not be blackned. So there are in 
this expreffion thefe things imported, 1. Perfecution. 2. Vehement perfecu- 
tion. 3, Vifible effe&s following it, fhe is thereby made black. 4. A conti- 
nuance under it j So the fun's looking on her, till me be made black, imports. 
5. There is her patient enduring of it. 6. There is her fenfe of it. Yet, 
7. She is not afhamed of it, while fhe fhews this her fuffering to be no caufe, 
why others fhould flumble at her. 

Afterward, fhe proceeds more particularly to defcribe, firft her fufferings,. 
then her. infirmities. She defcribes her fuiTerings, 1. In the inftruments of 
them. 2. The caufe of them. 3. The nature of them. The attors are not 
heathens, but mother's children : The vifible Church is the common mother, ; 
who hath children born after the flefh, as well as after the Spirit ; thefe chil- 
dren are profeffors of the fame truth, but really not only ftrangers, but hearts 
enemies to godlinefs and true tendernefs : fuch was IJlmael, and fuch are all 
unrenewed perfons, who are children of the fiefh, and fuch there will be. (Gal. 
4. 29.) fo long as there is a Church vifible *, fuch inftruments the apoftle 
complains of, 2 Cor. 1 1. 26. that he had perils from falfe brethren within,as well 
as from ftrangers without. This is not only mentioned to fhew there are fuch 
enemies, but: to fet out more fully the Church's ftraU ; ihe is often more bit- 
ter] v 

Verfe 6. of'tbe'Song of Solomon. 6\ 

terly, and more fubtilly perfecuted by thefe who are called Chriftians, or pro- 
feifors of the Gofpel, than by heathens themfelves. 

2. The caufe of their fufferings, as from men, is, They were angry with mc, 
faith fhe. She had not done them any perfonal wrong (as David often aflerts 
of himfelf, in the like cafe) tho' flie was not free of fin againft God •, but it 
proceeded from a malicious, malignant difpofiticn of the natural men of the 
world, who, as they hate Chrift, fo do- they hate all that are his, John 15. 
18, 19. accounting them as the off-fcourings of airmen, and troublers of the 
world continually, upon no other ground, but flcaufe they are not fuch as 
themielves, and becaufe God hath chofen them out of the world. This fhews 
both the cauflefnefs of their perfecution, as alfo the degree of bitternefs that 
it did proceed from. From which obferve, 1. There are no fuch bitter ene- 
mies unto a godly perfon, as a gracelefs malignant profefTor : See Ifa. 66. $. 

2. No fort of perfecution doth io blacken, or obfcure the beauty of an honeft 
believer fo much,as the-foul bitter reproaches of malignant profeffors. Yet, 

3. Believers are often even under that crofs. And, 4. The beft beloved belie- 
ver, even Chrift's Bride, will not in the world efchew it ; innocency will be 
no guard, but to the conscience within. And if the Bridegroom himfelf r while 
he was in the world, did not efcape it, the Bride cannot think to go free. 

The nature of her fufferings is expreffed thus, They made me keeper, of the 
vineyards. That this implies fuffering, and no truift put on her, the fcope 
and her complaint makes it clear : befide, that it is given as the evidence of 
the hatred and malice of thefe perfecnters. This general expreflion,, then, 
being compared with other fcriptures, will import thefe ingredients in her 
fuffering, which occafioned her blacknefs *, 1. That her fuffering was heavy 
and painful : for it was a great drudgery, to be put to keep the vineyards'; 
to be made keeper, was to watch both night and day, and fo no wonder fhe 
was fcorched, Matth. 20. 11. The bearing burdens in the vineyard^ in the heat 
of the day, is ipoken of as the greateft weight, and heavier! piece of their 
work. 2. That her fuffering was reproachful \ for the keeping of the vine- 
yards was a bafe and contemptible fervice, therefore it is faid, Jcr. 52. 16'. 
that the poor, who were not taken notice of, were left to drefs the vines \ 
and it is a promife, Ifa. 61. 5. that his people mould have freedom, from 
that drudgery, and grangers mould be imployed in it, for them. 3. That 
her fufferings occaiioned fad diftra&ions to her in the worfnip and fervice of 
God.-, for, in fcriptnre fbmetimes, vine-drefhng is oppofed to the worfhipp'ng 
of God, as a diftratting, diverting exercife, which is very affixing to GodV 
people: Therefore, when they have- a promife of more immediate acceis to 
God's worfhip, it is laid, they mail be liberate from fuch diverting iinpjoy- 
ments, IfarfL^+G. and inftead of thefe, they fliall get another task- to wir, 

6z An Expofition Chap. 


to be Priefis to the Lord, and Minifters of our God, as if thefe exercifes were 
fbmewhat inconiiftent together •, and fo fhe oppofeth her own proper duty 
to this, in the next words : In a word, thefe malignant brethren procured her 
pain, fhame, and diftrattion from the fervice of God, as much as they could, 
and in a great part prevailed. 

Obferv. i. Malice' in rotten profeffors againft godlinefs, will fometimes 
come to a great height. 2. Malice in wicked men thinks nothing of true 
tendernefs, or of thefe who truly are fo •, but efteems them, and ufeth them 
as if they were moft bafe^kd vile. 3. Often in outward things, the pro- 
faneft members of the Church have the preeminence } and the moft godly, 
as to thefe things, are in the meanefi and bafeft condition *, fo as fometimes, 
they appoint the godly as their flaves,to their work. 4. Often, while wicked 
profeffors are in power, the truly godly are under affliction. 

Though this fuffering was iharp,yet me relents her iinful infirmities much 
more fadly, in the words following, But (faith fhe heavily) mine own vine\arl 
have I not kept , and this her flothfulnefs and unwatchfulnefs made her black, 
and alfo procured the biacknefs that was on her by her fufferings. This part 
of the verfe implies, 1. The Bride's privilege. 2. Her duty. 3. Her fin. 
4. Her fenfe of it. (1.) Her privilege is, me hath a vineyard 'of her own , be- 
fide thefe me was put to keep. The Similitude of a vineyard, here, is to be 
taken in another fenfe, than in the former expreifion :, neither are we to 
think ftrange of this, feeing fimilitudes are to be interpret according to the 
different fcope of expreffions, and places in which they are ufed. By vine- 
yard then here, is to be underftood the particular privileges, graces and ta- 
lents of any fort, which are given of God to a believer : thefe are the things 
fhe fhould have watched over} the negle&ing thereof brings biacknefs on 
her, and procures heavy challenges, called a vineyard here, and alfb Chap. 8. 
13. partly, becaufe there are many feveral graces to be found in believers, as 
plants planted in them \ partly, becaufe thefe will furnifh them matter of 
continual exercife and labour } and partly, becaufe what they have, they are 
to improve, that there may be fruit on them, and rent brought in to the 
mafter that intrufted them, Chap. 8. 12, 13. This vineyard is called hers, be- 
caufe the fpecial overfight and charge of it,was committed to her. (2.) Her 
duty is to keep and watch over this vineyard, that is, to improve the ta- 
lents fhe hath gotten^ to fee that no plants be unfruitful, and that no hurt 
from any caufe inward or outward annoy them : Chriftianity, or godlinefs, 
is no idle task*, every privilege hath a duty waiting on it. (3.) Her fin is,that 
what with other diverfions, and what from her own unwatchfhlnefs, fhe had 
neglected the keeping of this vineyard ^ fo that this one task, which was put 
in her hand, fhe had not difcharged it \ but lazinefs came on, and the vine- 

Verfe 7. of the Song of Solomon. 63 

yard was not dreffed \ thorns and nettles grew, and temptations brake in, 
and this marred her fruitfulnefs : In a word, fhe was no way anfwerable to 
the truft was put on her by Chrift. (4.) She refents this: where thefe things 
may be taken notice of, 1. She fees it, and obferves it. 2. She acknowledges 
it. 3. She is fenfibie of it, and weighted with it, as the greateft piece of 
her affliction. It is ill to be unwatchful, for that may draw on both fruit- 
lenf efs and heavinefs on a believer •, but it is good to obferve and be attested 
w'th it, and to be walking under the fenfe of it, even in our moft joyful 
frame, inch as hers was here. 

Here then, Ob/.i. Believers have a painful laborious task of duty committed 
to them. 2. They may much neglect this work and task wherewith they are 
intruded. 3. Neglect and floth makes the weeds to grow in their vineyard, 
and the building which they ought to keep up, to drop thorow. 4. It is not 
wnfuitable or unprofitable for believers, in their mod refreshing conditions 
and frames, fadly to remember their former unwatchfulnefs,. and to be fuit- 
ably affected therewith. 5. Believers mould be well acquaint at home,, how 
it ftands with them as to their own condition and ftate. 6. They who are 
beft verfed in their own condition, will find moft clearly the caufe of all their 
hurt to be in themfelves y whatever is wrong in their cafe, themfelves have 
the only guilty hand in it. 

1 If any mould ask, how makes this laft part of the verfe for her fcope, in 
removing the offence before thefe weak beginners ? I Anf. It doth it well : 
for, faith fhe, there is no reafbn ye fhould ftumble, or be troubled becaufe 
of my afflictions v they were without caufe, as to men, tho' I am under much 
fm and guilt before God : Neither fcarr at godlinefs or joy in Chrift, becaufe 
of my infirmities ; for, thefe fpots came from mine own unwatchfulnefs, and 
not from godlinefs it felf (which is the foul's fpecial beauty) therefore take 
warning from my flips, and ftudy to prevent the bringing on of fuch a ftain 
and blot upon our profeftion, by fecmity and negligence j but efteem not the 
lefs, but the more of Chrift his people and ways, and the beauty of holinefs, 
which is to be feen in them y becaufe, by my unwatchfulnefs and untender- 
nefs, I have marred this beauty in my felf, and that is the reafon I look fo 

Verfe 7. Tell me, thou whom my foul loVeth, where thou feedef y 

where thou make ft thy floe ks to reft at noon : for why (liould I 

be as one that turneth ajtde by the flncks of thy companions * 

In the 7th verfe, we have the third part of the Bride's firft, fpeech ;• ion 
which, flie turneth her felf from the. daughters, to the Bridegroom V and the 


64 An Expofition Chap. 

fcope of what fhe fpeaks here is, that by applying her felf, by prayer and 
faith, to Chrift Jefus (who is, and whom fhe for comfort acknowledges to be 
the great and good Shepherd of his fheep, Jo, 10. n.) me may be'guarded 
againft the hurtful efTe&s of thefe two evils which ihe acknowledged in the 
ibrmer verfe, to wit, afflictions and finful infirmities : In reipeft of the one, 
fhe defires Chrift's guiding j and in refpeft of the other, his confolation : 
that fo ihe being under his charge, may be upheld by him, and kept from 
mifcarrying : That this is the fcope, and fo depends upon the former verfe, 
efpecially the laft part of it, will be clear, by comparing the laft part of this 
verfe, and the laft part of the former together. There are thefe three in it, 
'1. The title given to Chrift. 2. The petition, or thing fought. 3. The ar- 
gument, whereby it is inforced. 

(1). The title is a fweet and affectionate one, O thou whom my foul loveth. 
In this title thefe things are implied, 1. A lovelinefs in Chrift, and fuch a 
foul-affefting and ravifhing lovelinefs, as no creature-beauty hath,or can have. 
2. An ardent and vehement love in her towards him \ fo that fhe might fay, 
her foul loved, honoured, defired, and efteemed him. 3. A difrelifhing of 
all things befide Chrift, as nothing *, He is the only objeft her foul loves, he 
alone hath her heart, and is in the throne, as chief in her affe&ions, and 
hath no allowed co-partner there, to whom this title may be applied. 4. It is 
implied, what title Chrift will befl accept of, even that which bears out moft 
affe&ion to him : there can be no greater honour, or more acceptable piece 
of refpeft put on him by a believer, than this, to own him and avow him 
as the only obje£l of his foul's love } as the Bride doth here, O thou whom 
my foul loveth ! 
' (2.)The thing that is here fought by the Bride,is fet down in two petitions, 
meeting with the twofold ftrait me was in, to wit, of croffes and infirmities-, 
and becaufe fear of fin weighed her moft, fhe begins with the fuit that might 
guard againft that, and in the reafon preffeth it moft. The firft petition then 
is, Tell me where thou feedefi^ fto wit, thy flock *,) for, feeding, here is to be 
underftood attively, that is, where he feeds others •, and not paffively ^ (as in 
other places) where he feeds and delights himfeif. The fecond petition is, 
Tell me where then makefi thy flocks to reft- at noon * 7 that is, make me know, 
where and how thou comforts and refrefhes thy people, under fcorching per- 
secutions and trials. So thefe petitions go upon the relation that is between 
Chrift and his people, of Shepherd and flock, which is frequent in fcripture. 
In fum, that which fhe feeks, is this, Thou who guides all thine, as a fhep- 
herd doth a flock, let me know how thou orders thy people, and carries them 
through in times of {hares, and where thou refrefheft them in time of trouble. 
Thefe.being the two great duties of a fhepherd,are well .performed by Chrift-, 

T. It 

- ■ 

Verfe 7- of the Song of Solomon. 65 

i. It is his work to feed them, and lead them in wholefom and fafe paftures, 
TfaL 23. And, 2. To give them quiet and cool refting-places in the time of 
heat, when the fun becomes fcorching ; and therefore prayeth fhe to him, 
Seeing thou doft both thefe to thine, let me know the right way of partaking of the 
benefit of thy care. Which two petitions imply, 1. That there is a near rela- 
tion betwixt Chrift and all believers, he is the fhepherd, and they the flock, 
Jfa. 40. 1 1. Ezxh 34. 1 1, 12. Pfal. 23- 1,2. 2. That Chrift's flock may be, 
yea, ufually are in hazard both of fin or ftraying,and alfo of afhittion. 3.That 
Chrift Jefus is tender of his people, in reference to any hazard they are in, of 
fin, or fuffering , He is the good fhepherd, Jo. 10. 11. He carries the lambs in 
his bofom y Ifa. 40. 1 1. He ft an ds and feeds his flock, Micah 5. 4. 4- That he 
hath refling places, and fhadows for refrefhing and hiding his people, in all 
the ftorms and heats they may meet with. 5. That believers fometimes,un- 
der ftraits, may not know well how, either to rid themfelves cut of tenta- 
tions, or to quiet themfelves under croffes, till he help them with light and 
ftrength : they cannot know the Well, whence their fupply and confolation 
cometh, till it be difcovered, as it was to Hagar. 6. That, even then, when 
they know not how to be guarded againft fin, and fhadowed under fiiffering, 
Chrift knows both, and hath help in both thefe cafes provided for them. 
7. That as it is he who muft guide them in fnares, and fupport them in fuf- 
ferings j fo believers, when they are at their own wits-end in refpeel: of both, 
ought even then to look for help and direction in thefe from him. 

The reafon preffeth for his guiding, with a great weight j For, why (faith' 
fhe) jhould I be as one that turns afide, after the flocks of thy companions ? In 
which, thefe things are implied, 1. That Chrift may have companions, (not 
who are indeed fb, but) flich who fet themfelves up equally befide him, and 
make it their defign to have others to follow them, but do not follow Chrift 
themfelves } Thus hereticks, falfe Chrifts, Matth. 24. 23, 24. hifts, idols, or 
whatever is equalled or preferred to Chrift, and not fubjecled to him,is made,' 
as it were, his companion : fure, the fcope fhews, they were not friendly 
companions , but it fpeaks the nature of corrupt men, who are feducers, and 
the fin of feduced people, that the one feeks to themfelves, and the other 
attributes to them, too much. 2. That thefe companions may have flocks, 
and many followers, even as our Lord Jems hath-, fo Matth. 24. 23. 2 Vet. 
2, 1, &c. 3. That believers, if not by Chrift's care prevented, may go aftray 
after fome of thefe companions, and throng on in a way of error and defecti- 
on with them. 4. That believers will be afraid of this ill, and alfo fenfiblc 
of their own propenfhefs to it. 5; It imports an abhorrency and indignation 
- at that evil, of being carried away awhoring from Chrift,IF^>' (faith fhe) flicuid 
I be 7 &c. ? 6. She accounts it a great mercy to be kept in Chrift's way, and 

K makes 

66 An Expo fit ion Chap, 

makes it a main p : ece of her prayer, that this may be granted to her as her 
mercy. 7. She exercifes faith on Chrift, and vents her requeft by prayer to 
him, concerning; every thing fhe wants -, be wanting what will, fhe betakes 
her^gif to him for the obtaining of it. 8. Where there is a lothnefs to .go 
affrayer fall in fnares, it will ftir up to ferious wreftling with Chrift to pre- 
vent it. 9. Hazard of fin to believers (who are fenfible of their inclination 
to go aftray) and weaknefs to hold on in God's way, is a great motive, that, 
being made life of in prayer, hath much weight for obtaining direction, and 
an hearing from Chrift :, as it is a notable fpur to ftir up to pray ferioufly, 
For (faith fhe) why Jliwld I be, &c. ? which fpeaketh forth her indignation a- 
gainft every wrong way, and her expectation, that if any thing prevailed with 
him, that would :, and fo we will find her fuccefs in this fuit, to follow in th« 
next words* 

id Parr. CHRIST's Words. 

Verfe 3. If thou k*io\v not -> thou fairefl among ipomen^ go 

thy way forth by the foot fiefs of the flock^ and feed thy kids be- 

Jide the JJ?cpherds tents. 

From the 8th verfe to the 12th, follows Chrift 's exprefs return to her for- 
mer fuit *, and becaufe it is he that fpeaks, we take it up as the fecond part of 
tlje chapter. In the Bride's condition there was, 1. Cro/Fes and afflictions. 

2. Sins and infirmities 3. Snares, and hazard of new failings. Now Chrift 
fo frames his anfwer, as he may meet with all her necefrities moft comfort- 
ably and lovingly *., and becaufe fhe was moft arTe&ed with the fear of fin, he 
anfwers that nrft : And fo he doth, 1. In order to her being guided againft 
ihares, give a direction for her duty, iftrfi 8. 2. In order to her confolation 
under her fuffering,and the ienfe of her failings,he commends her, verfe 9,1c. 

3. He gives her a promife, in order to her further confolation, verfe 1 1. The 
fcope of all is, to comfort her j and every part of the anfwer, being from 
Chrift' s mouth, may be effectual for that end. 

In the direction, verfe 8, there is, 1. The title he gives her. 2. The di- 
rections themfelves, which are two. 3. A fuppofition, or ground upon which 
he gives them. 

Firft, The title he gives her is, O then fair eft .among women ^ which is 
much from Chrift to the Bride, who immediately before ftiled her felf black: 
believers who are humble under the fenfe of their own infirmities, are never 
the ieis highly efteemed by Chrift, nor are always his thoughts of believers as 
theirs are'of themfelves i nay, by the contrary, Hufhing at their own de- 

Verfe 8. of the Song of Solomon. 67 

formity, is a chief part of their beauty. The giving her this title, implies 
thefe three things, i. A real worth in a believer, beyond the mod: noble per- 
fon in the world. 2. A real refpect unto,and efteem that Chrift hath of them, 
which he hath of none other. 3. Wonderful tendernefs, condefcending, for 
her confolation, to intimate thefe his thoughts of her, to her felf 4 , now,when 
ihe was otherwife fadly afflicted, and under a double diftrefs. 

If it be asked, how thefe excellent titles and commendations may be ap- 
plied to a fmful believer. Jnf Thefe four ways, 1 . By communication and 
participation of the Divine Nature, they have a ftamp of the Spirit of holi- 
nefs imparted to them, whereby they refembleGod, 2 Pet. 1.4. and none o- 
ther in the world can compare with them in this. 2. In refped of the impu- 
tation of ChrifTs righteoufnefs, wherewith they are adorned, and which 
they have put on, which makes them very glorious and lovely ^ fo that they 
are beautiful beyond all others, through his comelinefs put upon them. 3. In 
refpeft of ChrifVs gracious acceptation, whereby he doth efteem otherways 
of them, than of the molt royal and beautiful in the world, they find fuch 
favour in his eyes. 4. In refpecl of his defign, project and purchafe, me is 
fo, and to be made Co in end *, he will have his people made compleatly beau- 
tiful and fpotlefs, before he have done with them, Eph. 5. 26. with cut [pot 
and wrinkle : all which are peculiar to a believer, of whom glorious things 
are fpoken and written, which are applicable to none other. 

The directions are two, Would thou know, faith he, how to be kept out 
of fnares ? Then, 1. Look how the old worthies walked, and follow their 
way. 2. Have refpecl: to the publick ordinances, and hold near them, that 
you may have direction from the Word, by thefe to whom I have commit- 
ted the truft of difpenfing the fame: I have (faith he) no new light to give 
you,nor any new way to heaven to mew you,nor any new means,ordinances, 
or ofr7cers,to fend amongfT: you,nor yet mull ye expect immediate revelations , 
but walk in the light that mines to you, by the preaching of the Word by 
my minifters, who are the under-fhepherds which I have let over you : for 
thus I guide all by my counfel, whom I afterward receive to glory. 

The firffc direction (go thy way forth by the foot-flcps of the flock ) hold forth, 
1. That all believers, of old and late, are of one flock, of one common con- 
cernment, and under the care of one chief Shepherd : this is the flock fpoken 
of verfe 7. whereof Chrift is Shepherd. 2. That there is but one way to 
heaven, for the fubftantials of faith and godlinefs, in which they that went 
before have walked, and thefe that follow after muft walk in the fame way, 
if ever they expecl: to come there. 3. That there are many in all age ~, whom 
God hath helped in trying times to keep in his way, and have been carried 
well through all difficulties to heaven. 4. That believers would obferve 

K 2 thefe 

68 An Expofition Chap. !« 

thefe beyond others, as being fpecially worthy of imitation. 5. That they 
fhould and may follow the commendable practices of believers in former 
times, and not affect, fingularity. 6. That it is commendable, and often fafe 
in times when new opinions and dottrines bear fway, to follow their way, 
who we are fure went before us to heaven, Heb. 13. 7. 1 The/f. 2. 14. Heb. 6. 
14. This imitation of others, is to be limited with that neceffary caution, 
in fo far as the practice of others agrees with the firft pattern, Chrifr, 1 Cor. 
1 1. 1. In a word, this direction mews there is no way, but the good old way, 
to be asked for, and followed in the moft declining times, Jer. 6. 16. and 
that we would keep the very print of their fteps, ftudying to be followers 
of their faith, who have been honourably carried through before us. 

The 2d Direction puts them to the right ufe and improvement of the mini- 
stry of the Word, which he will have them to refpeft •, feed thy kids be fide 
the jljepherds tents. Shepherds here,in the plural number, are the fervants of 
that one Shepherd, whole own the fheep are : So minifters are called often 
fhepherds or paftors,both in the Old and New Teftament, 1 . Becaufe of their 
relation to Chrift, by whom they are intrufted to feed his fheep :, He is the 
owner, they are but fhepherds, Ez.ek. 34. 2. Becaufe of their relation to the 
flock, which is committed to their care, and for which they muft give an ac- 
count^ Heb. 13. 17. 3. Becaufe of the nature of their charge, as being afli- 
ducus^ difficult, and tenderly to be gone about } for, ftich is the work and 
care of a fhepherd, as we may fee by what Jacob fpeaks ofhimfelf, when he 
had the charge ofLabanh fiock,Gen. 31. 40. 4. To fhew the neceility of that 
ordinance. And 5. The refpett people ought to have to them, who are o- 
ver them in the Lord : no flock needs a fhepherd more than a congregation 
needs a minifter j people without labourers, being,like fheep without a fhep- 
herd, Matth. 9. 36. under a fad neceifxty of wandring and being loft. Next, 
Shepherds tents are mentioned, with allufion to thefe parts, where fhepherds 
in the wildernefs carried tents about with them •, and fo to be near the tent, 
was to be near the fnepherd : it is like they kept lambs and kids neareft un- 
to their tents, jbecaufe they needed more overfight than the reft of the 
flock-, for a lamb to be at its liberty in a large place, was dangerous, Hof^ 16. 
By kids, we underftand young unexperienced believers or profeffors •, where- 
by it is clear, 1. That there are kids and young ones in Chrift's flock. Yea, 
2. That the ftrongefl believers, even the Bride, have their own infirmities •, 
and there are fome particulars wherein they are weak : for this direction is . 
given to the Bride, as a particular and experienced believer ^ and feeing ordi- * 
narily weak believers are called lambs, and unrenewed men goats, it may be 
kids here are mentioned to point at the reliques of fmful nature, even in be- 
lievers, which is the reafon why they need ftill overfight. 3-. It is clear, that 


Verfe 8. of the Song of Solomon. 69 

the office of the miniftery, is a {landing, perpetual and neceffary office in 
the Church, otherwife this direction would not always fatisfy the be- 
liever's qtieftion here propoied. 4. The flrongefl believers have need 
and ufe of a miniflry. 5. It is a great part of a minifier's charge, to g 
keep believers right,' in fnaring and feducing times, £pfc. 4. 12* 13; &c. 
6. Believers would make ufe of publick ordinances, and Chrifl's minifters, 
especially in reference to fnares and errors :, and they would take their directi- 
ons from them, and in their difficulties confult with them, and their coun- 
fel would be laid weight upon. 7. Allowed dependence on a miniflry, is 
a great mean to keep fouls from error *, whereas, on the contrary, when 
no weight is laid on a miniflry, unliable fouls are hurried away. 8. Chrift 
hath given no immediate or extraordinary way to be fought unto, and made 
ufe of, even by his Bride, in her difficulties \ but the great mean he will have 
her to make ufe of, is a lent miniflry, and therefore no other is to be expe- 
cted : It is no wonder therefore the devil (when his defign is to cry down 
truth and fpread error) feek to draw the Lord's people from the ihepherds 
tents j and no wonder fouls, who once do cafl off refpett to their overfeers, 
be hurried away with the temptations of the times, as in experience hath of- 
ten been found a truth. 9. Miniflers mould have a fpecial eye on the weakeft 
of the flock,their care mould be that the kids may be next them : Our bleffed 
Lord doth fb, when the lambs are carried in* his own bofom y Ifa. 40. 1 r. and 
therefore, feeing weak believers have mofl need of Chrift 'so verfight, if they 
begin to flight the miniflry and ordinances, they cannot but be a ready prey \ 
and the devil hath gained much of his intent, when he hath once gained that. 
O that men would try whofe voice that is, that faith, Come aback from the 
jhepherds tents (when Chrift fays, Abide near them) It is as if a wolf would de- 
lire the lambs to come out from under the fhepherd's eye. And laftly. When 
Chrifl gives this direction to his own Bride, we may fee he allows none to be 
above ordinances in the militant Church *, it will be foon enough then, when 
they are brought to heaven, and put above the reach of feducers. 

The fuppofttion is in thefe words, If thou know not, &c. which is not any 
upbraiding anfwer, but tendeth to infinuate the direction the more : I have 
given you means (faith he) and fo he puts her back to the ferious ufe of 
thefe, as he fent Paul,. Afts 9. to Ananias y to have his mind made known by 
him. Which implies, 1. That a believer may be in many things ignorant. 
2. That Chrift pities the ignorant, and hath companion on them who are 
out of the way, or are in hazard to go out of the way, Hcb. p 3. That be- 
lievers would. not, in praying to Chrifl, neglett the ordinary means in feek- 
ing knowledge •, nor, in ufing diem, neglect him : She prays to him,, and' 
he directs her in them< 4. Directions for a believer's walk, given by Chrift V. 


jo An Expojition Chap. i. 

minifters from his word, are his own, and are accounted by him as if foe did 
immediately fpeakthem himfelf 5. Chrift would have his minihry and or- 
dinances kept up in efteem and requeft amongft his people j therefore he will 
not be particular in giving anfwer to his Bride, but fends her to them, that 
foe might know the nfefulnefs of them, and learn to know his mind from 
them. 6. They cannot expe£t to make great progrefs in religion, that ne- 
gleft the miniftry, feeing it is to them that Chrift recommends his own Bride : 
"If people were inquiring at Chrift, what fhouldthey do now, in a time when 
temptations to error and defection abound ? No other anfwer were to be ex- 
pected, than what he gives to his Bride here : Yea, if Abraham were intreat- 
ed to fend fome from the dead, to advife people to abhor profanity and er- 
ror, his anfwer would be. They have Mofes and the prophets, they ihall have 
no other ^ and no other would prevail, if thefe ordinances do not. People 
would confcientioufly and thriftily ufe the means of light they have ■, for it 
Is by fuch the Lord trains his own Bride : and tho' he will admit her as a 
courtier to his chamber, yet this familiarity he admits her to, is in the ufe 
of ordinances ^ and he will have no believer above ordinances and need of mi- 
nifters, while he keeps them within the compafs of fnares. 

Vcrfe 9. I have compared thee, my loVe^ to a company of 

horfes hi Pharaoh'* chariots. 
Vcrfc 1 o. Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck^ 

with chains of gold. 

The commendation follows, verfes 9, 1 o. in which the Bridegroom hath 
refpeft: to two things, which afni&ed her moll in her condition. 1. That ihe 
was in hazard to be a prey to every fin, and to every enemy. 2. That fhe 
lay under many blots, and was made black by her own mifcarriages : There- 
fore the Lord, that he might comfort her againft thofe, is brought in fpeak- 
Ing thus, Thou art neither fo weak, nor fo black and unbeautiful as the world 
thinks thee, and as thou efteems of thy felf : my teftimony of thee is better 
to be believed, than either the world's, or thy own •, and I aifert thee to 
be flately and ftrong, beautiful and comely. 

Firft, Verfe 9. He fets out her ftatelinefs, ftrength and courage, by a fi- 
militude taken from horfes : Are (faith he) horfes {lately and ftrong ? for fo 
in Job is the horfe defcribed, chap. 39. 19, 20, &c. and is not a company of 
them much more {lately, efpecially a company of Egyptian horles, which were 
the bed in the world ? z.Chrop. 1. 17. If a. 31. 1. And if any in Egypt were 
beyond others, certainly Pharaoh the king had fuch in his own chariots. Now 


Verfc 9. of the Song of Solomon. 71 

(faith he) if thefe be lovely, ftrong and ftately, then thou art fo } for, I have 
compared thee to fuch : This expreilion, / have compared thee y bears out the 
confirmation of the aiTertion ^ for, it is not men that think thee fo, but I, 
who knows where true worth is, and who can be furety for my own aiTer- 
tion, I have faid thou art as ftrong as thefe, I have likened thee to them,and 
made thee like them. This holds forth thefe things, 1. That there is an ex- 
cellent courage and boldnefs, wherewith the believer is fiirnifhed beyond o- 
thers } he heboid as a lion^ Prov. 28. 1. both in duties and fufferings. 2. That 
there is in believers an undauntednefs of fpirit, and an unconquerablenefc, 
that overcome they cannot be :, better fight with all Pharaoh's chariots, than 
with them, Zech. 12. Eev. 12. 3. The words hold out, that there is an in- 
fallible certainty in this truth : we have here ChrifVs verdict of it, he in his 
reckoning counts believers fo, and he cannot be miftaken. 4. There is the 
caufe why the Bride is fo ftrong and lately, he makes here fo : And fo thefe 
words, lhave compared thee, may be taken efficiently, I riave made thee com- 
parable, or made thee to be like them \ and there is an article in the Original, 
which may confirm this, and the words may be turned, like my company of 
horjes, or of my hor/es \ which fhews, that, as believers themfelves are Chrift's, 
fo alfb, whatever ftock of fpiritual firength and courage they have, it is his, 
and from him : And that they are Chrift's, and made ufe of by him, ihews 
the ufe of their ftrength, Mic. 4. 13. and fo, Zech, 10. 3. they are called my 
goodly horfe. 5. It implies this, that it becomes not believers to droop, faint, 
or be difcouraged under difficulties, feeing he hath paft fuch a fentence, or 
given fuch a verdict of them •, it is a refle&ing on him, as if it were not fo 
with them as he affirms, or as if he did bear falfe teftimony concenr'ng them. 
Now, this courage, ftrength and boldnefs, which is here attributed to belie- 
vers, is to be underftood of that which is competent to them peculiarly as 
believers *, and their fuccefs in all their fpiritual conflicts, is ftill to be looked 
upon with refpeft to the event, which is ever to be more than conquerors, 
in the iifue at leafr, whatever appears for the prefent. 

The fecond part of the commendation is, verfe 10. wherein her comelinefV 
and beautiful adorning is fet out : Tho' thou think thy felf black (faith he) 
yet, Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, and thy neck with chains of gold.. 
What is meant by neck, or cheeks, or chains, or rows of jewels,, we think not 
necefTary to be particularly inquired into : the allufion is to women, who, in 
thefe places > by fuch ornaments ufed to be adorned 5 and poflibly there is 
here alfo an allufion to the horfes of great ones, who are faid to have chains 
of gold about their necks, Judg. 8. 25. 

The fcope and fnm of the verfe may be taken up in thefe things, 1. That 
tho' the Bride have fome infirmities,- yet there is exceeding great comelinsfs 


7 1 4n Expofition Chap. 1. 

and lovelinefs to be {een in her ^ fhe is laid to be comely, and that out of 
Chrift's own mouth : Certainly grace puts much real beauty upon the perfon 
that hath it. 2. That fhe hathjnoe ornaments than one ; there are here jew 
els in the plural number, and chains of gold alfo : One grace goes never alone 
neither is imputed righteoufnefs and fanctification ever feparate , whoever hath 
one grace, hath all 3. That this beauty, which is to be Teen on believers 
is univerfal as to the fubject. ', for, here one part of the body is adorned, as 
well as another, both neck and cheeks -, the whole man is renewed, and the 
perfon is juftified. 4. This comelinefs grows not of any flock within the be* 
liever, nor is it natural to him, but it is communicate or imparted beauty, 
fuch as is put on, a comelinefs proceeding from the beneficence of another, 
and is the work of a cunning workman. See Ez,ek. 16. 10, 1 1. where fimili- 
tudes, like thefe in this text, are made ufe of. 

V^rfe l 1. We will make thee borders of gold, with finds of fiber. 

In the 1 1 . verfe , for confirming of the former confolation, he gives her a 
promife ', the fcope whereof is to obviate an objection, which jealous fenfe 
might make againft what he hath faid : How fhall beauty be obtained, or con- 
tinued ? might fhe fay, whence ihall it come, feeing I am fo black and loth- 
fom ? To this he anfwers, as it were by a fweet promife, We will make, &c. 
Wherein we may confider, 1 . The thing promifed, it is borders of gold, and 
finds offdver. 2. The party promifing, and undertaking the performance of 
it : We will make them to thee, faith he. 

Borders of gold, and finds of fdver (t is like) have been fome fpecial orna- 
ments in thefe days \ and that which is here pointed at by them, in general, 
feems to be an addition to what formerly the Bride poffeffed -, he would add 
to her beauty, and glorioufly complete it : And certainly it muft be an excel- 
lent work, which needs fuch workers as are here fpoken of. We take the 
thing promifed, to comprehend the increafe, continuance and perfecting of 
her comelinefs and beauty ; in which work the bleffed Trinity are ingaged : 
and fo, the fecond thing is, who undertakes it * 9 We will make thee, faith the 
Bridegroom : This word, make, in the Original, is ufed for making of man at 
firft, Gen, 1. 26. as alfo, for renewing of him, and begetting holinefs in him, 
Tfal. 1 oc. becaufe it is no lefs work to renew, than to create man. The num- 
ber here is changed from the fingular, / have compared, Sec. verfe 9. to 
the plural, We will, &c. As it is alfo in the firft making of man, from the fin- 
gular, He made heaven and earth, to the plural, Let Vs make man according 
to our image } as if the Holy Ghoft, purpofly, in mentioning this renewing 
work of grace, did allude to the firft work of man's creation. And this, 1. To 
Ihew the excellency of it -, not that God was put to anv deliberation, but that 


Verfe II. of the Son^ of Solomon. 73 

the work was, and is exceeding excellent, and therefore deliberately (as it 
were) gone about, 2. To mew, that man hath no more hand in his renova- 
tion than his firft creation \ that is, he is no more of himfelf able to bring a- 
bout the one than the other. By this We, we do not underftand God fpeak- 
ing of himfelf in the plural number, as in fome languages, for honour's caule,' 
kings do of themfelves : For, (1.) If that were more honourable, then it 
would have always been ufed for God's honour, efpecially at folemn times* 
fuch as when the Law was given *, but we find the contrary true from the 
Icripture. (2.) Altho' that manner of fpeaking be ufed in fome other laugua- 
ges, yet it is never lb ufed in the Hebrew tongue (as, by thefe who under- 
ftand it, is afferted, and by fome of the moft learned Jews is acknowledged) 
and therefore we underftand the Trinity of Perfons in one God-head to be 
here underftood } for, this One is alfb Three, the Father, Son and Spirit, ha- 
ving a joint defign in promoving the falvation of the elect, Ifa. 61. 1,2. And 
grace being a work, and gift prayed for, from them all, Rev. 1.4, 5. it muft 
be understood of thefe three blefTed Perfons of the holy Trinity, this work 
being common to the three Perfons of the God-head, and communicable to 
no other, This then makes the confolation ftrong , for, faith (Thrift, Altho* 
the perfecting of your grace be a great task, and far above your reach, yet 
fear not, We y the Father, Son arid Spirit have undertaken it, and ihall make 
it out to you. 

Hence we may learn, 1. That grown believers, even the Bride, hath need 
of more grace and fpiritual comelinefs \ there is a neceilky of looking after a 
further growth in thofe, even to be tranfchangedyrow ghry to glory, 2 Cor. 3. 
ult. 2. That growing in grace, and perfeverence therein, is a great confola- 
tion and comfort to a true believer ^ and therefore the promife of it is given 
to the Bride for that end here. 3. That neither growth in grace, nor perfe- 
verence therein, is a work of the believer's own working, but the omnipo- 
tency of grace is exercifed here. 4. There is plurality of Perfons in one God- 
head •, the God-head, that is /, is alio We. 5. All the Perfons of the blef- 
ied Trinity concur,and are engaged in promoving the holinefs, and in perfect- 
ing the beauty of a believer. 6. All the graces of a believer are pieces of the 
workmanfhip of the holy Trinity : Grace then muft be an excellent thing. 
7. The perfecting and perfeverance of a believer is infallibly fure and certain, 
feeing all the Perfons of the God-head are engaged in this work*, and they 
who this day are believers, may promife this to themfelves. 8. Much of be- 
lievers beauty is yet in the promife, and in the perfecting •, fo that it hath its 
defects and imperfections while they are here. 9. What is promifed is fo 
fure, that it ought to be no lefs comfortable than if it were enjoyed •, for the 
p r omife ought to have no lefs weight for that end, than the former eommen- 

L dation, 7 

74 4n Expofition Chap. i. 

dation. 10. Chrift allows his people freedom from anxiety, becaufe of things 
that are to come,and to be comforted in him again ft the fears of thofe,as well 
as to draw confolation from him againfl any evil that is prefent •, therefore is 
this intimate unto them. u. Believers ought ftill to hold all their enjoy- 
ments and privileges as from him, and the expectation of what is coming, as 
well as the performance of what is pari. 12. Faith in the promife hath a 
large comprehenfive object to reft upon, and to draw confolation from, even 
the power of the God-head, and what may be by the Father, Son and Spirit 
created, and brought about for a believer's good, even tho 5 it have not at 
prefent at prefent a being } We will make thee what is wanting and what is 
needful, fays the promife : Creating power is engaged to through his work 
concerning them, / ere 'ate the fruit of the lips , Ifa. 57. 19. and, I will create Je- 
Tufalem a joy, &c. More cannot be deiired, and lefs the Lord allows not. 

Part 3. BRIDE's Words. 
Verfe 12. While the Xing fitteth at bis table, my fpikenard fend- 

eth forth the Jmell thereof. 
Verfe 13. A bundle of myrrht is my Beloved unto me 5 he fiall 

ly all night betwixt my breafts. 
Verfe 1 4. My Beloved u unto me as a clujler of campbire in the 

vineyards of En-gedi. 

The third part of the chapter follows in thefe three verfes, 12, 13, 14. In 
it, the Bride expreiTeth how refrefhful Chrift was to her, and how {he did fo- 
lace her felf in him : This fhe holds forth, not only in the fweet and warm 
title ihe gives him, but further in thefe three things, (1.) She declares the 
comfortablenefs of the fellowship fhe had with him, verfe 12. (2.) By two 
companions fhe illuftrates it, in the beginning of the 13. and 14. verfes. (3.) 
She fets forth the warmnefs of her own afteftions to him,in the end ofver. 1 3. 

The titles fhe gives him are two, Firfi, The King, whereby his fovereignty 
and majefty is fet forth. The Second is, Beloved, or Weibeloved, a title im- 
porting much love and affection : It differs from that title, my love, which he 
gave her, verfe 9. for that is a compellation given to her by him, as from a 
fuperior to an inferior, or as from an husband to a wife *, this title, which flie 
here gives him, is as from an inferior, as a wife to her husband. The firft 
holds forth condescending tendernefs } the fecond, relpeclive love j but both 
agree in tbi§, that they are moft loving and affc&ionate titles. 

She fets forth die comfortablenefs of Chrift's fellowfhip, verfe 12. where 


Verfc 12. of the Song of Solomon. 75 

we are to confider thefe three things, 1. The privilege of his fweet company,' 
which foe enjoyed, in thefe words, The Kingfitteth at his table. 2. The effett 
thereof, held forth in this fimilitude, my fpikenard, &c. 3. The connexion 
of thefe two, in this expreflion, While the Kingfitteth, &c. 

Firft, The King, here fpoken of, is Chrift, as was cleared, verfe 4. His m- 
bk, or feafting-houfe, is the Gofpel, Prov. 9. 1, &c. where the feafi of fat 
things is prepared, If a. 25. 6. His fitting at his table, or her fitting with him 
at it, imports familiar fellowfhip with him by the Gofpel : So the table of the 
Lord is taken, 1 Cor. 10. 21. mdMatth. 22. 4. The comfortable fellowfhip, 
that is to be had with him by the Gofpel, is held forth under the fimilitude 
of a great feafi: -, as fellowfhip in glory, and enjoying of him there, is fet out 
by eating and drinking with him at his table, Luke 22. 29, 30. Now, this is 
mofl friendly, when Chrift not only furnifhes a table, Pfal. 23. 5. but he 
comes and fits down, and fups with them, and admits them to fup with him, 
Rev. 3. 21. it is called His table, becaufe he both furnifhes it, and is Matter 
and Maker of the feaft, yea, the matter of it alfo. 

idly, The efTeft of this fellowfhip is,my fpikenard fendeth forth the fmell there- 
of. Spikenard here fignifies the graces of the Spirit, wherewith the believer 
is furnifhed out of the treafure of the fweet fpices that are in Chrift : which 
are compared to fpikenard, becaufe grace is precious in itfelf, and favoury and 
pleafant to God, Pfal. 141. 2. and to others alfo, who have fpiritual fenfes. 
To fend forth the fmell, is to be in lively exercife, and to be frefh and vigo- 
rous •, grace, without fmell or lively exercife, being like flowers fomewhat 
withered that favour not, or like unbeaten fpice,that fends not forth its favour. 

$dly, There is the connexion of this effe& (which is fp comfortable to her) 
with Chrift's prefence, as the Caufe : It is while he fits, that her fpikenard fend* 
eth forth its fmell ^ it is then, and not elfe, that her graces flow : fuch influ- 
ence hath his prefence on her, as a cool-wind hath on a garden, for making 
the fmell thereof to flow out, as it is chap. 4. 16. 

Here obferve, 1 . Chrift the Bridegroom is a King. 2. It makes all his con- 
defcending to fmners the more lovely, admirable and comfortable, that he is 
fo excellent •, that he, being fuch a King, fitteth at the table with poor be- 
lievers, is much ; Love in Chrift brings his majefty, as it were, below itfelf, 
to feed and feaft his poor people. 3. There is a way of moft fweet and com- 
fortable communion to be had even with the King, in his own ordinances. 
4. There is a great difference betwixt an ordinance or duty, and Chrift's pre- 
fence in it *, thefe are feparable. 5. It is Chrift prefent that makes a feaft 
to a believer, and makes all Gofpel-ordinances and duties fo refreflrful. 6. Be- 
lievers may, and will obferve, when Chrift is at the table, and when not ; 
and it will be empty to them when he is abfent. 7. All the provifion where- 
in 2 with 

J 6 An Expofition Chap. I. 

with believers table is furnifhed, and they are feafted, is Chrift. 8. Chrift 
flioald have a continued dwelling in the believer, and they a continual con- 
veiling with him, as thefe who diet ordinarily at one table. 

The erYecl: (namely the flowing of her graces) and its connexion with his 
pn fence, as thecaufe, fhews, i. There is a flock of grace, and fpikenard in 
them, with whom Chrift ufeth to fup , and there is no other but fuch admit- 
ted to his table. 2. The graces of the Spirit, in believers, may be in a great 
part without favour, void of lively exercife, almoft dead as to its effetts. 3. 
It is exceedingly refrefhful to believers, to have their graces flowing and act- 
ing. 4. Chrift's prefence hath much influence to make all things lively and 
favcury ; where he fits, all things that are befide him (as it were) bloffoms 
and favours : the graces of his people are then very frefh and lively. And, 
5. Tho' grace be favoury in itfelf, yet in Chrift's abfence that favour will be 
reftrained, and not fent forth v for kis implied, that when the King fat not 
at his table, her fpikenard did not fend forth its fmell. 6. Chrift's compa- 
ny, or fellowfhip with him, will not only be prized by believers, as it brings' 
fenfible comfort to them *, but alfo as it revives their graces, and makes them 

Secondly, Her fatisfaftion in Chrift's fellowfhip, verfes 13, 14. is ifeftrate 
m two fimilitudes, whereby her holy fbndnefs (to fpeak fo) on him appears. 
The firft fimilitude is, a bundle ofmyrrhe. Myrrhe was a precious and favoury 
fpice, made ufe of in the anointing oil, Exod. 30. 23. and in embalming Chrift's 
body : A bundle of it, fignifies abundance of it, not a ftalk or a grain, but a 
lundle, that muft be of more worth and value than a leffer quantity. The/f- 
cond fimilitude, to the fame fcope, is, a cluftcr of camphire, or cyprefs - a 
fweet, odoriferous and precious wood in thefe parts , and a clufter of it, im- 
plies a congeries of it, having much of its excellency bound up together : 
And under thefe two fimilitudes (becaufe one is not enough to fet forth the 
thing) is underftcod a moft precious- refrefhful excellency which is to be 
found in Chrift, and wherewith the moft de fir able excellency amongft die 
creatures being compared, he is much more excellent than they all : He is 
jnore fweet and precious than a clufter, even of that camphire which grows 
in the vineyards of En-gedi, where it is like the moft precious of that kind 
grew. Now, thefe expreffions hold forth, 1. Chrift's precioufhefs. 2. His 
efficacy and vertue. 3. His abounding in both 5 the worth and vertue that 
is in him, cannot be comprehended, nor told. 4. The Bride's wifdom,in ma- 
king nfe of fuch things to defcribe Chrift ; and her afTeclion, in preferring 
him to all other things, and in fatisfying her felf in him $ which is the laft 
thing in thefe verfes. 

This refpea of hers, or the warmnefs of her affettion to him, is fet forth 


Verfe 15. of the Song of Solomon. 77 

two ways, i/r, In that expreffion, he is unto me (which is both in the begin- 
ning of the 13. and in the beginning of the 14 verfe) whereby is fignified, not 
only Chrift's worth in general, but, 1. His favourinefs and lovelinefs to her 
in particular \ fhe fpeaks of him, as fhe her felf had found him. 2. To ex- 
prefs what room fhe gives him in her affe&ion, he was lovely in himfelf, and 
he was fo to her, and in her efteem •, He is (faith fhe) a bundle of myrrhe 
unto w, a clufier of camphire to me : This is further clear from that other 
expreilion, namely, he Jhall ly all night (faith fhe) betwixt my breafls, even as 
one huggs and embraces whom they love, or what they love, and keeps it in 
their arms, and thrufts it in their bofom j fo (faith* fhe) my Beloved fhall 
have my heart to reft in •, and if one room be further in than another, there 
he fhall be admitted. Which imports, 1. Great love to him. 2. A fatisfying 
her fpiritual fenfes on him. 3. Tenacioufhefs in keeping and retaining him, 
when he is gotten, and great lothnefs to quit or part w T ith him. 4. It mews 
his right feat and place of refidence \ the bofom and heart is Chrift's room 
and bed. 5. It fhews a continuance in retaining him and entertaining him \ 
fhe would do it, not for a ftart, but for all night. 6. A watchfu.lnefs in not 
interrupting his reft, or difquieting of him \ He fhall not be troubled (faith 
fhe) but he fhall ly all night, unprovoked to depart. Thefe are good evi- 
dences of affe&ion to Chrift, and offer ground for good directions how to walk 
under fenfible manifestations, when he doth communicate himfelf. 

Part 4. CHRISTY Words, 
Verfe 15. Behold, thou art fair, my Loye ^ behold, thou art 

fair, thou haft doVes eyes. 

Thefe words contain a part of that excellent and comfortable conference be- 
tween Chrift and the Spoufe : There is here a mutual commendation one of 
another, as if they were in a holy conteft of love, who mould have the laft 
word in exprefhng of the other's commendation. In the verfe before, the 
Bride hath been exprefling her love to Chrift,and he again comes in upon die 
back of this, exprefling his efteem of her, and that with a behold, £ehold 3 &c. 

If ye look upon this verfe in itfelf^ and with its dependence on the former 
words, it will hold out thefe things*, 1. That love-fellowfhip with Chrift 
muft be a very heartfom life : O the fweet, mutual fatisfaclion that is there ! 
2. That Chrift muft be a very loving and kindly husband •, fo have all they 
found him,thathave been married unto him: And therefore,^. 5. 27. he is 
propofed as a pattern to all husbands, and may well be fo. 3. That our Lord 
Tefus thinks good fometimes to intimate his love to believers, and to let them 
know what he thinks of them \ and this he doth, that the believer may be 


7% An Expofition Ch, 

confirmed in the faith of his love ? for this is both profitable, and alfo com- 
fortable and refrefhful. Lafifyy From the connexion obferve, that there is 
no time wherein Chrift more readily manifefts and intimates his love to belie- 
vers, than when their love is moft warm to him. In the former verfe fhe 
hath a room provided between her breafts for him •, and, in thefe wordsj our 
Lord comes in with a very refrefhful falutation to her : for, tho' his love go 
before ours in the rife of it j yet he hath ordered it fo, that the intimation 
of his love to us,fhould be after the ftirring of ours towards him, J . 14. 2 1. 

In the commendation that he here gives her, confider thefe five particulars' 
I. The title he gives her, my love. 2. The commendation itfelf, Thou art 
fair. 3. The note of attention prefixed, Behold. 4. The repetition of both. 
5, A particular inftance of a piece of that beauty he commends in her. 

1/, The title is a very kindly and fweet one ♦, and this makes it lovely ,that 
therein he not only intimates, but appropriates his love to her, allowing her 
to lay claim thereto as her own : My love, faith he \ and it fays, that there 
can be nothing more cordial and refrefhful to believers, than Chrift's intima- 
ting of his love to them \ and therefore, he choofeth this very title for that 
end. The men of the world exceedingly prejudge themfelves, that they think 
not more of this, and ftudy not to be acquaint with it. 

idly, The commendation that he gives her, is, Thou art fair. If it be asked, 
what this imports ? we may look upon it thefe three ways •, 1 . As it imports 
an inherent beauty in the Bride. 2. As it looks to the cleannefs and beauty 
of her ftate, as being juftified before God ^ and this ihe hath, as being clo- 
thed With the righteoufnefs of Chrift. 3. As it holds forth Chrift's loving 
eftimation of her, that tho' there were many fpots in her, yet he pronounces 
her fair (and lovely, becaufe of his delight in her, and his purpofe to make 
her fair) and without fpot or wrinkle, or any fetch thing. From all which, thefe 
three truths may be gathered, 1. That fuch as are Chrift's, or have a title to 
him, are very lovely creatures, and cannot but have in them exceeding great 
lovelinefs, becaufe there is to be found with them a work of his grace, a new 
creature, and a converfation fome way lavelled to the adorning of the Gofpel. 
2. Chrift Jefus hath a very great efteem of his Bride : and tho' we cannot 
conceive of love in him, as it is in us \ yet the expreilions ufed here give us 
ground to believe, that Chrift hath a great efteem of believers, how worthlefs 
foever they be in themfelves. Laftly, Comparing this with verfe 5. we may 
fee, that believers are never more beautiful in Chrift's eyes, than when their 
own fpots are moft difcernable to themfelves - and oft-times, when they are 
fharpeft in cenfiiring themfelves, he is moft ready to abfolve and commend 


Verfe 15. of the So?ig of Solomon. 79 

The 3d thing is, the rouzing note of attention which is prefixed •, and this 
is here added to the commendation of the Bride, for thefe reafbns, v/hicli 
may be as obfervations ♦, 1. That he may fhew the reality of that beauty that 
is in believers, that it is a very real thing. 2. That he may ihew the reality 
of the eftimation, which he hath of his Bride, 3. It imports a defire he had 
to make her believe, and a difficulty that was in bringing her to believe, ei- 
ther the beauty that was in her, or his eftimation of her j and therefore is 
this note of attention doubled. She hath her eyes fo fixed on her own black - 
nefs, that me hath need to be rouzed up, to take notice both of the grace of 
God in her, and alfo of the efteem that Chrift had of her. 

The particular that he commends in her, in the laft part of the word, is, 
Thou haft dcves eyes. He infifts not only in the general, but is particular in 
this commendation he gives her: And this fhews, i. Chrift's particular ob- 
fervation, not only of the believer's ftate, frame and carriage, in general, but 
of their graces in particular. 2. That there may be fome particular grace, 
wherejn believers may be efpecially eminent -, even as it is in corrupt, natu- 
ral men, that are ftill under the pollution and dominion of the body of death^ 
yet there is fome one or other predominant luft that is ftrongeft : In fome 
fort it is fo with the believer *, there is fome one thing or other, wherein 
grace efpecially vents, and puts forth it felf in exercife. Abraham is eminent 
for faith, Mofes for meeknefs, Job for patience : And hence- the believer is 
confidered fometimes under the notion of one grace, and fometimes of ano- 
ther, as we may fee, Matth. 5. 3. That our bleffed jLord Jefus hath a- parti- 
cular delight in the holy fimplicity and fincerity of a believer •, Or, holy fim- 
plicity and fincerity puts a great lovelinefs upon believers \ for, by this, thou 
haft doves eyes, we conceive to be understood a holy fimplicity, feparating 
her, in her way, from the way of the men of the world : for, while their 
eyes or affe&ions run after other objects, hers are taken up with Chrift *, for, 
by eyes, are fet out mens affe&ions in fcripture^ fo, Matth 6. 22. and often 
in this Song, the eyes fignify the affections, as in that expre/fion, Thou haft 
ravifljed me with one of thine eyes, &c. the eyes being fbmeways the feat and 
alfo the doors of the affections. ~£\ow y doves eyes fet out not only the Bride's 
affection, and love to Chrift, but alfo the nature of her love, which is 
the thing here mainly commended:, as fimplicity, chaftity and fingleneis, for 
which that creature is commended, Matth. 10. Be ftmple as doves. And this 
is the commendation of the love that true believers have to Chrift, that it is 
chaft, fingle and fmcere love : Singlenefs is the fpecial thing Chrift com- 
mends in his people^ it is that for which believers are fo much commended, 
AQs 2. 46. 


8o An Expofition Chap. i. 

Part 5. BRIDE's Words. 
Vcrfc 1 6. <Behold thou art fair, my (Beloved, yea, plea/ant : alfo 

our bed is green. 
Verfe 17. The beams of our boufe are cedar, and our rafters of fir I 

We come to the laft part of the chapter, in the two laft verfes, in which 
the Bride commends Chrift's beauty, and the fweetnefs of fellowfhip with 
him : He had been commending her, and now me haftens to get the com- 
mendation turned over on him, Behold, thou an fair, &c. And there are two 
things which me here commends \ i. She commends the Bridegroom him- 
felfj Behold, thou, &c. 2. She commends fellowfhip with him, under the fi- 
militude of bed, boufe and galleries, verfes i<5. 17. From the. connexion of this 
with the former purpofe, ye may fee how reftlefs believers are, when they 
meet with any commendation from Chrift, till they get it turned over to his 
commendation and praife : and this is the property of a believer, to be im- 
proving every good word they get from Chrift, to his own commendation 
that fpeaks it : this is the end and defign why grace is beftowed upon belie- 
vers, that it may turn in the upfhot and iilue to the commendation of his 
grace. 2. That there is nothing more readily warms the hearts of believers, 
with love, and loofes their tongues in expreilions of commending Chrift, 
than the intimation of his love to them ; this makes their tongue as the fen 
of a ready writer, Pfal. 45. I. 

More particularly, in this commendation the Bride gives him, ye will find 
thefe four things -, li There 'is the ftile me gives him, my Beloved. 2. There 
is the commendation given, and it is the fame with the commendation which 
in the former verfe he gave her, 3. The note of attention prefixed, Behold. 
Laftly, An addition to the commendation Chrift gave her, while fhe turns it 
over upon him, and which is as a qualification of Chrift's beauty ; becaufe 
one expreftion will not do it, fhe makes ufe of two, thou art fair (Taith fhe) 
yea, pleafant : He had faid fhe was fair, nay (faith fhe) thou art fair, &c. fhe 
turns it over to him, becaufe the fame things that are commendable in her, 
lire infinitely and much more commendable -n him 5 that which is in the be- 
liever, being the extract of the principal which is in him -, Chrift being the 
principal, and the graces th^t are in the believer bur the tranfumpt or copy : 
all thefe things are" in Chrift like the light in the fun, and in the believer 
but like the light in the moon, communicate to it bv the fun •-, and they are 
in Chrift as in their own element and ocean, and in the believer but like fome 
little ftream comjfcunicate from that infinite fountain-, and it is upon this 


Verfe 17. °f ^ e S° n g °f Solomon. 8 t 

ground, that the fame commendation given by Ch rift to her, is turned over 
by her to him : and it is even as much as if fhe had laid to him, My beloved, 
wba is myfairnefs? It is thou who art fair, I am not worthy to be reckoned fair-, 
the commendation belongs to thee, thou art worthy of it. And this is the nature 
of love in believers, "to blufh ( in a manner ) when Chrift commends them, 
and to caft all fuch commendations back again upon him, that they may reft: 
upon Chrift, as the party who deferves them beft. , 

From the title ye may fee here, i. Much humility in the Bride, and alfo 
much reverence and refpeft to Chrift} which is the reafon why me will not 
let the commendation ly upon her, but puts it back upon him. Love to 
Chrift, and eftimation of him, aims always at this, that whatever is com- 
mendable in the believer, fhould ultimately refolve upon him. 2. Here is 
much familiarity, notwithstanding of her humility, in that fhe calls him my 
beloved, as he cabled her my love. Humility and reverence, an high eftimati- 
on of Chrift, and confidence in him, and familiarity with him, go all well to- 
gether in the believer y and the believer would labour to have all thefe in 
exercife together, and would never let one of them part from another. In 
a word, it is a humble familiar way in believing, which we would aim at. 
3. One fpecial thing that makes Chrift lovely to believers, and natively ftir- 
reth them up to commend him, is when they are clear anent his love to them. 

If it be asked, why fhe turns over this commendation to him in the fecond 
perfon, Thou art, &c. ? Anf. She doth it, 1. To teftify her fincerity, that 
fhe was not flattering nor complementing, but fhe durfl make him witnefs of 
what flie faid. 2. To fhew that there are many fpiritual conferences, and 
fweet foliloquies between the fouls of believers and Chrift, wherein they are 
very familiar with him, which none knows, nor can know, but Chrift and 
they ; for, fhe is fpeaking to him when no body knows,and he to her. 3. Be- 
caufe there are many divine experiences of believers,that are fcarcely commu- 
nicable to any other, but Chrift : and therefore fhe will tell them over to him. 

The commendation fhe puts upon him, is even the fame which he before 
gave her} Thou art fair, faith fhe: And that which fhe aims at in this, is, 
1 • To fet forth the exceeding great beauty that is in our Lord Jefus -, which 
beauty* is fpiritually to be underflood, namely of the qualifications where- 
with he is furnifhed, having grace poured into his lips, Pfal. 45.2. Jo. 1. 14. 
2. The great efteem that the believer hath of Chrift, and that both for what 
he is in himfelf, and for what he is to him: Thou art fair in thy felf (faith 
fhe) and fair to me *, and it fays, a little glimpfe of Chrift's beauty hath an 
attractive efficacy upon the heart of a believer : when Chrift Jefus is feen, 
it puts a wonderful ftamp of love upon the hearts of his people *, he hath a 
a very amiable afpecfyhat cannot but get love in the beholders: As they faid 

M that 

82 An Expofition Chap. r. 

that heard him, Never man fpake as he fpeaks 3 fo they that have feen him, 
will fay, Never man'b countenance looked like his } amongft all the fons of 
men he bears the flandard, and hath a lovelinefs wherein he is beyond them 
all : No wonder, he being the brightnefs of his Father's glory, and the exprefs 
tmage of his per fori. 3. It is to mew, wherefrom all her beauty was derived 
(as was hinted before) it was from his ; If I be fair, (faith fhe J it is bccaufe 
thou art fair •, it is thy beauty that puts beauty upon me. 

The 3d thing is the Behold prefixed, and it holds out thefe three \ i.The 
excellency and admirablenefs of the matter: Ch rift's beauty is a fubject. of 
a moft tranfcendent and admirable excellency. 2. Her ferioufnefs in the ex- 
preifions of his commendation, as having her heart at her mouth, while me 
fpeaks of it, being fo affected and taken up with it. 3. Though he needed 
not, yet ihe needed up-ftirring, her feif : and there was need fhe fhould ftir 
up others j and therefore this word, for her own,and others caufe,is prefixed. 
The laft part of this commendation, is (as was faid) an addition to what 
he fpoke in her commendation } yea 7 pleafant, faith fhe : This pleafantnefs 
and lovelinefs doth relate to the commnnicativenefs of Chrift's worth, his 
communicating of what is lovely in him to others : It had not been enough 
for its, that he had been lovely m himfelf as God, if he were not alfo lovely 
by that relation that is between him and a believer in the Covenant of grace, 
whereby there is not only a communicablenefs, but alfo an a&ual communi- 
cation of thefe things to a believer, which may make him lovely and beauti- 
ful before God. And this makes Chrift pleafant, that of his fulnefs we receive, 
and grace for grace, Jo. 1 . 1 6. When the believer mares of Chrift's fulnefs, 
he cannot but be beautiful, and Chrift cannot but be pleafant. And indeed, 
if we could exprefs any thing of the Importance of the word, it is a moft 
material and mafty expreffion, of that inexpreffible worth that is in him, and 
Jikewife of a believer's eftimation of it : And, 1. In the general, it imports 
this, A difficulty in commending Chrift rightly: there cannot be words got- 
ten for it- 7 the thing that is commendable in him, is fo large, that words,yea, 
the moft iuperiative of them, come far fhort of fetting him forth. 2. It fet* 
forth, how unfatisfied believers are with their own expreifions of that worth, 
which they fee to be in him •, they think the firft word unfuitable, and there- 
fore they pafs on to another •, and, in the clofe, they are forced as it were to 
give it over, and to fay, The* art altogether lovely. 3. It imports, that there 
15 no kind of thing that may commend Chrift,' wherein he is defective v he 
hath not only the materials of beauty (fb to fay) but he hath the form. 
All things that are in Chrift, are wonderfully delightfom and pleafant to look 
on. Laftly, This expreifion implies an exceeding great refrefh fulnefs and 
contentednefs,which Chrift Jefus dotb yield to a believer ^ and that exceeding 


Verfc 17. of the Song of Solomon. 85 

great fatisfaftion and delight, that a believer may have, in looking on Chrift. 
This word fleafanty fpeaks their attual feeding upon the beautiful fight they 
have gotten of him •> fo that they cannot be withdrawn from it. Muft not 
Chrifl be lovely, when his people get eyes to fee him ? And muft it not be 
a heartfom life, to be in heaven, where they behold him, who is fair and 
lovely, as he is, and have their eyes fixed on him for ever, when he is fo 
beautiful even here-away, where we fee him but darkly, through a glafs, and 
much of his beauty is vailed from our eyes ? 

That which follows,is the enlargement of the Bride's commendation of Je- 
fus Chrift,as he is called a beloved or husband ^ for fhe follows that allegory in 
commending his bed, houfe, and galleries : And this is the fcope, to mew how 
excellent and ftately a Husband he was. And, 2. How happy and comfort- 
able a life his Bride had, in communion and fellowship with him. In the 
words thefe three are to be cleared, 1 . What is commended, as be d y houfe jkc* 
2. The feveral commendations given to thefe. 3. The title of claim, or re- 
lation under which they are commended, Our bed, &c. 

That which is commended, is expreffed by three words \ 1. Bed, 2. The 
beams of the houfe. 3. Rafters. In fiim, it is this, That as husbands (who are 
in good condition) have beds to folace in with their Brides, houfes to dwell 
in, and galleries to walk in, for their refrefhing, and have thefe excellently 
adorned, according to their rank j fo our bleffed husband excels in thefe. By 
bed, is underflood thefpecial means of neareft fellowfliip with, and enjoying 
of Chrift \ the bed being the place of reft, and of the neareft fellowihip be- 
tween the Bridegroom and the Bride. 

Its commendation is,that it is green : that is, i.Refrefhful, like thefpring. 
2.Fruitful} and fo the Similitude of greennefs is oppofed to a difconfolate,bar- 
ren, unfruitful condition, Pfal. 92. 12, 13. and 3^.17.8. So then,that which 
is here pointed at, is, that nearnefs with Chrift is both exceeding heartfom 
and refrefhful, and alfb hath much influence on believers, to keep them frefh, 
and make them fruitful. 

The fecond thing commended, is, the beams of the houfe : The houfe is of a 
larger extent than the bed } it Signifies the Church, wherein Chrift dwells with 
his Bride : The beams of it are the ordinances, word, facraments, promifes 
of the covenant, &c. whereby the houfe is both compared together, and fu- 
ftained •, there being no living with Chrift, nor fellowfhip with him, without 
thefe. The commendation is, that it is of cedar. 1. Cedar was a durable 
wood. 2. Excellent and precious, chap. 3. 10. 3. It was typical of Chrift, 
and therefore ufed in the ceremonial fervices : So this commendation holds 
forth the excellent nature of the ordinances and promifes,being of great worth, 
precious and perpetual in their ufe to the Church, while upon earth ; but it 

M 2 doth 

84 An Expofltion Ch 


doth efpecially hold forth the eternal excellency and worth, and the durable 
power and ftrength of Chrift, the main corner-ftone of this building, Eph. 2. 
20, 22. 

The third word is, rafters : It is on the margent, galleries ; and fo we take 
it, being rendred fo, chap, 7. 5. The word fignifies to run alongft : and the 
fcope here, is, to ihew what pleafant walks there are with Chrift -, or, how 
pleafant a thing it is to walk with him, as to dwell with him, and ly, or bed 
with him. So, to walk with him, muft needs be pleafant : and this meta- 
phor (with the reft) is here made ufe of, it being ordinary in this Song, un- 
der fuch exprefftons, to hold forth the love-fellowfhip, that is betwixt Chrift 
and his Church. Now, thefe galleries are faidto be of fir, or cyprefs, a du- 
rable wood : this word is not elfewhere in fcripture -, but the fcope fhews, it 
is fome fine thing, and points out the unfpeakable fatisfaftion and pleafure 
which is to be had in a life of walking with him. 

3. She claims title to all thefe, bed, houfe, galleries : me faith not, thy bed, 
nor my bed (whereby, chap. 3. me fignifies her own carnal eafe and reft) but 
our bed, our houfe, &c. whereby {he points at fomewhat which both of 
them had joint intereft in, and did together converfe into ; altho' her intereft 
be commnnicate from him, yet fhe keeps the manner of fpeech firitable tohuf- 
band and wife. 

Thefe words ihew, 1. That there be feveral degrees of fellowfhip with 
Chrift^ and feveral ways and means for entertaining of it : fbme more near, 
as when he lay betwixt herbreafts, fome more mediate, when (as it were) 
he and me only live together in the houfe : which may point at her trading 
with Chrift in the ordinances, but without fenfible manifeftations ; and alfo 
believers walking with him in their ordinary callings, even when they are not 
in duties of immediate worfhip, which is fignified by galleries* 2. Any of 
thefe degrees and means of fellowfhip are excellent in themfelves, and to be 
preffed and fought after by the believer. 3. The neareft mean of fellowfhip 
with Chrift is moft refrefhful to fpiritual fenfe, the bed more than the houfe. 
4. Yet, tho' it be fo, believers would not divide them *, but would think much 
of all the means and ordinances, even as long as they abide here. 5. There 
is a mutual relation betwixt Chrift and his Bride, which gives a mutual inte- 
reft in, and relation to all that is his : Whatever is his, it is ours ; his bed is 
curs, his houfe ours, dice. Believers, that can lay claim to Chrift, may andfhould 
claim intereft in all that is his. 7. This makes every difpenfation lovely, and 
every ftep of our walk heartfom, when, under every difpenfation, and in 
every ftep of our walk, we are living a life of fellowfhip with Chrift : to be 
fpending all our time in lying, dwelling and walking with Chrift, O how fvveet 
a life were that ! 8. The means of fellowfhip with Chrift, in all places and 


Verfe I. of the Song of Solomon. 85 

times, are fo well contrived, and fo large and refrefhful, as they contribute 
exceedingly to make a believer cheerful in all duties of worfhip, and in all his 
convention : For we here fee, there are bed, boufe and galleries provided, in 
order to her keeping company with Chrift. 


Part 1. CHRIST'S Words. 

Verfe 1 . I am the <Rofe of Sharon, and the Ltlie of the Valleys. 
Verfe 2. As the Witt among thorns, fois my loVe among the dangh~ 

T^is fecond chapter contains the fame (cope, and runs in the fame 
ftrain with the former. It hath two principal parts : In the firfi, 
Chrift fpeaks in the firft. two verfes^ in the fee on d, the Bride con- 
tinues to the end. 

Again, in thefe two verfes, Chrift doth firfi commend himfelf, verfe rV 
Secondly, He defcribes his Bride, verfe 2. 

That it is he who fpeaks, appears thus *, 1. It is clear, at firft looking upon 
the words, that he fpeaks in the fecond verfe } and who elfe can be thought 
to fpeak in the firft ? He is the / in the firft verfe, who claims the Bride by 
this pofleffive particle my in the fecond. 2. The words, / am the Rofe of Sha- 
ron, &c. are ftately, becoming him alone to fpeak them •, like thefe, I am the 
true vine, I am the bread of life, &c. And fo majeftick is the commendation, 
that it can agree to none other but to him.- 3. The Bride's work is to com- 
mend him, and not her felf, efpecially with a commendation beyond what he 
giveth hei'iver. 2. and therefore the firft verfe muft be Chrift 's words,not hers. 

The fcope is (for her inftru&ion and comfort now in affliction) that he may 
make her know himfelf: The very knowing of Chrift is comfortable*, and it is 
one of the moft excellent, rare and ravifhing things he can fhew his Bride, to 
fhew her himfelf, or to make her know him : neither can he choofe a fubjeel: 
more profitable in itfelf^ or more welcome to her, to infift on, than to dif- 
play his own beauty, whereby fhe may fee her bleffednefs in fuch a match. 

In the firft verfe, then, Chrift comes in commending himfelf, / am the Rofe 
of Sharon, and the Lilie of the valleys. The rofe is a fweet favouring flower, 
and fo is the lilie : Sharon and the valleys are added, becaufe thefe rofes and 
lilies that grew there, were the beft that were to be found. He is faid to be 


26 An Expofition Chap. 2. 

that Rofe, or the Jtofe, and the Lilie^ as if there were no other, to diftinguifh 
him as excellent and Angular from all others. He thus fets forth himfelf, to 
fhew, 1, That Chrift Jeliis hath a moft lovely favour, and a mod delightful 
and refrefhful fmell, to them that have fpiritual fenfes to difcern what is in 
him. 2. That there is nothing refrefhful in creatures, but it is more emi- 
nently and infinitely in him \ therefore he is called the Rofc and the Lilie. 3. 
That whatever excellency is in Chrift, is Angularly and incomparably in him : 
There is no other rofe, or lilie, but he j and what excellency is to be found 
in others, doth not deferve the name, being compared with him. 4. That 
he is never fuitably commended, till he be lifted up above all. 5. That none 
can commend Chrift to purpofe, but himfelf - he takes it therefore on him, 
I am, &c. He can indeed commend himfelf effectually, and none but he can 
do it. 6. That he manifefts more of his lovelinefs to thefe who have gotten 
a begun fight and efteem of it*, for ihe had been commending it formerly, and 
now he discovers more of it to her. 7. That it is one of ChrifVs greateft 
favours to his Bride, and one of the fpecial effects of his love, to fet out him- 
felf as lovely to her, and to bear-in his lovelinefs upon her heart *, and this is 
the fcope here. 

In the fecond verfe, he defcribes his Bride. Here we have thefe things to 
confider •, 1. What me is, a lilie. 2. What others of the world befide are, 
called here the daughters (fo men without the Church are to the Church, and 
corrupt men in the Church are to believers) that is, daughters of their mo- 
ther the world j no kindly daughters to her, they are thorns. 3. The pofture 
of Chrift's Spoufe, fhe is m a lilie among thorns *, a ftrange pofture and foil for 
our Lord's love and lilie to grow in. 

The lilie is pleafant, favoury and harmlefs •, thorns are worthlefs, unplea- 
fant and hurtful. The lilie's being compared with them, and placed amongfl 
them, fets out both her excellency above them, and her fufferings from them. 
In general, obferve, (1.) Chrift draws his own beauty and the Bride's toge- 
ther, thereby to fhew their kindred and fibnefs (fo to fpeak : ) She is not 
rightly taken up, but when fhe is looked upon as ftanding by him *, and he not 
fully let forth, nor known, without her. (2.) He took two titles to himfelf 
and he gives one of them to the Bride, the lilie •, but with this difference, that 
he is the lilie ^ fhe as y or like the lilie : Setting forth, 1. Wherein her beauty 
confifts ? it is in likenefs to him. 2. From whom is comes, it is from him •, 
her being his lwe t makes like the lilie. 3. The nearnefs of the myftical union 
that is between Chrift and his Bride •, it is fuch, that thereby they fome way 
fhare names, Jer, 23. 6, and chaf» 33. id. (3.) He intermixes her beauty 
and croftes together, drawing them on one table, to give her a view of both : 
and that for her humbling, and alfo for her comfort : It is not good for be- 
lievers, to look only to the one without the other. More 

Verfe 3. of the Song of Solomon. 87 

More particularly, obferve, 1. Chrift's Bride is very lovely and beautiful. 
2. The children of the world are natively hurtful to her. 3. In Chrift's ac- 
count the believer is exceedingly preferable to all others, of whatfoever place 
or qualifications in the world. 4. Chrift's relation and affection doth not al- 
ways keep oif outward affli&ions from his own Bride. 5. It is native to be- 
lievers to have a croffed life in the world, their plantation here among thorns 
fpeaks it. 6. That the croffes are of more kinds than one, which believers 
are environed with :, thorns grow on all hands befide Chrift's lilie. 7. Holi- 
nefs and innocency will not always prevent wrongs and injuries from others ; 
thorns will wrong even the lilie. 8. Chrift obferves here, how fhe looks in 
her bufferings, and fo he takes fpecial notice how his people carry in a fuffe- 
ring lot. 9. It is commendable to keep clean tinder fufferings, and to be lilie- 
like, even amongft thorns. 

Part 2. BRIDE's Words. 

Verfe 3 . As the apple- tree among the trees of the wood, fo is my 
Beloved among the fons. I fat down under his ffpadow with 
great delight y and his fruit wo* fweet to my tafte. 

The fecond part of the chapter may be fub-divided in two, Br/L From the 
3d verfe, the Bride comes in fpeaking as in a lively frame,to verfitt, 2. From 
that to the end, fhe fpeaks as being at fbme diftance w r ith the Bridegroom. 

In the firft part, ( i .) She commends Chrift, and lays down this commen- 
dation, as the ground of her confolation, verfe 3. (2.) She proves it by her 
experience, ibid. (3.) Explains the way of her coming to that experience 
verfe 4. (4.) She cries out under the fenfe of it, verfe 5. (5.) She mews 
his tender care of her in that condition, verfe 6. And Lftly, expreffeth her 
fear, left there fhould be any change to the worfe in her condition, and her 
care to prevent it, verfe 7. 

The dependence of the third verfe upon the fecond, is clear : She takes the 
commendation out of Chrift's mouth, which he gave her, and after that fame 
manner almoft turns it over on him, as fhe had done, chxv. L i<£ and then 
comforts her felf in him ? Hath fhe croffes? then he hath a fhadow to hide 
her ^ and with this fhe fettles her felf, and doth not complain of her fiiffer- 
ings. Hence obferve, x. There is no ftaying of the heart againft affusions, 
but in Chrift. 2. It is better for believers to inftft in commending him, than 
defcribing their croffes. 

Here there is, 1. The Bride's efteem of the children of the world, called 
here the fons \ they are like wild barren trees, that give no fruit or comfort : 


88 An Expofttlon Chap. 2. 

The world is exceeding lictle worth, efpecially to thefe who know Chrift. 
1. Her eftecm of Chrift, he is like the apple-tree • There is a great odds be- 
twixt Chrift and all the world \ there is ever fruit to be found on him, and 
a fhadow in him. This is proven by her experience (for they that have felt 
and tafted how fweet he is, can fpeak fomewhat to this) I encountered with 
many difficulties, faysfhe, like fcorchings of the fun (See on chap. 1. verfe 5.) 
and could find no fhelter nor refrefhment amongft the creatures •, but I refol- 
ved to make ufe of Chrift by faith, in reference to them (even as men do, by 
interpofing a tree betwixt them and the heat, that they may have a ihadow) 
and I found refrefhing and eafe, by the benefits and privileges that flow from 
Chrift, and are purchafed by him, and are enjoyed by virtue of an intereft in 
him *, which were very comfortable, even as fweet apples from an apple-tree 
are refrefhful to one fitting under its fhadow in a great heat. 

Obf. 1 . Believers may be fcorched with outward and inward heat •, they 
may be exercifed not only with fharp— outward afflictions, but alfo with the 
fenfe of God's wrath, and with the fiery darts of Satan's temptations. 2. 
Chrift is a complete fhadow, and a cure for all. 3. They that would find 
Chrift a fhadow from the heat, muft make ufe of him, and employ him for 
that end *, they muft fit down, &c. 4. Believers never flee to his fhadow, till 
fome heat fcorch them •, for her being fcorched with heat, is fuppofed here, 
as that which made the fhadow refrefhful. 5. Faith in Chrift will compofe 
the believer in the midft of the greatefl difficulties :, it will fet them down, &c. 
yea, and delight them alfo. 6. Much of the nature and exercife of faith, in 
its ufe-making of Chrift, appears in its interpofing of Chrift betwixt us and 
wrath, or whatever may be troublefom to us, and in the quieting of our felves 
upon that ground j for this is it that is meant by fitting down under his flia- 
dow. 7. There are many choice and excellent fruits in Chrift, that flow from 
him to believers. 8. All the fpiritual benefits and privileges that believers 
enjoy, are Chrift's fruits } they are his fruits by purchafe and right, and by 
him communicate to believers. 9. Believers eat and feed, and may with his 
blefted allowance do fo upon what is his. 10. Chrift's fruits are exceeding 
fweet, when they are eaten •, they are fatisfyingly, and, as it were, fenfibly 
fweet. 1 1 . Thefe fweet fruits are neither eaten, nor the fweetnefs of them 
felt by believers, till they go to Chrift's fhadow, and fit down delightfbmly 
under his righteoumefs :, then they become .refrefhful. 

Verfe 4. He brought me to the banqueting-honfe, and his banner 

over me was love. 

She proceeds in expreiling her cheerful condition, by fhewing the way of 
her accefs to it^ verfe 4. He brought me, &c. Wherein, $rft 9 She fets out the 


Verfe 5. °f the S° n g 0/ Solomon. 89 

fweetnefs of the enjoyment of Chrift's fenfible love, by comparing it to a feafb 
or houfe of wine, idly, She tells who it was that brought her to it, He brourit 
m e t $dly, The manner how me was brought to it } it was by the out-letting 
of his love, Bis banner (faith ihe) over me was love. The firft expreffion fets 
forth three things, 1. The great abundance of fatisfying and refrefhing blef- 
fings that are to be found in Chrift } fuch abundance of provifion as ufeth to 
be laid up at a feaft, or in a banqueting-houfe. 2. His liberal allowance there- 
of to his own, who for that end hath laid up this provifion for them. 3.The 
nature of the entertainment - 7 it is a feaft of the belt and moft cordial things, 
a houfe of wine. The fecond is, He, that is, Chrift brought me in : It fhews, 

1 . Believers impotency to enter in there of themfelves, \ and their want of 
right, that may give them accefs to the bleiiings that are laid up in Chrift. 

2. That it is Chrift who makes their accefs :, he purchafed an entry by his 
death, he applies his purchafe by his Spirit, and difpenfeth it by his office, 
and fo brings them in. 3. It fuppones a freedom of grace in the bringing 
them in -, they are brought in by his mere favour. 4. It contains a thankful 
remembrance or acknowledgment of this deed of Chrift's, and an holding of 
this favour of him. The third holds forth the manner how ihe is brought 
in } it is under a banner of love : A ftately manner ^ it was love that brought 
her in. The expreiTion implieth, that not only it was love that moved him 
to bring her in, but that he did it in a loving manner, which amplifieth and 
heightens his love : She comes in marching, as it were, in triumph, having 
love like a banner, or colours, adorning this march, and making way for her 
entry •, fo that, even in the manner of her being brought in, the general, pre- 
dominant, vifible thing (as it were) that appeared, was love, Obferve, 1. 
Chrift will fometimes bring his people in to the fenfe of his love, exceeding 
lovingly and kindly, even as to the manner of ingaging them. 2. Believers 
would obferve his way with them. 3. This loving manner, in the way of 
his dealing with his people, doth exceedingly commend his love, and is- an 
heightning confideration of it. 4. Chrift's love is in itfelf a moft ftately and 
triumphant thing. 5. It is only the love of Chrift, that fecures believers, in 
their battles and march, againft their fpiritual adverfaries j and indeed they 
may fight, who have love for their colours and "banner. 

Verfe 5. Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples, for I am 
Jtc{ of lo'Ve. 

She is almoft overcome with this banquet, and therefore cries out for help.' 
verfe 5. Here confider, 1. The cafe me is in. 2. The cure flie calls for'. 
3. From whom ihe feeks it. 

N Her 

po An Expofition Chap. 

Her cafe is, That fne isfick of love. This is not to be taken for the faint- 
ing of a foul under abfence, and the want of fenfe :, all the context before and 
after, andthefcope, will mew it is otherwife with her: But it is a ficknefs 
from the weight and preffure of felt inconceivable love, damiihing her (as it 
were) and weakning her *, fhe cannot abide that fight and fulnefs which ihe 

idly, The cure fhe defires confirms this } Stay me (faith fhe) or fupport me, 
for I am like to fall under it : And comfort me ^ the word is, ftrengtheri me 
or bed me^firaw me with, or in apples •, let me ly down amongft them. The' 
firft expreifton looks to the houfe of wine where fhe was •, which fuppones 
no want, and may be rendred, Stay me in flagons, as feeking fupport in this 
holy fill of the Spirit, whereby fhe was daggering. The fecond looks to the 
apple-tree, verfe 3. and fhe would ever roll her felf amongft the apples that 
come from this tree j and like the difciples, Matt h. 17. 4. faith (as it were) 
It is good to be here : She would even be fixed and ly down in that pofture* 
never to part with this happy condition again. 

idly, Thefe fhe fpeaks to, and from whom fhe feeks help, are expreffed in 
the plural number (as is clear in the Original) which fliews a ravifhment and 
kind of rapture in this exclamation ^ not obferving to whom fhe fpeaks, but 
cxpreiling her delight in that which fhe enjoyed, yet mainly intending Chrift 
(as the difciples did, Matth. 17. not knowing what they faid) fork is he 
who applies the cure in the next verfe. 

Obf 1. Love will have a great out-letting at fometimes beyond others, as 
if a dam were gathered, and then letten out. 2. Senfe o^ love in a high de- 
gree will ftraiten and weight a believer, as overburdening and overpowering 
him, fb as he is put to fay, Hold, and Wo's me^ as it is, Ija. 6. 5. the nature 
of God's prefence is fuch, and our infirmity fo unfuitable thereto. 3. I.ove 
is lovely, when the believer is almo ft dotting with it, and daggering under 
the weight and power of it. 4. It can cure even the fame ficknefs it makes : 
,Thefe flagons and apples are the only remedy, tho' our bottles be now weak, 
and can hold but little of this new wine*. 

Verfe 6. His left band is under my head, and bis right hand doth 

embrace me. 

She expreffeth ChrifTs care of her in this condition, verfe 6. as a moft lov- 
ing husband, he fuftains her in his arms, in this fwoon and fwarf, which from 
joy fhe falls in, as the words do plainly bear., Obf.- 1. Chrift's love is a fen- 
fible fuflaining thing,and is able to fupport the heart under its greatefl weak- 
aefi. 2» As Chrift is tender of all his people, and at all times, fo efpeclally 


Verfe 7. of the Song of Solomon. p 1 

when they are in their fits of love-ficknefs. 3.. As believers would obferve 
Chrift's love at all times, fo efpecially when they are weakefl : for then they 
will find it both feafonable and profitable fo to do. 

Verfe 7. I charge you, ye daughters ofjerufalem, by the roes, 
and by the hinds of the field, that ye flir not up, nor awake my 

Love, till he pleafe. 

This verfe contains her care to entertain this condition, and the way flie 
takes for that end. That they are the Bride's words, is, firfi, clear from the 
fcope and matter, idly, From the expreilions fhe ufeth, fpeaking of him, my 
Love, and till he pleafe -, for it becomes us to give Chrifl his own liberty in 
Haying or going, and it were not our good that our pleafure were the rule in 
our fellowship with him. Now, in order to the fecuring of this comfortable 
condition to her felf, Firfi, She adjures and charges, which is, 1. To fhew 
the concernment of the thing. 2. Her ferioufnefs in it *, for fhe is in very great 
earneft. 3. A fear of mifguiding this condition. 4. A difficulty fo to pre- 
vent the hazard, as to keep all quiet. 

Secondly, The parties fhe fpeaks to,while fhe thus adjures, are the daughters 
of JerufalemfeWmg them the leffon fhe would take to her felf,becaufe they had 
need to be thus guarded. Obf. 1. That profeffors are in hazard to marr their 
own enjoyments, and to interrupt an intimate fellowship with Chrift. 2. Be- 
ginners are readiefl to fall in this iin. 3. Serioufnefs will flir up believers to 
be watchful over themfelves, and will make them prefs others to be fo alfb. 

This expreflion, by the roes and hinds of the field, is but added, for keeping 
the ftrain of this Song (which is compofed in an allegorick way, and every 
fimilitude is not to be narrowly fearched into) and to fhew how tenderly they 
ought to watch, to prevent this hazard, as men having to do with roes, who 
are foon flirred : Shewing, that a little thing may flir up Chrifl, and marr 
the comfortable fellowfhip that is between him and his people. 

Thirdly, The charge itfelfis, That they ftir not up, nor awake the Beloved ; 
as a wife would fay (when her husband is come home and refting in her arms) 
Be quiet all, and let no din be in the houfe to awake him : And this charge 
reaches her felf, as well as others : when fhe, as the mother, commands all 
the little-ones or children (as it were) to be quiet, that Chrifl may not be 
flirred up, and made to remove *, fhe ought to be much more careful in this 
her felf.^ Hence obferve, 1. If a fenfible prefence be not tenderly entertain- 
ed, it will not lafl. 2. Believers would be mofl careful then, when they are 
admitted to near and fenfible fellowfhip with Chrifl, that nothing may fall out 
which may provoke him to depart, 3. The leaft finful motions and* flirrings 

N 2 of 

9 * dn Ezpofition Chap. 


of corruption would be fuppreffed, as having a great tendency to provoke and 
ftir up the Beloved to be gone. 

Lafily, This charge is qualified in thefe words, till he pleafe : Which does 
not imply, that flie gives them leave at any time to fiir him up \ but the 
meaning is, See that by your fault he be not awaked, till his own time come. 
Obferve then, i. Chri'ft guides his vifits and love-manifeftations, by his fo- 
vereignty and fleafitre. 2. He may withdraw from his people without re- 
fpecl to any particular provocation, as having finful influence thereupon. 3. 
Chrift's pleafure is believers rule,in the things that are moll precious to them : 
"Here fhe acquiefces, even to his withdrawing, when he fhall pleafe. 4. Be- 
lievers may have peace, and be quiet under abfence, if they have not finfiilly 
provoked thrift to withdraw : For, this is the thing the Bride aims at, as to 
her felf, in this her care. 5. Often believers are guilty in marring Chrift's 
felbwfhip with them before he pleafe, and they might enjoy ChrifTs compa- 
ny much longer oftentimes, if they did not fin him out of houfe and doors. 

k Verfe 8. The Voice of my Beloved! behold, he cometh leaping 

upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. 
Verfe p. My BeloVed is like a roe, or a young hart : behold, he 

ftandeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, Jhew- 
ing him/elf through the lattefs. 

Thefe words contain a cafe of the Bride^s, different from her cafe in the- 
former words } there flie was in Chrift's arms, here fhe fees him afar off} 
there fhe was endeavouring to keep him ftill, here fhe is fenfible that he is 
away, and, verfe ult. is praying for his return. Obferve then from the con- 
nexion, The moft fatisfying and comfortable conditions of a believer^ while 
upon earth, are not abiding 5 even the Bride muft experience diftance,as well 
as prefence. 2. Sometimes fenfible prefence will not continue, even when 
believers are moft careful to retain it, as we find fhe was in the words before. 

Her diftance hath two fteps, r. There are fome views of Ch rift, and fome 
intercourfe with him, tho' afar off, in this chapter. Then, 2. She is depri- 
ved even of that, in the firft part of the chapter following: And readily di- 
ftance once begun, doth proceed from a leiler to^ a greater degree, before it 
be removed. 

More particularly, we- would obferve here, (1.) What is Chrift's carriage* 
when the Bride doth not enjoy fenfible prefence in fo lively a way } and that 
in two things, 1. What he is doing } he is comnig^ leafing, ftanding behind the 
wall, looking through the lattejs, &c. 2, What he is faying j he is /peaking to 


Verfe 8. of the Song of Solomon. 93 

her, and, as it were, writing kind love-letters to her at that fame time : 
Chrift is both doing and fpeaking kindly to a believer, even when he is away 
to fenfe, if it be well difcerned. (2.) We may fee what is the Bride's carri- 
age fnitable to his, in four Heps (worthy to be imitate by believers, for their 
own peace, in their difconfolate condition) I. Sheobferves what he doth, 
tho' it be but a twilight difcovery fhe hath of him, 2. She records what he 
faith, and reads his epiftle often over. 3. She comforts her felf in keeping 
the faith of her intereff, and the hope of future enjoying of him, clear: And 
4. Prays, in the mean time, for fbme manifeftations of his love, till that come. 
The firft is, ver, 8 and 9. The fecond, ver. 10 to 16. The third, ver. 16 
and 17. The fourth in the clofe of the 17 verfe. 

In her observation ofChrifPs way with her, ver. 8. consider, 1. His pra- 
ftice, which fhe obferves. 2. Her obfervation of it. 3. How fhe is affected 
with it. And laftly, her expreifton of it. 

The rlrft of thefe is contained in thefe words, fie cometh leaping upon the 
mmntainsj Skipping upon the hills. There are four things here to be taken no- 
tice of: Firffy A fuppofed diftance for when he is faid to be coming, he is 
not prelent : This diflance is not in reality, as to the union that is betwixt 
Chriil and a heliever,that is always the. fame , but it is to be underftood as to 
the fenfe of his prefence, which may be interrupted. idly y It is faid, he com- 
eth : Coming imports his drawing near to remove the diflance, as being al- 
ready on his way. Obferve, 1. It is his coming that removes the diflance 
between him and his people: the firft motion of love is frill on his fide. And, 
2. Even when Chrift is abfent, if he were well feen, he is making way for 
our nearer union with him, and is upon his way coming again, John 14. 3. 
Even when he is away he is ftiU coming,tho' it may be afterward the diflance 
feem to grow greater, and the night of abfence darker. The third thing is, 
That there are mountains which he comes over, that is, fomething Handing 
betwixt him and us, marring our accefs to him, and his familiarity with us > 
till he remove it, as mountains obftrucl: mens way in travel ; and fo difficul- 
ties in the way of God's work are compared to mountains, Zech* 4. 7. Who 
art thcu y O great mountain ? So here, as there are difficulties to be removed, 
before the union betwixt Chrift and us be made up :, fo alfo there are particu- 
lar fins, clouds of guilt inefs, which mud be removed, ere his prefence can 
be reftored after he goeth away. Again, coming over mountains, maketh one 
confpicuous and glorious afar off: So Chrift's march and return to a believer 
is ever in triumph, over fome great ground of diftance, wrrch makes him 
djfeernably glorious. 4^/y, Chrift is faid to be leaping and dipping \ which 
imports, 1. An agility in him, and a facility to overcome whatever is in the 
way. 2. A cheerfulnefs and heartinefs in doing of it y He comes with delight 


P4 4n Expofltion Chap. i. 

over the higheft hill that is in his way, when he returns to his people. 3. It 
holds forth fpeedinefs \ Chrift comes quickly, and he is never behind his 
time : he cannot miftryft a believer :, his term-day is their neceffity, and be 
fure he will meet with them then. 4. It imports a beauty, majefty and 
ftatelinefs in his coming, as one in triumph \ and fo he comes triumphantly, 
and in great Hate : And what is more {lately than Chrift's triumphing over 
principalities and powers, and making a fhew of them openly? by overcoming 
the difficulties in his way to his Bride. 

The fecond thing in the verfe, is her obfervation of this ; Chrift in his 
way is very difcernable to any that is watchful, and believers ihould obferve 
his way when abfent,as well as prefent. If it be asked, how fhe difcerned it ? 
There is no queftion,faith is here taking up Chrift, according to his promife, 
John i^.l.Jflgo aw ay j I will come again and faith lays hold on this. Faith 
is a good friend in defertion •, for, as we may here fee, it fpeaks good of 
Chrift, even behind his back *, when fenfe would fay, he will return no more^ 
faith fays,/;* is coming, and prophefies good of Chrift, as there is good reafon. 

The third thing is, how me is affe&ed with it : This obfervation proves 
very comfortable to her,as her abrupt and cutted expreflion imports, The voice 
of my Beloved ! as alfo, the Behold fhe puts to it : which mews, 1. That her 
heart was much afTetted with it. 2. That me thought much of it. 3. That 
It was fome way wonderful that Chrift was coming, even over all thefe diffi- 
culties, to her : there is no fuch ravifhing wonder to a fenfible believing /in- 
ner, as this, that Chrift will pafs by all its fins, yea,take them all on himfelf, 
and come over all difficulties unto them \ therefore is this behold added here. 

The fourth thing in her expreflion of this, which confirms the former, and 
it is fuch as fees out a heart, as it were, furprized and overcome with the 
light of a coming friend. Hence Obf 1. A miner's thoughts of a coming 
Chrift, will be deeply affecting \ and thefe thoughts of him are mif-ihapen, 
and of no worth, that do not in fome meafure caft fire into, and inflame the 
affections. And, 2. A heart, fuitably affe£ted with the power of Chrift's won- 
derful grace and love, will be expreffmg fomewhat of it to others, as the 
Bride is doing here. 

In the 9th verfe, the obfervation of his carriage is continued : where, 1. He 
is commended. 2. His carriage is defcribed,with her obfervation of it. The 
commendation fhe gives him, is, He is like a roe^ or a young hart : Thefe crea- 
tures are famous, for loving and kindly carriage to their mates, as alio for 
lovlinefs and pleafantnefs in themfelves, Prov. 5. 19. Thus he is kindly and 
loving. G fo kind as Chrift is to his Church and chofen ! Jonathan's love to 
David paft the love of women, but this furpaffeth that, beyond all degrees 
■of companion. 2. He is timeous and feafonable, in fulfilling his purpofes oi 


Verfe 10. of the Song o/Solomon. 95 

love to his Bride •, no roe or hart, for fwiftnefs, is like him in this : and thi s 
may be the ground from which flie concludeth that he was coming and leap" 
ing in the former words, becaufe Chrifl's affe&ions, and way of manifefling 
them, is fnch as this. 

2. His carriage is fet forth in three fleps,held forth in allegorick exprefllons. 
The 1 ft is, He ftands behind our wall, that is, as a lovely husband may with- 
draw from the fight of his fpoufe, for a time, and yet not be far away, but 
behind a wall, and there landing to fee what will be her carriage, and to be 
ready to return \ or, as nurfes will do with their little children,to make them 
feek after them • fo, fays flie, tho' Chrifl now be cut of fight, yet he is not 
far off, but, as it were, behind the wall ' and it is called our wall,in reference 
to fome other flie fpeaks with, of him •, and a wall y becaufe often we build up 
thefe reparations our felves, betwixt him and. us (Ifz. 59. 1.) that hides Chrifl, 
as a wall hides one man from another ; yet, even then, Chrifl goes not away, 
but waits to be gracious, as weary with forbearing. There is much love on 
Chrift's fide, in faddefl defertions, and our hand is often deep in his with- 
drawings : it is fad, when the wall that hides him, is of our building - 7 there 
is often nothing betwixt him and us, but our own fin. 

The id flep is, He looketb forth at the window 7 which is to the fame purpofev 
The meaning is, though I get not a full fight of him, yet he opens,as it were,, 
a window, and looks out, and I get fome little glance of his face. Sometimes 
Chrifl will neither (as it were) let the believer in to him, nor will he come 
out to them \ yet he will make windows, as it were, in the. wall, and give 
blinks of himfelf unto them. 

The 3^ flep is, He flews himfelf through the lattefs •■ that is, as there are- 
fome windows that have tirleffes or latteffes on them, by which men will fee 
clearly, and yet be but in a little meafure feen - fo, fays flie, Chrifl* is behold- 
ing us, though we cannot take him up fully :, yet die fmallefl bore, whereby 
Chrifl manifefls himfelf, is much, and to be acknowledged. All this flie ob- 
ferves with a Behold, as diteerning fomething 'wonderful in all thefe fleps : 
Chrifl hath feveral ways of communicating his love to his people (and that 
alfo even under defertions and withdrawings) and there are feveral degrees of 
thefe, yet the leafl of them is wonderful, and fliould be welcomed by belie- 
vers,, if it were to fee him but through the lattefs.. 

Verfe 10. Jtfy BeloVed fpake^and {aid mto me, QQft up, my JoVe^ 

my fair one^ and come away. 
Yerfe 1 1. For lo,tbe winter is paff, the ram is oyer \ and gone,, 



p 6 An Exposition Chap, 


Verfe i *■ The flowers appear on the earth, the time of the faring 
of birds is come, and the yoke of the turtle is heard in our land. 

Verfe I 3. The fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vine 
with the tender grape give a good fmelL Jrife, my lo1>e, my 
fair one, and come away. 

Having put by her obfervation of his carriage, fhe comes to fpeak to the 
fecond part, namely what was her carriage - and it was to read over,or think 
over with her felf, or to tell over to others, what Chrifl had faid unto her: 
This is a main piece of fpiritual wifdom, to fill Chrifl's room, in his abfence 
with his word and call, and to read his mind only from thefe, the bell inter- 
preters of it. Thefe words, prefaced to Chrifl's epiflle or fermon, My Beloved 
jpake, and [aid unto me, are not idly fet down, before fhe tell what the words 
which he (pake were : But, 1. It fhews fhe delights in repeating his Name \ 
ibr fhe had made mention of it before, verfe 8. 2. It fhews what commended " 
Chrift's epifile or words to her •, it was not only the matter therein contained 
(though that was warm and fweet) but it is come ("faith ihej from my Beloved, 
it was be that faid this, it was he that fent me this word. 3. It fhews her dif- 
cerning of his voice ; and her affurance, that the word, call, and promife, 
ihe was refrefhing her felf with, was his word, and no devifed fable. It is 
a notable ground of confolation in Chrifl's abfence to believers, when they 
are clear, that fuch and fnch gracious words come out of Chrifl's owu mouth 
to them. 4. It fays, that fellowship with Chrifl is no dumb exercife *, thefe 
that are admitted to fellowfhip with him, he will be fpeaking with them, o- 
therwife than with the world. And, 5. That a believer hath an ear to hear, 
not only what the minifler faith, but alfb what Chrifl faith. 6. It is the 
word, as from Chrifl's own mouth, that hath an effectual impreffion -, and a 
believer will receive it as fuch, that it may leave fuch an impreflion upon his 
iieart. 7. When Chrifl quickens a word, it will be fweet ^ and fuch a word 
will be regained, fo that thefe who have been qirckned by it, will be able long- 
afterward to repeat it: it is our getting little good of the word of the Lord,that 
makes us retain it fo ill. 8. It affords much fatisfa&ion to a believer, when 
he can fay, Chrifl faid this, or that to me, and that it is no delufion. 9. What 
Chrifl fays unto the fpirits of his own, in communion with them, it may bide 
the light, and is, on the matter, that fame which he fays in the word and 
gofpel, as we will fee in the following difcourfe, which, for this end, pad for 
the edification of others, and honour of the Beloved, fte tells over. 
We may take thefe words or epiflles of Chrifl's, as directed to three forts/as 


Verfe 10. of the Song of Solomon. 97 

the duty here preffed, rife and come away, will bear ) 1. To thefe that are 
dead in fins, whom Chrift by his voice quickens, and makes to rife, Jo. 5. 
28. Altho 7 this be not the immediate intent of it, as it is fpoken to a belie- 
ver j yet, confidering the fcope of recording this, and the matter contained 
in it, it may well be thought ufeful to ingage thefe who are yet Grangers to 
Chrift, there being ftill but the fame way of making at the firft, and after- 
ward recovering nearnefs with him, to wit, by faith in him •, and fo it will 
prefs receiving of, and doling with Chrift. 2. We may confider it as fpoken 
to believers, but to fiich as fleep, or are fitten up } fo it prefleth quxkning: 
And 3. As fpoken to believers in a difconfolate, difcouraged condition 5 ib its 
fcope is to ftir, quicken, roufe and comfort Chrift's Bride, in any of tbefe two 
laft cafes, that he may bring her in to more nearnefs of fellowfhip with him- 
felf, and to more boldnefs in the ufe-making of him j which is the great 
fcope he aims at. 

There are three parts of this fermon or epiftle *, 1. There is a kindly invi- 
tation, that mainly refpe&s the preifing of faith,from verfe 1 o. to 1 4. 2. There 
is a loving direction or two, verfe 14. looking efpecially to the practice of 
duties. 3. Left any thing mould be wanting, he gives a direction concerning 
the troublers of her peace, verfe 15. 

In all thefe parts, there are four things common to be found in each of 
them, 1. Some fadnefsin her condition fuppofed. 2. Some directions given 
to aire it. 3. Some motives ufed, to prefs the practice of thefe directions. 
4. Some repetitions, to mew his ferioufhefs in all, and the concernment of 
the thing fpoken. 

The cafe wherein thefe, who are here fpoken to, are fuppofed to be, in 
this firft part of Chrift's fermon, verfe 1 o. &c. is, 1 . Deadnefs, total or par- 
tial : Believers may be under a decay, and be in part dead. 2. It is fuppofed 
that they are fecure, and not vigorous \ but infenfible in a great part of that 
ill. 3. That they are difconfolate and heartlels under diftance and deadnefs ; 
which ills often tryft together. 

The direction he gives, in order to the helping of this, is in two words* 
1. Rife. 2* Come away* Which fays, that as fhe was now in a cafe of ftrange- 
nefs to Chrift, fb there was a neceftity of roufing her felf, and coming out of 
it j fuch a neceftity as there is for a ftraying wife to return to her husband. 
Now, thefe words are a fweet call of a kind Husband, inviting to this return, 
and mewing the remedy of ftraying and eftrangement from him. Rifing im- 
ports, 1 . One that is fettled, fome way, in a condition oppoftte to walking 
and running. 2. A ftirring up of themfelves, as unfatisfied therewith, and de- 
firous to be out of it, with fome endeavours to be up again : Declining from 
Chrift puts fouls ftill down, and holds thematunder. Come away, holds forth a 

O term 


9 8 An Expofition Chap* 2. 

term from which ihe is to come, from that condition me was in 5 whatever 
it was, it was not good : Men are in no defirable condition when Chrift calls 
them. 2. A term to which fhe is to come, and that is Chrift * it is to fol- 
low the Bridegroom 5 to get her brought to a nearer union and communion 
with him, is the great thing he aims at. 3. An aft, whereby me paffeth from 
that fhe was, and turning her back on that, moves towards him, that me may 
thereby attain nearer union and fellowship with him. By both which, we 
conceive, the exercife of faith in him, is mainly holden forth, 1. Becaufe 
faith is ordinarily in fcripture fet forth by coming, Ifa. 55. 1. Jo. 5.40. Jo. 6. 
35. and this expreffion fuits well the aft of faith. 2. Becaufe it is the only 
mean of making up the diftance betwixt him and us : Decay in the exercife of 
faith, and diftance with Chrift, go together ^ and the exercife of foith, and 
nearnefs with him, are alfo jnfeparable companions. This is the meaning 
then, Why lies thou in this difcouraged, decayed and co?nfortlefs condition ? There 
is another, and a far better , to wit, a lively and comfortable condition allowed upon 
thee j Chrifi calls thee to exercife faith in him, for recovering of thy cafe. And 
this now is fet down imperatively, by way of command, that we may know 
that believing in Chrift, or keeping communion with him by faith, are not 
left to our option, but are laid on by a peremptory command, for neceffi- 
tating us to the exercife of it, 1 Jo. 3. 23. as a thing moll acceptable to him, 
with which he cannot be angry, nor will he call obedience thereunto pre- 

3. When he hath given the invitation, he preifeth it moft ferioufly and 
weightily j for tho' it be of our concernment, we are not eafily induced even 
to believe : O but the world is much miftaken in this, that think it an eafy 
matter to believe ! And alio, he would have us knowing, he allows us the 
comfortable exercife of faith in him, with all his heart (if we may fpeak fo) 
when he thus preffeth and perfwadeth us to it. Likewife, we may gather, 
that it is no common thing, which he exhorts unto, when he doth fo ferioufly 
prefs it *, but it is of mofl weighty concernment to us. 

There are three ways he maketh ufe of, to prefs it ^ 1 . By excellent, lo- 
ving titles, my love, and fair one ^ which are given here, efpecially to let her 
know he loved her, and thereby to encourage her to follow the call. The 
faith of his love hath no little influence upon our acting faith in particulars 
on him. 2. To mew that he is no rigid nor fevere cenfurer of a difcouraged 
believer } no, my fair one (faith he) even when fhe hath many fpots : Chrift 
will raife no ill report on his own, whatever be their failings. 3. He preifeth 
it from the fpeci&l relation he hath to her, my love, and my fair one •, which 
makes all his words very kindly, and fhews an obligation on her, by the cove- 
nant relation that Hood between them, to be his, and to fubjecl: her felf to 


Verfe it. of tbfSoiig of Solomon. 99 

his directions-, according to that word, Pfal. 45. 10. Hearken, daughter. Sec* 
Forget tly father's houfe, &c. And therefore (he ought to leave all, and cleave 
to him : thrift requires nothing from us, but according to the covenant, that 
ties us to communion or cohabitation (to fpeak fo) with Chrift - 7 and it is a 
molt binding obligation •, if this prevail not in preiling us to duty, that we 
are Chrift's, nothing will prevail. It is no little praftick in a believer, to be 
like the relation they Hand in to Chrift -, what, my love (faith he) becomes it 
you to be fo ftrange ? Rife and come, &c. Some other thing is allowed to you 
than to others, and fome other thing is called for from you, than is to be 
found in the way of others. 

The third way he infifteth to urge this (for the call and kindnefs comes ftill 
on his fide, even when we are in the fault) is by moil preiling arguments of 
three forts. The firft is, verfe 11. Rife (faith he) and come away :, for there 
is no hazard now to travel this journey, becaufe what might fear you is done 
away *, the winter-cold and ftorm is pall, and the rain, that makes rivers un- 
payable, and journeys dangerous and wearifom (therefore it is faid,Matth. 24. 
20. Pray that your flight be not in the winter) thefe are over. This fuppones, 
1. There was a fharp winter, and a bitter rain (as it were) whereby the 
way of fellowfhip with God was unpaffable, till thefe were removed ; the 
fword (as it were) Handing to keep finners from paradife, that is, the fen- 
tence and curfe of the broken law, and the wrath of God purfuing therefore, 
which was indeed a fearful winter and ftorm, that made the fun dark, and the 
day gloomy - 7 therefore is God's wrath in fcripture compared to terrible blafls 
and tempefls, and who can ft-and before his cold f Pfal. 147. 17. 2« It fays, that 
now thefe are done away by Chrift •, and, by his call in the Gofpel, he affures 
his people, they fhall find them fully removed : fo that there is no wrath nor 
curfe, that any, who yields to it, needs to fear. 3. It implies, that the Gos- 
pel brings good news # , and there is none better than this, that God's juftice 
is fatisfied, and his wrath removed. 4. It imports, that Chrift can bear fare 
teftimony to this, that wrath is over, becaufe he paid a price to remove it ; 
and therefore finners may take his word, and follow his call. And, 5. That 
believers are fometimes ready to fufpeei:, more than they have ground, that 
there is fome ftorm yet before them -, but Chrift hath made all fair-weather, 
ere he call. O great argument! He calls not to fight, but to gather the fpoil 5 
he puts not believers to the fea, till he himfelf hath made all calm : Belie- 
vers meet with blafts and ftorms fometimes, but readily that is, when their 
back is on Chrift, and not when their faces are to him -ward : The wind of 
wrath is not in a fmner's face that feeketh Jefus -, but the word faith to fuch> 
Fear not, Mark 16. 6. ye feek him. 
Secondly, He preffeth her to rife and come? from fome heartlwn encourage- 

O 2 merit 

loo An Expofition Chap. 2.' 

ment he propones, verfe 12. There is a great change (faith he) now, when 
the angry winter is over, all things are pleafant and lovely. 1. The flowers 
appear •, that ihews there is heat and warmnefs in the earth, and it is an effect 
of the fpring, and a proof that winter is paft. Hereby the fruits of grace, 
appearing in the change that is wrought upon finners, may be fignified, as is 
frequently hinted in this Song, where the Church is called a garden, and be- 
lievers are the flowers : Come (faith he) grace hath made others to come 
through the ground, who once were like flowers in the winter under 
ground, but now they appear and flourifh. 2. The- time of fmging of 
birds is come, A§ in the fpring, birds fing, which in the winter droop- 
ed ; So (faith he) now many poor finners have changed their fad note, and 
begin to fmg, who once were finking under fears : and the good news of the 
Golpel, like the voice of the turtle, is heard in cur land *, thefe good tidings 
have been lent even to us, which is no little evidence of love, and no final! 
confirmation to faith. That the news of the Gofpel, and the confolation of 
finners thereby, is here underftood, is very agreeable to the fcope \ and thefe 
prove the removing of wrath, and are encouraging for ftirring finners up to 
the exercife of faith. And O how heaitfom and refrefhful is the fpirituai 
fpring, when the day -fpring from on high vifits us ! (as thefe things, mentioned 
in the text, are in the natural fpring very pleafant, and tend to provoke men 
to go and recreate themfelves in the fields.) And this is the particular fcope 
of this place : There is never a firmer hath gotten good of Chrifr, but it 
proves him to be very kind \ and the blefTed change Chrifi hath wrought on 
them, fhould encourage others to believe, efpecially when it is the day of 
their vifitation, and the Sun of Righteoumefs hath become warm by the Gof- 
pel unto them, or unto the place and fociety in which they live. 3. He pref- 
feth his direction and call, by the very prefentnefs, and now of the feafbn of 
grace, verfe 1 3. The fig-tree putt eth fort /r, &c. Which fhews not only that ham- 
mer is near, but that it is even at the door, Matth. 24. 32, 33. and (faith he) 
the vines bud and give afmell; whereby is holden forth the thriving of the 
plants of God's vineyard, under the difpenfation of grace} as we may fee, 
verfe 15. All thefe prove, that now is the acceptable time, and now is the day 
of falvation j and there are large allowances of confolation to them, that now 
.will accept of Chrifi 's offers, and fubject to his call : Therefore, faith he, 
even to us, Sit not the time when all is ready, but up, and come away. And 
that the voice of the turtle is heard in our land, (that is, even the Church 
wherein we live) proves it to be the fealbn of grace alfo *, for it is long fince 
the time of the turtles fiming hath come to us,and their voice is yet ftill heard: 
And this fays, the chock and feafon of grace is amongft our hands, now when 
Chrifl's call comes to cur door - 7 and therefore it would not be negle&ed. 


Verfe 14. of the Song of Solomon. 10 1 

And fo he doth, in the fourth place, repete the call in the end of wr/* 13. 
/tfn/e, wy ^, &c. And this repetition is to fhew, 1. His willingnefs to have 
it effe&ual \ if finners were as willing, it would foon be a bargain. 2. Our 
fluggifhnefs in not anfwering at once :, therefore muft word be upon word, 
callupon call, line upon line, precept upon precept. 3. To bear out the 
riches of his grace and love in this call, wherein nothing is wanting that can, 
be alledged to perfwade a fmner to clofe with Chrift, and to prefs one that 
hath doled with him to be cheer fill in him : What a heartibm life might 
finners have with Chrift, if they would embrace him, and dwell with him in 
the exercife of faith! they mould have alway a fpring-time, andpoffefs (to 
fay fo) the funny-fide of the brae of all the world befide, walking in gardens 
and orchards, where the trees of the promifes are ever fruitful, pleafant and 
favoury to fight, fmell, tafte *, and every word of (Thrift, as the finging of 
birds, heartfom and delightful to the ear • and all of them healthful to the 
believer. Who will have a heart to fit Chrift's call ? or if they do, who will 
be able to anfwer it, when he mail reckon with them ? It will leave all the 
hearers of the Gofpel utterly inexcufable. Laftly, This Repetition fhews the 
importunatnefs and the peremptorinefs of his call : he will have no refufal, 
neither will he leave it arbitrary, if we will come, when we mall come, or 
what way ; but he ftraitly enjoineth it, and that juft now : It is always time 
to believe, when ever Chrift calls , and it is never time to fhift, when he 
perfwades. All this fays, Chrift muft be a kind and loving Husband j how 
greatlv pl'ay they the fool, that rejc&him ! and how happy are they, wha 
are effectually called to the marriage of the Lamb ! 

Verfe 14, my doVe! that art in the clefts of the rocks, in the 
■ fecret places of the flair s^ let me fee thy countenance, let mt hear 

thy Voice - y for fweet is thy Voice, and thy countenance is comely. 

This 14. verfe conta'ns the fecond part of Chrift's fweet and comfortable 
fermon ; wherein, befide the title which he gives his Bride, there are three 
things, 1. Her cafe. 2. The direction which he propones, as the cure of her 
cafe. 3. The motive prefling it. 

The title is, my dove : This hath a fweet in initiation and motive in it. Be- 
lievers are ftiled fo, (1.) For their innocent nature, Mattb m ic. 16. (2.) For 
their tendernefs, and trembling at the word of the Lord, Hof iu n. Jfa. 
38. 14. Hezffcah mourned as a dove. (3.) For their beauty and purity, Pjal. 
68. 13. (4.) For their chaft adhering to their own mate \ in which retpecr, 
that of If a. 38. 14. is thought to allude to the mourning of the one, after the 
other's death : This fhe\vs\vhat a believer fhould be ; and who deferves this 
name. The 

loi An Expofition Cl 


p. 2. 

The condition of this dove is, that me is in the clefts of the rocks, and in the 
fecrct places of the flairs : It is ordinary for dcves to hide themfelves in rocks 
or holes in walls of houies-, and this fimilitude is ufed fometimes in a good 
fenie, as Ifa. do. 8. fometimes in an ill fenfe, as pointing out infirmity, and 
too much fear and fillinefs, Hof 7. 11. Ephra.im is -a (illy dove -without heart 
that goes to Egypt, &c. The Bride is here compared to a dove hiding itfelf 

in the laft fenfe, out of unbelief and anxiety, taking her to poor fliifts for eafe, 
and flighting Chrift - as frighted doves, that mi flake their own windows, and 
fly to other hiding-places } the fcope being to comfort and encourage her and 
the directions calling her to holy boldnefs, and prayer to him (implying' that 
thefehad been neglected formerly) doth confirm this : Then fays the Lord 
My poor he.irtlefs dove, why art thou difcouraged, taking thee to holes (as it 
were) to hide thee,foftering misbelief and fainting? that is not the right way. 

What then mould me do (might it be faid) feeing me is fo unmeet to con- 
verfe with him, or look out to the view of any that looks on ? He gives two 
directions, holding forth what was more proper, and fit for her cafe *, 1. Let 
me fee thy countenance, faith he : like one that is afhamed, thou hides thy felf 
as if thou durft not appear before me \ but come (faith he) let me fee thy 
countenance. This expreiHon imports friendlinefs, familiarity, and boldnefs in 
her coming before him : fo this phrafe of feting one's face is taken, Gen* 43. 3,5. 
and 2 Sam. 14. 32. as the not mewing of the countenance fuppofeth difcontent 
or fear : fo then, the Lord calls by this to holy familiarity with him, and 
confidence in it, in opposition to her former fainting and misbelief. The fe- 
cond direction is, Let me hear thy voice : To make him hear the voice, is to 
pray, Pfal. 5. 3. and under it generally all the duties of religion are often com- 
prehended : It is like, difcouragement fcarred the heartlefs Bride from pray- 
er, and me durft not come before him j Do not fo (faith he) but call confi- 
dently upon me in the day of trouble, and time of need. Obferve, 1. Pray- 
er never angers Chrift (be the believer's cafe what it will) but forbearing of 
at will. 24 Difcouragement, when it feizes on the child of God, is notfoon 
fhaken off •, and therefore he not only gives one direction upon another, but 
jilfo adds encouragements and motives fuitable to thefe directions. 

And fo we come to the third thing in the verfe, the motives he makes ufe 
of to prefs his directions, which are two, 1. Sweet is thy voice. 2. Thy coun- 
tenance is comely. What is my voice and countenance ? might fhe fay (for 
proud unbelief is exceeding humble, and fubtil, when it is oppofmg and thor- 
toring with Chrift's call) Yea, faith he, thy voice is fweet :, there is no mu- 
iick in the world fo pleafant to me, as the prayer of a poor believer. Now, 
this doth not fo much commend clir prayers, as it mews his acceptation of 
them, and the excellency of his golden cenfer, that makes them with his 


VciTe 15. of the Song of Solomon. 103 

odours fo favoury before God, Rev. 8. 3. And, 2. (faith he) thy countenance;, 
tho' there be fpots on it, yet to me it is comely - therefore let me ear thy 
'voice, let me fee thy countenance. Chrift had rather converfe with a poor belie- 
ver, than with the moft gallant,ftately perfon in all the world befide. Obferve, 
1. Fainting may overmafter even a poor believer, and misbelief may mire 
them. 2. There are often foolifh fecklefs fliifts made ufe of by believers, for 
defending misbelief and difcouragement, when they are under temptation. 
3. Faithlefs fears and difcouragement may come to that height, as to fcarr a be- 
lie\er from Chrift's company, and marr them in prayer to him. 41 Misbelief 
bears out ftill this to a tempted foul, that Chrift cares not for it •, yea, that 
he difdains i'uch a perfon and their company. 5. Chrift is tender of fainting 
believer?, and of their confolation, even when they fufpetl him moft, and 
when their fufpicions are moft unreafonable and uncharitable to him, la. 45?. 
14, 15. 6. Chrift allows poor believers a familiar and confident waik with 
him \ they might all be courtiers, for the accefs that is allowed them, if they 
did not re fiife their allowance, and finfully obftmcl: their own accefs thereto. 
7. Chrift loves to be much imployed by his people j and there is nothing 
more pleafmg to him, than frequently to hear their voice. 8. He is a fweet 
and gentle conftru&er of them, and their fervice j and is not rigid, even when 
often they have many mifconftrn&ions of him. 9. The more difcouragement 
feizeth upon the foul, there fhould be the more prayer, and thronging in up- 
on Chrift •, for there is no outgate to be expecled, but in that way. 10. None 
needs to fear to put Chrift on their fecrets - or, they need not fo to 
fear (if they be fmcere ) that they fpill their prayers, as thereby to 
be kept from prayer, or made heartlefs in it j for it is Chrift that hears them, 
whofe cenfer, Rev. 8. 6. makes them favoury before God : Let me hear thy 
voice, is no little encouragement in that duty 5 and the right confideration 
of it would help to much boldnefs in prayer, and efpecially confidering, that 
the God. who is the hearer of prayer, is our Beloved. 

Verfe I 5. Take us the foxes , the little foxes that f poll the Vines? 

for our Vines have tender grapes. 

This 1 5 yerfe contains the laft part of Chrift's fermon j wherein, as he had 
formerly given directions in reference to her particular walk, fo here he evi- 
denceth his care of her external peace : That Chrift fpeaks thefe words, the 
continuation and feries of them with the former, the fcope (which is to make 
full proof of his care) and the manner how the duty here mentioned is laid 
on, to wit, by way of authority, makes it clear. There are three things in 
them, 1. An external evil incident to the Church, and that is, to be fpoiled 


io4 An Expofttion Chap. 1. 

by foxes, 2. A cure given in a direction, Take thcm y &c. 3. He gives rea- 
ibm to deter all from cruel pity in fparing of them. ¥or i &c. 

In clearing the cafe here fuppofed, as incident to the Church, we are to con- 
fider, u What thefe vines are. 2. What be thefe foxes. 3. How they fpoil 
the vines. For clearing the Firft, Confider, that the vifible Church is often 
compared in fcripture to a vineyard, Matih. 21. 33. And the particular pro- 
leffors, efpecially believers, are as the vine-trees that grow in it , Co,Ifa. 5.7. 
The vineyard of the Lord is the houfe of Jfracl, collectively, and the men of Ju- 
dah arc his pleafant plants. They are called fo, ifl, For their fecklelhefs in them- 
felves, Etek. 15. 2, 3, &c. yet, excelling in fruit beyond others. 2. Becaufe 
ef God's feparating them from others, and taking pains on them above all 
others, I [a. 27. 2, 3. For thefe, and other reafons, they are called the vines. 
Next, By foxes are underftood falfe teachers, Eaek. 13.4. O Ifrael, thy pro- 
phets (that is, thy flattering teachers, as the context clears) are as foxes in 
the deferts. And, Matth. 7. 15. they are called wolves in jheeps cloth- 
ing : Hereby are meant not every one, who in fomething differ in 
their own judgment from the received rule, if they vent it not for 
corrupting of others, or the difturbing of the Church's peace , but 
thefe who are, in refpect. of others, feducers, teaching men to do as they 
do, in that which tends to the Church's hurt : and fuch alfo, as, by- 
flattery and unfaithfulnefs, deftroy fouls, proportionally come in to fliare of 
the name, as they do of the thing fignified thereby , as that place ofEz.ekiel 9 
before cited, and chap. 34. 2, 3. doth confirm. Now, they get this name for 
their refembling foxes in three things , (1.) In their abominable nature - 9 
wherefore they are called foxes, wolves, dogs, &c. and fuch like, "which are 
abhorred and hated of all men •, and fo are thefe moll hateful to God, and 
fo ought they to be with all others. (2.) For their deftroying, hurtful nature, 
in their deftroying the Church -, therefore called ravening nWw,Matth. 7. 1 5. 
and grievous wolves, A&s 20. 29. who fubvert whole houfe s, Tit. 1. 11. and 
whofe word eateth as doth a gangrene, 2 Tim. 2. 17. (3.) They are compared 
to thefe for their fubtilty, a fox being famous for that , for which caufe He- 
rod is called a fox, Luke 13. 32. So falje teachers fpeak lies in hypocrify, 1 Tim. 
4. 2. creep into houses, their doctrines eat as a canker infenfibly : And they are, 
2 Cor. 11. 13, 14. called deceitful workers , and as their matter Satan can tranf- 
form himfelf into an angel of light, fo do they themfelves into the minifters 
of Chrifl : Ail fuch beafts, whatever their fhape be, are hateful to Chrifl and 
his Church. Thirdly, Thefe falfe teachers, or foxes, are faid tofpoil the vines ; 
for foxes hurt not a vineyard or flock of lambs more than falfe teachers do 
the Church. 1. Corrupting the purity of do&rine. 2. Obfcuringthe fimpli- 
city of worfliip. 3. Overturning the beauty of order, and bringing in confu- 


Verfe 1 5. of the Song of Solomon. 105 

fion. 4. Spoiling her bond of unity, and renting the affe&ions, and dividing 
the ways of her members, thereby diffipating the flock. 5. Extinguifhing the 
vigour and life of Chriftian practice ', diverting from what is more neceffary, 
to hurtful and vain janglings, which do ftill increafe to more ungodlinefs, and 
have never profited them who were occupied therein, Heb. 13.7. 6. By 
ruining fouls, carrying them head-long to the pit, 2 Pet. 2. 1. and 3. 16. 
There is no hurt nor hazard the Church of Chrift meets with, or ever met 
with, more grievous and dangerous than what fhe meets with from fuch, al- 
tho' this be an exercife and trial ordinarily incident to her. 

Secondly, The cure the Lord provides, is,the furnifhing of his Church with 
difcipline, and the giving of directions for managing of it, in thefe words, 
Take us, &c. Wherein confider thefe four, (1.) To whom it is directed. (2.) 
What is required. (3.) A motive infmuate in the expreffion, Take us. (4.) 
The extent of the direction, for the obviating of a queftion. It may be fup- 
pofed to be directed to one of four. ift, Either to the Bride ; or,' idly, To 
Angels , or, $dfy 9 To Magiftrates •, or, qthly, To Church-guides. Now, it 
is to none of the firft three , therefore it mull be to the laft and fourth. Firft, 
It is not to the Bride : For, 1. The word take, in the Original, is in the plu- 
ral number, and fignifieth take ye •, now, the Lord ufeth not to fpeak to the 
Church, but as to one. 2. He fays, 'take us , and fo taking the Bride in with 
himfelf^ as a party for whom this fervice is to be performed, the fpeech mud 
be directed to fome third. Secondly, It is not directed to Angels, thefe are 
not fpoken to in all this Song •, and this being a duty to be performed while 
the Church is militant, they come not in to gather the tares from the wheat, 
till the end of the world, nor to feparate the bad fifh from the good, till the 
net be fairly on the more. Thirdly, This direction cannot be given to theMa- 
giltrate - for, befide that he is not mentioned in this Song, nor, as fuch, hath 
he any part in the miniftry of the Gofpel, or capable to be thus fpoken unto 
(altho' the duty from the force of its argument will alfo reach him in his 
ftation, becaufe he fhould fb far as he can prevent the fpoiling of ChrifTs 
vineyard in his place) Befide this, I fay, this direction mull take place in all 
times, whenever the Church hath fuch a trial to wreftle with ; otherwife it 
were not fuitable to Chrift's fcope, nor commenfurable with her need. Key/, 
for many hundreds of years the Church wanted magiftrates, to put this dire- 
ction in practice *, yet wanted fhe not foxes, nor was fhe without a fuitable 
capacity of guarding her felf againft. them, by that power wherewith Chrifr 
hath furniftied her. It remains therefore, Fourthly, That it muft be fpoken 
to Chrift's Minifters, and officers in the Church, called rulers in the fcripture, 
and, in this Song, watchmen and keepers of this vineyard, as by office contradi- 
Itinguiflied from profefTors, chap. 3. 3. and 5, 7. and 8. it, 12* Such the 

P Church 

\o6 An Expo (it ion Chap. 2. 

Church never wanted, fuch are required to watch (Afts 20. 24.) againfl wolves, 
and fuch in the Church of Ephefus are commended (Rev. 2. 3*4.) for putting 
this direction in execution, idly. The duty here required is to take them, 
as men ufe to hunt foxes till they be taken •, and this implies all that is needful 
for preventing their hurting of Chad's vines : Chrift's minifters are to lay out 
themfelves in difcovering, confuting and convincing, cenfuring and rejecting 
them, Tit. 3. 11. that is, not to endure them that are evil, but to try them 
judicially, as it is Pev, 2. 2. 

Obf. 1. Chrift's Church is furnifhed with fufticient authority in her felf, for 
her own edification, and for cenfuring of fuch as would obftrucl: the fame. 

2. This Church- authority is not given to profeffors in common, or to the 
Bride as the firft fubject •> but to their guides, Chrift's minifters and fervants. 

3. It is no lefs a duty, nor is it lefs neceffary to put forth this power againfl 
falfe teachers, than againfl: other grofs offenders : So did Paul, 2 77m. 1. utt. 
and fo commands he others to do, Tit. 3. to. herefy and corrupt doctrine be- 
ing alfo a fruit of the flelh, Gal. 5. 20. as well as other fcandakxis fins. 

Thirdly, There is a motive to prefs, implied, while he faith this, Take us : 
Which words insinuate, that it is fervice both to him and her, and that mini- 
fters are his fervants, and the Church's for Chrift's fake. It fliews alfo his 
fympathy, in putting himfelf, as it were, in hazard with her (at leaft myfti- 
cally confidered) and his love in comforting her, that he thinks himfelf con- 
cerned in the reftraint of thefe foxes, as well as fhe is. 

Fourthly ■, The direction is amplified, to remove an objection, (fay fome) All 
herefies, or all hereticks are not equal •, fome comparatively are little to be re- 
garded, and it is cruelty to meddle with thefe, that feem to profefs fair. No 
(faith he) take them all, even the little foxes \ for, tho y they be but little, yet 
thsy are foxes, tho 7 they be not of the groffefl kind (as all fcandals in fact's are 
not alike, yet none is to be difpenfed with) fo they are (faith he ) foxes, and 
corrupt others \ for, a, little leaven will leaven the whole lump (often fmall-like 
fchifms, or herefies, fuch as the Novatians and Donatifts, &c. have been ex- 
ceedingly defacing to the beauty of the Church) therefore-, faith he, hunt and 
take them^ all. How fmali a friend is our Lord to toleration ! and how dilplea- 
ied is he with many errors, that the world thinks little of 1 Magistrates, mi- 
nifters and people may learn here, what diftance ought to be kept with the 
fpreaders of the leaft errors ; and how every one ought to concur, in their 
ftations, for preventing the hurt that comes by them. 

The- laft thing in the verfe, is, the reafbns wherewith this direction is back- 
ed and preffed.. The firfi is, All of them fpoil the vines : Error never runs 
loofe, and hereticks never get liberty, but the fpoil ing of the vines one way 
or other follows ; and can beafts befufferedin a garden, or orchard, and the 
plants not be hurt ? *4ty* If 

■ - ™ f 

Verfe 15. of the Song of Solomon, 1 07 

2 -Uy 9 If any fay, they are but little foxes, and unable to hurt : He anfwers 
this, and adds a fecond reafon, in faying, The grapes are tender ; or, The vines 
are in the fir ft grapes : that is, as they (while fcarce budding or lprouting) are 
eafily blafted by a fmall wind, fo the work of grace in a believer, or Chrift's 
ordinances in his Church, are moft precious and tender wares, and cannot 
abide rough hands :, even the leaft of feducers, or corrupt teachers, may eafily 
wrong them : they are of inch a nature, as they may be foon fpoiled, if they 
be not tenderly and carefully looked to. Obf. 1. They that have grace would 
be tender of it 5 it may eafily be hurt. 2. Gracious perfons would not think 
themfelves without the reach of hazard from corrupt teachers*, for this is fpo- 
ken of the Bride, The foxes fpoil the vines. 3. Our Lord Jefus is exceeding 
tenJer of the work of grace, in, and amongft his people \ and where it is 
weakeft, he is fome way moll tender of it. 4. This argument, here made 
ufe of, fays alfo, that thefe who are moft tender of his Church, and the gra- 
ces of his people, will be moft zealous againft falfe teachers, even the leaft 
of them : For thefe two are joined together in him, and are in themfelves ne- 
ceffary to preferve the one, and reftrain the other •, and the fuffering thefe to 
ramble and run without a check, cannot be the way of building, but of fpoil- 
ing Chrift's Church. 

The third motive, or reafon preifing the watchmen to have a care of the 
vines, is hinted in the pofTeflive particle our *, For cm vines, &c. which is re- 
lative to the watchmen, whom he takes in with himfelf, as having a common 
intereft in the Church : The Church is his* and theirs, as the flock is the 
owner's, and the fhepherds, who are particularly fet to have the overfight of 
it *, for, the fhepherd may fay, This is my flock, which no other fervant can 
fay : And this is a great piece of dignity put upon minifters, to be fellow- 
workers with Chrift, 2 Cor. 6. 1 . &c. and binds on their duty ftrongly -, for, 
faith Chrift here to them, Ye will have lofs alfo, if ye fee not to it, becaufe ye 
muft count for the vineyard, wherewith you are intrufted : It is yours, and yet ye 
are not abfolute lords, for it is alfo mine, I am the owner of it. And Co the vines 
are both theirs and Chrift's : their intereft fpeaks how naturally they fhould 
care for them j his intereft fhews the dependency both minifters and people 
ought to have on him. 

Verfe \6. My Beloved is mine, and 1 am his : he feedetb among 

the lilies. 
Verfe 17. Until the day breal^ and the fliadows flee away : turn, 

P 2 my 

io8 An Expofition Chap. 2- 

my Beloved, and be thou likfi a roe, or a young hart upon the 

mountains of Bether. 

Now follows the two lad parts of her carriage in the Beloved's abfence : 
Firft, after fhe hath (as it were) read over his epiftle, fhe comforts her felt 
in his love, and her intereft in him, tho' he be abfent. (It is a good ufe of 
his word, when it is made ufe of, for ftrengthning our faith in him, when 
fenfe is away) There are two parts of this confolation, i. Her faith is clear 
for the prefent, verfe 16. 2. Her hope is folid in the expeclation of an ex- 
cellent day coming, verfe 17. Next, verfe 17. fhe puts up a prayer for a 
gracious vifit, which ihe knows he will allow upon her until that day come *, 
and this is the laft thing here recorded of the Bride's carriage in the Bride- 
groom's abfence. 

In the 16. verfe, the faith of her intereft in him is, 1. Afferted ; My Be- 
loved is mine, and I am his. 2. It is vindicated, or eftabliihed againft an ob- 
jection, in the following words, be feeds , &c. The affertion holds out an 
union betwixt him and her, / am Us+ &c. or, as it is in the Original, / am 
to him, and he is to me : fuch as is the union betwixt married perfons,£ft>/'.3.3. 
which the ty of marriage brings on, even fuch is this which follows cove- 
nanting with God ; for this union prefuppofeth it, and is founded on ityZT&Jfr. 
1 5. 8. I made a covenant with thee, and thou become ft mine, or, to me : Altho 3 
(faith ihe) he be not here, yet he is my husband, and that ty ftands betwixt 
me and him, which is no little privilege \ and in this ihe comforts her felf 
under abfence. 

Obferve, Firft, There is an excellent union, and peculiar ty betwixt Chrift 
and believers, which none other can lay claim to but they : It is excellent, as 
will appear, if we confider thefe properties of it ; 1 . It is a near union, they 
are oneflefi, Eph. 5. 27. as man and wife \ they are flejh of hisflejh r and bone 
cf his bone. 2. It is a real, and not an imaginary union (tho' it be fpiritual 
and by faith) it makes and transfers a mutual right of the one to the other* 
and hath real effetts. 3. It is mutual on both fides. Chrift is wholly hers, 
and flie is wholly dedicated to him. 4. It is a kindly union, fuch as is be- 
twixt husband and wife, and followed with the fruits of a moft fweet relation., 
5« It is an union which is fome way full - whole Chrift is hers, and fhe by 
confent and title is wholly his. 6. It is an indiifolvable union •, there is no 
diffolving of it by any thing that can fall out, otlierwife the confolation 
were not folid. Again,. Obferve, xdly, That this relation, which the believer 
hath to Chrift, is the great ground of his happinefs and confolation, and not 
any fenfible prefence, or any^difpenfation, or gift communicate by Chrift to 
Mrru $dtyi That believers may attain aJQTurance and dearncfe^ anent their 


Verfe 16. of the Song of Solomon. 109 

intereft in him, and may come to know really that Chrift is theirs : and be- 
lievers fhould aim to be through in this, that their calling and election may be 
made fure to themfelves, 2 Pet 1. 10. 4/Wy, Believers, when they have attain- 
ed clearnefs, fhould acknowledge it, and comfort themfelves in it, and not 
raife new difputes about it. $thly> This clearnefs may confift with abfence, 
and want of fenfible prefence \ and there is no cafe wherein a believer fhould 
flick fafter to his confidence, than in fuch a cafe, when under defertion and 
abfence, as the fpoufe doth here. 

2. She vindicates her faith in thefe words, He feedeth among the lilies* The 
words may be looked upon as the preventing of an objection-, for it might be 
laid, If Chrift be yours , where is he ? Is it likely that he is yours, when he is fo far 
away ? For, the faith of clearnefs will be affaulted and fet upon, and it is 
not eafily ma'ntained •, and unbelief takes the advantage of Chrifl's abfence 
from \"enfey to brangle it •, fo that unbelief and temptation efpecially fets on 
then : Therefore, fhe anfwers it thus, He feedeth among the lilies^ that is, he 
is kind to his people, and prefent with them, tho' now I fee him not. Faith 
may, and will argue from Chrift's love to his people in general, and from the 
promifes that fpeaks to all, when there feems to be nothing fingular in the 
believer's own condition,from which it can take comfort. By Mies are nnder- 
ftood all believers : the Church was called a lilie, verfe 2. here all believers 
arefo called, as partaking of that fame beauty and favour, and becauie plant- 
ed in the fame true garden. Chrift was called a lilie, verfe 1 . and here all 
believers are called lilies, fhewihg, 1 . That all believers have a conformity 
to Chrift, and partake of the divine nature and fpirit that is in him. 2. That 
all believers, in things that are effential to grace and holinefs, have confor- 
mity one to another j they have the fame Faith, Spirit, Covenant, Husband, 
&c. altho' in circumftantials and degrees there be differences. Next, His 
feeding amongft them fhews, 1. A fpecial gracious prefence in his Church,and 
among believers -, there he walketh among the feven golden candlefticks, Kev. 2.1. 
2. A fpecial delight he hath in them, and fatisfa&ion to be amongft them, as 
a man delighteth to walk in his garden : It is his meat (John 4. 32, 34.) and 
drink to do them good \ fo then (faith fhe) he is kind to all his people, and 
is fo to me, tho' for the time I fee him not : And thus alfo fhe anfwers the 
queftion, chaf*6. 1, 2. even when Chrift is a-feeking, and fhe was inquiring 
after him. Obf 1. Chrifl's care of his Church, and love to his. Bride, is no 
lefs tinder abfence, than when his prefence is fenfibly enjoyed*, 2. The con- 
fideration of this, tends much to further the confolation of believers-, and it 
becomes them well to believe this, when under defertion and abfence, and fo 
to ward off temptations* 


no An Expojttion Chap. 2. 

The folid exercife of faith never wants hope waiting on it , therefore, idly, 
Verfe 17. that follows, for compleating the Bride's confolation,in thefe words, 
-until the day break, and fiadows, &c. TW there be fmdows ( faith ihe) and vails 
betwixt him and me, in this night of dcfertion } yet, there is a day coming^ when 
thefe, by his prefence, full be made to fee away, and If mil fee him as he is. There 
is a twofold day fpoken of in fcripture, 1. A day of ChrirVs prefence here u- 
pon earth, Luke. 1. 78. The day-faring from on high hath vifiied **• 2. The day 
of his glorious appearing, commonly called the great day -, and in a lingular 
way called here the day, becaufe it hath no night of interruption following 
thereupon, and becaufe it goes as far beyond what believers poffefs now, as 
day exceeds the nighty therefore it is called the morning, Pfal. 49. 14. in which 
the ju-ft fhall have the dominion:, and the dawning of the day, and the rlfng 
of the day -far in our hearts, 2 Pet. 1. 19. which is there oppofed to the clear- 
eft prophefies and ordinances, which are but as a candle in a dark place, in 
refpecl: of that day. Now,we conceive the laft and great day is fignified here, 

1. Becaufe that is her fcope,to comfort her felf in the hope of what is coming. 

2. Becaufe me oppofeth it to the prefent means, as to fhadows, even to faith 
it felf, for that ihe enjoyed for the time -, and alfo to fenfible prefence, which 
In the next words fhe prays for, till that day dawn. By Jhadows is meant, 
whatever marrs the immediate, full and fatisfying enjoying of Chrift, which, 
as fhadows, hide him from us, or darken him, that we do not fee him as he 
is, or give but fmall and dark reprefentations of him, (like fhadows of the 
body) which are very unproportioned unto his own excellent worth. They 
are Yaid to flee away, becaufe a glimpfe of Chrift then,when he, who is the Sun 
of Righteoufnefs,fhall fhine at the break of that day, fhall difpel anddiflipate 
themjnore fully and quickly, than this natural fun, when rifing, doth fcatter 
darknefs and fhadows that go before it. And by ztf?f/7,weunderftand the letting 
of a fixed term, which diftinguifheth one time from another, as Gen. $i.IwitL 
not let thee go until thou blefs me -, fb faith fhe, Vntil that day of immediatt 
prefence come, let me have love-vifts, as is exprefied in the following words. 
Obfi ( 1. /There is an excellent day coming to believers,w herein Chrift fhall be 
immediately in joyed and feen, and wherein the foul fhall be comforted with 
no mediate object, or created excellency, but fhall fee his face, and be filled 
with the fiilnefs of God. (1*) While here, there are many fhadows even be- 
twixt Chrift and the ftrongeft believers ; we fee but darkly as in aglafs, 1 Cor. 
13. 12. There is, 1. A fhadow ofdefertion, and his hiding of himfelf. 2. A 
fhadow of ordinances, where he is feen, but yet darkly, like a face in a look- 
ine-glafs. 3. A fhadow of finful infirmities, drawing vails betwixt Chrift and 
usV and hiding his face from us, J fa. 59. 2. 4. A fhadow of natural infirmi- 
ty j for, not only are we ready through unbelief to flander him, but by reafon 


Verfe 17. of the Song of Solomon. 1 1 t 

of weaknelsf like narrow or old bottles) we are rfot capable of him, and unable 
to contain h ; m. (3.) At that day of his appearing, all thefe fhadows will in- 
flantly be done away : there will not one tear be left on any believer's cheeks, 
there will be no affliction or defertion to hide him from them, but they fall 
be fir ever with b.'m : there will then be no ordinance.^ nor temp'c, Rev. 21. 22. 
but the Lord Gpd y and the Lamb him/elf, fall be the temple and light of his peo- 
ple. Nor will there be any finftii infirmities then to interpofe betwixt him 
and them-, death, the curfe and corruption, will be carl into the lake: No 
unclean thing accompanies the believer into the new Jerufalem *, nay, no 
imperfect trfng is there \ for, whatever is imperfecl, and whatever was in 
^ir, is then done away, 1 Cor. 13. 10. and what is perfect will then come j 
the foul in its faculties will then be perfected, capacitated and dilated, to con- 
ceive, take up and delight in God - and the body perfected, made glorious 
and fpiritual, like the glorious body of our Lord Jefus, Phil. 3. utt. (4.) The 
hope of that day, and of the flying away of all fhadows then, is (and no 
marvel it be) very refrefhful to the Lord's people : and believers, in all their 
darkne/Tes, mould comfort themfelves and others, from the hope of it, iThef. 
4. ult. (5.) All that are Chrifl's, or whoever have faith in Chrift, and fellow- 
fhip with him by vertue of his covenant, may expect at that day to enjoy 
Chrift immediately and fully, and to fee him as he is. O that men belie- 
ved this ! and that many were thronging in to his covenant now, as they 
would not defire to be caft from his prefence in that day X Yet, (6.) All fha- 
dows are never removed till then •, the believer muft, and fome way will 
fabmit to Chrift's way of ordering it fo, and not feek it fhoiild be otherways 
till then. 

In the larr place, the Bride falls about the exercife of prayer, in the reft of 
this verfe : faith and hope in exercife always ftir up to prayer j for, thefe 
graces do not fofter lazinefs and fecurity, but incite and provoke to duty (it is 
a good token when faith and hope are fa accompanied) therefore flie turns 
her to prayer, in which fhe fpeaks to him as to her Beloved. Clearnefs of in- 
tereft, as it helps notably to many things, fo to confidence in prayer efpecial- 
ly. The petition (importing itill abfence) hath thefe two in it, ( 1 .) The fiii'c 
it felf, turn. (2.) The.inforcing and inlarging of it, be like a roe T Scci Turn- 
ing her, implies, 1. Senfe and feeling of his abfence. 2. Her ferious defire 
to have Chrift again. 3. That his abfence may be removed by his own re- 
turning - 7 and fo the change of her cafe to the better, muft flow from him* 
And, 4- That fhe may ask this from him, and expect by prayer in faitii to= 
obtain it, believing prayer being the befl mean to effectuate this. Next, fhe 
inforceth and inlargeth her petition, Be thou like- a roc, &c. that is, Seeing 
(faith fhe) allfadcvrs will not be removed till that time r what is my fuit fito th* 

1 12 An Expofition Chap. 3. 

t ime I It is even this, Tloat thou wilt give me vifits of thy prefence 7 and be like 
a roe or a young hart on the mountains' of Bether. The word Bet her fignifies 
divifion ', and fo it may be made ufe of here: So long (faith ihe) as thefe moun- 
tains divide betwixt me and thee, Lord y be not a ftrangcr, but fwiftly, eafdy and 
kindly (as the roes come over mountains to their mates, Prov. 5. 19. ) come thou 
to me 7 and comfort me with frequent love-vifits, until that time come, that thou 
take me to thee, to enjoy thee fully and immediately, Obferve 1. It is lawful for 
believers to deilre fenfible prefence, even here-away : yea, it is fuitable,they 
fhould often long and pray for it. 2. Where the hope of heaven is folid/en- 
fible manifestations of ChrifTs love will be mod ardently fought for : It 'will 
never prejudge one of their fatisfattion and full payment, then, that they 
have gotten a large earnefl-peny here*, ihe knows that will never be reckoned 
up to her. 3. Much prayer, flowing from, and waiting upon the exercife of 
faith and hope, is a notable way to bring the foul to the enjoyment of fenfe. 
4. The believer hath a heartfom life, and a rich inheritance, Chrift here, and 
Chrift hereafter *, the lines are fallen unto him in pleafant places. 5. She grounds 
her fuit on the marriage-relation and ty betwixt him and her, my Beloved 
(faith fhe) a covenant-claim to Chrift, is the mod folid ground, upon which 
believers can walk, in their approaches before him, and in their pleadings with 
him. 6. JJe allows believers to plead for his company,from this ground, that 
he is theirs by covenant, as he pleads for their company, on that fame 
ground, verfe 10. &c. 



Verfe i. (By night on my bed I fought him whom my foul loVetb 5 

I fought him, but 1 found him not. 
Verfe 2. I will rife now, and go about the city, in theflreets, and 

in the broad-ways I will feek^him whom my foul loVeth : I fought 

him, but 1 found him not. 

THIS chapter hath three parts, i.The Bride's fad exercife under the 
want of Chrift, and in feeking after him till fhe find him, to verfe 6. 
2. The daughters ofjcrufalcm come in,commending the Bride 9 verfe6* 
3. The Bride, from verfe 7. to the end, returns to difcourfe of, and commend 
the excellency and amiablenefs of Chrift. 


Verfe 1. of the Song of Solomon. 1 \ 5 

In her exercife confider, 1. Her cafe. 2. Her carriage in feveral fteps. 
3. Her fuccefs in every ftep. 4. Her pra&ice when fhe hath obtained her de- 
lire : Or, we may take them all up in thefe two, (1.) Her fad conditioned 
her carriage under it. (2.) Her ontgate and her carriage fuitable thereto. Her 
cafe is implied in two words,in the beginning ofverje 1. 1. It was night with 
her, 2. She was on her bed. By night, is ordinarily underftood darknefs and 
affliction, oppofite to light of day °arid joy ; and here her exercife being 
fpiritual, it mud imply fome fpiritual affliction, or foul-fad fpiritual exercife. 
. So night is taken, Pfal 42. 8. He will command his loving kindnefs in the day, end 
in the night ("while the day come, that his loving kindnefs be intimate) his 
fong fljall be with me, &c. The fcope fhews, that it is e a night of defertion fhe 
is under,through the want of ChrifTs prefence whom fhe loves : His prefence, 
who is the Sun of Righteoufnefs with healing under his wings, makes the be- 
liever's day ; and his abfence is their night, and makes them droop, as be- 
ing under a fad night of foul-affliclion *, therefore is it, that me feeks fo care- 
fully after his prefence. 2. Her being on her bed, is not taken here, as im- 
plying nearnefs with him, for the fcope fhews he is abfent , but a lazinefs of 
frame on her fpirit, oppofite to aclivenefs and diligence, as it is taken, chap.$* 
verfe 3. and fo it is oppofed to her after-rifing and diligence ', and therefore it 
is alfo called my bed, implying that fhe was here alone in a fecure comfortlefs 
frame ; and therefore, for this, it is diftinguifhed from cur bed, chap. 1. 16. 
and his bed afterward, verfe 7. where fhe is allowed reft, and fpiritual eafe and 
folace in his company -, but here, on her bed, fhe hath no fuch allowance, 
whatever carnal eafe and reft fhe take to her felf : Believers have their own 
fits of carnal fecurity, when they give their corruptions reft, that is, their 
own bed •, and it is a heartlefs lair (to fpeak fo) to ly alone and want the Be- 
loved : This is her cafe, wanting Chrift, yet lying too ftill, as contented fome 
way in that condition -, tho' it cannot continue fo with believers, it will turn 
heavy and perplexing at laft to them, as it doth here to the Bride : and 
lure, the eafieft time under fecurity is not fo comfortable and profitable to 
believers, as is an exercife that takes them more up -, therefore afterward me 
prefers rifing and ft eking, to this woful reft. It fhews, 1. That believers di- 
ftance and darknefs may grow : for, in the former chapter, Chrift was ab- 
fent, yet, as through a window or lattefs, there were fome glimpfes of him -, 
but here it is night, and there is not fb much as a twilight difcovery of him. 
2. Often, ditfance with Chrift, and fecurity and deadnefs (as to our fpiritual 
life) go together : When Chrift is abfent," believers then ufualiy fall from 
aftivity in their duty, Ifa. 64. 7. No man ftirreth up him r elfto lay hold on thee : 
and the reafon is, thou haft hid thy face, &c. Matth. 25. 5, While the Bride- 
groom tarrieth, even the wife virgins fumbred and flept. 

Q. Her 

H4 dn Expo/ttion Chap. $. 

Her carriage, or way that me takes in this cafe, is fet out in four fteps. The 
firfi is in thefe words, I fought him whom my foul loveth. Confider here, (i.) 
The title Chrifl gets, him whom, &c. Chrifl got this name before, and now 
ieveral times flie repeats it - and it holds forth, 1. The fincerity of her love, 
it was her foul and heart that loved him. 2. The degree and Angularity of 
it : No other thing was admitted in her heart to compare with him j he bears 
the alone fway there, in refpeft of the affe&ion flie had to him •, it is he, and 
none other, upon whom her foul's love is fet, otherwife this title would not 
Suitably defign him : Chrift loves well to have fuch titles given to him,as may 
import the heart's fpecial efteem of him. 3. It fhews, that, even in belie- 
vers lowefl conditions, fhere remains fome fecret foul-efteem of Chrifl ; and 
that, in their judgment, he is ftill their choice and waiil above all the world. 
Yet ? 4. That their practice, while fecurity prevails, is moft unfuitable to 
their convictions and judgment. (2.) Confider her practice and carriage : while 
Chrift is abfent ? her practice is not altogether a lying by, without the form 
of religion } for, faith fhe, on my bed I fought him^ that is, I prayed and ufed 
fome means, but in a lazy way, not ftirring up my felf vigoroufly in it. 
Obf 1. Believers, in a fecure frame, may keep fome form of duty :, yet their 
duties are like the frame of their heart, lifelefs and hypocritical. 2. There 
is much of a believer's practice fuch as themfelves will find fault with, when 
they come to look rightly upon it } yea 9 even much of their way, while they 
keep up the form of duty, is but like the fluggard, Prov. 26 . 14. turning them- 
felves uyon their beds, as the door doth upon the hinges ; not lying flill, nor alto- 
gether daring to give over the form, yet little better on the matter, becaufe 
they make no effect-ual progrefs, nor can they fay their foul is in and with 
their fervice, which they perform. 3. Her fuccefs as to this flep, is, but I 
found him not •, that is, I was nothing the better, thefe fluggifh endeavours 
did not my bufinefs. Every form of feeking will not obtain \ and one may 
feek Chrift long in their ordinary formal way, ere they find him •, yet it is 
good not to give over, but to obferve the form : Life and love is not altoge- 
ther gone, when one difcerns abfence and their own lazinefs with difcontent. 
When this doth not reach her defign, fhe proceeds to a more lively flep, 
n/erfe 2. and that is, to get up, and feek him in a more a£Hve flirring way : 
Which fays, i. She obferved the continuance of her diftance, and what came 
of her prayers and feeking \ which is a good beginning of one's recovery, and 
winning to their feet after a fit of fecurity and decay. 2. It fays, it is often 
good for a believer, as to their rouzing, and their recovering of fpiritual life, 
that fenfe is not always eafily obtained \ this activity had not followed (rea- 
dily) had not Chrift conftrained her to it, by crofs-difpenfations and difap- 
polntments. In this flep we have* #>/, Her refolving to fall about a more 


Verfe i. of the Song of Solomon. 1 1 5 

active way in feeking him. Secondly, Her performance. Thirdly, Her fuccefs. 
Firfi, Her refolution is, / will rife now (faith ihe) and go about the ftreets,&c. 
In which there are thefe three, ift, What ihe refolves to do, not to give 
over (for that mould never be given way to) but to beftir her felf more 
actively in duty, I will rife, and go from the bed to the ftreets of the cit y> and 
feck him there. By city is underftood the Church, whereof all members are 
felhw-citiz.cn s, Eph. 2. 19. It is called fo, 1. For its order and government ; 
fo the Church is as a city, that hath watchmen and laws. 2. For its unity ; it 
is one common-wealth and incorporation, ^ Eph. 2. 1 2. This Jerufalem is a city 
compared together, Pfal. 122. 3. 3. For its privileges, whereof all believers 
(who are the burgeffes and fellow-citizens) are partakers, Eph. 2. 19. and 
unto which all others, who are without, are Grangers. Her going into the 
city, fuppones a communicating of her cafe to others for help, and her ufing 
of more publick means, oppofite to her private dealing within her felf on her 
bed, verfe 1. even as rifmg imports a ftirring of her felf to more activity in 
the manner of performing thefe duties, oppofite to her feeking him formerly 
while fhe lay ftill on her bed : The thing then refolved upon is to this fenfe, 
What am I doing ? Are there not moe means, in the life of which I may fee k Chrifi? 
Is there not another way of inquiring after him, than this lazy formal way ? I will 
up and ejfay it. There are many means given for a believer's help • and when 
one fails, another may be bleffed : and therefore, believers are {till to fol- 
low from one to another -, and where true love to Chrift is, it will make 
them do fo, and fpare no pains till they meet with .him. Again, idly, Ere 
fhe gets to her feet, and goes to the ftreets, &c. fhe deliberately refolves it, 
/ will rife, &c. Which fhews, 1 . That her former difappointment did put 
her to a confutation what to do, and made her more ferious : And this is the 
ufe that ought to be made of difappointments in the duties of religion. 2. 
That there will be heart-deliberations in a Chriftian walk, when it is ferious ; 
and they are the beft performances and duties, that are the remits of thefe. 
3. Serious refolutions are often very ufefiil, and helpful in duty ; for they are 
engagements, and fpurs to ftir up to duty, when we are Jndifpofed for it. 4, 
It is good cordially to refolve upon duty, when the practice of it is fbmewhat 
difficult or obftrutted , for this both fpeaks fincerity, and alfo helps to leflen 
the difficulty which is in the way of duty. 5. Refolutions to fet about duty are 
often-times the greatefl length believers can win at, while under indifpofiti- 
on -, and this" much is better than nothing, becaufe itrdraws on more. $dly 9 
This refolution is qualified, I will rife now, faith fhe ; that is, Seeing thefe flug- 
gijh endeavours doth not avail me, I will delay no longer, but will now prefently fall 
about it in more earneft. It is the fign of a fincere refolution, when it doth 

Q. 2 not 

n6 An Expofttion Chap. 3. 

not put off or fliift duty, but engageth the foul in a prefent undertaking of 
it, PfaL 119. 59, 60. 

Next, Her performance, or her putting this refolution in practice, doth 
accordingly follow intfantly \ I fought him (faid fhe) that is, in the ftreets&c. 
Obf 1. It is not a refolution worth the mentioning, that hath not practice 
following \ for every honeit refolution is followed with pradice, whatever 
fhort-coming wait upon it. 2. Honeit refolutions are often to duty, like a 
needle that draws the threed after it % and believers would not fear to refolve 
on duty from fear of coming fhort in performance, if their refolutions be un- 
dertaken in the ftrength of Chrift, as this was \ as is clear by confidering her 
former frame, which was fuch as would give no great encouragement to felfy 
undertakings in duties. 

Laftly, Her fuccefs, or rather her difappointment, follows in thefe words, 
hut I found him not ♦, even then, when I was moil ferious in feeking him, I 
miffed him ftill : which is not only fpoken, to fhew the event, but alfo by 
way of regrate, fhe is deeply 'affected with it. Obf 1. When the Lord's peo- 
ple have been formerly lazy, Chrift may keep up himfelf, even when they 
become more active, rather hereby chaining their former negligence, than 
being offended at their prefent diligence in duty. 2. It is fad when Chrift is 
miffed even in duty, and that once and again. 3. She continues to be a di- 
ftincl: obferver of the fruits both of publick and private duties, which is a com- 
mendable practice, and to be made confidence of by all the feekers of his face. 

Verfe 3. The watchmen that go ahout the city y found me : to 
whom I faid, Saw ye him whom my foul lo^eth ? 

This verfe contains the third ftep of the Bride's carriage,being now abroad; 
the watchmen found her, and 'flie enquires for her Beloved at them : And her 
fuccefs in this may be gathered from what follows *, fhe doth not upon re- 
courfe to them immediately find him, but is put to go a little further. In the 
words there is, 1. An opportunity or mean for finding Chrift, met with r 
2. Her improving of it. 3. The fuccefs which is implied, as is faid. 

The mean holds forth thefe three things, 1/, What the Church is -, it is 
a city, wherein there is order, and a common-fellowfhip, as hath been faid, 
verfe 2. idly, The minifter's office is here implied, this City hath watchmen \ 
fo are minifters called, Ez,ek. 3. 17. Ifa. 61.6. Heb. 13. 17. Which word im- 
ports, 1 . That the Church is a city in danger, having outward and inward 
enemies, and therefore needing watchmen. 2. That there is an office of a 
miniftry appointed in the Church for guarding againft and preventing her dan- 
ger , and that fome are peculiarly designed, and feparate from others for that 


y er fe 3. of the Song of Solomon. 1 17 

pur pole ', fome who may be called watchmen, which others cannot be faid to 
be • and fo they are here diftinguifhed from believers or private perfbns. 
3. This office is moft neceilary, burdenfom, and of great concernment to 
the fafety of the Church, as watchmen are to a city *, for fo watch they over 
the fouls of the people committed to their truft. 

A^ain, thefe watchmen are in the exercife of their duty •, they went ah out 
the city : Which fhews their diligence according to their truft ; at leaffyt holds 
forth the end wherefore they are appointed. Obf. There is but one City or 
Church, and all minifters are watchmen of that one Church, given for the 
edification of that- body •, and they ihould watch, not only for this or that 
poft (to fay fo) but for the fafety of the whole, as watchmen that ftand at 
their poft, for the good of the whole city. 

$dly, Thefe watchmen found her, that is, as we conceive, by their do- 
ctrine they fpoke to her condition, and by their fearching and particular ap- 
plication, made the two-edged fword of the word reach her \ as if they hod 
difcernably pointed her out, beyond all the reft of the congregation : Which 
fhews, 1. The efficacy of thejword when rightly managed, Heb. 4. 12. It is 
a difcerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart \ 2. That God can make it 
find out one in the midft of many others, when the minifter knows not; and 
can make it fpeak to a believer's cafe, or any other particular perfbn's condi- 
tion, as if he did know and aim at them particularly. 3. That minifters 
ihould be fearching, and differencing in their do&rine, as the feveral conditi- 
ons, and various exercifes of hearers require ; that is, they ought to put dif^- 
ference betwixt the precious and the vile, and rightly to divide the word of 
truth, or to lay every one's portion to them, fo as it be not given in grofs, or 
heaped together to all, but to every one their own allowance. In fum then, 
that which fhe fays is this, When I had gone abroad, faith fhe, in heavinefs to 
hear (if fo I might meet with Chrift in publick) God made fome watchmen fpeak to 
my condition particularly, as- if one had acquainted them with it. 

Secondly, Her improving of this opportunity (coming, as It were, beyond 
her expectation) follows in the next words : She cries out in an abrupt man- 
ner, Saw ye him ? fhe thinks they can help her, being acquaint with fuch ca- 
fes, and therefore fhe will confult them ; that is, fhe follows in, upon the 
little experience fhe had felt of their skill, to feek for help from them, 
and for that end to communicate her cafe to them, as it were after fer- 
mon is done, or when fome convenient time offers. Obf. 1. That believers, 
that are ferious, will let no fit opportunity for meeting with Chrift pafs •, they 
are accurate observers and frugal managers of them all. 2. She obferves and 
is glad when a word fpeaks home to her cafe, and finds her : and this is in- 
deed the dilpofition of a found and ferious believer. 3* Minifters would be 


1 1 

8 An Expofition Chap. 3 

well acquaint themfelves with foul-ficknefs, and expert in the various exer- 
ciies and cafes incident to the people of God, both in order to the finding out 
their difeafe, and the caufe of it (who often can fcarce make language of their 
own condition themfelves) and alfo in order to the making fuitable applica- 
tions for the cure of it , for this is to have the tongue of the learned, to J peak a 
word in feafon. 4. Believers often can fay little of their cafes, but in a bro- 
ken and confufed way , which lays, miniflers had need to be the better ac- 
quaint with the fpiritual cafes and exercifes of fouls, that they may underfland 
by half, a word what they would fay. 5. Believers would advert well to 
whom they communicate their cafe , this would not be done to all. 6. Mi- 
nifcers are fuitable phyficians (tho' not the fole or only Phyfician) to whom 
believers would make known their foul-exercifes and cafes \ and therefore there 
fliould be much fpiritual fympathy betwixt their people and them. 7. It is 
a great encouragement to a diflreffed foul, to impart its cafe to a minifler, 
when in his publick do&rine he ufeth to fpeak pertinently unto it. 8. It is not 
unfuitable for exercifed fouls (befide the publick hearing of their minifler) to 
have their particular queries to him in private, 9. How Chrifl fhall be ob- 
tained, is a fuitable fubjecl: for miniflers and people, in their converfe together, 
to be mainly taken up with , and holy anxiety concerning this, is a frame fit 
for making addreffes to miniflers : they may indeed come to miniflers withfuch 
queflions, who are much in longing after him. 10. There may be much ten- 
dernefs in affe£Uon and love, where there is much weaknefs in knowledge : 
He is the him whom her foul loveth, even now when fhe knows not where 
he is •, and the moft grown believers may be fometimes brought to this low 
ebb in their condition* for good ends, and for demonflrating the ufefulnefs 
and neceffity of publick ordinances, even to them. 1 1. An exercifed foul pri- 
zeth moft a miniflry - 7 and fuch fpiritual exercifes (as are here mentioned) do 
cherifh their efleem of that ordinance, when other debates among a people 
often do derogate from its due efleem. 12. Miniflers would not caft affecti- 
on, nor rejecl zeal in weak Chriftians, even tho' thefe be joined with fome 
infirmities, and may occafion fome more trouble to themfelves : but where 
fincerity is, there would be an overcoming condefcendence as to both thefe , 
and the queflions of a tender foul mould be by them entertained, as having 
learned at their Mafler, not to break a bruifed reed. 1 3. Tender exercifed fouls 
ufually confine their queflions to their own fouls cafe : There is no abflracl; 
curious query here, nor for the fafhion propofed, nor any needlefs debate 
about extrinfick things, or the faults or practice of others , but, Saw ye him 
whom my foul loveth ? This is the fore upon which fhe keeps her finger, and 
this is the wound which fhe keeps bleeding, till he bind it up. 

Thirdly 1 The fuccefs of her meeting with the watchmen, and of this query 


Verfe } . of the Song of Solomon. I i p 

fhe puts to them, tho' it be not expreffed, yet it is implied in the firft words 
of the next verfe :, which being compared with this, holds out two things, 
\ft, That hie did not prefently find an outgate from under her lad cafe - for 
fhe behoved to go further, idly. It was but a little further that flie is put to 
go, till flie find him; which fays, that her endeavours were not altogether 
fruirlefs. Oof. i. Chrifl will fometimes let believers know, that all mean«s 
without him are empty, and that he is aftritted to none of them } yea, nor to 
anv fell wfhip, no not of the molt powerful minifter. 2. Publick means do 
not alway bring prefent eafe unto believers under difquieting cafes 5 yet (to 
fay fo) they difpofe and make way for it in private : and one may get the 
good of an ordinance, and offellowfhip with minifters or Chriftians, tho'not 
in the mean time, yet afterward, even when they are retired at home ; and 
it is as good a time thereafter, yea, and better for their behoof. 

If it be asked here, what we Jlwuld judge ofthcfe watchmen^ if they were tender 
or not? The ground of the doubt is, becauie, chap. 5. 7. watchmen that are 
not tender are fpoken of, which yet are there faid to find the Bride. Anf 
There is a twofold finding, i/r, When one fearches an exercifed condition 
for this end, that he may contribute fomething for the exercifed perfbn's eafe 
and help, idly, When one follows or fearches after tendernefs in others,that 
he may find fome advantage againft them, thereby to make the heart of the 
righteous fad - the one finds, as a friend finds another \ the other, as an enemy 
or mocker finds another. The firft fort of finding is to be underftood here in 
this chapter, for the watchmen here carry as friends } the fecond fort of find- 
ing, chap. 5.7. for there they carry as mockers : Which will appear by thefe 
differences, 1 . Here fhe propones her cafe to them for their help, it is like, 
being encouraged thereto, by their finding out her cafe before in the preaching 
of the word; but, chap. 5. 7. flie doth no fuch thing. 2. When they find 
her, chap. 5.7. they fmite her and put her to fhame, which makes her iilent ^ 
but their finding her here, doth encourage her. 3. Tho' here flie find not 
Chrift inftantly, yet fhe fays not as in the former fteps, I found him not ; fhe 
could not altogether fay fo, and immediately after fhe finds him : but, chap. 5* 
fhe goes long feeking him after fhe meets with the watchmen ; yea, goes from 
them heavier, and more wounded than when fhe came : And this Song being 
to hold forth the various conditions of a believer, and it being incident to 
them fometimes to fall in tender hands, and fometimes, yea, often in the 
hands of fuch as are rough and untender, we judge it fafeft to under ff and this 
place of the firft, and chap. 5. of the lafl \ and efpecially becaufe this makes 
mod for the believer's inftrucrion and confolation, which is here aimed at,, 
and this is more fuitable to the fcope of the Song, than that both fhould be 
underftood one wav* 


120 'An Expofttion Ch 

ap. j 

Verfe 4. /£ /^^ but a little that 1 puffed from them, but 1 found 
him whom my foul loVeth : I held him, and would not let him 
go, until I had brought him into my mothers houfe y and into 
the chamber of her that conceived me. 

The beginning of this verfe contains the laft ftep of the Bride's carriage,^ 
and alfo her defired fnccefs - She went a little further, and but a little and (lie 
finds him whom her joul lover h. Publick ordinances, and fellowship with godly 
men, are very ufeful and neceffary, but not to be reded on ; and they who 
find not the defired outgate by thefe, would not immediately give over the 
bufinefs as desperate and hopelefs ; for there is fomething even beyond thefe 
to be aimed at, a little further muft be gone ; which is the firft thing in the 
verfe : And we conceive it doth import thefe two, 1/?, A more immediate 
going to Chrift himfelf *, as if the minifters had laid, Te muflgo over and be- 
yond means, to (2krifi himfelf-, and denying thefe, lean and reft, and that wholly 
on him. They go Vyond means, that reft not on them, and are denied to 
them in the ufe of them ; as that man, Matth. 17. 14. that brought his fon 
to the difciples, to get the devil caft out *, and when that did it not, he went 
not away, but ftayed for Chrift himfelf, and told the cafe to him. Chrift can 
do when means fail -, and we would truft him, when they feem to difappoint 
us : How fecklefs are the beft of minifters, when himfelf is not prefent ? 
idly, This going a little further doth not import the doing of any duties fhe had 
not done, but a more vigorous and lively manner of going about thefe : There 
had fome heartlefnefs, unbelief and indifpofition ftuck to her, in all the for- 
mer fteps and ftrugglings ; now me fteps further in, and goes forward in the 
ufe of thefe fame means ; and not fpeaking to the minifter, when fhe finds 
that the moving of his lips cannot affwage her grief, fhe looks thorow to the 
Mafter, and vigoronfly addreifes her felf to the exercife of faith in him, of 
prayer to him, &c. in a more ferious way than flie had done before. Obf. 1. 
Sometimes believers may lay too much weight on outward and publick means ; 
they may reft too much there, and go no further than thefe. 2. It is God's 
goodnefs, by difappointments in means, to train his people on to a further 
length of power and life in their practice. 3. It may be, when a believer 
hath fatisfied himfelf in going about all external means, and that in- the due 
order, and hath neglected none of them, that there is ftill fomewhat more to 
do, as to the bettering of his inward frame. 4. It is not a defperate bufinefs, 
nor are believers forthwith to conclude that their hope is perifhed, becaufe 
they have not attained their defire in the ufe of means for a time. 5. It is 
not a lefs pra&ick in foul-exercifes, to go over and beyond means and ordinan- 

Verfe 4. of the Song of Solomon. 121 

ces in filing for Chrift, than to go about them \ and the lad is no lefs necef- 
fary than the firft. 6. Believers, in the ufe of means, would joyn thefe three 
together, ift, Making conicience of means •, And yet, zdly, For the fuccefs, 
looking higher than they \ And, $dly,. Not flumbling when they find not in- 
ftantly eafe or fatisfa&ion by them. 

The fecond thing here is her fuccefs, which is according .to her defire, / 
found him, faith me ; When 1 had prcjfed but a little further, he fenfibly avdfurpri- 
zjrirfy made him/elf known to me. Obf. i. Chrift is not far off from his people 
when they are feeking him, whatever they may think when he hides himfelf. 

2. They who love Chrift, and ccnfcionably follow all means for obtaining 
of him/ are not far from finding, nor he far from manifefting himfelf to them. 

3. They who fincerely prefs forward to the life of ordinances beyond the 
form, and by faith take themfelves to Chrift himfelf for thebleffmg, not 
refiing on their performances, will not long mifs Chrift 5 yea, it may be, he 
will give them a fenftble manifeftation of himfelf fooner than they are aware \ 
for, the Spirit'is obtained, not by the works of the law^ but by the hearing of faith, 
Gal. 3.2. 4. A foul that fincerely loves Chrift, fhculd not (and, when in a 
right frame, will not) give over feeking Chrift till it find him, whatever dif- 
appointments it meets with*, and fure, fuch will find him at lafL 5. Chrift found 
after much fearch, wiil be very welcome, and his prefence then will be moft 
difcernable. 6. Believers would no lefs obferve and acknowledge their good 
fuccefs in the means, than their difappointments : There are many who often 
make regrates of their bonds, that are deficient in acknowledging God's good- 
nefs when they get liberty. 

Next, In this verfe we have her carriage fet down, when {he hath found 
him \ She doth not then lay-by diligence, as if all were done, but is of new 
taken up with as great care to retain and improve this mercy, as before fhe 
was fblicitous to attain it : Whether a believer want or have, whether he be 
feeking or enjoying, there is ftill matter of exercife for him in his condition. 
This her care to retain Chrift (which is the fourth thing in the firft part of 
this chapter) is laid down in three fteps. 1. She endeavours to hold him, 
that fhe again lofe not the ground fhe had gained. 2. She feeks to have other 
members of that fame Church getting good of Chrift alfo : And thefe two are 
in this verfe. 3. When his prefence is brought back to the Church and ordi- 
nances, her care is to admonifh, yea, charge that he be entertained well with 
them, left they mould provoke him to be gone, verfe 5. 

The firft ftep then of her care is, / held him<> and would not let him go : As a 
wife having found her husband, whom fhe much longed for, hangs on him 
left he depart again, fo doth fhe *, which is an expreffion both of her fear, 
love, care and faith. This holding of Chrift, and not letting him go, imports 

R 1* 



121 An Expofition Chap. 4. 

1/?, A holy kind of violence, more than ordinary, wherewith the Bride ftrives 
and wreftles to retain him. idly, That Chrift (as it were) waits for the be- 
liever's confentin this wreftling, as he faith to Jacobs Gen. 32. 25. I pray let 
me go : Which upon the matter feems to lay, I will not go 9 if thou wilt bold 
m r , and have me flay . $dly 9 It imports an importunate adhering to him, and 
not conferring upon any terms to quit him. And Lfi.y, It imports the fm- 
gular and inexpreffible fatisfa&ion me had in him , her very life lay in the 
keeping him Hill with her, and therefore me holds him, and cannot think of 
parting with him. Now this prefence of Chrift, being fpiritual, cannot be nn- 
derftood in a carnal way, nor can they be carnal grips that retain him •, and 
hi power being omnipotent, it cannot be the force of a frail creature that 
prevails, but it is here as in Hof. 12. 2, 3. In Jacob's prevailing, he wept and 
mt.de publication • that is, an humble, ardent filing to him by prayer, with a 
lively exercife of faith on his promifes (whereby he allows his people to be 
preiiing) engageth him to flay : He is tyed by his own love that is in his 
heart, and his faithfulnefs in his promifes, that he will not withdraw, and 
deny them that, for which they make fupplication to him, more than if he 
were by their ftrength prevailed over, and overcome *, as a little weeping 
child will hold its mother or nurfe, not becaufe it is ftronger than ihe, but be- 
caufe the mother's bowels fo conftrain her, as fire cannot almoft, tho' fhe 
wculd leave that child •, fo ChriiVs bowels yearning over a believer, are that 
which here holds him, that he cannot go \ he cannot go, becaufe he will 
not. Here we have ground to obferve the importunatenefs of fincere love, 
which is fuch, as with a holy wilfulnefs it holds to Chrift, and will not quit 
him *, as Jacob faid, I will not let thee go, 2. We may obferve here the power 
of lively faith, to which nothing is impofiible : Love and faith will fiick to 
Chrift, againft his own feeming intreaties, till they gain their point,and will 
prevail, Gen, 32. 28. 3. See here the condefcending, the wonderful conde- 
scending of the Almighty, to be held by his own creature, to be (as it were) 
at their difpofal j / pray thee, let me go. Gen. 32. 26. and Exod, 32. 10. Let 
me alone, Mopes : So long as a believer will not confent to quit Chrift, fo long 
keeps their faith grip of him, and he will not offend at this importunity :. 
yea, he is exceedingly well pleafed with it. It cannot be told how effectual 
prayer and faith would be, if fervent and vigorous. 

The fecond ftep of her carriage, which is the fcope of the former, namely 
of her holding him, is in thefe words,, till I had brought him to my mother 7 , 
houfe, to the chambers of her that conceived me. By mother in fcripture is under- 
flood the vifible Church, which is even the believer's mother, Hop. 2. 2. Say 
to Ammv (my people) plead with your mother. So, chap. 1, 6. this mother 
hath children, both after the flefh, and after the Spirit, the former hating 


Verfe 4. of the Song of Solomon. 1 2 ; 

the latter : And, chap. 8. 5. it is the mother that hath ordinances, for the 
Bride's inft ruction. The Church vifible is called the mother, becaufe, 1. By 
the immortal feed of the word, the Lord begets believers in his Church, to 
which he is Husband •, and the Father of thefe children *, fhe the wife,and mo- 
ther that conceives them, and brings them up. 2. Becaufe of the covenant- 
ee that ftands betwixt God and the vifible Church, whereby fhe may claim 
right to him as her Husband (the covenant being the marriage-contract be- 
twixt God and the Church) which is therefore the ground of the former re- 
lation of mother. Again, Chrift is f aid to be brought into the Church, not 
only when his ordinances are pure in her, (which is fuppofed to be here al- 
ready \ for, verfe 3. there were watchmen doing their duty, and difpenfing 
pure ordinances) but when there is life in them, the prefence and counte- 
nance of his Spirit going along with them, that they may be powerful for 
the end appointed : As it was one thing to have the temple, the type 
of his Church, and another to have God's prefence Angularly in it \ fo 
it is one thing to have pure ordinances fet up in the Church, and another to 
have Chrift 's prefence filling them with power : Now, faith fhe, when I got 
Chrift, I knew there was many fellow-members of that fame Church, that had need 
of him ; and I was importunate that he might manifefi himfelf in his ordinances 
there, for their and my good. Church- ordinances are the allowed and ordinary 
mean of keeping fellowfhip with Chrift, and they are all empty when he is 
not there. Obf. 1. That even true believers have the vifible Church for their 
mother ; and it is written of them, as their privilege, that they were born 
there, Pfal. 87. 4, 5. 2. Believers fhould not difclaim the Church in which 
they are fpiritually begotten and born, nor their fellow-members therein -, 
but reverence her as the mother that gave them life, and carry refpe&ively 
toward her as fuch • Honour thy father and thy mother being a moral command, 
and the rlrft with promife. See Pfal. 112. 3, 6. 3. When believers get near- 
eft Chrift for themfelves, it is then the fit time to deal with him for others, 
efpecially for the Church whereof they are members : It is Mofes's only ex- 
prefs fiiit, Exod. 34. 9. when God admits him to his company (in prefenting 
whereof it is faid, verfe 8. he made hafte) I pray thee, Lord, go amongst us m 
4. It is true tendernefs, when one is admitted to more nearnefs with God 
than others, not to feparate from the Church whereof they were members, and 
as it were to carry Chrift to their own chamber \ but to endeavour to have 
Chrift brought alfo to the Church, that what is wanting of life amongft her 
members, or the reft of the children, may be made up by his prefence. 5. 
They who are tender of their own comfort, and of retaining Chrift's prefence 
with themfelves, will be careful to have others, not yet fenfible of their need 
of it, nor acquaint with it, made partakers thereof alio. tf. Belieyers, in their 

R 2 ferious 

124 dn Expofition Cnap. 3. 

ferious applications to Chrift for the Church whereof they are members, may 
prevail much, and have much influence for obtaining his prefence there, and 
for the putting of every thing in a better frame for the good of others. 7. A 
kindly member of the Church is brought up ordinarily in that Church, and 
by that mother, where they were conceived : therefore me goes back to her 
mother's houfe j for they have breafts to nourifh, who have a womb to bring 
forth in this refpeft \ and yet here were both children that hated her, chap. 
1. 6. and watchmen that f'mote her, chap. 5. 7. yet to this mother's houfe me 
goes. In a word, this is, as a kind fpoufe living in her mother's houfe, hav- 
ing after long feeking found her husband, will be defirous to have him home 
with her, not only for their mutual folace, but for the comfort of all the fa- 
mily -, fo do believers, living yet in the Church, defire to improve their cre- 
dit and court with Chrift, for the good of the whole Church, that where me 
was conceived, others may be conceived alfo : Where Chrift's ordinances are, 
there ordinarily are children begotten to God ^ and where a Church conceives 
feed, and brings forth to him, it is a token he hath not given her a bill of 
divorce, nor will difclaim her to be his wife j fo much lefs, the children ought 
not to difclaim her as their mother : It is a ihame that many, who profefs to 
be children, either are not yet conceived, or the mother that conceived them, 
is defpifed by them ; it is ftrange if the Father will own fuch as children,who 
not only cry out againft, but curfe their mother, and place a p : ece of religion 
in this, 

Vcrfe 5 . I charge you, ye daughters of Jerufalem, hy the roes 

and by the hinds of the field, that ye fiir not up, nor awake my 

Love till he pleafe. 

The third part of her care is in this verfe : Whenfhe hath prevailed with 
him to give his prefence and countenance to her mother's houfe, then ihe 
turns to the daughters of Jerufalem, the vifible profeffors and members of the 
Church, charging them, that now, feeing Chrift is returned, they would be 
careful to entertain him well, and not to provoke him to withdraw. Thefe 
words were fpoken to in the former chapter, verfe 7. where they have the 
fame general fcope, which is to mew her care of having Chrift retained :, but 
in this they differ, there they look to her particular enjoyment of Chrift - 7 
here they look (as the fcope and connexion with the former words mew) to 
his prefence in the Church or her mother's houfe, left that fhould, by the 
daughters fault, be interrupted : The firft fhews a believer's care, conjuring 
all (as it were) that nothing in her might provoke him j this fhews what 
fhould be the Church's care in reference to his vifible prefence, and bleffing 


Verfe 5. of the Song of Solomon. 125 

(to fay fo) in his Church : Now (faith fhe) Chrift is amongB you, O ye who 
are of my mother's hcufc^ beware of jutting him away ; And in this fhe deals with 
them, as considered in their vifibie Church-ttate and relation, and not as real 
believers •, the charge being to all : And therefore, in the following verfe, 
and chap. 8. 5. the daughters return an anfwer, which they do not, chafo 2. 7, 
becaufe here fhe directs her words to the vifibie profeffors \ whereas, chap. 2. 
7. her fcope wa^ only to compofe her felf, feeing the prefence fhe enjoyed 
was only to her particular fenfe. Here, Obf. 1. As there is more of Chritt's 
fenfible prefence, and alfo of diftance from him, in his way with particular be- 
lievers at one time than another :, fo is there, in refpecl: of his way to his 
Church : fometime he is not in the mother's houfe, fometimes he is. 2. As 
every believer ihould endeavour to retain Chrift in his prefence with their 
own fouls, fo all the members of a vifibie Church fhould be careful to prevent; 
his departure from his ordinances. 3. Often it is with Chrift's prefence in 
his Church, as it is with the condition of particular believers in it \ if they 
be fecure, and he away from them, then often he is from the mother's houfe 
alfo \ if they be lively, and he with them, then he is, brought back again to 
the Church with them. 4. As Chrift may withdraw, if provoked and not en- 
tertained, from a private believer, fo he will do from a Church, if they hold 
not faft what they have received,and walk not anfwerably thereto. 5. Church- 
members, by their fins, have much influence on Chrift's removal from a- 
mongft them \ yea, fometimes it may come to pafs, when the body of a 
Church turn defpifers of the Gofpel, that no intercefHon of the godly, for pre- 
venting his departure, will prevail, even tho' Noah, Daniel and Job were a- 
mongft them, Jer. 15. 1. and Ez,ek. 14. 14. 6. Belie ep fhe 

hazard of provoking Chrift, and what a lofs the lofs of ^f#ould 

interpofe ferioufly with new unexperienced beginners, 1 :m warn- 

ing faithfully concerning this their hazard. 7. As a believer, in refpeft of 
the vifibie Church, ftands under the relation of a child to a mother •, fo, in 
refpecl: of vifibie profeffors, they ftand under the relation of brethren and 
fitters, and would keep religious communion with them, even as fuch, that 
being an excernal duty that lieth upon them. 8. True love to Chritt will be 
affecTed even with the wrongs that others do to him who is their Beloved, and 
and will endeavour to prevent his being wronged and provoked, as fhe doth 
here. 9. True love to others, will not only put to pray and interceed for 
them, and employ all the court the believer' hath with Chrift for their good 
(as the Bride did in the former verfe) but will alfo manifett itfelf in giving 
faithful admonitious, advertifements* &r. and in doing what elfe may prevent 
fin in them. 


\i6 An Exposition Chap. i ) * 

Daughters of Jcrufalem. 
Verfe 6* Who is this that ccmeih out of the wiUernefs like pilUrs 
of fmoJ^ y perfumed with myrrhe and frankjncenfe, with all 
powders of the merchant ? 

The vifible profeffors having now gotten a ferious charge (becaufe they are 
not eafily engaged :, and it marrs the good of our fellowship one with another 
in admonitions and warnings, when we are not ferious even in the manner of 
our dealing with others) they are fome way put in a little piece of warmnefs 
and admiration more than ordinary (as ordinarily Chrift's return to a Church 
and his ordinances in it, after a palpable decay, hath fome ftir and affe&ionate- 
iike motions accompanying it, fuch as was to be found in Jo 1 , Vs hearers, John 
5. 35.) And in this affected and fiirred condition they anfwer the Bride's 
charge, O who is this ? fay they, importing they have more refpecl: to the 
godly, and fhew forth more evidences of it in their expreilions, than ever 
they ufed formerly to do. 

That thefe are the words of the daughters of Jerufalem, may be cleared from 
thefe things, 1. That they are placed on the back of her charge to them ; 
and when me charges, they ufe to anfwer (as chap. 5. 9. and 8. 5. ) and 
then fhe proceeds to fpeak to them : Even fo it is here •, for the words hold 
forth a mutual conference betwixt her and them, and therefore the words of 
this verfe will be moft pertinently underftood as fpoken by them. 2. They 
are the fame words on the matter, and fpoken on the fame occafion with thefe, 
chap. we will find to be fpoken by them. 3. They can agree to 

none 6\ To fay, they are the words of angels, is not warrantable, they 

not being a fpeaking party in this Song : To fay, they are the Bride's own 
words, will not fuit with the commendation that is given to her, and of her 
in them, as by a diftincl: party : Neither can they be Chrift's words fpoken 
immediately by him - for, Chap. 8. 5. where thefe words upon the 
matter are repeated, fhe is faid to afcend, leaning on her Beloved - 
and he is fpoken of, and looked on as a third, both from the Bride and the 
fpeaker. It remains then, that they muft be the words of the daughters of 
Jerufalem, wondring at the change that was to be feen on the Church,her cafe 
being now compared with what it was before *, and wondring at believers in 
her, upon the fame account alio, as almofl miftaking them, and fo they fpeak 
as having other affections, to them than what they had before. It is like that 
wondring eVprefhon, If a*. 49. 21 • Thou jhalt fay (to wit, when the fudden 
change comes) Who hath begotten me thefe ? or, as it is, Rev* 3. 9. where it is 
promifed to the Church of Philadelphia, that others ihould fall down, and,-wor~ 


Verfe 6. of the Song of Solomon. 127 

jlrip at her fee: , as being convinced now, that Chrift loves his Church. And 
that this verie is fpoken of the Bride, the words in the Original, being in 
die feminine gender, puts it out of queftion } for they are in the Original , as 
if it were faid, Who is fie that cometh up I &c. 

The words contain a commendation of the Church, expreffed both in the 
matter, andalfo in the manner of the expreifion (being by way of queftion) 
and it is given by vifible profeiTors, fome whereof may be more tender than 
others, yet both contradiftinguifhed from the Bride. The commendation hath 
three parts, or fteps. F^fti She metb, or (as it is, chap. $.$.) afcends from 
the wildernefs. It is like, before this manifeftation of Chrift, the Church was 
dry and withered-like, in a wildernefs condition,without any beauty or luftre^ 
but now that condition is changed, when Chrift is prefent, me afcends and 
comes out of it : And this wildernefs, confidering her afcent from it, fignihes 
the world, wherein believers fojourn in the way to heaven (as Ifrael did in 
the wildernefs to Canaan) and wherein there is no true content, nor fatisfying 
reft fought by them, nor to be found by any } therefore is their back on it, 
tho' formerly they feemed to be fettled in it with the reft of the world : Thus 
the heavenlinefs of believers in their converfation is fet out. 

Secondly^ She comes like pillars of fmoke i This looks not in all things to or- 
dinary fmoke, but (as the after- words do clear) to the fmoke of incenje, &c. 
Now flie afcends like fmoke in a calm day, and like pillars of it together, ma- 
king heaven-ward, as the fmoke of incenfe, which being commanded in God's 
worfhip, was acceptable to him : And as fmoke flying from kindled fire cannot; 
but afcend, and fire (efpecially new kindled) cannot but have fmoke, and that in 
abundance •, fo now the Church being warmed, and of frefh inflamed and 
made lively with ChrifFs prefence, cannot but fend out a fweet favour, which 
difcernably afcends upward from the world (which is but a wildernefs) as 
fmoke doth from the earth. 

Thirdly^ She is perfumed with myrrhe and frankincenfe^ and all the powders of 
the merchant : That is? as precious powders are ufed to make one favoury, fo 
the believer being repleniihed with the graces of ChrirYs Spirit, (often in 
this Song compared to fweet fpices, chap* 1. 12. and 4. 6 r 13? 14, i6,&c.)and 
thefe graces being now quickned by his prefence, they caft a delightful fa- 
vour to them with whom fuch believers con verfe : So it was, A%s 2. tdt. and 
the ordinances, being powerful and lively, will have fuch a powerful influ- 
ence, as to be a fweet favour in every place y 2 Cor. 2. 14, 1 5. and to leave fome 
conviction* of their amiablenefs and excellency, even upon the confeiences of 
thefe who will never get good of them, fo that there is no coftly ointment 
or powder, that will fo perfume a perfon or place, as the Gofpel will do a 
Church ^ efpecially when* immediately on the back of Chrift's return^, he 


ia8 An Expojttion Chap. 3. 

doth in an extraordinary manner countenance the difpenfing of his own ordi- 
nances *, fo that even the temporary believer is made in a'manner to receive 
the gofpel with joy. 

Next, the manner of the expreffion is byway of queftion,and admiration, 
Who is this ? fay they, we never faw the like of her, fhe hath no match \ and 
ib the queftion expreffeth a wonderful beauty and lovelinefs in her, and a 
great convi&ion and aftoniftiment in them. In reference to which two, thefe 
things are to be learned, 1. That there is nothing more lovely and favoury 
in it (elf, than grace exercifed in^ a believer's walk, and Chrift's ordinances 
beautified with his own prefence in his Church. 2. That where Chrift's or- 
dinances in his Church, and the graces of his Spirit in the hearts of his peo- 
ple, are made lively with his prefence, they will be in their beauty very dif- 
cernable to others, and will be much admired, fpoken of, and commended by 
them. 3. That this beauty is ufually moft frefh, when Chrift returns to his 
people and Church, after he hath been a while away \ for then tendernefs is 
in life among them. 4. The world in it felf,and being compared with Chrift's 
Church (efpecially in their eftimation, whofe eyes God hath opened) is but 
a miferable wildernefs, and cannot give a heartfom being or place of abode to 
a believer. 5. Believers have a more noble defign to compafs, than to fit 
down and take up their reft in this world - ? their faces bend upward,and their 
backs are upon it. 6. Chrift's prefence gives life to a believer's motion, and 
ravifheth them upward 5 as fire put to fewel, neceilitates fmoke to afcend. 
7. A heavenly -minded believer is a comely fight •, and a world-denied pro- 
teiibr will extort a commendation, even from ordinary on-lookers. 8. As 
there is more of the exercife of true grace amongft believers, by Chrift's more 
than ordinary prefence with them, and in his Church •, fo there is often a 
more than ordinary warmnefs and motion in the generality of Church-mem- 
bers, at fuch a time, whereof yet many may be unfound, as no queftion all 
the daughters of 'Jerufdem were not found. 9. The Church of Chrift, and be- 
lievers in it, will look much more beautiful to profeffors at one time than at 
another, and they will be much more taken with this beauty fometimes than 
at other times '-, for, chap. 1.5.5. the daughters of Jerufdem were in hazard 
to ftumble at her fpots •, here they are ravifhed with her beauty, as thinking 
her another thing than fhe was before. 10. Chrift's prefence will indeed put 
another face, both on a Church and perfon, and make them every way diffe- 
rent (but ftill to the better) from what they were. 1 1 . The more active 
believers be, in exercifing their graces, they will have the more frefh relifh 
and favour 5 for, her afatiding here, makes all her perfumes to flow. 


Verfe 7. of the Song of Solomon. * 2 9 


Verfe 7. Behold his bed, which is SolomonV, three/core Valiant 

men are about it, of the "Valiant of Ifrael. 
Verfe 8. They all hold fwords, being expert in war: every mm 

hath his fword upon his thigh, becaufe of fear in the night. 

The Bride, being commended in the former verfe by the daughters of Jc- 
rufalem, as being jealou ; that they gazed upon her, to the prejudice of the 
Bridegroom, and being ever reftlefs till every commendable thing that is in 
her, redound to his praiie, to whom fhe owes and from whom fhe derives all 
her beauty : She Heps in haftily with a Behold, as having a far more wonder- 
ful and excellent objeft to propone to them, to wit, Chrift Jefus, the true 
Solomon himfelf, whofe lovelinefs and glory ftiould take them all up, rather 
than any poor perfections they faw in her. 

That this is the fcope, the matter will clear, efpecially verfe 11. where, 
what fhe would be at, is propounded in plain terms ; and her fudden coming in 
with a Behold^ as in chap. 1,6. doth confirm it. That they are the Bride's 
words alfb, the fcope and connexion bear it out *, this being her difpofition, 
that fhe can fufTer no commendation from Chrift, nor from any other, to flay 
or reft upon her, but is reftlefs till it be turned over to his praife, as chap, 1 . 
1 6, & 2. 3. &c. There is none fb tender of him, or jealous of his honour, as 
Chrift's Bride is. Again, the daughters being fpoken unto, and Chrift fp *" 
ken of as a third perfon, it can be no other that fpeaks here, but the Bride : 
What t ( faith fhe ) are ye taken with any lovelinefs ye fee in me ? 
I will propofe to you a far more excellent objett. And this fhort, but very fweet 
difcourfe, holds forth Chrift, lovely and glorious, in three moft excellent 
fteps, wherein, by a notable gradation, Solomon is ever mentioned, his name 
(who was a fpecial type of Chrift) being borrowed to defign him, while his 
glory is fet forth. He is defcribed, 1 . From his bed, ver. 7,8. whereby is 
fet forth, the excellent happinefs and quietnefs that believers have in enjoy- 
ing him. 2. From his chariot, a moft ftately piece of work, by which is Sig- 
nified that excellent mean (to wit, the covenant of redemption revealed and 
preached) whereby our Lord Jefus brings his people to his reft, ver. 9, 1 o. 
3. She propounds his own moft excellent felf, and that crowned with the 
ftately majefty and glory of his love, beyond which there is no ftep to pro- 
ceed •, but here fhe fifts, and willeth all others to be taken up, in beholding 
him, as the only defirable and heart-ravifhing object, verfe 11. 

For opening of the firft, in the 7th and 8th verfes, we have thefe five 

S things 

x^o Jn .Ezpofition Chap. 3. 

■ ■ - ■ — — 

things to confider ; i. Who this Solomon is. 2. What this bed is. 3. What 
this guard, that is aboutit, doth fignifie. 4. For what end that guard is ap- 
pointed. 5. The life of the note of attention, Behold, which is prefixed. 

ift, By Solomon, David's ion properly is not underftood, this feope will not 
agree to him (he was indeed a great king,but a greater than Solomon is here: ) 
therefore, feeing in fcripture, Solomon was typical of Chrift, as from Pfd. 72. 
and other places, may be gathered, through all thefe verfes, by Solomon is un- 
ftood Chrift, .the Beloved and Bridegroom, who efpecially was typified by 
Solomon in thefe things -, 1. Solomon had a great kingdom, from the river to the 
fea \ and fo will cur Lord have many fubje&s. 2. As Solomon was, fo Chrift 
is, a powerful, rich King } our Lord Jefus hath all power in heaven and 
earth committed to him. 3. Solomon was a royal,magnificent king, fought. un- 
to from air parts of the earth; and fb the name and glory wherewith the Me- 
diator is furniftied, is above every name in heaven and in. earth. ^.Solomm 
was a wife, judicious- king^ and lingular for that ; and fo in our L.ord Jefus 
dwells all the treasures of wifdom and knowledge ; there is no need to fear, that 
any thing that concerns his people will mifcarry in his hand. 5. Solomon had a. 
peaceable reign (for which caufe he had that name) and his government was 
bleffed and happy to his people and fervants ', and fo our Lord Jefus is 
the Prince of peace , Ifa. 9. 6. and of his government there is no change \ and 
happy are hisfubje&s, and bleffed are his fervants ; for, the one half 'of his glo- 
ry, magnificence, wijdom, &c. and of their happinefs, can neither be told nor 
believed. This is an excellent Perfon, and a molt ftately King, who yet is 
the believer's Bridegroom : Chrift's Bride is nobly and honourably matched. 
idly, By bed, here, is underftood the fame thing that was fignified by it, 
chap. 1. itf. to wit, that accefs, nearnefs and familiarity, that the believer 
hath with Chrift, and whereunto he admits them that are his ', and the reft, 
folace and refrefhment that they enjoy in fellowfhlp with him : Beds being e- 
fpecially appointed for thefe two, i.For refrefhing and reft,. Ifa. 57. 2. and 
Pint. 1 32. 3. 2. For the mutual fellowftiip of husband and wife. So then, by 
this is holden forth the excellent, refrefhing and foul-eafe, that a believer 
may have in the enjoying of Chrift : There is no bed that can give quietnefs,, 
reft and folace, like this. Again, it is called his bedyCi.) To diftinguifli it from 
hers, chap. 3. n There is great odds betwixt the two, as was hinted upon 
that verfe. (2.) To fhew, that altho 5 fhe be admitted to it (and therefore it is 
called, ozcrsy chap. 1. i<5.) yet it is wholly procured and framed by him alone* 
(3.J It is called his, to fhew the communion that a believer hath with Chrifl 
in his refrefhings. O fweet t It is Chrift's own bed, if he ly well,they ly well 
who are married to him , it is his peace which they enjoy here, My peace I 
leave with yov y my peace I give :mto you, Jo. 14. 27. And it is his glory and 


Verfe 7. of the Song of Solomon. 1 3 1 

throne that they are made partakers of hereafter, when they are fet down on 
the fame throne -with him. Again, it is called his bed, which is Solomon V : 
which expreflion is added, tO'ftiew where the weight of this wonderful re- 
frefliing lies, to wit, in this, that the reft (which he invites them to behold) 
is no mean man's, it is Solomon's ; yea, a greater than Solomon's, whofe cur- 
tains and hangings are much above fcis, chap.i. 6. If Solomon's fervants were 
happy that were admitted to his prefence, how wonderfully happy are belie- 
vers, Ghri ft V Bride, who are admitted to his own bed : The dignity of be- 
lieving, and union with him, would be read out of the dignity and glorious 
majefty of the perfon with whom we are united. 

sdly, There is a guard mentioned here, which, in relation to Chrift, fliews 
his ftatelinefs, and, in relation to us, fhews our fafety and fecurity j that as 
kings (and it is like Solomon) ufed to be attended by guards, for ftatelinefs and 
fecurity, that quietly they may reft ( their- guards watching about them J fo 
this reft that a believer hath in Chrift, O it is fure ! there is an excellent 
guard comparting them about. It is particularly defcribed, 1 : In its number, 
they arefixty, that is a competent and iufficient number. 2. They are valiant ^ 
gallant, couragious men, that will not fail to execute orders : They are the 
choice men of Ifrael, that Solomon had to watch his bed , they are choice ones 
our Lord makes ufe of for the fecurity of believers. 3. They are orderly 
difpofed for their fecurity, they are about it, on all hands ; there can be no 
approach made upon belie vers, to the prejudice of the repofe they have in 
Chrift. 4. They are well armed, yea, always at their arms, in a pofture of 
defence, they all hold [words ; none of them wants arms, and they have them 
ftill in readinefs. 5. They are not only ftout, but skilful, expe-yt men, who 
have been tried and well proven : None of his people needs to fufpecl Chrift's 
watch over them, dexterous is he is preferving poor fouls. 6. Every one hath 
his [word girt on his thigh, and is ftanding at his poft. All the expreilions tend 
to fhew, that here, and here only, in Chrift's bed, may a foul reft fecure : 
there is no accefs for wrath to feize upon them that are in Chrift, nor to 
devils to pull them from Chrift ; for, he and his Father are ftronger than 
all, and none is able to pluck them out of his hand* Believers have a notable fe- 
curity and defence, Chrift's bed and his guard *, if he be fure, they are fure ; 
one watch watcheth both him and her. The fame power of God, Ifa. 27. 2. 
the twenty thouf and of angels, which are his chariots, Pfal. 6$* 17. are for the 
believer's protection in Chrift's company, pitching their tents about them, Pfal. 
34. 8. In a word, they are not only guarded with angels, but with divine 
attributes,the wifdom and power of God,and this makes them dwell in fafety. 

qthly, The end of all this is, for fear in the night : There are no nights to 
Chrift himfelf, and fo no fear •, yea, Solomon the type, having fuch a peace- 

S 2 able 

132 An Expofition Chap. 3. 

— — 

able kingdom, it is not like he had much fear } but the fear is in refpett of 
believers, who are admitted to Chrift's company and fellowfhip : For prevent- 
ing their fears, he hath fettled all firmly, as if guards were fet for their fe- 
curity. Hence we gather, that the believer is fuppofed to be in the 
bed with him, otherwife there is no ufe of this guard \ and his bed 
here is a piece of work that is framed not only for himfelf, but alfo for 
the daughters of Jerufalem, as the following chariot is. By night here is un- 
derftood believers darknefs and lightlefs conditions (to fpeak fo) wherein fears, 
doubts, challenges, &c. are moft ready to affault, as afrightmentments ufe to 
befal men in the night. Thefe words, becaufe of fear in the night, hold forth 
the ufe that our Solomon hath of that guard, to wit, for quieting his poor 
people, againft the doubtings, difficulties, difcouragements, &c. and fuch- 
like, whereto believers are fo fubjeft, ia their drooping, night-conditions •, 
tho', when light fhines, they are little troubled. Thefe words fhew, i.That 
Chrift's Bride, admitted to fellowfhip with him, may have her black and dark 
nights. 2. That believers, who have thought themfelves above doubtings 
and fears, when things went well with them :, yet, in nights of temptation, 
darknefs and trial, they may be overtaken with many fad fears : It is not al- 
ways day with them j and when it is night with them, they are apt to fear. 
3«That believers, in their nights, and under their fears, have good fecurity and 
an excellent guard \ yea, their fafety and defence is as good then, as when there 
is no night nor fear : How dark foever their night be, Chrift's guard will 
fuificiently preferve them. 4. Chrift is tender even of believers fears, and 
hath provided fb well for their peace, as he hath appointed means, not only 
to prevent their hurt, but alfo to prevent their fears , for, becaufe of fear hath 
he appointed this guard. 5. There is no king or monarch fo well attended 
and guarded, or who may fleep fo fecure and found as a believer : His guard 
Is ftill at their poft, and they are valiant men, that cannot fail \ for, ( 1 .) He 
is at peace with God - 7 and he that is within the peace of God, hath the 
warrant, right and advantage of it to guard the heart and mind, Phil. 4. 7. 
(2.) The believer hath all the promifes, and confirmations of oath and feals, 
in which it is impojfible for God to lie, to fecure and quiet him. (3.) He hath 
the watch of angels^ Pfal. 34. 7. pitching their tents about him, and chariots of 
angels waiting on him. (4.) He hath God himfelf, and his almighty power 
for his defence, who done may make him dwell infafety ; wherefore he may 
ly down with confidence, and alfo fleep with quietnefs, Pfal. 4. 8. It is good 
fleeping in Chrift's bed, there is not fo good reft to be found any where in 
the world : So then, by the guard is underftood whatever contributes for 
confirming believers faith, and ftrengthning them againft. their fears of heing 
interrupted in their reft, which (being in Chrift) is allowed upon them. 


Verfe 9. of the Song o/" Solomon. 1 3 5 

<^/y, A behold is prefixed to all this, and that defervedly, I. To fhew the 
wonderfiilnefs of what fhe was to fay : O how wonderful is it, if believed ! 
2. To provoke and ftir up to obferve and take notice of it : Few are acquaint 
with believers privileges *, and if they had not been recorded in the word, 
we durfl never have likened or evened our felves to them. 3. It is to fhew an 
holy impatiency in her afFettion, in breaking in fo with this difcourfe, as 
more fervently defirous to fill their mouths and hearts with the commending 
ofChrift, than what they were about in commending of her : A notable di- 
verfion and fign of love in a friend of the Bridegroom, who with John the 
Baptift is content to decreafe, fo he may increafe. True believers fhould and 
will endeavour more the commendation ofChrift, in their fellowship together, 
than to commend any grace, gift, or what elfe they have gotten from him : 
they will not conceit, or cry up their graces and gifts as they are theirs, for 
that were bafe ingratitude *, but withal they mention what they have receiv- 
ed, partly to indear him to themfelves, and partly to commend him to others : 
and thus they defign to return him his own with advantage, wherein neverthe- 
lefs they are the gainers,even while they feem to give what they have received. 

Verfe 9. King Solomon made bint/elf a chariot of the wood of 

Verfe 10. He made the pillars tforeof of fitver, the bottom there- 
of of gold \ the covering of it of purple 5 the midft thereof being 

payed with loVe for the daughters ofjerufalem. 
j The fecond piece of work, mentioned, for the commendation of the Work- 
er, is a chariot, defcribed at large verf.$, 10. For clearing of the words, 
we are to inquire concerning thefe three things, ifl, Its Worker or Former. 
idly, The end for which it is framed. $dly, Concerning this chariot itfelf. 

The Author or Maker thereof is Solomon, and that King Solomon, that is 
Chrift, as was cleared before : he is mentioned thrice under this name ', but 
there is a gradation here that is obfervable. (j.) He is called Solomon , verfe 7. 
(2.) King Solomon, verfe 9. (3.) King Solomon crowned, or, crowned Kin? Solo- 
mon, verfe 11. The longer fhe fpeaks of Chrill, and infills in mentioning his 
excellency, her thoughts draw the deeper, fhe fets him up the higher, and 
becomes warmer irt her apprehenfions, affe&ions and expreflions concerning 
him ; acquaintance with him would make one fpeak eloquently of him : He 
that is the Worker and Former of this chariot, is a moll excellent King \ it 
mull needs then be a {lately, royal piece of work. 

Secondly , There are two ends mentioned wherefore he makes it. i/r, It is 


1 34 4n Expo/ttion Chap. 3. 

to himfelf, that is, for his own glory, and that thereby he may in a fpecial 
way hold forth himfelf to be glorious, and that particularly in his grace j for, 
tho' he made all things for himfelf, yet is he faid efpecially to manifeft his 
glory in doing good to his people *, and what ferves for the manifeftation of 
his grace, is in a peculiar manner made for himfelf: So, I fa. 43. 7, 21. This 
people- have I firmed for my [elf (in a far other way than he formed other na- 
tions) they ji hall (in a lingular way) fiew firth my praife, that is, the praife of 
his goodnefs, wherein his way was- peculiar to them : And the paving of this 
chariot with love, and appointing of it for the daughters of Jerufalem, doth 
confirm this alio, that it is the praife of grace that efpecially fhines in this 
piece of work. And fo thefecond end, fubordinate to the former, is in the end 
ofverfe 10. in thefe words, for the daughters of Jer*ufalem,that is,fbr their good 
that are weak and far fliort of perfection \ it is not only fitted for his glory, 
but alio it is fitted and confirmed to them, fo as it may procure and bring a- 
bout their good. Obf 1. In the greatefl pieces of Chrift's workmanship he 
had mind of poor fmners yet ungloriried * 7 his delight was with them before the 
world was, Prov. 8. 31. 2. The glorifying of grace is the great thing Chrift 
aims at in all his contrivance and way toward his Church and people. 3. He 
hath knit his own glory and the good of his people together •, that fame work 
which is for himfelf, is alfb for them, that if he obtain his end, they cannot 
but be well ', his glory and their good ride (to fay fb) in one chariot, 4. For 
as ftately a perfbn as our Lord Jefus is, he difdains not to be occupied in ma- 
king works, and as it were framing chariots,for the behoof of his people : Ra- 
ther than they fhould want what may further them in their way, he will make 
and furniih them himfelf. 

Thirdly ,The third thing is the work itfelf, which indeed is very admirable, 
as the Worker and ends are .: It is a chariot, feveral w r ays defcribed, both in 
its matter, form and furniture. The word tranflated chariot is no where elfe 
in fcripture, it is tranflated bed on the margent • it is by the Septu^igints ex- 
preffed by fuch a word as fignifieth to be carried, and to ca-ny, as chariots and 
litters (wherein men are carried) ufed to be carried by horles : We think it 
fitly exprefied by chariot, not only becaufe the word is different nom that 
which is tranflated bed, verfe 7. but, firfi, the immediate end and ufe feems 
to be different alfo : for, as ftately kings ufe their beds for repofe and reft, 
in their chambers, and their chariots to ride in, when they go abroad, and 
wherein their queens may ride with them } fo is it here. As Chrift hath a 
bed for believers quieting, he hath alfo a chariot for fafe convoying and car- 
rying them through their journey, till they come to their complete reft-, this 
being no lefs neceifary for believers (fuch as the daughters of Jerufalem are) 

/ than the former. 


Verfe 1 o. of the Song of Solomon. 1 35 

In fhort, by this chariot we underhand the way of redemption in general, 
as it is contrived in the eternal counfel of God, and fo called the covenant of 
redemption, and alfo as it is preached and manifefted to us in the Gofpel. 
The reafois why we thus apply it, are, not only becaufe there is no other 
thing that it will agree unto 5 for, 1. It is a work of Chrift, and fb not Chrift 
himfelf . 2. It is a work of fpecial grace for his own, and that while they 
are in the way (for the eleft in heaven are not daughters of Jerufalem) there- 
fore it is no common work of creation, or providence, or of glory in heaven* 
3. It is for the Church's good, and therefore cannot be underftood of her ^ 
for, befide tha . che feveral parts of its defcription will not fuit her, not only 
Chrift, but the daughters of Jernfalem are to be born in this chariot : And 
we know not a fourth thing imaginable, that can be underftood by it, but the 
covenant of redemption revealed in the Gofpel. But, idly, The covenantof 
redemption is that work of Chrift's, wherein moft eminently the glory of 
his grace and love: to iinners doth appear, which makes him wonderful lovely 
and admirable *, (to. ** et ^h which is the prefent fcope) It therefore muft be 
here underflood. $dly, That work is fignified by this chariot , whereby Chrift 
communicates his love to poor fmners, and carries them through •, therefore 
it is faid to be pwed with love for that end : Now, there is no partaking of fpe- 
cial love from Chrift, but by this covenant \ nor was there ever another mean 
made, or appointed for convoying love to them, or for bringing them through 
to the partaking of it, but this fame covenant y therefore it muft be under- 
ftood. 4-tbly, All that is fpoken of this chariot , as it will be applicable to no 
other thing, fo will it well agree to the covenant of redemption manifefted 
and preached in the Gofpel. 1. It may well be compared to a chariot , be- 
caufe by it poor believers are carried through as in a chariot, born up and 
fuftained by it, even in the way : Yea, in it and by it they triumph, and ride 
as in triumph (as he in this Gofpel rides profperoufly) and if it be that where- 
in he rides, it muft be that wherein they ride alfo,, and therefore well com- 
pared to a chariot, becaufe both he and they triumph by it. 2. It is emi- 
nently and peculiarly Chrift's workmanihip *, he made this" covenant for their 
behoof, and en t red himfelf fitrety, undertaking for them, when there was 
none upon their fide of the covenant to undertake but he the Mediator ; and 
therefore is he ftiled Jefus and Redeemer, and it is by his purchafe (having 
procured this unto them) that they are admitted to it, and carried through iir 
it. 3. It is in a peculiar way contrived and framed for the glory of his grace, 
and the good of his people, as hath been faid ^ by it is manifefted in the 
Church the manifold wifdom of God, and the riches of the grace of Chrift : 
If ever a piece of work was made for the good of finners, and the glory of 
grace 3 this is ir^ without which all the creatures had been uncomfortable, yea, 


3 6 An Expofition Chap. 3. 

hurtful to them. 4. It may be laid to be of the wood of Lebanon, that is ex- 
cellent and durable -, for fb the wood of Lebanon was, for which caufe it was 
made ufe of in building of the temple : And fo all the materials of this cove- 
venanr, and its properties, are excellent and durable j it is an everlafting co- 
venant, that fiils not, and vaniihes not away, but endures for ever. yhly, 
The form is fuitable alfo, He made the pillars thereof (faith fhe) offilver. Pil- 
lars in a piece of work fignify, 1. Decoring. 2. Order-lines, 3. Statelinefs *, 
for which caufe, when ivljdcm builds her houfe, Prov. 9. 1, 2. fhe heweth out 
feven pillars : And Solomon made pillars for the temple, the Infcriptions where- 
of fignified their end and ufe ', Jachin and Bcaz,, fiability and ftreagth, 2 Chron. 
3. 17. And they are as fiver pillars, to fhew their excellency •, and fo this co- 
venant hath precious promifes, as the pillars thereof, able to fupport believ- 
ers \ and hath all thefe fo well ordered and contrived, that every thing 
is excellently in its own place : This covenant is therefore laid to be well or- 
dered in all things and fur e \ the pillars will not fhrink, make, nor bow, 2 Sam. 
23.5. 6thly, It hath a bottom, and that of gold .• A bottom is to fhew its lia- 
bility and firmnefs, to fuflain and keep up thefe who ride in it ; and goldfhews 
its folidity and precioufnefs : it is a rich bottom, therefore the new Jerufalem 
is faid to have hevfireets of pure gold, Rev. 21. 22. So this covenant hath a fiire 
foundation, elett and precious *, this covenant cannot be unbottom'd, and 
dinners cannot fall through, if once in it. ithly, It hath a coverings and that 
of purple : A cover is to preferve and fave from any thing that may fall from 
above •, and purple or fcarlet (for in fcripture both are one, as may be feen, 
M*tth. 27. 28. compared with Mark 15. 17.) fets out the excellency and 
efficacy of that cover j it is not of every thing, it is of purple •, and this in 
fcripture was made ufe of to be dipt in the blood of the Sacrifices, Heb. 9. 14, 
which was called, verfe 20. the blood of the covenant^ typifying the application 
of Chrifl' s blood : This is the cover of the covenant, the worth and efficacy 
of Chrift's fatisfa&ion, whereby all in covenant (as it were riding in this cha- 
riot) are preferved from the wrath of God, and their firs hid, and fo covered 
by that blood, that they are never called to a reckoning for them, Tfal. 32. 
1,2. Jer. 50. 20. Sthly, The midfl thereof is pared with love • What can this 
be ? Gold is much, but love is more } what workman but Chrift can make this 
pavement ? and what piece of work of his, but the covenant of redemption, 
is fo lined and fluffed with love ? The midfl thereof is the inward of it, as great 
men in their chariots and coaches have their pillows and cufhions of velvets, 
&c. to repofe them : But here there is a far other thing, to repofe and reft 
upon - 7 love lines all this chariot, fo that there is none in the covenant, but 
love is flill next them : The word fpeaks good to them, and all the promifes 
run like pipes with ftr earns of love to them- ? God's difpenfations toward them 


Verfe 10. of the Song of Solomon. 1 57 

breathe out love •, they walk on love, fit on love, reft on love-, it muff be 
good to be here: And love i* rcfcrved for the midft of it, to fhew, that tho' 
its excellency and beauty may fome-way fhine and glifter to thefe that are 
without, yet none knows or can know the heart and bowels of the covenant 
(to fay fo) and the love that is there, but thefe that are within. 2. Love is 
put over the bottom of gold, and made the pavement, (1.) Becaufe love in 
this covenant condefcends loweft to us } and there can be no lower Hooping 
imaginable, than that to which the love of. Chrift hath made him bow (2.) 
It is love that makes the riches of Chrifl: applicable to us , we could not walk 
on that gold, if love paved it not : the freedom of his grace and love makes 
all refrelhful , the believer, even tho' a firmer, may ride and reft here. (3.) It 
is to hearten a finner to come in and clofe with this covenant •, and it fhews 
what fits it to be a chariot for them to ride in, it is the pavement of love : 
a finner may leap here, there is no hazard to fall } or if he fall, he falls fbft, 
for it is upon love : There will be no rejecting of a finner that would enter 
and fit down in it j why ? they are to fit, ftand, and \y on love, which will 
cover their infirmities and not contend, otherwife there would be no accefs to 
it, nor abiding in it, it would caft them out. Thus doth grace fhine in the 
covenant, as the lineing and infide of all the promifes, when they are feen - 7 
therefore is it peculiarly called the covenant of grace. $thly y It is for the 
daughters of Jerufalem : All the work is for them, but efpecially the pavement 
of love, it is for them, who, while they are in the way, are fubjeft to infirmi- 
ties *, it is fitted for them to roll on, and reft in, even when fenfe of fin would 
otherwife fting and difquiet them : This fiiits well with that word, 2 Sam. 
23. 5. Although my houfe be not fo with God, but there are many things finful 
to be found in it, yet he hath made with me an everlafling covenant , well ordered 
in all things, and fur e :, This (faith he, when he was to die) is all my Qlvation? 
and att rcy defire. There needs no more for carrying believing finners through, 
and giving them eafe under their challenges and perplexities, bu<- this, it is 
fowellfuited for believers conditions. From all this flie proceeds, verfe 11. 
to point out Chrift as precious, this covenant putting as it were the crown of 
of grace and lovelinefs on him. 

Obf 1. The work of redemption, bringing finners out of a ftate of wrath, 
and carrying them through to glory, is a noble defign, a wonderfully excel- 
lent work, and hath been deeply contrived. 2. O the excellent wifdom, and 
wonderful grace tha^ fhines in this covenant ! 3. They who would reft hi 
ChrifVs bed, muft ride in his chariot ; they who would fhare in his pe?ce, 
and be admitted to fweet fellowfliip with him, muft accept of h : s offers, and 
enter into covenant with him. 4. The weight of all contained m the cove- 
nant lies on Chrift 3 therefore it is his workraanfhip alone, as being the furety 

T there- 

138 An Expojttion Chap. 3. 

thereof to the Father, the Meffenger of the covenant to us, and in effeft the 
fum and fubftance of it himfelf *, therefore is he called the Covenant Jfo. 42. 6. 
5. Chrift hath fpared no invention nor coft, to make this covenant large and 
foil for the believer's confolation and happinefs. 6. Love is a main ingredi- 
ent in this work of redemption, and the predominant qualification of this co- 
venant, love being the thing which he chiefly intended to make confp'cuous 
and glorious therein. 7- Every particular of the contrivance of grace will be 
found more precious than another, every Hep thereof proceeds to a greater 
excellency •, and therefore there is mention made here, (1.) Of wood, (2.) Of 
fiver, (3.) Of gold, &c. The further in we come in the covenant, we will 
find it the more rich. 8. Love is here mentioned in the laft place, to fhevv 
the great excellency of Chrift's love unto redeemed finners •, there is fomething 
beyond gold, but nothing beyond love, efpecially that of the Mediator : It is 
left lad alfo in the defcription, to leave the daughters of Jerufalem to con- 
fider the more of it, as being the great attractive commendation of this work, 
which ihould make it amiable and defirable unto them. Love hath the laft 
word, and there is nothing beyond it but himfelf, whofe glory and loveiinefs 
is fpoken to in the following verfe. Laftly, Her fcope is, 1/, To commend 
Chrift ; for they will never efteem of him, that are not acquaint with his 
covenant, zdly, To engage both her felf and the daughters to fall more 
throughly in love with him : The right uptaking of the covenant is a rriorT 
forcible argument for drawing fouls to Chrift } for, 1. It hath all fulnefs in 
it, for the matter. 2. All wifdom, for the manner. 3. All gracious conde- 
scending, in the terms, 4. It is meft engaging in refpeft: of its end, being 
made for this fame very purpofe, and defigned for this very end, that it may 
bring about the peace and falvation of finners :, which confiderations exceed- 
ingly commend it, and may much ftrengthen a finner in applying himfelf to 
it. 5. It is moft neceffary in regard of the falvation of finners j there is no 
Tiding or journeying to heaven, but in this chariot } No other name by which. 
men can be faved, but the name of Chrifl, that is manifeftedby this covenant. 

Verfe if. Go forth , ye daughters of Zion, and behold i^ing 
Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in 
the day of his efpoufals, and in the day of the gladnefs of his 

She proceeds, in this. verfe r to hold forth the Worker of this great work - # 
and altho' all the pieces of the work be admirable, yet hatji he'much more 
glory, in as far as the builder is more glorious, and hath more honour than 


Verfe i t. of the Song of Solomon. I 39 

the houfe : And becaufe his commendation is her fcope, therefore fhe pro- 
pounds him in his beauty and glory, with an exhortation filled with admi- 
ration ', If (faith file) ye would wonder, O daughters, &c. here is a wonderful 
object, Chrtfi himfelf, on whom all eyes JJwuld be fixed j up therefore, come forth 
and behold him. There are four things in the verfe, 1. The parties fpoken 
unto. 2. A glorious object propounded to them. 3. This glorious object, 
being Chrift, is qualified and let out in his moft lovely and wonderful pofture, 
by three qualifications. 4. A duty in reference to him, fo qualified, is called 
for, and preffed upon the daughters. 

Firfl, The parties excited and fpoken to here, are the daughters of Zion, By 
Zion oftentimes in fcripture is underftood the Church, wherein Chrift is fet 
as King, PJal. 2. 6. and elfewhere : and fo, by daughters of Zion, we are to 
underftand members of the Church*, they are the fame with the daugh- 
ters of Jerufalem mentioned verfe 5. and her fcope being to fpeak to them who 
fpoke, verfe 6. and they being the fame to whom fhe fpake, verfe 5. dot]? 
confirm it •, for the words run in one context. They are called here daughters 
of Zion, 1. Becaufe it was for Zions fake that the Lord fo much prized Je- 
rufalem , VfaU 87. 2. his temple and ordinances being efpecially there. '2. To 
put the daughters of Jerufalem in mind, what was the efpecial ground of the 
relation which God owned in them, namely, their being incorporate into his 
Church, whereby they had accefs to his ordinances *, and that fo they might 
know, whoever was deficient, yet this duty called for did exceedingly become 
them, Chrift being King of Zion : For which caufe, elfewhere, Zech. 9. 9, 
the exhortation runs in thefe terms, Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King 
cometh, &c. It is no little thing to get profeffors taking up the relation they 
ftand under to Chrift, and engaged to walk accordingly. 

Secondly, The object, propofed to the daughters, is King Solomon, even the 
King of Zion, the King of peace, and King of faints, in a word, their King : 
This relation makes him lovely to them •, yet, it is not Chrift fimply that is 
here propofed to their view, but Chrift with a crown, in moft ftately magni- 
ficence, fuch as kings ufe to be adorned with, when they are in great ftate, 
or on their coronation-day. While it is faid, he hath a crown, hereby is not 
fignified any material crown, but majefty and glory, as Pfal. 21.3. Thcufet a 
crown of pure gold on his head, &c. And Co Chrift conquering on the white horfe, 
Rev. 6. 3. is faid to have a crown : And, Rev. 19. 12. it is faid, he hath on his 
head many crowns, to fhew his great and manifold glory, fuch as becomes the 
Prince of the kings of the earth. Every look of Chrifl is not enough, many 
thinks not much of him : This fhews how Chrift 's glory is to be feen, and 
how for that end he is to be confidered by on-lookers ; he is to be looked u- 
pon as he doth difcover and hold forth himfelf, otherwife his glorv will ne- 

T 2 ve; 

14° 4n Expofttion Chap. 3. 

ver rightly be taken up : And therefore, to help us in this, and to prevent 
an objection which carnal fenfe might make againft her fcope, fhe qualifies 
this crown and glory of his, three ways, Fir ft y It is the crown wherewith his mo- 
ther crowned him : Where we are to enquire, 1. What different crowns Chrift 
may be faid to have, and what this is. 2. Who this mother is. 3. How fhe 
is faid to crown him. 

Chrift maybe faid to have a fourfold glory, or crown, (1.) As God co- 
effential with the Father ; this crown is not put on him, being natural to 
him, who is the brightnefs of the Father's glory, and the exprefs mage of his per- 
fon, Heb. 1. 2, 3. (2.) He hath a crown and glory as Mediator, in refpeft 
of the power,authority and glory wherewith he is invefted, as God's great De- 
puty and Anointed upon the holy hill of Zion,having power and a rod of iron, 
even in reference to enemies \ and feeing this is not of his mother's putting 
on, it is not that which is here underftood. (3.) He hath a crown and glo- 
ry, in refpecl: of the manifeftation of his glory in the executing of his offices, 
when he makes his mediatory power and glory apparent in particular fteps ^ 
thus fbmetimes he is faid to take his power to him, Rev. 1 1. 17. and is faid to 
be crowned, when the white horfe of the Gofpel rides in triumph. Rev* 6. 2. 
The laft ftep of this glory will be in the day of judgment : In fhort, this con- 
fifts in his exercifing his former power, committed to him as Mediator. (4.) 
There is a crown and glory which is in a manner put on him by particular be- 
lievers, when he is glorified by them, not by adding any thing to his infinite 
glory, but by their acknowledging of him to be fo, efpecially their acknow- 
ledging his rich and free grace, and by believing, putting their feal thereunto, 
John 3. 33. and giving him glory, as Abraham did, Rom. 4* 20. in which re- 
fpecl: he is crowned } as on the contrary, when he meets not with this, he is 
defpifed, and it is a faying upon the matter, Tiois man fhall not reign over us : 
Now this laft is to be here underftood. Again, by mother, here, is not un- 
derftood his natural mother, but it muft be taken in a fpiritual fenfe for one 
of two } Either, ift, For the Church catholick, which being mother to Chrift 
myftical, may be faid to be mother to him; as Rev. 12. 5. the Church is faid 
to bring forth a man-child, who is taken to heaven, and hath afcribed to him 
the properties due to Chrift, and yet Chrift myftical is there underftood : Or, 
idly, For a particular believer, who may be faid to be Chrift's mother in thefe 
refpe&s, 1 . For the near relation that is betwixt Chrift and particular belie- 
vers, 'and the account he hath of them •, for which reafon they are called his 
fifter, h\s fpoufe, chap. 4. 10. and Matth. 12. nit. he calls them his brother, his 
fifter, yea, mother. 2. Becaufe Chrift is formed and brought forth in them, 
being as it were conceived in every one of them, Gal. 4.9. Chrift (as it were) 
getting a new being in them, which he had not before. We conceive, both 


Verfe if. of the Song of Solomon. 141 

may be underftood here, and the lad efpecially, as ferving moft to the fcope 
of commending Chrift to them : And if the firft be included, to wit, the 
Church univerfal, then particular believers (being homogeneous parts of the 
whole) cannot be excluded-, for, the Church crowns Chrift, whenfhe brings 
forth children to him, which is, when by the ordinances Chrift is begotten in 
them. Now, they are faid to crown Chrift, and glorify him, not by adding 
any new degrees of glory to him, coniidered in himfelf j but this his being 
crowned bv them, doth efpecially appear in thefe three, ift, Their high efti- 
mation of him, beyond what others have, and what themfelves were wont 
to have : Now he is highly efteemed, who before was defpifed by them \ and 
whereas to them he wanted a crown and dominion, now he hath it. idly, 
Their acceptation of him as their King, when by their confentthey ratify 
(as it were) God's donation of the crown to him j and in acknowledging there- 
of, they fubmit to tr*s fceptre and government. Thus he is crowned by them , 
when he is exprefly with full confent of the foul acknowledged as King and 
Lord \ even as David formerly crowned, anointed and made king over ^Ifrael 
by the Lord, is faid to be made king by Judah^ when they accept of him to 
reign at Hebron - and afterward by the ten tribes, in their fubmiflion to him, 
and confent ing to the former appointment : Even fo believers fubmiffion to 
Chrift, is a crowning of him, as to themfelves *, and fo there are particular co- 
ronations (to fay fo) of Chrift, even as there are particular efpoufals betwixt 
him and believers. $dly, This is in refpeQ; of the glory, that remits to Chrift 
from their fubmiffion and acknowledgment : Even as finners, defpifing him, 
put (as it were) a blot on him, put him to open fhame, and fays, We will 
not have him to reian ever us • fo believers, yielding up themfelves to Chrift, 
do in a manner put honour and glory upon him, If a. 62. 2, 3. The married 
Church or people are faid to be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord? when 
the grace of Chrift hath its native erTecl: amongfl them •, as the converfion of 
fouls proves to faithful minifters their crown and joy, 1 Theff. 2. 14. fo doth 
it to the great Bifhop and Shepherd of fouls : And, as Prov. 12. 4. a virtuous 
woman is a crown or ornament to her husb?nd, whereas if fhe be not fo, me 
maketh him afhamed ^ fo are believers fome-way a crown to Chrift, becaufe 
all the glory and beauty which is to be found on them, is his, and from him. 
This then is the meaning, Gmfider Chrift in the beauty wherein he appears to be- 
lievers, and with the efieem they have of him, as full of grace and truth ^ when they 
acknowledge him, and fubjefi to him, and he will be feen to be exceeding fiat ely and 

The fecond qualification confirms this : This crown it put on him in the 
day of his efpoufals. Now, ChrifVs general efpoufals are not yet come, and fo 
the crown m that refpeel: is not yet put on him j it muft be therefore the day 


14* An Expofition Chap, 3 

of his efpoufals with particular believers (which is here underftood, there 
being no other before his fecond coming) who are, 2 Cor. 11.2. efpoufed to him, 
by their confenting to accept him for their husband, as he is king to them, 
by their fubmitting to his dominion. His being crowned, here, is mentioned 
with refpett to this day of his efpoufals j becatife, as bridegrooms ufed to be 
moft glorious in their marriage-day, fo Chrift hath, at the time of efpoufals, 
a fpecial lovelinefs to the new married believer •, what by the more kindly 
and tender manifestations of his love, and what by the frelh relifh it hath 
then to them, when their fpirits are broke with the fenfe of their fin, and 
warm with a deal of holy joy and fainnefs, which ufeth then to abound in 
their heart, in reference to fo good a bargain •, fo Chrift is then to believers 
wonderfully lovely : And altho' the effects of his kindnefs may be inlarged 
afterward, and their efteem of him may alfo grow •, yet readily then, as it is 
mofl fenfible, fo their admiration is moft in exercife, and their thoughts of 
Chrift 's excellent worth are moft arfe&ingly, and overcomingly ravifhing -, 
and when in their after-thoughts they are taken up with him, the remem- 
bring of that day of efpoufals, when he took them by the hand, puts ftill a 
lovelinefs on him to them, that in his love he fo wonderfully condefcended 
unto them. 

The third qualification confirms the fame (for, it is in effe£l one qualificati- 
on in three expreilions) and it is in thefe words, and in the day of the gladnefs 
of his heart •, What is it (faith fhe) that cheers Chrift, and makes him hearti- 
ly glad ? It is even this, when poor fmners accept of him, that is, Chrift's 
marriage-day ^ and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride that day, fo 
doth he rejoice : and as the good Shepherd rejoiceth when he recovers his loft 
fteep, or the father his prodigal fon, Luke 15.32. fo doth Chrift when finners 
are brought in to him by the Gofpel : And this joy is called the gladnefs of his 
heart, to mew the reality of it \ Chrift (in a manner) can enjoy no fuch fa- 
tisfying thing as a marriage with a poor finner, then he fees the travel of his 
foul and is fatisfied, Ifa. 53. 11. that cheers him and makes him fmile (if I may 
fay fo) and this looks to that glory which ihines in Chrift, and is expreffed 
by him when he is well fatisfied with poor finners, and that is mainly when 
he gets welcome by them. This ftgnifies not joy in Chrift, as it is in us ; 
but, t. Itihewshow acceptable a tinner's believing in him, is to him. 2. 
What confident welcome they may expe£l from him, when they come unto 
him. 3. How kindly he ufeth them, by manifefting himfelf to be well plea- 
fed, as one that is cheerful doth on his marriage-day to his bride. 

Thirdly, The duty preft upon the daughters is in two words, holding forth 
two duties, the one whereof is the mids or mean to the other, and the other 
the end of this* The firft is, Behold, which points at the great fcope and 


Verfe 1 1. of the Song of Solomon. 143 

thing called for \ and it imports, 1. A wonderful Object \ and indeed Chrift is 
fo, being confidered in his moll royal pofture, as a crowned King upon his 
coronation-day ♦, and in his moft loving pofture, as a beautiful Bridegroom on 
his marriage-day. 2. It imports a dulnefs in the daughters, needing upflirring 
to take up Chrift in this lovely and glorious pofture. 3. A difficulty rightly 
to take him up under this confideration, yet a neceffity of it, and that it be 
done with attention. 4. It implies an intenfnefs or benfil of fpirit in the acl 
of beholding *, fo rare an object calls for greater!: intention of heart, and gra- 
ver* confideration of mind in the beholder. It is not every look or glance of 
the eyes that will difcem it } but, (1.) There muft be attentivenefs and flea- 
dinefs, a flayed looking, and as it were dwelling on the object with their 
eye. (2.) The exercife of faith mufl go alongft with this their looking, read- 
ing his worth by faith exercifed on him, as If a. 4^. 1 9. Look unto me, and ba 
ye fayed j beholding of him, as the flung Ifraelites did the brazen ferpent. 
(3.) Alfo the exercife of love*, an affectionate look is here neceffary, delight- 
ing in him, and being taken up with him, as one with that wherein they 
take pleafure : the eye of the feer, here, cannot but affect, and inflame the 
heart. (4.) This looking is attended with wondring at this glorious Objecl 
as one beholding a wonder, and ravifhed with the admirablenefs of it : All 
thefe are comprehended under this expreflion, Behold him. The fecond word 
(which hath in it another piece of their duty) is, Go forth -, and this is a help 
to the other : And, befide what hath been hinted at in the former expreffion ' 
it fhews, it is not in every poflure that they will take up Chrift thus- but 
there is a neceffity they muft come out from under the natural condition they 
were into: We take it to be the fame with that precept, Pfal..^. 10, rrj 
Forget thine own people and thy father's hot/fe, fo (and no otherwife) fliall the Kino] 
greatly defire thy beauty. Chrift manifefls not himfelf^ as reconciled and pleafed 
till former lovers be given up with \ and this beholding of his ■ foiling and glo- 
rious countenance cannot be obtained till then, even as one fitting in the houfe 
cannot difcern a (lately fight going by, except they go forth : Thus the (imi- 
litude is borrowed, to (hew a neceffity of roufing of affections within, but not 
to iigmfy any local mutation. This then is the fenfe and fcope, prof effort 
(faith the Bride) voculd ye fee aftately fght * then get up, and fet your feives to 
take itp-Ckrifi y more glorious than Solomon either on his coronation or marriage-day, 
(to which there is an allufion here) And becaufe few fees great comelinefs and 
beauty in Chrift, why he fhould be defired 5 therefore ihe adds what a fight 
it is ihe underftands : Endeavour (faith (he) to behold him as he is difcern able to 
believers-, when they clofe with him r and accept of him 5 if fo ye will exercife faith 
in him r fo at ye may per fa cfpoufals with him> and fatisfy him by refiing on him y 

144 dn Expofttion Chap. 3. 

ye will then have afiately and foul-ravifung object to look upon m otherwife Chrifl is 
not alway, and to every one, f leaf ant and cheerful company, 

Obf. 1. Chrid, when rightly conceived and taken up, is a moft ravifhing 
fatisfying fight, and a moll glorious (lately perfon to look upon. 2. Though 
Chrifl Jefus be fo (lately a perfon, yet he condefcends to efpoufe and marry 
himfelf to the believer : Thus Chrift by faith becomes theirs. 3. This mar- 
rying hath its day, and men are not born eipoufed to Chrid, but by their ac- 
cepting of him, their efpoufals with him are confummate. 4. Chrift is never 
taken up aright but by the believer *, nor doth his glory ever appear as it is, 
but to the believer: others,that are not fpiritual,cannot difcern it. 5. Chrift's 
condefcending to marry fmners, and accept of them, is as the crown and dia- 
dem of his glory :, and that which makes him mo(l Angularly admirable, is, 
that he is full of grace and truth^ John 1. 18. 5. Chrift accounts believing on 
him by a poor firmer, a fingular piece of honour done unto him j it is as the 
putting of a crown on his head, when they make ufe of his grace : as he ac- 
counts it the greateft difhonour can be done to him,to refufe and (light him \ 
and therefore misbelief (when Chrifl calls) is a mod hainous fin, it is as it 
were the taking of Chrid's crown from him. 7. There is no fuch pleafure 
that a fmner can do to Chrift, as to believe on him : and Chrift is ever cheer- 
ful then, when fmners are thronging on him by faith, and he is never difcon- 
tent with that f, for, that is the daf of the gladnefs of his heart , as other days 
in the Church are fad, when this defign of his is (as it were) obdro&ed and 
difappointed. 8. Ufually the fight and fenfe of Chrift's grace are moft frefh 
and fenfible to the foul, about the time of their clofmg with Chrid, or of their 
being clear that they have clofed with him. 9. Every lazy looking on Chrid, 
or wiihing for him, will not be acceptable to him, nor folidly comfort a fm- 
ner ^ but there muft be & going forth, and a beholding of him. 10. This being 
fpoken to the daughters of Zion, faith, many may have much of a profeflion 
and a name, yea, they may have a kind of high efteem of gracious people, 
as the daughters had, verfe 6. and yet be fuch as have not rightly taken up 
Chrid, but are exceeding ignorant of him, as thefe are, chap. 5. 9. 1 1. Con- 
sidering thefe words as fpoken by the Bride, who was fo much commended, 
verfe 6. we may obferve, that no particular edeem or commendation will fa- 
tisfy a fincere believer, fo long as Chrid gets not his due : His honour will 
dill be nearer them than their own. 


Verfe i . of the Song of Solomon. M5 



Vcrfe i . Behold, thou art fair, my loVe, heboid, thou art fair, 
thou hafi doves eyes within thy locks : thy hair is as a floe \ of 
goats that appear from mount Gilead. 

THat thefe are Chrift's words, fpoken to the Bride, is at the firft clear : 
He continues fpeaking from the beginning unto verfe itf. and then, 
verfe \6* the Bride fpeaks by prayer to him, for the influences and 
breathings of the Spirit. 

In Chrift's fpeech there are two parts \ the firft to the 8th verfe, where- 
in he gives both a general and particular commendation of the Bride. The 
fecond, from that forward to the laft verfe, wherein he begins with a fweet 
invitation, and then fhews how he was affecled towards her, and fo breaks 
out in another commendation of her. The matter in both is fweet and com- 
fortable •, wonderful to be fpoken by luch a one as Chrift, of fiich a one as a 
believer : but there is nothing in his love, but what is wonderful and like 
hirrifelf. The fcope of the firft part of Chrift's fpeech is twofold, Firft, More 
general, to intimate his love to his Bride, on the back of fo much darknefs 
chap. 3. 1,2. (in the midft of which, notwithftanding, her love did appear in 
her commending him) and it is fubjoined to the commendation that fhe gives 
of him to others, in the preceeding chapter, to fhew, ift, That when belie- 
vers flight their own efteem, to have it accrelcing to Chrift's commendation, 
it is never lofs, but gain to them -, for here Chrift comes in to commend her 
himfelf^ whereas it was but the daughters of Jerufalem who commended her 
chap. 3. 6. idly, It fhews, that time taken, and pains beftowed ft >r the edi- 
fication of others, and their inftru&ion in the excellency of Chrift, is accep- 
table to him, and proves often ufeflil for attaining fenfible fellowship with him - 
yea, it proves often to be fome way as ufeful in reference to this as their own 
particular praying for themfelves, the Lord doth fo return their pains taken 
this way in their bofom. That to commend the Bride is the fcope in general 
is clear from verfe 7. 

More particularly we take the fcope to be, his giving her an anfwer to her 
prayer, chap. 2. 17. where fhe prayed for his fellowfhip until the day breeze* 
Here he doth not only materially anfwer, but, verfe 6. formally repeats her 
words, that fhe may know what he fpeaks is a direcl anfwer to her praver : 
Vntil that day come (faith he) it fhallbe fo as thou defires (as the words' will 
make it clear) Shewing, ift 7 That a believer's prayers may for a time ly be- 
7 V ' fide 

146 An Expofttion Chap. 4. 

fide Chrift (as it were) and yet he not forget a word of them, but mind well 
the anfwer and performance of them. idly 7 That fometimes he will not on- 
ly give what is fought by his people, but make them know that he refpefts 
their prayer in the giving of it ^ and fo he not only hears their prayers, but 
lets them know he hath heard them. 

This commendation, whereby he intimates his refpecT: to her, hath four 
fteps. Firft, It is done in general, verfe 1. Then, idfy, He kififts on parti- 
culars, from verfe 1. to verfe 6. $dly 7 He mews how his refpecT: to her affe- 
fted him, verfe 6. tfhly, He fums all particulars up in an univerfal commen- 
dation, verfe 7. left any thing fliould be miffed, or, being left out, mieht 
vex her \ whereby he mews what was his fcope in that which preceeded. 

The general commendation, in the beginning of verfe 1 . is the fame that 
was given her, chap. 1.15. yet here it is repeated with the two beholds : The 
reafons why he repeats it, are, 1. That Chrift might evidence to her the re- 
ality of his love, and that he varies not, nor changes in it, even tho' fits of 
fecurity on her fide had interveened, chap. 3. 1. Chrift's love and thoughts 
to his people are ftill the fame, whatever changes be upon their frame and 
way, which may occafion fad changes in his difpenfations towards them. 2. 
That fhe might the more be perfwaded of his love to her, and efteem of her : 
Chrift would have his own throughly perfwaded that he loves them, 1 John 
4. 16. and would have others to know that he refpefrs them, more than the 
moil mighty in the world. 3. It is becaufe often believers, from all other 
hands, whether the men of the world, or from themfelves, have but little 
comfort } therefore Chrift renews his intimations to fupport and comfort them : 
Believer's confolation hangs moft on his kindnefs to them, and they who de- 
pend moft on it are no lofers. And further, we may here obferve, that even 
a believer, efpecially after fad challenges, will need renewed intimations of 
Chrift's love. 

The more particular explication and commendation of her parts follows •, 
where we would advert, 1 . That bodily members or parts are not to be 
here looked unto, but believers have an inner-man, as well as an outward, a 
new man as well as an old *, and fo that inner-man hath, as it were, diftincT: 
parts and members, as the natural body hath, which aft in reference thereto, 
with fome analogy to thefe members in the natural body. 2. As the new or 
inner-man fets forth the new nature and habitual grace in the believer •, fo 
the particular parts, eyes, lips, &c. iignifie diftincT: graces of faith, love, 
&c. which are parts of that new nature. 3. Thefe parts may be looked on 
as ufeful in the new man, as the external members are in the body, or as 
they are evidences of fomething in the renewed difpofition. 4. They fet 
forth the difpofition as they are qualified in the commendation, and not fim- 

Verfe i. of the Song of Solomon. 147 

ply. 5. Although we cannot fatisfie our own or others curiofity, in the 
particular application of thefe parts, yet there is a particular meaning of 
every feveral part here attributed to her, as well as of every part attributed 
to him, chap* 5. M, 12, &c. and he giveth no idle words, nor ufeth any vain 
repetitions: We would therefore beware of thinking all this needlefs, ieeing 
he knoweth bed what is needful. 6* Being clear of the fcope, that it is to com- 
mend graces, and to evidence the beauty of her feveral graces, we muft regulate 
all the application by that fcope } and what is fubfervient thereto,cannot be im- 
pertinent. Yet, 7. There is much need of fobriety here ; therefore, we fhall 
be ihort and not peremptory in particular applications. 8. There being a 
connexion amongfl all the graces of the Spirit, it muft not be thought abfurd 
that fome of thefe graces be fignified twice in different refpe&s, and that one 
part refpect moe graces (which are nearly linked) efpecially when the com- 
mendation gives ground to in fer it. 9. We take this commendation to fet 
forth efpecially the invifible Church, or true believers, which are the mem- 
bers thereof, as the fcope and application do clear. 

If it be asked, why he infifts on particulars in this commendation? I 
anfwer, for thefe reafons, 1. That he may mew, that whoever hath the 
new nature, and a lively work of grace, hath alfo particular graces in exercife. 
2. That it may be known that the new nature is not a dead body, but a 
living ; and exercifeth itfelf by putting forth thefe particular graces in exer- 
cife. *~ 3. That he may fhew, that where ever one grace is, all are there, and 
as it is ordinarily with one grace, fo it is with all •, where believers are in a 
good and commendable cafe, it will not be one grace or two that will be in 
exercife, or one duty or two in which thefe graces are exercifed, but it will 
be univerfally, all graces, and in all known duties. 4. To fhew who may ex- 
pert ChrifVs commendation } thefe who have a refpecl: to all his commands, 
and make confcience to exercife all graces. 5. To {hew what particular notice 
he takes of believers graces : he can tell how it is with every one of them ; 
and takes this exact notice of them, becaufe it is very acceptable to him, when 
he finds them in good cafe. 

There are feven parts particularly mentioned, every one having it is own 
diflinct commendation. The firft two of them are in the reft of verfe. 1 . The 
firft thing commended is -her eyes, which here have a twofold commenda- 
tion, i/r, That they are as doves eyes* 2. That they are within her locks* 
Eyes are the organs of feeing in the natural body, whereby we difcern objects 
that are vifible : and fo our understandings are thereby fet forth infcripture*, 
That the eyes of your underftavdwg may be inlightned, faith the Apoftle, Eph* 1. 
18. By eyes alfo the affections are fet forth, becaufe the affection fetg the 
eye on the work to look here ordiere, (Hence is thephrafe of a /ingle and evil 

U 2 cye^ 

An Expofition Chap. 4« 

eye f Matth. 6.21, 23.) and becaufe it is fome way the feat of thefe, and fome- 
what of love or hatred will be, and may be gathered from the eye. Here 
we underftand, 1. A fpiritual, fanftified and inlightned undemanding 
an the things of God, staking up Chrift and fpiritual things Spiritually, 1 Cor. 
2. 15. that is, by faith, it being the evidence of things not feen t Heb. 11. 1. 
And therefore looking is frequently put for believing in fcripture, which pre- 
iuppofeth underflanding. z. Kindlinefs, or a fpirtual, kindly and affection- 
ate carriage to Chrift } in a word, it is the exercife of love upon this fpiritual 
and wonderfully excellent object Chrift, a having -efpeEb to him, as it is, I/a. 
17- 7\ his eyes fliall have refpcft to his Maker •, it is fuch an uptaking of Chrift 
and fpiritual things, as works love and delight in them . 

The commendation will confirm this, which is twofold, i/r, They are 
'doves eyes : This was opened, Chap. u 15. and it fignifieth, 1. What is 
the great objecl: they behold, and are taken up with, it is Chrift - and they 
are chaft to him, and feek to know no other at all but him, 1 Cor, 2. 2. 2* 
It imports,that the ad of faith, whereby they behold him, is fimple, fingle 
and fweet ^ their underflanding is not fubtil, nor politick, nor are they puft 
up with it, but it is taken up in fludying Chrift and him crucified, oppofite to 
the vain wifdom of the world, 1 Cor. 2. 1^2. idly^ Thefe eyes are within her 
locks : Locks are that part of the hair that hang about the face, handfomly 
knit, and was then in flead of a vail to women, 1 Cor. 11. 7. and fo the 
word in the Hebrew will bear ^ and it is differenced from that word tranflated 
hair, in the words following, which is that part of the hair that covers the 
head : It implies here, that the believers knowledge is not ufed for frothy 
ofteutation (as the knowledge that puffs up) but is kept within it is right 
bounds, and that they are wife unto fobriety, and that their knowledge is 
not at the firft obvious, but feafonably vents it felf and looks out, as eyes that 
are within the locks. 

Thefe things are fure, and may be obferved from the words, 1 . That a be- 
liever mould be filled with fpiritual knowledge and underflanding. 2. Know- 
ledge is no lefs necelTary to a believer, that he may go right in the way of 
God, and not err, than eyes are to guide a man in a journey •, and this necef- 
fity extends both to faith and practice, 3. A believer without knowledge, or 
weak in knowledge, is very far defective in fpiritual beauty •, he is as a man 
without eyes, it is not decent that a believer mould be fo : from this it is, that 
many are called weak in faith. 4. That knowledge of fpiritual things mould 
ever have faith, love and finglenefs going alongfl in the exercife thereof} for 
every knowledge will not be commendable to Chrift, more than every eye 
will be ufefiil in a body : Believers eyes mufl be as doves eyes. 5. A believ- 
er's eyes, or knowledge, is different from the knowledge of all others, (i.)In> 


Verfe i • of the Song of Solomon. 1 49 

refpe£r, of its object, which is Chrift and fpiritual things. (2.) In that it is 
joined with love, it reipetts him. (3.) In that it is chaft, keep'ng the foul 
for him alone. (4.) It works delight in him. (5.) It is denied to other things. 
Obf. 6. Often the moft fubtil in worldly wifdom knows leaft of Chrift truly j 
whereas the mof iimple, that have dove s eyes, take up moft of him. 7. Chrift 
refpe&s not how much a man knows, but how he as affected with it : It is not 
the eagles, but the doves eyes, which he commends. 8. It is good to know, 
and to think little of cur knowledge, and not to be puft up with it. 9. Chrift. 
loves it well, when his people feafbnably ufe and improve their knowledge 
and parts *, then the new man becomes lovely, as the eyes are within the locks. 
10. There are extremes in the ufe-making of knowledge, which are to be fliun- 
ned •, v e v culd neither altogether obfeure it that it be not feen, nor by often- 
tat ; on ak fhew of it : It is good when it runs in the right mids, then it 
gets the commendation, and is as eyes within the locks. 

The iecond thing commended is her hair, having a twofold commendation 
alfo. The hair is no integral or effential part oi the body (to fay fo) yet in 
all ages a great part of mens decoring hath ever been placed in it : It is the 
mod confpicuous thing of the body, being higheft and moft difcernable, 
efpecially in the way it ufed to be drefted -, and this confpicuoufoefs of it, by 
the commendation, feems mainly to be aimed at. By hair we underftand the 
ornament of a chriftian, godly, and fober walk, having the right principles 
of favmg grace within, and the fruits thereof in a well ordered converfation, 
and fuitable profeftion appearing without in the practice. We take it fb, not 
only becaufe it is a main piece of a Chrift ian's or believer's beauty, but alio 
for thefe reafons, 1. Becaufe as hair fets out and adorns the natural' body, tho' 
it be no fubftantial part thereof-, fo a well ordered converfation commends 
grace within, and makes it lovely. 2. Becaufe as hair is upmoft and moft 
confpicuous, and therefore feen when the natural body is hid (therefore it 
was to women a cover, 1 Cor. 1 1. 5.) fo a fuitable practical profeftion is (as it 
were) the cover of holinefs, through which : t fhines, and by which it is con- 
fpicuous, which otherwife would not be difcernable. 3. And efpecially, be- 
caufe in fcripture this adorning with good works, and with a meek and quiet 
fpirit, is put in the place of decking of the hair, and other external de- 
corements, 1 Ti'w. 2, 9, io. and as that wherein Chriftians beauty fiould' fhine 
before ^ nun, Matth. 5. 17. and which fliould be to a believer, as decking of the 
hau- is to thefe who take pains to adorn the body. For fure thefe do make 
them beautiful before God and men, more than hair and its decorements can 
make any perfon in the world appear beautiful to the men thereof, 1 Tim.. 2. 
9i 10. whofe adorning (faith the Apoftle> fpeaking of believing women) let it 
not be in coftly apsar embroidered hair, &c. but (what then ihould be in the place 


150 An Expofition Chap. 

thereof? ) fhamefaftnefs, fobriety, and good works : So, i Pet. 3. 3, ^ 5. VHw/* 
adorning let it not be the flatting of the hair, but, in the place thereof let it be 
a meek and quiet [fir it, which in the fight of God is of great price. And this is al- 
fo mentioned by the Apoftle, as that which is exceedingly engaging to the 
husband, for which Sarah there is commended. Next, the commendation of 
her hair, in both its parts, will confirm this, Firfi, It is like a flock of goats : 
Goats are ftately and comely in going, and a flock of them mull be very^ftate- 
ly, as they were efpecially in thefe parts, Prov. 30. 31. And fo this ornament 
of a good converfation is an amiable, gaining and alluring thing ^ by it, faith 
Peter, the husband's affe&icn may be won (and that both to Chrifl and to his 
wife in the Lord) more than by any outward decoring ; and this puts them 
to glorify God, when it ihines before them, Matth. 5. 16. idly, It is com- 
mended from this, that it is like a flock gearing from mount Gilead :|This was 
a fruitful place, and it is like the goats that fed thereon were more excellent 
than others in their beauty -, and, being feen afar, and difcernable ere men 
came near them, were pleafant and {lately to beholders : And fo good works 
mowing forth themfelves in a well-ordered converfation, do alio as from a 
mountain appear to others, and fets believers up as lights jhining a dark place 
Philip. 1. 15. andalfo makes them lovely and defirable in the conferences of 
on-lookers and beholders. Obferve then, 1. That practice mould wait upon 
knowledge \ for it is the end thereof^ and without it all mens knowledge is 
void and vain. 2. Grace and holinefs appearing in a Chriflian's practice, will 
mine, and be in fome meafure very difcernable. 3. This is a thing that makes 
the believer's converfation very beautiful and lovely. 4. It is not enough 
that believers be tender and confcientious in fecret before God ; but there 
ought to be a fhining, even in their outward converfation before men. 
5. This doth exceedingly adorn a believer's walk, and make it (lately Jo be- 
holders, when the fruits of holinefs vifibly appear in his converfation. 

Verfc 2. Thy teeth are like a floe \ of Jheep, that are even Jhom, 
which came up from the wajhing : whereof every one bear twins, 
and none is barren among them. 

The third particular commended, is, verfe 2. and it is her teeth, which 
have a fourfold commendation given them. The teeth, properly taken, are 
ufeful for furthering the nourishment of the body, they being the inflruments 
that fit meat for digeftion -, and what comelinefs is in them, is not every way 
obvious : they are not feen or difcerned in their proportionablenefs or diipro- 
portionablenefs, but by the motion of the lips, otherwife they are hid by 
them, idly, Again in fcripture they are ufed to evidence and fxgnifie thefe 


Verfe i. of the Song of Solomon. i 5 1 

three things, 1. They are ufed to fignifie the nature and difpofition of a per- 
Ton, as good or evil : Hence evil men are faid to have Lions teeth 9 and that 
then teeth are as J pears, Pfal. 57. 4. and that beaft, Dan. p. 5, 7. is faid to 
have three ribs in his teeth, pointing out its cruel difpofition. 2. They evi- 
dence good or ill food that the perfon feeds on. 3. A healthful or unhealth- 
ful complexion, which depends much on the former : Hence Judah's good 
portion and healthfulnefs is fet out by this, Gen. 49. 12. His teeth Jhali be 
white with m Ik. According to the fir ft, by teeth in the new man may be un- 
derftood two things, Firfl, Faith, believing being often compared to eating, 
becaufe it furthers the foul's nourilhment, and is the mean by which the foul 
lives on its fpiritual food* This faith, i.That the inner man muft have food, 
as the natural body hath, for its fuflaining. 2. That the believer actually 
eats, and makes ufe of that food -, he hath teeth for that end, and mould not 
only look on Chrift, but feed on him. Secondly, Meditation alfo may be here 
underftood, that ferving much to the feeding and filling of the foul, as Pfal. 
63.6, 7. Myfoulfloall be filled as with marrow and fatnefs ; How ? While I me- 
ditate on thee on my bed, and think of thee tn the night -watches. Meditation is 
as it were the foul's ruminating and chewing its aide, feeding upon, and di~ 
getting what is underftood and eaten, as the clean beafts did •, which may be 
one reafon why her teeth are, in the firfl part of their commendation, com- 
pared to a flock ofjheep, which were among the number of clean beafts by rea- 
fon of this property : Meditation is exceedingly ufeful for a believer's life -, 
and they who are Grangers to it, are not like Chrift's iheep. 

Again, as the teeth evidence firfl the nature and inward difpofition, fb we 
conceive they are alfb made ufe of here (as the commendation alfo clears) to 
fliew, 1. The zealous nature which is, and ought to be in believers ; they 
have teeth, and ought not alway to be fbft, when the L.ord's honour is con- 
cerned. Zeal, tho' it bite not, and devour not, yet it is not fenflefs, but ea- 
fily touched with the feeling of that which reflects upon the glory of God. 
2. The fimilitude here is to fhew what a meek and quiet fpirit believers have z 
they have not fuch teeth as lions or tygers,but fuch as fheep have ; nor tusks 
like dogs and ravenous beafls, but even fhorn, fhewing moderation and equi- 
tablenefs in their way, being firfl pure, then peaceable, gentle, &c. J ernes 3. 17. 
This will agree well to teeth, as they appear by opening the lips •, for, the 
new nature within is expreffed and doth appear in words, which afterward are 
fpoken of under the fimilitude of lips. Now, this chriftian moderation, which 
keeps the right midft, is a notable piece of fpiritual beauty, as is clear from 
the fecond piece of the commendation ; for it is as a flock of flieep even fhorn^ 
and not unequally and unhandfomly clipped : So true zeal will not upon by- 
refpecl: or interefi be high or low, up or down, but keeps a juft equality in 


152 An Expo/ition Chap. 4. 

its way ; and this fpeaks out a well conflituted frame, that is, neither too 
foft, nor too fharp, in biting and devouring one another (as is f kid, Ga.. 5. 15.) 
which carnal zeal lets the teeth a work to do. 

Secondly, This fimilitude doth evidence and fignify a good fubjecl they feed 
on, to wit, Chrift and his promifes } and a good fubject. they meditate on, the 
fame Chrifi, and what is moft precious in him : Hence, in the third part of 
the commendation, they are likened to jheep coming up from the wafting y white 
and clean : Neither mixture of humane inventions, nor of carnal paffions or 
worldly delights, gets place and entertainment with them } their zeal is pure 
their ends are fingle, their affe&ions are chaft and clean, being purged from all 
filtbinefs offleft and fpint, and they appear fo. 

'Thirdly, Not only their healthfulnefs is hereby evidenced, but further alfo 
their fruitfulnefs y whereupon their inward meeknefs and zeal, moderated by 
pure and peaceable wifdom, have great influence •, as is clear by the fourth 
part of their commendation, every one of thefe fieep bear twins, and none is bar' 
ren amongsl them : The fcope whereof is to fhew their abundant fruitfulnefs - 7 
thus their fweet nature is a pleafant poffeffion, like a flock of fheep that in- 
riches their owner, they are fo fruitful and profitable. Obf 1. Feeding on 
Chrift is ever fruitful to the foul that makes him its food j whereas other 
meats profit not them that are occupied therein, Heb. 13, 9. 2. Zeal, moderated 
with meeknefs, hath alfo a deal of fruits waiting on it, Jam. 3. 17. but bit- 
ter zeal (as it is there in the Original) orftrife, hath confufion 7 and every evil 
work following on it, Ibid. ver. 14, 15, \6. It is much to be zealous alway 
in a good thing, and no little piece of a fpiritual commendation, to keep the 
right midft with our zeal. 

Verfe y Tly lips are like a tbreed offcarlet, 0$ thy fpeech is come- 
ly : thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks* 

In this 3d verfe we have the fourth and fifth particulars that are commend- 
ed in the Bride. The fourth thing commended is her lips : The commendation 
given them is, that they are like a threed of fcarlet, that is, neat and lovely, 
and of an excellent colour, as fcarlet, which, being of the richefl dye, was 
made ufe of under the law to represent the blood of Chrift, as Heb. 9. 19. 
Next, this is amplified, as we conceive, in the following exprefhon (and- thy 
fpeech is comely) which is added for the explication of the former, and there- 
fore is joined thereto with a copulative (and) which is added to none of the 
other parts here commended 7 and it may be here added, to fhew, 1/, A way 
of opening the other expreffion *, for, fpeech is expreifed by lips, becaufe 
they are the organs (to fay fo) whereby it is formed and uttered. And, 


Verfe } . of the Song of Solomon. 15; 

idly, To fhew, that under lips comes in both our words to God in prayer and 
praife, and alfo our words to others, whatever is fpoken or comes out of the 
lips, as often thephrafe is ufed for both. Alfo it mews, that in a fpecial way 
he takes notice of believers fpeech, when it is favoury, as a main part of their 
fpi ritual beauty, which makes them lovely. 

The commendation of her lips and fpeech is twofold, Firfi, More general* 
it is like a threed of fcarlet. idly. That is expounded by another expreffion 
more clear and particular, namely this, that her fpeech is comely. The mean- 
ing of both which may be comprehended under thefe four, 1 . That her fpeech 
is profitable for its matter, as a fcarlet threed is precious and ufeful : The 
fubjetl: of a believer's difcourfe is not common, but^^W to the ufe of edifying, 
Eph. 4. 29. 2. It is pleafant and delightfbm for its manner, like a Aveet, 
comely and pleafant voice, oppofite to fome kind of voices that are harih and 
unpleafant : It is by prudence and love fweetned and made favoury, and there- 
fore is faid in Icripture to befeafoned with fait, Col. 4. 6. and to mini fier grace 
to the hearers, Eph. 4. 29. and it is called a giving of thanks, Eph. 5. 4. 
3. It is articulate and diftincl:, therefore called fpeech, and not a found, hav- 
ing honeft ingenuity in it, fpeaking as they think in their heart, Pfal. 15. 2. 
and oppofite to lying, diffembling, &c. whereby one fpeaks to vail or hide 
his mind from another. 4. Hereby is alio fignified, that they hazard not even 
the bed of their prayers on their own bottom and worth •-, but their work is to 
have them all dyed in the blood of the Lamb, and to put them up in his 
Name, Heb. 13. 15. they are all offered up by him. Now thefe are fpecial 
qualifications, commendations and characters of a believer-, ihewing, (1.) 
That a believer, as a believer, is not dumb, but hath renewed lips, whereby 
he can fpeak to God in praife for his honour, in prayers for his own good, 
and alfo to others for their edification : A believer that can fpeak nothing to 
a goodpurpofe, or if he can, doth it not, is not like Chrift's Bride •, much 
lefs thefe whofe difcourfes tend quite another way. (2.) That words are in 
an efpecial way taken notice of by Chrift, and are fpecial evidences of the 
frame of the heart, according to which we may expecl: commendation or re- 
proof from Chrift ; for by our words wejhail be jufiified or condemned, Matth. 
12 « 37- (30 That there is nothing more commendable in itfelf, beautiful 
in a believer, or acceptable to Chrift, than the well ordering of the words : 
He who can rule the tongue, is a perfett man, Jam. 3. 2. (4.) That believers 
prayers are all dyed in Chrift's blood, and put up in his Name : And we con- 
ceive prayer, or the believer's fpeech to God, is efpecially here underftood ; 
partly, becaufe prayer gets this fame commendation to be fweet and comely, 
Chap. 2. 14. and partly, becaufe mutual communication in words among be- 
liever's, is expreffed afterward more clearly, verfe. 1 1. though it is not to be 
excluded here. X The 

154 dn Expofition Chap. 4. 

The fifth part of her commendation (or the fifth character or property of 
the Bride) is in thefe words, Thy temples are like a piece rf a pomegranate with- 
in thy locks. The temples are that part of the face, that are betwixt the ears 
and the eyes } and fometimes the fignification is fo large, as they take in the 
cheeks \ they are a fpedal part, wherein* the beauty of the face confifh, and 
are the proper feat of fhamefaftnefs and modefly, wherein blufhing appears. 
The commendation is twofold, 1. They are like ^2 piece of a pomegranate: 
They who write of it fay, it is a fruit, which when broken (as here the men- 
tioning of a piece thereof fignifies) is pleafant with red and white fpots, not 
unlike blufhing in a pleafant face. The fecond commendaton is, that thefe 
temples are within her locks, of the colour of a pomegranate, but not difcernable 
fully (as the eyes alfo were, verfe 1.) yet fomething.obfervable ; As fome- 
times modefly will make blufhing, and again willfeek to cover it, when hard- 
ly will it be gotten done. Here we take tendernefs, fhamefaftnefs, modefly 
in fpiritual things, and blufhing before God, to be underftood : Chrift's Bride 
hath a tendernefs that is foon affe&ed with wrongs done to him, fiie eafily re- 
fents them :, and this is oppofite to affrontednefs and a whore's fore-head 
which cannot be afhamed, than which nothing is more difpleafing to Chrift* 
and unbecoming to his Bride. Here the ten iples are not hard, fas the brovv 
that is ofbrafs) but like a piece of a pomegranate, oppofite to it j here it is 
not ftretched out impudently, but covered within the locks, and not ihamelefs 
and affronted that cannot blufh, but coloured (to fay fo) with fhamefaftnefs 
and blufhing, which though they feek to hide, yet it appears in them. And 
this application being fafe in it felf, and agreeable to the fcope (which fhews 
what Chrift is delighted with in her) and this being amain piece of her beau- 
ty, and alio fuitable to the commendation, there is no hazard to fix on it • 
for, without this fhe would not be fo lovely, Now we may eafily conceive 
that this tendernefs, modefly or blufhing, is not any natural indowment, 
which appears in the carriage of man to man *, but it is a faving grace, which 
efpecially is to be found in believers carriage before Chrift, as- being their 
Lord and Husband : and it evidenceth it felf in believers, in thefe, or the like 
Heps, i. In their being foon challenged for any thing that looks like fin. 2. 
In their being affe&ed eafily with challenges, and with the infirmities that 
are in them. 3. In their thinking fhame of them, as of things that are dis- 
graceful. 4. In their not being tenacious of them or of their "own will, nor 
difputing with Chrift in any thing, but paffing eafily from their compearance, 
as it were, and thinking fhame to be taken hi any fin, or to be found in mif- 
takes with him. 5. In being (paring to fpeak of any thing that tends to com- 
mend themfelves, or in feeking their own glory. Thefe are commendable 
things in a believer, and makes him look like the piece of a pomegranate 


Verfe 4. of the Song of Solomon. 1 55 

fpotted with red and white : And it fhews the refult of a believer's looking 
on their own way, when they take it up, and fee that wrong, and this right, and 
even that which is -right, wrong in fo many things, and fo many ways •, 
whereupon as there is ever fome fincerity, fo there is ever fome fhame, and 
holy blufhing *, and this is conftant, and (as it were) native to them, ftill to 
biufh when they look upon themfelves. 

idly, This commendation, that her temples are within her locks, imports, 
that Chrift's Bride blnflies when none fees, and for that which no other fees : 
And alfo, that fhe feeks not to publifh her exercifes, but modeftly covers 
them *, yet the evidences of all thefe in a tender walk appear and are comely. 
Obf 1. Shamefafmefs or fbbriety becomes a believer or Chrift's Bride exceed- 
ing well, 2 Tim. 2. 9. 2. Inward heart-blufliing, when we look upon our 
felves before God, is the beft trial of true tendernefs. 3. A believer will 
have many ihamefiil representations of himfelfi aud will think much lhame 
of what he fees, which the world will never be acquainted with. 4. This 
grace of felf-loathing and holy blufhing is much taken notice of by Ghrift, 
and molt efpecially recorded by him, however it be much hid from others. 

Verfe 4. T7y/ neck^ is like the tower of David budded for an ar- 
mory, whereon there hang a thoufand bucklers^ all flndds of 
mighty men. 

The fixth thing commended in the Bride, is her neck : The necft, being 
comely and ftraight, adds much to the beauty of a perfon, and is placed by 
nature, as a more eminent and efTential part of the body than the eye*, legs, 
lips, &c. or any other part here mentioned , for it is that whereby the head 
and body are joined together. The commendation thereof is, that it is like 
the tower of David : What particular place this hath reference unto, it is hard 
to fay j poftibly it is that mentioned, Neh. 3. 16, 19, 25. called the tower 
of the mighty, or the armory : It is like, that fome ftrong hold built by Da- 
vid, eminent for beauty and ftrength, is hereby fignified, which might have 
been imployed for keeping of arms, for times of danger ; as the words follow- 
ing feem to bear. 

2dly y This tower is more particularly explicate^ 1. From the end 
and ufe for which it was intended ; It was built for an armory, that men 
might be furniflied with arms in time of need. 2. The ftore of arms there 
laid up, is here fet down, whereupon hang a thoufand bucklers, all file Ids of migh- 
ty men } that is, It is furniflied efpecially with defenfive arms (the believer's 
wa*?being moft defenfive) asfhields*, but with abundance of thefe, for number 
a thoufand 5 and fo for quality excellent, and fuch as mighty men make ufe of. 

X 2 U 

156 An Expo/ttion Chap. 4. 

If we confider the neck here, in refpeft of its ufe, it holds forth the vigo- 
rous exercife of the grace of faith •, for it is that by which a believer is united 
to Chrift the head : It is that which ftrengthens them, and is their armory 
furniihing them with fhields, becaufe it provides them out of Chrift 's fulnefs 
which is contained in the promifo ', which promifes, or rather Chrift in 
them,beingmade ufe of by faith,are for a believer's fecurity againft challenges, 
tentations, difcouragements, &c. as fo many excellent fhields : Therefore 
JEph. 6. 16. it is called the fhield of faith , and for their fafety it is commend- 
ed above all the reft of the fpiritual armour : And this being the believer's 
great defence, and especially tending to their commendation when it is in live- 
ly exercife, this fimilitude cannot be fo well applied to any other thing. 

Obf 1. Faith in exercife is a notable defence to a believer, aginftall af- 
faults and temptations \ there is no fuch fhield as faith is : every promife, and 
every attribute in God, is as a fhield to thefethat exercife this grace of faith 
thereupon. 2. Faith, exercifed on thefe, is exceedingly well pleafing to Jefus 
Chrift. 3. That all believers have their arms out o/one armory *, there is but 
one ftore-houfe for them all, to wit, faith acting on Chrift's fulneis. 4. Faith 
will never want a buckler, there is a thoufand laid up in a magazine for the 
believer's ufe. 5. He is the moft mighty and valiant man, who is moft in 
the exercife and ufe-making of faith. 6*. Faith is the grace that makes a man 
valiant and vi&orious, as all the cloud ofwitmJfes r Heb. 11. proves. 

Again, if we confider the neck, as it is commended here, as being like a 
tower for uprightnefs and ftraightnefs •, it fignifies a quiet, ferene mind, and a 
confident boldnefs in doing and fuffering *, in which fenfe, it is oppofite to 
hanging of the head, which fpeaks difcouragement : And as a ftretched out 
neck, in a carnal fenfe, I fa. 3. 16. fignifies haughtinefs and pride \ fo here, 
in a holy and fpiritual fenfe, it implies cheermlnef) of heart, and confident 
holy boldnefs,which proceeds from the Spirit of adoption-, and this waits upon, 
and follows after the exercife of faith, being fixed and flayed upon the Lord 
and his word againft all events, Pfal. 1 1 2. 6V Bold in duties, and valorous in 
fufferings, and in undergoing any difficulties. So then this is no fmall com- 
mendation which Chrift gives his Bride, and it is well confiftent with that 
holy bluflung, fhamefaftnefs and fobriety, for which fhe was commended in 
the former verfe* 

Vcrfc 5. Thy breafts are like two young roes that are twins y 
which feed among the lilies. 

The feventh and laft part that is commended in the Bride, is here two brPtt/ls 
or paps. For clearing of this fimilitude* we are to confider, U That the 


Verfe 5. of the Song of Solomon. 1 57 

breads in nature are a part of the comelinefs of the body, Ez,eh\6."]. 2. 
They are ufeful to give fuck and food to others. 3. They ilgnifie warmnefs 
of affection, and lovingnefs, as Prov. 5. 19. Let her breafts always fat isfie thee ; 
and chap. 1. 13. the Bride expreifmg her affeclion to Chrift, faith, he jhail ly 
all night between my breafis ; and fo the wife of the bofom is the chaft and be- 
loved fpoufe : And thus Chrift is called the Son of God's love, or of his bo* 
fern. For this caufe, we conceive, thefe things are here underftood, firft 9 A 
heliever's fitnefs to edify others, and that believers are in a condition fuitable 
to a married wife or mother, that brings forth children, and hath breafts to 
nurfe them : And fo to have no breafts , chap, 8. 8. is oppofed to this •, a be- 
liever is, as it were, a nurfe with breafts, fitted to edifie others. 2dly>Thzt 
believers being in cafe to be ufeful to others for their edification, is a fpecial 
ornament to their profeffton. And the third thing that is here underftood, is 
believers warmlinefs and kindlinefs to Chrift, and thefe that are his, taking 
him and them (as it were) in their bofom •, the believer hath warm affecti- 
ons to receive them into. And two breafts are mentioned, to mew there is 
no defect as to the extent, but both her breafts are in good cafe, and always 
ready in love to communicate their furniture, for others edification. 

The commendation is in two fteps, each whereof is qualified for the further 
inlarging of the commendation. The firfi is, They are like two roes, that are 
lovely and kindly, Vrov % 5. 17. (often mentioned before) and like ytung roes, 
becaufe thefe are moft lovely, and fuit beft to be a fimilitude to let forth the 
comelinefs of that part of the body : They are like young roes, not too big *, 
for, when breafts are too big, it is a deformity : And fo, when private edifi- 
cation exceeds its true bounds, it is not approvable or lovely. And thefe roes, 
to which her breafts are compared, are twins : Which fhews an equality and 
proportionablenefs in their love to God and to others, giving each of thefe 
their own place, and keeping their love to creatures in the right fubordinati- 
©n } and alfo their communicating their love to others, in admonitions and re- 
bukes, &c* equally, keeping a proportionablenefs in all. 

The fecond part of the commendation is, They feed among the lilies : As roes 
would not maintain their pleafantnefs long, if they aid not feed^ yea, if the. 
pafture were not good \ fo thefe muft needs be pleafant and ufeful^ becaufe 
they feed, and that not in a wildernefs, but amongft the lilies. Which fhews, 
that believers, in fitting and fiirniftiing themfelves, that they may be forth- 
coming for others edification, do not neglect their own advantage and edifi- 
cation, but feed on good pafture, whereby they are yet more fitted for being 
nfefrrl to others. 

By feeding, in this Song^ is underftood, Firfi, To be prefent in fuch a place, 
as cha%. 2. 16. Secondly ,To make ufe of that which is food for the entertaining 


158 An Expofttion Chap, 

of life. Thirdly, To delight in a thing for fatisfying of the affe&ions. Next, 
By the Bride's breafls (being like roes that feed imopgsi the lilies) three things 
may be underftood. ift, As this expreilion refpe&s Chrifl's feeding (fo to 
fpeak) for he is faid to feed amongst /be lilies 7 chap. 2. 16. and fo it fays,That 
the believer loves to feed inChrifTs company, and where he is. And, 2. That 
this makes believers breafls run to others, when they are much with him and 
irihis company. %dly As it refpe&s believers, who are called lilies, chap. 
2. 16. and 6. 2. And fo it fays, 1. That all believers have one pafiure : they 
feed together as a flock doth. 2. That one believer loves and delights in the 
company of another - 7 they are the excellent and the lilies of the earth, their 
delight is with them. And, 3. That this helps a believer's growth, and fits 
him to be ufeful for others edification, and to improve well the fpiritual fel- 
lowship of other believers. $dly, As it refpe&s Chrift himfelf, who is called 
a lilie, chap. 2. 1. and his lips are laid to be like lilies dropping, &c. chap. 5. 
13. Whereby is holden out his word, promifes, ordinances, &c. And fo it 
fays, 1. That Chrifl and his word is the great and main food upon which be- 
lievers feed, that is their proper pafture ; to be much drinking-in the fmcere 
milk of the word is their meat and drink. 2. That much acquaintance with 
Chrift in the word, enables one for being very ufeful to others. In fum, it 
fay$, (1.) That a believer is no bare novice, but hath breafts that yields milk 
and nourifhment to others. (2.) That a believer hath a good pafture to feed 
on. (3.) That believers breafls run to others, according as they feed them- 
felves : If they hunger themfelves, others will not be edified by them-, if they 
feed on wind and empty notions themfelves, it will be no healthful food that 
others will receive from them. (4.) That it is a pleafant thing and accep- 
table to Chrift, when a believer fb communicates what he hath received to 
others, as he is ftill feeding on Chrift himfelf, and not living on the flock he 
hath already received. 

Verfe 6. Until the day breaks and the fiadows flee away, I will 

get me to the mountain ofmynhe, and to the hill of frankincenfe. 

The words in this fixth verfe exprefs the fecond way, how Chrift eviden- 
ceth his refpeel: to his Bride •, he is fo afTe&ed with her beauty, that he tells 
her, he cannot but haunt her company, and anfwer her prayers : For, com- 
paring this verfe with, verfe 17. chap. 2. we find it a clear anfwer of her peti- 
tion me puts up there. The words contain, 1. A promife. 2. A term fet 
to the performance of it, fhewing the continuance of his performance. The 
promife is, I will get me to the mountain of myrrhe, and to the hill of frank- 
jneenfe : By this, in general, is underftood no withdrawing of Chrift's, or 


Verfe 6. of the Song of Solomon. 1 59 

fLutting of himfelf up in heaven from her ■ j for, that will not agree to the 
icope, "which is to fhew how he loves her, and cpmforpflier } nor will :hnt 
be an' anfv/er of her prayer, but the contrary : It mull then hold forth forae 
comibrta le act of Chrift' ^evidencing hisrefpett to her, for her confolation j 
which we concept ^o be a promife of his pretence w T ith her to the end of 
the world. Ey m u >ain is Often underftood the Church (as Ifa. 2. 1. and 
Mk. 4. 1.) .ail . d fo for her endurance and {lability j for typifying of which, 
the tempk- wa buiit on mount Mori ah* And it is called a m untatn ofmyrhc, 
And bill of fr*vk:nctofa to difference this one mountain (which is in the lingu- 
lar) from the mountains or excellencies in the world,after-mentioned, verfe 8. 
which are many : It is a fweet mountain, not of leopards^ but of myrrbe and 
fankincenfe • thefe w T ere fpices much ufed in the ceremonial ferviceSjEW^o. 
23,24. and fignffied the precioufnefs and favourinefs of the graces of God's 
people, and of their prayers, PJal. 141. 2. Let my prayer be fet forth before 
thee as incenfe^ . &c. Here then is underftood that place of the world (namely 
the Church) where the graces of God's people flow, and their prayers (as 
acceptable facrifices) are put up to him •," and fo it anfwers the fcope, and is 
oppofed to the mountains of the world, mentioned in the eighth verfe. 
The Church is called the mountain of myrrh e, and hill of feankinccnfej 1. Be- 
caufe it is the place where the graces fignified by thefe, are to be found : It 
is only in believers they do abound. 2. Becaufe there they abound in prayers 
and praifes, which afcend before him, as incenfe from an high place. 3. Be- 
caufe he accepts fo kindly of their duties, that they are p^eafant to him, and 
he delights to reft amongft them, beyond all other places, as being a moun- 
tain of myrrbe : In which refpett, the houfe of God is called the houfe of 
prayer, becaufe of the exercife of that duty frequently performed there. 

The fecond thing is the term he fets to the performance of this promife, 
in thefe words, Until the day break 7 and the jhadows flee away ; I will get me 
(faith he ) to the muntain of myrrbe , till that day : The fenfe is, AmongH all 
places of the world, the Church is the place in which I willchoofe to refide y ,nd 
with believers abounding in the exert it? cf grace and prayer } they fi a 11 not want 
my prefence, for there will I abide, urrtil the cverlaflhg day of immediate fellow flip 
with them break up : And fo this makes for the Bride's comfort-, "thou mayfi\ 
my fpoufe, (faith he) expect my company , and the acceptation of thy prayers (which 
are as incenfe to me) until that day come as thou defirefl. Where we may fee, 
(befide what was fpoken upon trns expreffion, chap. 2. 17O I. That Chrift 
conforms his anfwers to our fuits,and makes the one as extenfive as the other; 
the term fhe propofed, is that he accepts of. 2. His hearing of one 
prayer, gives ground to his people to expect that he will hear all their 
prayers j and fo he is called the Hearer of prayer indefinitely,?/^. 65. 2. And 


\6o An Expofition Chap. 4. 

this is the reafon why he fays not, he will turn to her •, (which would look to 
that one prayer, chap. 2. 17.) but he faith, he vi'\\\ get him to the hill of frank- 
incenfe, which looks to all her prayers - 7 and fo his anfwer is more extenfive 
than the particular fought : Which fhews, 3. That as Chrift will not mince 
his anfwers to believers, and make them lefs than their prayers, fo he will 
often inlarge them, and make them more extenfive than their prayers. 

Next, from this, That he gives believers fuch a name as the hill ofjr.ink- 
incenfe, which is in a fpecial way with refpeft to their prayers, Obf. 1. That 
believers ought to be very frequent in prayer, like an hill that abounds in in- 
cenfe. 2. That Chrift's prefence is ever to be found, where thefe fpiritual 
facrifices of prayers and praifes abound : for, wherever he hath an altar 
built to himfelf^ and records his Name, there he will come and blefs his people, 
Exod. 20. 24. 

Again, That he fets down this by way of promife, it gives us ground to 
obferve, 1. That even our fenfe of Chrift's prefence, is in and by a promife ; 
and it is the promife thereof that fhould comfort and fatisfy the believer, even 
when fenfe is removed, and is not for the time enjoyed, as Jo. 14. 21, 23. 
2. Chrift limits himfelf to no other term-day, for continuing of the fulfilling 
and performing of his promifes, than that very time when believers fhall be 
entred into the poiTeilion of what is promifed } for, / will grant thy defrrt 
(faith he) until the day break, &c. that is, until the great day come, I will keep 
this courfe with believers. 3. Chrift's promife of coming, and his making 
that fure, is one of the greateft evidences of love which he can be flow on his 
people. 4. There is no fociety or place (to fpeak fo) but the Church, nor 
any perfbn in the Church, but fuch as abound in fpiritual facrifices, who have 
a promife of Chrift's prefence. 5. Chrift would have the thoughts of eternal 
life, and of immediate enjoying of himfelf^ entertained in his Bride, and 
would have her confirmed in the faith of it \ and therefore is there here a 
particular repetition of the term w r hich had been mentioned, chap. 2. 17. 
6. He would by this repetition alfo exprefs, that (fome way) he longs for 
that day of the confummation of the marriage, as well as fhe doth, and that 
he would gladly have all fhadows gone betwixt him and her ^ which ferves 
much to confirm her in the faith of it, and comfort her till it come. 

Verfc 7. Thou art all fair , my loVe^ there is ?io fpot in thee. 

This verfe contains the laft piece of the commendation which Chrift gives 
to his Bride, and it is the fcope of all ; whereby, having fpoken of fome par- 
ticular parts, he now fums up all in a general, 1. Positively expreft, Thou an 
all fair*, my love. Then 2. Negatively* There is no fpct in thee. The reafon 


y er fe 8. of the Song of Solomon. i6t 

why, thus in a general, he clofes up her commendation, is to fhevv that his 
forbearing the enumeration of the reft of her parts, is not becaufe of any de- 
fe£t that was in her, or that his touching of fome particulars was to com- 
mend thefe parts only ; but to fhew this, in general, that all of her parts, as 
well not named as named, were lovely. This universal commendation is not: 
to be underftood in a popifh fenfe, as if fhe had had no fin ; for, that will not 
agree with other exprefs fcriptures, nor .with this Song, where fhe records 
her own faults, as chap. \.6. and 3. 1. and 5. 2, 3. And alio this commen- 
dation agrees to all believers, who yet are acknowledged by themfelves not 
to be perfect. Neither is it to be taken in an Antinomian fenfe, as if their 
fins and failings were not fins to them,and did not pollute them \ for, 1. That 
is not confiftent with the nature of fin L , Nor, 2. With the Bride's regrates 
and confeffions in this Song \ Nor, 3. With the prefent fcope, which is to 
fhew the Bride's beauty. And he doth thus highly commend her beauty, not 
becaufe her fins were not fins in her, as they were in others, but becaufe.her 
graces were more lovely, which were not to be found in others : Hence the 
particular parts of the new creature, or inherent holinefs, are infifted on for 
proof of this. Further, this commendation did agree to believers before 
Chrifl came in the flefh : And this love-affertion, thou art all fair, holds true 
of the Bride, 'in thefe four refpe&s, (1.) In refpeft of juftification and abfoluti- 
on fhe is clean, tho' needing warning in other refpe&s, Jo. 13. Te are clean. 
by the word that I have fpoken, yet they needed to have their feet wafhen. 
Thus a believer is in a juftified fiate, and legally clean and fair, fo as there is 
no fin imputed to him, or to be found in him, to condemn him, becaufe the 
Lord hath pardoned them, Jer. 50. 20. (2.) It is true in refpeel of falsifica- 
tion and inherent holinefs, they are all fair, that is, they are wholly renew- 
ed, there is no part but it is beautiful in refpeel: of God's grace (tho' in de- 
gree it be not perfect.) Thus, where grace is true, it is extended through the 
whole man,and makes an univerfel change. (3.) It is true in refpeel: ofChrift's 
acceptation $ and fo, where there is fincerity in the manner, he overlooks and 
paffeth by many fpots : thus thou art all fair, that is, In my account thou art 
fo *, 7* reckon not thy fpots, but efteem of thee at if thou had no fpot, Chrifl is no 
fevere interpreter of his people attions *, and where there is honefty, and no 
fpots inconfiftent with the fiate of children, Deut.%2. 2. he will reckon of 
them as if there were none at all. (4-.) It is true of Chrift's Bride, that fhe is 
all fair, in refpeel: ofChrift's defign \ he will make her at laft without fpot or 
wrinkle, or any fuch thing, Eph. 5*25, &c. And becaufe of the certainty of it, 
it is applied to her now, as being already entred in the poffefiion thereof in 
her Head, in whom fhe is fet in heavenly-places. Hence we may fee, 1. The 
honefl bejiever, ere all be done, will be made fully fair and without fpot. 

Y 2. Chrifl 

1^2 An Expofition Chap. 4. 

2. Chrift often expounds an honeft believer, from his own heart-purpofe and 
defign-, in which refpeft they get many titles, otherwife unfuitable to their 
prefent condition , and believers themfelves may fomeway reckon fo alfo. If 
all were put together, it were a great matter for a believer to conceive and 
apprehend thefe words as ipoken to him in particular from Chrift's month, 
Th< u, even thou art fair 3 And without this, they will want their luftre - r for 
certainly Chrift fpeaks fo upon the, matter to fome, and he allows that they 
mould believe that he fpeaks lb unto them. 

Verfe 8. Come with me from Lebanon (my Spoufe) with mt 
from Lebanon : Look^ from the top of Amana, from the top 
of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions dens, from the moun- 
tains of the leopards. 

From this 8th verfe, to verfe i6\ follows a fecond way how the Bridegroom 
manifefls his love to his Bride, in other three fleps, 1. He gives her a kind 
invitation and call, verfe 8. 2. He iheweth her how he was taken with her 
love, and in a manner could not want the injoyment thereof, ver. 9, 10. 

3. Upon this occafion, he proceeds to a new commendation of her. And all: 
of thefe are wonderful, being confidered as fpoken by him. 

The invitation in this 8th verfe , befide the title he gives her (which we 
take in as a motive) hath three parts \ t. The Hate wherein the Bride was, is 
fet down*, and this is contained in the term from which flie is called. 2. The 
duty laid on, included in the term to which flie is called* 3. The motives 
prefling and perfwading her to give obedience thereto. 

Fir ft y The term from which {he is called, gets diverfe names, 1. Lebanon* 
2. Amana. 3. Shenir and Hermon. 4. The lions dens and mountains of leopards, 
which are added for explication of the former. Lebanon is a hill often men- 
tioned in feripture, excellent for beauty, and therefore Chrift's countenance 
is compared (ch^ 5. 5.) to it ; Mofes defired to fee the goodly Lebanon, Deut. 
3» 25. It was profitable for cedar-wood, and fweet in fin ell by the flowers 
that grew on it, verfe. 1 1. and Hof 14. 6\ It was on the north-fide of Can aw ^ 
aftately place, If*. 35. 1. Therefore Solomon built his dwelling for pleafure 
there in the forreft of Lebanon? as fome conceive; tho' others think it was 
built at Jerufalem, and gets the name of the forrefl of Lebanon, for theplea- 
fantnefs thereof. As for Amana, we read not of it, except it be that which 
as mentioned, 2 Kings $ 1 2* called Aba?M, but on the margent Amana :, it is 
like, that river there fpoken of^ flowed from it > which being plea&nt and 
ftately?, is preferred by NAaman to Jordan,, in which- the prophet appointed 


Ve r fe 6. of the Song of S olomon. \6% 

him to wafli. Next, Shtmr and Herman were two hills (or two tops of one 
hill) mentioned, Deut. 3.9. beyond Jordan, pleafant and fertile, and from 
which they might fee the land of Canaan before they croiTed Jordan f, and 
which were conquered from Og king of Bajhan. The tops alfo of thefe are 
mentioned, to ihew their height, and flie is here fuppofed to be on the top 
of them. Laflly, It is added, from the lions dens, from the mountains ofleo-pards, 
not defigning any new place, but ihewiiig that lions and leopards often ufed 
upon hills, and it is like upon thefe, notwithstanding all their beauty : There- 
fore, mountains ure called mountains of prey, Pfal. 76. 4. becaule wild beafts, 
that ufed to make prey, often lurked in them. There is fomewhat, Hah. 
2. 17. that confirms this, where* the violence of Lebanon, and the fpoil of 
beafts, is mentioned, fuppofmg that there, beafts ufed violently to fpoil. 

By thefe mountains, here, we conceive, are underftood the moft excellent, 
eminent and choice fatisfaftions that are to be found amorigft the creatures, 
wherein the men of the world delight, who are often compared to ravenous 
beafts : And thereafon is, it is Something that is conceived to be excellent, 
that is here implied by the defcription, yet fuch as hath no true excellency in 
it -, therefore the Bride is called from it, and commanded to look over it, even 
at its height, and to leave it to the men of the world, whofe portion proper- 
ly thefe heights and excellencies are, for they have not another to enjoy or 
look after. By lions and leopards, we understand covetous, worldly men, who 
purfue the world to the deftruttion of themfelves and others •, fo they are 
often called in fcripture, as Pfal. 57. 4, &c. 1. For their devouring, in- 
fatiable nature, that can never have enough, but ufi always to prey on 0- 
thers. 2. For their unreafonable, brutifh nature, being in their way like 
bruit-beafts, rather than men, PfaU 49. «/r. 3. For their malicious nature, 
that are always hurting the godly that are amongft them. Again, thefe 
heights and excellencies of the world, are called the dens and mountains of thefe 
beafts, 1. Becaufe often ungodly men have the greateft fliare ofthofe, and 
have no more to claim unto ; their portion is in this life, Pfal. 17. penult, 2. Be- 
caufe they reft in them, and feek after no more, as lions do in their den *. 
Thefe mountains then are the excellencies of the creatures, for the enjoy- 
ment of which men often ufe great violence ; therefore they are called, Pfal. 
76. 5. mountains of prey, as having fuch beafts, as cruel men lurking in them, 
above which God ( who is the portion of his people) is there faid to be far 
more excellent ; and thus thefe mountains here are oppofed to the mountain 
ofmyrhe, verfe 6. where Chrift hath his refidence. Next, the Church 
(whofe ftate and cafe is fuppofed to be the fame naturally with the men of 
the world) is called from this her natural ftate, and from the remainders of 
fnch a frame, in two words, 1, Come, quite it, faith he, and come with me*, 

Y 2 which 

164 At Expofition Chap. 4, 

which is the fame with that command, chap. 2. 10. Rife up an d come away, 
implying the exercifing of faith in him, and the delighting ofherfelf in com- 
munion with him (as the fpoufe fhould do with her husband ) and a with- 
drawing from thefe created concernments, wherein men of the world fought 
their happinefs. The fecond word is, look from the top of thefe; which word 
fets out faith alfo, fo Ifa. 45. 19. Look unto me, &c. And looking from thefe, 
fignifieth her elevating and lifting of her affections higher than the higheft ex- 
cellencies of the earth, even towards heaven and the enjoyment of Chrift, 
Col, 3. 1,2. and fo it faith, fhe is not to look to what is prefent, but to 
what is not feen, .and coming, which is by faith only to be difcerned and ap- 
prehended : And this is to be done, by looking over the tops of the higheft 
of created excellencies. Now, this word, being added to the former, doth 
fhew, tnat when they cannot come y they are to look ^ and that their looks 
are not to be fixed on created things, as their ob>etts, but muft afcend higher, 
as the Israelites from thefe mountains, Herman and S'/oemr^ beheld Canaan, with* 
defire to be there. 

Obferv. i. The world hath its own taking excellencies, its heights and moun- 
tains, whereby it looks very pleafant to many. 2. The moft beautiful created 
excellency hath a palpable defeft in it 5 the molt pleafant hill hath a wild lion 
lodging in it, that marrs all the fatisfa&ion that can be found there to a be- 
liever *, and God hath wifely fo ordered* that every gourd to them hath a 
worm at its root. 3. Often the men of the world are much taken with thefe 
created excellencies } they love to live in them, and dwell in them, as beafts 
in their dens, and know no higher defign to drive, than their fatisfa&ion in 
created excellencies : Yea, 4. Believers are in ha2ard to fall in this fin : when 
things go well with them in the world, they are ready to fit down there j 
therefore are they here called upon, that this hazard may be prevented. 
5. Addi&ednefs to the world, when men exceilively-purfue after either its 
gain, honour, applaufe, or pleafure, transforms men into beafts, and makes 
them irrational, brutifh and violent, forgetting what fhould be their main work 
and end. 6. Often violence towards others, and oppreiHon with much cru- 
elty, is the fruit of addi&ednefs to the things of the world : If he profit 
himfelf, fuch a man cares not whom he utfdo. 7. There is nothing more un- 
reasonable, bitter and cruel, than a worldly atheift, whofe defigns are only 
after things that are within time } they are lions and leopards. 8. Carnal 
men are often, by their neighbourhood to the Saints, exceeding troublefom, 
even as lion: in a mountain, 9. Addi&ednefs to the world, and a furfeit with 
its contentments, can hardly ftand with fellowfhip with Chrift, and is mofl 
unbecoming his Bride :, therefore he calls her from it. 10. Believers have, 
and ought to have a njore high, noble and excellent defign, than the greateft 


Verfe 5. of the Song of Solomon. 165 

c onqueror that ever was in the world : the believer in this is beyond Alexan- 
der the great, who defired moe created worlds } but he looks over from the 
higheft topof all thefe, as undervaluing them, and longing to be at fomething 
elfe. 11. Believers fhould have their looks directed towards heaven, and their 
thoughts and affections (even before-hand) fhould be fixed there, Col. 3. 1. 
Philip. 3. 20, 21. Their face fhould be fet that way. 12. It is faith that looks 
toward Chrift, as coming, when he is for the time abfent \ t and when believ- 
ers cannot win to walk and move towards him, they may look to him .• and 
fure, Chrift, who calls for this, will accept of it, till the other be attained. 
13. Often in the moft excellent parts of this world, fuch as Lebanon, Hermon, 
&c. men are moft cruel and carnal •, and the Bride of Chrift hath many eft e- 
nemies, and feweft friends. 14. The moft excellent of created content- 
ments, for profit, honour and pleafure, fhould be denied and fbrfaken when 
Chrift calls. .15. There is nothing a believer would watch more againft, fas 
that which marrs fellowfhip with Chrift) than taking exceffive contentment in 
created things. \6. Often a condition, which abounds in worldly content- 
ments and delights, is very fcarce of Chrift's company - therefore when he 
allows her his prefence, he calls her to leave them, in her affe&ion at leaft. 

Thirdly, Becaufe he knows the world is moft bewitching, and the affecti- 
ons of his Bride are not foon weaned from it ( though this be moft neceffary) 
therefore, three ways, he preffeth her to deny her felf in thefe, and follow 
him (which is the fum of the call) 1. Saith he, thou art my Spoufe, that \s r 
my Bride : It is the fame word which (Jer. 2. 32.) is tranflated Bride, Can 
a bride forget her attire ? This title is frequently given her in this chapter, 
and verfe i. chap. 5. importing, jfi,. A marriage-tye and relation betwixt 
him and her. idly. Love in him, owning that relation, and claiming there- 
by an intereft in her. $dly, A duty in her to own him as her Husband, and 
to fbrfake all her lover's, that fhe go not a- whoring after any other, as a wife 
fhould cleave to her husband : It is the fame with what is prefTed, Pfal. 4.5. 
10, &c. My Spoufe (faith he) thou haft not thy portion in the world, there- 
fore come away from it. 2. He preifeth it from the advantage of his own 
company, which ihe fhould enjoy upon her obeying his Call : Come with me 
(faith be) my Spoufe, and this is repeated, come with me, that is, Thou- art 
mine, and I am thy Husband ^ wilt thou not then come with me-, with me § 
This is a weighty argument, and none will prevail, if this do not y Chrift's 
company fhould have more weight, and be of more force to engage a believ- 
er to Chrift, than all the pleafontnefs of the world can have to divert them : 
He is more excellent by far than the mountains of frey y Pfal. 76* 4, 
therefore is his company to be preferred to them all* 3. He preffeth it„ 
■from the heartlefs condition which fhe could not but have in the moft 


\66 An Expofition Chap. 4, 

excellent things in the world without Chrift, they were but dens of lions, 
not for her to Hay with, nor yet any way agreeing with her ftate and cafe. 
Hence obferve, 1. When Chrift and the moll excellent things in the world 
are oppofed, there will be great odds, and avaft difference ieen betwixt them. 
2, All the defecls that abound in created excellencies, fhould neceflitate the 
believer to take himfelf to Chriil *, there is no fatisfattion for him till he come 
there. 3. Men have no great lofs, that loofe their affe&ions from the world, 
and fet them on Chrift j it is but leaving the dens of lions , &c. and coming to 
him y who is more excellent than all the mountains of prey. 

We may alfo read thefe words, by way of promife, "thou Jhalt come with me : 
And the fcope will not be againft this, it being no lefs an evidence of Chrift's 
love, and no lefs comfortable to the Church, to have his promife, than to 
have his call } and all his calls having promifes implied in them, both will 
well agree. And fo that which is fet down by way of precept, Rom. 6. 1 2. 
Let not Jin reign in your mortal body, is fet down byway of promife, verfe 14, of 
that chapter, Sinjhallnot have dominion over you, 

Verfe 9. Thou haft raVifbed my heart, my Jifter, my fpoufe : 
thou haft ratified my heart with one of thine eyes, with one 
chain of thy neck* 

Verfe 1 o. How fair is thy loVe, my ftfler, my fpoufe ! how much 

better is thy loVe than wine ! and the fmell of thine ointment?, 

than all [pices ! 

Although what Chrift hath fpoken in the former verfe be wonderful, yet 
thefe expreffions, ver. 9, 10. being fpoken by Jefus Chrift to a poor finfu! 
creature, paffeth admiration : They may be looked on as the reafon of his 
former call and promife - he thus ferioufly invites her to come to him, becaufe 
he cannot want her gfcipany } for, his heart is ravifhed with her. The fcope 
in both verfes is the ||me, but is more clearly expreft, verfe 10. notfb much 
fetting forth the Church's lovelinefs (though that is not to be excluded) as his 
loving kindnefs, who is admirably affe&ed towards her, as every word in mat- 
ter and manner of both, fhews. In them confider, 1. The titles given her, 
which are the fame in both verfes. 2. What is afferted, and that is, that 
his heart is ravijhed. 3. The manner how this is expreffed, in a fort of holy 
paffion, doubling the expreflion. 4. Wherewith it is his heart is fo ravifhed, 
it is (faith he) with one of thine eyes, &c. in the end of the 9th verfe, and more 
fully amplified, verfe 10. 

^ The titles are two : One of them, namely, that fhe is his fpoufe, hath been 
fpoken of - 7 but his repeating of it, ihews a kind of glorying in it, as being 


Vcrfc 9. of the Song of Solomon. 1 67 

very much delighted therewith. The other title, my fifter, is added, and it 
doth import thefe five things, 1/, A condefcenulng upon Chrift's part to be- 
thus joined in kindred to the believer •, and fo it takes in his incarnation, 
whereby he was made m all things like to his brethren, Heb. 2. 17. Our bleffed 
lord Jefus is man, believers are his brethren and fillers, they are bone of his 
bone, and flefh of his flefh : and for his Bride's confolation this is afferted. 
idly, A privilege whereto me is advanced upon her part, and that is, that by 
adoption believers are become fbns and daughters to the Lord God Almighty j 
not only friends but children, and fo heirs and joint heirs with Jefus Chrift, 
Rom. 8. fo as now they are as brethren and fitters, which is an unfpeakable 
advancement. $dly, It imports a change of nature, as well as of ftate in be- 
lievers *, fo that they partake of the divine nature and Spirit with Chrift Jefus, 
as it is, Heb. 2* It; He that fan&ifietb, and they that are fanftified, are of one ; 
which is a fpecial ground of his fibnefs and kindred to believers, not common 
to others, but fpecial to them, and founded on their fan&ification. 4'/;/y, It 
implies fympathy, friendlinefs, and a kindly efteem in him, that takes her 
up, and (peaks of her, and to her, in all the moft fweet relations of mother r 
fifter, fpoufe, &c. Matth % 12. uln $thly r It fhews his owning of all thefe rela- 
tions - 7 he is notafhamed to call believers, fifter s and brethren, Heb. 2. 11. 
Obf. 1. There are many wonderful, near and fweet relations betwixt Chrift 
and the believer. 2. Chrift is the moft faithful owner of them, and is in a 
moft friendly way forthcoming to them, according to them all. 

Secondly, The thing afferted here, is, Thou haft raviftied my heart. The 
word in the rlrft language is one, and it fignifieth, Thou haft hearted me, or 
fo to fpeak, Thou haft unhearted me : It is no where elfe in fcripture, but here , 
Chrift's unfpeakable love, as it were, coins new words to difcover itfelf by, 
it; is fo unexpreifzble. The word is borrowed from the paflionatenefs of love r 
when it feizes deeply on a man, it leaves him not mafter of his own hearty 
but the object loved hath it, and (as it were) poffeffeth it, and commands it 
more than the man himfelf: SotheGofpel faith, Where a mttfs tre after e is,. 
(that is, the thing a man - efteems moft of) there, as it were,, his heart' is, and 
not in the party that loves, Matth. 6* 21. So the common phrafe is, fuch a 
man hath my heart, when he is dearly beloved 5 and thus, in a fnbtil way, Ab- 
faiom is faid to have ftollen away the hearts of the people from his father. It is in 
fum, My fyoufe, thou haft my heart, thou haft won it, and as it were by violence 
taken away, I am not mafter of it y I cannot but love thee*. 

It is hard to draw observations, that may fuitably exprefs the thing here 
fpoken of - only we may hint at thefe things, 1. Love in Chrift to a believer 
hath ftrong and wonderful efie&s on him, in reference to them.. 2. The be- 
liever hath Chrift's hearty he hath a feat in his affeftion^he poflefTeth his 


\68 An Expofition Chap. 4. 

love (for no other thing hath his heart) and he may promife himfelf from 
Chrift,whatever he can defire for his good,even as if he had his heart under 
his command • for (fo to fpeak) he can refufe believers nothing which they 
feek, and which he knows to be for their good. 3. Love in Chrift to a be- 
liever, it is at a height, or, it is a love of the higheft degree : There is no 
greater intenfnefs thereof imaginable -, for, to have the heart ravijhed, is the 
expreilion of the greateft love. 

Thirdly, The manner how he exprefTeth this, is by doubling the expreilion, 
Thou haft ravijhed my heart, thcu haft ravijlied my heart : And this is to fhew* 
that this word fell not rafhly from him, but was drawn out by the vehemen- 
cy of afTe£Hon in him. 2. That he allows believers to believe this great love 
and affe&ion he hath to them, and would have them dwelling on the believing 
thoughts of it *, and therefore he doubles the expreilion, while he intimates 
his love unto them : Only remember, there are no diforderly paifions in 
Chrift, as in us -, yet, that there is fympathy and love in him, and pailionate 
effetts of love from him, cannot be denied. 

The fourth thing is, wherewith it is his heart is fo ravifhed ; it tfiay be 
thought to be fome great thing that thus prevails over Chrift : Now, what it 
is, is fet down in two expreifions, which are joined to the former, to make 
this love of his the more wonderful. That which was conquered, or ravifhed, 
was his heart -, that which doth it, is her eye, the eye or look of a poor iinful 
creature, even of fuch a perfon as may be defpifed in the world, and like La- 
zarus full of fores, and not admitted to mens company. 2. It is not with 
both her eyes, but (faith he) with one of thy eyes, that is (as it were) with a 
fquint-look \ a fide-look of the Bride prevailed thus with him. One eye is 
not here mentioned, as preferring the beauty of one of her eyes to the other; 
but to iliew what excellent beauty is in her, and much more what infinite love 
is in him, that he could not (becaufe he would not) refill a look of one of 
her eyes cafe toward him. We ihew what is understood by eyes, verfe 1. and 
it is explicate in the following verfe, to hold forth love efpecially here (lovers 
uiing t© fignify affettion by their eyes) yet it takes in knowledge as being pre- 
fuppofed, and faith as going alongfr. The fecond expreilion is, with one chain 
cf thy neck: Thefe chains were fpoken of^ chsf* 1. 10. whereby, we fhew, 
was fignified her inherent holinefs, with imputed righteoufnefs, which by 
faith flie poffefled -, and fo here alfo it fignifies her graces, efpecially her ex- 
ercifing faith on him } for fo the neck was expounded, verfe 9. to be under- 
ftood of faith, which joineth the believer to Chrift as his head : And it is faid 
to have chains, becaufe it never wants excellent fruits, wherewith it is ador- 
jied, when it is exercifed. One chain is fpoken of, not as if ihe had not had 
moe, or as if he did not refpeel: them alJ, but to hold forth this, that one of 


y er fe p. of the Song of Solomon. 169 

her chains (as it were) did overcome him } and fo it may be gathered, what 
will both eyes do, and moe chains, when one fo prevails ? The i'cope then 
here doth ftiew, t". That Chrift is eafily prevailed with by his people : O 
how eafily h he overcome by them, who have love to him, and faith in him ! 
2. That Chrift Hands not on the degree of his peoples graces, nor doth he 
fufpend his love and acceptation of a perfon, upon fuch or fuch a degree ; but 
wherever reality and fmcerity are, if it were in the meaneft degree, and but 
one look, or one chain, he will yield to it, and accept of it. 3. It is to pro- 
voke and encourage believers to caft a look to Chrift, when they find their 
faith to be fo weak that they can do no more *, and to confirm them in the 
expectation of good from him freely, without any rigid reckoning : It is not 
only the ftrong believer, and the ftrong a&s of faith and love, that prevail 
with Chrift ', but he condefcends to be overcome, even by the weakeft, with 
whom the fincerity of thefe graces is to be found. 

This is further followed and explicate, verfe 10. and that two ways. 1/, 
By an indefinite queftion, How fair is thy love ! idly, By two comparative 
queftions, whereby, in two fimilitudes, her love is preferred to the moil ex- 
cellent things, How much better, &c. The thing commended is her love, that 
is, the love wherewith fhe loves him, wherewith her heart breathes after 
him, delights in him, efteems of him, and is zealous to pleafe him, &c. The 
commendation he gives her love, is, that it \sfair. And by the way we may 
obferve, that this clearly fhews, that by all the former parts of her beauty, 
are underftood fpiritual graces : Now (faith he) thy love is fair, that is, it is 
lovely and acceptable to me ^ As beauty and fairnefs are much efteemed amongft 
men, fb this grace of love is a beautiful thing in Chrift's Bride. The manner 
of the expreilion is by way of queftion and admiration, How fair ! I can get 
nothing (faith he) to compare it. with : A wonder, that Chrift Ihould be fo ta- 
ken with the love of finners, as to admire it, or think that thejr love 
exceeds all expreilion $ for, fb men ufe to exprefs what they cannot exprefs : 
But this doth indeed fhew, that the height and depth, and length and breadth 
of that love, which Chrift hath to believing finners, paffeth all knowledge, 
and is beyond all words. Obf. 1. That a believer is one that loves Chrift, 
and true faith hath always this grace of love joined to it. 2. That love, where 
it is iincere and true, is a property of Chrift's Bride and Spoufe -, there are 
no other in the world who love him, but thefe who are efpoufed to him. 
3. Where love to Chrift is, there Chrift loves : He cannot but love them that 
love him •, and there is nothing more acceptable to him, than the faith that 
is working by love. 4. Our Lord Jems takes fpecial notice of the frame of the 
heart, and what feat he hath in the affections of his people :, he lays more 

§ weight on their love than on their work, tho' true love can never be without 
works. 2 The 

!7o An Expofitim Chap. 4 

The fecond way, how he explains and illuftrates this, is more particular, by 
two companions, yet keeping ffill the former manner of expreflion, by way 
of queition and admiration : The firit is, How much better is thy love than wine! 
Wine may be looked on in two refpefts, 1/?, As it is ufeful in man's life, and 
and refrefhful, PfaU 104. 15. It maketh glad the heart of nun j and, Eccl. io„ 
19. it maketh the heart merry : Wine is one of the moft comfortable creatures, 
therefore me calls his love better than wine, chap. i. 2. Thus obferve, 1. Chrift 
Will not be behind with his people, neither in kindnefs nor in the expreifions 
of it } for this is beyond hers, chap. j. 2. Not that he hath a better objetf: to 
love, but becaufe the love wherewith he loves her, is like himfelf, and more 
excellent than hers. 2. There is no fuch refrefhful thing in all the work of 
creation to Chrift, no fuch feaft, as the warming of a finner's heart with love 
to him is : This (Luke 7. 47.) is thought more of by Chrift in a poor wo- 
man, than all the great feaft he was invited unto by the rich Pharifee. 

Again, we may look on wine as ufed in the ceremonial fervices and drink- 
offerings, Lev. 23. 13, &c Thus the meaning is, Thy love is preferable to all 
cutward performances and facrifices, as Hof. 6. 7. Love being the principle with-, 
in, from which all our performances mould flow, it is not oppofed to facrifice 
iimply, or to obedience - but, ift, Suppofing thefe to be feparate, he pre- 
fers love : If it were to carl in but a mite of duty out of love, it will be more 
acceptable than the greater! bulk of duties without love, as is clear in the cafe 
of the widow, Luke 21. yea, if men would give their bodies to be burnt , with- 
out this, 1 Cor. 13. 3. it will avail nothing, idly, It faith, that where both 
the inward principle and the outward fruit or work are, the Lord refpe&s 
that more than this, and he refpe£ls this in a manner but for that. 

The fecond companion is to the fame purpofe, in thefe words, and the fmell 
cf thine ointments than aU fftces ! Ointments typified the graces of the Spirit, 
the pouring out whereof is called the unEiion, John 2. 20. and the oil of joy y 
Pfal. 4<. 7. The fmell thereof fignifieth the accept abl en efs of thefe graces, when 
in exercife •, our Lord Jefus rinds a fweet favour in them, as ointments caft a 
fmell that is refrefhful to men (as was faid upon chap. 3.6.) The grace of 
love, mentioned before, is here included } but under ointments there is more 
comprehended, to ihew, i#, That where one grace is, there are all 
the reft of the graces of the Spirit to be found, idly, That love to Chriit* 
and zeal for him, holds believers ftirrjng, and makes them fend forth a fweet 
and fayoury fmell : This fmell is preferred to all fpiccs, not to one or two, 
but to all. * Spices were either ufed as gifts, becaufe they were precious and. 
coftly *, ib the queen of Sheba propined Solomon with them, 2 Kings 10. 2. and 
the wife-men ottered fuch to Chrift, Matth % 2. 1 1. And fo it faith, there is> 
no fuch propine can be offered to Chrift, as love, and the graces of the Spirit 


Verfe t f . of the Song of Salomon. 171 

when they are m exercife. Again, fpices were nfed in the Levitiial fervlces 1 
and holy oil, Exod. 30. 23, 24. and fo they are to be confidered as wine was 
in the laft fenfe formerly fpoken of, and it fhews how preferable the inward 
exercife of grace is to all external duties. Laftly, They are not only prefer- 
red, while he faith, thy love is better. &c. but as palling companion, they are 
extolled far above all thefe things with which they are compared, How fah^ 
or how much better is thy love than -wine ! &c. O my Spoufe, faith he, it is not 
to be wondred that thy love rdvifiermy heart t, for, there is no created thing fo pre- 
cious, nor any external fervice fo acceptable to me, as it is. Hence obferve*, f , 
That inward love, or the inward exercife of grace, and outward performances, 
are feparable. 2. That when outward performances are fenarate from the in- 
ward exercife of love and other graces, the Lord refpe&s them not. 3. Thar 
love is a good and neceffary principle of all duties, and efpecially of the duties 
of worfhip. 4, Thefe, who have any thing of the lively exercife of love to 
Chrift, want never a propine that will be acceptable to him ; if it were but a 
mite* or a cup of cold water, or a look to Chrift, if love be the principle 
from which thefe flow, they will be very acceptable with him. 

Verfe 11. Thy lips, niy fpoufe, drop' as the hony-comh : hony 
and mdJ^ are under thy tongue, and the fmell of thy garments is 

like the fmell of Lebanon. 

Having thus expreffed his afTeftion to his Bride, he breaks forth in a pof r>e 
commendation of her (which may be looked upon as, the ground of the com- 
parative commendation in the former verfe) and he defcribes and commends 
her at once, thefe two ways, ifl, Touching, as it were, at fome particulars 
(which are indeed generals) wherein her lovelinefs appears in aftual fruits, 
verfe n. idly, In feven comparifons he holds forth her fruitfulnefs, from 
the 12. to the \6 verfe, wherein he not only commends her by the fruits 
which me brings forth, but from her fitneis or aptitude to bring forth thefe 
fruits ; fo that fne cannot but be fruitful : As if one commending an orchard 
from the fruit, apples, pomegranates, &c. or whatever other fruits are in 
orchards, fhould then fall upon the commendation of the orchard itfelf, in its 
fituation, fences, waters, or kinds of the plants, &c, fo is it here. And this 
laft commendation is to be looked upon as the caufe of the former. 

In this 1 ith verfe there are three particulars commended •, under which, we 
conceive, much of the feries of a believer's walk is underflood. Thefrft is 
her lips, which are commended from this, that they drop as the hony-comb. By 
lips, as verfe 3. and frequently in the Song (and fo in the Proverbs, a man of 
lips is taken for a man of talk) is underftood fcer fpeech, words or difcourfe, 

2 2 efpe- 

172 An Expofltlon Chap. 4. 

efpecially to others. Thefe her words (or her fpeech) are compared, for 
the matter, to hony or the hony -comb, that is fweet, nourifhing, healthful and 
pleafant ', as Trov. 16. 24. ? leaf ant words are as the hony-comb, fweet to the foul, 
and health to the bones. And by hony, in fcripture, is often underftood that 
which is excellent, and ufeful for the life of man •, and therefore it was a 
property of Canaan, that it flawed with milk and hony, which are put together 
in the following piece of her commendation, idly, Her fpeech or words are 
commended from the manner or qualification of them, ihey drop as the hony- 
comb, &c. Dropping words fignify, 1. Seafonable words, which are like 
dew, dropping for the edification of others, as dew by its dropping makes 
the fields fruitful. 2. Prudence and moderation in difcourfe ; and fo drop- 
ping is oppofed to floods, that with violence overflow. 3. This phrafe figni- 
fieth a continuance in feafonable, prudent and edifying difcourfe, as Job 27. \ 2. 
My words droned on them *, and Deut* 31.2. My doftrine Jhall drop as the rain ? 
Thus the lips of the wife feed many, Prov. 10. 21. Obf. 1. A believer's words 
tend to edification, and are for the true benefit and advantage of others. 2. E- 
very fubjecT: is not the matter of their difcourfe *, but, as the hony, it is excel- 
lent and choice, and that which minifters grace to the hearers. 3. Mens words 
give a great proof of what is in them \ and, when rightly ordered, they are 
a good evidence of their love and refpeft to Chrift. 4. A well-ordered tongue 
is a moft commendable thing beforeChrift- and every word that proceeds from 
the mouth, is obferved by him. 5. Chrift's fpoufe fliould be obfervably dif- 
ferent, as to her words and difcourfe, from all others -, "thy lips, O my fpoufe ^ 
faith he, drop as the hony-comb : Implying, that, whatever be the way of o- 
thers, it becomes the fpoufe of Chrift to have her words feafonable, favoury 
and edifying. 

The fecond thing here commended reacheth more inwardly, and it is in. 
thefe words, hony and milk are under thy tongue : There will be fometimes 
fmooth words as butter, when there is much venom within \ it is not Co with 
Chrift's Bride. By under the tongue, which is the part commended, we un- 
derhand the heart or inward-man, as it is diftinguifhed from the bate expref- 
fion of the tongue or words, which are only fpoken (as we fay) from the teeth 
forward : So, Pfal. 66. 17. He was exalted under my tongue, (as it is in the O- 
riginal) is expounded in the following verfe, by he art -regarding : There was 
an agreement hetwixt his words and his heart, without which God would 
not have accepted his words. And feeing, when it it is faid of the wicked,, 
that mifchief and vanity are under their tongue, Pfal. 10.7. Rom. 3. 13. where- 
by their deceitful rotten heart, and the venom that is within, is fignified - ? 
fo here mult be underftood inward fincerity, and a good frame of heart with- 
in, as well as good words without. The commendation is, that there are 


Verfc ii. of the Song of Solomon. 1 7 } 

milk and hony under her tongue *, it is almoft the fame with the former : As her 
words were edifying, fo there was much edifying matter in her heart, or un- 
der her tongue ; the hony-comb (as it were) was there, and it by words drop- 
ped to others. Milk is added, becaufe it is alfo fweet and nourifhing. In ft 
word, that which he here points at, is, that her inward conftitution and frame 
is like a Canaan*) flowing with milk and hony *, fo fertile and fruitful is ChrifTs 
Bride. Here obferve, 1 . That Chrift takes not only notice of words, but of 
what is under the words j the difpofition and frame of the heart, and the 
thoughts thereof, are obferved by him. 2. There is a fuitablenefs often be- 
twixt the heart within, and the words without : when there is hony under 
the tongue, then the tongue cannot but drop - y for, out of the abundance of the 
heart the mouth fpeaks. 3. It is a moft commendable thing in the believer, 
when the inner-man is right, in a lively and edifying frame, and when the 
heart is watched over, fo that no thought enters in, or word goes forth, but 
what is edifying. 4. The heart would be furnifhed with edifying, profitable 
purpofes and thoughts, as well as the mouth with pertinent and ufeful words •, 
and that is as the fountain, from which this muft run and flow. 5. They 
will feed and edify others beft by their words, who feed beft upon the moil 
healthful fubje&s, and favoury thoughts themfelves. 

The third thing commended, is, the fmell of her garments. Garments are 
that which covers our nakednefs, and are for decorement externally put upon 
the body : Sometimes by them is underftood ChrifTs righteoufnefs, whom we 
are faid to put on. Gal. 3. 27. fometimes our own inherent holinefs, which 
makes our way comely before others, and hides our nakednefs from them 5 
fb, Job 29. 1 9. faith, / put on righteoufnefs , and it clothed me. Now, here it is 
to be taken efpecially in the laft fenfe (tho' not only) as letting forth the out- 
ward adorning of her walk with holinefs j and this is the third part of her 
commendation, diftinguifhed from the other two, which pointed at her words 
and thoughts. And fo it is the practice of holinefs that is here commended, 
which is compared to garments, becaufe good works are called the clothing 
of fuch as profefs godlinefs, 1 Tim. 2. 9. and 1 Pet. 3. 3, 4. The fmell of them 
is the favour and relifh of thefe good works to others, and alfo to him } evert 
as it is faid, that Jacob's garments did lmell to his father (to which this may 
allude) fb our holinefs, being wafhen in the blood of the Lamb, is very fa- 
voury to him, and is alfo favoury to others \ yea, the fmell thereof is as the 
fmell of Lebanon^ which was an hill that abounded with trees and flowers, ex- 
ceeding favoury and delightfom : whereas a corrupt conversation is exceeding 
unfavoury, as rottennefs and dead mens bones. In fum, this completes be- 
lievers commendation, when their words are edifying, their heart anfwerable 
to their words in true fincerity, and their outward walk adorning to the Go- 

174 ^n Exfrnjition Chap. 4., 

. 1 ' ' ~— — — — — — — — — — — ■ 

*pel, fo as their natural nakednefs and potation appears not in it. Obferv. 1. 
Where there is true honefty within, it will appear in the fruits of holinefs 
without. 2. There is no garment or clothing, that can adorn or beau ti fie 
men, as holinefs doth a believer. 3. Tho' outward profeffion alone be not 
all,yet is it necefTary for compleating the commendation of a believer. 4. Al- 
tho' good works be not the ground of our relation to Chrift, but follows on 
it } and tho' it be not on the account of our works, that the Lord is plea&d 
with us to juftify us \ yet are the good works of a believer and of a juftified 
perfon, when done in faith, acceptable to God, and an odour and fweet favour 
to him, Philip. 4. 18. 

Verfe ri. A garden inclofed is my fifter, my fpou/e : a faring 
JJwt up y a fountain fealed. 

Having thus fummed up her carriage in the former threefold commendation, 
now he proceeds both to defcribe and commend her, by a fevenfold compa- 
rifon, wherein (to fay fo) the rhetorick of our Lord's love abounds : Each 
of them may point out thefe three things, 1. They defcribe fomewhat the 
nature of a believer, or Chrift's Bride. 2. They evidence ChrifVs love and 
care, which he hath toward her. 3, They hold forth her duty in reference 
to her felf. We fhall fhortly explain them, as they relate to this fcope. 

In this 12th verfe, we have three of thefe comparifons, whereby fhe is de- 
fcribed and commended. Firft, She is compared to a garden inclofed i A gar- 
den is a plot of ground, feparate from other places, for delight and recreati- 
on of the owner, having many flowers in it, and. much pains taken on it ; 
fo believers are, \ft 9 Set apart by God befide all others in the world, and 
much pains is taken on them •, the trees in Chrift's garden are digged about 
and dunged, Luke 13. 8. idly, They are his delight, being feparate from 
others for his own ufe, with whom he dwells, in whom he takes pleafure, 
and amongft whom he feeds, chap. 5. 2. 3^/y, They are fiirnifhed with ma- 
ny excellent graces, fruits of the Spirit, which are planted in them as flowers 
in a garden, Gal. 5. 21. Next, this garden is inclofed •, it is a fpecial proper- 
ty of gardens to be fo : To be inclofed, is by a wall or hedge to be fenced 
from the trampling and eating-up of beafts,and alfo from the hazard of winds-, 
fb, J fa. 5. 2. The vineyard of the Lord ofhofis (which is his Church) is faid to be 
fenced, a wall is built about it ,to defend it from the danger of beafts,and ftorms. 
And this fheweth, (1.) His care of her, in watching over her, If a. 27. 23* 
And, (2.) Her watchfulnefs over her felf, whereby fhe is not common or ac- 
ceflible to every one } but as fhe is defended by his care, fo alfo fhe hath a 
watch her felf at the door of her lips, of her eyes, of her ears, &c. She is 


Verfc 12. of the Song of Solomon. 1 7 5 

not like a city without walls, obnoxious to every affault and temptation, but 
hath a hedge of divine protection, which is as a wall of fire about her to de- 
fend her *, and alfo a guard of watchfulnefs and holy fear, in the exercife of 
which the believer hath rule over his own fpirit, which (Prov. 25. 28.) is im- 
plied to be as ftrong walls about a city. 

The fccond fimilitude, wherewith fhe is compared, is a faring flmt up : 
Springs were of great price in thefe hot countries, and ferved much for mak- 
ing gardens fruitful, as is implied, ffo* 58. 11. where it is promifed to the 
Church, Thou fhall be as a waned garden ; Hence the righteous is called, like 
a tree planted by the twits of water , Pfal. 1. 3. and, on the contrary, the bar- 
ren condition of his people is defcribed, lfa* 1. 30. by the fimilitude of a 
garden, that hath no water. In a word, fhe is not only a garden, but a fpring, 
that is furnifhed with moifture and water, for making her fruitful. More par- 
ticularly, by this may be let out the graces of the ipirit, compared to waters , 
Joh. 7. 38, 39. and laid to become a well of water in thefe that believe 011 
Chrift, John 4. 14. for, thefe graces of the Spirit, and his influence on them, 
doth keep all things in the believer's fouls cafe, frefh and lively, as a Ipring 
doth make a garden green and fruitful. Next, this fpring is fhut up - y for fo 
were fprings in thefe countries, where they were rare, as we fee by Jaccb x s 
rolling the ftone away, Gen, 29. 8. And this kept the waters from being 
corrupted by the fun, and alfo from being bemudded by beafls : This fignifi- 
eth the precioufnefs of the graces and influences of the Spirit, wherewith believ- 
ers are furnifhed. 2. Purenefs and clearnefs in them, as in waters that are 
not bemudded. 3. A care fhe hath to keep them pure from carnal paflions, 
or fruits of her own ipirit, that would bemudd all. 

The third comparison is on the matter of the fame, but adds a further de- 
gree to the former •, fhe is (faith he) a fountain fealed ; A fountain may fig- 
nify waters fpringing in greater abundance } and fealing doth fignify not only 
Quitting up, but fecuring it by a feal, after it is fhut up : So, the den of lions 
was fealed, after Dmiel was caft into it, Van. 6. 17. And the ftone was 
fealed, that was put on Chrift's grave, that fo it might net be opened by any, 
but by thefe that fealed it. And, though there be other ufes of fealing, yet 
we conceive that which is aimed at here, is, 1. To fhew the Church is not 
common, but well kept and fealed, fo that none can trouble believers peace, 
without Chrift's leave, who bMh fealed them by his Spirit to the day of redemption % 
Eph. 4. 30, &c. 2 . To fhew Chrift's particular right to the Church and her 
graces, and his owning of her and them, fhe bears his feal (as the hundred and 
forty four thcuftnd, Re v . 7. are fealed) there is none but bimfelf, that hath accefs 
to thefe waters *, her graces and fruits r*re all referved for him* chap. 7. 13. 
3. It mews (tofayfo) her clofenefs, and refolute watcbfulnefc, lo that there 


\?6 An Expojttion 

Chap. 4. 

is no gaining upon her to bemndd her condition, without advertancy and ob< 
fervation, more than waters can be drawn from a fealed fountain, the feal not 
being broken : Like that phrafe, Prov* 5. 15. Drink out of 'thine own cifi em , 
let them be thine own, &c. She hath her own diflintt fountain, from which me 
draws influences, and that flie preferves and fecnres to her felf. 4. It fhewsa 
kind of facrednefs in this fountain, fo that nothing may meddle with it, more 
than that which is marked and feparate by a feal. In fum, thefirft comparifon 
ihews, That Chrift's bride or the believer is to be fruitful. Thefe cond, what 
makes her fruitful, the fpring of the Spirit. The third mews her care to keep 
it clear, and to have it running and flowing, that ihe may be fruitful. 

Verfe 1 3. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pie af ant 

fruits , camphire, with fpikcnard. 
Verfe 1 4. Spikenard and faff ron, calamus and cinnamon, with all 

trees of frankincenfe, myrrhe, and aloes, with all the chief f pices. 

The fourth comparifon follows, ver. 13, 14. wherein fheis compared to an 
orchard ( as before to a garden ) planted with divers and excellent plants. 
Kow, this includes thefe three things, which he adds to the former commen- 
dation, 1. That the believer hath many graces, he is an orchard that is plan- 
ted with many trees and plants. 2« That the believer's graces, as they are 
many, fo they are various -, and therefore trees and fpices of divers forts are 
reckoned here. 3. That the believer's graces are excellent for kind, as well 
as many for number and variety, they are as ff thenar d y fajfron, &c. with all the 
thief fpites* And as it commends an orchard, to have many plants, and great 
variety, and to want none ^ fo to have them of the beft kinds, adds much to 
the commendation, when it is fruitful of thefe. Thus the believer is furni- 
fhed with many various graces of the Spirit, as plants planted in his foul, and 
thefe of the beft kind, rifmg from the raoft excellent feed that can be, the 
Spirit of Chrift. And fo the graces of believers are rare and precious, in 
refpecl: of any thing that natural men have, which are but like fhrubs in a 
dry wildernefs. 

Befides thefe, we may further obferve, 1. That to have fruit, and abun- 
dance of fruit, will not prove one to be a believer, except it be choice fruit 
which he brings forth. 2. Believers fruits, and the graces that are in them, 
differ from the moft excellent parts and gifts that can be in natural men, or 
xnoft. refined hypocrites. 3. It is excellent and commendable, when all the 
graces of the Spirit flow and increafe together in the believer. 

It is like, tlie Holy Ghoft may here fignify the efFefts and properties of di- 
yers graces^ by thefe feveral fpices and fruits \ and, it may be, Salomon under- 


Verfe 15. of the Song ©/"Solomon, 177 

flood the particular fignification of every one of them \ for, having fo great 
an infjght in natural and fpiritiial things, 'tie like he did not conjetturally, 
but on knowledge, mention fuch fpices, and no others : But we muft hold on 
the general ; they are precious, phyfical, favory and delegable fruits, and 
fo are the graces of the Spirit to one that hath them, to others they converfe 
with, and to Chrifl in refpett of his acceptation •, they are like an orchard 
or garden, that abounds with thefe. This is the fcope, wherein we reft. 

Verfe 15. A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and 
flreams from Lebanon. 

The fifth, fixth and feventh fimilitudes are contained in this verfe, wherein 
the Lord, following the fame fcope, further infills and explicates what man- 
ner of fountain this is, which makes the believer fo fruitful, Firft, She is a 
fountain of gardens : A fountain was fpoken of, verfe 12. whereby is fignified an 
inward principle (to fay fo) or fpring, which from within fendeth forth and 
furnifheth waters. Here fhe is called a fountain of gardens \ fhe was called a. 
garden, verfe 12. here a fountain of gardens in the plural number : By this is 
holden forth, 1. The end of grace in a believer } it is given him, not only 
for himfelf, but alfo for the ufe of others, as the gifts of the Spirit are gi- 
ven to every one to profit withal, 1 Cor. 11,7. 2. It fhews, that believers aft 
and exercife their graces for others edification, as a fountain that fbme-way is 
common for the ufe of moe gardens •, and fo it points out what publick fpi- 
rits they fhould have, intending the edification of all to whom they can con- 
veniently communicate their gifts and graces. 3. It fhews the abundance of 
fpirit and life (to fay fo) wherewith ChrifVs Bride is furniihed, fo as fhe may 
communicate for the admonifhing, ftrengthning and edifying of others with- 
her felf ; as it is, Rom. 15. 14. where believers are faid to be full °f goodnef, 
filled with all knowledge, and able to admonijh one another. 

The fixth fimilitude is, A well of living waters: This is not only to diffe- 
rence her from a ciflern, that hath water, but hath no fpring in it } but al- 
fo to fhew the nature of the Spirit of grace in believers, it proves quickning 
and healing to thefe that have it. Both thefe are held forth, John 4. 14, He 
that drinks of this water, fimll never thirfl \ for it fhall be in him a well of living 
water , [fringing U f to eternal life. So is it alfo, John 7. 38, 39. Where the Spi- 
rit of grace is, it will be fpringing *, and grace will never dry up, where it is 

The lap: fimilitude is, And flreams from Lebanon : Which faith, that Chrift's 
Bride is not only a fountain, but alfo fhe is a ftream *, and it holdeth forth, 
if, That grace in her hath its rife from another, tho 5 it beget a fpring in 

A a her j 

1^8 An Expofition Chap- 4. 

her ; as if Lebanon fent a ftream to a garden, which did become a fpring by 
its conftant flowing there, zdfyi By a ftream alfo is fet forth the abundance 
of grace in believers *, it is in them "not as a brook, but as a ftream. Next, 
Lebanon was a hill much commended, it is like fvveet ftreams iifued from it : 
It is written, that Jordan, which watered much of the land, had its rife and 
fpring there. In the 5. chapter, verfe 15. Chrift's countenance is compared to 
Lebanon ; and fo here, while the flowing of grace in her is called a ftream from 
Lebanon , the derivation of grace and ot the Spirit from Chrift Jefus is holdea 
forth *, which, tho^it have a feat, and becomes a fountain in the believer, yet 
it hath its rife from him, and is kept flowing and fpringing by him : It is as 
a fountain derived by a ftream from Lebanon 7 and otherwife any fpring of 
grace that is in a believer would foon run dry. All thefe being put together, 
and compared with what is before, fliew, 1. That the believer is fitted by 
Chrift not only with fpiritual life, and a ftock of habitual graces, but alfo 
with every thing that may make him lively and fruitful in the exercife of 
thefe. 2. This contrivance of fpiritual influence, that makes believers fruit- 
ful, is a moll lovely and excellent thing. 3. The great commendation of be- 
lievers is grounded upon the graces of the Spirit that are in them, and upon 
the influences of the fame Spirit that comes from Chrift to them. 4. Where 
grace is, it will have fruits, and be favory in the converfation, in the exer- 
cife thereof. 5. It is the beft evidence of grace, and of Chrift's influence and 
Spirit, when it appeareth in the fruits ', thefe prove the believer to be an 
crcbard, and a fountain, 6. Thefe graces, that make a believer fruitful, have 
not their rife in, or from a believer, but from Chrift *, and the fountain that is 
in them, is but a ftream that comes from him. 

Verfe 16. Awake, north-wind'^ and come, thou/oath, Mow upon 
my garden, that the /pices thereof may flow out : let my Beloved 
come into his garden, arid eat bis plea/ant fruits. 

Chrift having now been large in commending the Bride, fhe fteps to in thi s 
verfe (as it were, taking the opportunity of his nearnefs) and puts up her de* 
fires to him, briefly in two fuits, which are grounded on the commendation 
that he gives her, and fhews what is the great defign that fhe aims at, now 
when fhe hath Chrift's ear } and fhe follows thefe fuits fo, as fhe acknow- 
ledged} all her fruitfulneis (for which fhe is commended) to flow from him, 
and to depend on him, who is therefore ib much the more to be commended 
and extolled himfeif* In fum, the fenfe is this, TV / be a- garden (faith fhe) 


Verfc 1 6. of the Song of Solomon. 1 79 

and have good plants habitually in me, yet will they not bud nor flow, nor can they be 
fruit fuli except the Spirit (which is m the fire am fir cm Lebanon) blow to make them 
fo : Therefore, O Spirit, come, and let me partake cf thy influences and breathings, 
that my Beloved may have an invitation thereby, to come ; and vpheft ccmc, may be 
intertained upon his ownfuits. 

The fir ft petition is, for livelinefs and fruitfulnefs ; The fecond is, for the 
Beloved's prefence, which is the end of the former : And thefe two, life and 
fenfe, are (as it were) the air that kindly-believers love to breathe into. That 
both thefe are the Bride's words, may thus be collected, ift, Becaufe they 
look prayer-like , and it is more fuitable for her to fay. Come, than for him : 
yea, the Spirit being invited to come to the garden, it is clear the party that 
fpeaks hath need of his prefence. And that it is not faid, Go, but Come, 
with reference to the neceility of the party that fpeaks, doth make it evident, 
that it cannot be fpoken by the Bridegroom, but by the Bride ; for, fo the 
phrafe every where, and in the next words, Let my Beloved ccme, imports. 
idly, That the laft part of the verfe is her fuit, none can deny •, and there is 
no reafon to conceive two different parties, feeing both the matter of the fuits, 
and the manner of fpeaking, will agree to the fame party. 

In the firft petition we may confider thefe two, Firfl, The thing fought; 
Secondly, The end wherefore that which flie feeks, and prays for, is held forth, 
as it were, in three fteps or degrees, in three expreffions, Awake, O north- 
wind, come, thou fouth, blow upon my garden* For underftanding whereof^ 
we are to look, ift, What thefe winds fignifie. idly, What this garden 
is. And, $dly, What thefe atts, of awaking^ coming and blowing are. By 
winds often in fcripture is underftood the Spirit of God in his mighty operati- 
ons, as Ezek. 37. 3, 14. And the fpecial work and operation of the Spirit is 
compared to wind, 1. For its purifying nature. 2. For its cooling, comfort- 
ing, refreihing power and efficacy. 3. For its fructifying vertue, winds be- 
ing, especially in thefe hot countries, both exceeding refrefhful, and alio ufe- 
ful to make trees and gardens fruitful. Lafily, For its undifcernable manner 
of working ; as, John 3. 6. 7he wind blows where it lifts, &c. yet hath his ope- 
ration real effects with it. And it is clear that the Spirit is here intended, be- 
caufe it is the Spirit's blowing that only can make the fpices or graces of a be- 
liever to flow, as the wind doth the feeds and flowers in a garden. Next y 
By north and fouth-wind are underftood the fame Spirit, being conceived and 
taken up in refpecl: of his diverfe operations (as it is, 1 Or. 12. 6, 7, 8, &c # 
and therefore called the J even fpirits of God, Rev. 1. 4.) fometime cooling and 
in a fharper manner nipping, as the north-wind -, fometimes working in his 
people more foftly and warmly, and in a ftill and quiet manner, like the fouth- 
wind : Yet, as both winds are ufeful for the purging and making fruitful of 

A a 2 

■ II ' ■ ■ 

1S0 An Expojition Chap. 4, 

a garden, fo are the diverfe operations of the Spirit to the fouls of believers. 
In a word, hereby is underftood the different operations of the Spirit, whe- 
ther convincing and mortifying, or quickning and comforting, c£r. both which 
contribute to make her lively and fruitful, which is the fcope of her petition. 

2dly, By garden, is underftood the believer, called a garden, verfe i 2 . and 
an orchard, verfe 13. becaufethe believer doth abound in divers graces, as a 
garden doth in many flowers. And me calls it my garden, as he calleth the 
plants her plants, that were planted there, verfe 13. and as (he called the vine- 
yard hers, chap. 1. 6. & 8. I2» which alfo is his, verfe 1 1. As alio, this gar- 
den is called his, in the following words, chap, 6. 1. it is Lis by propriety, as. 
the heritor and purchafer : as alfo, all thefe graces in her are hers, as being 
the fervant that hath the over fight of them, and who hath gotten them as ta- 
lents to trade with for the Mailer's ufe. All that we have, viz.. a foul, gifts, 
graces, &c. are given to us as talents, which we are to drefs for bringing, 
forth fruit to the owner, as the following words do clear, 

$dly, The actings and workings of the Spirit are held forth in three words* 
which are as fo many branches of her petition. The firft is, Awake. This 
word is often ufed by God's people in dealing with him,^n?^^, put onflrength, 
O arm of the Lord, &c. I/a* 51. 9. It is not as if the Spirit were at any time 
fleeping *, but fhe defires that by fome effe&s, fenfible to her, he would let 
it be known he is ftirring. The fecond word^ Come, is to the fame purpofe : 
The Spirit, confidered in himfelf, cannot be faid to come or go, being every 
where prefent -, but this is to be under ffood in refpeft of the effe&s of his 
prefence, and fb he is faid to come and go : Thus, while fhe faith, Come, the 
meaning is, Let me find fome ftgn of thy prefence, quickning and f Wring my graces* 
The lafl word is, Blow upon my garden. Blowing holds forth the operation, 
whereby the Spirit produceth his erYe&s in believers : It is not the Spirit him- 
felf, nor the fruits of the Spirit that are in believers, that are here under- 
ftood ; but the operation of the Spirit, whereby he influenceth, or (if we 
may fo fpeak) infufeth them (as God breathed in Adam the breath of life ) 
and whereby he ftirs, excites and quickens them for a&ing. The prayer, 
then, is directed to the Spirit (as, Rev. 1. 14.) confidering the Spirit effen- 
tiaily as the fame God with the Father and Son, (in which refpecl, to pray 
by name to one perfon of the Godhead, is to pray to all the Three, who in 
our worfhip are not to be divided) that he would by his operations, which are 
divers and various for believers good, fo ftir and quicken his own graces in 
her, that feeing flie is a garden wherein the Beloved takes pleafure, her graces 
for his fatisf action may be exercifed, and made to favour, to the end that ha 
Hiay the more manifeft himfelf in fweet communion wichher. 


Verfe i 6. of the Song of Solomon. I 8 i 

Next, The end, wherefore ilie pieffeth this fuit fo much, is, that htfffk* 3 
m.:y fiorv out : In a word, it is, that ilie flight be fruitful 5 for, tho' there 
were many graces in her, yet, without the Spirit's breathings and influences, 
they woukTbe as unbeaten fpices, that did not fend forth their fmell. 

Ob . 1. Altho'a believer have grace, yet it is not always in exercife ^ yea, 
it may be, and often is interrupted in its exercife. '2. That the believer's 
great defire is to be fruitful, and to have grace in exercife, that they may be 
delighted in by Chrift : It is not only their defire to have grace habitually, 
but attuaily to have it in exercife. 3. There is nothing can make a believer 
lively and fruitful, but the influences of the Spirit : And that fame Spirit,, 
that works grace, mufc quicken it and keep it in exercife. 4. There may be 
an interruption of the influences of the Spirit, fo as his blowing may in a great 
meafnre ceafe. 5. The fame Spirit hath divers operations, and divers ways 
of working and manifefting himfelf: fometimes as the fouth-wind, more 
fmoothly , fometimes as the north-wind, more fharply. 6. All his operati- 
ons, how rough foever fome of them may appear, are always ufeful to belie- 
vers, and tend to make them fruitful : And to this end, the moft fharp in- 
fluences contribute, as well as the more comfortable. 7. Believers would walk 
under the conviction of their own inability to acl: their graces, and of the ne- 
ceffityof the Spirit's influences, for drawing them forth to a£ting and exer- 
cife. 8. They, who are thus fenfible, may feek after the Spirit for that end: 
and it is a good frame, in order to the obtaining of life and qnickning by 
the Spirit of Chrift, when the fenfe of their own inability, their love of 
fruitfiilnefs, and the faith of attaining it by his Spirit, puts them to feek after 
it. 9. Prayer is a necefTary and excellent mean for ftirring up one in a fecure 
frame, and for attaining the Spirit to revive and quicken the work of his grace. 
10. Believers may beg the Spirit to quicken them, when they find themfelves 
lifelefs •, as well as they may ask pardon, when they find themfelves under 
guilt, ri. Believers will be, and ihould be as defirous of livelinefs and fruit- 

^ fulnefs, as of fenfe } yea, this is the order by which they mull come, and. 

> fdould feek to come to the obtaining of fenfible prefence. 12. No commen- 
dation of any attainment in believers, nor any clearnefs of intereft, mould, 
make them fit down on their attainments, or become negligent y but, on the 
contrary, fhould fiir them up to aim at the more livelinefs and fpiritua in efs r 
that they may be anfwerable to that intereft they have in him, and to the 
commendation he allows upon them: For which caufe, this petition follows 
immediately upon the former commendation. 

The fecond petition, which goes alongft with the former, is for the Belo- 
ved's prefence, Let my Beloved (faith fhe) come into his garden 7 and eat his plea- 
fant fruits^ Her defire, here-, is twofold, ift 7 That Chrift would come : This 


i 8 z An Expojition Chap. 4, 

doth refpett a greater degree of nearnefs, notwithftanding of any thing (he 
enjoyed. idly, That he would eat bis pie afant fruits, that is, familiarly and 
friendly delight in his own graces ; and therefore it was me prayed for the 
influences of the Spirit, that there might be abundance of fruits for his fatif- 
fattion. The way flie preifeth this petition is very kindly, tho' the words 
be fhort. 1. She preiTeth it from the relation ftie had. to him, Let my Beloved 
(faith {he)some : This makes her requeft and invitation warm and kindly, 
2. From the kind of the fruits :, they zxeplcafm fruits, that is, delegable in 
themfelves, and acceptable to him. But, 3. Left this fliould derogate from 
him, and arrogate to her felf, flie adds bu pleafant fruits : They are bis, and 
that makes them pleafant, fo that he cannot but accept them *, they are bis, 
being purchafed by him, wrought by him, kept in life by him : Tho 7 be bath 
made me the garden, faith fhe, wherein they grow (and the garden, as it hath 
weeds, is hers) yet all the good fruits, info far as any of them are to he found in 
me, are his : In fum, all my defire is this, (i.) To be fruitful ; Then, (2.) To have 
Chrift 7 s company, jhewing himfelf pleafed and prefent with me. Obferve, 1 . What- 
ever believers have, they neither will, nor can reft upon it , nay, not in the 
moft eminent meafures of holinefs attainable here-away, without Chrift's pre- 
fence and company. 2. Fruitfulnefs and livelinefs help and contribute much 
to the enjoyment of Chrift's manifestations, John 14. 21? 23. 3. Believers, 
that aim ferioufly at the exercife of grace in themfelves, may confidently in- 
vite Chrift to come, and may expeft his prefence. 4. All believers fruits, 
even when quickned by the Spirit, are Chrift's. 5. This would be acknow- 
ledged ; and when we are moft fruitful, we would look on our fruits, not as 
our own, but as his ftill. 6. Chrift will feed or delight in nothing, but what 
is his own, and is acknowledged by his people to be fo : And there can no- 
thing, which he will accept of, be fet before him but fuch. 7. Believers end 
and defign, in purfuing livelinefs and fruitfulnefs, is not, and ought not fo 
much to be their own fatisfaclion, and the feeding of themfelves, as the fa- 
tisfa&ion of Chrift, and the pleafing of him : for, that is bis eating bis pleafant 
fruits -, which is the Bride's great defire and defign, when flie calls for the north 
and fouth-wind; to blow upon her garden* 


Verie i . of the Song of Solomon. 1 8 \ 


Verfe i. 1 am come into my garden^ my fifter, my fpoufe, I kaVe 
gathered my myrrhe with my fpice^ I have eaten my hony- 
comb with my hony, I have drunks my wine with my milk^: eat y 
friends, drink, yea y drinks abundantly, beloved. 

THis chapter hath four parts* according to the parties that fucceffively 
fpeak. In the firft part, verfe i. Chrift fpeaks : And that it is he 
who fpeaks, doth at the firft reading appear , they are kindly words, 
well becoming him, and are the anfwer of her fuit in the former words -, and 
ib depend on them (for the divifion of this Song, as alfo of other fcriptures, 
into chapters, not being done by the penmen of the holy Ghoft, but by the 
tranflators, is not to be ftuck on where there is no queftion in the matter.) 
She defired him, verfe laft of the former chapter, to ccme ; and now, in this 
verfe, Behold, I am ccme, faith he, &u In it we have, ifl, His yielding to 
come, idly, His carriage when he is come, as to himfelf: And alfo his inti- 
mation of both, $dly, His invitation to others, which may be alfo a part of 
his carriage when come, taken up in three, i . He makes himfelf welcome ^ 
and, 2. Others. 3. He intimates it. 

The title being fpoken of formerly, the firft thing is, / am come into my, 
garden (as thou defired) my fifier, &c. Hence obferve, 1. Chrift hath parti- 
cular and peculiar ways of coming to his people, and of nearnefs with them r 
even as he hath of withdrawing from them. 2. There are fome peculiar 
times, wherein he is more near than at other times. 3. Sometimes he will 
not only draw near to his people, but let them know he is near, and put them 
out of doubt that he is ccme. 

Again, If we look to this as the anfwer of the former prayer,, we will fee,. 
I. Chrift is eafily invited and prevailed with to come to his people } and 
fometimes there will not be long betwixt their prayer and his anfwer, it ia 
the very next word. 2. Few words may be an effectual prayer to Chrift (as 
the former fuit was) a breathing or figh will not be reje&ed by him, where 
fincerity is. 3. Chrift will fometimes- not only anfwer prayer in the thing 
fought, but he will intimate, and let his people know that he hath anfwer- 
ed k. 

More particularly, we may confider the anfwer,.. 1. As it agrees with 
her prayer. 2. As it feems defective. 3* As it is beyond it* 

Firfi % It agrees fully to her laft fuit * ; fhe prayed. &* would come an£ eat, he 


1 84 An Expofttion Chap. 5. 

comes and cats. Obf Chrift will carve and fhape out fbmetimes his anfwer, 
even according to his peoples defires, as if they had the power of prefcribing 
their own anfwers. For, when our prayers make for our good, Chrift will 
alter nothing in them, but will grant them in the very terms in which they 
are put up. 

Again, I fay, there feeras to be fomewhat defective, there is no return re- 
corded of the firft fuit for livelinefs ; and her droufie, lazy cafe, ver% z, 3. 
gives ground to think, that that petition was not as yet anfwered. Obf 1. 
Chrift may be particular in anfwering one petition of the fame prayer, when 
yet lie may for a time fufpend an anfwer to another, in itfelf as acceptable to 
him. Yea, 2. He may anfwer the laft prayer, and feem to pafs over fome- 
what formerly fought for. 

Finally, Compare this anfwer with her laft fuit, he doth more than me re- 
quired 7 for, fhe defired him only to come and ear, but comes, eats, gathers, 
&c. Chrift will often fluff in more in the anfwer, than was in the deiire of 
his people , and will do above what they asked or thought, Eph. 3. 20. 

Next, His carriage (as to his own fatisfa&ion) is in three fteps, 1 . / have 
gathered my myrrhe, with myfpice : Myrrhe and fpice fignify (as hath been often 
faid) the graces that grow in believers, who are this garden : His gathering 
of them is his pulling (to fay fo) and dreffing of them, as gardeners do their 
herbs and fruits, for making them ufeful \ here, ere he eat he gathers, nullify- 
ing, that as the fpices are his, fo he muft prepare them for himfelf : She can- 
not prepare what provifion Chrift gives her, till he do it , me cannot put 
forth to exercifethe grace me hath received, till he breathe on it. 

2dly y I have eaten my hony-comb with my bony : When he hath prepared, 
he eats. By hony-comb and hony, is fignified the fame thing (as Chap. 4. 
■ver. 11.) becaufe as that was favory and wholefom food in thefe days and 
places, fo are believers graces a feaft to Chrift. 

yily, I have drunk my wine with my milk : Milk was for nourifhing, wine 
for re.frefliing \ Chrift mentions drinking of both, to fliew, how abundantly 
he was fatisfied, and fully feafted, both for meat and drink *, and how heart- 
fomly he entertained himfelf on it, as a friend that thinks himfelf very wel- 
come. Confider here, 1. Meat and drink are mentioned: Chrift will not 
want entertainment where he is 7 he will invite and treat himfelf, where he 
gets welcome : Where Chrift gets welcome, he will never complain of the 
want of fare, he hath there a feaft. 2. He accepts all heartfomly , as Chrift 
iseafily invited, fo is he cheerful and pleafant company : Where he comes, 
he takes what there is to give him, he is not four and ill to pleafe. 3. There 
is myrrhe and fpice, milk and hony and wine , which is not only to fhew that 
there are diverfities of graces, but that Chrift cafts at nothing of grace that is 


Yerfe 1 . of the Song of Solomon. i 8 5 

found in his people, he takes the milk as well as the wine \ he makes much ft 
the weaker grace, as well as of the mod lively. 4. He gathers and eats : As 
Chrifl provides food for himfelf, fo (to fpeak with reverence,) he is his own 
Cook*, none can drefs difhes for Chrift, but himfelf. 5. Where he gets the 
mofl ferious invitation to come, there may be much unpreparednefs for him 
when he comes, until he right it, and prepare his own entertainment himfelf. 
6. Though things be not prepared for him, yetfometimes he will not fufpend 
his coming on that, nor will it marr his cheerfulnefs in his carriage, when 
he comes and is made welcome \ He dnjfeth and e&mfa 7. He intimates all 
this : Sometimes Chrifl may be well-pleafed with believers, and be feafling 
himfelf on their graces, and yet they not difcern it, nor believe it, until he 
intimate it, and make it known to them : And therefore, that their joy may 
be full, he gracioufty condefcends now and then to put them upon the know- 
ledge of it, and perfwades their hearts of it. 

The lafl thing is his invitation to his friends to eat with him, which 
is preffed, (u) By kindly compilations, Friends and Beloved. (2.) By three 
words, e at 9 drink* and that aboundantly. By Friends and Beloved, are under- 
flood believers, there are none other capable of thefe titles \ and it was fhe 
that prayed, that is here underflood by Friends and Beloved, and fo he an- 
fwers her. Hence we fee, the believer is Chrifl's friend, as Abraham, Jam. 
2. 23. and Lazarus, John 1 1.1 1. were called. It imports, ift, A privilege 
on the believer's part, to be admitted to a fpecial league of friendfhip with 
him, when others are flaves or enemies. idly y A fpecial friendlinefs in Chrift's 
carriage to them * 7 familiarly, freely telling them all his mind, fo far as is 
needful for them to know, John 15. 1$. and lovingly manifefting himfelf to 
them, as one doth to his friend. 3^/y, It holds out a duty lying on the be- 
liever, to carry friendly to Chrifl and them that are his, John 15. 14. A man 
that hath friends mufi fliew himfelf friendly (Prov. 18. 24. ) to them: And 
feeing he trufls them, and expects no ill from them, they would be, like 
ChrifVs friends, anfwerable to their trufl. They are alfo beloved, the title 
that the husband gives the wife, for evidencing fpecial love : All Chrifl's 
friends are beloved, and believere are (whatever they be as to their defert, 
or in the eyes of men) both friends and beloved : No friend hath fnch bowels 
for his friends, as Chrifl hath for his friends. Friends and beloved are in the 
plural, 1. To fhew he excludes no believer, but includes all , and that with 
the fame ferioufnefs he invites and makes them ail welcome to feafl with him 
whether they be ftrong or weak. 2. Becaufe his mercy to one may be cheer- 
ing to many, and he allows and would have others of his people to be cheer- 
ful, becaufe of his kindnefs and mercy manifefl to one. 

His interfacing of them is held out* in three words, Firfr, Eat • that de- 

B b clares 

I %6 An Expo/ttion Chap* y 

dares his defire to have believers partaking with him in the foul-refrefhing 
bleflings of his purchafe, by their refle&ing a& of faith comforting themfelves 
in the privileges, promifes and mercies allowed on them. Obf. r. The fame 
feaft is a feaft to Chrift and believers both. 2. Where he is cheerful, they 
fhould be Co alfo. The fecond word is, drink : He drinks, that is, fatisfies him- 
felf as fully feafted, to wit, with the graces of his people (Tuch is the com- 
placency he hath in them, when he ftirs them up to any livelinefs of exercifej 
and he allows them in this cafe to be refreflied, fatisfied and feafted alfo : It 
becomes them to drink when he drinks, and bids them drink. The third 
word is, drink abundantly : That fliews the largenefs of his allowance, and 
heartinefs of his welcome, as a gladfom hoft, fo cheriihes he his guefts \ and 
all this is to be underftood fpiritually, of the joy and comfort which he al- 
lows on his people, even to ^ be filled with the Spirit? in oppofition to wine* 
Eph. 5. 18. which is more fatisfying, cheering and refrefhing to the inner-man, 
than wine is to the body. The fcope and dependence points out thefe 
things, 1. There is much notable foul-refrefhing to be had in ChrifVs com- 
pany ? wherever he is, there is a feaft, Rev. 3. 20. 2.He allows his people 
largely to ihare of it } yea, it is his will that all fhould liberally improve this 
allowance, he willeth it. 3. If your joy run in a fpiritual channel, there can- 
not be excefs in it, if it were to be drunken with it, fo as to forget our po- 
verty, and to remember our mifery no more. 4. Chrift is never fully fatif- 
fied at his own feaft, till he get his friends feafted and cheered alfo : He eats 
not his morfels alone, but is defirous to communicate his good things, accor- 
ding as they are communicable. 5* Chrift ? s preparing and drefling, is rather 
ior the welcoming of his friends, than for himfelf. I have gathered, eat ye? 
faith he. 6. Chrift. is a moft heartfom diftributer to others, and intertainer 
of his friends : There needs be- no fparing to eat where he invites. 7. Beli- 
vers, even Chrift's friends, needs invitation, by reafbn of unbelief, fenfe of 
wnworthinefs (which makes them finfully modeft) and-the dulnefs of their fpi- 
ritual appetite and therefore they will need ("to fay fo) bidding and intreaty 
oftentimes to eat their meat, and to cheer themfelves in him,, and he will 
not let them want that* 8. Wherever Chrift is prefenfc, there is a feaft 
with him for them that, are in his company y he flips with them,.and makes 
them fnp with him , and all is his own, and of has own drefling. 9. It is 
a gift of Chrift's- mercy* not only to have grounds of confolation* but to be 
inabled to comfort our felves in thefe grounds \ (as, in outward things, it is 
one gift to have,, andanother tohave the cheerful ufe of that which we have) 
for the believer may have the one when he wants the other : and when he 
hath.the one, to have the other added, is a double mercy, as the exhortation, 
Wydrinky &c< imports. 10. It is not every one who is Chrift's friend,nor 


Verfe 2. of the Song of Solomon. 1 87 

every one that hath that honour to comfort and feafl themfelves with him \ 
it is a privilege that is peculiar to them who are his freinds indeed. 


Verfe 1. 1 fleep, but my heart waketh: it is the Voice of my <Bc~ 
loVedthat ktiockgth, faying. Open to me, my Jijler, my loVe y my 
doVe 9 my unde filed: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks 
with the drops of the night. 

From verfe 2. unto the ninth (which is the fecond part of the chapter) the 
Bride fpeaks, and fets down a very complex piece of her condition, which we 
take up in thefe three. 1. Her condition is fhortly fet down. 2. The mutual 
carriage of the Bridegroom and Bride are recorded^ wherein (as it were) grace 
and loving kindnefs in him, and unkindnefs iii her, are wreftling together 
for a time. 3. The out-gate, and the way how fhe attained it, by feveral 
fteps on his fide, and hers, are particularly infifted on from verfe 4. with 
what followed thereupon. 

Her cafe is in fhort, I fleep, but my heart waketh ; or (as it is in the original) 
I fleeping, my heart -waking : It is made up of contraries, and feeming pa- 
radoxes •, fhe is diftinguifhed from her heart, and the fleeping of the one is 
oppofed to the waking of the other: Both this fleeping and waking are 
fpiritually to be underfiood \ the firft fignifies a ceafing from fpiritual duties, 
•r a flifpenfion of thea£Hng of fpiritual life, by railing of fbme inward cor- 
ruption, that dulls and binds up the fpiritual fenfes, as in natural fleep the 
external fenfes are dulled and bound up: So, 1 Thejf. 5. 6. and Rom. 13. 1 1. 
Let h* not fleep, but watch and be fiber . This is a further degree of fpiritual 
diftemper, beyond what was chap. 3. 1, 2. where fhe was on bed, and yet 
feeklng; but here fhe jleeps and lies ftil), as we fee ver. 3. It imports, \ft, 
An interruption of livelinefs and a&uai exercifmg of grace. 2dly 7 An indif-' 
pofition and lazinefs in the frame of the fpirit, added to that. $dly y A fort of 
acquiefcing and netting fecurely in that indifpofition, with a lothnefs to flir 
and be interrupted, fuch as ufeth to be in the bodily fleep, and fuch as ap- 
pears to be here from the following verfe : It is fleepinefs, or to be given to 
fleep, fuch as the fluggard is fubje& unto, who fleepeth exceflively, and cut 
of due time. This / that fleepeth, is the believer, but confldered in fo far as 
unregenerate *, as, Rom. 7. 18./ knew, that in me (that is, in my fiefli) there 
dwelleth ro good thing : For, as the believer hath two different natures, wh ; ch 
have oppofite actings *, fo are they confldered as two different periods. Hence 
in that, Rem. 7. J,yei not /, &c. by which Paul as renewed, is diftintfuiflierf 

B b 2 ft cm 

1 88 An Expojition Chap. 5. 

from himfelf as uarenewed. By waking? is underftood fome livelinefs and 
fenfiblenefs, or at leaft life, in oppofition to the former deadnefs and 
dulnefs \ as, Rom. 13. 11. It is high time to awake : And, i Thejf. 5. 6. Let 
us watch and be fober , which is oppofite tp that fpiritual droufinefs, wherein 
we are fcarce at our felves. My heart, logics to the renewed part, which is 
often called thefpirit, that lufteth againfi: the flejh y as, Gal. 5. 17. and the 
law in the mind, Rom. 7. circumcifion in the heart? Rom. 2. 25. the new heart. 
in the covenant, Ezek. 36. In fum, it is this, Things are not right with me, 
and indifpofition to duty, or lif elefnefs in it, is great (as it is with one that is 
in a fleep) yet even then there is fome inward ftirring of life, appearing in 
conviction of judgment, challenges, purpofes, protections of the inward-man, 
againfi this dead and lazy frame, as not delighting in it, but^ difpleafed with 
it, &c. wherein the new nature wreftles and yields not, nor gives itfelf leave 
to confent to it, although it can acl: nothing, at lead in a lively way, under 
this condition : Thusihe is fleeping, becaufe ihe atts nothing -, yet, the heart 
is waking, becaufe it is kept from being involved in that fecurity, though it 
be bound up, and overpowered with corruption, that it cannot win to acl: 
according to the light and inclination that it hath within. Hence obferve, 
1. That the believer hath two different and oppofite natures and principles 
within him, leading him divers ways} the carnal and fleeping /, and the 
renewed and waking heart. 2. They may be both at one time a&kig oppofite- 
]y, the one lufiing againfi the other?Gal. 5. 17. 3. Sometimes corruption may 
prevail far over believers that have grace, and lay them (though not quite 
4ead, yet) faft afleep for a time, and marr ki a great meafiire the exercife of 
their grace. 4. Believers, at their low eft, have life in them, and (by reaibn 
of their new nature) are not totally and fully involved in their fecurity and 
backfliding conditions. 5. There may be fome inward apprehending of our 
hazard, and dangerous condition, when it is very fad and low, fo as belie- 
vers may know it is not right with them, and yet fas it is here with the 
Bride,) may continue under it, and lie ftill. 6. Spiritual lazinefs and fecurity 
is incident to the flrongeft believers : Their*/* virgins may (lumber and fleep,. 
Matth. 25. 7. Yea, after the greateft. manifertations, and often on the back 
of the fulleft intimations of Chrift's love, and the moll Tweet invitations they 
have from him, and moft joyful feaftings with him, they may be thus over- 
taken, as the words preceeding bear out : The difciples fell in this diflemper, 
that fame night after the Lord's flipper. 8. Believers may fall over and over 
again in the fame condition of linful fecurity, even after they have beenrouzed 
and. raifed out of it ; as this, being compared with chap. 3. will clear. 9. 
The more frequently believers (or any. other); relapfe in the fame-fin, they 
will. go the greater, length readily in it* and >; by falling more, dangeroufly, be 


VerCe 2. of the Song of Solomon. 189 

more hardly recovered than formerly : Now fhe fleeps } and when put at, 
will not rife, but fliifts, which is a further ftep than was chap. 3. 10. Lazy 
fits of indifpofition, and omimons of duty, do more frequenty Ileal in 
upon believers, than pofitive out-breakings and commiiftons •, and they are 
more ready to pleafe themfelves in them, and to ly ftill under them. 1 1. Be- 
lievers mould be fo acquaint with their own condition, as to be able to tell 
how it is with them, whether as to their unrenewed or renewed part •, fo 
here, JJleep^bat my heart rvaketb* 12. Believers, in taking up their condition, 
would advert both to their corruptions and graces j and, in their reckoning, 
would put a diftin&ion betwixt thefe two, otherwife they will mifreckon on 
the one fide or other : They would not reckon themfelves wholly by. the 
attings of nature, left they difclaim their graces \ nor yet by their renewed 
part, left they forget their unrenewed nature \ but they would attribute e- 
very effecl: in them to its own caufe and principle, where-from it proceeds. 
13. It is good for a believer, when overcome with corruption, and captivate 
by it, to difallow and difown it from the heart, as not allowing what they 
do, and to prefent this to God, as a proteftation entred againft their pre- 
vailing lulls. In fome fenfe, a believer may both condemn himfelf as fmful, 
and abfblve himfelf as delighting in the law of God, at one and the fame 
time \ and where he allowes not his corruption, but pofitively diffents from 
it, he may difclaim it as not bfcing his deed. 

This being her cafe,, follows the Bridegroom's carriage, which is expreffed 
in the reft of verfe 2. and her carriage (implied only in this verfe) is more 
fully expreffed, verfe 3. His carriage holds out the great defign he drives*, 
and that is to have accefs to her, and to have her roufed up : For attaining 
of which, i/r, He doth fomething, and that is, knocks at the door, idly, 
He endures and fuffers dew and dreys in the cold night, and yet doth not give 
over. 3^/y, He fpeaks, and ufeth many perfwafive arguments for that end :: 
All which fhe obferves, and yet lies {till. It is in fum, as if a loving huf- 
band, that is fhut out by a lazy, yet a beloved wife, would knock,. call r and. 
waiting on ftill, ufe many arguments to perfwade her to open :, fo doth our 
fpiritual Bridegroom wait upon believers, whom he loves, to have them 
brought again to the lively exercife of faith in him, and to a frame of fpirit 
meet for communion with him. To take the words as they ly, there is, 
(1.) The Bride's obfervation (as it were in her fleep) of the Beloved's calling 
at the door. (2.) There is fet down his call. (3.) The arguments he ufeth- 
for prevailing with her. By knocking is underftood the inward touches of the 
word upon the conference, when the efficacy of the Spirit goes alongft, which, 
raps at the Bride's heart, as knocking doth at a door, and. is the mean of a— 
waking her from fpiritual fleerj, as knocking at a door is a. mean, of awaking; 


ipo An Expofition Chap. 5. 

from bodily fleep : So it is, Rev. 3. 20. Behold, I ft and at the door and knock • 
in which fenfe the word is compared to a hammer, Jer. 23. 29. It takes in 
thefe three, Fir ft, A ferioufnefs in him that fo knocks. Secondly^ A power and 
efficacy in the word, that fome-way affects the heart, and moves it. Thirdly, 
It implies lome effect it hath upon the heart, as be : ng fomewhat affe&ed with 
that touch •, therefore it is his voice or word, that not only calleth,but knock- 
eth, implying Come force it had upon her. By voice is underftood the word, 
as chap. 2.8, 10. yet, as backed with the Spirit and power, and as commend- 
ed thereby to the conscience, 1 Cor. 2. 4. and convincingly demonftrated to be 
the very voice of Chrift :, yet, fo as rods inward and outward, and other 
means, may have their own place, being made ufe of by him, yet ftill accor- 
ding to the word. His great end, for which he knocks, is in that word open • 
which, as it implies her cafe, that her heart was in a great meafure fhut up- 
on him, and that by fome carnal indifpofition he was kept out of it, and was 
not made welcome \ fo it requires the removing of all that ftopt his way, and 
the calling open of the heart by faith to receive his word, and by love to re- 
ceive himfelf : And in thefe two efpecially, this opening doth confift, i/r, In 
theexercife of faith, jiots 16. 14. The Lord opened the heart of Lydia\ and 
that is expounded, (he gave heed unto thefe things which Paul fpoke. idly. 
An inlarging and warming of the affections towards him (which ever compre- 
hends the former) as, Pfal. 81. 10. Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it ; 
,What that is, the refufal following declares, My people would not hear (that 
is, believe) Ifrael would none of me, or loved not me (as the words in the Origi- 
nal import) they cared not for me, they dejjred me not, and would not quit 
their idols } as in the foregoing words, verjf$. is mentioned. $dly, There 
refulteth from thefe two a mutual familiarity, as Rev. 3. 20. If any Man will 
t>pe??^ I will ccme in and f up with him, and he with me. This opening, then, im- 
ports the removing of every thing that marred fellowfhip with Chrift, and 
the doing of every thing that might difpofe for enjoying of it, as awaking, 
rifmg, &c. all which follows in the 4. verfe \ and while he commands to o- 
pen, he-calls for the entertaining of fellowfhip with him, which now is by 
her droufmefs interrupted. Which two parts of the verfe put together, hold 
forth, 1. That Chrift's own Bride may fhut the door on him, and fo make a 
fad feparation betwixt him and her. 2.Chrift's word is the great and ordinary 
external mean, whereby he knocks at mens hearts, and which he makes ufe 
of for begetting faith in them. 3. That, in a believer's fecure condition, there 
will be fometimes more than -ordinary convictions, ftirrings and motions by 
the word. 4. That the word of God, backed with power, will reach the fe- 
curefl heart, and affect it. 5. That believers will difcern Chrift's voice and 
call, when their condition is very low. 6. It will be refrefhful to them to 


Verfe 2. of the Song of Solomon. 191 

have him knocking : fhe looks on it as a kindly thing, even to have his knock 
bearing-in convictions, challenges, or fomewhat elfe on her^ tho' it pleafe 
not her flefh, yet, in as far as fhe is renewed, it will be the voice of her Belo- 
ved to her. 7. Chrift hath a way of following his own, even when they are 
become fecure •, and fometimes, then, will make his call, challenges or 
convi&ions purfiie more hotly and preflingly than at other times. 
8. When Chrift knocketh and preffeth hardeft, it is for our own 
good, and it is a token of love in him to do fo \ for, there is nothing 
more deplorable, than when he faith to one under indifpofition, and in an 
evil cafe, Let him alone. 9. When Chrift calls by his word, it is then 
our duty to open to him, and to receive him \ and this can no more be fligh- 
ted without fin, than prayer, mortification, and other commanded duties, can: 
be neglected or flighted without fin. 10. Chrift may call very preffingly, and 
his word may have fome work on the confidence and affections of hearers, and 
they be fome-way affefted with it, and yet the word be reje£ted > and the 
heart not made open to Chrift *, as here fhe deep ftill notwithftanding •, and! 
the following verfe confirms it. 11. There are fome operations of the Spirit,, 
which tho' they be more than a common work on the generality of hearers, 
yet are not faving, and may be, and often are, even by believers fruftrate for 
a time, and by others for ever \ for, this knocking gets a refufal, verfe 3. So 
deceiving, beguiling and dangerous are common motions to reft on, when the 
finger of gracious Omnipotency is not applied, as verfe 4. 12. Chrift' s de- 
fign, when he knocks fafteft, is friendly \ and yet it fometimes faith, things 
are not right : This is the end of all his knocking and fpeaking to a people* 
and then it is plaineft when he fpeaks moft powerfully* 

Secondly ,. The way how Chrift preffeth this, is, i/r, By fhewing who he 
was •, it is me y open to me : There can be no greater commendation given to 
Chrift,. nor weightier argument ufed for him, than to make it known, that it: 
is he, the Husband, Lord, &c. whofe the houfe is, and to whom entry by 
right from the wife, ought to be given. 2.dly y By giving her love titles, and 
claiming her as his,, in many relation?, as, my fifter, love r dove - r and (which 
was not mentioned before) undefiled is added, that is, my- per feci one, or up- 
right fmcere one, as it is often rendred. Thefe titles given now, and fo 
many at once, ihew, 1. That belie vers, when fecure, have very much need of 
the Spirit to roufe and ftir them up : Souls are not eafily perfwaded to receive 
Chrift. 2. There is wonderful love in Chrift,. that condefcends fo to entreat 
his people, when in fuch a fecure cafe : Even then he changes not her name^ 
no more than if all things were in good cafe v for, our relation to him de- 
pends not on our cafe. 3-. Chrift will fometimes very lovingly deal^. even 
with fecure fouls in his way, for obtaining entry, and perfwading them to open 
to him, and fometimes will apply the moft refrefliful gofpel-offers and invi- 

192 An Expojiiion Chap. 5. 

tations, and ufe the moll kindly compellations for that end. 4, Chrift fome- 
times will overlook the lazy diftempers of his people, and not always chide 
with them for thefe, but give them their wonted ftiles, notwithflanding. 5. The 
kind dealing of Chrift to his people, will ever prove love to be on his fide, but 
will not always prove, that the perfons, fo dealt with, are prefently in a good 
condition^ for, he may accept their perfons, and fpeak comfortably as to their 
Hate, altho 5 he approve not their prefent condition, as here. 6. We may fee 
that Chilli's love is not founded on our merit, noriiup and down, according 
to our variable difpofition •, but he prevents both, in his dealing with his peo- 
ple. Thefe titles being made ufe of, as a motive to anfwer his call, and to 
open to him, Ihew, 1. That the perfwafion of Chrift's love in fouls, is a 
main thing to make way for their entertaining of him. 2. That it is a lhame 
for a believer, fo beloved of Chrift, to hold him without at the door, when he 
knocketh to be in. Grace would make a heart to blufh, and in a manner look 
it out of countenance, that would refufe his kindnefs. 

The third and great argument, is, For my head is filled with dew, and my 
loch with the drops of the night : Very lhame might prevail with the wife, when 
the husband nfeth fuch an argument as this : It is even as if a husband, Hand- 
ing long without doors in a tempeftuotis night, Ihould ufe this motive with 
his wife, toperfwade her to let him in, It will be very prejudicial and hurt- 
ful to my health, if thou open not unto me ; for, I have flood long without : 
This may, no doubt, be prefumed to be a very ftrong and prevalent argument 
with a loving wife ; yet, it gets but a poor and very nnfuitable anfwer from 
the Bride. By dew, drops and night-time, are underftood, afflictions, external 
crofTes and lownefs : So, Daniel 4. that king is faid to be wet with the dew of 
heaven in his low condition, as having no he nfe to fhelter himfelf in, but be- 
ing obnoxious to all changes and injuries of weather : and Jacob mentions it as 
a part of the toiifom labour, that he had with Lab an, I did endure the heat of 
the fun in the day, and the cvld in the night-, that is, he was ever watchful, and 
fpared not himfelf, for the hurt of either day or night : Here Chrift's fpiritual 
fufferings alfo may come in, whereby he made himfelf obnoxious to the Fa- 
ther's wrath and curie, that he might have accefs to communion with his peo- 
ple ', and the account that he hath of being kept out by his people, as a new 
piece of his fuffermg, or as a painful reviving of the remembrance of his old 
fufferings. The Icope is to fliew, that as a kindly husband will fo deal with 
a beloved wife, and expect to prevail, being put to this llrait ; fo doth Chrift: 
with his people, being no lefs delirous of a room in their heart?, and being 
as much troubled by their unbelief, as any man is, when put to Hand in the 
cold night, under dew and rain, at his own door. Th's way of arguing faith, 
1. That the believer,, as fuch, loves and refpccls Chrift, and would not have 


Verfc l . of the Song of Solomon. 1 9 j 

him fuffering, as a kind wife would be loth to hazard her husband's health. 
2. That Chrift expounds h#r fo, even when file is lazy and keeps him out, 
otherwife this argument would be of no force, nor would he have ufed it: He 
will fee much evil (to (peak fb) ere he notice it in a believer } and is not fuf- 
picious, even when occafions are given. 3. Believers are often exceeding un- 
anfwerable to the relation that is betwixt Chrift and them, and may ftiffer 
Chrift to ftand long waiting without. 4. It affe£b Chrift much (and is a fuf- 
fering to him, and a kind of putting him to open fhame, and a crucifying again 
ofthe Son of God) to be kept out of hearts by unbelief : And there can be no 
pardonable fin, that hath moe and greater aggravations than this ; for, it is 
cruelty to kind Jefus Chrift. 5. Believers, even when Chrift is in good terms 
with them, may fall in this fault. 6. Chrift is a moil affe&ionate fuiter, and 
jpatient husband, that thus waits on, even when he is affronted, and gives not 
over his kind fuit : Who would bear with this, that he bears with and paf- 
feth by, and continues kindly notwithftanding ? Many ftrange and uncouth 
things are comported with, and overlooked betwixt him and believers, with- 
out hearing, that the world could not digeft. 7. Our Lord Jefus hath not 
fpared himfelfi nor fhunned fufferings, for doing of his people good : Jaccb's 
care of^ and fuffering fovLabarfs flocks, and Neby.chadnez.z,ar his humiliation, 
was nothing to this. 8. The love of Chrift is manifefted in nothing more 
for his people, than in his fufferings for them, and in his patient on-waiting, 
to have the benefits thereof applied to them. 9. Chrift's fufferings, and his 
affe&ionate way of pleading from them, mould melt hearts in love to him, 
and in defire of union with him, and will make the refiifal exceeding finful and 
fhameful, where it is given : 6 fo ftrong arguments as Chrift hath, to be in 
on the hearts of his people ! and how many things are there, to plead for that? 

Verfe 3. 1 have put off my coat, how fhall I put it on ? IhaVe 

wafhed my feet, how fhall I defile them ? 

The Bride's anfwer is here fet down, but O how unfuitable to that which 
was his carnage ! He ftands,fhe lies •, he without, fhe within 5 he calls friend- 
ly •, fhe ungrately fhifts it, at beft : As if a wife fhculd anfwer her husband fo 
calling, / am now in bed, and have fut off my clothes, and wajl:en my feet, and fo 
have compofed my felf to ref^ I cannot rife, it would hurt me.to rife : So 
doth the Bride thus unreafonably, and abfurdly put back this fair call, upon a 
two-fold fhift, both which are fpintually to be underftood, as the fleep and 
opening, formerly mentioned,were. In it confider, (1.) The anfwer. (2.) The 
manner of it. (3.) The particular grounds which me layeth down to build t 
on. And, (4.) The faults of this reafcning of her?, which at firft may be con- 

C c ' eluded 

{?% An Expofition Chap. 5 

f — i » ' .. . 1 . ■ . . . . — ■ ■ — ~ — 

eluded to be unfbund. The anfwer, in general, is a denial, as the event clears , 
and it is like that, Luke iu 7. I am in bed, and my children with me, trouble 
me not, &c. Yea, how can [put them on ? Thefe words (being the interrogati- 
on, not of one doubting, but of one ihifting) imply a vehement denial, as if it 
were a raoft unreafonable and impoifible thing, for her to give obedience to- 
what was called for ; Which fhews, that Chrift may get moft indifcreet re- 
fufals to his faireft calls : Which refufal is thus aggreged, ift, It was againft 
moft powerful and plain means : The moft powerful external ordinances may 
be fruftrate ; even Chrift himfelf in his word, when he preached in the days 
of his flefh, had not always fuccefs. idly, It was againft her light, me knew 
it was Chrift's call : Even believers may fit challenges againft their light, and 
iin wittingly through the violence of tentations, though not wholly willingly. 
$dly n She had invited him by prayer, chafer 4. 16. yet now lies ftill : Which 
lets us fee, 1. That believers, in their carriage, are often unfuitable to their 
prayers : There may be, and is often a great difcrepancy betwixt thefe. And, 
2. Often believers may be more defirous of an opportunity of meeting with 
Chrift, or any other mercy, when they want it, than watchful to make the 
right ufe of it, when they have gotten it. 

Her way is to give fome reafons for her refufal, as if fhe could do no o- 
therwife, and were not to be blamed fo much for her ihifting of Chrift *, as the 
words, how can J, &c. import. Obferve, 1. The fleih will be broody and quick, 
in inventing fhifts for maintaining of it felf, even againft the cleareft convicti- 
ons and duties. 2. It is ill to debate or reafon a clear duty?, often Satan and 
the flefii gets advantage by it. 3. Folks are oft-times very partial in examin- 
ing their own reafons, • and are hardly put from their own grounds once laid,, 
altho* they be not folid •, and the moft foolifh reafons will be convincing to a 
fpiritual iluggard, who, in fbftering his eafe, feems wifer to himfelf, than one 
who can render the moft concludent arguments, and ftrongeft reafons to the 
contrary, Prov. 26. \6. The opening of the particular reafons will clear this} 
The fir ft is, I have put off my coat, and the conclufion is, How can 7 -put it on ! 
Putting off the clothes, is an evidence of mens betaking themfeives to reft, as 
keeping them on, is a fign of watching : as in Nehemiah 4. 23. None of us put 
off clothes, fave to waflring , Hence keeping on of the clothes is borrowed, to 
fet out fpiritual watchfulnefs, and hiding of fpiritual nakednefs, as Rev. n5. 
15,. Bleffed is he that wztcheth andkeepeth his garments, lefi he walk naked: And, 
on the contrary, putting off ofclothes,. fignifieth not only a fpiritual drouii- 
nefs, but a high degree of it ', as having put off, and fallen from that tender- 
j-efs and watchfulnefs in her walk, wherewith fne was clothed, chapter 4, it. 
and is now fomewhat fettled in her carnal eafe and fecurity* From this fhe 
Mg»etfy, How fiall I put it on I The force of the reafoa may be three ways con- 


Vcrfe 3. of the Song of Solomon. ipj 

fidered, 1. As it imports a difficulty in the thing, how mail I do it ? O it iV 
difficult ! 2« As it imports an averfnefs to it, in her felf: It ftands againlr 
her heart, as a feeming unreafonable thing, as Gen. 39. Howjhail J do this great 
w ckcdnejs ? Sec. 3. A fort of fliame may be in it, I am now out of a,pofture, 
and I think fhame to rife, and to be feen : Which fliews, i/> That it is hard 
to xaife one that hath fallen into fecurity. idly, To lazy fouls every thing 
looks like an inftiperable difficulty \ their way to duty is as an hedge of thorns, 
Tnv % 15. 19. and there is a lion in their ftreets, and fometimes,as it were, even 
in the houfe-fioor, when any duty is preffed upon them, that would rob them 
of their carnal eafe, Prov. 26. 13. ana 22. 13. $dly y It is much for one, in a 
fecure frame, to wreftle with their own indifpofition ^ it is a wearinefs then to 
take the hand out ef the bofcm> Prov. 26. 15. 4*%, It is not a commendable 
fhamefatfnels, but mutt needs be a very finfiil modefly, that keeps one from 
duty : It was indeed more fhameful to ly frill, than to rife. 

Her fecond ground is of the fame nature, I have wafhed my feet : warning the 
feet, fitted and prepared for reft ; mens feet > in thefe countries, being, by 
walking bare-footed, fome way ftiffned, beaten and bruifed, which by waih- 
ing were eafed and refrefhed ; as we may fee, Gen. 18. 19. in Abraham and 
Lot's carriage to the angels, fuppofmg them to be men : So here, it is, I 
have fitted and compofed my felf for reft, as being wearied with the painful- 
nefs of holy duties *, and now fhe cannot endure to ftir her felf toward thefe, 
as if that would again defile hej: : In which reafoning, there are thefe faults, 
1. That fhe doth at all offer to debate a clear duty, this makes way for the 
fnare. 2. That fhe interprets the ftudy ofholinefs, and communion with 
Chrift, to be a trouble, and carnal fecurity to be an eafe : There will be ft range 
mifreprefentations, fometimes, both of our faults and failings, and of Chrifl's 
worth and excellency, which have much influence on our deadnefs and finfM 
diflempers. 3. She makes one finful attion the caufe of her continuance iff 
another : There is often a connexion amongft fins, and one draws on ano- 
ther ^ the premiffes, that the flefh lays down as principles, will ftill bear con- 
clufions like themfelves : It is unfound and unfafe reafoning from thefe. 4«That 
which fhouldftir and perl wade her to rife, to wit y that fhe was not right, fhe 
makes a motive of it, to ftrengthen her felf in her lazy inclination to ly ftill. 
Carnal fenfe draws conclufions moft unreafonable in every thing, and tends 
ftill to fofter it felf ^ whereas, faith and tendernefs would reafon the 
quite contrary, 5. She puts too honeft a name upon her fecurity, and 
calleth it the warning of her feet, which was indeed the polluting of them : 
Fairding and plaiftering over our own evils, is a great foftering of fecurity, 
yet too common •, as to call unbelief humility, prefumption faith, fecurity 
peace, &c\ We give to fin the name of virtue, and then without a challenge 

Cc2 main- 

\$6 An Expojition Chap. 5. 

jnaintain k •, which is a degree of putting darknefs for light, and bitter for 
fweet, and a fort of calling evil good, which brings under the hazard of the 
pronounced wo, If a. 5. 20. 6. She fails here, that fhe expeds more eafe 
in lying Itill, than in opening to Chrift, whereas it is but the flefh that is 
troubled at Chrift's prefence •, but folid fatisfa&ion is only to be had in his 
company : Flefh hath ever fecret fears of Chrift's company, as if it were in- 
tolerable, irkfom and troublefom to be a Chriftian in earned •, and thefe whim- 
perings, and wicked fuggeflions of the flefh, may have fometimes too much 
weight with a believer. .7. She miftakes Chrift's word, which preffed that 
be might be admitted, who was a moft loving husband, and had fuffered fo 
much in waiting for entry \ but, fhe dates the matter otherwife, if fhe that 
was at eafe fhould trouble her felf, that fo the fhift might feem reafonable : 
Tho' Chrift be notdire&ly and downright refufed, and the heart dare not 
under convi&ions adventure on that, yet, by oppofing refpefl: to our felves 
to him, and by fhifting to open to him when he knocks, many are guilty up- 
on the matter of refuting and flighting Chrift^ himfelf, when they think they 
flight not him, but would only fhun fomething that is troublefom to them- 
felves. Thefe words are not fa to be looked on, as if explicitely believers 
would fo argue - but that in their lazy and droufie fpiritual diftempers there 
js fuch arguing on the matter, and fuch or fuch like fhifts prevail often to 
make them keep out Chrift, when dire&ly they dare not refufe him : which. 
«loth evidence the power and fubtilty of corruption, even in a believer, and 
the greatnefs of the love of Chrift that pafTeth it by. 

If it fhould be asked, Why is this finful diftemper of hers regiftrate, and 
put upon record ? We fay, 1 . For her own good : It is profitable for belie- 
vers to mind and record their mifcarriages to Chrift, as well as his kind deal- 
ings with them* z. It is for the honour of the Bridegroom, whofelove ap- 
pears and fhines moft brightly, when it is fet for-againft her mifcarriage :. Be- 
lievers would acknowledge their infirmities and failings,, as well as their mer- 
cies and graces, when it may make to the Bridegroom's commendation. 3. 
It is for the edification of others : Often one believer's infirmities, through 
God's bleihng, may prove edifying to others,, for making them watchful, and 
bidding them ftand, and fuftaining of them when fallen } the infirmities of 
Job, under his fore trials, have ftrengthned many, as his patience hath, con- 
vinced them. 

In fum, this reasoning is indirect and frivolous, fhewihg, in the general, 
1. That men incline to cover their fecret mifregard of Chrift, as if it were 
rather tendemefs co themfelves, than indifcreet difrefpecl to hrni, yet he ex- 
pounds it fo : As, Matth. 22. 5. when they alledge it as a neGeilary excufe^, 
ftat they behoved to wait on their farm and. merchandife^ he interprets it, 


Verfe 4. of the Song of Solomon. 197 

they made light of the invitation to the marriage of the Kind's Son. 2. It 
fliews, that the fhifts, whereby men put back Chrifl, are exceeding frivolous : 
There can be no ftrong nor relevant reafbn alledged for our flighting Chrifl, 
and for our ruining our ielves in flighting of him in the offers of his grace in 
the Gofpel } altho' corrupt nature exercife and rack its invention, to find out 
reafbns to plead our excufe, yet,, when fuch reafbnings are examined, they 
will not abide the trial. 3. That, when mens hearts are in a declining frame, 
very trivial and weightlefs arguments will prevail to make them keep out 
Chrifl \ and, for as trivial as they are, they would prevail even with belie- 
vers, did not grace refute them, and make way for his entry into the foul* 

Verfe 4. My Beloved put in bis band by the bole of the door, and 
my bowels were moved for him. 

There follows, in this fourth verfe, a fecond f!ep of ChrirVs carriage, with 
the effe&s of it : He gives not over, but puts in his finger, and powerfully 
makes application to her, by afaving work of the Spirit upon her hearr,which 
hath the defired anddefigned effect following upon it -, fhe rifeth and openeth. 

In this we have, 1 . The mean applied and made ufe of. 2. The manner 
of application, (for that the worker is the Beloved himfelf, is clear) The mean 
is his handy which in fcripture fignifieth three things, when attributed to God,. 
1/, His Omnipotency, whereby he doth what he pleafeth, Exod. 15. 6. Thy 
right hand y Lord, is become glorious in fower : And, Exod, 8. ip, it is faid, 
Tins is the finger cfGod, that is, his power. 2dly y It is taken for the Spirit, 
or the common operations of the Spirit, whereby miracles, beyond the power 
of man, are wrought - r as by comparing Matth.. 12. 28. with Luke 1 1.20. will 
be clear. $dly y It is taken for the faving work of the Spirit, applied for the 
working of faith in the elecl: at the firft, or renewing and confirming of it af- 
terward in believers j as, Alls n. 21. The hand of the Lord was with them, and 
a great number believed. This is it which is pointed at, I fa. 53. 1. where, Who 
hath believed t and to whom is the arm of the. Lord revealed ? are made of equal 
extent : And fb efpecially it is to be taken here, as the fcope clears, to wit 
for the immediate powerful work of the Spirit, made ufe of in the working 
of faith, as a key is made ufe of for the opening of a door. 

The way of applying this mean, is, he put in his hand by the hole of the door .-, 
where (following the fimilitude of a husband ftanding at a fhut door, and not 
getting entry) he fhews what he did, when knocking prevailed not *, to wit, 
he took an effectual way of opening it himfelf* which is ordinary by putting 
in the key, or fomewhatr elfe, at the hole of the door : So Chrifl by his Spi- 
rit made open the heart, in a kindly native way y notiy breaking open, but 


x 9^ An Expofition Chap. 5. 

by opening •> he indeed having the key by which hearts are opened, even 
the key of David, that opens and no man jhuts, and puts and no man opens, Rev. 
3. 7. Which words do mew, 1. That befides the call of the word, and any 
common conviction that is thereby wrought in the heart, there is, in the con- 
verfion of fmners, an immediate, real, powerful and peculiar work of the Spi- 
rit that accompanies the word. 2. That the application of this isneceffary } and 
that men, being row aileep, and dead in fin, cannot without that be ftirred 
and quickned by the moft powerful external ordinances, or common opera- 
tions: Nay, even to the believer's reviving from his backflidden and droufie 
cafe, this work of omnipotency is needful. 3. This work of the Spirit is ef- 
fectual, and, when peculiarly applied by Chrift, cannot be fmflrate \ for, he 
puts in his hand, and the effect follows. . 4. Although it be a moft powerful 
work, yet it works k : nd!y, and brings about the effefl: without wronging of 
the natural faculties of trie foul, but makes life of them formally for bringing 
forth the erYe& } as one that openeth a door by the lock, makes ufe of a key, 
but doth not hurt nor deflroy the lock : There is therefore no inconfiftency 
betwixt Chrift 's opening and ours *, for, he co-a£h not, nor forceth the will, 
but fweetly determines it, fo that it cannot but be willing ^ he takes away un- 
willingnefs from it, and makes it willing, Pj'aU 1 10. 3. Chrift hath the keys 
of hearts, and can open and fluit at his pleafure, without wronging of them. 
5. Grace being the work of a high hand, it cannot be eafie to procure wel- 
come to Jefus Chrift even amongft believers, and much lefs with others* 
who ha e no principle of grace within to co-operate with Chrift. <j. Chrift 
Jefus, as he is a moft powerful worker, fo is the work of his power moft free, 
fbvereign and wonderful ; which clearly appeareth, in that it is applied on 
the back of fuch a flighting anfwer, and not before: Yea, 7. Oftentimes 
the work of grace furprifeth his own, when they are in a moft unfuitable cafe, 
and when in refpecl: of their deferving they might have expected the quite 
contrary : Certainly, we are not obliged to our free-will for our converfion, 
but to his Spirit } nor to our predifpofitions for his applying of it, but to his 
own grace, who, in his gracious way of dealing with his people, comes over 
many obftru&ions, and packs up (to fay fb) many affronts and injuries. 

If any fliould ask, Why Chrift did not apply this work, and put in his 
hand at firft, but fufpends it till he had gotten a refufal, and be now at the 
very withdrawing ? Anfw. 1. He doth this to mew the fovereignty of grace, 
that works as well when it will, as on whom it will : Grace muft not be 
limited by us in the manner or time of its working, more than in its work, 
or fubje£r, matter upon which it worketh. 2. By this he difcoverteh, what 
believers would be without his grace (and fo would teach them to walk 
humbly) which -otherwifehad not fo well appeared. 3. His wifdom and 


Verfe 4. of the Sow of Solomon. i$>5> 

• —'•'■ .. 1 ■■ 1 ■■ .I — — 

tettdernefs appears herein, that he will not withdraw from her ? and leave her 
litelefs tooj but, ere he awake challenges in her,he will make her lively in the 
exercifes of her graces *, otherwile ihe might have lyen ftill in her deadneis : 
Chrifl times his operations, his appearings and withdrawings, with much 
tendernefs, wifdom and discretion. 

-This work of the Spirit puts a ftir in the Bride, whieh vents it felf in four 
fteps. I. tier bowels are mved. 2- She arijeth. 3. Her fingers drop with 
myr,;e. 4. She opens. All which may be confidered, either, if, As effects 
following the work of the Spirit, whereby me is recovered from iiich a condi- 
tion : Or, zdly. As duties lying on a believer : Or, $dly, As they hold out 
the order of the effects wrought by the Spirit. In general, it holds forth, 

1. That the work of the Spirit, when it is effectually applied, makes a very 
great, palpable and univerfal change upon the perfons in whom it works : 
There is a great difference betwixt the Bride's carriage here, and what it was, 
verfe 3. 2. Altho' it be not abfolutely necelTary, nor ordinary for a believer, 
to know the inftant of his converfion - yet, when the change is fudden, and 
from an extremity of a finful condition, it will be difcernable, and the fruits 
following the change will be the more palpable. 3. A believer would en- 
deavour to be clear in the change of his condition *, and when this clearnefs 
is; attained by the diftincl: uptaking of the feveral fruits of the change, "it is 
very irfeful and profitable for eflabiiihing the believer in the confidence of his 
intereft in Chrift, and that there is a faving change wrought in him : So here,, 
the Bride both afferts him to be her Beloved, and likewife the reality of the 
change he had wrought in her. 

The firft effecl: is, My bowels were moved for him.^ which, in fhort, holds 
forth the kindly exercife of ferious repentance, aiTecling and flinging (as it 
were) the very inward bowels, for flighting Chrift fo long : Which will be 
cleared by considering, 1. What is meant by bowels. 2. What by moving of 
the bowels, 3. What that is, for him. By boweltkve underftood either ibr- 
row, and that in an intenfe degree, as Job 30. 27, My bowels boiled \ Lam. i 
20. My bowels are troubled } and Jer. 4. 19. My bowels, my bowels, I am pained 
at the very heart : Or, bowels are taken for arTe&ion and tender love in the; 
higheft degree, fuch as mothers have to the children of their womb,.. Philip* 

2. 1, 2,. If there be any bowels *, and Philemon, v. 12. Receive him that is my own 
bowels. Thus they are taken, Ija. 63. 15. Where are t!y bowels ? and frequent- 
ly elfewhere, both in the Old and New Teftament. By moving of the bowels 
(or founding, or making a noife, as the word is elfe where truncated, Jfa. 10V. 
it-., and 63. 15.) is underftood a- fenfible furring of the afteitibns,. when they- 
begin to Hound, and that kindly, and in a moll affectionate manner, either fe- 
derally or jointly -, fuch asis the turning cfthe bowets^HofAi. and the troubling 

200 An Expojition Chap. 5. 

the bowels, Jer. 31. 18, 19, 20. It is even fuch as is kindly fympathy with 
perfons that are dearly beloved, when any fad change befals them. It is cal- 
led the yerning of the bowels, fpoken of that mother, 1 Kings 3. 26. who was 
fo affe£ied towards her child, out of love to him, that fhe had rather quit 
him to the other woman that was not his mother, than fee him divided, her 
bowels were fo hot towards him : (another thing than was in any on-looker) 
It is the fame wordjiere, which fhews, that this motion of the Bride's bow- 
els proceeded from love to Chrift, and from forrow for wronging of him , 
which two jumbled her within, and pierced and Hounded her to the heart, 
as a Jcindly parent ufeth to be for the death or diftrefs of his only child , 
which is the character of true repentance, Zech. 12. 10, 11. $dly 7 For him, 
holds out, ift. The procuring-caufe of this trouble, that it was for wronging 
of Chrift, and the flighting of fo kind an husband and friend, that that Houn- 
ded her at the heart above all, as, Zech. 12. io. Theyjhall look on him whom 
they have pierced, and mourn for him* idly, It holds forth the final caufe where- 
fore fhe was fo ftirred and moved : It was for him, that is, that flie might en- 
joy him*, as the word is, Hof. 7. i^.lhey ajfemble themfelves for corn and wine, 
that is, to obtain them. So her bowels were moved for, or after him, to ob- 
tain and enjoy him : And thus, fenfe of the wrong done to him, in herby- 
paft unkindly carriage to him, and defire to recover him again, fo affetts her, 
as if it were the pangs of a travelling woman, till Chrift be again formed in her 
heart. Obferv. 1. The firft work of the Spirit, is, by powerful convi£b*ons to 
beget evangelick repentance in the heart, and to make the foul fenfible of by- 
paft failings, Jets 2. 37. This, although it be not in time before faith, nor 
in nature ( for, feeing it proceeds from love, it fuppofeth faith ) yet it is the 
firft fenfible effett, that finners (furprifed in a fmful condition) are touched 
with , and it is never feparate from, but always joined with the exercife of 
faith, Zech. 12. 10. 2. This work of repentance is neceffary toberenewed, 
even in believers, after their failings, and it is the way by which they reco- 
ver ; Chrift's Bride is thus afle&ed, and it becomes them-well who have fin, 
to be deeply moved and afflicted with the fenfe of it. 3. Where moft love to 
Chrift is, and where moft fincerity hath been, when a wakening comes, it will 
he the more fenfible, and affeft the heart the more throughly. Particularly, we 
may gather, hence, thefe properties of true repentance, or godly forrow- 
1/?, Godly forrow is no fruit of nature, but is a work and. effect of the Spirit 
of Chrift, and a peculiar faving grace, beyond common convi&ion •, and a be- 
liever is not the worker of it in himfelf. idly, This forrow confifts moft in 
the inward pangs and ftings of the heart, wherein love to Chrift, and indig- 
nation againft our felves, for wronging of him, ftruggle, and put all within 
ia a ftir. 3. True repentance is different from, and beyond convictions and 


Verfe 5. of the Song of Solomon. 201 

challenges ( which the Bride had before, when this was wanting in her ) and 
makes another kind of impreffion, and a more fenfible touch upon the heart 
and inward bowels : I fry not, that it is alway terrible, for that is acciden- 
tal to it} but fenfible it is. .+My 7 Though this godly forrow affect the heart 
deeply, yet doth it work kindly, fweetly and affe&ionately, as a mother's af- 
fection warms to her child, or, as a man is troubled for his firft-born : Love 
hath a main influence upon, and goeth alongft in this godly forrow, both 
in the rife of it, love kindles this heart-indignation^ andalfo, in the exercife 
of it, love to Chrift keeps it lively \ and in the manner how it vents it felf, 
it makes it a kindly, and no-torturing or terrible exercife. $thty 4 Nothing 
more affects a kindly repenting heart, truly touched with godly forrow, than 
that it fhould have finned againft Chrift •, its own hazard is not the predomi- 
nant caufe of this forrow ( fhe is clear of her intereft ftill ) nor is it any fad 
event that might follow, which fo affefts her (though fhe was not fenfelefs as 
to thefe) but it is for hitn y and his caufe, and not her own, that fhe is thus 
moved : The Spirit's conviction, John 16. 8. is, becanfe they believe not on 
me. 6thly, Confidering the words with what follows, I rofe, &c. and com- 
paring them with what went before, obferve, That true repentance brings 
forth always a change in a believer's carriage to the better, in thofe things by 
which Chrift their Beloved was formerly provoked j and it doth ftir up to uni- 
verfal attivenefs in the ftudy of holinefs : This makes her arife from the lazi- 
nefs in which fhe formerly was. ithly^ Conflder, That fhe refts not, till firft 
fhe open to Chrift, and thereafter obtain his prefence ; which fheweth, that 
where true repentance is, the foul will never fit down on challenges, convicti- 
ons, or making a-mends in the converfation, or any thing in felf-, but it will 
be reftlefs, until by faith it clofe with Chrift •, yea, it will be prelling after the 
intimation of his favour, on the back of any peace attained in clofmg with him, 
as David doth, Pfal. 51. *' 

Verfe 5. 1 rofe up to open to my BeloVed, and my hands dropped 

with myrrhe^ and my fingers with fweet fuelling myrrke, upon 

the handles of the lock? 

There are two fteps of her carriage, or effects of the Spirit's work, verfe 5. 
The firft is, her bowels being thus ftirred and moved, fhe arijeth to o$cn ti as 
being forry fhe had lyen ftill and fnifted him fo long } / rofe uy : this is'op- 
pofite to her former lying ftill, and refufing to give him entry - now fhe yields, 
and begins to beftir her felf, to draw her clothes to her, &c Which imports 
not only mo're diligence as to the matter of duty, but much ferioufhefs as to 
the manner : It feems to differ from opening (which is the aclual receiving of 

D d Chrift 

20 2 An Expofition Chap. 5. 

Chrift into the heart, when all tilings are ready and prepared) not as if it 
were flmply contradiftinguifhed from faith ( for, this being a fruit of her re- 
pentance, and he acknowledged to be her Beloved, there behoved to be faith 
in it) but only, as one degree or a£t of faith is diftinguifhed from another, as, 
Luke 15. in the prodigal's cafe, it is faid, after he came to himfelf, before he 
ac% he deliberates and ftirs himfelf •, fo this holds forth her roufing and 
quickning her felf, for receiving Chrift, which is not feparate in time, either 
from her repentance in the former words, or her faith in thefe that follow : 
file rufe to op en , that fhews her defign, that fhe refolved now not to ftand at, 
but to go over her former reafonings } andpurpofea, by this ftirring, to have 
the way rid for Chrift 's entry, and to make him welcome : which mews, it 
was no confufed exercife that her repentance put her unto, but diftincl: and 
digefted, like the prodigal's, Iwillarije y .andgo to my Father , and Jay, &c. 

Obferv. i . Repentance will put the fecureft finners to their feet, when it is 
real. 2. There is no fettling of an excrcifed mind, but in receiving of Chrift^ 
and in making of him welcome. 3. When the heart is affected with the fenfe 
of fin, and defire to have Chrift, it is not time to delay or difpute what to do, 
but to rife and open, and by faith to receive Chrift. 4. Where a foul hath 
been plunged in fecurity, or (like the prodigal, Luke 15.) in profanity, there 
will be need of gathering, compofing and roufiag of it felf, for exercifing of 
faith in Chrift j this is not from any difficulty that is on grace's iide to receive 
a finner, but from the difficulty that is on the finner's fide, in atting of grace, 
who, being at a low ebb, muft by.feveral fteps of grace afcend out of it, with 
a kind of violence to corruption, difcouragement and unbelief, from under 
the power of which the penitent muft arife, when they combine to intangle 
and detain him, as fhe doth here. 5. Believers would be diftincl: in their ex- 
ercifes, eipecially in reference to their end and defign, that in their activity 
and ftirrings it may be diicerned by themfelves what they would be at : Some 
exercifes are confufed, neither having a diftincl caufe, nor a diftincl: end ; 
kindly exercife hath both, though much confufion may be with it. 6. Faith 
In Chrift, and making way for him into the heart, fhould be, and is the native 
end of all inward exercifes, diligence in duties, &c. This muft be the great 
fcope of all pains whatfoever ; thefe ftings of exercife that put not the foul to 
©pen to him, though they put the perfon thorow other, are not to be fbfte- 
led, nor laid much weight upon. 7. Though faith and duty differ, and the 
moft a£Hve frame is not to be refted on without faith, yet activity in duty, 
and livelinefs in the exercife of faith, go together - 9 As her rifmg and opening 
do, even as before, her lying ftill^ and the keeping of him out, went toge- 
ther. Yea, 8. This a&ivenefs runs efpecially to perform what he called to 1 
He called to open, and fhe accordingly rifeth to open j, which fhews, that the 


Verfc 5 . of the Song of Solomon. 205 

penitent's activity doth principally bend it felf towards thefe duties, that 
Chrift in a more eipecial manner calls for. 

She proceeds to fet down her experience which fiie found when fhe had ri- 
fen, which is the third effect of the work of grace on her, by Chrift's put- 
ting in his hand, when fhe arofe to open : Her hands and finger* dropped f-weet 
fmelling myrtfie upon the handles of the lock. She continues the comparifon of 
opening a fliut door *, he, as it were, put in the key without, and trie came to 
draw the handle or flot within. ( as is ufual in fbme locks ) The door is the 
heart, as Pfal. 24. 7. called, the everlafling doors ; The lock that clofeth, is 
unbelief and fecurity, indifpofition and declining in the exercife of grace, 
whereby, as by a fall lock, Chrift in his accefs to the heart is kept out : Now 
fhe puts to her hands and fingers to the lock within, which imports her fdr- 
ring her felf again in the exercife of faith and diligence, being now arifen to 
open } therefore, by faith we are faid to grip and take hold of Chrift, and 
to work righteoufhefs, and by it the heart is opened to him, as follows. This 
fxveet fmelling myrrhe, that drops, is the flowing of habitual grace, which .for- 
merly was not vigorous and attive, but now it flows and vents, and is to the 
heart, as oil applied to moiften and make eafy a roufted lock, to make it open 
without difficulty: This grace is ordinarily compared to myrrhe, and the anoin- 
ting typical oil was made of it and ofother fpices, Exod. 30.23. It is faid, here, 
to drop from her fingers, implying the attive Sirring of her faith - becaufe, when 
faith becomes lively, it puts all other graces to exercife, and thereby ( as it 
were by oil ) her former hardnefs and indifpofition was foftned and re- 
moved, and her heart made meet to a£t lively. In fum, it is this, That 
when fhe, in the exercife of faith and holinefs, fet herfelf ferioufly and effe- 
ctually to make way for Chrift, and to remove what formerly had kept him out, 
through her indifpofition, unexpectedly fhe found, that, by his putting in of 
his hand, it went much more-eafily and fweetly than fhe expected, all had been 
fo anointed and quickned } and thus conduced to the opening of her heart, 
as dropping of oil doth to the eafy opening of fa lock : Which fliews, 1. 
That the work of grace upon the heart, being applied by Chrift from without, 
doth leave an inward fitnefs on the heart within for the opening of itfelf to 
him : Grace infufed and quickned by Chrift's Spirit, will make the moft in- 
difpofed and fecure heart to open to him heartfomly. 2. That though Chrift 
apply grace from without to open the heart, yet will he have the heart for- 
mally opening kfelf to him :, and though the heart open itfelf formally to 
him, yet it is by the vertue of his application from without ; for, th's putting 
to ofher hand, and its dropping myrrhe, is the effect of his putting in his 
hand firft. 3. Often, when the moft fpiritual and difficult duties (if it were 
even faith it felf) are eifayed, they will be found more eafy than was ex- 

D d 2 peeled 

204 An Expofititn Chap. 5. 

pe&ed, and none can tell how they will go with them, till they undertake 
and fet about them. She, while lying in her fecurity, thought it impoiSble 
to get this done, yet now it goes eafily and fweetly with her. O but when 
grace goes along and flows, the exercife of duty is a fweet and eafy work ! 
4. Although the exercife of grace make duties eafy, and a fupply of help be 
given thereby for doing of fpiritual duties, yet the Lord will have the perfon 
eflaying duty ere he find it fo ^ nor can he find or expe£t that fupply that 
will facilitate duties to him, till he firft fet himfelf about them } as me firft 
rifes to open, before her fingers drop with myrrhe. 5. Thefe that fet themfelves 
to open to Chrift, and mind that fingly from the fenfe of their need of him, 
and being affe&ed for wronging of him, will not find grace wanting and de- 
ficient to help them •, and by this all the mouths of unbelievers will be 
Hopped, that are ready to fay, and ufually fay, they had not grace to open. 
6. Faith in exercife hath a great influence on the keeping of all other graces 
in a believer frefh and green, becaufe it aclrs by Chrift's ftrength ^ and there 
fore, when it is in exercife, it makes all the reft to drop y as it were, with fweet. 
fmelling myhrre* 

Verfe 6. I opened to my (Beloved^ but my Beloved had withdrawn 
bimfelf, and was gone : my foul failed when he /pake : I 
/ought him, but 1 could not find him : I called him, but he 
gave me no anfwer. 

This 6. verfe contains five particulars of the Bride's experience in this cafe. 
The firft of them, / opened, &c. is the laft effect following upon his putting 
in his hand, verfe 4. This work of grace left her not in an indifferency, 
whether to open or not \ but, having given her to will in the former verfe, 
now he gives alfo to do, and actually determines the will, or makes it deter- 
mine itfelf to receire him : but now Chrift is found to be abfent, whereupon 
follows the other fteps of her carriage, and the difappointments that fhe met 
with in feeking of him. This opening is the very thing called for by him, 
verfe 2. which (confidering the words following) is efpecially to be under- 
ftood of her exercifing of faith in him, whereby the heart is delated to re- 
ceive him * 7 hence believing is called, a receiving of Chrift, John 1. 12. And 
it being a heart-receiving, it muft be the very thing underftood here by open- 
ing. Now, although faith, according to its feveral a&s, may be feveral 
ways confidered, yet that a& of faith, whereby the heart confents to receive 
Chrift, and to reft on him, is that which is mainly here aimed at, i/r, Becaufe 
this opening is oppofed to re fufing* PfaU 81. io, 11. It muft therefore be 


Verfe 6. of the Song of Solomon. 205 

confenting. idly, It is not giying of content, that mainly keeps Chrift at a di- 
ftance from fouls, or keeps them without intereft in him •, as opening to him, 
or receiving of him, intitie^ them to him, John 1. 1 1, 12. and Alts 16. 14. $dly 9 
This opening is both different from conviction, reiblutions, repentance, and 
what may be fuppofed to preceed •, thefe were in the words going before : 
and is alio diftinguifhed from fenfe and the fruits of believing, which follow 
after : It muft therefore be the heart's yielding to Chrift's call, and fubmit- 
ting thereunto, Rom. 10. 3. as actually confenting to be his : Yet all thefe 
a£ts would not be looked on as diftincl: in refpeft of time, as they proceed 
from grace (which puts all together) but in nature, and in refpect of the di- 
ftincl: uptaking of the fame grace, in its effects : In a word, faith the Bride, 
the Lord having applied the work of his Spirit to me, it effe&uated one ftep 
after another, and left me not until I yielded my felf to him to be his,as a man- 
lion for him to dwell in. Which fhews, i« That grace doth not only work 
upon the understanding to enlighten it, but that it doth alfo immediately 
work on the will, and determines it j for, this opening of the heart is an 
effecl: of that work of grace, verfe 4. as the former fteps were. 2. The att 
of believing and opening to Chrift, is both the effecl: of grace,, and alfo the 
work formally of the believer : Therefore the Lord is faid to open the heart, 
Acts i<5. 14. becaufe the effecl: flows from his putting to his hand ^ and the 
Bride is faid to open her own heart, becaufe flie formerly brought forth, cr 
elicited the a£t of faith, by the ftrength of grace. 3* This (being compared 
with his call, verfe 3.) fhews, that it is by faith that way is made for Chrift 
into the heart, and it is that which efpecially intitles one to Chrift, clofes 
with his call, receives him, and enters covenant with him \ for, if opening 
or believing be that which he calls for, as giving him accefs to the hearts of 
•his people, then believing, being the performance of that called-for condition, 
muft unite the foul to him, and enter him into the heart. 4. There is fbme 
peculiar efficacy in faith, in the uniting of one to Chrift, in accepting of 
Chrift's call, and making way for him to come into the heart, which is not in 
any other grace : Or, it hath a peculiar way of concurring, in effectuating 
the perfon's union with Chrift (and fo in juftification) which no other grace 
hath : Hence this opening is peculiarly to be attributed to it, and is diftincl 
from repentance, fpoken of before, verfe 4. and from other duties mentioned in 
the words following. 5. Whoever honeftly, from the fenfe of fin, and need 
of Chrift, and defire to have him to fupply their need, effays belie vin?; 
and opening their heart to him, fhall certainly come good fpeed, and without 
fail attain their defign • / rofe to open (faith flie) and I opened. 6. Although 
the diftincl: exercife of faith be not attained inftantly, (but there muft be fir ft 
a rifmg, and an offering of violence to our corruptions, in the purfuing there- 

ia6 An Expofttion Chap. } # 

of, before we win to the diftincl: opening of the heart) yet it fhould be profe- 
cute till it be perfected. 7. Sometimes the exercife of faith will be diftincl: 
and difcernable, fo that a believer can tell he hath believed ♦, and it is no lefs 
comfortable, to be clear from ferions reflecting on our felves, that we have 
indeed by faith yielded to Chrift, than to be clear of it by the fruits follow- 
ing thereupon : For flie is clear and confident in this, that flie had opened 
to him. 

Having opened, now the Beloved is gone, like as a husband, being offend- 
ed at his wife's difrefpect to him, fhould withdraw, when fhe at length, with 
much ado, were brought to rife ^ fo our Lord Jefus takes that way of re- 
buking kindly the former unkindlinefs of believers, by after defertions and 
withdra wings. The word is doubled, but my Beloved had withdrawn himfelf 9 
*nd wot gone, or, he was gone n he wo* gone :, which doth not only import in 
his carriage a fad withdrawing, and on hers an obfervation on it : but alfo a 
forrowful regrate and weightednefs, as having met with a fad difappointment 
(as the following words clear) as if fhe had faid, At laft I opened, but alas he 
was gone and away ! What this withdrawing of Chrift is, we may know by 
confidering what his being prefent is, which is not to be underflood of the 
omniprefence of his Godhead, there being no coming nor going that can be 
attributed to that infinite effence, which is every-where at all times prefent^ 
but it is in refpect of the out-letting of his efpecial love, and that in the pe- 
culiar way of manifefling it to his people, and not in regard of his loveitfelf^ 
or of their intereft in him \ for, here her intereft ftands in him, and faith in 
him is exercifed, and the lifelefnefs that fhe was under is removed :, fo that 
now fhe is acting faith, and there is a prefence of grace making her 
active and lively, even under this withdrawing : The thing then, which 
is wanting, is a fenfible manifeftation of Chrift's love to her, which 
now, upon her yielding to open, fhe expected to have been filled with \ 
as a wife opening to her husband fhould expect his embracements, 
and yet, in place thereof, find that he Were gone. This withdrawing is no 
real alteration on Chrift's fide, nor are we to look upon it as if now fhe had 
lefs than before fhe believed and beftirred her felf ; fbr, her union with him, 
and the influence of his grace on her, remained : But, i/r, She miffed, that 
comfortable and fweet fcnfe of love that me expected from him -, that was 
kept up. idly. She was then more fenfible that he was provoked, and found 
that her peace was not lb well grounded., which formerly fhe pleafed her felf 
with, as fhe conceived. 3^, Upon this alfo followed fome kindly exercife, 
whereby Chrift might make his diiTatisfi action known, as a husband doth his, 
by his withdrawing \ fo that, altho' intereft be nor difputed, and the heart 
be kept in the exercife of dudes, vet d'fquietneis may grow above what it was : 


Verfe 6. of the Song of Solomon. 20^ 

And Chrift wifely times this fenfe of his abfence now, with the prefence of 
his grace,' becauie ihe might both better endure it, and it would aifo be more 
profitable thus to chaften her now, than if he had done it in her dead condi- 
tion. Hence, Obfervt, 1. That believers, in the lively exercife of faith and 
duty, may have many moe exercifes, and fnarper fpiritual difpenfations, than 
they had formerly in their iecurity. 2. Chrift hath a peculiar way both of 
prefence with, and abfence from his own. 3. Often believers, when they 
are in the exercife of (kith and duty, expect fatisfying manifeftations of Chrift 
to their fenfe *, for, it is lupponed here, that fne looked for him this way, 
when fhe opened. 4. Sometimes Chrift will keep up the fenle of his love, 
and withdraw himfelf from his own, even in the exercife of faith and duty., 
5. Chrift's withdrawing is not always an evidence of the worft frame, even 
as his prefence doth not fpeak out his fatisfattion every way with his peoples 
condition •, but thefe are often acls of fovereignty, timed according to his 
good pleaiure : for, fhe is now in better cafe than formerly, and yet he is 
withdrawn and gone. 6. Chrift by his withdrawing may be chaftning for 
fome former fin or difreipeft, done to him before the believer became lively, 
who yet for good ends did fufpend the taking notice of that fin, till he was 
in a frame to bear it, and profit by it. 7. Chrift's withdrawings ought to be 
obferved by his people, as well as other pieces of their own experience : It 
is profitable to know what he doth, as well as what they do themfelve?. 
8. There is a great difference betwixt faith and fenfe - yea, betwixt clearnefs- 
of intereft, and fenfible prefence : the one may be in a great meafure, 
where the other is not, as in this cafe here. q. It is the exercife of faith in 
Chrift, that makes his abfence to be difcerned : (for that is not known here, 
till the door be opened) And the more lively a perfon be in the exercife of 
grace, the more will Chrift's abfence be marked and regrated y whereas, in a 
believer's fecure frame, or in a perfon ftill unacquainted w r ith Chrift, his ab- 
fence is not difcerned nor laid to heart. 10. Altho' fenfe be not fatisfied, yet 
believers ihould not difclaim their faith when it is real, but acknowledge that 
they do believe* and open to Chrift when they do it : So it is here, / opened* 
or yielded by faith to him, even when he was gone, and I could not find him, 
What effeel: this difappointment had upon her part, follows, My foul failed 
when he fj>ake .- This effect is fad and heavy , the fenfe of her fin, and the ap- 
prehenfion of her grieving of him, kindled by love to him, pierceth and ftoun- 
deth her fo to the heart, that it becomes almoft lifelefs : So the word is ufed,, 
Gen. 42. 28. of Jacob's fons, when they found the money in their facks mouths, 
they were fore afraid, and their hearts failed them, or, went out of them : It is 
a furprifmg unexpected heavinefs, and that in a high degree, holding forth 
how deeply believers will be affecTed, when difappointed of the expected pre- 

2o8 < An Expojition Chap. 5, 

fence of Chrift, and that by their own guilt. The caufe or occafion of this 
failing of heart is in thefe words, when be/pake, which look to the time paft, 
tho' the effecl: was prefent: And they may be two ways nnderftood, i/r, As 
being a remembring how it was with her while he fpalce (for now he fpeaks 
not) fhe now obferves and calls to mind, that when he called and me fhifted, 
yet even then her heart was affe&ed with his word \ and this f mites her 
now, that me mould have fo long (mothered fo much kindnefs, and have 
brought all this upon her felf : It is like that of the difciples, Luke 24. 32. 
who, after Chrift was gone, fay one to another, Did not our hearts burn within 
My while he talked with us by the way y and opened up to us the fcriptures f Tho* 
before they little heeded it, yet afterward they obferve \ and when they re- 
colledz themfelves, it becomes more diftinft than it was in the time, idly, It 
may be looked on as being the prefent effecl: of the words formerly fpoken, 
which, altho' they did not fo fenlibly affett her when he fpoke them, yet ■ 
now being brought to her remembrance (as, John 14. 16.) they pierce her, 
that fhe mould have flighted and neglecled them \ as, Matth, 16 . when Peter 
is admonished, the word for the time affe&s not, but afterward, verfe 75. 
when he remembers it (as challenges bring back words formerly fpoken) he 
went out and wept bitterly , fo her refentment of what (he formerly flighted is 
now bitter. Obf. 1. The time of (Thrift's abfence is a time when bygone 
challenges, or challenges for bypaft offences, ufe to recur. 2. Often believ- 
ers, when brought through a fecure fit, will find fome ftirrings and effects of 
the grace of Chrift to have been in them, even then, which were not fo difc 
cernable to them while they were under their diftemper. 3. Chrift's word 
may have effe&s long after it is fpoken and heard , yea, a word long fince 
heard, may be an after-remembrance (being brought again to mind by the 
Spirit) John 14. 26. and have operation more than at firft : Or, altho' for a 
time it have had none at all, but may be as feed under the ground, till the 
Spirit blow on it to bring it above, yet afterward, by the Spirit's influence, it 
may have many bleffed effetts. 4. There is nothing that will affett a gra- 
cious foul more, than to mifs Chrift's prefence, when the difappointment hath 
been procured by its own fin : If it be but a withdrawing for a time, that will 
make the hearts of his own even to fail *, but O if it be eternal, by reafon of 
finners conftant flighting of him now in the offers of his grace, what defperate 
anguifh will it produce ! And there is none that flights Chrift's call now, and 
puts him away, but one time or other it^will be heavy to them, and coft them 
dear. 5. It is a kindly thing, when a believer miifes Chrift, and wants pre- 
fence, to be affi£ted with it -, and it is unkindly to difcern abfence, and not 
to be affe&ed. 6. Repentance where it is kindly, or right heart-forrow, will 
have its continuance and growth from one degree to another : This failing of 


Verfe 6. of the Song of Solomon. 209 

heart is a continued, but a further ftep of the moving of her bowels, verfe 4. 
7. Altho' intereft in Chrift be clear, and matters otherwife not in an evil cafe, 
yet want of Chrift's prefence for the time, and the remembrance of bygone 
guilt, will be a very fad exercife to the believer, and affecl: his heart very 

This is a fad pofture •, yet fhe gives not over., notwithstanding of this or 
any following difappointments, till fhe obtain the holy defign fhe drives : 
Where faith and love are exercifed together, for attaining Chrift, nothing 
will fear nor difcourage the foul in its purfuit of him. Her carriage follows in 
four fteps (whereby ihe endeavours to recover him) with the fuccefs that lhe 
found in each of them. ifl, She gives private diligence, idly, She applies 
her felf to publick ordinances, verfe 7. When that alfo fails, fhe, $dly, be- 
takes her felf to the exercife of mutual fellowfliip with the daughters of Je- 
rufalem, and feeks their help, verfe 8. and at lafl refts on the exercife of faith 
in him, chap. <5. 3. Her fecret painfulnefs, with the fruit thereof, is fet down, 
in two fteps, in the reft of this verfe. Firft, I fought him, that is, painfully 
ufed all means to meet with him, as one fearcheth earneftly for what he wants ; 
fothe word,' is taken, Prcv. 15. 14. It fhews her ferioufnefs as to the end, and 
alfo her holy folicitude in the manner of purfuing it : But (faith fhe) / found 
him not • he was now obtained, but fhe continueth ftill under the want of the 
fenfible manifeftations of his prefence* Again, the fecond is, / called him, that 
is, prayed to him \ but (faith fhe) he gave me no anjwer : that is, J had no fen- 
fible eafe, and return of prayer •, tho' the prayer was not altogether unheard : 
for, her continuing to feek afcer him, fhews, thatjfo was anfwered with flrengw 
in her- foul, Pfal. 138. 3. There was fuftaining-grace even then, tho' there 
were not the foul-fatisfying and comforting inlargements, or fenfible embrace^ 
ments of Chrift, and his warm-fpeaking of peace to her heart, which fhe aim- 
ed at ; and the greatnefs of her benfil after thefe makes her think that flie 
had received no anfwer at all. It is in fum, as if a wife, by fearching and run- 
ning to and fro, did feek her husband •, and when that fucceeds not, fhe calls 
him by his name : So did fhe leave no mean uneffayed, but did not obtain 
what fhe fought. Which fhews, 1. That God often bleffeth want of fenfe to 
a believer, to be a fpur to much diligence. 2. When defertions are moft fen- 
fible, then ought the believer to be moft diligent in the ufe of all means, 
efpecially of prayer, for an outgate. 3. There maybe much life in duty, 
even then when there is little fenfe and fatisfa&ion as to the event ', there is 
herefeehng and calling on him, tho' fhe found him not, and he gave her no 
anfwer. 4. It is a bleiled heart-forrow, that vents in diligence and prayer to 
God for his prefence. 5. The remembrance and refentment of our bygone 
wrongs to Chrift fhould not fo affecl: as to fear us from him, but fhould prefs 

E e 'us 

2 to An Expofition , Chap. 5. 

us to feek to be again in his company :, otherwife, if we fear at him, or bide 
away from him, becaufe of the fenfe of guilt, it will be the mending of one 
fault with another : It is ever bed reckoning our own guilt, when he is pre- 
sent. 6. Chrifl's prefence is the only cordial that can fatisfy a foul, fainting 
under the fenfe of the wrongs it hath done to Chrift} therefore, when her 
heart fails, fhe fits not down under it for eafe, but feeks and calls for himfelf, 
and his own prefence. 7. There may be much feeking and prayer, which 
may be fo indeed, and accepted of by God, and yet his comfortable prefence 
be kept up, and the particular fought-for fufpended. 8. Often the having of 
our eye in prayer upon one particular (fuppofe upon one comfort) may make 
lis conftru£t our prayers to have lefs of an anfwer than they have ', whileas 
indeed they are not fruitlefs, but may be anfwered in other things, which we 
do not obferve. 9. The Lord may deny comfort when it is fought, and yet 
fhew his grace in fuftaining his people, and quicknirtg them to follow him in 
their duty, when they in the mean time may take it for a fort of refufal, 
2 Cor. 12. 9, 10. It is ever good for believers to reflet on their duty, and on 
the fuccefs of it, whatever it be •, and that not in one ftep only, but in the 
whole tracl: of their way. 10. If we compare this with her former carnally 
eafy and fecure condition, verfe 2, 3. we fee, that fenfible defertion, when a 
believer is holily aftive under it, is no ill condition : Comparatively it is bet- 
ter with her now, when fhe is fwooning and fainting without Chrift, than 
when fhe did ly {till carelefly without him ; grace is working more actively 
now (as from verfe 4. is clear) and fne is nearer unto him, and hath mud* 
more folid ground of peace than fhe had at that time. 

Verfe 7. The watchmen that went about the city found me, they 
/mote me, they wounded me y the keepers of the walls too^ away 

my Vail from mt. 

When private means do not the bufinefs, the Bride betakes her to puhlick 
ordinances, and frequents them : And this 7th verfe fliews what me found in* 
the ufe of that mean, a fad difappointment alfo, which is feveral ways aggre- 
ged. Chrifl's prefence is eafily loft, but it is not eafily recovered ; this will 
eoft much pains, and the enduring of many perplexing difappointments : It is 
much more difficult to win to enjoy Chrift, than it is to lofe him •, lying on 
the bed in eafe may bring on that^ which much labour and watching will not 

That this verfe points at her going about the publick ordinances, the fcope 
makes clear, that being the next ordinary mean ufed for enquiring after an 
abfent Chrift, when private diligence hath had little fuccefs. The matter op 



Verfc 7. of the Soyig of Solomon. 21 1 

the words, as was cleared in chap. 3. 3. doth alfo evidence this : The Church 
is the city which hath wails (that is, the ordinances) for preventing her 
hurt, and promoving of her edification * 7 the watchmen are her minifters, ap- 
pointed and defigned to keep the walls, and to go about the city *, they are faid 
to go about the city, in refpecT of their care and folicitude to prevent inward 
difficulties and hazards •, and are called keepers of the walls, as they ftand to 
repel what from without may diflurb the Church's edification, and ecclefia- 
ftick peace : In a word, they are the fame by office, that thefe were, chap. 
3. 3. but their carriage to her is more unlike the relation they flood in \ which 
is fet forth in four fteps, all which are to be looked on as a fpecial piece of 
untendernefs in them, and of fuffering in her } which now the Lord in his 
wifdom permits her to meet with, that fo fhe may find how unwifely fhe had 
done to neglett Chrift's kind call, verfe 2. when as now other hands deal 
more roughly with her: The reafons hinted, chap. 3. 3. do confirm this 9 
befide, there being fo much fpoken of their wounding of her, either fhe or 
they mull be wrong : Now fhe is (for the main) in her duty, and under a 
fainting condition, feeking after Chrift - 7 and there is no warrant to wound 
a poor feeker of Chrift in fuch a condition, even where there have been for- 
mer failings, (2 Cor* 2. 7. the Apoftle will have the incefhious perfon in fuch 
a cafe tenderly dealt with, left he jhould he [wallowed up) but it is duty rather 
to bind up their wounds, and to pour oil into them, by fpeaking a word in 
• feafon to fuch weary fouls. This was, no doubt, their duty, and the Lord 
himfelf doth fo, If a. 50. 4. Neither could her former fecurity be a ground to 
reach her fuch blows now, efpecially her offence being betwixt Chrift and 
her their alones, andfo no obje£fc of publick reproof} and fhe, being a bur- 
den to her felf~> ought not to have been made more heavy by them : Befides, 
chap, 3. 4. the watchmen dealt more tenderly with her, when yet fhe had been 
in fecurity alfo. This dealing of theirs cannot be to fpeak a word in feafon 
to the weary foul of a tender perfon, whofe carriage is fo convincing, even 
to others, that verfe 9. they give her a high commendation, which is a clear 
teftimony againft the malignity of thefe watchmen ; they muft therefore be 
lookt on as untender, or unskilful, or both, who do thus mifappiy the word 
contrary to the end for which it is appointed, and as miferable comforters 
talk to the grief of fuch as he hath wounded. The firft fiep is, They found 
me : It is not the finding of a friend, as chap. 3.3. but (as the effects clear) 
the finding of an enemy, and is, as if a minifier mould digrefs of purpofe, to 
take in the cafe of fome poor tender foul, that he might reach it a blow, 
though befide his text : Thus, Ez,ek. 34. 21. The idol fhepherds (who, it 
may be*, had a true external call) are laid to thrufi with the fide and jhoulder, 
and pufh all the difeafes with the horns : And, verfe 4. to rule with force and. 

E e 2 cruelty : 

2t2 An Expofition Chap. 5. 

cruelty : And in Ezek. 13. 20. they are faid to hunt the fouls of God?s people ; 
apart of which cruelty and oppreflion, is verfe 22. in nuking the righteous 
fad : This is their findings a feeking occafion to load them with bitter in- 
ve&ives and reproaches. It is obfervable alfo, that here at the very firfl 
finding they hurt her, without fo much as fuffering her to tell her own cafe, 
as fhfc did to the watchmen, chap. 3. 3. fo that, without taking notice of her 
condition, they prefently fall upon her •, which faith, that, in their fmiting 
her, they did not refpecl: her cafe. 2. They [mote her, that is, more gently at 
6rfi \ however, they fuffer no occafion to flip, whereby they have any accefs 
to give a wipe to fuch heart-exercifed fouls, but it is laid hold upon ^ and 
what infirmity is in any of them, or inconfideratnefs in their zeal, that is 
caften up, and often fomewhat of lefs moment is much aggreged. The word 
takes in alio wronging with the tongue, Jer. 18. 18. Come^ let us [mite Jere- 
miah with the tongue : and it is like, by the words following in that verfe, 
the profane priefts had no little acceifeon to it. 3. They wound her : This 
is a further ftep, and imports fuch a fmiting as continues till the perfon be 
wounded, denoting a higher degree of cruelty, fuch as is the persecuting of 
thefe whom God hathfmitten, and talking to their grief \ Pfal. 69. 26. which will 
exceedingly wound a tender exercifed foul, who is foon affecied ^ and the 
Pfalm efpecially points at Judas, who, John 12.4, 5-, 6. was ready to con- 
demn the holy zeal of an honed foul, which our Lord vindicates, and leaves 
on record to her eternal commendation. 4. The laft ftep is, They took away- 
my vail from me : The word, that's rendred vail, comes from a root that 
iignifieth to fubdue ; it is that fame word which we have, Pfal. 144. 2. who 
fubdues the people , &c. It had a threefold nfe, (1.) For decorment, as If a. 3. 23-. 
(2.) For a fign ofmodefty, pleaded for by the apoftle, 1 Cor. n. 6. (3.) And 
mainly, for a fign of womens fubje£tion to their own husbands ; for which 
caufe Rebekah puts on her vail, when fhe meets Ifaac 9 Gen. 24. 65. And there- 
fore k is called power, as being the fign of the wife's being under the power 
of her husband^ 1 Cor. n. 10. Here, her vail is the tendernefs of her pro- 
fefHon, whereby, in a decent, modeft and humble way, fhe profeft her felf to 
hi a believer, feeking after Chrift Jefus, as one bearing the badge of fubje&i- 
on to him as her husband. The taking away the vail, is their wronging of 
that honed profeflion fhe had, and the giving of her out, not to be that 
which fhe profeft her felf to be, and fo not worthy of a vail , but that her 
profeffton was hypocrify, her painfliinefs and tendernefs, conceitednefs :, even 
2sjudaf 7 John 12. 5. nicknames that good work wrought upon Chrift by 
that honeft woman, calling ltwafiry : And by thefe, and fuch other means 3 
often tender fouls are affronted, and propofed as a reproach to the multi- 
tude j even as if a wife 3 that, is chaft a were denuded of her vail, and reputed 

Verfe 7. of the Song of Solomon. 21 3 

as a gadding harlot, while fhe is feeking her own husband : So, when the 
Lord threatens his people, that their lewdnefs fhould be made to appear, he 
ufeth this expreifion, Ez.ek. 23. 26, 27. They fhall/r*/? thee out oftky clothes, 
&c. that being a manifeft frame to a woman* thatfrould be covered, i Cor. 1 1. 
6. This is added, to* fliew that they pretend they have reafon for their fmi- 
ting : They difgrace her, and take away her vail, that they may not be 
thought to fmite holinefs or tendernefs, but a hypocrite under fuch a vail, or 
a whore more decently adorned than became her to be. 

This is the fum, When I prevailed not in private diligence, I frequented 
the publick ordinances *, but thefe, who were watchmen and healers by office, 
being untender (as if they had intended it) did by malice, or want of affection, 
or through unskilfulnefs and want of experience, fo apply the word, that they 
fewed pillows under the arm-holes of the profane, and made the righteous 
fad : Whereby I was not only nothing profited, but returned more weigh- 
ted and afhamed, and had no encouragement to feek any more of their help, 
as I had done, chap. 3. 3. but was neceiTitate to turn to others. Which 
fhews, that flie accounts them untender, and therefore fets it down here ay 
a piece of her fad trial - 7 whereas, had it been the wounding of a friend, it had 
been a fandnefs to her, Pfal. 141. 5. and would have engaged her to follow on 
for healing from thatfame hand, fo far would it have been from being the 
matter of her complaint, neither would it have been complained of by her. 

Thefe words afford many fuch do&rines-^ as, chap, 3. 3. As, 1. The vifible 
Church is a diftincl: incorporation by it felf, and all its members have right to 
its privileges, to wit, fuch whereof they are capable ; It is the City, and 
they are the Citizens , Eph. 2. 19. 2. It is a city that is not without fear and 
hazard, though it have walls 5 but it had need to be watched both within 
and without : Or, the vifible Church hath many enemies, fhe is in conftant 
war } hence therefore fhe is called the militant Church, and for this caufe 
fhe hath walls and watchmen. 3. The Lord hath provided her with fnfhci- 
ent means againfl all affaults. 4. A lawfully called miniftry, or watchmen 
peculiarly deiigned for that end, are the great mean Chrift hath appointed 
for preventing the hurt, and promoving the good and edification of his church, 
Eph. 2. 12, 13. They areas the fentinels, which he hath fet on the walls,. 
for giving advertifement and warning ^ and this well • becomes their office, 
Jfi\. 62.6. Ez-ek+%. and 33. chapters, and elfewhere. 5. Tender believers 
nit a great price upon publick ordinances, even when they feem to 
themfelves to come little fpeed in their private duties : Private diligence fur- 
thers publick, and publick furthers private ^ thefe two ought not to he,, 
neither will they be feparate in a tender perfon, but go together. 6. Tender 
believers may have weights added to their exercife^ and a load put above a 


214 An Expofition Chap. 5^ 

burden, even by thefe whofe ftations and relations call for much more fym- 
pathy and healing. 7. Publick ordinances may be fometimes unfruitful to be- 
lievers, even when they have great need, and are under great fenfe of need. 
8. When one that is tender gets no good nor eafe by publick ordinances, often 
there is an addition made to his burden thereby. 9/Untender, unskilful 
and unfaithful men may creep in, and be admitted to the miniftry, and to 
watching over the church, as Judas was. 10. When fuch are gifted, and (as to 
order) lawfully called, they are truly minifters, though not true minifters, 
and have authority for difcharging of all duties •, and duties difcharged, or 
ordinances difpenfed by them, according to Chrift's warrant, are valid, and 
the word from their mouth is to be received as from him : therefore they 
are called watchmen, which imports them to be really in office } which could 
not be, if the former affertions were not true. 1 1. Very often, tender believers, 
in their exercifes, fuffer much from fuch minifters : Or, an nntender minifter is 
often a great affliction to tender exercifed believers , yea, of all men,thefe prove 
moft fadly afflicting to them : no man wounds godlinefs more, or wounds and 
affronts the profeffion thereof more in them that are the mod real and tender 
profefTors, than a gifted untender minifter may do, and often doth ; tho' fome- 
times the Lord will make ufe of him for their pood, to humble them, yet 
more to provoke them to the ftudy of more ferioufnefs in fecret duties, and 
to more clofs and conftant waiting on the Lord himfelf. 12. Where enmity 
againft godlinefs once arifeth and vents it felf againft the godly, it often grows 
from one degree to another, as here •, men, efpecially minifters once engaged 
in it, are not eafily recovered and brought out of that evil, but are carried, 
yea, often hurried from one ftep to another : yet, fhe accounts them watch- 
men, as holding out the refpect flie bare to their office, even then. Whence 
obferve, 1 3. That it is a piece of fpiritual wifdom and tendernefs, to diftin- 
guifh carefully betwixt the office of the miniftry, or the ordinance it felf; and 
the faults and untendernefs of perfons, who may mifcarry in the exercife of 
that office * 9 and not to fall from the efteem of the ordinance becaufe of them, 
or of what faults may be in them, but even then to refpecl the ordinance, out 
of refpecl: to Chrift, and his inftitution and appointment. 14. Believers would 
obferve the fruit of publick ordinances, as well as of fecret diligence, as the 
Bride here doth. 

Verfe 8. I charge you, daughters o/Jcrufalem, if ye find my 

(BeloVed, that ye tell him that 1 am flcl^ of loVe. 

When this mean fails her, fhe gives not over, . but betakes her felf to the 
ufe of mutual fellowihip with the faints (which is the third ftep of her carri- 

Verfe 8. of the Song of Solomon. 215 

age) verfe 8.thatilie may have their help for recovering of Chrift's prefencc. 
She propounds her cafe to them, and prefTeth for their bearing burden with 
her , her cafe is in the laft words, / am fick of love: A ftrange difeafe, yet 
kindly to a believer. This ficknefs implies pain as of a woman in travail, whole 
fhowres are fharp, and pangs vehement till fhe bring forth : The fame word 
is ufed to this purpofe, II a. 26. 17. Like as a yeoman that draweth near her de- 
livery y is in pain, &c. And it imports, in this place, thefe two, 1. Vehement 
defire after Chrifl, from ardent love to hifity fo that fhe could not endure to want him. 
2. Much he art-aff ell ednefs following upon that ardent defire^ which (under her for- 
mer dif appointments) did beget fuch pain and faint ing, that it was afore ficknefs^ 
though not dangerous* This ficknefs differs from that fpoken of, chap. 2. 5. as 
the fcope fhews : That is like the pain procured by an overfet of the ftomach^ 
fo the fenfe of his love, being let out in a very great meafure, was like to ma- 
fter her :, not,, that fenfe of his love is fimply or in it felf burdenfom, but fhe 
is weak like an old bottle, or a qneafy and weak fiomach, that cannot bear 
much : But this is like the pain that proceeds from hunger, and a flrong ap- 
petite, when that which is longed for is not obtained, which augments the 
defire, and at laft breeds fainting and ficknefs. This fhews, i/r, That love to 
Chrift, where it is fincere, is a mofl fenfible thing. zdly, That the moe dif- 
appointments it meets with, in feeking after fenfible manifeftations of Chrift, 
it grows the more vehement. idly, That continued abfence, to a tender foul, 
will be exceeding heavy and painful *, hope deferred makes the heart fick, ef- 
pecially when the fweetnefs of Chrift's prefence hath been felt, and his ab- 
fence diftin&ly difcerned. qthly, That Chrift's prefence is the fouls health, 
and his abfence its ficknefs, have elfe what it will. %thly n That love to Chrift: 
will fometimes, efpecially after challenges and difappointments, fo over-pou r - 
er the foul, that it cannot, to its own fenfe at leaft, afl: under it, or fuftain it 
(it feems fo heavy a burden) as ficknefs will do to the body, if it get not an> 

The way fhe takes to obtain Chrift, after all other means fail her, is by mak- 
ing her application to the daughters oCJerufalem : Indeed it is Chriil, and not 
they, that can cure her : he is the only medicine for a fick foul j therefore, 
her defign is not to red in their company, but to make u(e of it for obtaining 
his company : For, the company, although it were even of angels,, will not 
be fatisfying to a foul that feeks Chrift 7 the belt fellow/hip- is empty without 
him, John 20. 12, 13. Why weepefl thou ? (fay the angels) Why ? (faith fhe) ; 
they have taken away my Lord._ In this confider^ r/r, The parties fhe betakes 
her felf to, the daughters of Jerufalem, fpoken of, chap. i # 5. profeffors not of 
the worft ftamp , yet (as after appears) under much ignorance ofChriflv an<$ 
ef fpiritaal exercife : This is the mean fhe goes now unto.. Where obferv^ 


i\6 An Expofition Chap. 5, 

(1.) Spiritual communion amongft profeffbrs or believers, is not only a duty, 
but a fpeciai mean, being rightly made ufe of, to further our fellowship with 
Chrift ( 2.) Believers, in their fad cafes, may, and ought freely to make ufe 
of this mean, by defiring others help} and for their own eafe and fiutherance 
in meeting with Chrift} by communicating their cafe to them, as fhe doth 
here. (3.) Even the ftrongeft believers (whom the Bride repreftnts) may 
be helped by thefe, that are much weaker than themfelves in gifts, grace and 
experience ^ as the daughters ofjenijalem are here : And fo Paul often re- 
quires of others, inferior to, and much fhort of him, the help of their pray- 
ers. Confider, xdly, Her defire to him, Tell him (faith fhe) / am pel of love- 
make my cafe known to him, and hold it up by prayer : She had been doing 
fo her felf, and had not come fpeed *, and therefore fhe puts them upon it, 
that they might help her to obtain an anfwer. Obferv. 1. That prayer for 
one another, is a duty of mutual fellowship, efpecially for thefe that are ex- 
ercifed : Others fliould be in that exercife with them, James 5. 17. 2. Believ- 
ers fometimes will not truft themfelves with the opening of their own cafe to 
Chrift, and will not be fatisfied with their own way, but will think others can 
do it much better. 3. Praying for our felves, and defiring of help from o- 
thers, mould go together *, Or, it will give moft clearnefs and peace to be- 
lievers, to defire the help of others, when they have been ferious in the ufe 
of all means by themfelves, as fhe had been. 4. It fays, That believers hold- 
ing up the cafe of another, will be very acceptable to Chrift. And, 5. That 
there is nothing we can tell Chrift, of our own or other folks cafe, that will 
be more pleafant to, and taking with him, than this, that we are they who are 
fie I of love to him : This is propounded, as that which may and will be mod 
acceptable to him •, Whatjlmllye tell him ? ( fo the words run ) thefe are the 
befl and moft acceptable news to him. 6. Such a cafe as love-ficknefs is a 
good motive, upon which to prefs for the help of others prayers, and that 
which may alfo give confidence to any, to bear fuch a meffage to Chrift. 
7. Believers, in their communion with others, would more infifl upon their 
own cafes, than on the faults of minifters, or mifcarriages of others: Although 
fhe was formerly fmitten by the watchmen, yet this is the great thing fhe 
propounds to them. Confider, $dly y A qualification, put in her fuit to the 
daughters of Jerufalem, If ye find him : That is, if ye get accefs, which now* 
ftie thinks her felf excluded from. And it imports, 1. That there is a pecu- 
liar finding of, and accefs unto Chrift, atone time beyond another. 2. That 
a weak believer may fometimes have much more accefs to Chrift, and fenfible 
communion with him, than others of greater parts and experience : Shefup- 
pones that they might find, while fhe did not. 3. That when any gets accefs 
for themfelves, then efpecially, they fhould remember others, and improve 


Verfe 9. of the Song of Solomon. 2*7 

their court with Chrift, for their good who may be in bondsj and under fad 
exercife : Then (faith flie ) when ye get accefs, remember my cafe : She 
would ihare of the fruit of their mofl warm enjoyments. 4 . She doth not re- 
fentnor envy this, or become jealous of it, but humbly liibmits to be helped 
by them-, Chrift will have every one ufeful to another, and the ftrongeft 
ihould not difdain to be in the common of the weakeft. 

The hit thing is the manner of her propofmg of it, f charge or adjure you 
(faith fhe) which hath the force of an oath propofed to others, as if fhe had 
iworn them that they fhould do it : The fame charge or adjuration is fetdown, 
chap. 2. 7. and 3. 4. She puts them to it, as they will be anfwerable. Which 
fliews, i.Greatferioufnefsinher •, the matter of chriftian-fellowfhip, and 
our defiring of the help of others prayers, is no matter of compliment, but 
Ihould in earneft be fought for. 2. She deiires ferioufnefs in them, in their 
difcharge of this duty ; In our praying for others, confcience would be mad£ 
of it, as ferioufly as for our felves, and we would beware of fuperficialnefs and 
overlinefs in it. 3. Our expreifions in our fellowfhip, dpecially concerning 
the mofl ferious purpofes, would be fuitably ferious : A light manner offpeak- 
ing, in ferious things, often fpills the beauty of them, marrs edification, and 
diminiflieth from the weight of the matters themfelves. 

Daughters of Jerufalem. 
Verfe 9. What is thy Beloved more than another heloVed, Othou 
fairefi among women f what is thy Beloved more than another 
beloved, that thou d$fi Jo charge us? 

In this 9. verfe, is the third part of the chapter, where the daughters of ,Je~ 
rufalem are brought in fpeaking -, where we may fee whatefTecl: the Bride's fe- 
rious charge had upon them : It fome way furprifeth and aftonifheth them, 
to fee a perfon, convincingly approveable in her carriage, ib taken up with 
that which the mofl: part of the world flights ; this makes them think, that 
he, whom fhe asketh for, muft be a perfon beyond ordinary, and in this they 
conclude right. There. is much infirmity in this queftion (as often many pro- 
feffors are upon the matter really ignorant of Chrift's worth) yet fbme ho- 
neft like things at leafl arein.it. . There is, Ftrfi, Refpefl: to her as a beau- 
tiful and goodly perfon, even when fhe was thought little of by the watchmen. 
Secondly , Docilenefs, and a. defire to know. Thirdly , Some fufpicion of their 
own knowledge of Chrift. And, Fourthly, Ingenuity in feeking help. All 
which are good fymptoms in beginners ; and we will fee that the queftion end- 
ed well with them, chap, 6. i. and it is like, wasawaknedin them by her 

F f fericus 

z\ 8 Jn Expofition Chap. 5. 

feniaus carriage. ?he return t&ey jpajke to her chfirgej hath in it, ft. The 
title they^iv/e^er. 2. The queftion they prppqiWo her. 3, The rifeof k, 
or that which fives them occafion to ask, andtyfcjcfe puts them to it. The 
title is excellent, thou fairefr among women : It was given to the Bride by 
Ch*ift himfelf, chap, 1.8. it implies, (1.) A fpiritual beauty in her who now 
was thought little of by the watchmen, and had her own croiTes in the world, 
yet ^ven in this cafe lovely in her (elf, and lovely to thefe daughters. Obf. ift> 
That believers fliould be eminently convincing, and commendable in their car- 
riage even before others y they fhould befairejl among them, and lor fpirkual 
tveauty confpicuous, as lights mining in a dark place. idly, Grace, when feri- 
oufty in exercife, is that which makes any perfon (though outwardly mean 
and contemptible) truly beautiful and lovely •, it makes them fo really, and 
alfo in the eyes of all fpiritual beholders. $dly 9 Sometimes God will make ho- 
nefl feekers of him the more jlovely to others, when corrupt minifters feek 
moft to defame them : the watchmens wounding her, marrri not the daugh- 
ters eftimation of her *, and this mews, that they did finite her witbaut rea* 
fon. Again, (2.) It implies refpe&ivenefs on their part, and alfo honetfy ^ 
for, there is now no external thing to commend her to them : Which faith, 
1. That to the fpiritual eye of honell fouls, none will be fo foeauti&las the 
perfon that is holy •, yea, fometimes holinefs will have a commendation in the 
confeiences even of them th# are Grangers to it. 2. Often holinefs may be 
more efteemed o£ and holy perfons more reflectively dealt with, by men of 
little either knowledge or profeffion, than by thefe who may be moch more 
knowing, and whofe flation and place calls them to be more tender. The 
Bride, here, is like the wounded perfon, Luke 10. 31, &c. whom the Samaritan 
fuccoured, when both the Pn>/ and tjie Lerite had paffed by him. 3. Where 
grace ihines, it woul<J he highly ,efteeme4 of and refpe&ed ', and iuch &s fire 
but babes in Chrift, ought much to reverence thefe that are of older land- 
ing. 4. Tender fouls, when under exercife, if we can do no more to eafe, 
them, would be refpegiyely fpokeji unto at le*ft. Thefe daughters do not 
T/ound the Bride, as the watchmen did, but fpe^k 4ifcreetly and refpeftiyely 
to her, although they can further her little. L The right ufe ef freedom, 
and ferioufnefs with humility in mutual fellowship, is a great help to enter* 
tain mutual refpefib arnongft profeffors ; when the weak fee the ftrong ones not 
puft up, but condefcending to take their help, it will conciliate love and re- 
fpeft : Thus the Daughters meet the Bride here with refpeftive carriage* 
6. Refpe&ive expreflions of one prof&Jbr fo another, with gravity and feri- 
oufnefs, becomes chriflian-fellowfhip well \ and is a great furtherance of edi- 
fication and mutual confidence : So w$ fe$ h*f£» ^4 fh*f» 6. 1. as aJfo ip th? 
Bride's expreifjons preceedjng. t , 

Secondty^ The 

Verfe 9. of the Song of Solomon. 2 1 9 

Secondly, The <queffion propounded by them, is t What is thy ietcved ? as 
fcarce knowing him, or acquainted with him themfelVes : It is not fpokeh out 
ofdifdain, but out of defire to know, being convinced, that there behoved to 
be fome excellency in him, beyond others, as the following effects clear. The 
quedion is propofed by way of companion, and doubled, What is thy Beloved 
more than another beloved ? or, the beloved of another t 6y beloved^ all alongfV, 
is underdood that which the foul loves and cleaves unto • therefore Chrid is 
fometimes defignedby the one name, the foul* s love *, and fbmetimes by the tf- 
ther, the Beloved •, as we may fee, by comparing chap. 3. i y 2, 3. with "chap. 

2. 16, 17. becaufe he eminently, and above competition,had the Bride's heart 
By other beloveds, are underdood thefe things that men of the world fet their 
love and affections upon, and which bears mod fway with them, as chat which 
in a Angular manner their foul loveth *, the fame that ordinarily are' called Idols, 
becaufe they are put in God's room. There is the fame reafon here,, why 
they are called other beloveds, and firange lovers elfewhere : Such are the belly, 
Phil. 3. 19. the world, 1 John 2. 15, 16. Love nor the world, nor the things 
of it, &C. the luft of the eye, the luft oftheflejh, the pride of life : So, it is as if 
they had faid, There are many things which the' men of the world feekafter: 
it is none of all thefe that -this Bride is enquiring for ^ me reds not fatisfied 
with thefe, nor valueth them : he muft then be fome excellent perfon, a lin- 
gular and non-fiich Beloved, that fhe is fo ferious in the enquiry after •, and 
therefore they defire to know from her felf what he is. Thequedion is doub- 
led, as being the refult of a ferious defire to know, and of high admiration, 
what he might be, who was thus enquired for. 

Thirdly, The words added, fhew what is the rife of her queftion and won- 
dring, to wit, thefe, That thou dofl fo charge m : Every word hath weight ; 
it is thou, the fairefl among women, who certainly can make the bed 
choice. 2. Thou art not only in earned thy felf, but charge ft us alfo. And, 

3. Not only thou charged: us, but fo vehemently, preifingly and weightily -, 
This, fure, mud be fome excellent Beloved, This queftion carriethmit, not 
fo much aa enquiry who is the believer's choice, as their defire to know what 
Chrift was indeed, in refpecl: of his real worth, whole name only (or little 
more) they knew before : Therefore, they fay not, who is, but rvhat is thy 
Beloved? as knowing his name, but being much ignorant of his worth. Again, 
it luppofeth fuch a quedion to be moved by thefe profeffors, upon occafion of 
her exemplary carriage : And indeed, it cannot be told, what thoughts, feri- 
ous challenges, and exercifing quedions, the convincing carriage of believers 
will have amongd ' thofe .with whom they chriftianly converfe \ and fo it 
fhews, that this ferionfnefs in one, may put others to it, to queftion what the 

rii matter 

2X0 An Expofition ~ChI^T- 

matter may be, and through God's bleffing may commend Chrift to them in 
the end, which is the fcope. 

Obf. i. There may be fome refpecl: to godly perfons, where there is much 
ignorance of Chrift himfelf. 2. Where there is efteem of godlinefs and of 
thefe who ftudy it, there is fome begun inquiry for Chrift himfelf, and it 
leads on to further, although the beginnings be weak. 3. True tendernefs 
in beginners appears in nothing fooner, than in refpecl: to thefe who were in 
Chrift before them : They are now but a-beginning, yet it fliews it felf in the 
refpecl: they carry to the Bride. 4. It is no fhame for thefe that are unac- 
quainted with Chrift, to enquire for him at flichas know him. 5. What 
Chrift is, and the neceiEty of praying for others, is a fuitable fubjeft of dif- 
courfe in Chriftian-fellowfhip :, What is Chrift ? fay they to her :, and pray 
forme, faith fhe to them. 6. Chrift's name may be known to many, to 
whom his worth is unknown, or but little known, and who are not acquaint- 
ed with what he is. 7. AH men naturally have fome luff, idol, or beloved, 
that their affection is fet upon, befide Chrift - 7 it is fome other thing from 
which he is diftinguifhed, and to which he is oppofed. 8. Men lay out their 
affeftions liberally upon their idols, and upon thefe things that their heart 
cleaves unto befide Chrift : they are beloveds^ and oppofed to Chrift, as being 
that to the men of the world, that Chrift is to his own ; they are as Gods 
and Chrifts to them, they run fo mad upon their idols, and are fo joined, to 
them, Hof.^. i% men naturally have an high efteem of their idols, as placing 
fbme worth in them which is not, and they have a low efteem of Chrift, and 
prefer their idols to him. 9. This miftake is a great caufe of Chrift's being 
flighted in the world, that they think other beloveds as good as he, and other 
Jifes as good as the life of holinefs •, therefore they go to the farm, plough, 
market , and make light of Chrift % Matth. 22. 4, 10. The queftioning of this 
grand principle «f corrupt nature, that Chrift is no better than other be- 
lveds, or the inquiring whether he be indeed better than thefe, is one of 
the firft rifes of a foul's making forward to inquire for him. 1 1 . The grow- 
ing of the efteem of Chrift in a foul, and the decay of the efteem of all idols, 
(formerly beloveds) go together*, as the one ftands, the other falls •> as the 
one grows, the other decays. 12. The right up-taking of Chrift's worth, is 
the great thing that commends Chrift to a foul ( therefore the Bride de- 
fcribes him afterward) and the thorow conviction of the vanity of all other 
things loofeth the grips of our affections from them, and makes way for fet- 
ting up Chrift more. 'high. 13. The convincing-carriage of a believer may 
ftir and and raife an exercife in thefe that formerly were fecure : And God 
can make the words of a private humble Chriftian, the rife of a ferious in- 
quiry after Chrift in another , thus her ferious charging of them doth fo 


Verfe 10. of the Song of Solomon. 22 i- 

frck to them, as if that word, I charge you 7 had pierced them. 14. Kothing 
more adorns the Gofpel, and commends Chrift, and makes him lovely to 
others, than the convincing, ferious carriage of believers. 15. Thefe who 
are not acquaint with Chrift's worth, or the exercife of believers, are ready 
to wonder what moves them, and puts them to make fuch a ftir about Chrift, 
more than others that live fatisfied and contented without him. 


Verfe I o. My BeloVed is white and ruddy, the chiefeft among 

ten thoufand. 
From verfe 10. to the end (which contains the fourth part of the chapter) 
the Bride fpeaks: and (in anfwer to the daughters of Jerufalem their quefli- 
on ) in a fweet, pithy, taking-manner commends her Beloved. She is not 
long in returning anfwer to their queftion, as being fully clear and ready to 
demonftrate Chrift her Beloved his worth above all •, and as impatient that 
any other mould be put in competition with him (efpecially by the daughters 
of Jerufalenty whofe edification fhe ftudies by this to promove) inftantly fhe 
fteps in with a large commendation of Chrift, (though in few wordsj where- 
by fhe doth Co demonftrate him to be an Objett infinitely worthy to be her 
foul's Beloved beyond, all others, that, chap. 6, 1. they as convinced yields 
acknowledging that her Beloved was preferable to all other beloveds, and. 
that therefore they are ingaged to love and feek him with her. 

In this commendation, me, (1.) Afferts Chrift's preferablenefs in the ge- 
neral, verfe 10. (-2.) She confirms and illuftrates it in particlulars, to verfe i6 
And then, (3.) verfe 16. fums it up in an univerfai expreffion, as being in its 
particulars inexpreilible. Laftty, Having fully proved her affertion, fhe re- 
fumes the conclufion as unanfwerable, This (faith fhe) is my Beloved : A lin- 
gular Beloved indeed ; and therefore it is no wonder that I am Co ferious hi 
purfuing after him, and fo fick of love to him, and fb much pained at the very 
heart for the want of him. 

The firft general in this 10. verfe fets out Chrifi pofitively, and compara- 
tively : Do you ask (faith fhe) what my Beloved is ? He is a non-fuch, . an 
incomparable Beloved, he. is white and ruddy \ O fo lovely as he is in himfelf!' 
and being compared with all others, he hath the pre-eminence by- far, as be- 
ing the chiefeft among ten thoufands. By white and ruddy^ we are to conceive 
Chrift's qualifications, according to the ftrain of the allegory, there being no' 
bodily qualification fet out here, Chrift at that time not being incarnate, ; yec 
even then was ; he white and ruddy : The due and juft mixture of thefe colours 
maietb: a man lovely, and evidenceth a good complexion of body -, fo by them < 


IZX An Expofition Chap. 5. 

in Chrift is understood a concurrence of all fit qualifications and excellencies^ 
that may make him lovely to the foul, when by faith looked upon, and taken 
up : there is fweet beauty and comelinefs, or a comely, beautiful fweetnefs* 
that lulters and fhines in him, through the excellent qualifications wherewith 
he is furniflied, as the Husband, of his Church, that ravifheth JpirittTal affecti- 
ons far beyond the greatefi beauty that can be in the faireft face 5 for indeed 
he is fairer than the fons of men : There is nothing that may make a Media- 
tor lovely, but it is here. Again, as if that did not fully fet out his amiable- 
nefs, fhe adds, He is the chic -f "eft among ten thouftand : This is a definite great 
number for an indefinite. In fum it is this, Tljere are many beloveds indeed in 
the world., but compare them all with Chrift, they are nothing %o nivr ', without all 
controversy he is the chief eft. \ Cqk 8* 5, 6. For, though Srtre be gods many, and 
lords many (to the world) yet to hs there is hut one GacL, and one. Lord Jefin - in 
all the world there is but one Chrift. The wocd ufed here is, He is the 
ftandard-bearer, or it may be rendred paiftvely, He is ftandarded above ten 
thoufand \ all tending to the fame fcope : Love kythes its rhetorick in feek- 
ing words to prefer Chrift, as having indignation that his precedency and pre- 
eminence (who is above all things, CoL 1. 17.J fhould fo much as once be que- 
stioned. It is like, that in thefe times the moft comely perfons were cliofen 
to carry theftandard, a piece of dignity being thereby put upon them : So 
then, if all the moft choice, comely, and excellent perfons in the world were 
muttered together, Chrift would be preferred eminently and defervedly above 
them all. Whence, obferve, 1. That Chrift is the moft lovely and excellent 
Object that men can fet their eyes on, that they can'caft their love and affe- 
ction upon : There is not fuch an one as Chrift, either for the fpiritual foul- 
ravixhing beauty that is in him, or the excellent defirable ene£l:s that flow 
from him. O what a fingular defcription is it which follows, if it were un- 
derftood ! 2. Chrift is the moft Angularly excellent Husband that ever was 
clofedwith; under that relation he is commended here, as fingularly lovely 
and loving : It is a moil honourable, comfortable, happy, and every way fa- 
tisfying match, to have him for a Husband. 3. ChrifPs worth in itfelfis not 
expreilible *, and whatever he can. be compared with, he doth exceedingly fur- 
pafs it. 4.Where right thoughts of Chrift are,there is nothing admitted to com- 
pete with him :, other excellencies and beloveds are in their greatefl beauty 
darkned befide him *, he is fet up as chief, and they are not to be taken notice 
of beiide him, but to be accounted lofts and dung. 5. Chrifi's abfence,when belie- 
1 vers are right, will never leiTen their elteem of him; but even then believers 
will be warm and frefh in their love to him, and high in their efieem of him. 
6. Neither will the great miftakes of others fhake believers that have a 
thorow efteern of Chrifi's worth, but will rather with holy zeal awake them 


Verfc t o. of the Song of Solomon. izy 

to commend him the more, 7. As where there is true love to Chrift, there 
Chrift will be lovely \ fo when he is looked on as lovely, that makes the 
heart to flow and abound with holy rhetorick in commendations of him. 8. 
True love to Chrift, and to others for his fake, will not fuffer one to defpife 
the weaknefs of another, but make them rather take occafion from it, to ho- 
nour him, and edify them fo much the more \ as the Bride doth here in answer- 
ing -the queftion propofed. 9. The more nearly and fully any thing be com- 
pared with Chrirt, tho' it be otherwife lovely, yet then it will be feen to be 
nothing, he fo infinitely excels all things he can be compared with } and it is 
ignorance of him that makes other things get fuch a place in mens affections : 
but, when once they are let fbr-gainft him, he is found preferable, as incompa- 
rably chief, for dignity, riches, and fatisfaclion, or whatfoever is delightfom, 
desirable and truly excellent, verfe n y 12, 13, &c. 

She paffeth from the general, to demonftrate it in particulars, and 
therein fhe infills in the following verfes. If it fhould be asked, Why ihe de- 
fcends into particulars, efpecially now, confideriug her deferted cafe ? I 
anfwer, for thefe good reafons, i/r, That ihe might the more fully demonftrate, 
and the more fatisfyingly unfold ChrifVs worth : For, his worth cannot be 
foon nor eafily told, nor conceived, nor foon believed by others j it needs to 
be demonftrated, amplified and infifted upon \ yet, his worth can bide 
the trial : There is no truth may more fully and dem onftrati vely be made 
out than this, that Chrift is a moft excellent object of love, and infinitely 
preferable to all others. 2dly 9 This is for the edifying of the daughters of 3>- 
rufaiem ; and in reference to their queftion, that they might be the more 
convinced and fatisfied anent the incprnparable worth, and matchlefs excellen- 
cy of her Beloved, ihe brancheth it: forth, and infifts upon it, that fo a deeper 
impreifion of it might be left upon their hearts. Obf. 1. There is nothing 
more ufefiil for the gaining and edifying of others, than to help them to the 
■right uptaking of Chrift's worth. 2. That is a great part of the work, that 
fllOtrd take upChriftians in their fellowship together,to be (pending their mutual 
conferences on that fubjeel, for one anothers inftru&ion. 3. To edify another* 
is no diverfion from purfuing after him, to fouls that love Chrift, and would 
be helped by others to meet with him : this is well confident with their pur- 
suing after fenfible prefence for her felf, to itay a while inftrufting them- A 
third reafon of her infilling, is, that it is fuitable unto, and agrees well with 
her own fad condition \ when he is away, ihe loves to think and fpeak of him* 
and of his lovelinefs, and that gives her fome eafe. ObJ. Where love to Chrift 
is, there will be a delight in fpeakingof him, and fetting out his commenda- 
dation, even when he is abfent } it is a kind of eafe to tell over his qualifier 
tionj when he is abfent. 2. It is a good diverfion under a deferted co&dS_ 

224 4n Expofition Chap, 5. 

tion, and a fuitable.way to an outgate, to be dwelling rather upon the excel 
lency of Chrift, than on the comfortlefs aggravations of our own fad condi- 
tion *, this is more honourable to Chrift, more edifying to others, and more 
pleafant to our felves : O, it is fweet to think of him ! It is more ufeful 
alfo for confirming of our faith in him, for warming our affe&ions to him, 
and for keeping the mind flayed in dependence on him for the outgate : E- 
very attribute, or property of his, is a cordial to a foul fainting under a de- 
feated cafe. 4, Her infilling on this fubjecl:, fhews the nature of true love to 
Chrift, that a foul affecled with it, being once entred to fpeakof this theme 
or fiibjett (namely the excellency of Chrift) it expatiates in it, and is not foon 
withdrawn from it : This (to fay fo) is the very native element of it } and it 
doth the heart good to enumerate, and tell over diftin&ly, the commendable 
qualifications and excellencies of Chrift : all which (being his own) are un- 
peakably delight fom and refreshing to reckon. If there were any good mea- 
sure of love to Chrift in mens hearts, they would not be eafily withdrawn 
from meditating on him, nor from (peaking of him } and the great haunt 
that other things have in our heart, and the rarity of any expreilion that 
tends to ChrifVs commendation, fhews plainly, that there are (alas !) other 
beloveds abounding with us befide him. 

In opening of the following particulars, we would confider, 1. The fcope, 
which is to demonftrate, that Chrift Jefus is altogether lovely and defirable, 
beyond all other things that the hearts of men are let upon : The queftion 
propofed, verfe 9. and the clofmg anfwer to k 9 verfe itf. makes this clear. This 
then being the fcope, thefe particulars muft be fo taken up, as they beft con- 
tribute to clear this fcope, and fo muft neceffarily imply the excellencies that 
are in Jefus Chrift, the Mediator himfelf being as the body, and the feveral 
qualifications, properties and excellencies wherewith he is furnilhed, being 
as the feveral members, and parts of that body. Now, feeing Jefus Chrift 
is fo excellent himfelf, and thefe being inftanced as the choice excellencies 
that are in him, they muft needs be exceeding and palling excellent, as the 
aggreging and heightning of every commendation doth fhew : There will 
be need therefore of much fobriety, holy admiration and reverence in the 
opening of them, left we fpill fo excellent a fubjecl: as is the tranfcendent ex- 
cellency of our Lord Jefus Chrift. 2. That the Spirit intends, by thefe parts, 
diftincl: confiderations of Chrift's lovelinefs in fb many diftinft particulars 
feems alfo to be without all queftion j for, the particular enumeration is 
brought in to demonftrate this general, that he is the chiefeft among ten 
thoufand, which is done (as it were) by an induction of fo many commend- 
able things that are in him. Befide, in other fcriptures, and efpecially, 'Rev. 
u 1 3} 14. where our Lord is thus eonfidered, and alfo in the fecbnd and 


Verfe 1 1 . of the Song of Solomon. 215 

third chapter of that book of the Revelation, particular refpett is had to the 
forefaid defcription, and thefe parts are there (being equivalent to them 
that are here mentioned) expounded of divers attributes and properties of 
his, and not unlike in many things to the defcription following, as the par- 
ticulars will clear. Confider, 3. That it is both difficult and dangerous to 
be peremptory in the application of thefe particulars to the objeft defcribed -, 
it being fo exceeding glorious, and the Spirit's expreihons fo very compre- 
henfive, we dare not fo limit the words to one thing, as if they were exdufive 
of another *, nor fay, this is meant and no other thing, altho' fuch and fuch 
things, as have aneceffary connexion with the fcope to confirm it, may war- 
rantably be included, and for inftances pitched upon, efpecially, when from 
the analogy that is in the expreffions which are borrowed, and from other 
fcriptures, we have fome ground to fix upon : but to be fure, the words would 
be io taken up, as they beft afford the moft folid general dottrines, which are 
fometimes (becaufe of our darknefs, and to prevent our curiofity) to be refted 
in ; for, whatever be meant, it is Chrift, and he by thefe commendations 
is fet forth as much excellent : That all thefe are to defer ibe a divine perfon, 
and no humane body, we conceive fo clear, that it needs no advertisement, 
4. All thefe parts hold him forth, not only as excellent in himfelf, but as love- 
ly to his people -, and as making up their privilege and happinefs in having an 
intereft in him to be theirs : and therefore, as this is the fcope, fo it is to be 
applied as fetting out his excellency, and the bleffednefs of all that have him 
for theirs •, as, on the contrary, to cry down all beloveds of the world, of 
whom thefe things cannot be faid, for they are Angularly peculiar to him. 

Verfe 11. His bead is as the moft fine gold, bis locks arc 

bufty, and blacky as a raVen. 

There are ten parts mentioned, that are brought in as proofs of Chrift' s 
fingular excellency, each of them almoft having a double commendation : 
two of them are in the 1 1 . verfe. The fir ft is, his head, the moft eminent 
part of the body, that furnifheth influence and direction to all the reft : It 
may fignify (if we dare adventure) thefe three in Chrift, 1. His Godhead, 
which is the moft eminent nature of Chrift's perfon, fuftaining the other, and 
furniming it for its office. Thus, 1 Cor. 11. 3. As the head of the woman is the 
man,m refpeft of his dignity -, fo the head of Chrift is God, as the Godhead 
dwells in him bodily, Col. 2. 9. by a wonderful and unfpeakable perfbnal 
union, the like whereof is not to be found in any other. 2. It may hold out 
Chrift's headihip, or fovereiguty, which he hath as Mediator, being made 

G g head 

ii6 An Expofoion Chap. 5. 

head of the body, the church, and overall things for the church, £ph. i. 12. 
and his inftalment into this office, is the rife of all the other commendations 
that follow, which are as parts thereof : Thus Nebuchadnezzar's fovereign- 
ty, as being a king of kings, is fet out by a head of gold, Dan. 2. 32, 38. 
3, It may iignify the qualifications, wherewith he, as head to the body, 
is furnifhed for its behoof and good ; fo he is an excellent head for contri- 
ving of what is for the good of the body, and for furnifhing life and motion 
to all his members \ thus, £/>/?. 4. 16. he is the head, from whom the whole 
body y being fitly compacted together, doth make increafe of it f elf in love : And to 
this purpofe, a man of great reach, and profound wit, ufeth to be called a 
great head. All thefe agree with the fcope, being inftances of Chrift 's excel- 
lencies, and alfo with the commendation following *, yet, the firft feems moft 
agreeable to the analogy of head and members : and it is not unlike that 
Chrift's Godhead is begun at in his commendation •, furely it cannot be ex- 
cluded, feeing, in Rev. 1. 14. by his head (as there defcribed) is fet forth 
his eternity, the fame nature may well be here underftood, tho' Chrift be o- 
therwife reprefented in the colour of his locks •, becaufe, here he is defcribed 
as a lovely Bridegroom, there as coming to judge ; as alfo in Dan. 7. but 
it muft be fome excellent thing that is meant, as the commendation annexed 
clears. His head is, as the moft fine gold: In the original, there are two 
words indifferently made ufe of, to fignify gold ; the firft, becaufe of its 
ihining brightnefs and beauty -, the fecond is applied to it, becaufe of 
its folidity and firmnefs : fo it runs, his head is gold of gold , or gold and 
gold, or fine fhining and folid gold i as if gold were n#t enough to fet out the 
excellency of this head. Gold is rich in the quality, folid and ftrong as to 
the efficacy, (as in chap. 3. 10.) fovereign as to ufefulnefs and profitablenefs y 
it is above other mettals, and fo in the heavenly Jerufalem, the (Ircets are 
faid to be offuregold. Rev. 21.21. Therefore that dominion of Nebuchadnez- 
zar's, fpoken of Dan, 2* 32. is compared to &head ofgold x for its excellency 
above the reft that followed,and efpecially for the fhelter that the Church of 
God had under it : And this being gold of gold, muft hold forth fuch fove- 
reignty, riches of grace, folidity and happinefs, as is unfearchable \ gold 
cannot reach it, no, not gold raifed to the higheft worth conceivable. 

This nrft particular may put us to a ftand, when (as it were) the Bride is 
at a Hand in the commendation, and muft double the word, as gold , gold ; and 
its hard to draw obfervations from it, yet warrantably this may be faid, 1. 
Chrift hath a head (however we take it) that is exceedingly excellent -, he is 
God,and in that refpeft is unfearchable, being the brightnefs of the Father's glory , 
and the exprefs image of his perfon yHebi 1.3. He, as Mediator* is fornifhed 
With fovere-ignty and eminent graces for the good of the body •, and thefe r . 

Verfe if. of the Song of Solomon. 217 

as they are for their nature moft folid and excellent, fo as to their vertue 
they are moft efficacious and quickning. 2. If we take it in general, Obf. 
That the excellencies, wherewith Chrift is furnifhed, are in the higheft de- 
gree of excellency -, therefore it is gold ofgold, whatever it be : and this ge- 
neral will necefTariiy infer the former, that he is God and Mediator, and in 
fuch and fuch offices furnifhed for the good of his people *, and the former 
do&rine is the proof of this : all Ch rift's properties, wifdom, love, counfei, 
&c % are of more than an ordinary depth, being in him to the very uttermost, 
Heb. 7. 25. and without meafv.re, John 3. 34. 3. Chrift's excellency is not 
only lovely in it felf, but ufeful to others ; he is not only rich in himfelf, but 
enriching thefe that poffefs him, as gold doth enrich the owners of it : Chrift 
is a golden poflefiion, where there is a well-grounded claim to him. 4* Gold, 
and all external riches, are empty things to a fpiritual difcerner of Chrift's 
worth*, as it were, a new fort ofgold muft be invented, or imagined, to 
fhadow forth the excellencies of Chrift : gold it felf is but an inefficient and 
dark fhadow to reprefent him •, whoever loves gold, may have(and that freely) 
the moft fine and choice gold in him. Yea, 5. This is peculiar to him, in 
oppofition to all other beloveds : mens idols and other beloveds may be gilded > 
like the whore's cap, fpoken of, Rev. 17. 4. but Chrift only is the golden Be- 
loved j for, this is fo attributed to him, as it is denied to them, which are 
but clay, or thick clay beloveds, Hab* 2. <5. 

The fecond thing commended is his locks, which are no efTential part of the 
body, yet are (when lovely) a fpecial decorment, and ever have been fo e- 
fteemed : The fignification of locks (being joined to the head) will be fo much 
the more clear, if we confider the commendation given them, which is three- 
fold, 1 . They are bujhy, or curled •, not fuch as old men have, hairs here and 
there, but his are bufhy, thick and handfom, fuch as young men in the flow- 
er and vigour of their youth life to have. 2. They are black : And that, 3. As 
a raven : Black hair in thefe times and places was comely in men, and beto- 
kens ftrength of youth, and vigour of age. Therefore, the fame word, which 
is here blacknefs, fignifieth youth alfo in the Hebrew, zs,Ecclef. 1 1. 10. child- 
hood '<m<\youth y &c. So, black hair, here, is oppofed to white hairs, whereby 
decay is fignified, (as Hofea 7. 9. by gray hairs on Ephraim, is understood) and 
thus all other idols get a dafh, as if they were gray hair'd, decaying belo- 
veds *, but Chrift is always in youth and vigour, he continues always vigorous, 
as his love is alway green. They are compared to the blacknefs of a rave??,. 
becaufe that is native black, and lovely beyond other things that are black. 
As by Chrift's head then was fignified that which is in Chrift ( to fpeak fo ) 
moft intrinfically excellent ♦, fo here, by locks, we underftand the moft extrin- 
fick thing that is in him (if we may fay any thing of Chrift is fo) that is, if any 

G g 2 thing 

228 An Expo/ition Chap. 5. 

thing feem lefs neceffary than another, yet is it in it felf excellent, andferves 
to commend Chrift to others. And again, by bufhinefs. and blacknefs, we un- 
derftand the vigour and perfection oi Chrift's lovely and defirable excellencies, 
that as lovelinefs and defirablenefs are in a man, when in his youth, at their 
height and perfe&ion, fo are they in Chrift, with all commendable aggravati- 
ons, as in their very prime and vigour. Gold did fet forth the intrinfick worth 
of Chrift's qualifications •, this aggreges it fo, that it lifts up that worth to the 
higheft pitch that is conceivable : As a lovely man is yet lovelieft in the flow- 
er of his age and youth, fo it is with Chrift, his perfections are ever in their 
flower, and never decays, nor does he ever fail in the exerci/ing of them for 
his peoples good, If a. 42. 4. He Jkall not fall nor be difc our aged j and, as Rev. i. 
12. Chrift's eternity is holden forth by white hairs, fo by black hairs is figni- 
fied his continuing young, vigorous and flourilhing (to fay fo) through all e- 
ternity •, which ferves mlpfch to the fcope of commending Chrift \ for, what- 
ever is attributed to him, is in an implied way denied to all other beloveds : 
Otherwife he were not the cniefeft among them, and preferable to them all, 
which is the fcope. Obf. i/r, There is nothing for compleating Chrift's beau- 
ty but it is in him *, yea, even thefe things in him, that are leaft taken notice 
of by us ( though nothing in him be little in it felf ) they are in themfelves, 
and in their ufe when difcerned, exceeding lovely •, his locks, yea, all hisgar- 
tnent s are fo, Pfal. 45. 8. There is nothing fuperfluous, and ufelefs in our blef- 
fed Bridegroom. 2%, What perfections are in Chrift (as there are none 
wanting) they are in him in their perfection : What unfpeakable commenda- 
tion is here ? (1). He hath infinite numbers of perfections. (2.) All thefe 
are rich, like the mo fi fine gold. (3.) If there be a feafon (to fpeak fo) where- 
in thefe perfections may be conceived more lovely and fhining than another 
(for in themfelves they are ever the fame) they, are fo*in our Lord Jefus Chrift-, 
it is ever harveft, fummer and youth with him-, he is that tree fpoken of Rev. 
22. 2. which bears fruit always : This Sun is ever at the height, and never 
goes down. Chrift's perfe&ions are continuing perfections *, He is a Beloved 
that never decays, that never waxeth fick, weak, nor old} but is ever in youth, 
with his hair black, although he be eternal, and the Ancient of days, for all 
his properties are unchangeably in him, and ever agree to him, even now as 
well as in Solomw's time, and will do fo for ever : This is good and very com- 
fortable to his people *, Chrift fits not up nor fails; his Spoufe weeps not for 
the death, decay, or waxing old of her Beloved and Husband, which can be 
faid of no other. 3^/y, All other beloveds, befide Chrift, are decaying be- 
loveds, they evaniih and are growing gray-headed ; even all this clay -world 
fliall wax old as doth a garment , and the beauty of it ihall be flamed, and it wift 
become weak 3 like an old dying harlot, with whom many hath gone a Whor- 
ing y 

Verfe i 2. of the Song of Solomon. 229 

ing: For, if this, to be black and buihy, be peculiar to Chrift, it cannot agree 
to them-, for, they fall wax old % but he is thejame^ Pfal. 102.27. which words 
are peculiarly applied to Chrift, Heb. 1. 10. qthlj} This continued fiourifhing 
of Chrift's excellency in its perfe&ion, doth put Chrift fupereminently above 
all compare, as having no match amongft all beloveds -, they decay, but he is 
the fame ; they are broken cifterns, and can hold no water of comfort, and 
appear with no beauty at death and judgment, and through eternity they will 
be as clothes worn and failed -, but, Chrift is frefh and vigorous at death to the 
believer, and will be lb for ever : How bleffed are they, when they come to 
eat of the tree of life, that never wants fruit, to poflefs him, who isyefierday y 
to day , and for ever the lame, God ever all, bleffed for evermore ! O the happi- 
nefs ! the eternal happinefs, that there is in being efpoufed to Chrift, when 
the breath of all clay-idols and beloveds will be out, and Chrift ftill frefh in 
the communicating of his fulnefs to his people ! O ytfoat a fad heart will ma- 
ny have, who have forfaken this fountain of living waters,; Jpad choftm fuch 
broken citterns to themfelves as the creatures are, that have fet their heart on 
that which is not, Prov. 23. 5. and laboured for the -wind, EccM. 5. 16. loading 
themfelves with thick clay^ Habak. 2. 6. and have neglected him who gave, 
and who continues the being of all things, and who then will be, when they 
will not be found, or have a being ! In furn (faith ike) my Beloved is the gol- 
den beloved, others are but of clay and earth ', my Beloved is in his flower , and 

youth ; other beloveds are decaying, waxing old r wd drawing to their grave y - there-. 

fore is he incomparable beyond them alU 

Verfe i 2. His eyes aye. a* the eyes of dtoes by the risers of wa- 
ters, wajhed with nitlk^ and fitly fet. 

The third thing commended in him, is in verfe 12. and it is his eyes, which 
are feveral ways defcribed. Eyes in the natural body are the organs, whereby 
we difcern external objects : the Lord, as he is a Spirit, hath "no body, nor 
bodily members ; but eyes are attributed to. him, to hold forth his omnifcience, 
who, having formed the eye, cannot but fee, Pfal. 94. 9. and therefore eminently 
is faid to fee, in oppofition to the idols, who have eyes and fee not, P£ 1 15. c 
This, then, fets out our Lord's omnifcience, before whom all things are naked 
and open, Heb. 4. 3. even the moft fecret things are open to his view, as if 
by the moft fharp-fighted bodily eye he did behold them, and much more 3 
10, Prov. 15. 3. The eyes of the- Lot A -are in every place, beholding the evil and the 
good ; and, Prov. 5. 21. The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord j he 
knows them, as if he were looking on them with eyes, all things are fo naked 
and difcernable to him ; This agrees alfo with that, Rev. 2. 18. where Chrift 


230 An Expofitioa Chap. $ 4 

is faid to have eyes as a flame of fire : which title, verfe 23. is expounded (as 
all thefe titles throughout thefe epiftles are) and faid to be given him, that men 
may know that he fearcheth the hearty and trieth the reins -^ even the moft in- 
ward things are fully reached by his all-feeing eye. 

The excellency of his eyes (or omnifciency thereby pointed out) is held 
forth under feveral fimilitudes, Firjr, They are as doves eyes, fuch as were at- 
tribute to the Bride, chap. 4. 1. that is, eyes that are quick, lovely and loving^ 
having much affettion in them to his own. Secondly, They are as doves eyes 
by the rivers of water, where doves are moft lovely after their wafhing, or 
bathing and beeking of themfelves at river- fides. Thirdly They are waihentp/rfr 
milk, that is, moft clean, white and pure. Fourthly, They are fitly fet, or (as the 
word is) jet in fulnefs, like the ftones in Aaron's breaft-plate, Exod. 39. 10. 
(where the fame word is) dignifying that there is no deformity in them* but, 
like curious jewels, they are moft equally and beautifully fet, being neither too 
hollow, nor flicking too far out, which are the two extreme deformities in 
eyes. In fum, it faith, i/r, That Chrift's knowledge is iharp and piercing, idly, 
Pure and clean. $dly, Pleafant to his people to look on. And, ^hly, That it 
is kindly vented, and well qualified for the good of his people, whereby he is 
made exceeding lovely to them. Thefe notes are fare here, 1. That our Lord 
Jefus is omnifcient, knowing all thedefigns of enemies, knowing all theftraits 
and necefnties of his people*, he actually takes notice of all thefe. 2. Chrift's 
omnifcience is one of his chief eft excellencies, that qualifies him for the 
good and comfort of his people, and doth exceedingly commend him to 
them above all others ; It is a very pleafant comfort to his people, efpeci- 
ally in the time of trouble, that their Beloved knows all, what we are, what 
we have need of^ and what is good for us, and what is defigned to our pre- 
judice by any of all our adverfaries, and cannot miftake. 3. Chrift's omnifci- 
ence, though it be terrible to his enemies ( fo his eyes are as a flame 
of fire ) yet it is very amiable to his people, his eyes to them are as doves 
eyes *, his all-feeing knowledge is kindly and comfortable, and exercifed for 
their good (as all his other attributes are) and is ftill on work for their good 
and advantage, 2 Chron. 16. p. His eyes run to and fro throughout the earth, tojherv 
himfelf flrong in the behalf of them, whofe heart is perfect towards him. He takes 
notice of the cafe of his own, that he may fuccour them in their wants *, as he 
takes notice of his enemies, that he may difappoint and bring them down. 
4. When the tye of the covenant with Chrift is once faftned, thefe attributes 
in him which are moft terrible to fiefli, and to men in nature, are exceeding 
lovely, and make Chrift beautiful to his people •, as his omnifcience, juftice, 
faithfulnefs, &c, 5. As it is our duty, fo it is our advantage, to walk under 
the convittion of Chrift's omnifcience, and to converfe before him with the 


Verfe 13. of the Song of Solomon. 23 1 

' — 

feith of his beholding what we are doing. 6 At is a good evidence of fmcerity, 
when his omnifcience becomes delightfom to us, and when the heart is made 
glad with this,that Chrift knows the fecrets thereof fas Peter fpeaks,jf<?.2i.i7. 
Thou that knoweft all things, knoweft that I love thee : It is much to abide Chrift ? s 
fcarch, as omnifcient, contentedly. 7. All other idols and beloveds are blind, 
they hive no eyes *, or,tho' they feemto have, they fee ?z<tf,Pfal.i 15.5. that is, 
they can take no notice of, nor give any fuccQur to their worihippers : Our 
Lord's eye^, that are upon his people, make him fingularly preferable to all 
that come in competition with him. 8. It is a Angular commendation of 
Chrift 's knowledge, that it is pure and holy, that it cannot approve of fin, 
nor take any complacency in it •• for, his eyes are as doves eyes, by the rivers 
of waters , wofhen with milk : He is pf purer eyes than that he can behold iniquity, 
O how doth he delight in purity ! and what a ftrong motive may and ought 
this to be with his people, to make a covenant with their eyes, that they get 
not leave to wander and gadd on finful objects ! 

Verfe 1 3 . His cheeks are 06 a bed of fpices, as Jweet flowers ; 

his lips like lilies, dropping fweet-fmelling myrrhe . 

The fourth and fifth inftances of Chrift's lovelinefs are in this verfe. The 
fourth is, that his cheeks are at abed of fpices, as fweet flowers: The cheeks, 
being comely, are a fpecial part of the lovelinefs of the face. His cheeks are 
here commended from two things, Firfi, They are as a bed of fpices, that is, 
like garden-beds furnifhed with excellent fmeliing and refreihful fpices : It fets 
out, 1. A proportionable height of them, as cheeks are in the face, and as 
beds are higher than the reft of the ground. 2. A precioufnefs and fweet- 
nefs of fpirit-refreihing favour, as fuch beds ufe to yield to thefe who walk 
in a garden. The fecond commendation is, as fweet flowers ; or,, as the words 
may be read, as towers of perfume : It tends to the fame purpofe, but holds 
forth an abundance of delight to the fpirkual fenfe of fmeliing in the. believer, 
when Chrift is made the Objeft of it \ O the fweet favour he finds in him ! 
\t is fit to be fober here, thefe excellencies being myfteries : It is not unlike, 
that leffer glimpfes of Chrift's manifestations, whereby he makes himfelf 
known, may be underftood here ', as if flie faid, He is fo lovely, that th° leaft 
glimpfe or waff of him, when it is feen, if it were but of his cheek, is very dellcht- 
fom: And this fenfe may be gathered, ift, From this, that the cheek is a part 
of the face and countenance, yet not the full countenance : Now, by feeing 
his face, and beholding his countenance, often in fcripture (and it is like alfo, 
verfe 15.) isunderftood his moft fenfible manifeftations of himfelf to his peo- 
ple v by proportion then the cheeks would hold forth the fame, tho' in a lef- 

2]i An Expofition Chap, y 

fer meafure and lower degree, 2<%, It makes well for the fcope of commen- 
ding Chrift above all, whofe incomparable worth, by his manifeftations, is 
much evidenced and confirmed to his people •, and when a little glimpfe of 
him doth this, how much more would a full view of him demonstrate it ? 
And indeed fuch a view doth effecTually demonftrate it to thefe who have ex- 
perimentally known the excellency that is in him, altho' others, who are 
unacquaint with his face, do therefore undervalue him ; which may be hinted 
at, as a caufe of their fo doing. $dly, This agrees with the commendation, 
which fets him forth in this as pleafant to the fpiritual fenfe of fmelling -, and 
fo would imply, that it muft be fomewhat whereby Chrift becomes fenfibly 
fweet and refrefhful, as his fenfible manifeftations make him more delightfom 
and refreshing to the foul's fenfes, than towers of perfume are to the"bodily 
fenfes : Therefore is his love compared to ointment , chap. 1.3. and elfewhere. 
However, thefe things are certain, 1 . That the leaf! glimpfe of Chrift's coun- 
tenance is exceeding refrefhful and favoury to the fpiritual fenfes. 2. That 
Chrift's excellencies are delightfom to all the fpiritual fenfes, to the fmell as 
well as to the eye, ear, &c. The whole foul, and all its faculties have abun- 
dant matter in him, for delighting and refrefhing them all. 3. The moe fen- 
fes be exercifed on Chrift, and the more fenfible (to fpeak fo) he become 
unto us, he will be the more lovely and pleafant : Beds of fpices, and towers * 
of perfume in a garden, to them that ly amongft them, are not fo favoury as i 
Chrift is, when the fenfes of the foul are exercifed to difcern him. 

The fifth thing inftanced is his lips •, the Bride's lips were fpoken of, chap. 
4. 3, 11. and cleared to fignify her fpeech : By proportion they hold forth in 
him the loveiinefs of his word,\vherein he is efpecially lovely ,in that he mag- 
nifies it above-all his Name, Pfal. 1 38. 2. and makes it often fweet as the hony 
and the hony-comb to his people. This may be looked on, 1/, As it refpetts 
the matter fpoken by him, out of whofe mouth many gracious words proceed- 
ed (while in the fiefh) even to the admiration of his hearers, Luke ^.22. fo 
that upon conviction they fay, Never man /poke as this man [peaks, John 7. 46. 
Or, idly. It may look to Chrift's manner of fpeaking, and his fitnefs to com- 
municate his mind to his people (as lips are the organs of fpeaking) fo he 
hath grace poured into his lips, Pfal. 45. 2. that makes all his words gracious, as 
being formed or anointed by it. Thus it takes in that holy art, skill and dex- 
terity, wherewith Chrift is furnifhed, to fpeak for the confolation of a belie- 
ver, efpecially under fad exercifes -, as it is, If*. 50. 4. He hath the tongue of 
the learned, to [peak a word in feafon to hi ff. that is weary : Both thefe in the re- 
fult come to one \ and this being a fpecia|piece of Chrift's lovelinefs to his 
people, conducing exceedingly to the Bnle's fcope here, and the analogy be- 
ing clear, and lips being frequently made f fe of in fcripture to fignify fpeech 

\ or 

Verfe 1 ;. of the Song of Solomon. 255 

or words, we conceive that they may well be taken fo here, efpecially con- 
fidering, that all the parts of the commendation will agree well to his words. 
1. They are like lilies, that is,pleafant and favory -, fo words fpoken in feafon 
are often called pleafant and fweet like hony, Prov. 16. 24. yea, they arefaid to 
be like apples of gold in piBures of fiver, Prov. 25. 11. His words then may 
well be compared to lilies. 2. They are not common words, therefore it muft 
not be ordinary lilies that y^ill fet them forth ; but they are like lilies dropping 
fweet -fmelling myrrhe : Such lilies we are not acquaint with *, and nature, tho* 
excellent in'its effe&s, yet comes fhort in furnifhing fit refemblances to repre- 
fent Chrift, and what is in him, to the full. Thefe lilies dropping myrrhe fig- 
nifie, ift, A favorinefs and cordial efficacy in the matter, like myrrhe proving 
comfortable to thefe it falls or drops upon, idly, Dropping fhews abundance* 
feafonablenefc, and continuednefs therein, fo as he frill furnifheth fuch ftrength- 
ning efficacy and influence, as if it were ever dropping, and never dried up \ 
as the phrafe was, chap. 4. 11. All thefe agree well, either to Chrift the 
fpeaker, who never wants a feafonable word ', or to the word fpoken, which, 
in refpecl: of its efFetts, endures for ever. 7his muft be an excellent Beloved 
(faith fhe) who fpeaks much^ and never a word falls from his lips y but it is pre- 
cious and favory, like any cordial to the fouls of his people, efpecially in their faint- 
ing fits : and there is ever fome good word to be gotten from him, far from the 
rough fpeeches that many ufes; but O fo pleafant and kindly as all his words are I 
Obf. 1. There is a fpecial lovelineis in our Lord Jefus's words to his peo- 
ple ; how much of this appears throughout the 4th chapter of this Song ? 
and what love appears in all his promifes, yea, in the titles that he gives his 
people ? every one is (as it were) big with child of ftrong confolation to 
them. 2. Chrift's words have a fpecial refrefhing efficacy in them, andean 
comfort, refrefh and fuftain drooping fick fouls •, he fends out his word, and 
and it healeth them. 3. Thefe, who love Chrift himfelf truly, havealfo an 
high efteem of his word, and are much delighted with that *, and where there 
is little efteem of his word, there is but little efteem of himfelf : They, who 
have tafted the fweetnefs of the word, do highly efteem of Chrift himfelf. 
4. The word of Chrift is as Chrift's own lips, and doth fweetly fet out his 
thoughts of love to finners : It is good reading of Chrift's lovelinefs out of 
his own word, and from his own mouth. 5. Where there hath been a fweet- 
nefs felc in the word, it fhould be turned over to the commendation of Chrift 
that fpoke it, as a proof of the reality of his excellent worth. - 6. The word 
is never rightly made ufe of, tho' it fhould fill the head with knowledge, till 
it be favory to the inward man and fpiritual fenfes *, and it is that which makes 
it lovely, when the vertue and confolation that flows from it is felt. 7. All 
the confolations of the word, they come not out at once, neither can we fo 

Hh re- 

234 dn Expofition Chap. ^ 

receive them, but it drops by little and little in continuance ; and therefore 
daily mould men draw from thefe wells of falvatkm. 8. Obferve from 
the fcope, that Chrift's word, known by experience, will lift and fet Chrift 
up in the heart beyond all beloveds ^ and that the unacquaintednefs of many 
with Chrift's lips, and the confolations that abound in his word, makes them 
fo ready to flight him, and fet up their idols above him. The fcope faith 
further, that fhe was acquaint with his words, and the refrefhfulnefs of them • 
and in this fne is differenced from others. Whence obferve, 9. That belie- 
vers are acquaint w"th the fweetnefs of Chrift's words, otherwife than any in 
the world are ', Chrift is another thing to them, and his word is fo alfo, than 
to all the world befide : It is a good fign, where Chrift's lips are ib lovely. 

Verfe 14. His hands are as gold-rings Jet with the beryl: his 

belly is a* bright ivory overlaid with Japhires. 

The fixth and / "event h particulars inftanced, to commend Chrift, are in verfe 
14. The fixth is, His hands : The hands are the inftruments of attion^ as the 
lips are of fpeaking : they are commended, that they are %s gold-rings, that is, 
as men or womens hands are adorned with gold-rings, fo his hands have a 
native lovelinefs beyond thefe. Yet this commendation (as all the former) 
anfwers not fully -, therefore it is added, they are fet with beryl .• This was a 
precious fione put in Aaron's breaft-plate, Exod. 39. 13. To be fet with it, 
Signifies, as precioufnefs, fo rare artifice *, and fuch is feen in the right fetting 
of precious ftones. By our Lord's hands, may be underftood that powerful 
aftivity whereby he is fitted to bring about what he pleafeth* and that power* 
which he exercifeth efpecially in the works of grace,as on ver. 4. was cleared : 
Or, we may under (land the effe&s produced by that his power, or his works 
which are exceeding glorious \ as, Pfal. 109. 27. That they may know, O Lord, 
that this is thy hand, that is, that thou y . Lord, haft done it* So his hands fignify 
fuch works efpecially? wherein his divine power, art and skill do manifefi 
themfelves for the good of his people : Both agree well together -, for, ex- 
cellent power and skill produce excellent effects, and excellent eife&s demon- 
Urate the excellent qualifications of the worker. This being a main piece of 
Chrift's commendation, and which doth hold him forth to be exceeding love- 
ly above all to the believer, (which is the fcope) may well be taken here as 
the meaning, efpecially being fubjoined to the commendation of his words : 
For, our Lord Jefus doth not only fay well, but alfo doth well j he is a Pro- 
phet, mighty both in word and deed, Luke 24. 19. 

The commendation fuits with his works, as if there were none of them, but 
what are adorned (as it were) with excellent gold-rings* there being much 


Verfe 1 4. of the Song of Solomon- 235 

glory, grace, wifdom and skill fhining in them all •, they are honourable and 
glorious, Pfal. ill. J« yea, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord God al~ 
mighty , Rev. 15.4. Thefe are the deferved epithets of his a&ions : In fam, 
it is, as if flie had faid, Ask ye what my Beloved is more than others f If ye [ax* 
but aglimpfe of the white and red that is in his cheeks , and if ye heard the fweet 
words that proceed from his mouth, and if ye knew the excellent works which he hath 
performed, even to admiraticn 9 for the good of his people, and how much lovelinefs 
appears in all thefe , ye would (no doubt) fay with me, He is the chiefeft among 
tell thoufand. 

Obf 1. Chrift is an active husband, having hands, and working with them 
for the good of his Bride j a piece of his work we heard of, chap. 3. 9. in 
that noble chariot : He is no idle fpe&ator 5 he worktth hitherto, John 5.17* 
2. All our Lord Jefus his works are exceeding excellent and beautiful ; and f 
when rightly difcerned, they will appear wonderful, honourable and glorious* 
as proceeding from him who is wonderful in counfel, and excellent in working, Ifa« 
28. 29. What a curious and excellent piece of work is that chariot, or the 
covenant of redemption fignified thereby, chap. 3. 9 ? There are many fhining, 
well fet jewels, and rings upon every finger of his hands : There is no- 
thing that can be done better than what he hath done. The works of Chrift, in 
our redemption, do hold forth infinite skill and glorioufhefs to be in the 
worker, all of them are fo wifely contrived, and exquifitely execute. 3. 
Chrift's works do exceedingly endear him, and that defervedly, to his people \ 
and do infallibly demonftrate his worth above all beloveds in the world : Who 
is like unto him ? and who can do great works, fuch as he hath done ? This 
makes heaven to refound with the praifes of what this Beloved hath done for 
his people. 4. Believers would be acquaint both with Chrift's words and his 
works, and would be well verfed in the knowledge of the excellencies that 
are in them both, that fo they may be the more affecled with him them- 
felves, and be more able to commend him to others. 5. Where Chrift.is 
lovely, all his works will be delightfom : and it is by acquaintance with, and 
obfervation of his excellent works, that the hearts of his people come to take 
him up, and to be rightly affecled with him. 6. As ignorance of the excel- 
lency of ChrirVs works (efpecially of the work of redemption) makes many 
flight Chrift, and prefer others to him (for, fhe would difcover the daughters 
of Jerufalem their miftake of him, by inftancing this amongft other things) 
ib it is a kindly-like thing, to have a honourable efteem of Chrift 's works in 
the heart. 7. Altho' the devil and mens idols feem to promife much to 
their lovers, when they fuit and intice them \ yet never one indeed can e*- 
qual Chrift, or compare with him, in refpefl: of what he hath done for his 
Bride ; and this fets him up incomparably above them all : His hands, in 
A H h 2 refpeft 

*;6 An Expofoion Chap. 5 . 

refpeft of his magnificent works, are adorned, as it were, with gold-rines * 
whereas they have hands, but work not for the help and relief of their lovers' 
Tfal. 115. 7. 

The feventh part of this demonftration of Chrift's worth, is from his belly : 
The word in the original is the fame word, which ve rje 4. is rendred bowels • 
and we rather ufe it fo here as it lignifieth bowels , the native fignification of it' 
as not knowing why it mould be altered in this verfe *, especially confiderine, 
that, wherever it is attributed to God, it is tranflated bowels, as, Ifa. 63. i<] 
Where is the founding of thy bowels ? And Jer. 31. 20. My bowels are moved for 
him : reading it then thus, his bowels are as bright ivory, &c. The words 
at the very firft, would feem to fignify the intenle love and tender afFeftion' 
wherewith our Lord Jefus (who is full of grace) is filled and duffed (to fay 
fo) for the behoof and good of his people •, fo that no mother is fo com- 
paffionatly affe&ed towards the fruit of her womb, as he is towards his own. 
Thisexpofitionis, 1. confirmed from the ordinary fignification of the word 
bowels, when it is applied to God ; as, Ifa. 63. 15. and Jer. 31. 2 o. and 
it is borrowed from the affettion that mothers have to their children whofe 
bowels yern on them, as, 1 Kings 3. 26. and fo Jofeph was affected toward 
his brethren, Gen. 43. 30. Hence the word, both in the Hebrew and Greek 
in the Old and New Teftament, which is made ufe of to fet forth the Lord's 
tender companion, flows from a root that fignifieth bowels. 2. The fcope will 
confirm this : for, is there any thing that makes Chrift more lovely and 
admirable than his love? which makes the prophet cry out,. Mic. 7. 18. Who 
is a God like unto thee, that far done th iniquity ? &c« becaufe thou delights in 
mercy • or, is there any other thing that more commends him, as a Beloved 
preferable.to all, than his love ? Love in a husband is a fpecial property :: 
Kow, Chrift loved his Church, and gave him] "elf for ;V,Eph. 5. 25.. it is not like 
therefore, that this is omitted. And, 3. It follows well on the commenda- 
tion of his works for, and about his people, as mewing the fountain from> 
whence they proceed : The commendation of this is excellent -, 1. It is as 
Iright ivory : Ivory is rarely and Angularly pure and pleafant, being made of 
Elephants teeth : bright, is added, to fliew, that it is of the beft fort, as 
all that is in Chrift is. 2. It is overlaid with faphires-, that was a ftone in 
Aarotfs breaft-plate, and alfb is reckoned one of the foundation-ftones of the 
newJerufalem,Rev. 21. 19. which fhews, that it is very precious, tho 5 we 
know not the particular properties of it : The word overUid, may be from 
the original rendred curioujly fet, or enameled* In fum, here, his love is de- 
fcribed as moft lovely, clean and pleafant, tike ivory 5 rich and precious like 
faphires } and well ordered and wifely vented for the good of his people, as 
bright ivory curiouily enameled with faphires : His love is a mofi excellent, 


Verfe 1 4. of the Song of Solomon. 2 } 7 

curious and pleafant obje£t, the like whereof is not to be found amongft all the 
beloveds of the world. This verfe commends Chrift's heart and in-fide, which 
is unsearchable as to its height, depth, breadth, and length : It may therefore 
be hard, andfome way hazardous, to offer do&rines on, or to form expreifions 
concerning that which pajfeth knowledge^E^h. 3. 18, 19. the comprehending ex- 
perimental knowledge of it, will be the beft commentary ©n it ^ yet thefe 
things are clear and fafe, 

1 . There is lingular love, affe&ion and bowels in our Lord Jefus to his 
people \ fo fmgular, that there is none can compare with him in this, no 
husband, nay, nor wife, it paffeth the love of women j no tender-hearted 
mother, and much lefs any idol, can compete with him in this *,it is inconceiv- 
able in it felf,- and it is wonderful in its effe&s. 2. There is nothing that 
will contribute more to make believers fee Jefus Chrift as admirable in himfelf,, 
and lovely to them, than the right apprehenfion of his love: This is the 
conftraining, ravifhing, engaging, and foul-inebriating confideration of Chrift > 
the conceiving of him rightly in his admirable love*, and they will never e- 
fteem of Chrift rightly, who decern not that : It is(as it were)his crown •, and 
the believing of it, is a in fort the putting of the crown on his head : Among!! 
all his excellencies, none takes the believer more up than his love, and nothing, 
is more remarkable in him than that •, and right thoughts of Chrift's love is- 
no ill token. 3. Our Lord Jefus, his love and bowels are a rich jewel when 
feen, a precious ftately fight \ bright ivory,* overlaid with faphires, is but a 
fmall and dark fhadow of it } Chrift's love is a poffeflion beyond jewels, a 
very beautiful obje& to look on, beyond the moft excellent creature ! It is 
both a wonder and a heart-break that it is fo little thought of, and that men 
are not more delighted in it. 4. Altho' there be much in many mouths of 
Chrift's love, yet there are few that really knows and believes the love 
that he hath to his people, 1 John 3. 1. As this is the caufe that fe 
few loves him, and why fo many lets up other beloveds befide him '■, fo 7 
the folid faith of this, and the expectation of good from him, hath a 
great engaging vertue to draw /inners to him, Heb. 1 u 6. and for that 
end it is made ufe of here. 5. Whatever feeming fmiles, idols may give to 
their lovers, yet will they not prove lovers in the end to them. : for, that is 
proper to Chrift, he only hath ftrong love and bowels of affe&ion to his own 
to the end \ but other lovers in the end will fail men : only our Lord Jefus 
continueth a loving Husband to the end - r for, whom he loves, he loves to 
the end. 6. It is beyond all peradventure, good and definable to be matched 
with Jefus Chrift, where fo much honour, riches, power, wifdom, lovelinefs 
and love meet all together } for, the fcope of this, and of all the reft of the 
commendations, is to engage facers to match with kirn.. 7.. There is no 


238 An Expo fit ion Chap. 5. 

caufe to be jealous of Chrift's love ; his people have a moft loving Husband, 
and never a fpot or ground of jealoufy hath defiled his bowels fince the world 
began, but they to this day are^ and will be for even as bright ivory. 8. Chrift's 
love is excellent in it felf, and is alio excellent in the way of its communica- 
ting it felf to his people *, therefore, it is not as faphires that are confu- 
fedly caften together, but that are artificially fet : Or, our Lord Jefus vents 
not his love fondly (to fpeak with reverence) or imprudently, but moft wifely, 
skilfully and feafonably, fo as it may be for the good of his people - 7 not as a 
fond and too indulgent mother, that gives that which is even hurtful, becaufe 
the child defires it, but as a wife father, who gives that which is ufefol, tho' 
it be unpleafant. He guides his love by difcretion, and according to expedi- 
ency ', as, John 16 . 7. It is expedient for you that I go, and therefore he will go, 
though they were even made fad with it. 9. Altho' fome pieces of Chrift's 
love, being confidered in themfelves, feem not fo pleafant and lovely, like 
precious ftones not rightly fet :, yet, when all are feen together, and every 
thing taken up as in its own place, and proportionably correfponding with one 
another, and efpecially in refpecl: of the fountain of love from which they 
come, they will then (being all look'd on together) be feen to be very beau- 
tiful and pleafant, and well ordered, like bright ivory , that is regularly and cu- 
rioufly enameled, or indented with faphires. The time comes, when Chrift's 
love will be thought to be exquifitely and wifely let out and conveyed, even in 
thefe things wherein it is moft fufpe&ed now by his own, 

Verfe 15. His legs are as pillars of marble, fet uponfockets of 

fine gold : His countenance is at Lebanon, excellent as the 


The eighth and ninth particulars of Chrift's commendation are in verfe 15. 
The firft of them here commended is his legs : The word legs, comes from a 
foot in the original, that fignifieth to walk ', and fo takes in thighs and feet, 
which are alfo ufeful in motion. In fcripture, and by analogy, they are made 
nfe of to fignify thefe two, Firft, A man's way in the feries of his carriage 
and deportment, as ordinarly his life is called a walk: So, Feci. 5. 1. Take heed 
unto thy feet, that is, to thy carriage *, hence the iniquities of the heels arefpo- 
ken of, VfaU 49. 5. to fet out mens defe&s, that cleave to them in their con- 
verfation, as their feet leave prints or footfteps behind them, in their walk- 
ing. Secondly, This metaphor fignifieth ftrength and activity, as, Pfal. 147. 
10. The Lord delights not in the ftrength of an horfc, nor in the legs of a man; 
wherefore (very probably J Fcclef 1 2. 3. they are called the ftrong men, becaufe 
they fuftain or bear up the body. Here, being applied to Chrift, we conceive 


Verfe 15. of the Song of Solomon. 239 

they fignify his way, or adminitfration of providence, which he ufeth with 
his people, it being by his difpenfations that he walks amongfl them. Hence 
the ieries of common providence is fo often in fcripture called the way of the 
Lord j as, Ez^ek. 18. 25. The Lord's way is equal *, his carriage in his difpenfa- 
tions is Hill juft, oppofite to their way, or walk, which is there called une- 
qual. And the difpenfation of grace is called, a way, Rem. 11. 33. How un- 
fe arch able are his jufywnp, and \m ways p aft finding out -, which take in the con- 
trivance, and adminifi ration of his grace, as the fcope there doth clear. His 
way is more general and comprehenfive than his works, and takes in thefe 
three (for which it is called, a way.) 1. His dehgn and end, that he propofeth 
to himfelf. 2. His wife and powerful plot, in contriving and applying means 
fnitable thereunto, for bringing it about ', especially the principle (to fay fo) 
by which he walks and works, to w, his wjfdom, power and love. 3. His 
convoy of, and the progrefs which he makes in thefe, by which he is ever pro- 
ceeding towards his end, as a man doth in his way, by walking with his legs : 
In all thefe refpefts, the Lord's way of carrying on his defign is faid to be 
unfearchable : This we take, as intended here, to fet forth and commend the 
gracious and glorious fteps of the Lord, in the adminitfration of his grace, 
both in its contrivance and application amongfthis people, whereby his wif- 
dom, power and goodnefs, are in thefe paths of his (that are all mercy and 
truth to his own, Pfal. 25. 10.) made exceeding lovely and (lately, as the com- 
mendation following imports. This is confirmed, lft, By the analogy- that is 
betwixt the legs and walking, and the frequent ufe that the fcripture makes 
of this iimilitude for that end \ and no other thing can fuit fo well, idly, In 
Rev. 2. 18. where Chrift's legs and feet are fpoken of, with a commendation 
not unlike what follows here, namely, that they are like fine brafs. As his eyes 
are expounded, verfe 23. by this, that he fearcheth the heartland trieth the reins-,, 
fo his feet are fet out by this* that he renders to every one according to their- 
works r that is, he keeps an equal and jufl way in his adminiftration towards 
every one. $dly y The fcope likewife confirms this, Chrift being by his way 
to his people commendable above all, and this being a fpecial commendation of 
his, that all his works are per ft Eh, and all his ways are judgment, Deut. 32. 4,. As 
alfo the property attributed to his legs, and from which they are commend- 
ed, will clear this, which is, that they are like pillars of marble : Marble is a 
ftone that is firm, good and pleafant ; therefore was it prepared by David, for 
the temple, 1 Chrcn. 29. 2. fillars fignify ftrength, orderlinefs and beauty, as 
was cleared on chap. 3. 10. which may be applied here :. So, pillars of marble 
fay, that his ways are curioufly, skilfully and fickerly contrived -, and wife- 
ly, dexteroufly and infallibly executed \ and firmly fettled, like pillars,, and 
that of marble, for unmoveablenefs* The amplification of the commendation 


240 An Expojttion Chap. 5 

confirms this alio, they are not only like pillars of marble, but alfo like pil- 
lars fet on fockets of five gold • pillars are durable, according to the bafes or foun- 
dation upon which they are fet and founded : Now gold (as often hath been 
faid) fignifieth precioufnefs and fohdity ^ fo all of them are fettled and fixed on 
a good and precious ground, which cannot fail, and therefore they cannot 
lhake, Aide, nor flip, but profper he muft in his ways •, and nothing can marr 
his defign, for he is of one mind, and who can turn him ? and what his foul defi- 
reth, that he doth y Job 23. 13. Yet not only are his feet or legs ofbrafs, (which 
lhews feverity againfl enemies, in his troding on them 7 Dan.io. 6.)but the foc- 
kets are of gold, as his head was, verfe 1 1. all is of gold that isin'him, he is a 
golden Mediator and Beloved from head to foot, whereas others are clay-be- 
loveds : The fockets are of gold, to fhew his gracioufnefs to his people • as 
Tfal. 25. 10. all his ways are fettled on mercy and truth ; all his decrees anent 
them are made lovely and fure by grace, and fo cannot be but precious and 
excellent as to them. 

Obferv. 1. Our Lord Jefus hath a defign, a gracious defign, that he is carry- 
ing on amongft his people, and he is ever promoving therein for the end 
which he hath propofed : he is not like the idols of the G 'entiles , Pfal. 1 15. 7. 
which have feet and walk not, but as he fees with his eyes, and works with his 
hands, fo doth he walk and make progrefs with his legs. 2. ChrifVs way 
with his people, is a moft excellent and ftately way : Or, in all his convoy of 
grace towards his people, there is a fpecial excellency mining -, All his ways 
and works are holy and righteous, Pfal. 145. 17. Juft and true, Rev. 15. 3. Graci- 
ous and loving, even all mercy and truth, Pfal. 25. 10. This King of faints is 
marvelous in his way of grace, as he is in all his works. 3. ChrifVs purpofe 
cannot fail, neither can his defign be altered*, the contrivance thereof is fo wife 
and the execution fo powerful, he cannot but attain his point. 4. However 
men may quarrel with ChrifVs way, and fay it is not equal) as, Ez.ek. 18. 25. 
and altho' his way may be fometimes in the deep waters, and not difcernable, 
Pfal. 77. 19. yet, it is ever ordered in deepwifdom, that there can be nothing 
more juft, holy and glorious, Co that there is no reafon to complain thereof • 
and this holds, not only in one ftep or two, but in the whole feries of his way! 
5. A right fight of ChrifVs wife, glorious and omnipotent way of grace, will 
make him lingular in the eftimation of his people, and put him above all o- 
ther beloveds, whofe ways are neither for wifdom, nor liability, any way 
comparable to his *, for, all the counfels and defigns of the world, befide his, 
will come to nought, and be made, nill they will they, fubfervient to his : 
clay-idols have their breath in their ncftrils, and in that fame very day, when 
it goeth out, their thoughts ferifli, Pfal. 146. 4. but it is not fo with his, they 
are more folidly founded, and thefe Itrong legs, that are ofmarble, can neither 


Verfe 15. of the Song of Solomon. 241 

be bowed nor broken. It mud then be mod fure and fafe for the Lord's peo- 
ple to drive this as their defign, to fide and ihare with Chrid in his defigns *, 
and it mud be a mod defparate thing to drive contrary defigns to him, whofe 
legs are as pillars of marble, and before whom none can ftand. 6, Where there 
is refpeft to Chrid, there will be an high edimation of his way •, and it is a 
good fignoi an-efpecial edeem of Chrid, when his ways are admired and lo- 

The ninth particular inftance, brought to prove that he is the chiefed among 
ten thoufand, is, that his cowitcnance is like Lebanon. The word countenance, as 
it is in the original, comes from a root that fignifieth to fee •, therefore, coun- 
tenance is uftd in fcripture, not only to flgnify the face, but the whole ftature 
and prefentation of a perfon, or that which gives a full fight of one in all his 
parts together •, and fo it is here, and differs from the cheeks, mentioned 
verfe 13. as being more extenfive and comprehenfive : Therefore, that phrafe, 
which, 2 Sam. 23, 12. is rendred a goodly man, or, man of countenance (as it is 
in the original) is, 1 Chron. 11. 23. ( where that fame dory is recorded ) ex- 
preffed by this, that the Egyptian was a man of ftature , as if it were faid, a 
brave perfonage of a man , and fo it takes in face, legs, body and altogether, 
when all thefe are fo proportioned, as they make one a perfon goodly to be 
feen and look'd on. Now, this being applied to Chrid, as iubjoined to the 
particulars formerly mentioned, we conceive it takes in his matchlefs dateli- 
nefs, as it refults from all his properties together ; fo that not only this or 
that part of Chrid is lovely, but whole Chrid, when feen, is exceeding date- 
ly and lovely to the view and faith of a difcerning believer, whatever others 
think of him : So then, the meaning is, Ask ye what my Beloved is } (faith die) 
as all his farts are beautiful, feverally confidered,fo, all being put together, he is a moft 
ftately and lovely objett to behold, when he gives a full view of his tountenance. It 
fets out, then, a more full view of Chrid, or Chrid in a more full view} as if 
not only a man's head or legs were feen, but his whole ftature, whereby he 
is more fully difcernable. Thus Chrid ? s countenance, in fcriptnre, is put to 
fignify his manifedations to his people; and here, being fubjoined to the cheeks, 
as more extenfive, it fignifieth more full manifedations, whereby a view (as it 
were) of whole Chrid is attained at once, by the believer's faith -, as, by faith, 
Heb. 11. 27. Mofes is faid to have feen him that is invifible : And this will a- 
gree well with the fcope, and the commendation following, which is in two 
things, 1/?, It is as Lebanon, a mod pleafant, dately hill •, and therefore, that 
which is excellent, is often compared to it, as was faid, on Chap. 4.8, it, 15. 
idly, It is amplified, that it is excellent as the cedars : They were ufeful, date- 
ly and tall trees, especially thefe that grew in Lebanon ; the word is, elett, or 
choice as the ced.v<, which agrees well with a goodly prefentation, to be tall, 

I i ftraighl 

24* An Expofttion Chap. 5. 

ftraight and {lately, as they were: Therefore, the Bride's ftature is compared 
to a palm-tree, chap. 7. 7. In a word, my Beloved (when fe en) Looks excellently and 
paying-well (faith fhe) fo as there is no other beloved in the world, that hath fitch 
an ajfett as he; who can look on him and not love him ? 

Obferv. 1. Altho' there is no fully comprehenfive view of Chrift to be got- 
ten here, even by the faith of a believer (while we are upon the earth we can- 
not fee him as he is, that being referved for heaven) yet there are more full 
up-takings of him attainable, even here-away, than ordinarily believers meet 
with : Yea, fuch full views of him are to be had, which, in refpeft of our 
other ordinary attainments, may be called, a beholding of his countenance:, 
whereas thefe are but a beholding of his cheeks ; for, he hath a countenance 
which is difcernable. Neither doth the Bride fpeak of that fhe never faw, but 
of what fhe hath feen : And it imports a more full, near, thorowand diftinfl: 
fight of him than is ufual. 2. There is no fuch lovely, delightfom, fpiritu- 
ally gallant, (lately and glorious object, as our Lord Jefus, complexly confide- 
red as in himfelf -, and there will be no fight more fatisfying to a believer than 
this, when admitted to behold it. 3. All other beloveds, whatever they be 
in themfelves,are yet exceedingly, nay, infinitely fhort of him, when he is feen: 
this difTerenceth him from them all, the more and the better other beloveds 
be feen, they are found to be the morefecklefs, infignificant and little worth : 
but the more full view be gotten of Chrift, he is found to be the more excel- 
lent. 4. Slight and pairing views of Chrift makes men think the lefs of him *, 
whereas more full, diftincT: and near beholding of him, doth heighten the e- 
fteem of him, and leffen the efteem of all others befide him. 5. Faith in Chrift 
will make a real impreffion of him, and of his excellency, upon the heart of a 
believer, even as if he had been feen by fenfe : Therefore, ihe fpeaks fo of 
his countenance *, and it is a good fign, to be diftincT: and confident in our ap- 
prehenfions of ChrifFs excellencies. 

Verfe \6. His mouth is mo/l fweet- y yea, he is altogether lovely. 
This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend ) daughters of 

The tenth and lafl particular, commended in him, is in the beginning of the 
i6.verfe, and it is his mouth, which is compared to fweetnefs, or fweetneffes in 
...the plural number. By mouth fbmetimes is underftood the words of the mouth, 
but it is not fo ufed in this Song. The Bride's words, and his alfo, are fet 
out by their lips ', and it is not like, that that, being fpoken of, verfe 13. is re- 
peated here. Again, the mouth, and its fweetnefs efpecially,, may be mentio- 
ned to fignify friendlinefs and love, or rather thefenfible manifeftations of 

Verfe \6. of the Song of Solomon. 24; 

thefe, as the husband doth bykiffing his wife •> and in this fenfe is taken, 
chap. 1. 2. and we take that to be aimed at here, to wit, the fvveetnefs of ChrifVs 
more immediate manifestations of himfelf unto the fpiritual fenfe of his peo- 
ple, by Redding the love of God abroad in their hearts, by the Holy Ghcft, Rom* 
5.5. For, this fenfible manifeftation of his love is a thing that much com- 
mends him to his people, and is their fatisfa&ion, in oppofition to all the 
creature-fatisfattions that 1 others have, P/al. 4. 6, 7. therefore it agrees well 
with the fcope. Again, it is a different commendation from any that is men- 
tioned, 1. It differs from his lips, or the comfort that one hath from the word, 
as from the word (though it is not to be feparate from that, but to carry that 
alongft with it) yet this is more immediate and fenfible, and that is mediate, 
though real and fure unto faith. 2. It differs from feeing his cheeks, m that 
this is more full, near and immediate alio, ilie being, as it were, admitted to 
enjoy ChrifFs fweet embracements. 3. It differs from behcldinghis countenance^ 
becaufe that may be, and only can be taken up by faith, beholding him in his 
excellent qualifications and offices ; but this is_difcernable to the believer's 
fpiritual fenfe, when Chrift applieth his love, as chap. 1. 2. In which ( to ^?,y 
fo ) we are more paffive, as being fed by him, and having it infufed and fhed 
abroad in our hearts by the Spirit. If we 'may in a holy way follow the fimili- 
tudein a fpiritual fenfe (which is neceffary for understanding of the thingj faffes 
of his mouth are his applying and venting of his love, as one doth by kiffing a- 
nother. This alfo will agree with the commendation, it is rnoft fweet : it is 
but one word in the original, in the abftracl:, and that in the plural number, 
fweetnejfes, to fhew the exceeding fweetnefs and lovelinefs, the foul-ravifhing 
delight that is in that, to which no fimiiitude or comparifon can come up 5 
clearly and perfectly to refemble it ; it is very fweetnefs it felf. If we might 
allude to what philofophers lay of fire in its element, or water in its element, 
that being^ there, they are more properly and eminently fire and water } fo 
fweetnefs is in its element here % or, Chrift's mouth is the very element there- 
of, in reipecc of its fenfible refrefhfulnefs to the fpiritual fenles of his people, 
to whom he manifests it. Ask ye then what my Beloved is ? (faith She) he is in- 
deedfiately to look on ', but his mouthy when it is felt in his faffing of his own Bride, 
by man if eft ing his love to her fenfe, there, there, O there, exceeding unexpreffible 
And unconceiveable delight and fatisf action is to be found ! 

Obferv, 1. Chrift hath more near and fenfible ways of manifesting himfelf t# 
the fpiritual fenfe of his people, as if he had a mouth to kifs them. 2. There 
is nothing comparable to the refreshing fwee:nefs, that thefe manifeftations 
have with them : It is a peace that paffeth underftandmg, Phil. 4.7. and a joy 
that is tmffcakabU and full of glory, 1 Pet. 1.8. 3. This fenfible feeling of the 
iweetnefs of Chrift's mouth fhould be aimed at, and fought after by belie- 

I 1 2 vers : 

Z44 dn Expofition Chap; jv 

vers : Altho' the manner, meafure, time, and other fcircumftances thereof, 
fliould be fubmitted to him *, yet this is not only commendable in it felf, but 
alfo* as fuch, is propofed and' commended to the daughters of JerufaUm, to 
be fought after by them. 4. The experimental feeling of this doth notably 
demonftrate Chrift's worth to the foul that enjoys it, -and makes him incom- 
parably fvveet and lovely above all things whatsoever, Pfal. 4. 7. 5. There is 
no other thing can have any fuch fweetnefs or relifh to a believer as Chrift 
hath •, and to a fpiritual tafte, the excellency of all created beloveds will be 
as the white of an egg in comparifon of this. Only ChriftV mouth is fweet- 
nefs } and fo he differs from all others : And it is a good fign, when our af- 
fections, or fpiritual fenfes, can relifh nothing but Chrift. 

Next, it is added,. Tea, he it altogether lovely, Altho' ihe hath fpent many 
fweet words (and indeed there hath been no ftraitning in her) in commending 
Chrift, and altho' all her words be fweet, and efpecially,when fhe draws near 
the clofe, her expreffcons be the more maffy and fignificant \ yet, as being 
neceifitate to fuccumb under the great task of defcribing the excellency of her 
Beloved, fhe rauft give over particulars, and conclude with a general, as if fhe 
would fay, Would ye know him ? G, I, even I cannot tell you all his excel- 
lent properties •, for, he is moft juftly called Wonderful^*.. 9. 6, but in fum, I 
may fay, He is altogether lovely : The word is 7 He is all defires, or, all he defires. 
The word, that is rendred lovely, comes from a root that fignifieth to covet y 
as, in Jo(h. 7. 2i« it is faid of Achan, when he faw the wedge of gold, that he 
coveted it 9 fo it is fuch a defire as ardently covets the thing defined : And 
thus Chrift is not fimply lovely, but of fuch an attractive excellency, as makes 
him the proper Obje£r of the moft ardent and holy-coveting defires, or after 
which all defires mould go forth,as towards the beft and moft defirable Object. 
The words are meant to exprefs fomewhat that is not expreffible, or rather 
the unexprefhblenefs of that Beloved fhe had been commending, left they 
ihould think fhe were fatisfied, as if fhe had folly defcribed him. We may 
confider the words feveral ways, 1/?, Negatively, as they fhew there is no- 
thing in him, but what is defirable : As if fhe faid, All he is defires y there is 
nothing of any other nature in him, but fiich as 1 have mentioned : He is a 
God. of truth, and without iniquity , jufi and right is he. 2; Take them pofitive- 
ly, and fo they fhew whatever is in him is exceeding defirable : Go through alt 
his pirts, qualifications,, attributes and works , whereof 1 have given you but a hint x , 
faith ihe, and ye will fee them all exceedingly defirable. ^dly i Take them conclu^ 
lively or comprehensively * 9 and fo,. while fhe faith, He is all defires, the mean- 
ing is,. There is nothing truly defirable, but it is to be found in him : the 
foul cannot rationally imagine-that farisfa&ion that is not to be found in Chrift % 
other wife all defires were not in him j this isfw^et, even very fweet : What 


Verfc 1 6. of the Song of Solomon. 245 

1 • - ■^~~~ ~~ ~*~ ^»^»^»^^—^— ■ . . . . — 

idol is perfecl? There are many defe&s in all other beloveds,but (faith ihe)my 
Beloved is perfect : All the beauties and per fettions, that are fcattered amongft 
all creatures, are in an eminent and tranfcendent way gathered together, con- 
traded and to be found in him at once •, fo that, whatever can be defired, 
whether it be for this life, or that which is to come, whether for fan&ifica- 
tion, juftification, or confolation, it is eminently to be found in our Lord Je- 
ms, in whom all fulnefs dwells. Col. i. 19. and who alone is all and in all to 
his own, as being full of grace and truth, John 1. 14. 4^/y, We may take 
them exclufively, or privatively, as they deny any thing defirable to be in any 
beloved, but in Chrift % he is all, and fo confequently they muft be nothing - 7 
he is altogether lovely, and fo they muft be altogether lothfom : Chrift is 
never rightly conceived of, nor commended, but where other things come 
down, evanifh and difappear, when compared with him-, Whom have I in 
heaven but thee f and I defire none on earth be fide thee, faith the Pfalmift, PfaU 
73.25. as having lull fatisfo&ion^ and all that can be wifhed for, in him. It 
is hard to obferve what may be fuitable to Chrift's lovelinefs, when the Bride 
gives it over : But we may fay, (1.) The more that believers infift on Chrift's 
lovelinefs, their hearts will warm the more with it, and it will be found to 
be the greater depth •, for, now her expreffions grow, till at la ft they be 
fwallowed up. (2.) Where there is true refpecl: to Chrift, no commendation 
of Chrift that believers can invent (whatever it be) will be fatisfying to them : 
For, there have been, 1. Many excellent commendations given of Chrift, as 
being like gold, myrrhe, fpices, &c. Yea, 2: Like fuch gold, lilies and 
ivory, as are not in the world : And finally , She hath left and given over com- 
parisons, and betaken her felf to the abftracl:, fweetnefs it felf j yet all comes 
ihort, and me muft quit the thing as unexpreflible : It is the very height of 
Jbuls Iove-rhetorick, to clofe with a kind of holy amazement and admiration,, 
which ends in filence, becaufe they cannot fay enough, when they have faid' 
all they can fay. O what a lovely Objecr. then muft Chrift Jems be .'They 
never knew him rightly, who were fatisfied with their own apprehenfions of 
him, or expreflions concerning him. (3.) There is an universal lovelinefs in 
Chrift, whole Chrift is lovely , neither is he to be divided in our apprehension, 
and efteem,bufcas every thing in him is wonderful and lovely ,fo is ft to be ad- 
mired and loved : even his loweft fufferings and feeming infirmities, his frowns 
and feeming greater aufterity, are lovely and profitable 5 he is altogether love- 
b'- (4«) There is a wonderful defirablenefs in our Lord Jefus, and incompa- 
rable Satisfaction to be gotten in him : There can be nothing more to draw a 
foul to love it, than what is here v whatever may be attractive,, is here j and 
there is nothing wanting to fat is fy the foul that enjoys him, and hath yield- 
ed to his call, to fuch he is all defires, (5.) Chrift is never righ^y taken up,. 


24^ An Expofition Chap. 5. 

<■ ' ■ — ^ . : — 

fo long as any thing defirable is fuppo'ned to be gotten elfewhere •, he muft be 
all dcfircs a And therefore, where any thing hath the leaft iliare of the arTe- 
ffiens befidehim, he hath not his own place. (6*) Empty and undeiirable 
are all beloveds in the world befide Chrift, and broken cifWns will they all 
prove: and it is no marvel •, for all defires are in him, and therefore not one 
defirable thing is or can be found in them. (7.) They have a good bargain, 
who have Chrift : It is the fhort cut (to fay fo) and compendious way to hap- 
pinefs, and to the inheriting of allthings, to unite With Chrift by faith, and 
to poffefs him £ for, all defires, are in him j And miferable will the perfons 
be who mall mifs Chrift, altho' they were gainers of the whole world. 

Having fomewhat anfwered the daughters of Jerufalem their queftion., by 
infifting in this excellent defcription. of Chrift, now by way of application and 
Mid holy boafting,in the clofe of the verfe,fhe reafonsthus : Ye asked what my 
Beloved was more than other beloveds ? and, for your fatisfaclion*, I have defcribed 
him as I can many fever al ways, tho* all fall very far fliort of full expreffwg of his 
matchlefs worth : Now (faith fhe) this excelknt yerfon is my Beloved, and this is 
my Friend, O daughters of Jerufalem \ bring «ll other beloveds, and compare 
them . with him, and fee if he be not the chiefefi and ftandard-bearer amongst 
them all. And in this confident boafting of the excellency of her Beloved, fhe 
clofes : Which fweet difcourfe wants not its fruit on them, as we will fee in 
the chapter following. 

Confider the words four ways, Firfi, In the matter : They hold forth two 
fweet relations betwixt Chrift and the believer, and this fweetens all ; not 
only that this Beloved is an excellent perfon, but that he was hers \ fhe faith, 
He is my Beloved, and alfb my Friend _: He is her Friend (as fhe is his friend, 
verfe 1.) that is, one that is friendly to her, and will do for her, beyond what 
a brother, or mother, or the neareft of all relations, will or can do -, he is 
one that is born for the day of her adverfity, and one whom fhe trufts as her 
own foul, he'is fb dear to her, and fhe to him •, for, this tye of friendship is 
mutual betwixt them. In a word (faith fhe) he is much in himfelf, and much 
to me, unfpeakably excellent in himfelf, and very dear and precious to me,my 
Husband, and my Friend ♦, in fum, my friendly Husband,and my loving Friend. 

Obf 1. There are many fweet relations that Chrift ftands in to the belie- 
ver, as husband, friend, brother, &c. even as there are many relations that 
ihe ftands in to him, as fpoufe, fifter, dove, &c 2. Chrift fills all the relati- 
ons that he ftands in to his people, and that exceedingly well : he is a Angu- 
larly loving, faithful, kind and tender husband •, and a Angularly kind, 
faithful, and unchangeable friend, the beft friend that ever a believer had : 
for, the expreffion, this u, &c. faith, that what Chrift is, he is indeed, and 
iingularly icyas having no equal •, he is a matchlefs husband and friend, this 


Verfc \6. of the Song of Solomon. 247 

— — ■ ■ ~~~~ 

is the icope. 3. Chrift and the believer are upon one fide, they are friends, 
there is a league of friendship betwixt them, and they have common friends, 
and common adverfaries. 4. Thefe who are Chrift's friends (as verfc 1. eat, 
O friends) Chrift may be claimed by them as their friend ; and what that can 
inter,' -they may expect from him : for, he hath no bare title, neither fuftains 
he any empty relation. 5. Believers fhould lean much to Chrill, trull him, 
and ^expect good from him, as their friend. <5. It is a notable and lingular 
confolatidn for folks to have Chrift their friend j it is" comfortable in life, 
death; and judgment, in profperity and adverfity. It implies thefe things, in 
which he is forthcoming to his friends, (i.)Conftant kindnefs and faithfulnefs 
at all times,he loves at all times, Prov.17. \T* an< ^ chap. 18. laft : he never fails ; 
nor can he at any time be charged with that which Abfalom cads up to Hufiai, 
2 Sam. 16. 17. Is this thy kindnefs to thy friend ? (2*) Sympathy, and condescen- 
ding to fupply their wants} he cleaves clofer than a brother JPzo. 18. 24. It is fuch 
a love, as one hath who aimeth at his friends good, as well as his own. (3.) 
Familiarity in mutual communion, as ufeth to be betwixt friends, and freedom 
in converfmg •, as, Exod. 3. 1 t. The Lord fpoke with Mofes as a man doth with 
his friend. (4.) It takes in a. mutual confidence that one may have in another, 
as in his very own felf, and more than in any other •, all which are eminently 
in Chrift. /is ointment and perfume rejoice the hearty fo doth the fweetnefs 
cf a man s friend, arid eminently of this friend, by hearty coicafd,- Prov. 27. 9. 
No other friends are comparable to this friend •, happy, happy for evermore 
are they, whofe friend Chrift Jefus is. 7. Where. Chrift is a friend, there is 
he alfo the foul's beloved : Or, believers choofing of Chrift for their Beloved, 
and his being kindly to them as a friend, go together ; thefe two relations, 
my beloved, and my friend are never Separate. Now, to be the foul's Beloved, 
implies thefe things, 1/, That, comparatively, Chrift is eminently and only 
loved by. his people, and nothing is admitted to fhare in their affection with 
him, Phil. 3. 8. idly, That there is in the foul an high efteem of him, which 
begets this love, idly, That there is fuch an ardent affection to him, as makes 
them long for union with him *, as love naturally defires union with that 
which it loves,it defires to be with Chrift here, and hereafter,as that which is 
far the heft of all, Philip. 1. 23. ^thly,\t fuppones a delight and fatisfa&ion, that 
their fouls take in Chrift, and expect from union with him ; their happinefs 
lies in it, and they are difquieted, and fome way* holiiy difcontented and 
weighted, when they mifs it •, and under defertion and abfence, eafily fear, 
left their heart beguile and delude them in that concerning matter, as thefcope 
of this place,, and her prefent exercife fhews. 5. It fuppones a kindlinefs in 
their love, and a well groundednefs, fuch as a wife hath to her husband, and 
feot fuch. as is betwixt the adulterefs and the adulterer, which is all the love 


248 An Exposition Chap. 5. 

that the men of the world have to their idols } but the love that the Bride 
hath to Chrift, is a native and avowed love, of which fhe hath no reafon to 
be aihamed (as men will one day be of all their idols) but to boaft and glory 
in him ^ and Chrift is to the believer, not what idols are to the men of the 
world, but what a moft loving husband is to his wife, being the objeft of 
her heart-contenting and fatisfying love: Wherever thefe properties of 
true love to Chrift are, there may the foul lay claim to him as its friend, and 
be confident to find him its true and kindly friend} for, where he is the 
foul's Beloved, he is the foul's friend. 8. This is implied, that whatever - .0- 
ther belovedslnen fet their love upon befide Chrift, they will prove unfbund, 
and unfaithful friends in the time of need ; Or, confidence in any thing but 
Chrift, will fail a man. at the laft j for, he is their friend, and no other be- 
loved deferves that name •, all other things will be like a broken tooth, or a 
foot out of joint, Pro v. 25. 19. or like pools in the wildernefs, that run dry in 
the heart, and makes the way-faring men afliamed, fuch as Job's friends did 
prove to him, Job 6. 15. Mi ferable comforters will they be to men, in the 
day of their greateft need : but then efpecially will Chrift Jefus be found 
to be a friend indeed ^ for, there is an excellency in Chrift in ever relation 
which he {lands under to his people, and an infinite difproportion be- 
twixt him and all creatures, in refpecl: of this. 

A fecond way, that we may confider the words, is, as they relate to the 
daughters ofjerufalem their queftion, verfe 9. Ye ask what he is more than 0- 
ther beloveds f Now (faith fhe) this is he, who is fmgular and matchlefs in 
all his properties •, and fo, it looks not only to her choice of him, to be her 
Beloved and her Friend, but faith alio, that he is fingularly and mat chiefly 
fuch, even a non-fuch beloved and friend, and one who will be found, alter 
trial, only worthy to be chofen and clofed with as fuch. Obf. 1. Believers, 
in their anfwers to others, would, as particularly as may be, bring home 
•what they fay to fome edifying ufe ( for, this beft clears any queftion pro- 
pofed) and would not infill: on generals, much lefs evanifh in empty fpecula- 
lions, but would lavel at edification, and frame what they fay, io, as it 
may bell reach that end *, and therefore fhe applies s her anfwer to their que- 
ftion, 2. When Chrifl in his excellency and worth is a little infifted and 
dwelt on, he will be found to be incomparable ; and the more fouls fearch 
into him, the more confidently may they affert his incomparable excellency : 
this, fhe here doth, and faith, as it were, Is he not, and fee ye him not now 
to be the chiefeft among ten thoufand, and more excellent than all others ? as 
having made her afTertion demonftrative, and undeniable. 3. Chrifi's worth 
can bide the trial, and there are, and may be gotten, good grounds to prove 
that he is well worthy of all the refpett that can be put upon him •, and in 



Verfe \6. of the Song of Solomon. 249 

— - ■ — ■ . — — _ — _ ____ _ 

:«eafon his worth and excellency may be made convincing unto others, and it 
may be demonftrated to confidences, that Chrift is of more worth than all 
the world 7 and her reluming of it thus, fuppofeth it now to be fo clear, 
that they could fay nothing againft it, as appears more folly from the words 
following. 4. No other believer, nor friend that men choofe beiide Chrift, 
can abide the trial 7 the more they are enquired into, and fearched out, they 
will be found to be of the lefs worth : therefore fhe appeals (as it were) to all 
men to bring their beloveds before Chrift, if they durft compare with him, as 
being confident none durft enter the lifts, purpofely and profeffedly to com- 
pete with him. 

Thirdly ,We may confider thefe words,as her application made to the daugh- 
ters of Jerufalem, holding forth her fcope, to edify them by this defcription of 
Chrift, and preflingly (for their good) to bear it in upon them, that they 
might be made to fall in love with this Chrift, that had fo high u room m 
her heart 7 for, fo the very ftrain of the words feem to run. Hence, Ob J. 1. 
Thefe who love Chrift themfelves, will be defirous to have others knowing 
and loving him alfo : And this may be a mark of love to Chrift, an earneft 
defire to have him efteemed of, and loved by others. 2. Thefe, who love 
Chrift and others truly, will endeavour nothing more, than to have Chrift 
made known to them, and to have them divorced from their idols, and en- 
gaged to him j thus love to them, as well as to him, manifefts it felf. 3. 
It is a piece of the duty of mutual communion, to which the Lord's people 
are obliged, to inftrucr. others in the knowledge of the excellencies of Chrift, 
that they may be brought in love with him •, and where that end is propofed, 
according to mens feveral places and ftations, no opportunity would be miffed* 
nor pains fpared, which may attain it. 4. That this duty of commending 
Chrift to others, fo as it may be profitable, would be exceeding swarrily and 
circumfpe&ly gone about, as all the Brides ftrain clears : For, fhe goes about 
it, (1.) Tenderly, not ubraiding their ignorance. (2.) Lovingly, fpeaking 
ftill to them as friends. (3.) Wifely and feafonably, taking the fit opportuni- 
ty of their queftion. (4.) Fully, folidly and judicioufly, bearing forth the 
main things of Chrift to them. (5.) Affectionately and gravely, as being 
affe&ed with the thing, and in love with Chrift her felf. (6.) Exemplarly and 
convincingly, as going before them in the practice of that her felf, which fhe 
endeavours to prefs upon them *, that is, by loving and feeking Chrift above 
all her felf, ihe ftudies to commend that to others the more effectually. 5. Obf, 
That the right uptaking of Chrift in his excellency, and the pre fling of him 
upon the heart, is the moft folid way of wearing all other beloveds out of re- ( 
queft with the foul : If he once get room, the efteem of other things wiil 
quickly blow up 7 and there is no way to have the heart weaned from them, 

K k bu: 

250 An Ezpojition Chap* 5. 

but to have Chrift great in the affections of his people : Therefore, whe»» 
they ask, what he is more than other Beloveds ? She anfwers, not by 
crying them down, or by difcovering their worthlefhefs, but by the de~ 
fcribing of his worth, and thereby giving them a folid proof of his excellency 
to be a ground of their faith, which doth neceifarily infer the other : For, 
Who is he. that overcomes the world y but he that believes that Jefus is the Son of 
Cod ? 1 John 5. 5. 

Fourthly , We may confider this clofe, as it holds forth the holy exulting, 
and boafting of her foul in Chrift, who is fo far in excellency beyond all 0- 
thers .- This is clear from her claiming of intereft in him, and her repeating 
of the phrafe,^, this lingular this, is my Beloved •, and again, this, is my 
my Friend y efpecially compared; with the fcope,, whereby now fhe holds him 
out, not only as a matchlefs Beloved, and Friend, but to be hers, and ihe 
thinks no fhame of him \ her. heart with holy gladnefs and joy doth exult in 
this excellent choice of hers above all others : As if fhe faid, Ask ye what he 
is ? TkV, now fb defcribed, is he that is mine : He is not like the worthlefs, 
empty and {linking Beloveds, which others have j I avow him, and count my. 
f elf happy, and well come-to in him •, the contentment I have in him is incom- 
parably beyond the counterfeit contentment, that all other Beloveds can give. 
.This the manner of expreilion, and the frame of her heart in the uttering of 
it, and the fcope (which is to fhew her confidence in this his commendation* 
as moft worthy to be. commended) do imply. Obf. 1. That there is matter 
of boafting, and holy bragging in Chrift Jefus, whether we confider the ex- 
cellency that is in himfelf,. or the confidence that his people may have in him, 
as one who will make all that is in him forthcoming to the utmoft, for the 
good of his own. 2. That there is nothing befide him, that one can confi- 
dently boaft o£ j for, this her boafling is fo appropriate to him, as it is- im- 
plied, to be utterly unfuitable that men fhould boaft of any other thing, Let 
him that glorieth^ glory in the Lord^ that is, in him, and in no other thing 
befide him. 3. That believers, who have intereft in him, and have taken 
him to be their Beloved and their Friend, may make their boaft in him, V{. 34. 
2. may glory in him, Ifa. 45. 25- and may blefs themfelves T ns happy eternally *'» 
kim, Ifa. 65. itf. This holy boafling implieth, (1.) An high eftimation of hin>^ 
(2.) Confidence in him without fear. (3.) Satisfaction with him, and having 
full contentment in him. (4.) An eminent joy refulting from thefe, which 
cannot be fhaken, all the former being in an eminent degree. 4. Obj. That 
.it is incumbent to the believer, who hath, chofen Chrift, fometimes to boaft 
in him, and in a lovely and holy way to .vaunt and boaft (if. we- may fo fpeak) 
of him above all-.- So are we commanded, to glory in his holy Name, Pfa). 
105, 3 and this is. one of the ways we. are to commend him, and Chrift will 


yerfe 1 . of the Song of Solomon. 2 5 1 

take it as a piece of notable refpeft put upon him, when it is ferioufly done. 
5. When a believer is in a right frame, and clear anent his intereft, 
he will boafl himfelf in Chrift, as having the lines fallen to him in pleafant 
places , Pfal. 16. 9. whatever elfe be his lot in the world : Chrift is a bar- 
gain/ that one day will be found worth the boafting of. 


Verfe l. Whither is thy fieloVed goMj thou fair eft among 
women? whither is thy Beloved turned ajide, that we may fee k 
him with thee ? 

TH E fweet conference begun in verfe 8. of the former chapter, and 
continued to the end thereof,betwixt the Bride and the daughters of 
Jerufalem, is further drawn out in this chapter : And,Hr/, They 
return a new ferious queftion, verfe i. In iheficond place, ihe replies, ver, i» 
3. After which, in the third place, the Bridegroom himfelf comes i% 
with a notable expreffion of his love to his Bride, and an afTe&ionate com- 
mendation of her graces : And fo, according to the number of the parties 
that fpeak, we have three parts of the chapter. 

The queftion, propofed by the daughters ofjerufalem, is, verfe i. and it 
fuppofeth them to be convinced of Chrifi's worth, by the former difcourfe t, 
and that they now are provoked, as being deeply in love with him, to de- 
fire and thirft after him, and communion with him. Now, as it depends up- 
on the former difcourfe, and is the continuance thereof, it gives ground to 
obferve, t/f, That ferious and faithful endeavours, to gain thefe that are weak, 
are often followed with ableffingon thefe upon whom iuch pains are taken - 7 
for, now the daughters are engaged to feek him with the Bride : And this 
fhould notably encourage to the difcharge of this duty. idly 9 As it is the 
duty of one to admonifh and inftruft another, fo it is all mens duty to ac- 
cept of admonition and inftru&ion from others, and in the L ord to yield 
themfelves thereunto, as thefe daughters do. 3^/y, It makes chriftian-fellow- 
fhip fweet and pleafant, where there is faithful tendernefs upon the one fide, 
and fubmiflive yielding on the other : A wife reprover upon an obedient ear y is an 
excellent jewel , even as an ear -ring of gold^and an ornament of fine gold^ Pro v. 25. 11. 
4^/y, Yielding to inftru&ion, and acknowledging of a conviction after a mi- 
flake (efpecially concerning Chrift) is one of the rirft things, whereby defire 

K k 2 of* 

2 ? i An Expofition Chap. 6. 

of obtaining Chrift doth appear •, whereas fuch gmmblings as, Who made thee n 
reprover, or inftruBer f &c. evidence an unhumbled frame, out of cafe for any 
true defire after Chrift. yhly, This may give fome dire&ions, for Chriftians 
profitable converting one with another ♦, as, i. A neceffary and profitable fub- 
je£t would be propofed to be fpoken of } for, fo much the matter of the daugh- 
ters queftion imports, 2. It would be entertained by both fides when once 
tabled, and all diver fions barred out, and the fubjeft propofed, elofely follow- 
ed with anfwers fuitable to it. 3. The end defigned, would be practice and 
edification (for, fo it is here, tofeek him with them) and not a mere notional 
contemplation. 4. The manner would be grave and ferious, fuitable to the 
matter. 5. Compellations and expreffions, that are ufed, would be refpettive 
of each one to another. 6% Thefe who are weak would not fliun to fpeak, 
and move queftions, in thefe things that may edify them •, as we may fee in 
the daughters carriage here. 7. They who have knowledge would not de- 
fpife thefe who are weak, but condefcend unto them. 8. "It is fbmetimes ufe- 
ful to fufpend explicite following of our own cafe, (efpecially when thefe who 
are prefent feem ftrangers to it) and to condefcend to infift upon the cafe of 
others for their edification • thus doth the Bride with the daughters. 

More particularly, in the words of verfe 1. confider, 1. The title which the 
daughters give the Bride, thou fair efl among -women : It is the fame which 
was, chap. 5. 9. but here it fhews their continuing in refpeel: to her, which 
they vent by fuitabie grave expreifions : It is not much at the beginning to 
carry refpe&ively to the lovers of Chrift 5 but it is much, after fome familiar 
acquaintance, to continue fo doing } which is the leffon that may be learned 
here. 2. Confider the queftion, Whither is thy Beloved gone ? and it is repea- 
ted, to fhew how ferious they w f ere in it, and how defirous of an anfwer. 
3. There is the end, or motive, that draws this queftion from them, and that 
is, That we may fee k him with thee. 

She had t^ld them that her Beloved was withdrawn ; now, they (when con- 
vinced of his worth) ask, Whither ? &c. which is a further ftep of their defire- 
of being acquaint with Chrift, and his way, than what was holden out in their 
queftion, chap. 5. 9* yet having infirmity alio. And it fhews, 1. That where 
there is any conviction of what Chrift is, then the great defign and main en- 
quiry fhould be to know where he is, and how he may be attained. 2. There 
may be fome acknowledgment of Chrift's worth, and affection to him, where 
vet there is much ignorance of the way how to come by him. 3. It is no 
iefs neceflary for a perfon,.to know rightly where and how to feek Chrift, than 
to know what he is. 4. There may be fome honefty of defire after, and love 
to Chriffy where faith dare not claim him as thebeliever's ownyfbr,fay they,, 
where is thy Beloved ? they, fay not, where is our Beloved. ? Beginners are of- 

Verfe i . of the Song of Solomon. 253 

ten very anxious and afraid to make this application, altho' it may be, before 
their conviction and converfion, they did never queftion it. 

Next, we would confider, that the daughters here leave the Bride's cafe, 
and enquire for inftru&ing of themfelves : whence obferve y 1. Wholoever have 
any affe&ion to Chrift, and any opportunity to be inftrucled anent him, would 
thriftily improve it •, if they had but the fellowfhip of an intelligent private 
Chriftian, it mould be made good ufe of to that purpofe. 2. Young beginners 
often forget all others cafes but their own \ and the more experienced fhould 
bear with that, and for others good pafs over their own cafe, and be content 
it be laid afide and forgotten for a time. 3. They ask this, that they may be 
the more enabled to fympathize, and concur with her, in what flie requred of 
them : Which teacheth, that they can be moft ufeful to others, that have 
fbme diftinttnefs in their own condition } for, confufion in our own condition 
doth much obftrncT: the fympathy, and faithful burden-bearing that we owe 
to others in theirs. 

The end, they propofe, is, 'That we mayfeek him with thee ; Which may be 
confidered, firft, as their end in enquiring : Tell us (as if they had faid) for, 
we ask not for curiofity, but to be helped in practice. Whence obfcrve, 1 . 
The great end and defign of all endeavours for knowlege, would not be to refi 
in fpeculation, but to be furthered in pra&ice. 2. It faith, no fooner fhould 
folk be clear in a duty, but inftantly fhould they fet about the practice of it. 
3. Mens practice fhould be according to their knowlege j their feeking, and 
knowing where to feek, fhould go together. 4. The finding of Chrift is the 
great end of all religious duties, wherein we are to feek him, as thefe duties 
are the end of knowlege. 5. Often good defires after Chrift are much im- 
peded by ignorance and confufion, even in the judgments of thefe that affecti- 
onately love him- 

Again, we may confider the words as a motive propofed to the Bride, to 
make her to anfwer-, which is, Shew us, we pray thee,where we may find him; 
for, we are in earneft, and would gladly feek him with thee. And, from the 
words fo confidered, cbferve^ 1. Nothing will nor mould more prevail with a 
tender believer, to move him to be helpful to others, than this, that they are 
ferious and yet weak : Yea, 2.Singlenefs of defire to profit by the means, is 
a piece of that frame that is neceffary, in order to our edification by them ; 
for, thus they ftrengthen themfelves in the expectation of an edifying anfwer, 
which otherwife they could not have expe&ed •, they who are ferious and 
fingle, though fecklefs, may look for God's guiding of them. 

3. Thefe words may be confidered, as holding forth the daughters purpofe^ 
and ("as it were ). an obligation that they come under : Tell us (Tay they J and 
we will feek him. with thee : And. this teacheth, that humble, fingie purpofes^ 


* * — — — 

2^4 An Expofition Chap. 6. 

are neither unfuitable, nor unprofitable to beginners ; yea, it is very neceifa- 
ry, that they ferioufly devote, and -engage themfelves in that bleffed work of 
feeking after Jefus Chrift. 

Further, the words, we will feek him with thee, conlidered in themfelves, 
import not only a feeking, bat a joint feeking with her, as coming in to ihare 
in the fame exercife that fhe was taken up with. Which fhews, iJL That 
they acquiefced in the fame way of religion, which they that were in Chrift 
before them did follow. idly. That there is an union to be kept amongft the 
worfhippers of Chrift, and a joint cordial concurrence in going about of duties. 
$dty> That this united, or joint-way is profitable to all, both to beginners, and 
to thefe that are more experienced •, otherwife it would not be fuch a motive, 
as it is here held forth to be. ^hly, Altho' believers, and all profeffors, have 
an union and communion amongft themfelves fas the Bride hath formerly kept 
with the daughters ofjerufalem) yet when fincerity is begun to be more frefli 
and lively, or when it is begotten where it w r as not before, there follows a 
more near union and communion than that which was before : Now they mind 
another joint way of feeking him, than formerly they had done. 5^/y, Often 
the perfons, by whom fouls have gotten good, are very dear to them, and in 
much refpefl: with them, fo that their way hath a teflimony from them, as 
approveable •, for (faith the daughters) we will feek him with thee, who in- 
ftru&ed us. It is true, that this may fometimes degenerate (fo that folks may 
drink in the dregs from fuch perfons, with their wine) yet it teems, in the 
main principles of practical godlinefs, not to be unfafe j as, Heb. 13. 7,8. 
6thly, The great, main and native ufe of. what is fpoken of Chrifl's excellen- 
cy, is to have fouls brought in love with him, and engaged to feek him •, and 
if this be not gained, any other efTecl: of what is fpoken, is little worth, as to 
what mainly concerns themfelves. As this was the fcope of all the Bride fpoke 
concerning Chrift, fo it is attained on thefe daughters to whom fhe ipoke } and 
it is the great thing we fhould aim at, when either we fpeak of Chrifl's worth, 
or hea-r it fpoken oft 


Verfc 2. My Beloved is gone down into bis garden, to the beds 
of [pices, to feed in the gardens , and to gather lilies. 

The Bride is not long in returning her anfwer, but, being glad to have the 
opportunity to further their edification, itlftantly fhe replies, verfc 2. My Belo- 
ved if gone down, &c. as being well acquaint with the place, where he ufeth 
and haunts : If ye weald find him (faith fhe) his withdrawing* arc not fur off, but 
gfr a m.m retires fometimes to his garden^ and is not in his chamber, fo Chrift, when 


Verfe 2. of the Song of Solomon. 255 

withdrawn from Jenfe (which is the chamber, chap. i. 4 J he is to be found in the af- 
fimblies of his people, in his Church and ordinances, which are (as it were) his gar- 
den \ there ye would feek him. This is the fnm of verfe 2. and then, verfe 3. ha- 
ving inftrutted them by this notable digreflion, flie returns to quiet her felf 
(when all outward means fail) in the faith of her intereft in him. 

If it were asked, How the daughters could ask the Bride, where Chrift was ; 
or how fhe now can tell them, when fhe her felf is feeking, and knoweth not 
(as fhe feemed to profefs, chap. 5. 6, 7, 8.) where to find him ? Anf 1. Be- 
lievers will often give more diftintt advice to others, in their difficulties, 
than they can take to themfelves in their own exercifes ; becaufe light and 
reafon guides them unbyaffedly, in reference to others \ and fenfe, inclinati- 
on and affeftion fway too much in their own cafes. 2. Believers may com- 
plain they know not how to find him, not fo much from defe£r. of light as of 
Fife, when either in their own practice, or in their fuccefs in duties, they 
are not anfwerable to what they aim at : exercifed fouls are ready to aggrege 
their own infirmities y and what is indeed in them, is to their own account, 
as not in them, till the Lord fhine upon it and quicken it, and fobring it out, 
and make it appear. 

In the ffrft part of her anfwer, verfe 2. fhe fpeaks to thefe two^ Firft, Where 
Chrift is. Secondly, What he is doing. The firft giveththem direction where 
to feek him ; the fecond incourages them to fall about it, as a thing accep- 
table to him : The place, where he is, is fet forth by two expreftions, if, He 
is gone down to his garden^ which implieth the fimilitude formerly expre/Ted, 
of a man's retiring from his chamber or clofet to his garden: This garden 
fignifies the Church, as chap 4. 12, 15. and here, as oppofed to gardens, in 
the words following, it holdeth forth the catholick vifible Church, as gardens 
lignifie particular focieties, or congregations : The Church is like a garden 
that is within one precinfr, yet divided into divers quarters and incloiures : 
This, being the Church that hath the promife of Chrift's prefence, and where 
he is ever to be found, mult be underftood of no particular Church, of which 
that cannot be afferted, that Chrift fliaH be always there: It mull therefore ' 
be the catholick Church, diftinguifhed from particular Churches, or gardens. 
idly, He is gone to the beds offpices: As gardens have diftin£t plots of flowers, 
and beds of fpices, and fome particular parts are alloted for thefe, where 
efpecially they grow ; fo, in the Church, Chrift hath his plants, whereof 
fome are fan&ified with grace (therefore compared to fpices) and thefe in 
fome parts of the vifible Church are more abounding than in other parts 
(as fpices in beds together,that may be elfewhere but in particular ftalks, and 
not fo frequent ) and as men love and frequent that plot of their garden mofT •, 
& doth Chrift- moil manifeft himfelf in his ordinances ordinarily, where he 


1^6 An Expofuion Chap. <$♦ 

hath his fpices and lilies in greateft abundance : And thus this laft part qua- 
lifies the former -, he is in his Church, but efpecially where his fpices are 
moft abounding : And therefore, would you have him ? leek him in his Church 
and amongft his people, and efpecially in fuch focieties of his people, where 
true and lively believers are mofl to be found. Here obferve (befide what 
was obferved on chap. 4. 12.) Chrifl's Church, tho' it have many fubdivifions, 
yet is it one Church, one whole catholick Church, whereof particular Church- 
es are parts, 1 Cor. 12. 28. 2. It is in that Church, and no where elfe, that 
Chrirt's prefence is to be found, and where believers, the fpices and lilies, are 
planted. 3. There may be in that one vifible Church many moe real converts 
in one part thereof than in another *, fpices in beds are not in every place of the 
garden. 4. Tho' Chrift hath a fingular care of, and refpett for his whole 
Church, and hath a peculiar prefence there, wherever there is any part there- 
of ^ yet, where he hath much people, beyond what he hath in other places 
(as in Aniioch, A£te 1 1. 21. in Corinth, A&s 18. 10. 2xAEphefm, A&s 19. 20.) 
there efpecially is he prefent, and there ordinarily continues he the power and 
life of his ordinances. 5. Thefe, who defire Chrift, would not run out of the 
Church to feek him, or refpett any way of finding him, which others have 
not found out before them ', but would feek after him, by the ordinary means, 
in his Church: for, this anfwers their queftion, Where is he? propofed for 
that end, that they might feek and find him. 

He hath a twofold exercife in his gardens, for he is not idle : He is gone 
there, Firfi, To feed in the gardens. By gardens, in the plural number, are un- 
derfiood the fubdivifions and particular plots of that one garden, formerly 
mentioned : The Jews had their fynagogues, where the people did meet, and 
the Law was read (as we have our diftincl: congregations) as, Pfal. 74. 8. and 
Atts 15.21. do evidence. To feed, taken actively (as chap. 1.7. where thou 
feeds, &c.) fignifieth his taking care to provide for his own in the Church : if 
taken paffively, he is gone down to feed, that is, that himfelf may eat : and 
it is the fame with what was, chap. 5. 1. / have come to my garden, I have 
eaten, &c. And the fcope in both looks to the fame, and fo the meaning of 
the fimilitude is, that as men have their gardens, wherein they folace them- 
felves, and feed upon the pleafant fruits that are in them, fo doth Chrift de- 
light himfelf in his Church, and take pleafure therein •, as, Pfal. 147. 1 1. He 
taketh pleafure in them that fear him ; and he delight eth in the habitable parts of 
the earth, Prov. 8. 31. that is, where faints dwell, and where the place of 
his reft and haunt is •, other places being but as an unhabited wildernefs to 
Chrift, the Church is the garden, wherein he delights and finds fruit. He 
is faid to feed in the gardens, and not in the garden, 1. To fhew, that the way 
of his manifefting himfelf to his Church, is by erecting his ordinances in 


Verfe 2. of the Song of Solomon. 257 

111 » ' . . . 11 . 

in particular focieties, and thus he derives his bleifings. 2. To fhew, that 
tho' there be divers focieties, or particular Churches, yet his prefence is no^ 
excluded from, or tyed to any one of them : He walks amongst the candleflicks, 
as obferving every one of them, and manifefting himfelf among them, as he 
feeth good. 

The fecond part of his exercife is, to gather lilies : By lilies in this garden 
(as often hath been faid) are underftood believers, chap. 2. 2, 16. Togat!-r, 
is a borrowed exprefiion from nen that life to gather fome flowers they de- 
light in, to bring to their chambers with them \ or fome fruits, that they 
may drefs and prepare them, as we heard, chap. 5. 1. Chrift's gathering of 
his lilies, points, ift, At his calling of them ene&ually who belong to him •, 
the ele£t may be called lilies to be gathered, as they are called fans of God to 
be gathered^ John 1 1. 51, 52. Thus alfo, Matth. 20,. 37. is Chrift's expref- 
fion, I would have gathered yen, &c. whereby their bringing-in to him is figni- 
fied. 'idly, It points at his glorifying of them, which is in part, when par- 
ticular believers are gathered to their fathers, as the phrafe is fieri. 25. S. and 
35. 29. This is, as his pulling of fome lilies for his own fatisfadion : and this 
gathering will be perfected, when all the Elect mall be gathered from the four 
winds, Matth. 24. 31. and the angels frail gather the good fijh into vcffels, hut caft 
the bad away, Matth. 1 3. 48. In a word, then, the fenfe and fcope of the 
whole is this, Would ye (faith fhe) have my Beloved, or know where he is that 
ye may feck htm ? He is in his Church, feek him in the way of his ordinances ; for y 
he is there '$ purpofly to delight himfelf in doing good to his people : it is his errand 
to welcome and gather them as a hen doth her chickens under her wings \ 
therefore (faith fhe) feek him there^ for ye can find no better opportunity. Obferve, 

1 . Our Lord Jefus takes pleafure to be amongft his people, and to do them 
good •, he feeds on this with delight, as a hungry man doth on his meat. 

2. The moe Chrift gains (to fay fo) he feeds the better, and is the more 
cheerful:, he feeds and gathers at once : And this gathering of fouls is'as fweet- 
ly refrefhing and delightfom to our bleffed Lord Jefus, as the plucking of the 
lweeteft flowers is to a man Walking in a garden *, and there is nothing more 
acceptable and welcome to him, than a feeking-flnner. 3. Wherever Chrift's 
ordinances are, there may his prefence' be expected, in one particular Church, 
as well as in another ; for, he feeds in the gardens. 4. The great fcope of 
ordinances is to gather-in believers, and build them up :, and there is nothing 
more acceptable to Chrift, than to have fome to gather, fome whom he may 
fave : that's a refrefhing feaft to him, John 4. 34. 5. Our Lord Jefus hath 
delight in all his people, and in every one of them, where fmcerity is, tho 3 
it be not in the greateft meafure : Therefore it is faid, he gathers lilies inde- 
finitely, that is, one of them as well as another, 6. So long as our Lord Jefus 

L 1 hatk 

258 An Expofition Chap. 6. 

hath a Church and ordinances in it, as long doth he continue to gather ^ ai 
he is not idle, but is ftill gathering, tho' at fometimes, and in fome places 
this may be more fenfible and abundant than ordinary. 7. It is a great en 
couragement to poor finners to feek for Chrift, to know, that this is his ve- 
ry errand in his ordinances, to gather them, and that he is waiting on, like 
the prodigal's father, ready to run with delight to welcome them : this is 
propofed as a motive to the daughters, to feek him. 8. Altho' believers may 
kern for a time to be neglected, and, as it were, forgotten, yet will the Lord 
gather them all in at laft, as his choice of all the world, they being the flow- 
ers of his garden : There is a good day coming to believers, when not one of 
them mall be left to grow in this fighting Church, but he fhall take them in 
to the King's palace, there to he for ever with him. 9. The readinefs of 
Chrift to welcome finners, and the delight that he hath in doing them good, 
fhould exceedingly provoke and hearten finners to feek him, while he may 
be found. This is the great fcope of this verfe. 

V crfe 3 . I am my fieloVed's, and my fylo'Ved is mint : He feed* 

eth among the lilies. 

The fecond part of her anfwer to the daughters queftion, is, verfe 3. and 
it contains the great ground whereon fhe quiets her felf, and wherein fhe refts, 
as being that which makes Chrift lovely to her, even tho' abfent ; I am my 
&eloved y .< 7 and my Beloved is mine : This now is the anchor which Ihe cafts, 
when all other means feemed to difappoint her. We had the lame words for 
fubftance, and to the fame fcope, chaf. 2. 16. wherein fhe firft averted her in- 
tereft, and fecondly maintained it againft an obje&ion, even as Ihe doth here. 
Befide what was faid there, we may confider the words here, Firft, As in 
them her intereft is repeated, tho' it was once formerly afferted : Which 
fliews, t. That believers, tho' once clear anent their intereft, may have their 
difficulties and doubts recurring upon them. 2. That, when new difficulties 
recur, there is no new way to be taken for difcuffing of them,, but the fame 
way of believing, which is again to be renewed and kept in exercife. 3. It 
fhews, that mifcarriages do not break off that union which is betwixt Chrift 
and his people : For, altho' there had been many failings in her former car- 
riage, yet her intereft is ftill the lame. 4. Believers, even over, and not- 
withstanding of, many challenges, may lay claim to an intereft in Chrift, 
when they are in the exercife of repentance, faith and other graces. 5. Her 
thus repeating, and again owning of her intereft, fhews, that fhe was exceed- 
ing clear and perfwaded thereof. Whence obferve, Believers may attain a 
great degree of afTurafice? and may and mould not only aim to have it, but 


, II ■ I ■ ■ ■ — ■ »-~ 

Verfe ;. of the Song of Solomon. 259 

to preferve and keep it clear : for, that is of great concernment as to their 
peace •, and the weight of their confolation, in their confident application of 
all the promifcs, depends on it. 

Secondly, Confider, altho' the words be the fame, yet the order is changed -, 
it was, 1 hap. 2. \6. My Beloved is mine, &c. fo there fhe begins at aifertittg 
her intereft in him, but here fhe begins at afferting his intereft in her, or 
her betaking of her felf to him, for clearing of her intereft in him $ I am 
(faith fhe) my Beloved's, or, / am to my Beloved : and from her betaking her 
felf to him, and adhering to the bargain, fhe concludes he alfo is hers. Which 
ihews, i. That they who are clear of their adhering to Chrift, and of their 
fleeing to him, as their choice, may warrantably conclude that Chrift is theirs, 
even tho' fenfe would fay the contrary. 2. When there is nothing in Chrift's 
dilpenfation to us, that looks convincing-like of his love to us, it is good to 
rerleft on our a&ing on him \ and if it be found that we have fled to him, 
and clofed with him, then there is ground to conclude our union with him, 
and intereft in him \ and there cannot be a founder way of reafoning than that : 
For, if we on our part be anfwerable to the call, we are not to queftion his 
part, (namely, his beftowingof himfelfon us, according to the tenor of his 
offers) but to believe it according to his word. Believers may fometimes be 
put to this way of arguing, and it is fiire. 

Thirdly, If we confider the words, as following on her former defertion and 
exercife, and as being now intended by the Bride (as her fcope) to fix her felf^ 
they give ground to obferve, 1. That faith is ftill a refuge : when all God's 
difpenfations, and every thing in the believer's cafe, feems to leave the heart 
in difquietnefs, faith is then the laft and great refuge. 2. Faith is then moft 
fatisfying, when repentance is exercifed, and all other means diligently gone 
about \ therefore may fhe now caft this anchor, after fhe hath been in the 
exercife of repentance, and in the ufe of other means (as we have feen in the 
former chapter) which had been prefumption to have been done at firft, 
thefe being flighted : Faith will fuftain fouls in duty, but prefumption puffs 
up (as in verfe 3.) even when they are out of it •, faith preferves from faint- 
ing under discouragements in the way of God, prefumption ftrengthens againft 
juft challenges, when folks are out of his way. 

The fecond part of the verfe, He feeds among the lilies, was alfo fpoken to, 1 
chap. 2. \6. It is brought-in here, to remove that objection, If he be thine, 
where is he ? Is he not away ¥ And if he be away, why claims thou intereft in 
him ? She anfwers them, Tho y he be not prefcnt to fenfe, yet is he ever kind-to 
his people, and therefore cannot but be kind to me \ which mikes me conclude, That 
tW he be not prefent to fenfe, yet he is mine, and I am his. Believers are called 
lilies often, 1 . For their native beauty, Matth. 6. 20. 2. For their favorineis, 

JL 1 2 chap. 

160 An Expofition Chap. 6. 

chap. 5. 1 3. 3. For their growing, and making increafe, as the Ulie> Hof 14. 5, 
And fo the fimilitude points at thefe three excellencies of the believer^ 
(1.) The native beauty and lovelinefs of Chrift's grace in them (2.) The 
fweet reliih and favorinefs of their graces. And, (3.) Their fpiritual growth 
in grace, from one degree of it to another. Chrift's feeding among his lilies^ 
fliews, the great delight he takes in them, and the pleafure he hath to do 
them good, as was cleared, chap. 2. \6. Obferve^ 1. Chrift is exceeding loving 
to, and tender of, all his people, of one as well as of another -, and hath been 
fo from the beginning,that none had ever any reafon to complain. 2. Chrift's 
way, in general, to his people, when well taken up, may notably quiet, con- 
tent and comfort any of them, when a difficulty comes on, or when under 
any darknefs or defertion, as the Spoufe here was •, He never did any of his 
own wrong. 3. A believer, that hath clearnefs anent his fleeing to Chrift by 
faith, may draw comfortable conclufions from, and comfortably apply, the 
way of Chrift with others of his people to themfelves, and expect that fame 
kindnefs from him, that they have met with •, for, the covenant is one and 
the fame with them all. 4. Believers may fometimes be put to gather their 
comfort, and to fuftain their faith, more from the experience of others, in what 
they have found, and how Chrift hath carried to them, than from any thing 
that is in their own prefent condition. 5. Shepropounded Chrift's kindnefs to his 
people {the lilies) to encourage the daughters oCjervfalem to feek hlm y vcrfe 2. 
now, here, ftie makes life of the fame ground, for quieting of her felf Hence 
learn two things, 1/?, That fame,which warrants believers at firft to approach 
to Chrift, may encourage them to renew and continue the exercife of their 
faith, in making application of him and his comforts, idly. It is good, in our 
own practice, to make ufe of the fame grounds, and to- walk by the fame 
rules, that we would propofe to others. 

Verfe 4. Thou art beautiful] my love, as Tirzah, comely as 
Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners. 

In verfe 4. (which begins the third part of the chapter) Chrift, the Bride- 
groom, comes in and fpeaks : Our Lord Jefus (as it were) hath been long fl- 
lent, and here he breaks in, without any preface, and makes up all his for- 
mer abfence and filence, by his Angular kindnefs, when he manifefb himfelf 
to his Bride - 7 which kindnefs appears in the warmnefs and fweetnefs of his 
many and various expreifions. He continues fpeaking unto verfe ro. of chap. 7. 
after he had knocked at her door, chap. 5 , 2. he had been longing, as it were, 


Vcrfe 4. of the Song of Solomon. 2f5t 

to be 111 :,.and now, when he wins in, he infifts the more, and feveral ways 
profecuces and amplifies the commendation of his Bride : Tfiis is, ifl, Gene- 
rally propounded, in three fimilitudes, verfe 4. idly, It is aggreged in one 
inftance thereof, verfe 5.— $dly, He defcends to particulars, ver. —5, 6", 7. 
qthly, He takes her up in diverfe confiderations, that fpeak her to be lovely 
and beautiful,;^. 8, 9. %thly, This is confirmed by two inftances and proofs, 
1. What the daughters did efteem of her,and their praife is marked, ven 9,10. 
2. It is inftanced in the influence that her lovelinefs had on him, ver. 11, 
12, 13. And 6thly, He proceeds in a different method from what he had, 
chap. 4. to fet out the particulars of her lovelinefs, chap. 7. 

Generally me is let out, verfe 4. by three comparifons, i* She is beautiful 
as Tirzah : This was a city of the tribe of Manajfch. The word in the original 
comes. from a root, that fignifieth acceptable; whereby it feems, that this 
city hath been exceeding pleafant. It was the feat of one of the kings of Ca- 
naan*, Jofh. 12. 24. and of the kings of tfrael, after the rent of the ten tribes 
from the houfe of David, until Zimri burnt it *, after which Omri built Sama- 
ria, as is to be feen at large, 1 Kings 16. Thus the fpiritual beauty of holi- 
nefs in believers (Pfal. 1 10. 3.) is fet out as having in it fo much lovelinefs as 
may commend it, and make it defirable and acceptable to others. 2. She is 
comely as Jerufalem : This was the head city ofjudah, beautiful for f mat ion, 
and the joy of the whole earth, Pfal. 48. 2. but molt beautiful for the ordinances 
and worfhip of God, which were there ', therefore glorious things are fpokea 
of it, more than any thing that was to be feen by carnal eyes, and it was loved, 
on that account, more than all the dwellings of Jacob, Pfal. 87. 2, 3. It is ordi- 
narily taken for a type of the Church, which is fet out by it $ as, Pfal. 122. 
It feems here the lord doth refpecT: the believer's fpiritual beauty, with re- 
ference to that comelinefs and orderlinefs, which is to be feen among them, 
and is maintained by them in the exercife of his ordinances ; and alfo in re- 
fpeft of his efcimation, every believer is a Jerufalem to him, where he dwells, 
where he is worshipped, and to whom he hath given the promife of his pre- 
fence. Believers are to him as Tirzah and Jerufalem, the moft beautiful cities^ 
of that land, for the time. Or, the firfl fimilitude, taken from Tirzah, may- 
look to outward beauty ; for, Tirzah was a beautiful city : and the other fimi- 
litude, taken from Jerufalem, may look to Church-beauty, as the ordinances 
were there : And fo the fenfe run^, My love, thou art to me as the moft 
excellent thing in the world -, yea, as the moft excellent thing in the vifible 
Church,, which is more precious to him than any thing in the world. 3. She 
is terrible as an army with banners : An army is firong and fearful j a banner'd 
army is flately and orderly, under command, and in readinefs for fervice °, an 
army with banners, is an army in its moft flately poflure : The Church is 


i6z An Expojition Chap. 6. 

terrible as fuch an army, either, i/, Confidered complexly or collectively, her 
ordinances have power, authority and efficacy, like a banner'd army : So the 
Church's fpiritual weapons arefaid to be mighty and powerful through Gcd, 2 Cor. 
10. 5, 6". This, being compared with the 9. and 10. verfes, may'have its own 
place. But, idly, The fcope here, and the words following, look efpecially 
at the flatelinefs, majefty, and fpiritual valour that is in particular believers, 
v;ho are more truly generous, valorous and powerful, than any army with 
banners * 7 when their faith is exercifed, and kept lively, they prevail where- 
fa ever they turn, they carry the vitlory over the world ', 1 John 5. 4. over de- 
vils, which are enemies whom no worldly army can reach -, but by the power 
of faith they prevail, even to quench the violence cf fire, as it is in Heb. 1 1. 34. 
and by faith they waxed valiant in fight : But mainly this holds in refpett of 
Chrift himfelf, they prevail over him, in a manner, by their princely carriage, 
as Jacob did, Gen. 32. 28. As a prince haft thou had power with God and men, 
and haft prevailed : See Hof 12. 4. He had power over the angel, and prevailed : 
And indeed, no army hath fuch influence upon him, as believers have, which 
is fuch, that he cannot (as it were) ftand before them, or refufe them any 
thing, that they with weeping and fupplications wreftle with him for, accor- 
ding to his will. Now, that it is in this refpeft, mainly, that the believer is 
called terrible as an army with banners, is clear, (1.) From the fcope, which 
is to comfort a particular believer, who hath been wreftling with him already 
under defertions. (2.) The next words confirm it, Turn away thine eyes from 
me (faith he) for they have overcome me : What ftatelinefs, or terriblenefs (might 
one fay) is in a poor believer ? It is eafily anfwered, that this is not any aw- 
ful or dreadful terriblenefs that is here intended, but the efficacy of faith, and 
the powerful victory which through the fame, by ChrilVs own condefcending, 
the believer hath over him •, andfo in his account, as to prevailing with him, 
Chrift's Bride is more mighty than many armies, in their moft ftately pofhire*, 
therefore (faith he) thine eyes (that is her faith) have overcome me (that is her 
terriblenefs,) turn them away, I cannot fto fay fo) abide them. And thefe three 
together make the believer (or rather Chrift's love, who ufeth thefe expref- 
fionsj wonderful, Fir/}, The believer is beyond all the world for beauty. 
Secondly, The vifible Church, and believers in her, in refpefl: of ordinances 
and her ecclefiaftick eftate, is very comely and lovely ; and yet the believers 
inward beauty is beyond that alio, the King's daughter is all glorious within. 
Thirdly, Believers, in regard of the power of their faith, are more terrible than 
armies, or all military power among men : Thou art f faith he) fo.tome, and 
haft fuch infiuence en me, and may expeel: thus to prevail with, and in a man- 
ner to overcome me : And fo Chrift is fo far from quarrelling with her, for 
her bygone carriage now, that he effectually comforts and commends her. 


Verfe 5. of the Song of Solomon. 265 

Hence Ohf 1. Our Lord Jefus is a moft friendly welcomer of a finner, and the 
fweeteft paiTer-by of tranfgreffions that can be •, there is no upbraiding here 
ibr any thing, but every word fpeaks how well he takes with her. 2. Our 
Lord Jefus his manifeftations are feafonable and wife : Seafbnable, that now 
he comes, when the Bride hath left no mean uneffayed, and was at a ftand - 7 
wife, that he comes not until ihe had found the bitternefs of her own way r 
and was brought to a more lively exercife of faith, repentance, holinefs and 
profitable experiences therein 5 of which we have fpoken in what goeth before. 
3. The Lord is not difpleafed with humble believing, and with the claiming 
of intereft in him by his own, even when his dilpenfations to fenfe are dark, but 
takes very well with it, and hath a fpecial complacency in it, and therefore 
comes in with this intimation of his love here, importing his hearty accepting 
of her. 4. The Lord's commendations of his people, and the intimations of his 
love to them, are fuch, as it may be feen he conforms and proportions them to 
their condition and exercife \ and when they have been under any long and 
fharp exercife, fas the Bride was in the former chapter; he makes, when he 
comes, his manifeftations the more fweet and full, as here. 5. Believers, 
when grace is exercifed, mull needs be beautiful creatures, and much efteem- 
ed of by Chrift, who thus commends them. 6. Grace and holinefs in a be- 
liever's walk is much more beautiful and acceptable to Chrift, than the ex- 
ternal ordinances (though excellent in themfelves) as feparable from it •, for, 
Jerufalem, that was very beautiful as to ordinances, is but an emblem of this. 
7. There is an awfulnefs and terriblenefs in believers, as well as lovelinefs, 
which makes them terrible to the profane } even whether they will or not, 
a godly carriage puts a reftraint on them. 8. Lovelinefs, terriblenefs and au- 
thority in holinefs > are knit together : When a particular believer, or Church, 
13 lively in holinefs, then have they weight and authority \ and when that 
fails, they become defpicable. 9. The believer hath great weight with Chrift j 
he is the only army that prevails over him, as faith is the only weapon, be- 
ing humbly exercifed, by which they overcome : This is more fully expreffed: 
in the next verfe. 

Vcrfe 5. 'Turn away thine eyes from me^ for they have overcome 
pie : — — 

The firfi part of the fifth verfe contains the amplification and heightning 
of the Bride's lovely terriblenefs \ and the great inftance and proof thereof is 
held forth in a moft wonderful expreffion, Turn away thine eyes from me • and as 
wonderful a reafon, for they have overcome me, faith the Beloved : Wherein 
confider, Firfi^ That wherein this might and irrefiftable terriblenefs of hers 


2^4 An Expofition Chap. 6. 

confifted, it is her eyes 9 which are fuppofed to be 'looking on him, even when 
(he knew not, to her fenfe, where he was : By eyes, we ftiew, chap^ 4. 9. 
were underftood her love to him, and faith in him, whereby fhe was ftili 
cleaving to him under defertion, and in the prefent dark condition fhe was in, 
feeking to find him out. Secondly, This phrafe, Turn away thine eyes, is not Co 
to be taken, as if Chrift approved not her looking to him, or her faith in him ; 
but, to lhew the exceeding great delight he had in her placing her faith and 
love on him, which was fuch, that her loving and believing looks raviihed 
him (as it is chap. 4. 9 J and (as it were) his heart could not ftand out againft 
theft looks, more than one man could {land out againft a whole army, as the 
following expreifion clears : It is like thefe expreffions,. Gen. 32. 28. I fray thee 
let me go , and, Exod. 32. to. Let me alone, Mtfes which fhews, that it is the 
believer's ftrength of faith, and importunity of love, exercifed in humble de- 
pendence on him, and cleaving to him, which is here commended ,far (faith 
he) they have overcome me. This ihews, that it is no violent, or unwilling vi- 
ctory over him : But (in refpe£t of the etTecl: that followed her looks J it holds 
forth the intenfenefs of his love, and the certainty of faith's prevailing, that 
(to fpeak fo with reverence and admiration) he is captivate, raviihed and held 
with it, as one that is overcome, becaufe he will be fo *, yea, according to 
the principles of his love, and the faithfulnefs of his promifes, whereby he 
walks, he cannot but yield unto the believing importunity of his people, as 
one overcome. In fum, it is borrowed from the moll paflionate love that ufeth 
to be in men, when they are fo taken with fbme lovely objecl:, that a look 
thereof pierceth them : This, though in every thing fefpecially as implying 
defeats) it cannot be applied to Chrift, yet in a holy fpiritual manner, the ef- 
fects, for the believer's comfort, are as really and certainly, but much more 
wonderfully, in Chrift Thefe expreffiohs are much of the fame nature with 
thefe fpoken 01^ upon chap. 3. 4. and chap. 4. 9. and therefore the doctrines 
t there, will follow here. But further, from the fcope and repetition, Obferve, 
ift, That the believers eyes may look, that is, their love and faith may be 
exercifed on Chrift, even in their dark and deferted conditions ^ and it is their 
property to look alway to him, even when their eyes are, 'as it were, blind 
through defertion, he is ftill the objecl: they are fet upon, idly, That when 
thefe graces of faith and love are exercifed on Chrift, they are never fluitlefs, 
but always prevail and obtain, though it be not always fenfible to the beh'ev- 
er. $dly y The love and faith of believers have weight with Chrift, and af- 
fect him^ even when he keeps up himfelf, he may be overcome even then - 7 
for, the expreffion in the text looks to what was paft. tfhly, Faith, working 
by love, is a moft gallant, and holy daring thing, bold in its enterpriies to 
purfue after, to grip, and flick to Chrift over all difficulties fas may be feen 


of the Song of Solomon, 


Verfe 5. 

in her former carriage) and moft fuccefsfiil as to the event. $thly 9 The more flay- 
edly and ftoutly, with love, humility and diligence, that faith is fet on Chrift, 
it is the more acceptable to him, and hath the greater commendation, as the 
eleventh of the Hebrews, and his commendation of that woman's faith, Matth, 
15. 25. do confirm. Tenacioufnefs, and importunity in holding of, hanging 
on, and cleaving to Chrift by faith, may well be marvelled at, and commended 
by Chrift, but will never be reproved nor rejected : They greatly miftake 
Chrift, who think that wreflling by faith will difpleafe him y for, even though 
he feem to keep up himfelf, it is but to occafion, and to provoke to more of 
the exercife of thefe graces, in which he takes fo much delight. 

Verfe f. -— Thy hair is as a flock of goats 7 that appear from 

Verfe 6. Thy teeth are a* a flock of jheep which go up from the 

wajhing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there U net one 

barren among them. 

Verfe 7. As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy 


The following particulars of her commendation, in the end of the 5. and in 
the 6. and 7. verfe s, are fet down in the fame words, chap, 4. 1,2, 3. and 
therefore we need fay no more for their explication, only we would confider 
the reafon of repeating them in the fame words, which is the fcope here, and 
it is this, Altho' he commended her formerly in thefe exprefftons, yet confi- 
dering her foul flip, chap. 5. 2, 3. and his withdrawing on the back of it, fhe 
might think that he had other thoughts of her now 5 and that thefe privileges 
and promifes, which fhe had ground to lay claim to before, did not belong to 
her now *, and therefore fhe could not comfortably plead an intereft in them 
now, as before : To remove this miftake or doubt, he will not only commend 
her, but in the fame very words, to fhew that fhe was the fame to him, and 
that his refpett was not diminifhed to her} therefore he will not alter her name, 
nor her commendation, but will again repeat it for her confirmation, intima- 
ting his love thereby 7 and alfo for her inftruetion, teaching the Bride her du- 
ty by thefe particulars of her commendation, and fhewing her what jhefhould 
be. And this commendation had not met fo well with her cafe, nor expreffed 
fo well his unchangeable love, if it had been given in other terms. From this 
we may obferve, 1. As believers are ready to flip and fail in their duty, fo 
are they ready to fufpeel: Chrift to be changing towards them, becaufe of their 
failings - ? they are very apt 9 from their own fickknefs and changes, to appre- 

M m hend 

2 66 An Expofition Chap. 6. 

hend him to be changeable alfo, and to refufe comfort from all bygone evi- 
dences and intimations of his love, and from all words that have comforted 
them, till they be reftored and fet right again. 2. Our Bridegroom is moft 
conftant in his affettion to his Bride, continuing ftill the fame \ and as he is the 
moft free forgiver of wrongs to his own, fo he is the molt full forgetter of 
them, when they return ; and therefore he continues fpeaking to her in the 
fame terms as formerly, without any alteration, as if no fuch wrong on her 
fide had been committed. 3. Renewing of repentance and faith by believers, 
after failings, puts them in that fame condition and capacity with Chrift, for 
laying claim to his love, and their woated privileges and comforts, wherein 
they were before, even as if fuch failings and mifcarriages had never been. 
4. Our Lord Jefus would have his people confirmed, and ftrengthned in the 
faith of the conftancy of his love, the unchangeablenefs of their intereft, and 
the privileges foHowing thereon : And feeing he thus loves hispeople, he al- 
lows them to believe it. 5. It is not eafy to fix and imprint ChrifTs words 
on believers hearts, and to get them affe&ed with them : Therefore, often 
both promifes and duties muft be repeated ^ and what was once fpoken, muft 
be again repeated for their good, efpecially after a flip and fit of fecurity, the 
fame word hath need to be made lively again, and frefh to their relifh, which 
the Lord doth here. 6. Unlefs Chrift. fpeak, and make the word lively, the 
fweeteft word, even that which once pofhbly hath been made lively to a be- 
liever, will not favour, but will want its relifh and luftre, if he repeat it not. 

Verfe 8. There are three/core queens, and four/core concubines, and 
Virgins without number. 

Verfe 9. My doVe, my unde filed is but one : fhe is the only one of 
her mother, fhe is the choice one of her that ban her : the daugh- 
ters faw her, and bleffed her 3 yea, the queens and the concubines, 

and they praifed her. 

This kind Bridegroom proceeds in the commendation of his Bride, zer. 8, o* 
and fhews the rich excellency that is in her, by confidering her feveral ways, 
whereby fhe is preferable to what is moft excellent : And then, in the following 
verfes, he confirms this by a twofold proof. And laftly, ver/e 13. clofeth the 
chapter with a kind invitation, whereby, as it were, by a new proof of his 
love 7 he puts the commendation, given her, out of doubt. 

For underrlanding the 8. and 9. verfe?,- we are to conceive, that by daugh- 
terly virgins^ queens, concuhines^ by this dove that is one, and the mother that 
heon* are not underftood any party difti&& from the Church or Bride, but the 


Verfe 8. of the Song of Solomon. z6y 

fame Bride diverfly confidered, taking in, Rrfc the Church as vifible, which is 
beautiful in her ordinances, external profefiion and order •, for, fhe is the mo- 
ther that bears the daughters (who are the daughters of Jerufalem) and that is 
faid to befeen ; both which expreiTions hold forth this, and accordingly motlxr 
and daughters have hitherto been underftood in this Song, chap. 3. 4, 5. Se- 
condly j and efpecially, the Church as invifible, and the real believers who are 
members of the Church invifible ; for, the fcope here is to commend her gra- 
ces : and if we confider the commendation preceeding, and the proofs given, 
it will appear that they efpecially belong to her, and by analogy agree to the 
vifible Church, wherein fhe is comprehended. 

This diverfe consideration of the Church, as one and moe, is not, \fi, Dif- 
agreeable to other fcriptures, in which Chrift ufeth to commend her j as we 
fee, Pfal. 45. 9, 13, 14. where there is the Queen, called the King's daughter, 
and the Virgins, or Daughters her companions, who are with her : Yet by all is 
underftood the fame invifible Church, confidered collectively as one body, or 
diftributively in her feveral members. Nor, zdly, is it inimitable to the 
ftrain of this Song *, nor is it abfurd, as was ftown in the Preface, <ind needs 
not now be repeated. And, $dly, It agrees well with Chrift's fcope here 
("where he is, to fay fo, feeking how to exprefs fully the^commendation of his 
Bride, as fingular and eminent) thus to confider her •, for, the moe ways fhe 
be confidered, her excellency appears the more, fhe being excellent, what- 
ever way fhe be lookt on: And if as vifible fhe be glorious,and fome way one in 
him, much more as invifible fhe is fo j which is the fcope, as is clear, verfe 9. 
By Queens, Concubines and Virgins, then, we underfland believers of different 
growths and degrees : I fay, Believers, 1. Becaufe thefe titles agree beft to 
them, according to the ftrain of this Song and of Pfal. 45. 2. They are fup- 
pofedto be of one mother. 3. They praife the Bride, which is an evidence 
of honeftyand fincerity, and a greater argument of her excellency, that fhe 
is praifed and commended by fuch as had difcerning : I fay, we are here to 
underftand believers of different growths and degrees : fb that fome believ- 
ers are Queens, that is, more glorious, and admitted to the higheft privileges -, 
fome are as Concubines, who were accounted lawful wives as to conjugal fel- 
lowfhip, but differed in this, that they had not fuch government over the 
family, and their children had not right to inherit, therefore they are as half 
wives, as the word in the original will bear ; fome are Virgins, that are not 
fo far admitted, yet are of a chaft carriage, and fo differenced from others, 
as was faid on chap. 1. 3. Next, The commendation is, that tho' there be 
many Queens, moe Concubines, and Virgins without number (that is, tho' there be 
many believers of different fizes "and degrees) yet there is but one Bride, 
which is a fingular excellency in her, and an unheard-of thing, that fo many 

M m 2 mrfce 

2 6$ An Expofition- Chap. 6- 

make up but one Bride •, the like whereof is not to be found in any marriage 
that ever was in the world : Or, we may conceive thus, Tho' men, for their 
fatisfa&ion, fought out many queens, concubines and virgins, becaufe there 
'was not to be found in any one what was fatisfying, yet (faith he) my one 
Bride is to me many virtually, as if the worth of fo many queens, concubines 
and virgins were combined in one : And thus, as fhe fet him out chief of all 
Husbands, fo doth he fet her out as chief of all Brides, and as comprehending 
in her alone all that was defirable, as the next part of the 9. verfe clears. By 
the number, threef o e, f urfcore, zn<\with<ut number, we conceive an indefinite 
number is to be underftood -, that is, they are many, only they of the infe- 
rior ranks are manyeft, that is, there are moe concubines than queens, far 
advanced in Chriftianity, and again, moe virgins than concubines, becaufe 
experienced believers of an high degree are moft rare, and thefe who are not 
grown up, to have their fenfes exercifed, are moil numerous : In a word, 
there are moe weak than ftrong believers. Which faith, i. That there are 
degrees amongft true believers •, all have not the fame degree of grace, tho 7 
all have the fame grace for kind, and tho' all be in the fame covenant : there 
are old men or fathers, young men, and little children or babes, i John 2. 12,13. 
2. Among believers, there are many moe weak than ftrong. 3. He accounts 
of them all as honourable, and reckons even the virgins as commendable, tho' 
they come not up to be queens. Yet, 4. Where grace is moft lively, and 
faith moft ftrong, there he dignifies believers with a moft fpecial and ample 
commendation, verfe 9. 

The 9. wrfe makes up the feope with the former. By dove and un defile^ 
svefaid, is underftood the Church, efpecially the invifible Church of belie- 
vers, who all partake of the fame nature and property, and fo of the fame 
privileges \ the titles are fpoken of before. The commendation is threefold, 

Flrfi, She is one, which fet s her out, not only with unity in her afYe&ions, 
but (to fay fo) with a kind of onenefs in her felf : Thus the vifible catholick 
Church is one gardener/* 2. comprehending many beds of fpices-, one Church, 
made up here of many particular Churches : And thus onenefs, or unity, is 
a great commendation to her, or a fpecial part of her excellency. But,.2^/y, 
The invifible Church is but one, all believers make up one body •, tho' there 
be many of different growths, yet there is but one Bride. This is a Angular 
thing, and this makes for the fcope, of commending the Bride *, and points 
out two things, 1. That all the excellencies in believers combine in one, and 
that muft be excellent y every one of them partakes of another's excellency, 
by vertue of the mutual union and communion they have with Chrift, the 
Head and Husband, and one with anothety as the beauty of the face adorns 
the leg,, and the itraightnefs of the legs commends the face, becaufe both hold 


Verfe 9. of the Song o/"- Solomon. i6y 

Jbrth one glorious body. .2. it ■ illuilrates her commendation thus, There are 
many queens ftately, many concubines and virgins lovely amongft. men, yet 
one cannot be all : but (faith he) altho' there be many of thefe in the Church, 
yet is fhe one *, and altho' fhe be one, yet is flie all, collectively fumming 
up all. 

Secondly, She is the only one of her mother : This fets her cut Angularly and 
exclusively, there is not another but fhe. By mother, here, is underftood the 
catholick Church, wherein children are conceived and brought forth :, fhe is 
the mother of all that believe, 6W. 4. 26. Jerufalem that is above, is free, which 
is the mother of us all. This Church, conAdered as from the beginning of the 
world to the end, is one *, and is the mother, in refpecr. of the Church con- 
fidered as bemg in this or that place for the time pref-nt, which is nnderftood 
by w a v ; wherever we live, we belong to that mother, Gd, 4. 26. There is 
no Chuich but that one } and who are begotten to God, are brought forth 
by her, and belong to her. 

Thirdly, She is -he choice one of her that bare her. This fets her out compa- 
ratively, i/r, She is the choice one in refpecr. of the world •, this one Church 
is more excellent than the multitude of all the focieties that are there. 2 Jy^ 
She is the choice one in refpect of all vifible profeffors as fuch, flie is beyond 
the daughters # , amongft all her mother's children, or profeifrng members of 
the Church, the believer doth excel. $dly 9 The Church, confidered com- 
plexly, doth excel particular believers, as havings all their excellencies comr 
bined together : Or, the fcope of thefe two verfes being to prefer the 
Bride as Angular, and eminently beyond all other beloveds, whether queens* 
concubines, fuch as are joined unto men , or virgins, fuch as are yet fuited 
and fought for ; we may conceive it thus, My Lve y (faith he) my dove hath 
not a match r but is chief : And as fhe called him the chief of all Beloveds,^/?. 
5. 10. fo here he commends her as the moft lovely of all Brides, that can be 
wedded or wooed : Altho' there be many of thefe, yet, 1. My dove is but 
one, that is, in refpecr, of her Angular excellency, fhe comprehends all. 2. She 
is the only one of her mother ; there are no moe of that family, that are born 
of that mother, befide her felf, that I can fet my heart on, or can match, 
with : And thus all the world beAde the believer is cried down* 3. Compa- 
ratively, fhe is the choice one of her that bare her \ that is, not only by compa- 
ring her with the world, but by comparing, her with all. mere external, pro- 
feffors,. fhe is ftill the choice of all. 

That this is the fcope, is clear \ and the enumerating of fo many -queens, 
concubines and virgins,, doth illufirate it, either by fhewing her Angularity 
and perfection, as having all in her alone, which is to be had in many y or,, by 
preferring her to all, altho 5 they be many : And thus r in his commending: 

270 An Expofoion Chap. <S. 

of her, he is even and equal with her in the commendation fhe gave him, 
which was both comparative, that he was chief of ten thoufand •, and alfo ab- 
folute and comprehenfive, that he was all defires, that nothing was wanting, 
but that all things defirable were comprehended in him : So now he commends 
and extols her above all other, as having more in her alone than was to be 
found in all others :, to fhew that his love to her, and his eftimation of her, 
was nothing inferior to hers of him \ and that he was fatisfied with her alone, 
without feeking to multiply queens or concubines, as many men of the world 

This commendation out of Chrift's mouth, of a Bride fo undutiful, may 
feem flrange -, therefore, to make it unqueftionable, he brings in a double 
confirmation, both which refpecl: what goeth before, to make it the more 
convincing. The firfl is in the end of the ninth verfe, and it is taken from 
that efteem that others had of her, The daughters fc.xo her, and they blejfcd her r 
&c. This beauty (faith he) is real and fingular, even fuch, that it makes on- 
lookers, the raoft glorious and difcerning ( not only the daughters, but even 
the queens and concubines) to be much arTe&ed •, the beauty of my Bride is 
is fuch as takes them all up. The daughters, that is, profeffors, faw her, 
they beheld this beauty of hers (as chap. 3. o\) and they bleffed her, that is, 
1 . They were convinced of her excellency, and accounted her bleffed and 
happy, as Mary faith of her felf, Luke 1.48. And, 2. They wiftied well to 
her, defiring God to blefs, her, as, Pfal. 1 29. 8. We blefs you in the Name of 
the Lord •, for, thefe two are comprehended in one man's blefling of another. 
Next, the queens and concubines , that is, thefe who, either in the world, or in 
the Church, are thought moft of, they praifed her •, by which is underftood 
fome external expreflion of their efleem of her, and their endeavour to paint 
out her excellency and beauty to the view of others, fo as they might fall 
in love with her : As the firfl then looks to the high thoughts, and inward e- 
fleem they had of her, ib this looks to the outward expreffioa of that efteem, 
by which they ftudy to fet her out in the eyes of all others : So they yielded 
the Bride to be excellent, and called her fair eft among women, chap. 5. 9. 
which is an evidence of her lovelinefs, and of the lovelinefs of grace in an ex- 
ercifed believer •, and whatever others thought of her, yet that fuch praifed 
her, it fhews, there was reality in the ground thereof. This is alfo fpoken 
to their commendation,who did thus commend her •, and it holds out, 1 .The 
notice which he takes of the thoughts and words which men have of his Bride : 
Our Lord knows what men fay or think of his people, and records it. 2. How 
pleafing it is to him, to have them fpeaking refpe&ively of her, efpegially 
when flie is exerciied with any dark or affli&ing difpenfation. 


Verfe 10. of the Song of Solomon. 271 

Verfc 1 <x Who is fre that lookcth forth a* the morning, fair as 

the moon, clear as thefun^ and terrible cvs coi army with banners I 

The tenth verfe may be taken as the expreffion of his own efteem of her, 
and fb it begins the fecond proof of her excellency, that not only they, but 
he efteems of her. Or, the words may be looked on as the continuance of 
their praiie, and be read thus, They pravfed her, faying (as often that word is 
to be fupplied) Who is fie, &c ? If they be thus taken, the fcope is the fame, 
holding forth their efteem of her } and his repeating of it, ihews his appro- 
bation thereof : And we incline to take the words in this fenfe y becaufe it 
continues the feries better, and (hews their concurring in their thoughts of 
her, with what were his thoughts, verfe 4. which is his fcope. This is pe- 
culiarly taken notice of by him, as well-grounded praiie, upon this account, 
that their thoughts were conform and agreeable to his. It will alfo difference 
the two confirmations better, to begin the fecond, verfe 1 i # than to take the 
words fimply as the Bridegroom's words, wherein the fame thing for fub- 
ftance with what was faid, verfe 4. is repeated. However, in thefe words, her 
lovelinefs is fet out, 1. In the manner of expreilion here ufed, Who is fie ? 
like that, chap. 3. 6. which was fpoken by the daughters *, and fo this looks 
the liker to be fpoken by them alfo, as wondring at her, What isjbe ? This 
fie mufl be fome fingular perfon, and fb it proves his fcope, laid down,verfe q 
2. The matter of the words fets out her lovelinefs in four expreffions or ii- 
militudes, tending to one thing, namely, to fhew the lightfomnefs (to fpeak fo) 
of the Church, and her raviihing-beauty. The firft fimilitude is, that fie 
looketh forth as the morning : The morning is lightfom, compared with the 
night, and refrefhful •, fo the Bride is like the morning, compared with the 
world that is darknefs : and fixe is lovely, cheering and heartfom to look-on* 
beyond all others , fo the morning is often oppofed to affti&ion and heartlef^ 
nefs,//d.58.8. for,then birds and fields look cheerful,that before were dark and 
drooping. (2.) She is fair as the moon : The moon is the leffer of the two 
great lights, and was made to guide the night, and is a glorious creature, 
fhining above all ftars •, fo is the Bride .like the moon in a dark night, very 
confpicuous and beautiful, and ufeful withal, to them that are acquaint with 
her. (3.) She is clear as the fun : This fpeaks yet more of her fplepdor, her 
taking-excellent beauty and ufefulnefs, for the direction and comfort of the 
daughters that behold her ; the fun being the moft bright, Hsihtfom and'glo- 
rious creature of the world, and the greater light that is Angularly ufeful to 
the world. (4.) She is terrible as an army with banners ,which was fpoken to* 
on verfe 4. and is here repeated, to ihev* that it is no common, effeminate 


~rji An Expoftcwn . Chap. 6. 

beauty, but a ftately majefty, wherewith fhe is adorned, that hath an awful- 
nefs in it towards men, and a prevailing efficacy towards God. In fam, it 
defer ibes the fpiritual beauty ot the Bride in thefe properties, i. That it is 
lightfom and ihining •, there is no true glory but this, which is like the light 
all other beauty is but dark : grace maketh one fhine like a light in a dark place* 
Phil. 2. 1 5. 2. It is a growing beauty ; every ftep of thefe fimilitudes afcends 
higher and higher, till the fun be refted in, the way ofthejufi is as the fining 
light \th at fanes more and more until the perfett day, Prov. 4. 24. 3. It iscom- 
prehenfive, therefore it is compared to lights of all forts : There is fomewhat 
m grace that refembles every thing that is lovely, God's Image being therein 
eminently. 4. It is ftately and awful, being convincing and captivating to 
on-lookers. 5. It is a beauty attended with a military and fighting condition 
and therefore compared to armies :^ The higheft commendation of believers 
doth infmuate them to be in a righting pofture ; and the more ftayedly they 
maintain their fight, and keep their pofture, they will be the more beautiful, 
6. A believer that prevails with Chrifl (as fhe did, verf 4. 5. ) will alfo be 
awful to others, as here fhe is, and will prevail over them, as the Lord faith 
to Jacobs Gen. 32. 28. thou haft prevailed with God, and then follows, thou 
fhalt alfo prevail with men* 

Vcrfc 1 1. 1 went down into the garden of nuts, to fee the fruits 
of the Valley, and to fee whether the Yme flourished, and the 
pomegranates budded. 

Verfe 12. Or ever I wo* aware, my foul made me like the cha- 
riots of Amminadib. 

Follows now, in the 1 ith and 12th verfes, the fecond proof of the reality 
of the beauty and ftatelinefs of the Bride, which puts all out of controveriie ^ 
and this proof he takes from his own experience, refpefting what was faid, 
verf. 4, 5. and it may be fummed thus, That mud be ftately beauty, that ra- 
vifheth me •, (that is underftood) but hers is fuch : This is proved from ex- 
perience, / went down (faith he) to the garden of nuts (having withdrawn from 
that fenfible communion which was entertained with the Spoufe, as a man 
doth out of his chamber to his garden) and was looking to the cafe of my 
plants,according as the Bride had informed the daughters ofjerufalem, verfe 2. 
but (faith he) ere I was aware, fhe did cart an eye after me, that fo fuddenly 
and efFe&ually ravifhed me, that I could not but return, and that fpeedily, 
as if I had been mounted upon the fwifteft chariots ; and therefore this can- 

~~~y not 

Verfe 1 1 . of the Soyig of Solomon. 275 

not but be (lately lovelinefs : Which agrees with, and relates to what is faid, 
verfe 5. Thou haft overcome me : And fo we may look on the words, as if he 
therein, for her confolation, were giving her an account of his abfence, and 
what he was doing •, and he fhews her, that, even while he was abftnt, her 
cries (which chap. 5. 6. fhe thought had not been heard) and her looks to 
him, were not forgotten, nor flighted, even- when to her fenfe (he few him 
not j yet, even then (faith he) they pierced me, and made my affections 
warm, that I could not but be afte&ed, and return, as now thou feeth. 

The 1 ith verfe fheweth where he was, and what he was doing, when he 
was abfent : The 12th verfe , how he returned. The place, whither he went, 
was to the garden of nuts , that fame which was called the garden and beds ot 
fpices, verfe 2. His going down, is his withdrawing from her fenfe :, and, as in 
that fame place, fo here, his end is fet out in two expreflions ( which ex- 
pounds how he feeds in his gardens.) i. It is to fee the fruits of the valley . 
The Church, called the garden formerly, is here called they valley, becaufe 
fhe is planted, as it were, in a good valley-foil, where fruits ufe to thrive 
beft. His going to fee them, holds forth his accurate obferving in general 
how it is with them, and his taking delight (as it were) to recreate himfelf 
by beholding of them, as men do who vifit their gardens. Next, and more 
particularly, it is to fee whether the vine flour i foe d, and the pomegranates budded ; 
By vine wcA pomegranate, are underflood particular believers, who are as feve- 
ral trees of his garden, as was cleared on chtp* 4. 13. Their flourijlring, or 
buddings looks to the beginnings of grace, fcarce come to ripe fruit, but (as in 
the bud, chap. 2. 15.) being exceeding tender-, and thefe are mentioned diflin£l- 
ly, befide the former general, of feeing the fruits, to fhew, (1.) His taking 
particular notice of every particular believer, as a man that goes from tree to 
tree in his garden. (2.) His fpecial notice-taking of beginners, and of the 
beginnings of his work in them, as being efpecially delighted with the ftrfV 
buddings of grace, and careful that nothing wrong them : This is his feed- 
ing in his gardens, and his gathering lilies, to be delighted with fruitfulnefs 
in his people, even with their weak and tender beginings, and to be folici- 
toufly careful of their good, as men ufe to be of the thriving of their fruit- 

Obferve, 1. Where our Lord Jefus hath a garden, which he hath planted, 
and on which he takes pains, he looks for fruits •, His garden mould never 
want fruit. 2. There are diverfe growths, degrees or meafures of grace a- 
mongft his people •, for, fome of his trees have fruits, and fome but bloffoms. 
3. Our Lord Jefus takes fpecial notice of his peoples fruitfulnefs, and that as 
particularly of every one of them, as if he went from one to another ( as the 
gardener doth from tree to tree) to difcover it. 4, Our Lord Jefus is efpe- 

N dally 

274 An Expofition Chap. 6. 

daily delighted with the kindly bloflbmings of beginners, and he takes efpecial 
notice of the young and tender buddings of their grace, and will be fo far 
from crufhing them, becaufe they are not ripe fruits, that he will more ten- 
derly care for them, 5. Our Lord Jefus accuratly takes notice of his Bride\ 
carriage, and expects her fruitfulnefs, when he feems to her fenfe to be ab- 
fent, and is efpecially much delighted with it then *, for,when he is gone down 
to his garden, this is the errand, to fee the fruits of the v^aley^ whether, &c. 
when he withdraws, he hath a friendly defign } yet, faith he, altho' that 
was intended, I was made ( as it were ) to alter my purpofe, and not to 

And fo we come to the 12th verfe, in which is fet down, how fuddenly he 
is tranfported with affection to his Bride j while he is viewing her graces in 
his abfence from her,he is fo taken with love to her,that he can Hay no longer 
from her. We may confider, in the verfe,thefe three things, i/r, An effect, 
as it were,wrought on him \ He is made like the chariots of Amminadib, or, jet 
4ts in the chariots of Amminadib : Chariots were ufed to travel with, and that 
for the greater fpeed •, or, they were ufed in war, for driving ftttioufly (like 
Jehu) and mightily, over difficulties and obftru&ions in the way. The word 
Amminadib may be read in one word, and it is to be taken for a proper name 
of a prince, and thus the expreffion fets out excellent chariots, fuch as be- 
longed poflibly to fome fuch valiant men of that name •, or*it may be read in 
two words, Ammi nadib, which in the original fignify, my willing people : So, 
Ammi fignifieth, my people, as, Hof 2. u Say tc your brethren Ammi, that is, 
my people : And Nadib is the feme word that is rendred, PfaL 1 io, 3. wilUng y 
'Thy people jhall be willing \ it is a princely beautifulnefs and willingnefs. The 
word, chap. 8. 1. O Prince's daughter, is from the fame root *, and we rather 
take it fo here, as being more fuitable to the fcope : which ftiews what effect 
his Bride's affection had on him \ and the word is often fo elfewhere tran- 
ilated : and fo it may be rendred, The chariots of my princely willing people : 
They get this name for their princely behaviour, in wreftling with him un- 
der difficulties. Again, the word, J was made, may be rendred, was fet (ac- 
cording to the more ufual interpretation of the word) thus the effect may be 
taken two ways, fo one fcope, I. / was made like the moft fwift chariot /, for 
fpeedy return, that nothing could detain me from returning to ray Bride. Or, 2. If 
we may call the prayers, faith and love of his people, their chzriots, he is fet 
on them, as taking pleafure to ride and triumph in them, and to be brought 
back by them, as if by chariots fent from them he had been overcome : And 
this fuits with what is fpoken, verfe 5. for, while he accounts her as an army, 
thefe muft needs be her weapons and chariots, to wit, a longing willingnefs 


Verfe t 2. of the Song of Solomon. 27J 

to be at him, and foul-ficknefs, calling her eyes after him, and, in a manner, 
even fainting for him. 

idly, There is the manner how this effect, is brought about *, He is fudden- 
ly, as it were, furprized, Or ever J was aware, &c. I knew not (as if he 
laid) till I was t ran/ported with an irrefifiable power cf love toward my "Bride 
who, in the exercife of faith , repentance and prayer , was feeling after mc y while I 
had withdrawn my fclf The expreffion is borrowed from men (for, properly 
it agrees not to him) who by fudden effeftsjthat fall out beyond their expe- 
ctation, ufe to aggrege the wonderfulnefs of the caufe that brings them about: 
Thus, / know not how it was, it was or I was aware^ or, while I was net think- 
ing on it ; fo forcibly ») and^ as it were^ infenfibly the thing prevailed over me. 
Chrift expreifeth it thus, to fhew the wonderfiilnefs of the thing than 
came on him, that he could not but do it, and could not fliun it, more 
than if he had had no time to deliberate about it. This narration o; 
Chrift's is not to refent that effecl, but to mew how natively it was brought 
forth ^ fo that when they (to fay fo) fent their chariots to him, and did caft a 
look after him, he could not but yield, becaufe he would yield, as the third 
thing in the verfe fhews, and that is, What it was that fo eafily prevailed with 
him ; the caufe is within himfelf, that fet him on thefe chariots of his wil- 
ling people, and made him to be overcome : It was was even his foul, my foul 
made me, or fet me, that is, my inward foul, my affettions, my bowels were 
fo kindled (as it is Jer. 31. 20 J and my foul cleaved fo to my loving and 
longing Bride, and was fo ftirred with her exercife, that I could not but ha- 
ftily and fpeedily yield, becaufe I could not refift my own affections. Hence, 
Obf 1. Willingnels is much prized by Jefus Chrift •, when the foul yields to o- 
pen to him, and longs for him, verfe 5. and cannot want him, there Chrift 
(as chap. 5. 6.) will not, and cannot continue at a diftance. 2. Altho' Chrift's 
affection doth not properly furprize him, nor do the eftecls thereof fall from 
him inadvertantly, but moft deliberately, yet both his affe&ion, and the ef- 
fects thereof, are moft wonderful and aftonifhing in themfelves, and ought, as 
fuch, in a fmgular manner to affeft us. 3. The firfl rife and caufe of all the 
believer's good, and that which makes their faith, prayer, love, &c. bear 
weight .with Chrift, is in himfelfj it is his own foul, and good-will,that over- 
comes and prevails with him in all thefe : It is not any worth or power in 
their graces, as confidered in themfelves, that hath this influence upon him, 
but his intimate love to believers themfelves, that makes their graces have 
fuch weight with him : All that ever came fpeed with him, were prevented 
by his love. 4. The believer hath a notable friend in Chrift's own bofom -, his 
foul is friendly to them, and is in a kindly-way affected with their conditions, 
even though in his difpenfations no fuch thing appear : And while ha is man, 

Nn 2 and 


276 An Expojition Chap. 6 # 

a nd hath a foul, they want not a friend. 5. Considering this as the exercife 
°f his fouU when he was withdrawn to her fenfe, and fhe was complaining, 
Obferve, That ChrifVs bowels and foul are never more affe&ed toward his 
people, than when he feems moft offended with them, and when they are 
mod afTe&ed with the wrongs done to him, Jcr* 31. 19, 20. Judg. 10. 16. 
There be many inconceivable turnings in his bowels, even when he feems to 
fpeak againft them to their fenfe, then he earneftly remembers thcmftill -, and 
their friend love , fteps to, and takes part for them, and Co prevails, that by 
his own bowels he is reftrained from executing the fiercenefs of his anger (Hof, 
11. 8. compared with 9.) and conftrained even when he is provoked to take 
fome other courfe, to exprefs marvellous loving kinduefs to them. 

Verfe 13. (Return, return^ Shulamitc, return, return, that 

we may loo^upon thee : What will ye fee in the Shulamite ? as 

it were the company of two armies. 

The thirteenth verfe continueth the fame fcope, and is a confirmation of 
the interpretation given of the former verfe, and anew expreflion of his love, 
whereby as a kind husband, having forgotten bypaft failings in his wife, he 
invites her to return to her former familiarity, with a motive figniiymg the 
love which he had to her, and that upon fo good ground (in his gracious esti- 
mation) as that, by her yielding to return, he puts no queftion, but what he 
had fpoken of her ftately terriblenefs, would be found to be a truth. The 
verfe contains thefe three, Firft, A molt affectionate invitation. Secondly, A 
mod loving motive propofed, perfwading to embrace it, which is his end. 
Thirdly, An objection removed, whereby the motive is confirmed andilluftrate. 
In the exhortation or invitation, confider, \fl, The party invited, or called. 
idly, The duty called for. 3^/y, Its repetition. The party called, is a Shu- 
Utmtt : This word comes either from SoLmon, as the husband's name is na- 
med over the wife, Ifa. 4. 1. and it is from the fame root, that fignifTes peace, 
from which Solomon had his name • and it is in the feminine gener, becaufe it 
is-app'ied to the Bride. Thus it holdeth forth, (1 .) The Ariel: onion betwixt 
him and her, that fhe with him partakes of the fame name : See Jer. 23. 6. 
compared with Jer* 33. itf. where ye will find the like communication of his 
name to her. (2). It fhews the privilege fhe was admitted unto, through her 
tye to him, and union with him, by which fhe is made his, and is admitted 
to fhare with him in all that is his 5 for, it is not an empty ftile fhe gets, while 
called by his name, it being to fignify that flie was his, and that whatever he 
had (whereof fhe was capable, and might be for her goodj was hers. (3.) It 
fhews his affe&ion that he fo names her now* wifhing her a part of his own 


Verfe 1 3. of the Song of Solomon. 17 7 

peace, and intitling her to it. Or, Secondly, this word may be derived from 
Salem, which, properly taken, is Jerufalem, PfaL 76. 1. and Heb. 7. i.Mekht- 
/^fc was king of Salem > which fignifieth peace; and fo, as Shunamitifi) comes 
from Shunem, fo Shulamite from Salem 7 and fo, taking the derivation thus, it 
comes to the fame thing with the former, both being derived from the fame 
root : And this holds forth his refpeel: to her, as acknowledging her new-birth 
and original, from the new Jerufaiem* 

2dl }y The exhortation is, return : This implies, 1. A diftance whether in 
refpect of fin, Jer. 3. 1. for, fin breeds diftance betwixt Chrift and his people, 
if* 59. 2. or, in refpeel: of fenfible manifeftations of his love \ for, howfoever 
the diftance, brought on by fin, was in fome meafure taken away, andfhe re- 
turned to her former obedience and wonted tendernefs, yet flie wants the fenfe 
of his love, and is feeking after it t Return, here then, fuppofeth foraewhat of 
thefe. 2. A duty laid on her, to quit this diflance, and to return •, this the 
very exprelfion bears. 3. A kind offer of welcome, which is implied in his 
offers and exhortations, whenever he calls : So, Jer. 3. 14. Jer. 4. r. and thus 
the fenfe is, as if he had faid > There hath been a diftance betwixt us, and thou 
art fufpicious of my love •, but, return and come hither, and neither thy for- 
mer faults, nor prefent jealoufy fhall be remembred r And this fhews, that the 
words are his, bath becaufe the fcope is continued, and alfo becaufe none 
can call the Bride properly or effectually to return, but he; neither would the 
▼oice of another be fo confirming to her of his affeftion, and his fcope is to 
confirm her, as to that* 

sdly, This exhortation is twice doubled, Return, return, and again, return r 
return: (i.) To fhew the hazard fhe was in. (2). Her duty to prevent it. 
(3.) The neceffity of fpeedy putting the exhortation in practice. (4.) The 
difficulty that there was to bring her over her difcouragements. (5.) His great 
and earneft defire to have them all removed, and to have the duty performed. 
Thefe words fhew, 1. That there may be a diftance betwixt Chrift and his 
Bride \ even the beautiful believer may fall into a diftance of fin, zdly f Of in- 
difpofition, \dly y Ofcomfortlefnefe, and ^thly 7 Of difcouragement and heart- 
lefnefs, which follows on the former. 2. There is often a lothnefs to come 
home, when there hath been a frraying 5 difcouragement and fhame may pre- 
vail fo far,.as to fear fainting believers (who fain would have him J from hearty 
applying of his allowances to themfelves. 3. Souls that are at diftance with 
thrift, whatever kind of diftance it be, would not fit down under it, or give 
vay to k, but wreftle from under it, over all difficulties that are in their way 
h This would be done fpeedily, and without all delay, difpute or dafyih*" 
hereforedaththe Lord f : double his call ; there will, fure, be no advantage* 
?y delajing^ or putting off this great bufmefs* of returning from our diftance 


Z78 ^ n Expofitiori Chap. 6. 

to him. 5. The return of a believer, after a flip, to confident walking with 
Chrift, and comforting of themfelves in him, is allowed by him, and well 
pieafing to him, as well as the converfion and coming home of a (inner athrft. 
6. Believers, after their Hips, are not eafily perfwaded of Chrift's kindnefs, in 
the meafure that he hath it to them •, nor are they eafily brought to that con- 
fidence of it, that formerly they had. 7. Our Lord Jefus allows his people 
to be fully confident of his love, and of obtaining welcome from him •, for 
which reafons, this return, as a Hire evidence and teftimony of his kind and 
hearty welcome, is four times repeated, to mew that he is entreating and 
waiting for it, and cannot abide to have it delayed. 

Secondly, The end propofed, that makes him fbferious, is in thefe words, 
Trat we may look upon thee : It doth him good (to fpeak fo) to get a fight of her. 
This looking of his, is not for curiofity, but for delightfom fatisfa&ion to his 
affection, as one defires to look upon what he loves ; fb, chap, 2. 14. fpeaking 
to his Bride, Let me fee (faith he) thy face, for thy countenance is comely. This 
is to take away all jealoufy from the Bride, and to fliew how he was taken 
with her, fo that her returning would be a angular pleafiire to him, which is 
indeed wonderful. 

Obf 1. Our Lord jefus allows the Bride, when returning to him after her 
departings from him, to be confident in him, and familiar with him. 2. The 
more that nearnefs to him be fought after and entertained, he is the more fa- 
tisfied. 3. When betievers hide themfelves from Chrift, even tho' it be through 
difcouragement, and upon juft ground and reafon, as they think ; yet doth 
it fome way marr Chrift's delightfom complacency, and he is not fetisfied 
till they make off their difcouragement, and fhew themfelves to him with 

Again, we would confider, that it is not faid,that / may look on thee \ but, 
that we, &c. Which is to fhew, that fhe is delightfom to many, her beauty 
may be feen by any that will look upon her. This word, we, 1. may import 
the bleiTed Trinity, the Father, Son and Spirit •, as, chap. 1. 1 1. we will make, 
&c. A returning finner will be welcome to all the Perfons of the Godhead. 
2. We, that is, I with the angels, who (Luke 15. 10.) rejoice at the converfion 
of a fnner. And, 3. We may import, I and all the daughters that admire 
thee. The thriving of one believer, or the returning of a finner, may make 
many cheerful, and is to be accounted a lovely thing by all the profeffors of 

Thirdly, The third thing in the verfe comes in by way of queflion, either 
to heighten the lovelinefs that is in ChrifVs Bride : What is it that is to be 
feen in her ? as, Luke 7, 24, &c. What went ye cut for to fee ? No common 
£ght : Or, it is to meet with an objection that Grangers may Lave, What de- 

Verfe 1 3. of the Song of Solomon. 279 

lightfcm thing is to be feen in her, that feems fo clefpicabie ? Or, fhe her felf might 
object, What vs in me worth the feeing ? It may he, when it i* vrellfeen y that tt be 
lefs thought of. The Lord, to prevent fuch doubts, efpecially in her, moves 
the queftion, that hehimfelfmay give the anfwer :, What (faith he) w til ye 
fee in the Shulamite? (that is) which may be pleafant and delightful : And he 
anfwers, ai it xt-re tie company of two armies \ which in general holds out^ 
1/, We will fee much majefty and ftatelinefs in her -, even fo much as I have 
aiTerted, in comparing her to an army with banners, idly, Two armies may 
be mentioned, toiluw, that when fhe is rightly, and with a believing eye, 
looked u^on, her beauty will appear to be double to what it was faid to be : 
And fb, two armtes fignify an excellent army ^ as, Gen. 32. 1, 2. God's hofis 
of angels get the fame name in the Original, it is Mahanaim> that fame which 
Jacob impofeth as the name upon the place, where thefe hofia of angels met : 
And there may be an allufion to this, thefe two ways, (1.) Ask ye what is 
to be feen in her t Even as it were Mahanaim, that is, for excellency fhe is 
like an hoft of angels, fuch as appeared to Jacob •, fhe is an angelick fight,, 
more than an ordinary army. This is a notable commendation, and ferves 
his purpofe well, which is to confirm her : and therefore, that his poor Bride 
may be encouraged to prefs-in on him, and return to him, he tells her, She 
may be as homely with him as angels, that are ho4y and finlefs creatures ; 
which is a wonderful privilege, yet fuch as is allowed on his people, by him 
who hath not taken on the nature of angels, but of men, that he might pur- 
chafe them a room amongft angels that (land by, Zech. 3. <5, 7. (2.) It may 
allude thus, What is to be feen in her ? whatever it be to the world, it is to 
me (faith he) excellent and refrefhful, as thefe hofts of angels were to Jacob 
at Mabanaim, when he had been reicued from Laba^ and was to meet with 
Efaiu Either of thefe fuits well the fcope, and faith, It will be, and 
is a fweet and refreshing meeting, that is betwixt Chrift and a returning fin- 
ner, a little view whereof is in that parable, Luke 15. 20. of the prodigal his 
father's hearty receiving of his loft fon, and making himfelf and all his fer- 
vants merry with him. 

Obf 1. Our Lord Jefus is very tender of believers doubts and perplexities* 
and therefore prevents their objections which they may make, by giving an- 
fwers to them, before the objections be well formed or ftated in their hearts.. 
2. Believers may, and uiually do, wonder what ground there is in them, for 
fuch kindneis as Chrift fliews to them, when he magnifieth them and their 
graces fo much, that are fo defective and full of blemifhes : And indeed it is 
fuch, that are readieft to wonder moft at his love, and efteem leaf! of them* 
felves, whom he makes moft of, and of whom he hath the greatefi efteem, 
3* It is a wonderful welcome that Chrift gives to repenting (toners 5 he re- 

280 An Expofition Chap. 7. 

Reives them as angels, and admits them to fuch freedom with him, and hath 
*"ch efteem of them, as if they were angels : for, to be received a* an angel, 
fignifies honourable and loving entertainment, Gal. 4. 14. 4. The returning of 
tinners to Chrift, and Chrift's loving welcome which he gives them upon their 
r eturn, makes a heartfom and refrefhing meeting betwixt him and them : And 
O what fatisfa&ion and joy fliall there be, when they, being all gathered to- 
gether, fliall meet with him at the lad day ! 


Verf. 1, 2, 3. BRIDEGROOM. 

THIS chapter hath two parts : In the firft, reaching to the tenth 
verfe, Chrift continueth in the commendation of his Bride : In the 
fecond, thence to the clofe, the Bride expreffeth her complacency 
in him and in his love, her inlarged defires after communion with him, and 
that me might be found fruitful to his praife. 

That it is Chrift, the Bridegroom, who was fpeaking in the end of the for- 
mer chapter, that continues his fpeech throughout the firft part of this, there 
is no juft ground to queftion \ the fcope, ftile and expretiaons being fo like 
unto, and co-incident with what went before : And what is fpoken in the firft 
perfon, verfe 8. can be applied to none other, neither would it become any 
to fpeak thus but himfelf, his love is inlarged and loofed (as it were) in its 
expreifions } and this love of his is indeed a depth, that is not eafily reach- 
ed. In this commendation he doth, i/r, Enumerate ten particulars (as flie 
liad done when fhe commended him, chap. 5.) Then, idly. He fhews his ac- 
quiefcing in her, as being ravifhed with her beauty, verfe 6, &c. We had oc- 
cafion to fay fomething in the general of fuch commendations, chap. 4. i. which 
is now to be remembred, but not repeated ; we take this to be underftood af- 
ter the fame manner as that was : And altho' the vifible Church be in fome 
refpeft Chrift's Bride, and therefore we will not condemn the application of 
fome of the parts of this commendation to her, as fo confidered -, yet, fmce 
the fcope is mainly to comfort true believers as differenced from others, and 
that it is fhe to whom he lpeaks, who had ravifhed him with her eyes in the 
former chapter (which can agree properly to the true believer only) and con- 
fidering alfo, that fome parts of the commendation do refpett inherent grace 
in his people (and indeed it is this which is the great ground of the Bride's 
commendation) we therefore inclint ftill to take thefe commendations, as hoi* 


Yerfe of the Song of Solomon. 281 

ding forth the continuance of the expreffions of Chrift's love to thefe, who are 
his own by faving faith } and fo much the rather, as the words, being taken 
fb, are of fpecial and particular ufe for believers. 

There are four differences, in this commendation, from that mentioned,' 
chap. 4. and that which was fpoken to, on chap. 6. 6 y 7. which, by anfwering 
four queflions, we fhall clear, 

Quefi. 1. Wherefore is this fubjoined now, after fo large a commendation 
in the words immediately preceeding ? Avf. The former commendation fhews 
Chrift's love to his Bride (to fay fo) immediately after their marriage, or on 
the back of fome agreement, after an out-call j but this is added, to fhew 
what is Chrift's ordinary way of carriage to his people, and what are his ufual 
thoughts (to fay fo) of them : He is not kind only at fits (as men fometimes 
ufe to be, and do not continue) or, when he was furprized, as it were, with 
a fudden gale of affection, chap. 6. 12. no, he is confiantly kmd \ and there- 
fore thefe expreflions are now renewed, to fhew that fuch are his ordinary 
kind ways of dealing towards them, even when tnere is no connexion betwixt 
his dealing and their prefent condition, nor any thing in them that can be 
looked on as the immediate rife thereof: Our bleiTed Lord is a moll fair, lo- 
ving and friendly fpeaker unto, and converfer with his Bride. 

Quefi. 2. Why is this commendation inlarged beyond the former, having 
moe particulars in it? Anf. Thereby the Lord fhews, 1. The fovereignty 
of his love, in making the intimations thereof, lefs or more as he pleafeth. 
2. The lafl commendation is moll full, in exprefling the riches of his love, 
to fhew that Chrift never fpeaks fo kindly to one of his own, but there is more 
behind in his heart than hath yet vented it felf •, and that there is more,which 
they may expecl: from him, than they have yet met with, however that may 
be very much. 3. It is to make it the frefher unto them, when by this it is 
evidenced to be a new intimation of his kindnefs, altho' it proceed on the 
fame grounds, on which former intimations did : And this may be a reafon 
alio of the third difference, and queftion following, which is, 

3. Why are the fame parts named, as eyes, hair, ^&c. and yet the com- 
mendation is different from what it was, for the moll part? Anf. 1. This 
is to fhew the beauty of grace, which is fuch, that one commendation cannot 
reach it. 2. The account that he in his love hath of her, which is fo great, 
that one expreifion doth not fully anfwer it. 3. The various and abundant 
ways that love hath to fpeak comfortably to a believer } there is flrange elo- 
quence and rhetor ick in the love of Chrill, when he thinks good to vent it. 

Quefi. 4. Why is the way, he followed before, changed ? He began for- 
merly at the head, now at the feet. Anf. This is alfo a piece of his fove- 
reignty, and fhews how he delights to vary the expre Axons of his love to his 

O o peo- 

2 8 i An Expofition Ch ap . 7 

people * 7 and that it may be feen, that, whatever way we will follow in look- 
ing upon grace in a believer, it is ftill beautiful in itfelf,and acceptable to him. 

Verfc 1. How beautiful are thy feet with fhoes, prince s daugh- 
ter 1 the joints of thy thighs are like jewels , the work, of the 
hands of a cunning workman. 

The firft verfe contains two pieces of the Bride's commendation : The firft 
part that is commended is the feet y How beautiful are thy feet t &c. In this 
confider the title fhe gets. 2. The part commended. 3. The commendation 
it felf. 4. The manner of exprefling of it. Firft, The title is, prince's 
daughter.! This was not given her before •, it is now prefixed to this commen- 
dation in general, to ufher-in all that follows, and to make it the more gain- 
ing on her affe,gbion. The word in the fir ft language is, Nadib, which Signi- 
fies a bounteous prince, or, one of a princely difpofition, Ifa. 32. 5. it is 
given to the vifible Church,* PfaL 45. 13. The Kings daughter is all glorious 
within. For more full taking up of the meaning, cenfider, that it doth here 
include thefe three, (1.) A noblenefs and greatnefs in refpect of birth, that 
the Bride is honourably defcended : From which we may learn, that believers 
(whatever they be in refpefl: of the flefh) are of a royal defcent and kindred, 
a royal priefihood^ 1 Pet. 2. 9. fons and daughters to the Lord God Almighty , 
2 Cor. 6. 18. (2.) It refpefts her qualifications, as being princely in her car- 
riage, fuitable to fuch a birth, Ecclef io. 17. Hence obferve, the believer 
mould be of a princely difpofition and carriage *, and when he is right, he will 
be fb } for, he is indued with princely qualifications, with noble and excel- 
lent principles, beyond the moil generous, noble, gallant and (lately difpofi- 
tions of men in the world : A believer, when right, or in good cafe, is a 
princely perfbn indeed. (3.) It refpefts her provifion and expectation •, that 
(he is provided for, waited upon, and to be dealt with, and even dalted, not 
as children of mean perfons, but of princes, to whom it is her Father's good 
pleafure to give a kingdom-, and fuch a one as is undefiled^ and fadeth not away^ 
Luke 12. 32. 1 Pet. 1. 4. Hence obferve, That the believer is royally dealt 
with by Jefus Chrift, and hath a reyal princely allowance beftowed on him \ 
the charter of adoption takes- in very much,even to inherit with him all things : 
Ko leis than this may be expected, and is the claim of a daughter to the King 
of kings, Rev. 21.7. 

Secondly , The part commended is, the feet \ by which a believer's walk and 
converfation, as grace fhines in it, is underflood, as we may fee frequently, 
PfaL 119. v. 59, 10 1, 105. So likewife, fhedding of blood,, or other defiling 
finsj fuch as leave foul prints upon a man's converfation behind them, are cal- 

y er fe i. of the Song of Solomon. 285 

led the iniquities of the heels, Pfal. 4$). 5. by which the nakednefs and offen- 
fivenefs of one's converfation is Jet forth : And on the contrary, the Bride's 
feet, thus commended, fet out her good converfation. 

Thirdly, Her feet are commended from this, that they are not bare, but, 
beautiful with jhoes. To be bare-footed, imports three things in fcripture, 
ift, A fliameful condition, If a, 20. 4. idly, A prefent fad affliction, the fenfe 
whereof makes men carelefs of what is adorning -, fo David, 2 Sam. 15. 30. 
under heavy affliction, walks bare-footed. $dly, An unfitnefs to travel 9 
therefore, when the people were to be in readinefs for their journey, Exod* 
12. 11. their feet were to be ihod. So then, to have on fhoes, doth on the 
contrary import three things, 1. The honourable eltate and dignity to which 
believers are advanced \ and more efpecially, it holds out a fmgular beautifoi- 
nefs in their walk, whereby their lhame is covered. 2. A thriving in their 
fpiritual condition. 3. Axeadinefs and promptnefs of obedience to what they 
are called anto : All which are beautiful in themfelves, and adorning to the 
believer. We take it, in a word, to hold out a converfation fuch as becomes 
thegofpel, Philip. 1.27. which is, to have the feet flwd with the preparation of 
the gofpel of peace, Eph. 6. 15. becaufe that as, by lhoes, men are enabled to 
walk without hurt in rough ground, and are in the company of others not 
afhamed of their nakednefs } fo a gofpel-converfation quiets the mind, keep- 
ing it in peace againft difficulties, and doth exceedingly ftrengthen the confi- 
dence of believers in their converting with others, and becomes exceeding 
lovely, that they care not (as it were) who fee them ; as, Ez.eh. 16. 10. / 
food thee, &c. Whereas a difbrderly converfation is fliameful, even like one 
that is bare-footed. 

Fourthly, The manwer of the expreffion is, to aggrege the lovelinefs of a 
well ordered walk, How beautiful are thy feet with floes ! It cannot be told hovr 
beautiful a tender and well ordered converfation is : } It is exceeding lovely, and 
acceptable to me (faith he) 10 fee thy holy walk. 

Obf 1. Our Lord Jefus takes notice of every ftep of a believer's carriage, 
andean tell whether their feet be jhod or bare, whether their converfation be 
fuch as adorneth or fhameth the Gofpel. 2, The believer hath, or at leaft 
ought to have, and, if he be like himfelf, will have a well ordered walk, and 
will be in his carriage flately and princely. 3. A converfation, that is well 
ordered, is a beautiful and pleafant thing : Grace, exercifed in a Chriftian's 
practice, is more commendable to Chrift, than either greatnefs, riches, wif- 
dom, or what the world efteems moft of , none of thefe hath fuch a com- 
mendation from Chrift, as the believer, who, it may be, is not much in tho 
world's efteem : Practical holinefs is a main part of fpiritual beauty, and is 
valuable above fpeculative knowledge and many gifts. 4, Believers fliould be 
» O o 2 walking 

284 An Expofition Chap. 7- 

walking creatures, therefore hath the new nature feet -^ that is, they fhould be 
much in the practice of holy duties, according to the commands he hath given 
in his word : and in their way they fhould be making progrefs towards perfe- 
ction - 7 for, that is their mark,P/?*7. 3. 13. Sitting ftill,or negligence,much more 
going backward, is unlike a believer. 5. The conversation of all others, tho' 
never fo fairded with much civility, and great profelfion, and many parts, is 
yet naked and abominable before God, and fubjecl: to bruilings, ftumblings, 
and fiich inconveniences as feet that are bare are liable to. 6. A well ordered 
walk isfure and fafe : He that walks uprightly walks purely , Prov. 10. 9, And, 
faith the Pfalmift, Great peace have they who love thy Uw r and nothing fall fetid 
them, Pfal. 119. 165. Their feet are fhod againfl an evil time, and there is 
nothing fafer when offences abound than that. 

The fecond part of the commendation is to the fame Icope, Toe joints of thy 
thighs, &c. It is the coupling and turnings of them, as the word bears ^ they 
are alfo ufeful in motion, and help the feet to ftir : the fame thing is intended 
as in chap* 5. 15. by his thighs or legs :, only it feems to look to the princi- 
ples of their walk, as the feet do refpecl: their way more immediately. Thefe 
are compared to jewels, which are precious and comely, ferving much for a- 
doming *, and it is not to ordinary jewels, to which they are compared, but 
fuch as are the work of the hands of a cunning, skilful artificer,, or workman , that 
is, fuch as are fet orderly and dexteroufly, by skill and art •, the wor-k,not of a 
novice, but of one that is expert : by which, not only the matter of their pra- 
ctice is holden forth to be folid, but alfo, in refpecl: of the principles from 
which their way and duties have their fpring and rife, and the. manner of their 
performing them, they are rightly gone about, with an holy kind of art and 
dexterity : Which faith, 1. That there are many things neceffarily concur- 
ring in a well ordered converfation \ there muft be skill to do rightly, what is 
in it felf right, to make it commendable : it is needful that holy duties,. and 
what is on the matter called for, be done in the right manner, and according 
to art, and not p.it by thus, and fo. 2. Believers are Angularly expert, in do- 
ing of the fame duties of religion which other men do, they do .them in ano- 
ther manner.. 3. The feveral pieces of a holy walk are in a manner but fpilt, 
when not rightly ordered, and every one put in their own place, like jewels 
undexteroufly fet by one that is unskilful, 4. There is an holy art required 
to thefe that would walk commendably y and men naturally are unskilful in 
&cb practices, until they be taught them. $.. Being right. in the manner, is 
no lefs neceffary to make a man's . way commendable, than to be right in the 
matter-, as much of the commendation lies in this, as in the other : When 
thefe two go* together in a believer's converfation, it is excellent and beauti- 
ful 5 there is no jewel, moft finely fet, comparable to a well ordered walk, 

6. Believers 

Verfc 2. of the Song of Solomon. 285^ 

6. Believers, that ufe to walk in the way of godlinefs, may attain (0 this fpiri- 
tual dexterity and skilfulnefs in a great meal 11 re *, and there is no other way of 
attaining of it, but by accuftoming our felves to it : when her feet are once 
ihod, this commendation follows, that the joints of her thighs are like -jewels, 

Verfe 2. Thy naVel is like a round goblet, which wantetb not li- 
quor ; thy belly is like an heap of wheat. Jet about with lilies. 

In the fecond verfe, the fcord proceeds, from the thighs, to the navel and W- 
ly : Which parts were not touched in her commendation, chap. 4. Thefe parts 
in mens bodies have not much beauty in them -, and therefore, it feems, that 
by them the Lord points rather at what is inward and ufeful, in the fpiritual 
complexion and conftitution. of believers, than what is outward and vifible in 
their wa'k, that ferving no lefs to their commendation than this. 

The navel hath much influence on the inteftines •, and when it is found, ftr 
furthers much the health of the wnole body •, fo, Prov. 3.8, it is laid, the 
fear of the Lord Jhail be health to thy navel ', and marrow to th\ bones', that is, it 
will be exceeding ufeful and profitable for thy well-being, as it is ufeful for 
the body to have that part in good cafe : And, on the contrary,, a wretched 
miferable condition (fuch as is our condition by nature) is defcribed by this, 
Thy navel was nat cut , &c. Ez~ek. 16.. &* It is known alfb, that,, in. nature* the 
navel hath much influence on the child in the womb, which may be efpecial- 
ly taken notice of here, as appears by the following commendation, namely, 
that it is like a round goblet, that is, well formed and proportioned (oppofiteto 
a navel net- cut , Ezek. 16. 4. J which want eth not liquor, that is, furnifhed with 
moifture for the health, of the body, or entertainment and nowriihmentof the 
child in the womb.. 

Before we further clear the words, or obferve any thing from them, we 
fhall join to this the fourth part here commended, and that is, the belly : The- 
word differ?, in the original, from that which is tranflated belly, being fpoken 
ofhim, chap. 5. 14. and it is taken for the inward parts, Jer* 15. 35. Pfw*. 
18. 8. It hath a fpecial influence on the health of the body, and on the bring- 
ing forth of children : It is here compared to an heap of wheat ; to an heap, to> 
ihew her bignefs,as being withchild,and ftill fruitful, and that in abundance : 
To an heap of the grain of wheat, to fhew, it was not big with wind, but with 
good grain, even thebeft, whereby fhe feeds him, her felf,. and others. And 
fo, as in the former fimilitude, fhe is reprefented to be fnrnifl-ed with liquor,. 
fo here fne is fet forth to be furnifhed with bread, whereby her fpintival live-- 
linefs and healthfulnefs may be underftood.. Again, this heap of wheat is laid 
t.Q he jet abm with lilies,, not only thereby to exprefs its beaurifulnefs", with. 

2 8(5 An Expofition Chap. 7. 

its ufefiilnefs, but alio the fruitfulnefs thereof, in having particular graces, as 
lilies, growing about it, which aremoiftned and nourifhed by thefe two parts, 
the navel and the belly. Now we conceive, that moft likely (though it be hard 
to be peremptory) the graces of the Spirit may be underdood here, which be- 
ing infufed in their habits, and drawn forth in their a&ings by the influences 
of the Spirit, are compared to waters and liquor, and are faid to be in the bel- 
ly of the believer, John 7. 38. (He that believes on me y out of his belly flail flow 
rivers of waters) becaufe they have fuch influence on the new man, and (to 
ipeak fo) are the health of the navel thereof. Infum, the fenfe of the words 
comes to this, O prince's daughter, thou haft a lively fpiritual confHtution, by 
the inward flowings of the Spirit, whereby thy navel is formed and beautified 
(which was by nature otherwife) and therefore thou art not barren, but fruit- 
ful, and that of the moft precious fruits. Hence, obferve, 1. That believers 
inward conftitution and frame is no lefs beautiful than their outward conver- 
sion and walk : This King's daughter is all glorious within, Pfal. 45. 13. 
2. Soundnefs within, or heart-foundnefs, is no lefs needful than outward fruits, 
for compleating a believer's commendation ^ to have the navel well formed, 
is as neceffary and requiftte, as to have the feet beautiful with floes . 3. Inward 
livelinefs, or a well furnifhed infide, hath moft influence on a believer's liveli- 
nefs in all external duties. This keeps all frefh, being like precious liquor 
which makes Chrift's Spoufe fruitful and big, and that not with wind, but 

Verfe i> Tly two hreafts are like two young roes that are twins. 

The two breafts (which is the firft part here commended^ are ipoken to in 
this third verfe. They were fpoken of, chap. 4. 5. with the fame commen- 
dation ; and we conceive the fame thing, hinted there, is aimed at here, name- 
ly, to fliew, that as fhe was healthful in her felf, and profperous (like that 
which is faid, Job 21. 24. His breafts are full of milk) fo was fhe both fitted to 
communicate, and loving in communicating the graces that was in her, as nur- 
fes, their milk to their children : Which clears, that the fcope in fhort is to 
ihew, that the believer is not only a beautiful bride, but a fruitful mother for 
bringing forth, verfe 2. and nourifhing and bringing up, verfe 3. which was 
(efpecially in thefe times) a great commendation of a wife, and a thing that 
engaged husband's to them, Pftil. 128. 3. Gen. 29. 34. as on the contrary, 
barrennels was a reproach to themfelves, and a burden to their husbands : 
Now, Chrift'-s Bride hath breafts, and is furnifhed as becomes a mother and a 
wife, contrary to that of the little fifter, chap. 8. 8. whofe defolate condition is 
fet out by this, that fle had no breafts } and this is repeated particularly, to 
fliew the Lord's particular taking notice thereof, and his refpeel: thereunto. 

Verfe 4* 


Verfe 4. of the Song o/Solomon. 287 

Verfe 4. Thy nec^ is <ts a tower of hwry • thine eyes like thefifr- 
pools in Hefhbon, by the gate of Beth-rabbim : Thy noje is 
06 the tower of Lebanon, which looketh toward Damafcus. 

In the fourth verfe, three more of the Bride's parts (which make the fixth, 
feventh and eighth) are commended. The iixth is the neck ; It was fpoken of j 
chap. 4. 4. neither doth the commendation differ much. There, it was laid 
to be like the tower of David ^ here it is as a tower of ivory^ that is, both 
comely and precious, being made of the Elephant's teeth, a tower whereof, 
mull be very precious } and by this, we conceive, the great defenfive efficacy 
of faith is fet forth, which is Hill a tower, yet comparable to many, it is fo 
excellent and fure : they dwell fafely who are believers, becaufe they dwell 
in God, and in his Son, Jefus Chrift. And ib we may here obferve, 1. Faith 
is a precious defence *, for, Chrift is a precious hiding-place, and faith mult 
be precious, becaufe Chrift is precious : Hence, it is not only precious as ivo- 
ry, but much more precious than gold , i Pet. 1.7. 2. Faith is a fure defence, and 
is the believer's tower, whereto he betakes himfelf, when he hath to do. 3. It 
is lovely and pleafant to Chrift, when believers by faith betake themfelves to 
him *, he will never quarrel with them for it, feeing he fo commends it. 4. 
There is no fafe tower to any of the world, but what the believer hath \ for, 
he, and he only, hath a tower of ivory to make ufe of: Chrift is the only rock 
and fure foundation, and it is only believers that build their houfe upon him.' 

The feventh part, inftanced, is her eyes y which were feveral times mentioned 
before •, they point at her fpiritual difcerning and underftanding of fpiritual 
things, and the believing-uptaking of them ; in which refpett, all natural 
men are blind, becaufe of their ignorance and unbelief - 7 fhe only hath eyes. 
They are compared to fifi-pools in He{hbon y at the gate of Beth-rabbim : This 
city Hefhbon is mentioned, Nnmb. 21. 2 5, 25. It was a royal city, where Sihon 
king of the Amorites dwelt *, and it is like, there hath been fome place there 
called Beth-rabbim, for the great refbrt that was made thereunto : And the 
fiih-pools that were there, it feems, were excellent and clear, and fit to give 
a fhadow to thefe who looked into them. Now it w r ould feem, that believers 
eyes are compared to thefe pools, becaufe of the clear, diftm£r and befeving 
knowledge they have of themfelves, of Chrift, and of other fpiritual objects. 
And from this we may obferve, 1. Tbatfolid and diftincl: knowledge in 
fpiritual things, is very commendable. 2. That a believer hath another kind 
of infight in fpiritual things* than the moft underflanding natural man :: he 
hath eyes in refpeft of him v the natural man ( who hath no experimetaL 
nor believing knowledge of fpiritual things ) is but blind.. 3, He is iharpeft 

i88 An Expofition Chap. 7. 

fighted that difcerns himfelf, and can rightly take up his own condition •, the 
wifdcm of the prudent is to under ftand his way : So believers eyes, or knowledge* 
is compared to a fifh-pond, that gives reprefentations of a man's face to him. 
The eighth particular is, the nofe (it was not mentioned in her commenda- 
tion, c/j^.4.) It is not to be taken here for the whole countenance, but for a 
part thereof-, therefore it is diftinguifhed from the eyes, and is defcribed as 
being eminent (like a tower J) beyond the reft of the face \ and fb it is to be ap- 
plied to the nofe properly, which arifeth with a height on the face, like a 
tower, and is the feat of fmelling, to difcover what is hurtful, or favoury •, 
tilfo anger or zeal appear in it, therefore is it in the Hebrew language, in the 
Old Teftment, fometimes put for thefe, becaufe it ihews a real indignation, 
when a man's anger fmokes forth at his nofe, Pfal. 18. 8. It is faid, 1. to be 
like the tower of Lebanon : There is no particular mention of fuch a tower,but, 
that Solomon built there a ftately houfe, iChron.fy 3. tailed the houfe of 
the forreft of Lebanon^ wherein, iChron. 9. 15, 16. he put many targets 
and fiields •, and Lebanon being on the north ofjudah, near to Syria (where 
enemies foon brake out againft Solomon) it is not unlike, but either this houfe 
was made ufe of as a frontier-tower, or that fome other was there builded,for 
preventing of hurt from that handj to which this alludes. Next, this tower 
is faid to look toward Damafcus : Damafcus was the head city of Syria ^ fb* 
J fa. 7. 8. it is faid, the head of Syria is Damafcus : thefe that dwelt in it,were 
at that time amongft the moft malicious enemies that Ifrael had*, they were fb 
In David's time, 2 Sam. 8. 5. he flew two and twenty thoufand of them \ 
they were fo in Solomon's time, 1 Kings 1 1 . 24. Rez.on (whom God raifed up 
to be an enemy to him) did reign in Damafcus •, and generally they continued 
to do fo. They lay on the north ofjudah (therefore it is called evil from 
the north, which came from Syria) and Lebanon was on the north border of 
Ifrael, next to it : and it is like, that,fbr this caufe, either Solomon did change 
that place into a tower, or built fome other of new, to be a watch efpecial- 
ly againft that enemy, which was his chief enemy, to prevent the hurt that 
might come from that hand *, therefore, it is faid to look toward (or to the 
face of ) Damafcus ,as having a fpecial refpe£r to that enemy. Now, we con- 
ceive, that by this, the Bride's watchfulnefs and zeal, in profecuting and 
maintaining her fpiritual war againft her enemies, is underftood \ as alfo, her 
fagacity, in fmelling and difcovering the ftirrings and motions of her fpiritual 
enemies, as the nofe doth eafily fmell and difcover what is pleafant or hurt- 
ful to fenfe. Chrift's Bride hath many enemies, and fome more terrible than 
others-, therefore,me hath her watches,and (as it were) fentin els at the poft, 
to obferve their motions, efpecially ihe hath an eye upon her moft inveterate 
and malicious enemy, the enemy neareft her doors, that is naturally moft 


Verfc 5 . of the Song of Solomon. 189 

predominant, and her great care is to be kept from her iniquity, Pfal. 1 8. 2 1. 
This, we conceive, agrees both with the fcope,$and alfo with the defcription 
and companion here made ufe of. 

Obf. 1. The moft beautiful Bride of our Lord Jefus hath enemies, and fuch 
enemies as are ftrongly feated and fortified ( as the Syrians at Damafcns were,) 
to watch againft. 2. There are fome particular quarters, or enemies, from 
which, and by which,believers often fuffer moft} and although they have ene- 
mies on all hands, yet is there ordinarily fome one particular enemy, more 
terrible, malicious and predominant than others, from which they are moft in 
danger. 3. Believers fhould ever be on their watch againft thofe enemies, 
and mult neither make peace with them, nor be negligent to provide againft 
them. 4. Although the believer mould not be fecure or carelefs, in refe- 
rence to any ill, but every evil is to be carefully watched againft-, yet, where 
one ill doth moreu^ften affault him than others, and is more ftrong, by the 
concurrence of testations from without, or from his own inclination within, 
there the believer hath need of a fpecial watch 5.This watchfulnef?,impartially 
extended, and conftantly maintained, is a main piece of fpiritual beauty, and 
hath much influence on the adorning of a believer, and is a good evidence of 
a perfon that is commendable before Jefus Chrift. 

Vcrfc 5. Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of 
thine head like purple : the Kjng is held in the galleries. 

The firft ofverfe 5. contains the ninth and tenth particulars, that are com- 
mended in the Bride : The ninth is her head •, It looks here to be taken for the 
uppermoft part of the head (from which fenfe and motion do flow) as being 
diftintt from eyes and nofe •, therefore it is faid, Thy head upon thee, to wit, 
upon and above thofe parts before mentioned : Next,it is faid to be like Car- 
mel 9 which may be underftood, 1. As it relates to a fruitful place, mention- 
ed with Sharon^ Ifa. 35. 2. The excellency of Carmel and Sharon. 2. It may be 
tranflated fcarkt or crimfon, as the fame word is, 2 Chron. 3. 14. thus it is a 
rich colour, wherewith princes and great men ufed to be decored : and the 
hair being in the next words compared to purple, it is not unlike, that it is 
taken for a colour here alfo. 

By head, we muft underftand either Chrift hiftifelf, who ftands in that 
relation to the believer, and in refpett of dignity is called a head to all men^ 
1 Cor. 1 1. 3. Or, 2. (which is not inconfiftent with the former ) fome grace 
in the believer, atting on Chrift, and quickning the new life *, and feeing the 
fcope is to commend the believer from inherent grace, and the new nature be- 
ing compared to an inner-man, which isdefcribed from its feveral parts, and 

P p ."fo 

290 An Expofition Chap. 7, 

fo rauft have an head, we think that it is fome particular grace that is here 
efpecially aimed at. By head then, we conceive, the grace of hope may 
be underftood, it being the grace whereby the foul fticks to Chrift, ex- 
petting the enjoyment of him ^ for, not only is hope a grace necef- 
fary and commendable ( and fo it cannot be unfuitable to the fcope, 
to take it in upon one branch or other; but it may be called the head, 
(1.) Becaufe it is above, having Chrift himielf for its object : and though the 
word may be faid to be the objed of hope, yet it is not fo much the word, 
as Chrift held forth in the word *, and therefore, hope is faid to be within the 
v*il) Heb. 6~. iq # for, properly we hope for him, becaufe of his word \ and fo 
he is our hope, i Tim. 1. 1. (2.) Hope is agrace,which hath its rife from faith, 
and is fupported by it, as the head is by the neck : though hope be fome way 
above faith, yet doth faith fuftain it, and give it a being ; the believer 
hopes,becaufe he believes. (3.) It hath much influence on all fpiritual duties, 
and efpecially on our confolation, and is ufeful in the fpiritual war, as being 
au effential piece of the believer's fpiritual armour, and is therefore called 
the helmet or head-piece of falvaticn, 1 Theff. 5. 8. and the head-piece may 
be fome-way called the head y fo, hope, which keepeth ( to fay fo) grace's 
head, may not unfitly be called the head, feeing without it the head will be 
at leaft without its helmet •, and, taking it fo, for this fpecial piece of the 
believer's armour, it follows well on watchfulnefs : however, it is certain, 
that hope bears up the believer under difficulties, Rom. 8. 24. and that it refts 
on Chrift, who therefore is called our hope \ and fb, co-relatively being con- 
iidered, as a&ing on him, it may get the name of head, as faith is upon the 
like account called our righteoufnefs, and thus our Head is Chrift hoped u- 
pon. And the commendation, that it is like crimfon, will fuit well with this 
interpretation, the red or crimfon colour having a fpecial reference to ChrifVs 
death and fufferings, which puts the right colour on our hope, and makes it 
of this dye, that it is never ajliamed nor {rained, Rom. 5. 3. Obf. 1. The ex- 
ercifmg of hope is a neceffary piece of a believer's beauty : and,as to have the 
heart fuftained and comforted in the hope of what is not feen, is both necef- 
fary and profitable - 9 fo, when, by the power of hope, a believer's head is 
helpt up, and kept above in all waters, that he fink not, it is his fingular 
ornament. 2. Hardly will a believer be in good cafe without this grace of 
hope *, and when other graces are lively, hope will be fo alio : thefe pieces 
of armour, and fpiritual decoring, go together. 3. There is no other in the 
world that hath a well grounded hope but the believer *, it is only the belie- 
ver, whofe head is tike crimfon : all others, their hope makes afhamed, and 
their confidence fhall be rooted out - , whileas, his will be always frefti and 




Verfe 5. of the Song of Solomon. 291 

The tenth and laft particular, here commended in the Bride, is her hair : 
This was fpoken of, chap. 4. i. but here, both the word in the original, and 
the commendation that is given of it, do differ from that which is there re- 
corded: The word, here tranflated hair, is not dfe where to be found \ it 
comes from a root that gives ground to expound it fmalnefs, or tendemefs * 
therefore, it is taken by fome, to fignify a pin, or fome of the fmall decore- 
ments of the head : And it is compared to purple, for its precioufnefs, loveli- 
nefs, and other reafons formerly mentioned in fpeaking of that colour. 

We take the fcope here to be, to fhew the universal lovelinefs and pre- 
cioufnefs of grace in a believer,even in the leaft things } What fiall J fay (faith 
he) that thy feet, navel, eyes and head, are beautiful ? even thy hair, or the 
pins that drefs it, are lovely and excellent ', fo glorious, princely and flately a crea- 
ture is this Bride, that there is not a wrong pin or hair to be found upon her : 
And thus, all the commendation is well clofed with this. By the hair then, 
we conceive, is underftood, even the meaneft geftures and circumftances of 
a believer's walk, which, being ordered by grace, are beautiful, and ferve much 
to the adorning of the gofpel. 

Obferv. 1. That grace makes an obfervable change upon the whole man ; it 
regulates even the leaft things ', it orders looks, geftures and circumffonces, 
wherein often men take too much liberty. 2. Grace, vented in the meaneft 
piece of a chriftian-carriage, is very beautiful ; it puts a fpecial beauty and 
luftre upon the meaneft circumftances of the Chriflian's actions : Or, when a 
believer fquares all his walk, even in the leaft things, by the right rule, it 
makes his way exceeding lovely •, whereas, often a little folly, or unwatch- 
fulnefs in flich, proves like a dead fie, that makes a whole box of ointment to 
ftinh, Ecclef. 10. 1. 3. Our Lord takes notice of the fmalleft things in a be- 
liever, even of the hair, yea, of the fmallefl thereof : there is nothing in his 
people fo mean, but he takes notice of it -, and there is nothing fo little, but 
grace fhould be exercifed therein. In a word, all things in a believer fliould 
be fuitable, eyes, hair, head, &c. 

The particulars of the Bride's commendation, of which we have fpoken 
(if they were underftood) certainly they contain much \ but, as if thefe were 
little, he proceeds in expreifing this beauty of, or rather his love to, his 
Bride, in three wonderful expreffions, as proofs of what he hath faid con- 
cerning her lovelinefs and beauty, or (if we may improperly fo call them) 
aggravations thereof, whereby that commendation is raifed and heightned to 
an exceeding great height. The firft is in the end of the fifth verfe, and it 
is this, The King is held (or bound) in the galleries : The fenfe in a word is, 
What favifring lovelinefs is this that is to be found in this Bride, that the King is 
thereby (as it were) held and bound, and muftfiand to look upon it, he is fo de- 

P P 2 lifted 

2p2 An Expofition Chap. 7. 

lighted with it f ift, This King is our Lord Jefus, the Prince of the kings of 
the earth : He is not only here, but elfewhere, often ftiled the King) becaufe- 
he is eminently fo % and it is much to the believer's confolation that he is fo, 
f if the faith of it were fixed in them. Our Lord is a moft royal kingly perfon. 
2dly, The galleries, here, are the fame that were, chap. 1. 17. called there- 
of rs ; the word there is our galleries : Galleries are places t where great men 
ufe to walk •, and here (Chrift and the believer having one houfe, wherein 
they dwell together) the galleries fignifie the means or ordinances, wherein 
in a more fpecial way they come to walk together. $dly, To be held (or 
bound % as the word is) fignifies a holy conftraint that was on him, that he 
could do no otherwife, becaufe he would do no otherwife, it was fo delight- 
fbm to him -, as, chap. 3.4. and 4. 9. and 6. 5, 12. where, on the matter, 
the fame thing is to be found. The word, here ufed, is borrowed from the 
nature of affettion amongft men, that detains them to look on what they love : 
In fum, this in an abrupt manner comes-in on the clofe of the particulars of 
the Bride's commendation , as if it were faid. So lovely art thou, that Chrift, 
at captivate or overcome, cannot withdraw, but is held (as, ; chap. 3. 4.) to look 
upon thy beauty : Which is the more wonderful, that he is fo royal a Perfon, 
whom enemies, death and devils could not detain, yet he is fo prevailed over 
by a believer. And it is obfervable, that there is not one thing oftner men- 
tioned in this Song, than the wonderful expreffions of Chrift's yielding him- 
felf to be prevailed over by them •, as if his might were to be employed for 
them, rather than for himfelf; and as if he gloried in this, that he is over- 
come by them, which is indeed the glory of his grace* Obf. \* There are 
fome more than ordinary admiffions to nearnefs with Chrift, that believers 
may meet with •, which are more than ordinary for cleacnefs, fo as they may 
be faid to have him in the galleries y and alfo for continuance, fo as they may 
be faid to have him held there. !• Chrift Jefus by the holy violence of his 
people's graces (fo to fpeak) may be held and captivate to ftay and make his 
abode with them : it is good then to wreftle with Chrift, that he may be held 
and prevailed with. 3. Holinefs, in a believer's walk„ hath much influence 
on the attaining and entertaining of the moft fenfible manifeftationsof Chrift ; 
Thus he is held in the galleries* 4. Our Lord Jefus thinks.no ihame to be out 
of love prevailed over by his people ; yea, he efteems it his honour, there- 
fore is this fo often recorded for the commendation of his love, and the com- 
fort of believers* 



Verfe 6. of the Song of Solomon. 29} 

Verfe 6. How fair, and how pleafant art thou, LoVe, for de~ 

lights ! 

This verfe contains the fecond expreffion, whereby the Bride's commenda- 
tion is heightned, in three things, Firft, By the title he gives her, O Love, 
for delights ! He calls her, in the abftract, Love it felf : there can be no more 
laid •, fhe is not only lovely, but Love it felf : for delights is added as the rea- 
fon of it, becaufe of the various and abounding delights that are to be found 
in her •, fhe is (to fay fo) a perfon fb excellently beautiful, and hath fo many 
lovely things in her. The fecond thing is the commendation he joins with 
this title, and it is in two words, 1. She is fair : This looks to the external 
lovelinefs of her perfon. 2. She is pleafant : This refpetts the fweetnefsand 
amiablenefs of her inward difpofition. Thefe two may be feparate in others, 
but they meet in the believer, as they do in Chrift •, therefore fhe had given 
him thefe two epithets, (hap. 1. \6. The third thing is the manner of expref- 
fion, which heightens all tnis : It is exprefTed with an How ? How fair? &c. 
(as chap. 4. 10.) fhewing an incomparablenefs and an inexpreffiblenefs to be in 
her beauty ^ whereby, in fum, the love of this bleffed Bridegroom fhews his 
fatisfattion in his Bride, by multiplying fuch wonderful expreffions, as hold : 
forth the high efteem that he hath of her. Obf. 1. There is nothing fo love* 
ly, in all the world, as grace in a believer v the mofl delight fom pleafant 
thing in the world is nothing to this. 2. The love that Chrift hath to his 
people is inexprefTible : Altho'he ufeth many fignificant ways to exprefs it, 
yet muft it clofe with an indefinite expreffion and queftion, to which 
an anfwer cannot be made, How fair? It cannot be told how fair, 
and men cannot take it up otherwise than by wondring at it. 3. This 
lovelinefs of the Bride, and the King's being kept in the galleries, or 
the fenfe of the enjoyment of his prefence, go together •, and therefore- 
it is fubjoined here, as the caufe of the former, like one that is ravifbed 
with the admiration of fbme excellent fight,, he flays and beholds it, and O 
(faith he) how pleafant is it ! The believer is the uptaking objeft of the love 
of Chrift, wherein he: delights. 4. There is no lovely nor delightforn thing 
in all the world, that Chrift cares for, or efteems of, as he doth of the be- 
liever j grace makes a perfon ChrifTs Love for delights : Riches, honour, fa- 
vour, parts, will be of no value without this \ whereas one without thefe 
may with this have Chrift's affection ingaged to them* 

Verfe 7. This thy ftatureis lik? to. a palm-tree y and thy breafts fa? 

cluflers of grapes.. 
Verfe 8* If aid, 1 will go up to the palm-tree, I will tal^e hold of 


294 AnExpofition Chap, 7. 

■ ■ . . 1 . . . . s 

the boughs thereof: naw al/o thy breafts fhall be as clufters of 

the vine, and the fmell of thy nofe like apples. 

Verfe 9. And the roof of thy mouth like the be ft wine, for my 

Beloved, that goeth down fweetly, cauflng the lips of thofe that 

are a flee p, to fpeak. 
The former two expreilions, v. — 5, 6. have fallen from him (to (peak fo) 
in a raviflied, abrupt manner, by way of exclamation. The third way, how 
he amplifies the commendation of the Bride, follows, ver. 7, 8, 9. (as fob- 
joined to the preceeding particular defcription) And this amplification is ex- 
preiled thefe three ways, 1/, By commending her ftature, as the refultof all 
her parts (formerly defcribed) put together, with a repetition of one of thefe 
parts mainly taken notice of, verfe 7. idly, By fhewing his refolution to 
haunt her company, by which his refpetl: to her appears, verfe 8. $dly, By 
promifmg gracious effects to follow on his performing the former promife, of 
his keeping company with her, ver. 8, 9. 

The 7th verfe then fpeaks to two things, her ftature and her breafts. Her 
ftature refpe&s all the bygone parts being now put together, for fo they re- 
prefent the whole ftature : And by ftature is underftood the proportionable- 
nefs and comelinefs that is in the whole, being confidered as jointly united in 
one body, as well as feverally (as was faidof him, chap. 5. 16.) and the re- 
lative, this, clears it •, this, that is, this which is made up of all the feveral 
parts I have been enumerating, they being put together, make thy ftature :, 
and thy ftature, thus made up of thefe members and parts, is like the palm-tree : 
And fo, from this fimilitude, her ftature is commended. The palm-tree is 
recorded in fcripture to have divers commendable properties, i/r, It is 
ftraight*, therefore it is faid of the idols, that they are upright like the palm- 
tree, Jer. 5. 10. Straightnefs is comely in a ftature * 9 He was like to a cedar, 
chap. 5. 1 5. flie is like to a palm-tree here, idly, A palm-tree hath good fruits, 
the daits are the fruit thereof. $dly, It is a tree of long continuance, and 
keeps long green -, hence, Pfal. 92. 12, 14. it is faid of the righteous, Tliey 
jhall flour ijlj like the palm-tree ; therefore, Joel 1. 12. it is an evidence of great 
drought, when the palm-tree wither eth. ^thly, They were looked on as moft 
fit to be ufed in times when men were about to exprefs their joy in the moft 
folemn manner*, and,fo when Chrift is coming triumphantly tojerufalem, Joh. 
12. they ait down branches of palm-trees, to carry before him -, and, Rev.-]. 4. 
thefe v'&ors have palms in their hands ; and, in Lev it. 23. 4c. we find branches 
of thefe trees commanded to be made ufe of in the joyful feaft of tabernacles *, 
fcyLthefevtojy pz!m~trce .^that were found by the Jfraelites at JElhn, are menti- 

Verfe 4. of the Song of Solomon. 295 

oned, Numb. 33.9. asrefrefhful *, fo is the city ofpalm-trees alfo mentioned 
as a moft pleafant place, Dcut. 34. 3. All thefe may be applied to believers, 
who, both by the change that is wrought upon them by the grace of Chrifb 
and alio, as they are in him by faith, are fuch. They are firaight, not 
crooked, but beautiful and rflourifhing, and to him refrefliful, as the next verfe 
fhews, being the living figns and monuments of his victory over death and the 
devil. Obf. 1. There ought not only to be in a believer, a thriving of graces 
diftin&ly, but a right joining, ordering and comparing of them together, that 
they may keep a proportionablenefs, and make up complexly a lovely ftature: 
that is, not only mould all graces be kept in exercife together, but as mem- 
bers of one new man, each ought to be fubfervient to another, for making up 
of a fweet harmony in the refult •, love mould not wrong zeal, nor zeal pru- 
dence j but every grace, as being a diftintt member of the new man, mould 
be fettled in its own place, to make the ftature lovely. 2. When this propor- 
tion is kept, and every grace hath its own place, it is exceeding lovely, like 
a beautiful ftature •, whereas grace, when a&ing unorderly ( if then it may be 
called grace) is like an eye, beautiful in it felf :, but, not being in the right 
place of the face, doth make the ftature unlovely and difproportionable. It is 
not the leaft part of fpiritual beauty, when not only one hath all graces,, but 
hath every one of them a£Hng according to their feveral natures, even when 
they are acting jointly together. 3. This furthers much believers fruitfulnefs 
and continues them frefli and green, when the whole ftature of grace isright^ 
and kept in a due proportionablenefs. 

The particular that is again repeated, is her breafis, which are compared to 
a clufter of graces, or mne y zs it is in the eighth verfe. We conceive, by breafis 
here, is fignified her love and affe&ion, whereby he is entertained : So* cW 
1. 13. Hejhall ly all night between my breafis •, and fo it agreeth well with that 
expreilion, Prov. 5/lp. Let her breafis fatisfy thee at all times, and be thou al- 
ways ravifi?d with her love : This is confirmed from the fimilitude unto which 
it is compared, and that is, grapes, or wine •, fhewing, that her love is refresh- 
ful, and cordial (to fpeak fo) to him : Thy breafis (faith he) that is, to ly 
between thy breafts, and to be kindly entertained by thee, is more than wine 
to me : And this is the fame thing which was faid, chap. 4. 10, How tnuch bet- 
ter if thy love^ than wine ? And the fimilitude being the fame, we think the 
thing is the fame that is thereby fet forth and commended*, and it is Angularly 

1 taken notice of by Chrift through all the Song, and marked in chap. 4. and here, 
as that which makes all her ftature fo lovely in it felf: Love makes every 
grace aft (therefore is it the fulfilling of the law) and makes grace in its actings 
beautiful and lovely to him. Thefe words, then, may either expiefs, 1. The 
lovelinefs of her love ; Or, 2..The delight which he took in it, as efieeming; 

I highly 

t?6 An Expofition ' Chap. 7. 

highly of it ; fhe was fo very lovely, that nothing refreihed him fo much as 
her breafls : Which ^xpreffion (as all the reft) holds out intenfe fpiritual love, 
under the expreflions that are ufual amongfl men. And it fays, ift. That 
the beauty of grace is a ravifhing beauty \ or, ChrifVs love delights in the 
love of hispeople : A room in their hearts is much prized by him. 2^/y,Chrift 
hath a complacency and acquiefcenfe in his people, which he hath in none o- 
ther \ and where more grace is, there his complacency (though one in it felf) 
doth the more manifeft it fel£ 3 dly, When a believer is right and in good cafe, 
then his love to Chrifl; is warm: And particularly, aright frame is by nothing 
fooner evidenced, than by the affections ; and it is ordinarly ill or well with 
us, as our love to Chrifl is vigorous or cold. 

The fecond way, how our 1 ord expreffeth his love to his Bride, is in the 
beginning ofverfe 8. and it is by exprefftng of his refolution to accompany with 
her, beyond any in the world. She was compared to a palm-tree kithe for- 
mer verfe, Now (faith he) I will go up to the palm-tree (that is, to the palm- 
tree before mentioned) it is on the matter the fame with that prorrjife, chap* 
4« 6.7 will get me to the mountain ofmyrrhe, &c. Confider here, Br ft, The thing 
promifed ox propoled, and that is, bis going up to the palm-tree, and taking hold 
of the boughs thereof : That the fcope is to hold forth his pufpofe of manifeft- 
ing himfelf to her, is clear, i. By the dependence of this on the former : he 
had faid., Thou art a palm-tree •, and now (faith he) / will go up to the palm-tree , 
which fpeaks his prizing that tree above all others, z. The effefts alfo of his 
going up, in the following words, do clear it : It is fiich a going up as hath 
refrefliful and comfortable influence upon her. The importance of the fimili- 
tude is, as men love the trees they converfe much about (and, it is like, palm- 
trees were much ufed for that end) or, as climbing up upon trees, and taking 
hold of their boughs, do fhew the delight and pleafure men have in fuch or fiich 
a tree, and how refrefhing it is to them to be near it ; So, having compared 
Jher to a palm-tree, he expreffeth his delight in her, and his purpofe of ma- 
nifefling himfelf to her, under the fame fimijitude, as is ordinary in theftrain 
pf this Song. Secondly, Confider, that this refolution is laid down, as no paf- 
iing thought, but is a deliberate and determined refolution, I faid Iwillgo 9 &c. 
J will tale hold, &.c. Which doth fhew, (i.)Chrift's inward thoughts and con- 
jdufionswith himfelf, this is his heart-language. (2.) The expreflion of thefe; 
and fo the words come to be a promife, which the believer may make ufe ofj 
as of a thing which Chrifl hath faid. (3.) It fhews a deliberatenefs in both, 
that they were not fudden, but the advifed refult of aformer deliberation, and 
.that of old, J faid it : In a word (faith he) my Bride is my choice in all the world, 
the tree that I have refolved, for my delight, to climb up upon, befide all others. 
Obf. 1 fa The fcope and refult of all Chxift's commendations of his Bride, is, 



Verfe 8. of the Song of Solomon. 29- 

that fhe may be brought to look for, and expett to be made happy with h:^ 
own company, and to be unfpeakably made up in the enjoyment of his pre- 
fence. 2dly, It is not every one that hath the promife of ChrifTs company 
and fellowfhip, or that may expect it j it is the believer only who may look 
for it, he hath CbrifFs word for it, and none but he. 3^/y, Chrift's moft paf- 
iionate expreffions of love are not from any fiwprize of affection in him, but 
are deliberately refolved, and that of old, fo that now they cannot be altered \ 
his delight was in the habitable parts of the earth, and his refolntion was laid 
down to go up to the palm-tree, before it was. tfhly, Chrift's thoughts to his 
people (if known) would be found to be precious, thoughts of peace, and not 
of evil *, many a good purpofe hath been in his heart of old, and there is no 
greater evidence of love, neither can be, than to intimate and accompli fh thefe, 
as he doth here : I laid down this resolution (faith he) long ere now, and J wik 
follow it out. $thly 9 A holy tender walk in believers (which is indeed to have 
the ftature lovely as the palm-tree) will obtain the manifeftation of Chrift's 
heart to them ■, and there is no greater evidence of Chrift's refpeft, than that, 
John 14. 21, 23. 

The third way, how he expreiTeth his love, is by the effe&s, which he pro- 
mifeth fhall follow on his prefence with her, as his prefence is fubjoined to her 
lovely ftature (which connexion is obfervable) The effects, that follow, are 
three: the flrft two are in the fecond part of the eighth verfe, and the firft ot 
them in thefe words, Now alfo thy breafts fhall be as the clufters of the vine, this 
is the firft fruit of his going up to the palm-tree, which (as alio the reft of 
them) may be taken as comprehenfive of thefe two, \ft y Of fbme gracious «P- 
feci: that fhall be wrought in the Bride, andfo thefe words bring him in fpeak- 
Jng to this purpofe, When I come to thee, then by my prefence thy graces 
jhall flow, and thou fhall be in a capacity to edify others, and to fatisfy me, 
as if thy breafts were clufters of the vine, to fiirnifh what might be refrefhful : 
Thus he comforts her, from what fhould be wrought in her, by his prefence 
with her. And the fcope and connexion fliews, that this cannot be excluded, 
it being a native confequence of his prefence, and comfortable in it felf to her. 
idly y They are to be looked upon as comprehenfive of his gracious acceptation 
of her and her 'fruits, as being well fatisfied with her \ and thus the meaning 
of thefe words, thy breafts jhall be as clufters of the vine, is this, When I fhall 
come to thee, thy love and company, thy bofbm (to fay fo) fhall be to me 
more refrefhful than clufters of the vine} I will feed upon it, and delight in it, 
as, chap. 4. 10. This compleats her confolation, and the evidence of his love, 
that he undertakes it fhall be well with her inward condition, and that he fhall 
accept of her alfo, and be well fatisfied with her: Thefe are not only confi- 
dent together, but do neceffarily concur for making up the fcope, which is to 

dq evident 

2p8 An Expo/ition Chap. 7. 

<Wce his love, and to comfort her ; and the one of thefe follows on the o- 
ther, therefore we comprehend both in all thefe effefts. Obf 1. Chrift's pre- 
sence hath much influence on believers liveliness \ their breafts run when he is 
prefent. 2. Livelinefs is a lingular and comfortable mercy in a believer's efti- 
mation } therefore is it promifed as a thing that is in a fpecial way comforta- 
ble to her. 3. Chrift's prefence, or nearnefs with him, and fruit fulnefs, go 
together : and where the breafts are not as clufters, no condition the believer 
can be in, is to be accounted prefence. . 

The fecond effect is in thefe words, And the fmell of thy nofe like apples : Ap« 
pies are fevoury fruity the fmell of the nofe is the favour of the breath, that 
comes from it, which in unwholfom bodies is unfavoury * 7 faith he to the 
Bride, Thine frail not be fo> but thy conftitution frdl be lively, and all that comes 
from thee Ji hall be favour 7, and fo frmll be accepted of me :, it Jhall be favour y in it f elf, 
m apples are to the fmell, and it frail be delighted in by me y - as having a fwcet air 
and breath with it. This imports a confpicuous inward change, by the growth 
of mortification, whereby believers being purified within from all filthiKefs 
of thefiefh and fpirit, there proceeds nothing from them but what is favour^ 
whereas a loofe and ragged converfation, as corrupt breath (Job 17. 1.) evi- 
deixe th. much inward rottennefs. Qbf. 1. Chrift's prefence is of an healing, 
cleanfing vertue, and makes an obfervable inward change. 2. An inward change 
evidenceth it felf in the outward fruits and effects *, the very fmell and favour 
of the converfation, and of all external duties, is changed, 3. This inward 
purity is very defirable to the believer ; for, fo it is here a piece of his com- 
fort, to have a promife that the fmell of his nofe mall be as apples^ and it is a 
fpecial evidence of Chrift's refpecl:, to have that performed. 

It may alfo take in the favourinefs of the believer's breathing, in refpeil of 
themfelves •, when Chrift is prefent, they fhall draw in awholefom, pleafant 
and refrefhful air •, whereas, now ordinarily, we breathe in a corrupt air* ft frail 
not be fo then^ faith he, the fmell of thy nofe frail be as if thou did favour of ap- 
ples. Chrift's company makes all both fruitful within, and refrefhful to the- 
believer, and alfo makes all duties, and all difpenfations he is exercifed with, 
favoury and acceptable to himfelf} all which follows on Chrift's prefence, and 
iuits with the fcope, that faith, both tafte and fmell are fat is fed ^ 

The third lovely effect of Chrift's prefence, is in the ninth verfe : And, 
t. The eftecT: it felf is fet down ; then its commendation is amplified. The 
fffe$y or advantage of Chrift's prefence, is in thefe words, The roof of thy 
nwuth (or thy palat) frail be at the befi wine : The pallat, or roof of thy mouth," 
is the inftrument of tafte, and fo is fometlmes taken for the tafte it felf^ and is 
ft translated, chap. 2. 3. his fruit was fwcet to my tafte : So, Job 34. 3. Or, by 
jaliat may be underflood. the mouth j as, ch*p. 5, id. Next, it is compared 



Verfe 8. of the Song of Solomon. 299 

to wine j yea, the be ft wine (the reafons of the comparifbn have been often fpo- 
ken to) The beft wine is that which is molt refrefhing and exhilerating : Now 
this wine is three ways fet out in its excellency (for, that the following ex- 
prefftons are to this purpofe, is clear) ifl, It is for my Beloved, that is, fuch 
wine as he allows his friends, whom he ftiles beloved, cbap.<$.j. (and this 
fhews what kind of wine is underftood) and fo it muft be excellent wine, be- 
ing that which is allowed on ChrirVs fpecial friends. Or, it is an abrupt ex- 
preffion, whereby hefpeaks in name of the Bride , it is fuch wine as 1 (as iffhe 
were fpeaking) allow on thee, my Beloved, and which I referve only for thee - 
For which reafon, me iscalled, a fountain fe ale d y and garden inclofed, as being 
fet apart for him, and not common to others ; and thus is he exprefling, in 
her name, what me expreffeth her felf in the laft words of this chapter, It is 
all for thee my Beloved ; And it implieth both a commendation of its fweetnefs,- 
and her devoting of it to him. However, the words hold forth fomething 
that proves it to be excellent, and not common, but fuch as is found amongft 
thefe who Hand in this fpiritual relation, idly, It is commended from this, 
that it goeth down fweetly^ that is, it is pleafant to the tafte, and is not harfh, 
but delightfomly may be drunk of: Or, it may refpect that property of good 
wine, mentioned, Trov. 23. 31* (that it moves it felf rightly) if the words be 
tranflated as the margin imports. $dly, It is commended from the effects, it 
drinks fweetly} and when it is drunk, itcaufeth the lips ofthofe that are afleepto 
fpeak : Wine is cordial and refrefhful, but this wine muft be in a fingular way 
refrefhful, that makes men that are infirm, or old (as the word may be ren- 
dred) and almoft dead, to revive and fpeak ^ or, thofe that were fecure (as 
the Bride was, chap, 5. 2.) and in a fpiritual droufinefs, it can quicken them, 
and make them cheerfully fpeak : Thus the wine is commended. Now, we 
conceive, by this comfortable effect, that is promifed to her upon Chrift 'sco- 
rning to her, thefe two things are here holden forth, 

Firfa How refreshing it fliall be to her felf, all her fenfes mall be taken 
with it, both the fmell and the tafte , it mall be Angularly fweet to her fpiri- 
tual tafte, as it is, chap. 2. 3. And thus the wine of the Spirit is commended, 
which accompanies his manifeflations, and is referved for his Beloved, chap* 
5. 1. and is a joy that no ftranger is made partaker of: This wine is indeed 
peculiar for his Beloved ( and is fuitable to himfelf ) and is the wine that go- 
eth fweetly down •, and is molt refrefhful, and makes fecure finners to fpeak, 
and thofe that are faint it revives them-, as, Eph. 5. iS.Be not filled with wine, 
&C. but be filled with the Spirit, /peaking to your f elves in pfalrm, finging and ma- 
ling melody in your hearts to the Lor d t This effect agrees well to the Spirit, yea, 
only to this wine of the Spirit ', and it fuits well the fcope, which is to mew 
what comfortable influence Chrift/s prefence mould have on her, fo that when 

Q. q 2 he 


oo An Expo fit ion Chap. 7, 

he comes to his palm-tree, her tafle mall relifli as with the bell wine \ his 
prefence fhall thus revive and quicken her, and be a fpecial evidence of his 
lingular refpecl: to her. 

Secondly, It holds out (which follows on the former) that not only her 
breath fhall favour well to him and others, and her inward fenfes abound with 
refremings to her felf, but alfo the expreifions of her mouth to others mall 
be favory, and to him refrefhful, as a delightfom fruit flowing from her. Tto 
(fiiithhe) when I betake me to fellowjhip with thee, and come nearr by fenfible em- 
bracements 7 to take hold of thy boughs (as a man embracing one whom he loves, 
for thus the allegory is fpiritimily to be underftood) thou ftialt be to me, and 
in. my efleem r exceeding lovely 5 thy breafts, fmell and mouth will be cheering and 
favorjr, like grapes, apples, and the befl wine* And here fpiritual affections and 
holy reafon would be made ufe of, to gather the life of Chrift's love from the 
effects of it, with fome refemblance of what ufeth to be betwixt man and 
wife, in their mutual loving carriage (for fo runs the flrain of this Song) al- 
tho' our camalnefs makes it hazardous and unfafe to defcend in the explication 
of thefe fnnilitudes : And thus, as chap. 5. itf. by his mouth or palat, was 
underftood the kiffes thereof, or the mofl fenfible manifestations of his love 
to her 5 fo here, by her palat or mouth, is underftood her mofl affe&ionate 
foul-longings of love to him, which, being warmed and melted by his pre- 
fence, doth manifefl it felf in a kindly way, in fpiritual embraces and kiffes 
(as from ver. n, 12. will be clear) which are exceedingly delightfom to him : 
And fo the fenfe of this promife is, When I come to thee, then, yea, even now, 
thy love with the fenfe of mine fhall be warmed and reflefhed -, fo that it fhall in an 
affectionate way vent it felf on me, and that jljall be as the mofl exhilerating cordial 
imto me, as the manifeflations of my love will be cheering and refiefiing unto thee. 
Both which are notably comfortable to her, and fpecial evidences of his re- 
fpeft, which is the fcope. Obf. 1. There are fbme fecret flowings of love, 
and foul-experiences betwixt Chrifl and believers, that are not eafily under- 
ftood - and that makes the expreffions of this love fo feemingly intricate. 2. 
Thefe flowings of love that are betwixt Chrifl and his people (how flranpe 
foever they be) are mofr. delightfom to the foul that partakes of them, they 
are as wine that goetb down fweetly. 3. Chrifl's prefence hath many benefits 
and advantages waiting on it,which contribute exceedingly both to the qu?ck- 
ning and comforting of the believer } many things hang on this one, his going 
ipto the palm-tree. 4, The joy of the Spirit hath notable effects, and can put 
words in the month of thefe that never fpoke much before, yea, can make 
the dumb to fmg, with a fenfible warming of the heart and inward afFecb'ons, 
ftirring up melody in their fouls, which yet Will be difrin& in the imprefBons 
and effect's of ife; 3-, Our Lord Jefus hath deilj?:^ ! the comfort of the believer, 



Verfe 1 o. of the Son% of Solomon. 3 o 1 

which he holdeth out in comfortable promifes, and alloweth them to make 
ufe of it, and it is pleafant and delightfom to him to have them fo doing. 

B R I D E. 

Verfe 10. 1 am my Beloved' s, and bis deftre is towards me. 

The Bride hath been long filent, delightfomly drinking in what ihe hath 
been hearing from the Bridegroom's fweet mouth, and fo (uffering him to lay 
on : Now in this tenth verfe, and thefe that follow, ihe comes-in fpeaking^ 
and having well obferved what he faid, the refult and effect thereof upon her. 
heart doth appear in what ihe faith. And, 1. fhe comforts her felf in her 
union, with him, as now being clear in it from his owning of her \ and Ihe 
lays down, and begin with this conclufion, verfe to* Now (faith fhe) I 
may fay, / am my Beloved? /, &c. Then, 2. looking to his promife, verfe 8. fhe 
puts up her great defire after communion with him, that,according to her in- 
tereft in him, fhe might be admitted to enjoy him; which fuit is put up, 
qualified or inlarged,and by feveral arguments preffed on him, verf. 11,12. 13. 

The conclufion which fhe gathers, verfe 10. from his difcourfe, comes not 
in altogether abruptly, but is the expreffion of a heart comforted with the in- 
timations of ChrifVs love, and wakned with the wine that makes them that 
are afleep to fpeak \ and fo breathing out the great ground of her confolati- 
on. Now (faith fhe) feeing he loves me,and out of the infinite freedom of his 
grace is pleated to commend unworthy me fo much, certainly, I may con- 
clude, I am my Beloved? *s> and his defire is towards me. The firfl part of this 
verfe,wherein fhe afferts her intereft in him,was fpoken to^hap. 2. 16. and 6. 
3. and it is now repeated on this occafion, for thefe reafons, (1.) Becaufe it 
is the great compend of all her confolation, and that wherein it confifis, that 
fhe is ChrifVs and Chrift is hers : This is indeed matter offolid confolation, 
and whatever is comfortable doth flow from it. (2.) To fhew that fhe kept 
the clearnefs of her intereft in him, in fome meafure conftantly, and carried 
it along with her in the feveral parts of her exercife-, fhe can aiTert it this day, 
and the next day, and the third day. ($ .) It is now a full tide with her, as 
to Chrift's rnanifeftation*, and the flowings of his Spirit; he hath been libe- 
ral and large in the intimations of his love, and fhe makes this ufe of it, to 
put her intereft in him out of qneftion,whilethe evidences of it are fb legible. 
Obf 1. Believers may, at* fome times, more clearly and diftinftly gather and 
conclude their intereft in Chrift, than at other times. 2. When believers 
are admitted to nearnfs with Chrift, and clouds that would darken their faith 
are fcattered, then they would. endeavour to fix their confidence,, and put 
their interell out of queftion y that when their fim comes under a: cloudy 


302 An Expofition Chap. 7. 

and they fee not to read their evidences fo diftin£tly, they be not put to 
queftion their intereft, and all bypaft experiences, as delufions. 3; When the 
Lord owns his people, and fpeaks comfortably to them (as he hath been do- 
ing to the Bride) then they mould own him, and acquiefce in that confola- 
tion allowed upon them by him. 

The lafl part of the verfe, in thefe words, and his defire is towards me, 
fhews not only that the intereft was mutual, and that he loved her, as flie did 
him ; but that he loved her affectionately, fo that in a manner he could not be 
without her, His defirt was to her. 2. That he condefcended to love her with 
fuch a kind of love and refpeffc as a woman hath to her husband 5 for, fb this 
is fpoken of the firft woman, Gen. 3. thy defire frail be towards him\ that is,fub- 
ordinate to his, or feeking to conform to his, that fhe may pleafe him : And 
fo here it fhews Chrift's great condefcending, to have the believer carving 
(as it were) to him, fo ready is he to pleafe and fatisfy his people, for their 
good. 3. It fhews a deal of fatisfattion that fhe had in this ; it was the 
matter of her humble fpiritnal boafting, that Chrift fo loved her, hate or con- 
temn her who would. 4. She thinks ftill much of this privilege of an intereft 
in Chrift, and efteems nothing the lefs of it, that me had attained clearnefs in 
it before now : Clearnefs is ever of much worth, and thefe who are cleareft 
anent this, will efteem moil of it : That holy fainnefs (to fay fo ) that this 
word, My Beloved is mine^ brings-in to the foul, eafeth and comforteth the 
more that it is often renewed. 

Verfe 1 1 . Come, my Beloved, let us go forth into the field, let 
us lodge in the Villages. 

Verfe 12. Let us get up early to the Vineyards, let us fee if the 
Vine flourifh, whether the tender grape appear, and the pome- 
granates hud forth : there will 1 give thee my loVes. 

Verfe 1 3. The mandrakes give afmell, and at our gates are all 
manner of pleaf ant fruits, new and old, which lhaVe laid up 
for thee, my (BeloVed ! 

When fhehath laid down this ground of her intereft in him, me proceeds to 
improve it, verfe u. by giving him a kindly and familiar invitation, which 
fhe, firft, qualifies in the end of the nth verfe, and beginning of the i2th- 7 
and then, in what followeth, adds fome motives to prefs it. The fimilitude of 
a loving wife's carriage to a kind husband, is continued, as if fuch a loving 


Verfe 1 i . of the Song of Solomon, 

wife, defeous of her husband's company, did invite him to the fields, there- 
by in a retired way to be folaced witji his company ; efpecially by going a- 
broad with him in a pleafant fpring-time, and flaying fome nights in villages 
for that end, and that they might the more ferioufly and comfortably view 
the ftate of their orchards and gardens, which is both pleafant, profitable 
and delightfom, to be done in the husband's company : even fo doth the Bride 
follow the fimilitude, to ftiew what flie defired from Chrift in defiring of his 
company, and for what end, to wit, both for the profit and comfort flie ex- 
pected to reap thereby. 

The invitation flie gives him, is,Ccme, my Beloved : Come, isa word much u- 
fed betwixt Chrift and the believer, and is a kindly word. He faith, Come, 
chap. 2. 10. and now flie ufeth the fame word - 7 Her putting up this defire, 
expreffeth a defire of communion and nearnefs with him, and alfo much at 
fe&ion, and is the language both of the Spirit and the Bride, who faith, Come r 
Rev. 22- 17. Here it imports a petition, preffing for a greater degree of com- 
munion, which, by comparing this with the former words, may be gathered y 
for, fhe poffeffed it in a good meafure for the time, and yet here ftie faith, 
Come. Firft, confidering this invitation in it felf, we may obferve, That 
* communion with Chrift is the one, principal and common-fuit of the believer, 
wherein he is never fatisfied till it be perfected. Next, comparing thefe 
words with the preceeding, Obferve, 1 . The more that Chrift be manifefted to 
his people, the more near they be admitted to him, and the better that their 
frame be, and the more clear they be anent their intereft in him, the greater 
will their defire be of more near communion with him. 2. Clearnefsof 
intereft in him, when it is fblid, is a ground to prefs for his fellowfhip - T 
and ftill it preffeth the perfon who hath it, to purfue after more full mani- 
feftations of Chrift. Again, confidering thefe words, as they refpecl: his pro- 
mife, verfe 8. I faid (faith he) / will go vp to the palm-tree y &c. now fhe ha- 
ving heard it, layeth hold on this promife, and is not long in faying, Come. 
Obf 1/?, That believers fhould improve the promifes they have, for attain- 
ing what is promifed in them, and fnould not fufFer promifes to ly by t hem- 
not made ufe of. idly, What is promifed to a believer, may, and ihould be- 
prayed for, by them. 3^/v, Believers, in their prayers and fuits to Chrift,, 
would have a fpecial refpecl to the promifes, not only to conform their de- 
iires to them, but to ground them upon them. 4* /;/>', The more tender be- 
lievers be in their frame, they will the more carefully gather up all Chrift's 
words and promifes* and ftrengthen their faith thereby in their dealing with* 

Next, fhe contents not her felf to put up this fait, but fhe further quail- 
) fies it, in feveral repeated petitions (whereby the ardency of her de lire, and 

304 An Expofition Chap. 7. 

the ftrength of her faith doth appear) all which are recorded, both ^as a pat- 
tern to teach believers how they fliould carry in prayer, and alfo as evidences 
what will be their way and manner in that d*uty,when their fpirit is in a good 
condition. The firft qualification of the former petition is, Let us go forth in- 
to the field. Going forth into the field, holds forth thefe two, ( i . ) The extent 
of her defire \ fhe would have him at home and abroad alfo, fhe defires not to 
go out of doors without him. (2.) A defire of retirednefs with him, that (he 
might be alone in his company, as a wife going abroad to fields alone with 
her husband •, as, Gen. 24. 63. it is faid, that Jfaac went out to the fields to 
fray , that is, that he might be the more retired in that duty. Obferve, i.That 
where deiire of fellowship with Chrift is right, it breathes after a walk with 
him every-where, at home and abroad j they cannot endure to go out at 
doors, or to the fields, without him. 2. Delight in Chrift's company feeks 
to be retired with him, to be alone with him, to be freed from all other com- 
panies, and abftra&ed from all diftrattion, the more freely to be folaced with 

Again, the pronoun, us, Let us go, is not without good purpofe added : 
It is not, Go thou, nor, I will go-, but, Let usgo^ as bearing in ka double 
motive, and evidence of her affection -, 1/, That fhe offers her felf to bear 1 
him company. Obferve, When Chrift's company is loved and refpetted, the 
foul will be content to leave all others, and go with him, for the entertaining 
of it. idly, It implies, that tho' fhe had an errand, and defire to be abroad, 
yet, fhe could not endure to go about it without him ^ therefore (faith fhe ) 
Let us go. Obf. 1. The fields, and mofl pleafant recreations, are heartlefs and 
wearifom without Chrift's company, in the believer's efteem. 2. His com- 
pany is the believer's great encouragement to undertake any thing, and that 
which makes his out-going and in-coming pleafant: fhe is content to go with 
him, and cannot abide to go without him. Lafily, It mews her refpe&ing 
that which was her part in the exercife, as well as his, and her refolution to 
conform her practice to her prayers ', for, as fhe defires him to go, fo fhe is 
willing to go her felf: If we would expect the anfwer of prayer, our practi- 
ces fhould be like our prayers. 

The fecond qualification is, Let us lodge in the villages. Villages are rural, 
or landward places, by that name diftinguifhed from towns or cities } in thefe, 
men travelling, or continuing a time in the fields for their recreation or bu- 
finefs, do lodge, as retired from their ordinary vocations in cities. Her de- 
fire, Let us lodge in thefe (or, as the word is, Let us night or dwell there) 
lhews that fhe defired him abroad with her, not for a piece of a day, to re- 
turn at night, but for a greater length and continuance of time, as loving ra- 
ther to lodge with him in the villages., and to take what might be had in his 


Verfe T2. of the Song of Solomon. 305 

company, for lengthning their retirement, than to return haftily to the 
city, or bufineffes whereby fhe might be diftra&ed, and in hazard of an in- 
terruption of her communion with him. Obf 1. True defire of communion 
with Chrift in the enjoyment of his prefence, as it preffeth for retirednefs 
with him, fo is it defirous to have that lengthned, and cannot endure to think 
of parting with him, when it gets him in a corner. 2. A back-fide, or a cor- 
ner alone with Chrift's company, is good lodging to a lover of Chrift : Soli- 
tarinefs, with his prefence, is more frequented and delighted in by fuch, than- 
more publick fellow/hip and focieties. 

In the 1 2th verfe we have fome moe qualifications of her petition, and fome 
of the motives that prefs her to feek after Chrift's company. The third qua- 
lification is in thefe words, Let m go up early to the vineyards : The limilitude 
is continued, but this word early is added *, and it implies (as it is nfed in 
fcripture) 1/, Timoufhefs •, fo the women came to Chrift's grave early , Luke 
24. i. while it was dark. idly, Seafonablenefs •, fo it is taken in that expref- 
on, the Lord will help, and that right early, Pfal. 46. 5. $dly, Serioufhefs ; fo, 
Hof. 5. 15. they Jhall feek me early, that is, ferioufly. Here it implietb, that 
flie, as one impatient of delays, defires to go with expedition, and for that 
end offers him her company.' Obf. 1. Sincere defire of fellow/hip with Chrift 
cannot endure delays, but would prefently be at enjoyment. 2. There is a 
feafonor earlinefs, a fit opportunity of keeping company with Chrift, and 
that would not be neglected. 3. As privacy is a great friend to communion 
with Chrift, fo is earlinefs and timoufhefs in letting to it : The more early 
one begin, they may expecl to fpeed the better. 4. As no duty would be put 
off or delayed, fo efpecially this great and concerning-duty, of endeavouring 
for fellowship with Chrift, would by no means be delayed or fhifted, but ear- 
ly' and timoufly would be gone about. 

The fourth qualification follows in the motives, that fhe might fee bow the 
fever al fruits budded : And it fhews, that fhe defired not his company only 
for her fatisfaftion, but for her profit alfo, that thereby fhe might be helped 
to thrive in her fpiritual condition, and might be enabled the better to do 
her duty. Obf Afincere and right defire of communion with Chrift, ftudieth to 
improve it for fpiritual advantage, when it is attained. So then, all thefe put 
together, ftiew* that fhe defires Chrift's prefence retiredly, conftantly, tim- 
oufly, and in order to her fpiritual advantage and profit : This laft will ap- 
pear more in the motives, efpecially the firft. This is indeed a main defire ; 
and therefore, in what follows, fhe preffeth it with motives, which put her ^ 
to it, and alfo (as being well pleafmg to him) give her ground to expeci it 
from him : And tho' fhe ufeth thefe. motives, as if they were arguments to 
induce him to grant her defire, yet they are mainly for ftrengthning her own 

R r V faith 

306 An Expofetion Chap. 7. 

faith in prefling her fuit. The ufmg of motives, and her thus qualifying of 
her defire, faith,That believers in their petitions would infift and prefs them , 
ior, altho' Chrift be not informed by words, nor perfwaded by our arguments^ 
yet this both helps to warm the affe&ions, and ftrengthen the faith of the 
believer himfelf, and is becoming believers in their prayers to him, who calls 
for, and admits of reafonable fervice. The motives in particular are* four. 
The hfft is taken from the end of her petition, which is to fee how her gra- 
ces profper : The fimilitude continues, as a wife intending to viiit her hup 
banSiy- (to fay £>) is helped and encouraged therein by her husband's pre- 
fence, and therefore delires his company •, fo the believer hath a husbandry, 
vineyards? graph pomegranates , and divers plants to overfee, which are the 
graces of the Spirit, and divers duties committed to him (as was faid upon 
cbap^ 4. T2, 13. and 6. 1 1.) and his vifiting ofthefe, is the taking of a reflect 
view of himfelf, in an abftra&ed retired condition, that thereby he may be 
diilinclly acquainted how it is with him, and with his graces : In following 
of which duty, Chrift's prefence in fome fecret corner is exceeding helpful y 
therefore, for that end doth the Bride feek it, and makes ttfe of this motive- 
to prefs it, becaufe it is a duty of concernment to her to fearch her felf : It is 
pleafing to him, and a thing that fhe would be at, yet cannot win to it in ;t 
common ordinary frame, it is fo difficult 5 therefore doth fhe propofe this 
(which is her end) as'that which would be refpe&ed and well taken off her 
hand by him. Ohf. 1. Believers have a task and husbandry committed to 
them to manage, that is, feveral duties and graces, holden forth under the 
fimilitude of vines, pomegranates, &c. which they are carefully to notice. 

2. It is neceffary, in the managing of this task, for a believer to be well ac- 
quainted with the condition of his graces, and it is his duty to be reflecting 
on himfelf for that end :, and if men ought to look to the fiate of their flocks 
and herds, Prov. 27. 23* how much more ought they carefully to look to this ? 

3. This duty fliould be purpofly, retiredly, and deliberately intended, under- 
taken and gone about, with a refolute delign for attaining to the difcovery of 
our. own cafe, as flie doth here. 4. This duty hath difficulties in it ^ and or- 
dinarily the heart is not prevailed with to be kept ferious about it, except the 
frame thereof be more tender than ordinary. 5. To a tender believer it will 
be a great favour to get this duty of felf-examination profitably and unbyaifed- 
ly difcharged : It is a mercy worth the feeking from God •, and the more ten- 
der believers be, they Avill be the more in this. 6. Altho 5 believers be clear 
as to their intereft (as the Bride was, verfe 10.) yet may they be indiftincl: as 
to the knowledge of their own condition, and therefore ought not to negleft- 
this duty of felf-examination ; but, where clearnefs is folid, they will be the 
more careful in th&fearchihg of themfelves. 7. ChrifVs prefence, as it is a 


Verfe 12. ef the Song of Solomon. 307 

notable help to all duties, fo particularly it is in a fpecial way helpful to be- 
lievers in fearching themfelves, by making the heart willing and pliable, tc 
follow it fweetly, by difcovering things as they are, and by making the eye 
ingle, rightly to judge of every thing, and impartially to take with that which 
is discovered : Much prefence would encourage the Lord's people to follow 
this duty, which otherwife is gone about in a heartlefs way. 8. It is a good 
ufe of drift's prefence and company, when it is improven for attainmg < 
more through and di Hindi: knowledge of our own condition ; and thelf-elpe- 
daily believers would take the opportunity of putting themfelves to trial. 9. 
A believer, when tender, will be particular iri his fearch, he will fearch even 
to the lead : he will not difapprove any thing of God's grace that is real, al~ 
tho' it be weak and tender } therefore fhe looks to buds, as well as more ma- 
ture fruit, and acknowledgeth them, becaufe Chrift doth fo, chap. 6. n. 
10. Believers promife not much in themfelves, or, they expert not great 
things anent their own fruitfulnefs \ therefore, it is to fee what 2*3 budding 
or appearing, rather than what is ripe, which fhe propofeth here to her felf, 
as her defign, 1 1. A tender believer will efteem much of little grace where 
it is real } a bud is much to him, if it look fruit-like, as it is the evidence of 
Chrift's Spirit in him, and the work of his grace : He that is humble will have 
a high efteem of it -, tho' he expecl no great thing, nor yet thinks much of it^ 
as it is inherent in him, yet he will not caft what is leaft, if folid. 12. The 
more tender one is, he will be the more defirous to fearch his own condition 
as being unfatisfied with what he hath attained. Again, if we compare this 
with chap. 6. 1 1 . where it is faid, he went down to his garden for this very end 
for which fhe defires his prefence, we may fee, 1. A co-incidence betwixt 
Chrift's work and the believer's (to fay fo) they have one task. 2. A going 
alongft both of their ends and ways to attain them ; he takes pains on his 
people by the means of his grace to make them fruitful, and they diligently 
haunt and improve the means for that fame end. And, 3. Chrift's words are 
near the fame with hers, the more to ftrengthen her faith in obtaining what 
fhe fought, when it fo concurred with his defign : A believer, that aims at 
fruitfulnefs and tendernefs by Chrift's company in the means and ordinances, 
may expert to obtain his defire } for, that fame is his work, which he drives 
by the means of grace amongft his people. 

The fecond motive, which makes her prefs for Chrift's company in this 
retired way, is in thefe words, there will J give thee my loves 5 that is, in fhort 
As in retirements the Bridegroom and the Bride rejoice together,in the expref- 
fions of their mutual love, with more than ordinary familiarity \ So (faith 
me) let me have thy company continued with me, that thereby my heart being war- 
med, I may get opportunity to let out my love in a lively manner on thee- By loves 

R r 2 here 

308 At Expofttion p Chap. 7. 

love fimply is not meant, but love in the higheft degree of it, manifefting it felf 
in the moft fenfible manner,when the heart is melted as it were, and made free 
to pour out it felf in love to him : It is therefore called loves in the plural num- 
ber, to fliew the many ways it will vent it felf, as, in thoughts delightfomly 
making the heart glad, in cheerful exulting in him, and afTeftionate imbracinc 
him in its arms, feeding and delighting on him, and fuch like ways there is 
nothing kept up from him, and all doors, whereby love ufeth to vent are 
opened. While fhe faith, / will give thee my loves, it is not to be underftoocf 
as if then fhe would begin to love him (for, the thing that made her put up 
this fuit was her love to him) but that then fhe would with more freedom do 
it, and with eafe and delight get it done, which now would not do for her 
(till his prefence warmed her) at leaft in the manner fhe would be at. The 
word, there y that in the latter relates to the fields? villages? &o is to'be un- 
derstood of that retirement in fellowship, which fhe defired with him- in 
the fcope, it looks to his fecret manifefting of himfelf to her, in admitting of 
her to his bofom : O ! (faith fhe) come ? my heart Ungs to he near thee • and this 
advantage I expel; from it, I would then get my heart drawn from idols] and my 
affections ingaged to thee, which in thy abfence I cannot get done fo as I would : As 
a perfon cannot vent love fo in company, as when he is alone in folitarinels 
with his bofom-friend \ thus, Jofeph being to manifeft his love to his bre- 
thren, Gen. 45. 1. commanded all to go out, that fo he might with the great- 
eft freedom let forth his affe&ions on them : And as Jonathan fent away his 
boy, when he was to embrace David in the fields, 1 S«m. 20. 40, &c. fo here" 
the fecret manifeftations of Chrift, by his Spirit to his people, being that 
which gives them liberty to let forth their hearts on him, efpecially in their 
unknown accefs to him, to which no man is witnefs, are by this word, there? 
fignified. Obf. 1. There are many moe good things than one which accom- 
panies Chrift's prefence \ and where love is in a believer's heart, there will 
be no fcarcety of arguments to hold forth the advantage thereof. 2. As there 
are Tome moe than ordinary manifeftations of love from Chrift to his people 
which are not conftant \ fo there are fome moe than ordinary flowings of the 
love of believers towards him : There are fome times and cafes, wherein efpe- 
cially the heart will melt in afTe&ion to him, and wherein it will be made to 
pour out it felf with eafe and delight upon him. 3, It is no lefs the defire of 
believers to love Chrift, and to have their affections flowing on him, than to 
have the manifeftations of his love to them y therefore fpeaks fhe of this, as 
of a benefit fhe exceedingly defired, to get leave to pour her heart out in love 
upon him. 4. Believers, that love Chrift, will not be fatisfied wich the de- 
gree of their own love, but will be defirous to have it more withdrawn from 
t)ther things, and more fully venting on him. 5. Altho' fometimes, yea, of- 

Vcrfe 12. of the Song 0/ Solomon. 309 

rentimes, the believer's heart coir.es not up that length in love to Chrift that 
he wculcl have it, yet he defigns to fet it en Chrift aione :, and there is none 
that willingly he gives it unto with content but Chrift, it is on him only he 
allows it. 6. There is no greater gift can be given to Chrift, than his peoples 
love ♦, this is therefore the motive that is propofed by the Bride in her 
dealing with him, as holding forth the propine or entertainment which he 
fhould receive. 7. Chrift 's pretence, and" the manifeftations of his love, con- 
duced! notably unto, and hath great influence upon the gaining of our af- 
fections to him : it doth not only (as it were) give us the. opportunity of his 
company, but it gains the heart, foftens it, ravifheth it, and heightens the 
efteem of Chrift in it (which no report: of him can do fo effectually as his 
own prefence) and alfo it oileth all the affections, that they have a freedom 
to flow out (like the ice before the fun) which otherwife are key-cold. 
8. Love to Chrift loves fplitarinefs and retirements with him *, it is neither fo 
ftirredit felf as w 7 hcn it is alone with him, nor are the men of the world abte 
to bear or underftand the intimate familiarity, that will be in the flowings ot 
the love of Chrift to a believer, or of a believer's liberty and holy boldnefs 
with Chrift } nor were it meet, that they fhould be witneffes of the love-fe- 
crets that are betwixt him and them. 9. It is an evidence of fmgle love to 
Chrift, when his prefence is longed for, that we may the more ardently and 
aflectionatly love him, and when all opportunities are fought for that may in- 
creafe this - 7 this is finglenefs and fpiritualnefs in a great lengthy when this 
makes us glory in Chrift's love to us, and defire the manifeftations thereof 
that we may have accefs thereby to love him. A believer will love heaven, 
becaufe there he will have accefs fully to love Chrift, as well as to be loved of 
him and will abhor hell, not only becaute there are no intimations of Chrift's 
love there, but alfo, becaufe there is no accefs to love him there. To get th£ 
heart loving Chrift, is indeed the believer's great delight, and in a manner 
his heaven. 10. Love in a believer to Chrift, is the refult or reflex ofChrjft's 
to him j it is that fun which begets this heat in the foul that loves him ^ and 
the more brightly he fhine on believers, the more is their love hot towards 
him : For, here is love y not that vce loved him y but that he loved us firft* 1 1. It 
is an evidence of true love to Chrift, and efteem of him,, when the heart is 
longing, praying and ufing means that it may love him, and get its love tohinx 
heightned, till it be all bellowed on him allenarly. 

In the thirteenth verfe, we have the third and fourth motives, whereby 
the Bride preffeth her fuit. The third is, The mandrakes give a fmell, &c> It 
is like that motive, which he ufeth in prefting her to hearken to his qtU^ffap, 
2. 12, The flowers appear on the earth, &c. The^ graces of the Spirit, growing up 
(as in a garden) in the believer's walk with Chrift^are like flowers in the fpring, 


310 An Expofition Chap. 7. 

which, by their pleafantnefs and favour, invite men to the fields. Thus the 
fenfe of this motive comes to this, All things (faith the Bride J are in a good 
condition, and there is a thriving amongft my graces, which are for pleafant- 
nefs as flowers ; therefore, come. This avowing ofthe flourishing of her gra- 
ces, is not from any vain boafting, but in humble fincerity, acknowledging 
what fhe found in her felf to his praife, and what fhe knew to be acceptable to 
him, as a confirmation to her faith, in the expectation of what fte prayedfor^ 
for (which is a leiTon we would learn) altho 1 the goodnefs of our condition 
can merit nothing which we pray for, yet it may give us confidence and 
boldnefs in prayer, when we have. a good confcience and testimony within us, 
1 John 3. 20. This fruitfulnefs of hers is four ways fet forth, 1/?, That thefe 
her fruits are ripe, and in their flower, the mandrakes give a fmell : Mandrakes 
were much longed for by Rachel, Gen. 30. 14, and by their favourinefs oftafte 
there, and of fmell here, it appears that they were fome lovely fruit, and 
now m their prime moft pleafant, becaufe they give their fmell. idly, Her 
fruitfulnefs is fet forth in its comprehenfivenefs and variety, fhe is adorned 
-with all manner of pleafant fruits , whereby is holden forth, that as believers 
have many divers graces, like variety of fpices, chap. 4. 13, 14. which they 
fhould entertain, fo all of them were in good cafe with her. 3. Thefe fruit's 
were new and old, whereby the plenty ofthe fame kind is fet forth, both (to fay 
fo) of this and the former year's growth •, whereby is fignified a thriving or 
increafe ofthe believer's grace, there being a new degree of faith and love,dv. 
of this year, added to the former degree fhe attained before : fhe prefervesthe 
old, and fhe brings forth new ; as, Matth. 13. 52. the fcribe, taught in the 
kingdom of God, brings out things new and old •, he hath the old fiock, and the 
new increafe, the talents that were given him, and five more gained by them. 
4thly, Thefe fruits are faid to be at our gates ; this looks moll Amply to fignify 
this, That it is pleafant to have fuch fruits at the doors, and it betokens a 
frequency or plenty, and great abundance of them, when not only in the gar- 
den, but at the gates, they fo abound -, fo this abounding of grace in a believer, 
makes (to fay fo) ChriftY entry favoiiry and pleafant, and fhews, that all 
things are in a good readinefs for him, as the laft motive (that they are laid up 
for him, even while they are at the gatesjdoth ihew : In fum, all things ( faith 
fhe) are in readinefs, and for thee only, my Beloved ^ dtho^ not in perfection, yet in 
fincerity, provifion is made for thy entertainment, Obf. i. There are many vari- 
ous kinds of graces in a believer y and when it is right with one, or when one 
of them is thriving, it is ordinarily Co with all. 2. Grace hath its growth, 
and mould be increafed by new additions, where it is begun •, and when it goes 
well with the believer, there will be of thefe fpiritual fruits, both <iew and old. 
3. There is no keeping in good cafe ofthe old ftcck of grace, but by continu- < 

ing \ 

Verfe 1 3. of the Song of Solomon. 2 1 1 

ing and growing in frnitfalnefs : where the old is preferved, there will be 
found new alio { otherwife , what feemed once to bloffom, becomes almofl wi- 
thered. 4. Thefe, who are ferioufly defirous of Chrift's company, mould be 
making ready for him, by livelinefs of all manner of graces, new and old •, and 
they, who aim at fuch a condition, may with fome confidence expett his pre- 
fence and company. 5. Believers, who ferioufly, tenderly and humbly follow 
holinefs, may attain a great length in it, as this expreilion of her cafe figni- 
fies : And therefore, the blame is only our own, that our attainments in grace 
are fo fmall. 

The lad motive is in the laft words, Thefe are the fruits (faith fhe) xvhih 
J have laid tip for thee, my Beloved ! Thefe fruits are many, and at the 
doors, yet they are laid up for him*, they are then fuch fruits, as are referv- 
ed for Chrift. And this motive compleats the former, whereby having af- 
lerted her fruitfulnefs, left fhe fhou'd ieem to boaft of it, that her grapes $d 
fo abound, whatever increafe they have made, O my Beloved (faith fhe) I 
have devoted them to th£e *, they fhall not be for my own fatisia&ion or 
boaft, but for thy glory -, therefore ( faith fhe) Come : as one would fay, I 
have fuch good fruits of purpofe kept for thee, which no other Ilia 11 fhare of, 
and therefore I invite thee to come and enjoy them : which is a kind invita- 
tion, turning over the acknowledgment of what fhe had on Chrift, as indeed 
belonging to him, and as only to be made ufe of for his honour : So then* to 
lay up, fignifies, (i.) A carefiilnefs and folicitoufhefs, carefully to gather to- 
gether, as covetous worldly men ufe to 'ay up riches, and to gather them to- 
gether. (2-) It fignifies the fiiccefs which fhe had in her endeavour, that there 
was much gathered, a ftore of fruits, as in a treafure *, fo we find laying uf 
to have this fenfe, PfaL 3 1. 19. How great is thy goodnefs which thou haft laid up 7 
as it were, in ftore ? &c. (3.) It fignifies a fetting apart of that ftore from 
common ufes, as men do what they lay up, and a referving of it for fome pe- 
culiar ufe : And the peculiar ufe, for which fhe laid them up, follows in 
thefe word, for thee, my Beloved ! Which implies, 1. That, in her gathering 
and floringup, refpeft was had to Chrift; and that her provifion was not to 
reft her felfupon it, but to honour him with it. 2. That, even when it was 
attained, fhe was denied to it, and did not look upon it as if it could be any 
flock to ht:rfelf to live upon, but that fhe had prepared it as an offering to pro- 
pine or entertain him with: Even as a kind wife would provide what might 
be for the husband's refrefhment and honour,, and would be ftill laying up till 
he return, aiming fingly to fatisfie and entertain him with it *, So (faith the 
Bride) this ftore is for fat is fy ing and honouring ofthee r and for thee only r O 
my Beloved! It u for thy caufe, becaufe thou commands it,, loves it,, and is 
honoured by it.. my Beloved, is added, tofnew how affe&ionately fhe infifted< 

1 &a 

3 ! * A)l Expofition Chap. 7. 

in this diicourfe •, and in particular, how well beftowed fhe thought all that 
ihe had laid up was, when it was bellowed upon him : O my Beloved I it is 
for thee, and I have willingly and affectionately laid it up forthat ufe • there- 
fore come and lodge and dwell with me, which is the fcope. Obf. \fi I n I 
creating in fruitfulnefs, or growing in holinefs, is a work that will not be done 
in one day \ but it will take time, and both carefulnefs and diligence,to gather 
together and lay up thefe fpiritual fruits, idly. When Chrift is abfent to 
fenfe, it is a fuitable and feaibnable duty to be laying up provision, by fruit- 
fulnefs; in holinefs, for his coming and return : Or, when Chrift feems not 
prefently to come and accept of a believer's prayers, duties or graces yet 
are they not to be rejected and caft at, as nuU and ufelefs •> nor is the belie- 
ver to defift from performing of them, but to continue and perfevere ia 
ftirring himfelf up in the exercife of graces and duties, until he come. *dl y 
Altho' Chrift come not at the fir ft, but fuffer many of the believer's duties 
and the exercife of his graces (if we may fay fo) to ly long on his hand yet 
they are not loft, but laid up (and grace is no ill treafure ) and Chrift' will 
one time or other come and make good ufe of them. ^thly, It is no lefs pra- 
ftick (to fay fo) or it is no lefs difficult,in believers walk,to referve what ftore 
they have gathered for Chrift's ufe alone, and to be denied to it themfelves 
than to get duties performed, and fpiritual provifion laid up. 5/%, Iti s not 
enough to do duties, and to lay up fruits, unlefs they be laid up for Chrift • 
and this is no lefs a duty than the former. 6thly, It is no fmall attainment in 
a believer, and a ftrong motive for attaining of Chrift's company (without 
which all will be nothing) when not only he hath ftore of fruits, and is pain- 
ful in holinefs, but alfo is denied to thefe, as to any ufe-making of them for 
his own ends, more than if he had never been taken up in attaining ?hem 
and when he referves the praife of them to Chrift Jefus alone, that they may 
be fnbfervient to his honour : This laying up fruits for him, is oppofite to 
the laying up for our felves, as living, eating, frfting, &c. to him, 2 Cor. 5.1 c 
Zech, 7. ^ 6. are oppofite to living, eating-, fafiing to our felves, which in God's 
account is to be as m empty vine^ Hof. 10. 1. qthly, Grace is of a durable na- 
ture, it can keep, or it will endure laying up : all other treafures are fading 
if men lay them up, they will ruft and canker •, but, the laying up of this 
fpiritual treafure, which makes men rich in good works, is profitable, com- 
mendable;, and the riches, thereby treafured up, are moft durable. 


Vcrfe I. of the Song of Solomon. 3 1 5 



Verfe l; that thou wert cu my brother, that fucked the breafts of 

my mother: when 1 fhould find thee without, 1 would kjjs thee , 

yet I fhould not be defpifed. 
Verfe 2. / would had thee, and bring thee into my mothers houfe, 

who would inflruEl me : I would caufe thee to drinl^ of fpiced 

wine, and of the juice of my pomegranate. 

THis chapter carries on the copy of that fpiritual communion, which 
is betwixt Chrift and the believer : The Bride ipeaks mod here - y 
and the nearer fhe come to a clofe, her expreilions become the more 
mafTy. It may be divided into thefe parts, ift, The Bride contimieth, and 
heightens her one great requeft, of more intimate familiarity with Chrift ; 
which is propounded, amplified and prefTed, with the infinuation of her fiic- 
cefs, and after- carriage, in the firft four verfes. idly, The daughters of Jc- 
rufalem,being charged by her, verfe 4. break out with a commendation of her, 

verfe 5.— — $dly 9 She forbears to own them, but proceeds, verfe 5, to 

fpeak to him (as loth to be interrupted or diverted) with two further petiti- 
ons : The firft whereof is, for fixednefs in her fellowihip with him, that it be 
not liable to the frequent interruptions of a declining heart, verf 5,7. The 
fecond is for thefe not yet brought in, verfe 8. ^thly. The Bridegroom replies 
to this laft fuit, in good words and comfortable, verfe 9. From which,in the 
fifth place, fhe gathers a comfortable conclufion to her felf, verfe 10. which flie 
confirms, verf. 11, 12. 6thly 9 The Bridegroom gives his farewel-requeft 
unto her, verfe 13. Which, f event hly and laftly*> fhe meets with the ardent 
expreffion and putting up of her firfl, laft, and great fuit to him, to wit, 
that he would make hafte, that is, hafte his coming for compleating her hap- 
pinefs, beyond which flie hath nothing to fay, and until which fhe is never 
filent, Rev. 22. 17. So then, this chapter doth confift of feven parts, according 
to the feveral intercourfes of the fpeakers, 

^ In the firft part, the Bride firft propounds and amplifies, or qualifies her 
fuit, verfe 1. — (2.) It is prefTed with motives, verf — -ri. 2. (3). Her at- 
tainment and fuccefs in her fuit is mentioned, verf. 3, 4, And (4*) Her care 
of entertaining Chrift, is recorded, verfe 4, 

Sf The 

514 4n Expofition • Chap. 8, 

The ftlit is in the firft words, O that thou wert as my brother : This, I con- 
ceive, looks not mainly to Ghrifi's incarnation, but to fomething that might 
have been by believers obtained even then before his incarnation,and may yet 
be defired by thefe who now love him : but, that which is chiefly intended 
in thefe words, is the following forth of the love-ftrain of a heart-longing 
for ChriiTs company, in the terms and expreffions that are in ufe amongft 
men : It hath been ever thought unfeemly for virgins, too familiarly to con- 
verfe with men that are flrangers, even tho' they were fuited for by them, 
this hath been caufe of reproach to many •, but, for brethren and fitters to be 
familiar, hath not been fubject- to miftakes : they who are in that relation- 
may ufe more freedom, than without offence can be ufed by others '-, there- 
fore, Abraham, fearing to call Sarah his wife, gave her out to be his lifter, 
that their converting together might be the lefs fufpe&ed : Thus, the fcope 
here is to prefs, that Chrift would condefcend to be fb homely with her, as 
fhe with boldnefs and without fear might converfe with him •, ! (faith fhe) 
that thou wert fo familiar with me, that I might confidently converfe with the*,, as 
a woman may do with her brother : And becaufe there is great odds, betwixt 
brethren that are of the fame father, yet born of diveffe mothers (as Jofepbj 
Simeon and Judah were) and brethren that are alfo of the fame mother (as 
Jofeph and Benjamin were, who therefore more dearly loved one another ) fhe 
doth therefore add that qualification, that fucked the breafts of my mother -, that 
5s, fuch a brother as hath been conceived in the fame womb, and nourifhed 
by the fame breefts ( mothers being then both mothers and nudes to their 
own children) whereby, a brother in the moil near and warm relation is fig- 
nified. In fum, The fenfe is this, ! if thou wert to me fo condefcending? at 
a brother is to one bom of that fame womb with him, that J might with the more 
freedomy bddnefs and confidence, and fenfible out Anting of my affections, converfe 
with thee \ Such fenfible breaking forth of affections, we find to have been be- 
twixt Jofeph and Benjamin? Gen. 43. 34. She looks upon all the familiarity, 
that fhe had attained, but as that which might be amongft ftrangers, in re- 
fpeO: of that which fhe longed for and expe&ed : And that this is the fcope 
of this part of the allegory, the words after do clear r then I would kifs thee, 
and not be defpifed, or reproached for it *, whereas now, in her prefent condi- 
tion, which had ranch ofeftrangement in it, any claim fhe made to Chrift, 
•was by tentation caft in her teeth, and fhe nj&raided, as if it were unfukabie 
for her to carry fo to him : but (faith fhe) if thou would condefcend to me, and 
\>e familiar with me as a Brother, I would Wjk he afiiamed for any challenge of 
.- that kintL 

This fuit, and its^ualificatidri, import, *• That there mould be much lo- 
ving tendernefs betwixt thefe that are in fo near a relatioh as this , to be born 


Verfe * . of the Song of Solomon. 3 1 j 

of one mother, err. 2. That mothers who bear children, and are fitted to 
give fuck, ihculd not decline that duty to their children 5 the giving of fuck 
being a duty no lefs natural, than bringing forth, where the Lord hath put 
no impediment to the contrary in the way. 3. It imports, that there are 
fteps of accefs to Chrift, and degrees of fellowship with him, beyond any 
thing that the moft grown believers have attained. There is fomewhat oT 
this, even by the Bride to be wimed for, that fhe hath not yet attained. 4. 
There ought to be no halting or fitting down, in any attainment of nearnefis 
with Chrift, till it be brought to that meafure that no more can be enjoyed, 
and till it be at the utmoft height that is poflible to be attained. 5. To have 
fenfible warmllnef?, and condefcending familiarity from Chrift, and confident 
freedom with him, is the believer's great defign j that is, to have him as a 
Brother : And thefe two, to wit, confident^ freedom with Chrift, and his wariu 
condefcending to them, go together ^ which the reafons following will clear. 
They are fet down in feven motives, or advantages, which his being as a Bro- 
ther would bring along with it to her :, and hereby it will be further cleared, 
what it is that is here intended. 

The firft is hinted at in thefe words, whe-n I flwuldfittd thee without • Who: 
is fupplied, and the words read in the Original, I would find thee without* Now 
(faith flie) I have fought thee often without/and have for a longtime not found 
thee (as'tf^p. 3. 2, 3. and 5. 6, 7.) hut if thou were thus familiar with me 
I would have thy company every where, and think no fliame of it. This fiip- 
pones, 1. That Chrift may be without, or at adiftance, even with his own 
Sifter and Spoufe : The mod fenfible manifeftations have interruptions; 2. 
When Chrifl is without, or at a diftance, then the believer's work is to feek 
him till -he find him j he loves not to be feparate from Chrift, and therefore 
he pants after his manifeftations : An abfent Chrift, and a feeking, painfuf 
diligent believer, fhould go together. 3. That where Chrift is familiar, all 
interruptions of prefence are eafily fliperable, yea, more eafily fiiperable than 
to others, with whom he is not fo familiar and intimate •, he may be found 
by them even without, that is, in cafes that have in them fome obftrn&ionV 
unto intimate fellowmip, as without is a place that is not convenient for falm 1 ?- 
liar communion. 4. It is a great benefit to a believer, to have Chrift's pre- 
fence eafily recoverable, or recovered : It is no fmall mercy to find him when 
he is fotighti Other things rifmg from this expreffion may be gathered from 
chap. 3. 2, 3. and 5. 6, 7. 5. In general, from all thefe arguments we muf 
obferve, That they att include advantages to the believer, yet flie makes ufe of 
them as motives to prefs Tier fliit ", which fays, That whatever may be any 
real advantage to a believer, doth fway much with Chrift. 

- • Sf2 - - Ti& 

$\6 An Expofition Chap. 8. 

The fecond reafon, why fhe defires this, is, that fhe may imbrace and kifs 
him, and it follows on the former (as each of them depends upon another) 
I would find thee without, faith fhe, and I would kifs thee : Having found him, 
ihe would with delight let out her affe&ions on him. Kiffes, amongft men, 
are the mod kindly evidences of their love 5 as was cleared, chap. 1. verfe 1. 
upon thefe words,^ Let him kifs me : His kiffes are kindly intimations of his 
love to her \ and therefore her kiffmg^ of him muft be a mod fenfible flowing 
and abounding out-letting of her affe&ions on him, as affeftionate relations do 
when they kifs one another : It is much to the fame purpofe with what flie 
faid, chap. 7. —12. There will I give thee my loves. In fum, If thou wen /ami- 
liar with me (faith fhe) when I find thee, J would fenfibly^ confidently , and with 
freedom folace my felf in thee 9 which now I dare fcarce do when I find thee y being 
fcffcjfed with fear of thy removal. The difference between this expreffton, and 
that in chap. 7. —12. feems to be this } There, fhe defired communion with 
him, that her heart might be by his prefence difpofed (to fay fo) for letting 
out her love on him, and that fhe might have the opportunity to do it j Here, 
Ihe defires that he would manifeft himfelf more familiarly, that, with the 
greater holy boldnefs and confidence, flie might fatisfy her felf in pouring 
forth her love, by fpiritual foui-imbracings, and killings of him whom fhe 
loved. This imports, 1. That there are degrees in the way of believers let- 
ting out their love on Chrift, as there is in his manifefting of hjmfelf to 
them : There are fometimes they give him their love, when they have no ac- 
cefs to kifs him ; and other times they are admitted to kijfwg of him* as at 
fometimes he doth them. 2. The more familiarly his love lets out it felf on 
them, the more doth their love flow out Cn hinu 3. Jt is a mercy to the 
believer, and highly prized by him, to have accefs to kifs Chrift, and to let 
out his heart and love on him. 4. It fays, ; that at all times believers will not 
; fet themfelves folaced in Chrifl : This is an -exercife to which their heart 
doth not frame, till he familiarly manifeft himfelf-, they cannot kifs and em- 
brace birn^ until his embracements come firft. More particularly,, if we con- 
.fider the fcope of thefe words, I would kifs r k«y and that, without , they 
imply/!/, A more prefent fenfible objeft, fuch as nay be kiffed : Whence 
ebferve, Chrift's familiar out-letting of himfelf makes him exceedingly, obvi- 
©ijs unto the believer j it makes him fo fenfibly prefent, as he may. be in a 
Spiritual way embraced and killed. 2.dly r It holds out the out-letting of the 
believer's love on him i From which obferve, 1^ The great duty of one that 
$nds- Chrift, is to love him, and to let the heart How out on hira. 2. This 
fhonld be done whenever or wherever Chrift is found y acd fb fbon as oppor- 
tunity is offered, the heart fhould clofe with it without delay. 3.. Familiari* 
ty with Chrift will not be difpleafing to bim^ but exceedingly acceptable \ o- 


Verfe i. of the Son* of Solomon. 317 

therwife, this could be no motive to prefs her fuit. $dly, Kijftng hinjy im 
ports, both a holy confidence, and fatisfa&ion or delight, in her letting cu 
her heart upon him : Which mews, that it is fweet, not only to have Chrift 
loving us, but to get him loved *, and fo this is both fatisfying to her, and ac- 
ceptable to him. 

The third motive or realbn (which depends on the former two) is, yet I 
Jhould not be defpifed^ or, they fljcitld not defpife me : That is, Altho* I found thee 
without , and were feen killing thee^ and by confident boldnefs delighting in thee •, 
yet 7 if thou wert familiar with me as my Brother, and according to the nearnefs of 
that relation would familiarly own me, neither men^ devils^ tentations, nor any thing 
elfe y would have accefs to defpife, upbraid, or reproach me for it it, I would be con- 
fident againft all , as a virgin*) that is fhewing her refpeU to her own born brother^ 
needs fear no reproach from that. Obj\ 1. Believers are fubjeel: to be defpifed, 
even the beloved Bride of Jefus Chrift is not freed from this trial, to be little 
efteemed of^ even as the off-fcourings of all things, to be reproached and flia- 
med by men, as flie was, chap. 5. 7. to be baffled (to fay fo) as an hypocrite, 
by the devil and tentation, as Job was, Job, chap. t. 2. 2. Believers are not 
fenfle.fs or ftupid,. when reproached or defpifed ; they may be affe&ed with it, 
and may endeavour rightly to have it prevented, or removed. 3. Often the 
more tenderly that believers let. out their affe&ion on Chrift, or their zeal for 
him, they are the more fubjeel: to be defpifed ; for, when flie kips Chrift, 
Die looks upon defpifing then as waiting on her, if he prevent it not. 4. Chrift's 
familiar prefence, or, his being as a Brother owning his Bride, is the great 
thing that guards off, and prevents defpifing^ and procures freedom from re- 
proach, or at leaft is a bulwark, to the foul againft reproaches : It is no little 
advantage that familiarity with Chrift brings alongft with it -, for, by his 
owning of believers, either their carriage is* made fo convincing, that malici- 
ous mouths are flopped,, as having nothing to fay againft tfeem ; or, they arefo 
fuftained, under all thefe flutward or irwzx&dejpifmgs, that they trouble them 
not, and fo they are to them as if they were* not. 5. Chrift's keeping up of 
himfelfi is the difpenfation under which the believer is moft obnoxious to be 
defpifed : The devil, tentations, and men, ufually call up to them then, Where 
is their God ? Pfal. 42. 9, 10. and that pierces them: So our Lord was dealt 
with on the crofs •, Job calls this the Lord's renewing of his witnefies againft 
him, whereby (as it were) tentation is confirmed in what it afferted. 

There follows,, in the fecond verfe, four moe arguments, fhe makes trie of 
to prefs herliiit : We heard ofthree in the firft verfe ;■ the fourth is in thefe 
word?, I would lead thee :. The word in the original fjgnifies foch a leading 
as ufeth to be in triumph, a leading that is joined with refpeft and honour Co 
the perfoji who is led. Chrift leads his people as a ihepherd doth his flock,, 


i \ 8 An Expofition Chap. 7 

or a tjurfe her child •, and this fignifies tendernefs in him, and vveaknefs in 

them : The believer, again, leads Chrift, as a fervant or uflier doth the ma- 

iler, or as men do kings and victorious conquerors, whom they honour } and 

this fuppones tfatelinefs in him, and refpe&ivenefs and attendance in the Bride •, 

flie looks upon him as a glorious, magnificent perfon, in whom, and with 

whom, flie defires only to triumph. Infum, the meaning is this, If ( faith flie) 

thou wert as my brother, when I found thee my Jelf, I would not foon quit thee^ but 

vca.it with all honourable attendance upon thee. Obj. i. Honourable attendance on 

Chrift, and refpe&ive fervice, is a duty that well becomes believers. 2. To 

give him this honour, is a thing which they mainly aim at. 3. It is a great 

mercy to them (and they will fo look upon it) when they are helped, in aw r ay 

fuitable to his majefty and ftatelinefs, to wait upon him, and do him fervice. 

4. Chrift 's familiar prefence both gives believers the occafion, and alfo the 

fitnefs and difpofition, for giving him this honourable attendance *, Ihe fpeaks 

here, as if one would fay. to another whom they refpe&ed, If thou wert in our 

quarters, I would wait on thee, and think it a favour to have the opportunity 

to do fo : This, or the like, is alluded unto here. 

The fifth argument follows on this, and it is, / would bring thee into my mo- 
thers houfe : This is a refolution to perform what flie had prattifed, chap. 
3. 4. and was fpoken to there. The fenfe is, If thou wert familiar with me, 
(faith flie) / would ufier thee into the Church, whereof I am a member, for the good 
of all the family •, as if a virgin, living in her mother's houfe, mould prefs one 
whom flie loved, and with whom me might be familiar as with a brother, 
when ihe had found him without, to go in and abide with her in her mother's 
houfe, as the greateft evidence of her refpeft j and, that they of the family 
might have the benefit of his company, as well as Ihe : So it is here. And it 
fliews, 1- That me would leave no refpeft, that was poffible to her, unexer- 
cifed towards Chrift j flie would not only honour him her lelf, but flie would 
endeavour to have him made known to others, -that they might have a high 
efteem of him alfo : Believers whom Chrift is familiar with, they will not be 
fatisfied With any refpe£t they can put upon him, but are careful to have him 
known, and honoured by all others that live in the Church with them. 2. That 
in her feeking for him, flie minded the publick good of the Church, as well 
as her own : which teacheth us to propofe to our felves the publick good, as 
well as our own particular advantage, whenever we haunt the means, where- 
in we are called to feek him. 3. That fhe thought it a great mercy, to be any 
ways ufeful for the good ef her mother's houfe : And fo believers will look 
upon it, not only as their duty, but alfo as their mercy, to be ufeful to others. 
4. That Chrifl's prefence, familiarly manifefted to particular believers, doth 


Verfc 2. of the Song of Solomon. 3 19 

exceedingly capacitate them for being uiefully inftrumental in the Church 
wherein they live. 

The fixth argument amplifies this, from the benefit that fhe would have by 
his being brought into her mother's houfe, in thefe words, who would imhiU 
me ^ that is, then fhe would inftruft me, if thou wert there : The ordinan- 
ces in the Church, whereby believers are edified and inftrufted, would then 
be lively and profitable, in a greater meafure than formerly : Whereby it ap- 
pears, that by Mother > is understood the vifible Church j for, there only are 
the ordinances which do mftru& \ and by the Bride, is un4erftood particular 
believers, because it is to them that thefe ordinances become the power of God 
who falwtiow. Or, the words may be read, Thou would infirutt me ^ that is, 
if thou wert brought to the Church, thou by thy ordinances would teach me. 
The (cope in both thefe readings is one, to mew, that, by Chrift's prefence in 
the Church, me expected to be taught, which flie looked for no otherwife, 
nor by an immediate way •, therefore, ihe would have him there. Obf. 1. The 
mod grown believer needs inftruftion, and is Hill a fcholar while he is in the- 
Church upon earth. 2. The ordinances in the vilible Church are the means, 
whereby Chrift ordinarily teacheth his people \ otherwife, there were no force 
in this reafoning, to defire him to her mother's houfe, that fhe might be in- 
grafted. 3. The moll eminent believer, even the Bride of Jeflis Chrift,, is 
not above the teach of ordinances, but is to be inftrufted by them in the vifi- 
ble Church. 4. Believers mould endeavour the enjoyment of Chrift's compa- 
ny in the fame Church that was their mother, and feek to be infrrufted there, 
and fhould not endeavour to carry Chrift away from their mother Church. 
5. Chrift hath a more full way of manifesting his prefence in his Church at one 
time than at another *, even as alfo at different times, there are different mea- 
fures of his manifestations to particular believers. 6. Chrift's prefence in his 
Church,and with his people, iingularly furthers their edification and inftructi- 
on, and gives a bleffing to the ordinances. 7. Believers, when in a right 
frame, will account it no little mercy to be inftru&ed by Chrift in his ordj r 
nances, and to have the word bleffed unto them. 8. The moft fenfible and 
fulitrmmifeftations of Chrift fhould not, yea, w r ill not, leffen the efteem of or- 
dinances *, but both mould, and will put the Lord's people in a capacity to be 
edified by them, and will incline and fit them to profit, under them.. 

The lafi motive is taken from the entertainment fhe would give hirrr, If (feitjfc 
fhe) thou wouldft familiarly manifeft thy felf,and if once 1 had found thee, an4 
gotten thee brought to my mother's houfe, then / would cauje the to drink cf 
fpiced wine^ of the juice of my pomegranate : In a word,, I would entertain thee 
as well as I might, and thou mould be very welcome, and kindly taken with< ; 
asgueftsy. who arerefpe&ed, ufe to be. By fpiced wme 9 and the. juice, of the. 

po An Expofition Chap. 8. 

pomegranate^ is utiderllood the mod excellent entertainment , as in thefe coun- 
tries, it is like (as we may fee from Prov. o. 2. and Song y chap. 5. 1.) they uied 
to mix the wine they gave their friends, that it might be the more favoury. 
Now, through this Song, by fuch fimiiitudes, are underftood the graces that 
are in believers \ as, chap.±. to, 13, &c. chap. 5. 1. and in fum, the fenfe 
comes to this, If thou wert familiar with me, and, by thy prefence in my mo- 
ther's houfe, were making the ordinances lively, then 1 would feaft thee on 
my graces •, and my love, faith, hope, &c. (which are to thee more iavoury 
than wine, with which men ufe to entertain their moft ipecial friends) mould 
flow out abundantly on thee. Hence Oif. 1. That believers defign and aim at 
the feafting and entertaining of Chrift, when they have his company, as well 
as to be entertained thereby themfelves. 2. It is no little mercy to get re- 
fpett to Chrift difcharged - and a believing foul will think it no fmall privi- 
lege to get him to entertain, if he have wherewith to entertain him. 3. Chrift's 
coming to a foul brings flifficient proviiion for his own entertainment. The 
Bride makes no queftion, but there fhall be a feaft, if he will come •, and if 
he come not, there will be nothing but emptinefs there : She doubts not, but, 
if once he would come to her mother's houfe, his prefence would make e- 
nough of good provifion. 4. The Lord refpe&s even the otter of welcome 
from his people, when he is not actually entertained as they would ; or, tho' 
they be not in cafe for the time to entertain him, yet their ferious defire to do 
it, is very acceptable to him •, otherwife, this would be no argument for our 
Lord Jefus to grant her fuit. 

Vcrfc 3. His left hand fhould he under my head: and his right 

hand fhould embrace me. 

The third verfe is the fame, and to the fame fcope with verje 6. of chap. 2. 
and the words being the fame in the original,we conceive they will read better 
here as they are there, Hu left hand is under my head j here it js y jljould be under 
my head) but fiould is fupplied : And fo the words holdout here (as in chap. 2. 6.) 
a return, which the Bride had to her fliit \ our Lord Jefus coming, and put- 
ting in his left hand under her head, and as a kind brother taking her in his 
arms, anfwereth her fuit, and fatisfieth her defire. This agrees beft with 
the words, as they were formerly ufed, chap. 2. 6. and with the fcope here. 
The verfe following confirms it alfo, where me chargeth the daughters not to 
ftir him tip, which fuppones him to be prefent : So we find the fame charge 
following the fame words„, chap. 2. 7- as alfo, her finding him, and bringing 
him to her mother's houfe, is followed with the fame charge, chap. 3. 5. and 
ihe is faidto be lean : ng on him here, verfe 5. and yet is by the daughters com- 

Verfe 4. of the Song of Solomon. . ; 2 1 

mended, and not defpifed, which is a proof that he was prefent \ for, this 
is it that made her not to be defpifed. The meaning then is, Now ("faith fhe) 
/ have obtained what I dcfired, arid he is become very friendly and familiar with me % 
like a brother , which was my defire. And this fhews, i.That Chrift eafily con- 
defcends to his longing Bride, to give her fuch a degree of his prefence as fhe 
called for ^ and that he doth this fo fuddenly, is great kindnefsand confidence : 
Chrift will in this fometimes condefcend very quickly to the defiresof his long- 
ing people. 2. That fhe obferves and acknowledged it j it is no lefs duty to 
obferve and acknowledge a return, than to put up a prayer. 3. Chrift hath a 
Angularly tender way of communicating his love, and of embracing his people 5 
he can take them in his arms, and make much of them, when he fees it fit. 
4. There is a fweet fatisfattion, and unfpeakable heart-quieting refreshment. to 
be found in Chrift's arms *, She thinks it fo good to be here, that fee fpeaks of 
it with much complacency, and carefully fets her feif not to have it interrup- 
ted, in the verfe following. 

Verfe 4. I charge you, daughters of J erufalem, that ye ft ir not 

up, nor awake my LoVe, until he pleafe. 

Having now accefs to much familiarity with Chrift, as fhe defired, and be" 
ing in his arms, fhe expreffeth her care, in this verfe, to prevent any new in- 
terruption of his Hefted prefence : As if a woman, having her friend or hus- 
band fleeping in her arms, fhould command all in the houfe to be quiet, left 
he fhould be awaked *, fo the Bride fets her felf to watch fo tenderly over eve- 
ry thing that is in her, that nothing give him jufl ground to withdraw : And 
though fhe fpeak to the daughters of Jerufalem, yet thefcope fhews, fhe look* 
to her felf :, but it is thus expreffed, partly, to keep the form ufed in this 
Song } andfb having fpoken of bringing him to her mother's houfe, me makes 
ufe of the iimilitude of keeping the houfe quiet •, partly, to fhew her fertouf- 
nefs and reality in this her care, and the great need that there is of being 
watchful,' even as David often provokes all creatures to praife, and lays that 
charge on them, thereby to fhew his own ferioufnefs in the thing, and t«he 
greatnefs of the work of praife which he was taken up with : fo to the fame 
purpofe is this refemblance here. The fame words were found, chap. 2. 7. and 
chap. 3. 5. where they were opened. There are two little differences inthe ori- 
ginal, which yet alter not the fcope : ift, That expreffion, by the roes and 
hinds (which was formerly ufed) is here left out, not becaufe this charge is 
iefs weighty, but it fhews a hafte and abruptnefs in her fpeaking, which makes 
her omit that, the more fpeedily to exprefs her charge. 2dly y It was before, 
Ifyeftir or amke •, Here it is (as the margin reads from the original) why will 

$n An Expof ition Chap. 8. 

ye ftir or awake ? Which doth more plainly import, (i.) A readinefs, or benfil 
in them to ftir him up. (2.) A certainty of the eneft of his withdrawing if 
they fhould ftir him up, or awake him. (3.) An unreafonablenefs and abfur- 
dity in the doing of it, Why will ye do it f faith fhe. (4.) A prefling feriouf- 
nefs, in her propofing of this queftion, and urging it fo vehemently. From 
this, and the frequent repetition of this charge, Obf. 1. That it is a difficult 
piece of work, to ktep the heart tender and watchful for entertaining of Chrift 
even when he isprefent. 2. Theftrongeft believer will take one charge after 
another, and all will have enough to do, to make him watchfully tender in 
keep : ng Chrift \ there is fo muchlazinefs in the hearts of the beft, and there 
23 fo great need to ftir them up to renew their watchfulnefs. 3/ When the 
heart hath had frequent proofs of its own declining, there is the more need to 
be very ferious in the preventing of it again. 4. There is nothing that a kind- 
ly loving believer will have more indignation at, whether inhimfelf or others 
than at this, that Chrift fhould be provoked, and thereby put to withdraw * 
this he cannot abide, Why (faith flie) will ye ftir htm up ? 5. They, who have 
Chrift 's pretence, will not be peremptory with him, for the conftant conti- 
nuing of the fenfe thereof, althV they love it •, but will be peremptory with 
themfelves, that by their fin they provoke him not to withdraw, before he 
pleafe. 6. Communion with Chrift is an uptaking exercife to the believer, it 
takes him fo up that he is never idle r If he be waiting for Chrift, he is brea- 
thing, O that thou wertj &c. and feeking to find him \ if he enjoy him, he is 
endeavouring to keep and entertain him ^ and thefe two takes him up. Belie- 
vers are either feeking while they obtain, or watching that they may enter- 
tain what they have attained. 


Verfe 5. ( Who is this that cometh up from the wildemefs, leaning 

upon her BeloVed ? )■-— 

The daughters ofjerufalem come in fpeaking to the Bride's commendation, 
an the firft part of the fifth verfe, Who u this, fay they (or, who is fhe ) that 
cometh up from the wildernefs, leaning on her Beloved? This part of the verfe 
flops the Bride from following the purpofe fhe was upon, with a kind of an 
abrupt exclamation to her commendation. The daughters now beholding her 
refting vn her Beloved's arms, as k is, verfe 3. to fhew the commendablenefs 
ofthatpofture of leaning on him, they are brought in admiring it ; andthe^e- 
fore, both the Bride and the Bridegroom are fpoken of in the third perfon,. 
and that by way of queftion, which fuppofeth no doubt in the thing,, who it 
wasof whom they fpeak ? but implieth an exceeding higfr eftimation of the 


Verfe 5. of the Song of Solomon. 323 

party fpoken o£ as being (efpecially in that pofture) exceeding lovely. The 
words hold out a believer's walk, i/, In the nature of it, it is a coming 
up, or afcending. idly. In the term from which, it is from the -wildernefs : By 
which two (as was cleared, chap. 3. 6.) is underflood the believer's fpiritual 
progrefs heaven-ward, with their backs on all the contentments of the world, 
as being unfuitable for them to reft in. Thefe two are fpoken of, chapter 3. 
3*//y, There is added here a more exprefs defcription of her pofture, in this 
afcending, fhe is leaning on her Beloved •, that is, as they who are weak, make 
ufe of a ftaff, in climbing of a ftrait and deep ground, or eafe themfelves by 
leaning upon one that is ftrong, and efpecially one whom they love, for hel- 
ping them in their way : So the believer is faid to come up from the wilder- 
nefs, leaning on her Beloved - becaufe me, being weak in her felf, and unfit for 
fuch a difficult voyage, by faith refts on Chrift, for helping her in the way, 
whereby ftieis fuftained, and carried through in the duties of a holy walk, and 
the difficulties in her way, till fhe come through the wildernefs unto the land 
of reft. So then, this leaning imports, (1.) Felt-weaknefs in her felf, for en- 
countring with the difficulties of this walk or journey. (2.) Strength in Chrift, 
fufficient for enabling her. (3.) Her ufe-making of this ftrength by faith \ for, 
that is to lean or reft on him, or to be joined or officiate to him, as the word 
is rendred by fome *, and it is ordinary for faith to be exprefTed by leaning, 
refting, taking hold •, and fo leaning to Chrift, is oppofed to leaning to our own 
undemanding^ Prov. 3. 5. ( 4.) Her quieting of her felf delightfomly in her 
leaning or refting on Chrift, which gave her fecurity againft all fears and dif- 
ficulties in her way, as John when he leaned on Chrift 's bofbm, John 13. 23. 
So the believer thinks himfelf fure and fafe, when admitted to lean his foul 
there. (5.) A progrefs that fhe made by this in her way and journey, and 
that this leaning had much influence on her advancement therein, and upon 
this account is her leaning mainly commended. Obf 1. That even believers 
are inefficient of themfelves, as of themfelves, for the duties of a holy walk. 
2. That believers mould walk under the fenfe of this their infufficiency and 
weaknefs 5 and when they come the greateft length in a holy walk, they mould 
not lean unto themfelves, or any inherent flock of gifts or grace : Which two 
fuppones, that a believer's converfation, when right, is a heavenly and ten- 
der walk. 3. Chrift Jefus hath a fufficiency and efficacy in him, not only for 
the jtiftification of believers that reft on him, but for the furthering of their 
fanttification alfo, and helping of them to a victory over the world } hence, 
1 Cor» 1. 30. He is our fantlificationj^s well as our juftification. 4. Believers, in 
their way, would not only by faith reft on Chrift, for attaining pardon offin 
by his fighteoufnefs •, but, would alfo by faith depend on him, for furthering 
of their mortification and fanftification : And thus, in the exercife of faith and 

T t 2 hoiv 

3*4 & Expofition Chap. ff. 

holy dependence, we are to acknowledge him in all cur ways, which is oppofedto 
leaning to our oxen under ft an ding, Prov. 3.5. This was prattifed in an exemplary 
way, by the Worthies, recorded, Heb. 1 1 . 5 # The exercifing of faith on Chrift, 
for fan&ification and iife, and for performing of the duties of holinefs, hathmuch 
influence on the believer's fuccefs in all thefe -, for, this is our victory, where- 
by the world is overcome, even our faith, \ John 5. 4, 5. And therefore 
thefe that are moll in the ufe-making of Chrift, for the helping them for-' 
ward in their way, cannot but come belt fpeed •, for, leaning on him, and go- 
ing up, are here £ joined together: And fo they can never make progrefs 
in holinefs, that make not ufe of Chrifl in- their endeavours after it • 
God hath fo coupled ufe-making of Chriff, and progrefs in holinefs together ] 
that Chrift may bear all the glory of the believer's fuccefs in the way of ho' 
linefs, and that he that glories may glory in him. 6>. The believer's walk 
toward heaven is both a ftately, and alfo an eafy and fuccefsiul walk \ for he 
is to go about all duties in the ftrength of Chrift • and fo Chrift bears the 
burden, and his yoke becomes eafy : It is the neglecting of him, that makes 
all duties wearifom, 7. It is no little piece of the dexterity of a holy walk, 
and is the great commendation of it, to do all we do by faith, to walk and 
go on in the faith of his ftrength, as leaning on him -, this makes the Bride's 
pofture wonderful for its rarity and commendablenefs. 8. Altho' doing of 
duties will not prove an intereft in Chrift, and altho' believers come not to 
perfection, or any exatt fuitablenefs in them,, yet, the doing of them in the 
ftrength of Chrift, and walking, as leaning on him, will make out an interefi 
in him : None can actually imploy him, for bearing them through in duty, 
who have not firft clofed with him, as their. Beloved, for obtaining of pardon : 
This is theBride's property,. Chrift is firft her Beloved, and then fhe leans u- 
pon him, to be helped in her walk. 9. That is folid faith, which doth 
empty the believer of himfelf, in the performance of all duties, as well as of 
righteoufnefs in the point of his juftification : The native work of faith is to 
make the foul reft on Chrift, yea ,and dually it makes the foul reft on Chrift 
alone *, for, all true faith lays the burden of all duties and. difficulties upon: 
him, and fo is it compared. to leaning*. 

B R I D E. 

Verfe— 5. I raifed thee up under the apple-tree: there thy mother 

brought thee forth, there fbe brought thee forth that hare thee. 

The fecondpart of this verfe, in thefe words, I raifed thee u^ &c. are not 
without obfeurity : We. take the words to be a new argument of the Bride's* 


Verfe 5. of the Song of Solomon. 325 

whereby (after this exclamation of the daughters of JerufMem) fhe comes in 
to prefs her former fuit upon the Bridegroom,, and proceeds in it, as being 
loath to be interrupted or diverted from her direct application to him *, 
wherefore, fhe feems to take no notice of what the daughters fpoke, and 
makes no reply, but infiantly goes on in her wreftling with him, as if nothing 
had been fpoken by them. That they are words fpoken to him, the Affixes 
in the Original make it clear \ for, although there be no fuch difference in 
our language, whereby we may difcern whether the word thee, be mafculine 
or feminine, as fpoken to man or woman, yet, in the Hebrew, there is a clear 
difference \ and fo, the word thee? I ralfed thee, being in the Original of the 
mafculine gener, it is thee man, or thee my beloved or husband •, and there- 
fore, they cannot be underftood as his words to her, but as hers to him, fee- 
ing it may be clearly difcerned in the Original, that they belong to a man, 
and it is a different word from that which is ordinarily fpoken of a woman : 
and there being no convincing example to the contrary, we muft fo under- 
Hand the words here \ and, to underfland trvejn otherwife, would bring-in 
needlefs confufion in that language. Next, That her fcope is to prefs for 
nearnefs with him, both what went before, and what follows, do demonftrate^ 
which alfo the opening of the words will confirm. In them there are two ex- 
periences afferted, which tend both to this fcope : The firft is, her own ex- 
perience, I raifed thee up under the apple-tree. The fecond is, the experience 
of all other believers, there thy mother brought thee forth ,. there fie brought forth 
(for thee in this repeated expreflion, is not in the original) that bare. thee. . 

By the apple-tree, we underftand Chrift himfelf, who is fo called, chap. 2. 3» 
becaufe of his fruit and fliadow, under which fhe fat down. To be under the 
apple-tree, fuppones her to be near him,and actually delighting her felf on him, 
' as being abundantly refrefhed under his fhadow, as was cleared, r/w/?. 2. 3. Her 
raifing up of Chrift, imports thefe three things, 1. A duty on her part, (to fay 
fo) putting him to fhew himfelf fome way for her, more than formerly he- had 
done : fo, to raife? or awake, when it is applied to God, fignifies, as, Pfal. 7. 6. 
Pfal. 44. 23. Awake, why fleepeft thou,?' arife, caft Uf not of 7 So then, the 
meaning of thisexpreffion,/ r^//"^ thee, is, I dealt with, and importuned thee 
hi this. 2. It implies importunity in dealing with Chrift -, inceffantly flie 
flirred him and with petitions preffed him : fo, when it is faid,. J/*.- 54. 7. 
No man ftirs up himfelf, &c. the word, .ftirs up? .. is the fame word, and im- 
ports more than to pray : it fignifies livelinefs and wrefling in it, as fowls ufe 
to ftir their young ones when they would have them flying,- from which; the 
word is borrowed. 3; It implies fuccefs, I not only made application to thee* 
and was helped to be ferious •, but I prevailed, and thou was awaked Cvnd rai- 

^i6 An Expofition Chap. 8. 

fed,and did make thy felf in more than an ordinary way manifeft to me,and for 
me, when I, being admitted under thy fhadow, took that opportunity to deal 
with thee. This then is the fcope and ftrength of this firft affertion, It is no 
marvel (faith fhe) that I long for thy company •, for, by former experience, I have 
found the good of it, not only for prefent cafe under fad difficulties, but alfo I 
have been thereby helped to more liberty in prayer, and have had fuccefs for at- 
taining new experience of thy love ; therefore, I defire thy company fill, and cannot 
but defire it* 

The fccond affertion is more broad and extenfive, Not only I (faith fhe) have 
found it fo } but all thy people have found accefs to thee, or thy bleffed company and 
pre fence fmgularly useful to make them fruit ful , as having much influence, thereon. So, 
by Chrift's mother, here, we conceive, is underftood the believer, in whom 
he is formed and brought forth, as we cleared on chap. 3. 1 1. and they bring 
forth Chrift, ift, By giving him a being in their hearts, where he had it not 
before : His image is in fome refpefl: himfelf *, and when his image is brought 
forth in the foul, Chrift is faid to be formed and brought forth there, idly, 
By bringing forth of the fruits of Chrift's Spirit before others ; when being, 
as it were, in travel in the purfuit of holinefs, they are helped to manifeft 
his image (after which they are created) in their converfations. $dly, By 
attaining to the knowledge of this, that Chrift is in them *, believers being, 
as it were, in travel, till they know their delivery ; but when that is clearly 
made out, and intimate to them, then (as the woman that brings forth a man- 
child, John 16.21.) they are at quietnefs, as being delivered. The force of 
the argument lies in the word there, which relates to the apple-tree : Vnder 
the apple -tree (faith fhe) where I raifed thee up, being admitted to thy fellowfhip - 7 
there alfo they were mafy fruitful, and delivered from their former pangs and tra- 
vel, even as I was ; and when it is found in the experience of all thy people, as well 
as by me (faith fhe) that thy pre fence and company is fo ufeful, it can therefore be 
no delufwn, nor is it any wonder that I fo prefs after it. And by this it feems, 
that bringing forth of Chrift, in this fecond part, is the fame in fubftanccwith 
raifmg of him up in the former, to wit, the obtaining of fome fenflble manife- 
ftation of Chrift's refpeft, by which thefe, who were formerly in pain to 
have Chrift formed in them, are now delivered and eafed from the flames of 
iealous love, that are as pangs to fuch as travel in birth (as it were) to have 
their intereft in Chrift made clear, as the words in the following verfe exprefs. 
Obf. 1 . That which in a believer's experience hath proven ufeful, is in a fpe- 
cia! manner lovely and commendable to them : Experience is a moft convin- 
cing demonftration of the worth of any thing, and leaves the deepeft impref- 
fion thereof behind it. 2. The more any by experience have learned Chrift's 
tvorth, and the more they have tafted that he is gracious, their affeftions do 

Verfe 5. of the Song of Solomon. 3 27 

the more vehemently ftir after him. 3. ChrifTs prefence hath many great 
and excellent advantages waiting on it : It brings eale and quietnefs to thefbu], 
and gives refrefhment under hi fhadow } it gives accefs to pray with freedom, 
and duties then have ufually a fenfible fuccefs. 4.The believer looks upon it as a 
great mercy to have freedom in prayer, and to be heard when he prays : 
That by prayer flie raifed Chrift vf, is remembred as a mercy not to be for- 
gotten $ and this yet commends unto her the good of fitting under his fha- 
dow. 5. Accefs to Chrift is no time for fecurity, but for prayer y and when 
the believer is admitted to folace himfelf in Chrift 's prefence, then fhould he 
be diligent in wreftling with him,"and improving that opportunity for preiftng 
after a further manifeftation of him. 6. There are fome experiences that are 
unqueftionable to all believers, tho' they be myfteries to all others in the 
world. 7, It is not a little ftrengthning, yea, exceedingly confirming to be- 
lievers, when their experience and the experiences of other believers co-incide, 
and jump in the proof of the fame thing. 8. Altho' believers may in fome 
things differ, yet there are fome things commonly found good in experience 
by them all : This is the advantage of ChrilVs company, there was never a 
believer that attained it, but he found much good of it j and thefe, who dill 
travel for it, apprehend groundedly that there is an unfpeakable good in it, 

Verfe 6. Set me as a fed upon thine heart, as a feal upon thine 
arm : for loVe U ftrong as death , jealoufle is cruel as thegraVey 
the coals thereof are coals of fire y which hath a moft vehement 

Verfe 7. Many waters cannot quench loVe, neither can the floods* 

drown it : if a man would give all the fubjiance of his houfe for 

loVe, it would utterly be contemned. 

In the 6th verfe, fhe proceeds to her fecond petition,wherein flie is ftrength~ 
ned from her former experience : The fuit is in two expreflions, to one pur- 
pofe ? and it is preffed with feveral reafons, in the end of the fixth and fe- 
venth verfes * 7 whereby fhe fhews r that lefs could not be fatisfying to her, 
and this much fhe behoved to havegranted her. The firft expreilion, hold- 
ing forth her fuit, is, Set me as a feal upon thine heart : The fecond is to the 
fame purpofe, in the words that follow, and as a feal upon thine arm., By 
ChriiVs heart is fignified his mod inward affeclion j for, it is frequent in fcri- 
pture by the heart to fignifie the moft inward affections v fo>. Matth».6. lii 
Where the treafure is x there the heart will be :, and, chtp, 4, p 4 Thou haft raviftied 


328 An-Expofition Chap. 8 

my heart j 'Sec. A feat is ufed for confirming evidences, or doling of letters: 

They have ibme peculiar ingraving on them, ferving to diftinguifh the deed 

of one man from the deed of another •, wherefore men ule to have a fpecial 

care of their fignet or feal : (for both are one upon the matter and in the 

Original) Thus Ahafuerns kept his feal upon his own finger, Efth. 3. 10. 12 

So then, from this we may fee, that a feal, or fignet, fignifieth, \fl 9 What one 

hath a precious eileem of - and therefore, Jer. 22. 24. the Lord* faith of c*- 

niahy Tbo"* thou wert the fignet on my right hand, &c. And, Hag. 2. 23. the Lord 

expreffeth his love to Jerufalem in this, that he would take Zerubbabel, and 

make him as * fignet. idly 9 By feal is fignified fomething that makes an impref- 

fion, and leaves a ftamp thereof behind it, that doth not wear out again as 

a feal doth on the wax. Next, By ChrifTs arm, may be underftcod his care 

of his people, outwardly expreffed in the effe&s, wrought by his power for 

their good: So, Ifa.-^o. 11. it is faid, he will gather the lambs with his arms 

Thus then, to be fet as a feal on his heart, doth imply, (i.J Exceeding great 

nearnefs to Chrift, even to have a fpecial room and feat in his heart. (2.) It 

imports a fettlednefs in that condition, that fhe may be fet there, as the Lord 

frith of Jerufalem, 2 Kings 21. 4. there I have fut or fet my Name \ and as 

kiSyPfal. 132. 14. there will I dwell. (3.) To be fet as a feal on his arm^ takes 

in further, that, as fhe would be always minded by Chrift, and have him 

loving her } fo would fhe have him in all his difpenfations making that ma- 

nifeft, and that (as it werej they may bear it ingraven upon them, that he 

minds her - 7 like that expreffion, 7/^.49. 14. J have graven thee upon the palms 

of my hands , whereby he expreffeth his mindfulnefs of her, tnat he could 

look to nothing in all his works, but he faw (as it were) her name ingraven 

thereupon *, for, all his works exprefs love to her. In fum, we conceive, the 

words look to one or both of thefe fimilitudes or allufions \ 1/?, In general, 

to men who had fuch refpett to their feals or rings, that they wore them on 

their fingers, and carried them ftill about with them : Now, fhe would be 

carried about on his heart, and have him fympathizing with her in every 

thing fhe meets with, zdly. And more efpecially, it may allude to Aaron's 

breaft-plate, whereby he did carry the names of the children of Ifrael on his 

heart, Exod. 28. 12, 19. which ingraving is faid to be like the ingraving of a 

fignet, in which the High-prieft was certainly a type of Chrift : However, 

this is certain, that fhe would be eftablifhed in her union with Chrift, fo that 

neither defertions on his part, nor backflidings on hers, might marr that 9 

but that fhe might be fixed as to her union with him, and made to abide in 

him, as the impreffion of a feal is fixed upon the wax, and made to abide in 

it. Obf. 1. True love to Chrift will be bold, prefling and importunate in its 

fuits to him \ it will not fiand to feek any thing that may endear him to the 


Verfe 6. of the Song of Solomon, ^g 

foul, to have him as ft.brothity ?aai <o$e w#rn upm Us Mi*, &c. *, Chrifrfc 
heart and infide is moft heardbm to "die forever, who hath had any difttf- 
very thereof made unto his foul \ and true love can fettle 110 where, till it 
get a lodging in his very heart, that is the proper retting place of a believer, 
and that is the refrefhing, which can make the weary to reft. 3. Love to 
Chrift would not only "he -near/* him, but would be fixed and eftablifhed in 
hearnefs with him. 4* A flayed, immovato' condition, or frame of heart, in 
the enjoying of communion with Chrift, is nW&' deferable and profitable *, and 
therefore, it is no marvel it be longed for. 5. There is no flaying or fettling 
of a believer, till he be admitted to dwell (as it were) in Chrift's heart, that 
is, to dwell near him in the believing and enjoying of his love : all other 
grounds are wavering, but this is liable \ and dwelling here, if it were pref- 
ixed after, would bring more eftablifhment. 

This feeras to be a peremptory fuit -, fhe doth therefore give two reafons 
to prefs it, both which mew that it will not be unpleafant to Chrift, nor can- 
it be condemned in her : Aw -(faith fhe) the lave that frejfeth me to it is cffuch a. 
vehement nature , I cannot refift />, more than death, the grave , or fire can be refift- 
ed. This reafon is contained in the reft of the fixth verfe : The fecond rea 
fan in the following, wherein me fhews, that the love, that preffed her, was 
was of fuch a peremptory nature, and fo untraceable (if we may fo fpeak) 
as to this, that there was no dealing with it ; if it did not obtain its defire, 
no other thing could quench or fatisfy it. The ftrength of her love is ampli- 
fied in the fixth verfe, by three fteps, in feveral fimilitudes. By love, here, 
is underftood that vehement, ardent defire after Chrift's prefence, which is 
kindled in the heart of the believer. And, Firft, It is called ftrong, inrefpecl: 
of its conflraining power, whereby the perfon that loves is led captive, and 
brought down as weak under it, fo that he cannot withftand it : Saith fhe, 
hove mafters and will undo me, if it he not fatisfied ♦ love-ficknefs fo weakens 
the foul, when it once feizeth on the heart, till it be cured with Chrift's pre- 
fence. Next, It is called ftrong as death, which is fo ftrong, that it prevails 
over the moft powerful, wife, mighty and learned in the world, Ecclef.S. 8. 
there is no dij charge in that war ; neither can the mofl mighty monarch encoun- 
ter death, and ftand before it : So (faith fhe) I can no more ft and again ft the 
ftrength of this love, it overpowers me, and is like to kill me, if it he not fatisfied n 
The fecond ftep or degree of this love, and the fimilitude illuftrating it, is in 
thefe words, jealoufie is cruel as -the grave : It is the profecution of the fame 
purppfe -, only,, what fhe called love before, is here termed jealoufie. J'edcufie 
may be taken in a good fenfe, or an evil : In a good fenfe, jealoufie is the 
higheft degree of love, or love at its height, and is the fame with zeal \ 
thus the Lord is faid to be jealous for his glory ; And it imports, (1.) Ardent 

U 11 affe* 

33° JnExpoJuion Chap. 8. 

affe&ion, (2.) Defirc of enjoying, (3.) Impatiency of delay, (4.) A deep 
meafure of grief, mixt with We, for any feeming appearance of a difappoint- 
ment in the enjoying the perfon they love, or when they do not meet with 
love again from the perfon whom they dearly love i So jealoufie in this fenfe 
is applied to both God and men, but properly it agreeth only to men ; for 
there are no iuch pa/lions in, God, tho* he, condefcending to our capacity* 
fpeaks thus, of himlelf, after the manner of men. Now this jealoufie is fail 
Co be cm d, or hard \ it is called, Prov. 6. the rage of a man : And this was 
the jealoufie, or -z.e al, that aid eat up David, Pfal. 69. and fo it is compared 
to the grave, which, Prov. 30. is the firft of thefe four things that are never 
fatisfied, but waffes all the bodies that are laid in it : So (faith lhe) this love 
if mine i being at a height, torments me re (lie fly, as if it were cruelly perfecutwo- 
me, till it be fatisfied with a good anfwer from thet, my Beloved ! In an evil 
fenfe, jealoufie fignifies not a fimple fear of miffing the thing men defire, or a 
fufpicion of their own ihort-coming in attaining of it, but a groundlefs fufpi- 
cion of them whom they love, as if they did not entertain their love as they 
ought: And thus, jealoufie is called the rage of a man, Prov. 6\ 34. and {o, 
here, this cannot be altogether excluded ; jealoufie, thus taken, having in it 
fome unbelief which torments believers horribly, when the fufpicion of 
Chrift's not taking notice of them grows : And this is frequently to be found 
in the faints cafes, in times of defertion ; they are then very apt to fufpeft 
God's love, and this exceedingly difquiets them, the want of the faith and 
lenfe of his love being a death unto them, PfaL 77. 8, 9, to. And fb the rea- 
ibn runs thus, Let me be admitted to thy heart, for my love will be fatisfied with 
no lefs ; And if this be not obtained, jealoufie and fufpicion of thy love may fieal in 
and that will be torturing and tormenting : And therefore fhe puts up this fuit 
that fhe may be fit as afeal upon his heart, to have that prevented ; for, fhe 
cannot abide to think of it. Thirdly, She compares this jealoufie to coals of 
fire (the coals thereof are coals of fire) for their vehement heat, tormenting na- 
ture, and confuming power ; all which are to be found in this ftrong and 
jealous love, it is vehement for heat, painful and deftruttive as fire is : Yea 
further, it is compared to coals that have a mofi vehement fame ; or, as it is 
in the Original,, the. flame of God , for, fo the Hebrews do name any thing that 
is fuperlative in its kind: And this is added, to fliew the horrible torture 
that ChriS's abfence, and love-ficknefs hath with it, to a tender loving foul • 
efpecialiy when carnal unbelieving jealoufie enters and prevails,, they cannot 
abide it, but would choofe any rod before that, if it were at their eledlion. 
Obf. 1. Love to Chrift, where it is firong and vigorous, will make firange 
and mighty impreifions on the heart, which ethecs are not acquaint with 
and will break out in fuch expreffions r as men of the world may wonder what 


Vcrfc 7. of the Song of Solomon. 3 3 1 

1 ■ — ■ — .« ii. 

they mean, none of them having any foch feeling or feri&blenefs G f Chrift's 
abfence or prefence. 2. Where true love to Chrift is, it is a moft conftrain- 
ing thing } the foul that hath it cannot but purfue for Chrift, and go about all 
means which may any way further its communion with him. 3. Where love 
begins to purfue after Chrift, the longer it be in meeting with him, it increa* 
feth the more, where it is real *, and the moe difappointments it meet with f 
it grows the more vehement, .till it break out in jealoufie and Zeal. 4. Belie- 
vers, that have true love, are ready to fall in jealoufies of Chrift, and to be 
fufpicious of his love, efpecially in his abfence : This is fuppofed here, that 
where true love to Chrift is, there may be jealoufie of him. 5. Where jea- 
loufie enters, is cherifhed and prevails, it is not only difhonourable to Chrifr, 
but exceedingly torturing to the believer : There is not a more vexing gueft 
can be entertained, than jealoufie of Chrift. 6. Jealoufie of Chrift's love may be 
where there is little caufe \ and often where there is ieaft caufe, it is mod 
ready to enter : the reafon whereof may be taken from the ardency of the 
foul's love to him, joined with the miftakes they have of his way •, fo, I fa. 
49. 13, 14. For, confidering what is gone before, it might be thought, that, 
whatever any other might feem to have, the Bride had no caufe of jealoufie. 
7. Believers would endeavour to prevent all jealoufie of Chrift and his love, 
and by all means feek to be eftablifhed and confirmed in the faith of his love 
to them, as that which can only keep and guard the heart againft thefe finful 
fufpicions and jealoufies. 8. Tho' this jealoufie be vexing, yet fometimes the 
believer cannot rid himfelf of it, it will fo prevail, and is fo cruel againft him.' 
o. In the fimilitude of death and the grave, that is here made ufe of, it is im- 
plied, that no man fhall efcape death and the grave •, they are as ftrong and 
mighty conquerors, that prevail over all that come in their way : It is clearly 
hinted here, that the believer carrieth this convi&ion in his heart, that fome- 
time he will be prevailed over by death and the grave. This is no ill im- 
preflion, The graves are ready for me, and, I have [aid to corruption , Thou art 
my father } to the worm. Thou art my mother, and my fifter. Job 17. 1, 14. 

Her fecond reafon is contained, verfe 7. and it is taken from the perempto- 
tinefs of her love •, for, her love is fuch as it will have love from Chrift again, 
or no other thing will fatisfy it. This is two ways illuftrate, Flrft, From its 
invinciblenefs, which appears in this, no oppofition can extinguifh it, Many 
waters cannot quench love 9 neither cap the floods drown it : Waters will quench 
fire, but nothing will quench this love. By waters, in fcripture, often fas, Pfal. 
42.7. and 93. 4. and frequently) are underftood affli&ions, croffes, and even 
fpiritual defertions, PjaL 42. 7. All thy waves and billows have gone over me 9 Pfal, 
109. i? 2. And fo here it faith, Love to Chrift is of that nature, and is fo 
ftrpngly fixed on him, that no crofsor rod, nay, not the blacked difpenfations 

3?i .nortfc Expofuion Chap. 8. 

aacttddfkt»r«€aflfiki&ke it niter % but it will flick to him Jthrongh and over 
all *, as, R»m. 8. 35. neither famine^ J word, pefiilence, &c can do it, but it tri- 
umphs (Wer all, though floods of trial and oppofition were let cut upon it. 
The fecondwsy, how the peremptorinefs of love is illuftrate and proven, h, 
that it reje&s all offers, that may be made to it by any other that: would- 
have Chrift's room. There are two fcrtsof trial*, that ordinarily carry fouls 
away from Chrift : the hrft is on the left hand, from croifes 5 and when thefe 
will not do.it* but the thorny ground will abide the heat of the fun , yet, 
the fecond fort of trials, to wit, the cares of the world, and the deceitfulnefs 
of riches, which are tentations on the right hand, may choke the word, and 
carry the foul away : But (faith me) true love to Chrift will be prevailed ever by 
neither, it will trvft arid capitulate with other lovers upon no terms ; nay, though a 
man would give it aU the fubftante of hi*, h$ufe, that is, all that can be given, 
though he would leave nothing behind, but give it all to one that loves Chrift,: 
for love, chat is, to purchafe and buy away the foul's love from Chrift, that 
it may be given to fome other thing that comes in competition with him, fb 
to bud and bribe the foul's love from Chrift, that it may fettle on fbme other 
thing that is offered in his place l What entertainment would be given to fndr 
offers and treaties ? True love (faith fhe) in fo far a& it is true, and lively fo exe/r 
ctfe (ptherwije where fomethlng of true love u, the foul may often be enfnared) would 
Utterly contemn it, or, as it is in the fttft language, contemning it, mould be 
contemned •, That is, not only would all fuch alluring offers be rejected, but 
with a holy difdain and indignation, they would be defpifed, abhorred and a- 
bominated, as unfuitable once to be mentioned : So that true love to Chrift 
ifriil not once enter to capitulate, what to have in Chrift's room •, but all pof- 
fible overtures, which may be made by the item and the world to divert it, 
will be abhorred and lothed utterly, and accounted as lofs and dung, Philip. 3. %* 
And therefore, thfe reafon concludes, At thy heart I muft be, for my love will 
neither be boafted from the?, nor bribed or allured to be fatisfied with any 
other thing in thy room \ but thee 1 muft have upon any terms, and muft not 
be refiifed of this my fuit, of being fet as a feal upon thine heart : And this 
fort of peremptorinds from love, v/ill not be accounted preemption by Chrift, 
flor is any- Ways difpleaftig, but moft acceptable to him. Obf. 1. Whete true 
iO'-e to Chrift is, there will be many effa^fs to cool it, or to divert it, an$ 
draw it away from him. It is no eafy thing to get love to Chrift kept warm ; 
i'or, the devil and the world will efpeciaily aim at the throwing down of this 
hold and bulwark, that maintains Chrift 's fntereft in the foul. 2. The devii 
hath fever'al kinds of tentations, which do aft drive eipeciafly at this, to cool 
she believes ^ffeSiom ih t&t love of O-rift 3 and tMe Orations may be 


Verfe 7. of the Song of Solomon. 333 

contrary,, fome of thrift mi;ft<nin£ the difficulties that follow thefe that love 
him, and fuch as the tempted feelers of Chrift may be oftentimes exercifed 
with-, for, they often meet with rtproaches, or other affliftions in the world : 
Others of them, again, alluring the heart to embrace fome other thing in 
Chrifi's room, and making fair offers of advantages to thefe that will take the. 
way of the world in following of them. 3. The lovers of Chrifl may be af- 
faulted by both thefe extremes fucceffively \ and when tentations from the one 
hand fail, then tentations from the other begin - 7 fo that the believer would 
coi.ftantly be on his guard. 4. The tentations that come from the right hand, 
and entice the foul with the offers of worldly pleafure, honour, riches, &c. 
are more ftrong and fubtil than the other, and more frequently do prevail,, 
yea, fometimes when the other may be rejected - 7 therefore, this is mentioned 
after the other, as be^ng that wherewith the foul is a/faulted, when the firft 
cannot prevail, and fo the devil leaves this till thelaft : when Tie was permit- 
ted to tempt Chrift, having tried him with feveral tentations, at lafi he 
makes offer of the world to him, Matth. 4. 9. 5. Tentation will fometimes 
make great offers, as if nothing more could be offered,, even all the fubflance of 
the honfe •, and frill it offers more than it can perform, when it is in its offers 
moft fpecious : The devil at once offered all the world to Chrirr, Matth. 4. 9. 
though he had not power of himfelf to difpofe of one of the Gadarenes fwine. 
6. The great fcope of the world's courting a man with its offers, is to gain his 
love from Chrift 5 this they had need to look well to, on whom the world 
fmiles molt, for then the tentation to this ill is firongeft. 7. It is a proof of 
true love to Chrift, when it can endure and hold out agairift tentations upon 
all hands, and that when they are moft fpecioufly adorned.. 8. Where love 
is true, altho' it may be fometimes (as it were) violented, or the foul in which 
it is, circumveen'd asd beguil'dby tentations ( as the experiences of faints do 
clear) yet when it is at it felf, or in good cafe, it will not deliberately capitulate 
to admit any thing in Chrift's room, but will referve it felf wholly for him ; 
where love cedes, and yields finally, it is a fign that it was never true. 9. Ten- 
tations, though moft pleafant, yet tending to divert the love of the fbul from 
Chrift, mould be with indignation, at their firft moving, and appearingjieje&ed, 
to. Love will not only refufe a content to fome tentations, but will have a 
great abhorrency at the moving of them \ whereas others, though -they may* 
as to the external a&ings, refift thefe tentations, yet their wanting of this in- 
cBgnation, bewrays their want of love. 1 1. As it is good to be acled,. in doing 
of duty, from a principle and motive of love } fo isit good and comraendable # 
fo reject tentations upon that fame account*. 


334 dn Expoption 

Verfe 8. We baVe a little fifter, and (he hath no breafts : What 
jball we do for our fifter, in the day when fhe Jhall be fpolgn 
for ? 

The Bride's third petition, for thefe that are not yet brought in to Chrift, 
followeth in this eighth verfe : Her love is ftrong in prefling for the enjoy- 
ment of Chrift j and feeing it hath two arms, as it reacheth out the one to em- 
brace Chrift, fo it reacheth out the other to bring others in to him : Love is 
very defirous to have others enjoying him with it felf : And by this arm of 
love, the Bride is pulling in thefe that are yet ftrangers, that they may be en- 
gaged to love Chrift * ? and flie forgets them not, even when fhe is moft feri- 
ous for her felf: This being an undoubted truth, that, whenever our love is 
moft fervent after Chrift for our felves, it will alfb be moft fenftble and fym- 
pathizing, in refpecl: of the condition of others .- when love is hot and fervent 
the one way, fo will it be the other way alio j and when it cools to the one, 
it alfo decays in refpecl: of the other. We may take up this verfe in thefe 
three, Firft, She remembers and propounds her little fitter's cafe to Chrift. 
Secondly, There is her fuit, in reference thereunto. Thirdly, This fiiit is qua- 
lified, in the laft part of the verfe. 

i/?, Her little lifter's cafe is propofed in thefe words, We have a little fifter^ 
that hath no breafts : Here much love and fympathy appears in thefe three 
things, ( i.) That fhe is called a fifter, (2.) Our fifter^ (3.) A little fifter, and 
without breafts , which do exprefs much tendernefs of affection and fympathy.. 
*ty fifter, is fometimes understood, more ftri&ly, fiich as are renewed converts 
to the faith, whether in profeftion only, or really, 1 Cor. 7. 15. but that is 
not the meaning here j for, the fifter here mentioned hath no breafts, and is 
notyetfpoken for. Again, fifter maybe more largely taken, for one, or all of 
thefe three, ift, For all men, as partaking of one common nature, zdly, For 
men of one ftock and nation \ fo Samaria was fifter to Jerufalem, &c. Ez*k. 16., 
46. $dly, For the Elect who are yet unconverted, who are fifters in re- 
fpecl: ofCfod's purpofe, as they are Chrift's Jheep, John 10. 16. and fons of 
God) John 11. 52. even before their converfion •, for which caufe, the fifter^ 
here fpoken of, is faid to have no breafts, as not being yet changed from 
her natural condition -, and fo we take this eipecially to look to the unre- 
newed Ele.a, not fecluding the former two. The fenfe then is, There are yet 
many who have intereft in, and many that belong to thy eleftion, yet un- 
called. Now, it is their in-bringing, and the making of them ready to be 
Chrift's Spoufe and Bride, that fhe hreathes after, and prayeth for. Next, it 
is faid, We have a fifter^ andfo flie is called our fifter, that is, thine and 


Verfe 8. of the Song of Solomon, 355 

' ■ ■ "" ■■ ' — ~~" — -— — 1 1 — — ■ 

mine : Chrift's fifter, because of his pnrpofed refpe£t to her ^ the believers 
lifter, not only becaufe of their native and kindly fympathy, but alio becaufe 
of the common adoption, to which they are defigned. She is called a little 
fifter, and that hath no breafts, 1. To fhew the fad condition that the uncon- 
verted Ek£l are in, like little young children that are unfit to do any thing for 
themfelves, and altogether unmeet for the duties of marriage, as thefe at 
age % who have breafts, are: Thus, JEz^.16.7. the wretched condition of 
that people, before they were taken in to God's covenant, is fet out by this, 
that their breafts were not formed ; and the good condition that followed their 
being in covenant is expreffed thus, that their breafts were faflrioned* This then 
is the fcope here, to mow that this little fitter was yet in nature, unmarried 
to Chrift, yea, (as to many of the unconverted Elect) not fpoken for, or 
called. 2. She is called little, to exprefs the Bride's pity and fympathy v as 
one would fay of a young one, that cannot do any thing for her felf, What 
will become of her ? fhe is a little one* 

idly, The fuit is, What Jhall we do for our fifter ? This is a petition, that 
feems to have more affection than diftin&nefs in it: It is propofed by way of 
queftion, the better to exprefs her fympathy \ where fhe difputes not,, but 
again afferts his relation to her, and puts no queftion but he will be tender of 
her ; and withal acknowledged that there is a duty lying on her felf, in or- 
der to the cafe of her little fifter, but would be informed and taught by him 
in the right difcharge of it : and fb this queftion fuppofeth necefllty and 
wretchednefs in this fifter, affe&ion and duty in her felf, but unclearnefs how 
to difcharge it. Now, the way, fhe takes to be helped in it, is the put- 
ting up this petition to Chrift, What fiall we- do ? faith fhe : Not as if Chrift 
knew not what he would do* but it fhews her affe&ion to this fifter, and her 
familiarity with him y and alfo, that fhe will not feparate his doing from hers, 
but looks upon it as her duty to co-operate with him, in bringing about the 
converfionof their little iifter. 

The qualification of her fuit is, What Jhall we do for her, in the day that fhe 
fhall be fpoken for? This phrafe, tofytak for her, is in allufion to the commu- 
ning that is ufed for the attaining women in marriage : We find the fame 
phrafe in the Original r 1 Sam. 25* 39' David fent mejfengers to commune with 
Abigail* that he might take her to wife : Now (faith fhe) our little fifter is not 
ready, nor fpoken for j but when ihe fhall be fnited or communed with, what 
fhall we d& then ? This communing is the Lord's dealing by his minifters 
in the Gqfpel, with people, to marry and efpoufe his Son Chrift Jefus •,. fo it 
is often called, Matth 22.. 3. Ht fent forth his fervants, ta> call them that were 
bidden to the wedding : The minifters ofthegofpel are- his ambafTad6rs, to> 
tryft this match r and to clofe it, 2G?r, 5. 19. and 11,2, The day when they 


$i 6 An Expojttim Chap. 8. 

ihall be fpoken for, is either whilft the means are amongd people, and fo. that 
is the ace j> able time, 2 Cor. 6. 2. or more efpeciaily, when the means have 
any force on them, and God feems in a more than ordinary way to treat 
with them, then it is the day of their vifitation, as id was in the days of 
thrift's minidry, tho' that people were treated with before. In fum, the 
meaning of trie verfe is this, There are many who m thy purpefe are defigned to be 
heirs of life, who yet are ft rangers , and not fuited or engaged ; now, when the go/pel 
comes amangli fuel?, or, by ft Wring them now and then, puts them in feme capacity 
to be dealt with, what fijall be done for them, to help on the bargain , that the 

.rriage be not given up, when it hath c§me to a treaty, and thou haft by the 
gojpel befpoken them, and propounded it f It may look to fifter-churches, and, no 
"quedion, the believing Jews, who under flood the prophefies of the Gentiles 
converfion, did then long for their in-gathering, and the in-churching of 
them (for we were then to them a little fifter without breads) yet we cannot 
aftrlQ: it to that, but now, and to the world's end, it fpeaks out the belie- 
ver's defire of the perfecting of the faints, and the building up of Chrid's 
body, as well as it fpoke out their defire after this then : And, by the fame 
fympathy, the converted Gentiles long, and ihould long, for the in-bringing 
of the elder fifter, the Jews, who now have no breads, and alio of the fulnefs 
of the Gentiles, who are as yet unconverted} And, according to the drain of 
the Song, it takes in the believer's refpeel: to the converfion of other Church- 
members, who being indeed not converted, and not effectually called, they 
are without breafts, and fo to be helped forward in the time when God is 
befpeaking them, and tryfting with him. 

Obf. i. There maybe relations betwixt one in grace, and thefe who are 
yet in nature, which grace doth not diffolve, but fanttifie •, the little fifter is 
a fifter, though unrenewed, and the Bride's defire is to have her gained. 2.' 
There is a jointnefs, and community of relations betwixt Chrift and the be- 
liever, they have common friends and intereds} and as it is betwixt husband 
and wife, t\)e fifter of the one is the fifter of the other. 3. Before men be by 
faith married to Chrid, even the Elect in that eftate are lying in a mod mi- 
ferable, wretched condition, as Ave may fee, Ezjk. 16. 3. They are JLothfom 
before God, and indifpofed and unfit for being fruitful to Chrid in any duty, 
as a little damfel without breafts is unfit for marriage. 4. The converted 
Elect mould be tenderly affected with the fad condition of the unconverted, 
efpeciaily of thefe that are in any relation to them, and to whom God hath 
refpeel: in his fecret purpofe, tho 5 definitely they be not known unto them : 
And this tender affection ought to appear, in fympathizing with them, pity- 
ing of them, holding up oi their condition to God, and praying for them, as 
the Bride doth for the little fifter : And when the cafe of believers is right, 


Verfe 8. of the Seng of Solomon. 357 

they will be making confeience of longing, and praying for the gathering- in 
of all the Elect, that ChrifVs work may be thronghed and perfected, and that 
his kingdom may come in the earth. 5. It is a moft difficult bufmefs, how- 
to get the converfion of finners promoved, and Chrift's kingdom advanced \ 
believers will be non-pluffed in it, as being put to fay, What Jliall we do t 
6. The Lord hath a way of efpoufmg and marrying to Chrift Jefus, even 
fiich as are by nature moil finful and lothfom j it is fuch that he fuits, wooes 
and fpeaks for, that they may be married to him. 7. ChrifVs great defign in 
thegofpel, by fending minifters, from the beginning, was, and is, to efpoufe 
a Bride to himfelf, and to make up a fpiritual marriage betwixt him and fuch 
as by nature were lying in their blood* 8. He hath a fpecial time of carry- 
ing on this treaty of marriage, a day before which he treats not, and after 
which there is no opportunity of a treaty cf grace •, it is the day of finners 
merciful vifitation, and an acceptable time for a people. 9. In this treat/, 
by the miniftry of his ordinances, the Lord will fometimes more effectually 
drive the defign of the Gofpel, namely the matching of finners to Chrilt, than 
at other times, and will befpeak them more plainly and convincingly, as he 
doth, chap 5. 2. 10. When the Lord preffeth clofing and matching with 
Chrift home upon finners, there is great hazard left it mifcarry, and be given 
over unconcluded, through their own default, 1,1. It is amain and fpecial 
feafon for believers to ftep in, to further the engaging of others to Chrift) 
when the Lord is putting home upon them the fuit and offers of the Gofpel, 
and when they are put to fome ftir, and made fomething ferious and peremp- 
tory about it. 12. It is a great happinefs to be fpoken for to Chrift, every 
one is not admitted to that privilege } and it is our great concernment, to 
fee how we make ufe of that our day, when he treats with us. 1 3. There is 
nothing wherein a believer's love to his friends, or to any others, will ap- 
pear more, than in endeavouring their converfion, and in longing to have 
them engaged to ChrirV 14. As God's call, in the Gofpel, is a wooing, or 
befpeaking for marriage betwixt Chrift and finners ; fo believers believing, is 
their confenting to accept of Chrift for their Husband, according to the terms 
of the contract propofed : and this clofeth the bargain, and makes the mar- ^ 
riage-, for, then the propofed offer of matching with Chrift is accepted of. 


338 JnExpofition Chap. 8. 


Verfe <?• If fa be * vdh m *$ build upo)i her a palace of 
fiber : and if flit be a door^ we will inclofe her with boards of 

This verfe contains the Bridegroom's anfwer unto the Bride's laft petition : 
Our Lord loves to have his people praying for others, as for themfelves •, and 
therefore, he fo accepts this petition for the little fitter, that inftantly he re- 
turns an anfwer thereunto, by a gracious promife j in which we are to con- 
fider thefe four things, 1. The party to whom the promife is made. 2. 
The promifer. 3. The promife it felf 4. The condition that it is made 
upon, (ij The party, to whom this promife is made, is implied in the 
words, flie^ and her, that is, the little fitter yet unconverted, who is mention- 
ed in the former verfe. (2.) The promifer is, we, that is, the Bridegroom 
and the Bride, to whom this fitter ttands in relation, verfe. 8. Or rather, we, 
the Father, Son and Spirit (as we took the like expreffion, chap. 1. it.j for, 
this work, which is undertaken and engaged for in the promife, doth belong 
efpecially to them. ($.) The promife is in two expreffions (as is alfo the con- 
dition) 1. We will build upon her a palace of fiver : A palace (if the word be Co 
rendred) is a place for dwelling in •, and here it fignifieth the adorning of her 
to be a manfion for his Spirit, and wherein himielf will dwell, which is a pri- 
viledge that the believer in him is admitted unto, 1 Cor. 3.1 6> 17. and 6. 1 9. and 
this is more than to be a wall, which is an houfe, but not fo compleated and 
adorned. He is no common gueft that is to dwell there, therefore it is no 
common palace, but of fiver, both precious, and alfo durable, and ttately 
for it is matter, which he mutt have to dwell in : We will make her fuch, 
iaith he. The condition, propofed/in this part of the promife, is, If fie be a 
roalh. A wall is different from ttones, confidered in themfelves, and fuppofeth 
them to be built on a foundation : Now, Jefus Chritt being the only foundation r 
1 Cor. 3. 10. upon which the believer, who is the fpiritual temple, is built ^ 
this to be a wall fuppones her to be by faith united to him, whereby {he be- 
comes fixed and fettled as a wall, who before was unttable : And fo the fenfe 
runs thus, Iffhe, the little fitter, when ihe fhall be fpoken for by the Gofpe), 
fliall receive the word, and by faith clofe with Chritt, then (faith he) we 
will throughly adorn her, as a manfion fit to be dwelt in, and we will make 
cur abode with her, John 14. 23. If we render the word, tower 's, We will build 
w \xr towers of fiver, it comes to the fame fcope 5 Walls are for defence, and 
tliey are defective till towers- be built on them .- And fo the promife is to- 
ttrenctben and adorn her more, if Chrift be received by her* The fecond 


Verfe 9. of the Song of Solomon. 33? 

part of the promife, is, we will inclofe her with boards of cedar : Cedar was *■ 
precious wood, and durable (as hath been often faid ) and to be inclofed with 
k, fignifies the adorning of her, and ftrengthning of her more. The condi- 
tion, annexed to this part of the promife, is, If Jhe be a door : Doors make way 
for entry, and are the weakeftpart of the wall; The opening of the heart to 
receive Chrift, is compared to the opening of a door, VfaU 24. 7. and chap ^ 6 
4. Here he faith, Although me be weak (poffibly like a door of fir) yet if fhe 
be a door, and give entrance to Chrift (for, all, without faith, are as houfes 
without doors to Chrift, that cannot receive him) we will not only adorn 
her, but alfo fix and ftrengthen her more. From all which it appears, that 
thefe two things are clearly to be found in the fcope, ift, That there is an 
accefs, and addition of beauty and ftrength promifed to the lktle fifter, even 
fo much as may fully perfect her beginnings,and carry them on unto perfection, 
as a. palace, or towers offilver, are beyond a wall ; and boards of cedar, beyond 
an ordinary door, idly, That thefe things promifed, are here made to hang upon 
the condition of her receiving Chrift, and being by faith united unto him, 
and built on him. That this is the meaning of the fuppofed condition, is 
clear, 1. From the promife that is annexed to it ; faith in Chrift is the con- 
dition, upon which all the promifes of increafe of grace, and eftablifhment, 
do hang : and the thing promifed her can be no other thing •, therefore, 
the condition muft be her union with him by faith. 2. It agrees with fcrip- 
ture, to expound her being a wall, to fignifie her union with Chrift} for Chrift 
being the foundation, and believers being the wall, there muft be fuppofed an 
union betwixt them, otherwife thefe names could not denote that relation 
which is betwixt Chrift and the believers, even fuch as is betwixt the wall and 
the foundation : Now this union, by which believers are built on him, is 
made up by coming to him, which is belie^ng, 1 Pet . 2. 4, 5. To whom com- 
ing as unto a living ft one (or foundation)^? dlRty** lively ft ones, are built upafpiri- 
tual houfe : Their coming to him builds them upon him, as the foundation - 
And,Eph* 2. thefe that are by nature aliens to the common-wealth oflfrael (as the 
little fifter is here, while ihe hath no breafts) are, by their believing on Chrift, 
faid to be of the htujhold of faith, and to be built en the foundation of the prophets 
and apoftles do&rine, whereof Chrift is the chief corner-ftone, verf 19, 20.,&c, 
3. It is clear by the oppofition implied^ for, to be a wall, fuppofeth her 
to be that which fhe is not now, when fhe hath no breafts : and what 
that is, is clear from the next verfe, where the Bride faith, I am a wall, and 
my breasts like towers, and /a I have found favour in his eyes : Therefore, to be a 
wall, is to be a believer, whatever it includes more ; for, none is a wall but 
the Bride, and who find favour in his eyes, as her argument will conclude 5 
and therefore, to be a wall, muft include faith. So then, the meaning of the 

X X 2 j word-; 

340 An Expojttion Chap, 8- 

words comes to this, I tell thee (faith he) what we will do with our little 
fifter, when fhe fhall be fpoken for •, If fhe by faith come to Chrift, and be 
built on him, we will perfect that work, for her eternal cmmunion with 
him } yea, though fhe be weak and unliable, yet if fhe yield to Chrift, we 
fhall make her grace to grow, till fhe be ftable and firm : even as thou,by be- 
coming a wall, hath thy breafis made as towers, and hath found favour to be 
friendly dealt with, fo fhall ihe, and upon the fame terms. 

Obf i. That receiving of Chrift by faith, puts them, that have been 
Grangers to him, in that fame capacity for acceptation and communion with 
Chrift, that his Bride hath, or that thefe who were formerly believers have 
by their union with him. 2. All that were befpoken by the Gofpel have not 
intereft in the things promifed, nor can they apply them, till by faith they 
be united to Chrift, and fulfil the condition to which the promife is annexed, 
and that is faith. 3. One may really clofe with Chrift, and fo be a wall, and. 
yet have many things to be perfected : Grace is not per feci: at the beginning,, 
tut that wall hath a p.rface or tower to be built upon it. 4. The believers- 
growing in grace, even after his union with Chrift, is a great mercy, and is. 
as fuch promifed here. 5. Growth and increafe in grace, after converfion, is 
no lefs a work of Chr ill's, and a gift ofGod'Sjthan converfion it feif. 6. Chrift 
hath given a promife to the believer, for furthering and perfecting of his fen- 
ftification, as well as of his juftification. 7. Where there is any honeft be- 
ginning or foundation laid by real union with Chrift, altho' it be weak, yet it 
will be perfected, and that may be expe&ed j for, Chrift's word is here inga- 
ged fo r rt. 8. There are none of the promifed bleftings that can be expetted 
from hrift, without performing of the condition of believing in him \ and 
they, who reft on him by faith, may expett alL 


Vcrfe 1 o. 1 am a wall, and my breajls like towers : then was I 
in bis eyes as one that found favour. 

In this tenth verfe, and the two verfes that follow, the Bride comes-in 
fpeaking and accepting the Bridegroom's gracious anfwer and promife : And 
firft, fhe doth confirm the truth of it from her own experience, verfe 10. and 
then, fhe doth more felly clear and ftrengthen her experience, by laying down 
the grou