Song of Solomon 2

* The mutual love of Christ and his church. (1-7) The hope and

calling of the church. (8-13) Christ's care of the church, Her

faith and hope. (14-17)

1-7 Believers are beautiful, as clothed in the righteousness of

Christ; and fragrant, as adorned with the graces of his Spirit;

and they thrive under the refreshing beams of the Sun of

righteousness. The lily is a very noble plant in the East; it

grows to a considerable height, but has a weak stem. The church

is weak in herself, yet is strong in Him that supports her. The

wicked, the daughters of this world, who have no love to Christ,

are as thorns, worthless and useless, noxious and hurtful.

Corruptions are thorns in the flesh; but the lily now among

thorns, shall be transplanted into that paradise where there is

no brier or thorn. The world is a barren tree to the soul; but

Christ is a fruitful one. And when poor souls are parched with

convictions of sin, with the terrors of the law, or the troubles

of this world, weary and heavy laden, they may find rest in

Christ. It is not enough to pass by this shadow, but we must sit

down under it. Believers have tasted that the Lord Jesus is

gracious; his fruits are all the precious privileges of the new

covenant, purchased by his blood, and communicated by his

Spirit; promises are sweet to a believer, and precepts also.

Pardons are sweet, and peace of conscience sweet. If our mouths

are out of taste for the pleasures of sin, Divine consolations

will be sweet to us. Christ brings the soul to seek and to find

comforts through his ordinances, which are as a banqueting-house

where his saints feast with him. The love of Christ, manifested

by his death, and by his word, is the banner he displays, and

believers resort to it. How much better is it with the soul when

sick from love to Christ, than when surfeited with the love of

this world! And though Christ seemed to have withdrawn, yet he

was even then a very present help. All his saints are in his

hand, which tenderly holds their aching heads. Finding Christ

thus nigh to her, the soul is in great care that her communion

with him is not interrupted. We easily grieve the Spirit by

wrong tempers. Let those who have comfort, fear sinning it away.
8-13 The church pleases herself with thoughts of further

communion with Christ. None besides can speak to the heart. She

sees him come. This may be applied to the prospect the Old

Testament saints had of Christ's coming in the flesh. He comes

as pleased with his own undertaking. He comes speedily. Even

when Christ seems to forsake, it is but for a moment; he will

soon return with everlasting loving-kindness. The saints of old

saw him, appearing through the sacrifices and ceremonial

institutions. We see him through a glass darkly, as he manifests

himself through the lattices. Christ invites the new convert to

arise from sloth and despondency, and to leave sin and worldly

vanities, for union and communion with him. The winter may mean

years passed in ignorance and sin, unfruitful and miserable, or

storms and tempests that accompanied his conviction of guilt and

danger. Even the unripe fruits of holiness are pleasant unto Him

whose grace has produced them. All these encouraging tokens and

evidences of Divine favour, are motives to the soul to follow

Christ more fully. Arise then, and come away from the world and

the flesh, come into fellowship with Christ. This blessed change

is owing wholly to the approaches and influences of the Sun of

righteousness.
14-17 The church is Christ's dove; she returns to him, as her

Noah. Christ is the Rock, in whom alone she can think herself

safe, and find herself easy, as a dove in the hole of a rock,

when struck at by the birds of prey. Christ calls her to come

boldly to the throne of grace, having a great High Priest there,

to tell what her request is. Speak freely, fear not a slight or

a repulse. The voice of prayer is sweet and acceptable to God;

those who are sanctified have the best comeliness. The first

risings of sinful thoughts and desires, the beginnings of

trifling pursuits which waste the time, trifling visits, small

departures from truth, whatever would admit some conformity to

the world; all these, and many more, are little foxes which must

be removed. This is a charge to believers to mortify their

sinful appetites and passions, which are as little foxes, that

destroy their graces and comforts, and crush good beginnings.

Whatever we find a hinderance to us in that which is good, we

must put away. He feedeth among the lilies; this shows Christ's

gracious presence among believers. He is kind to all his people.

It becomes them to believe this, when under desertion and

absence, and so to ward off temptations. The shadows of the

Jewish dispensation were dispelled by the dawning of the gospel

day. And a day of comfort will come after a night of desertion.

Come over the mountains of Bether, "the mountains that divide,"

looking forward to that day of light and love. Christ will come

over every separating mountain to take us home to himself.
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