Song of Solomon 4

* Christ sets forth the graces of the church. (1-7) Christ's

love to the church. (8-15) The church desires further influences

of Divine grace. (16)

1-7 If each of these comparisons has a meaning applicable to

the graces of the church, or of the faithful Christian, they are

not clearly known; and great mistakes are made by fanciful

guesses. The mountain of myrrh appears to mean the mountain

Moriah, on which the temple was built, where the incense was

burned, and the people worshipped the Lord. This was his

residence till the shadows of the law given to Moses were

dispersed by the breaking of the gospel day, and the rising of

the Sun of righteousness. And though, in respect of his human

nature, Christ is absent from his church on earth, and will

continue to be so till the heavenly day break, yet he is

spiritually present in his ordinances, and with his people. How

fair and comely are believers, when justified in Christ's

righteousness, and adorned with spiritual graces! when their

thoughts, words, and deeds, though imperfect, are pure,

manifesting a heart nourished by the gospel!
8-15 Observe the gracious call Christ gives to the church. It

is, 1. A precept; so this is Christ's call to his church to come

off from the world. These hills seem pleasant, but there are in

them lions' dens; they are mountains of the leopards. 2. As a

promise; many shall be brought as members of the church, from

every point. The church shall be delivered from her persecutors

in due time, though now she dwells among lions, #Ps 57:4|.

Christ's heart is upon his church; his treasure is therein; and

he delights in the affection she has for him; its working in the

heart, and its works in the life. The odours wherewith the

spouse is perfumed, are as the gifts and graces of the Spirit.

Love and obedience to God are more pleasing to Christ than

sacrifice or incense. Christ having put upon his spouse the

white raiment of his own righteousness, and the righteousness of

saints, and perfumed it with holy joy and comfort, he is well

pleased with it. And Christ walks in his garden unseen. A hedge

of protection is made around, which all the powers of darkness

cannot break through. The souls of believers are as gardens

enclosed, where is a well of living water, #Joh 4:14; 7:38|, the

influences of the Holy Spirit. The world knows not these wells

of salvation, nor can any opposer corrupt this fountain. Saints

in the church, and graces in the saints, are fitly compared to

fruits and spices. They are planted, and do not grow of

themselves. They are precious; they are the blessings of this

earth. They will be kept to good purpose when flowers are

withered. Grace, when ended in glory, will last for ever. Christ

is the source which makes these gardens fruitful; even a well of

living waters.
16 The church prays for the influences of the blessed Spirit,

to make this garden fruitful. Graces in the soul are as spices

in these gardens, that in them which is valuable and useful. The

blessed Spirit, in his work upon the soul, is as the wind. There

is the north wind of conviction, and the south wind of comfort.

He stirs up good affections, and works in us both to will and to

do that which is good. The church invites Christ. Let him have

the honour of all the garden produces, and let us have the

comfort of his acceptance of it. We can invite him to nothing

but what is his own already. The believer can have no joy of the

fruits, unless they redound some way or other to the glory of

Christ. Let us then seek to keep separate from the world, as a

garden enclosed, and to avoid conformity thereto.
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