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52.

Chap.I. the Song of Songs

9 mons throne exceeded his in all other magnificence: bso did his name exceed h 1.King his also; yet this is no disparagement -.47. to the other Songs ; so neither that some of Davids Psalmes should bee stiled * golden Psalmes: i All purified * Psal. 16 gold ; yet some gold wrought more

56,57,58 exquisitely then others, and finer en-i Plal, 12 graven then others ; even some portion 6. of the pure and holy word of God, more exquisitely penned and polished then other.

The first Reason why this Song is 'Reason. more excellent then others, is, because this Song speaketh not onely of the chiefest matter, to wit, Christ and his Church ; but also more largely then any of Davids Psalmes, and with more store of more sweet and precious, exquisite and amiable Resemblances, taken from the richest Jewels, the sweetest Spices, Gardens, Orchards, Vineyards, Winecellars, and the chiefest beauties of all the workes of God and Man.

Secondly, this Song admitteth more varietie of interpretation then any other, and also of singular use : fome have applied it to expresse the mutuall af

fection

Reason.

:

from

10 This song an historicall prophecie. Chap.

fection and fellowship betweene Christ and every. Christian soule ; some between Christ and the Catholick Church; some to particular Churches Solomons time to the last judgement : And there is an holy and usefull truth in each one of these interpretations ; but the last doth exceedingly magnifie the wonderfull excellency of this Song, making it a divine abridgement of the Acts and Monuments of the Church. And that this booke was chiefly penned to bee such an historicall prophecie or propheticall history, may appeare,

First , by the Correspondency, or sutablenesse of the words of this Song, to the events of each

age. Secondly, by the Repetition of the same description, and other occurrences in divers parts of this Song;which would be a needlesse tautologie, if it were fpoken of the same persons in the fame time ; as you may lee if you compare Chap. 4.2. with 6.6.and 2: 7. with 3.5.

and 8.4.3.6. with 8.5. Reafon 3

Thirdly, by the diversities of descriptions of some persons, ' which

would

IL

6. with ch. 57,8,9. Reason 4

and 6. 10.

and 8.5

Chap.. This Song proved Canonicall. would intimate and imply a contra-1 Chap.3.3: diction, if they were not spoken of feverall times and severall persons.

Fourthly, by the sudden admiration Chap.3.6. of some new persons and occurrences.

First, wee may here fee, the eldest Use 1. sonne of Wisedome giveth the double portion of excellency to this Song above all others ; yea,

since the Holy Ghost giveth it, it is not therefore onely Canonicall Scripture, but an eminent portion of it. It were profane blafphemie to preferre this song above other Songs of holy Scripture, if it were not also given by divine inspiration as well as they : to preferre the invention of Man before the wifedome of God were facrilegious madnesse. And although none of Gods ten proper names in Hebrew be once mentioned in this Song, yet that impeacheth' not the authority of this booke more then it doth of Hester, where no name of God is mentioned at all. Besides, this booke is full of such names of God as fute more with the arguments ; as, Welbeloved. Brother, Shepbeard, o thou whom.my foule loveth, the Chapoliny chiefef often thousand.

Secondly,

5.10.

Use 2.

Use 3.

12 Solomon proved to be saved. Chap.I.

Secondly, this must exhort us to a more studious reading and ineditating of this booke, as of a most excellent portion of holy Writ.

Thirdly, this shewes us, that as this Scripture is Canonicall, so the Pen-man of it is a Canonicall Saint in Heaven; for hee must needs be so, according to that (not of Peters successor , as the Papists

would have it, but) of S. Peter himselfe: * z.Pet.1. k Holy men of God spake as they were moved

by the Holy Ghost : fo that hee must needs

be a Saint by S.Peters confeffion;and not I Luk. 13. he onely, but Christ himselfe faith, All

the Prophets are in the kingdome of God. Now, all the Prophets came not neere this Prophet ; and there was no Scripture but it was penned by a Propheticall and

Apostolicall spirit;and though Solomon Sam. did fall, yet m If he commit Iniquitie, I will

cbaften him with the rod of men, &c. verse 15.But my mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul. If some fay, By this it was meant that God would not take awayhis kingdom;to this it is answered, he did take it away, but hee would not deale with him as he dealt with Saul: so then this telleth us Solomon is a Saint in Hea

[which

28.

m 2.
7. 14,15.

ven.

Deut.

34. 1.-4.

Chap.i. Solomon a canonized Saint.

13 [Which is Solomons. ] Solomon the | The text penner of it, but a wiser then Solomon verse 1. indited it : The Holy Ghost maketh choice of his Instruments, according to the use he had to put them to; to set forth the estate of his Church by the choycest treasures of nature: Hee useth Solomons spirit,which n was as large as the sand of|n 1.King. the Sea shore. And as God led Mofes to 4: 299 30. the top of mount Pisgah, to behold all the places and situations of Israel : So he lifted up Solomons fpirit to the mountaine of Activitie, (that I may so speake,) where onely all times to come are present, to behold the estate of the Church throughout the present, and all after ages.

This is to teach us, as it was said be- ufe 1. fore, that Solomon is a canonized Saint, else hee had not beene a Pen-man of Canonicall Scripture, canonized, not by Peters pretended successors, who have shamefully erred in this kinde; but by * Peter himselfe, yea by a greater then * 2. Pet. I Peter or Solomon, even. Christ Jesus: 21.

o Luk. 13 That promise P reacheth further then to preferre Solomon before Saul in reser Sam ving the kingdome to his posterity,which 7.14, 15

he

28.

P

2.

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