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120 Who and what the Churches eyes. Ch.4.
upon them, for the forwardnesfe of his love to them, and theirs to him,
With one of thy eyes. ] The eỹes of the Church are severall, according as the Church may be severally considered: for if the Church be considered as affembled together to publike duties, so the Ministers ofthe Church are the eyes,
amongst whom they at Antioch excelled, † A&.11. as Agabus † and others; among whom 27:28.& the Lord was especially delighted with
Barnabas and Saul, who were sent imme
diatły by the Spirit of Christ to enlight* A&. en all the neighbour Countries * : So 2. to' Az
they two, joyned in one office, were as one eye to enlighten all the parts. But if the Church be considered in the mem
bers'apart, the eyes thereof are know+ Ioh. 8. ledge and faitht: In this Church faith
excelled, "resting upon Christ alone without
Moses his Ceremonies, which the *AX, 15. Jewes would have thrust upon them *.
With one chaine of thy necke. ] Chaines Cant.z. fignified: Lawes + binding as - Chaines,
Now the Church of Antioch sending up Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, about the contention which Gerinthus" (as the stories thinke) and others raised at An
Ch.4. Chaines how used by the Apostles. 121 tioch concerning the necessity of the Ceremoniall Lawes; * the Apostles or * A&. 15. Elders made a Law or decree to abrogate the Ceremonies, and yet enjoyne some things, partly necessary in themfelves as to avoid förr:ication, partly necessary to avoid the offences of the Jews, as to abstaine from bloud; &c. This Law the Apostles and Elders hanged as a chaine upon the necke of the Church of Antioch and other Churchest:whence A&. 15. that Church received great confolation*, *Verle 31 and the other Churches establishment and increase *
How faire is thy love my Sister, my spouse! Ver. 10. how much better is thy love then wine ! and the smell of thine øyntments then all spices!
How faire is thy love my Sister!] Sister implies the same, "and such like gentile Churches, whose love is herë set forth,
First, by the fairenesse of it.'
Secondly, by the strength, sweetnesse, cheerefulnesse, implied in the preferring it above wine.
How faire and strong, and sweet, and cheerefull was the love of the Church of
Antioch, which aforehand prepared a contribution of their owne accord for
* A&. 11
* 2 Cor.8.
122 Macedonia cononended for charity. Ch.4.
the poore Saints at Jerusalem,cventeve og man according to his ability! The like or greater love feemed in the poore Churches of Macedonia *. A faire love for poore men to send reliefe to others :
A strong love for deepely poore to send rich liberality;yet more strong and sweet to pray the messengers with much intreaty to receive it, and a chęcrefull love to doe all this in abundance of joy, and beyond the Apostles owne expectation,
This kinde of benevolence the Apostle *Phil. 4. calleth an odour of a fwect smell*, it
was sweeter and better then wine. All this love shewed to the poore Saints Christ takes here as done to himselfe, as he will also take it at the laft day. The decayes of this first love thewes how great this love was at the first *.
The smell of thine oyntments then all Chap.1. spices
. ] Oyntments, are the graces of from...Gods Spirit* : These gave a sweet re
port farte and neare in those Primitivo Col.s.s.. I'Churchest. 1 Thel...
Thy lips, O my fpoufe, drop as the honey, Ver. 11.combe : honey and milke are under the
tongue, and the fmell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon
Mat.25. 350 - 40.
Ch.4. What the Churches garments.
Thy lips, O mySpouse, drop as the honeycombe : honey and milke are under thy tongue.] This commendeth the DoEtrine and Ministry of those first Churches,in these foure respects :
First, for the readinesse and Aowing. nesse of it ; it dropped forth of it selfe, it needed not to be prest and constrained, as an honey-combe.
Secondly, for the sweetneffe of it, as the honey or the honey-combe.
Thirdly, for the wholesomnesse of it,
The fell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.]' Lebanon is full of sweet trees of spices growing in it, which yeeld a fragrant smell even a farre off. 'Garments are,
First, partly the wedding garments of Christs righteousnesse.
Secondly, partly the gracious carriage wherewith they cloathed themselves in their outward conversation :They cloached and decked themselves with Christ, not onely to their Justification, but with his Spirit to their Sanctification, which Thewes forth it felfe in their humility, meekenes,patience, honesty,faithfulness,
* Piil.4.8 1 Thef.4.
1 Pet. 2.
Ich. 3. 22. 24•
lib.10. Epist.97. Use i,
124 Churches planted by th’ Apostles pure. Ch.4.
diligence, serviceableness of their outward carriage , fo farre forth as that the Heathen smelled a sweet favour in their
whole course ; * yea, even in Trajans 9.-11. time, when the smell of garments was
not so strong: yet what a l'weet testimo3. ny
ny doth Pliny himselfe (though a perfe
cutor)give of them, when hee faid, hee Eufeb.lib.3 could finde no fault with them but that Plin. Epift. they rofe early and went into the woods
co síng Hymnes to one Fefus.
This first is to reforme their judgements who speake of the Apostolicall Church as an infant and rude Church, whereas Christ, whose eyes were as a Aame of fire, and who best knew it, commends it for perfection of beauty, and faith it was faire:So that if a Church were fuch, Christ might imbrace it with both his armes.
This is the Church excellent for her Ministers', 'excellent for common Chri
stians, which had pure eyes of knowledge and faith ; so that by how much neerer any Church comes to this, by so much the fairer it is; and by how much any Church comes short of it, by so much the foule