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120 Who and what the Churches eyes. Ch.
vipon them, for the forwardnesfe of h love to them, and theirs to him,
With one of thy eyes. ] The eyes of th Churchi are severall, according as th Church may be severally considered for if the Church be considered as af fembled together to publike duties, f the Ministers ofthe Church are the eyes
amongst whom they at Antioch excelled † A&.11. as Agabus † and others; among whon
the Lord was especially delighted with Barnabas and Saul, who were sent imme
diatļy by the Spirit of Christ to enlight * A&. 13 en all the neighbour Countries *: S 2. to' A&.
they two, joyned in one office, were a one eye to enlighten all the parts. Bu if the Church be considered in the mem bers'apart, the eyes
thereofare know + Ioh. 8. ledge and faitht: In this Church faith
excelled, "refting upon Christ alone
without Moses his Ceremonies which the *AX. 15. Jewes would have thrust upon them *.
With one chaine of thy necke.] Chaine Cant. n. fignified: Lawes t 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 iraifed at An
* A&. 15
* Act. 1€
Ch.4. Chaines how used by the Apostles. 121 tioch concerning the necessity of the Ceremoniall Lawes; * the Apostles or Elders made a Law or decree to abrogate the Ceremonies, and yet enjoyne some things, partly necessary in themfelves as to avoid fornication, 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&t. 15 that Churchreceived great confolation*, *Verrez and the other Churches establishment and increase *
How faire is thy love my Sister, my spouse! Ver. 1 how much better is thy love then wine ! and the smell of thine oyntments then all spices!
How faire is thị love, my sister!] Sister implies the same, and such like gentile Churches, whose love is here set forth,
First, by the faireneffe 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 a which aforehand prepared a contribution of their owne accord for
* A&. II
122 Macedonia commended for charity. Ch.4,
the poore Saints at Jerusalem,cventeve prong man according to his ability! The like
or greater love feemed in the poore * 2 Cor.8. Churches of Macedonia *. A faire love
for poore men to send reliefe to others : A strong love for deepely poore to fend 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 owneexpectation,
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 latt day. The 35.40. FRev.z. decayes of this firft love thewes how
great this love was at the first *. Ver. 1 O. The smell of thine oyntments then all
Chap.1. fpices. ] Oyntments, are the graces of Rom, I.Gods Spirit* : These gave a sweet re
farte and ncarc in those Primitivo Col.s.s. | Churchest. 1 Thel.r.
Thy lips,o my fpoufe, drop as the honey, Ver. il. combe : honey and milke are under the
tongue, and the fmell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.
Ch.4. What the Churches garments.
Thy lips, O my!Spouse, drop as the honeycombe : honey and milke are under thing tongue.] This commendeth the DoEtrine and Ministry of those first Churches,in these foure respects :
First, for the readinesse and Aowing. neffe of it ; it dropped forth of it selfe, it needed not to be prest and constrained, as an honey-combe.
Secondly, for the sweetnesse of it, as the honey or the honey-combe.
Thirdly, for the wholesomnesfe ofit, as milke.
The fmell 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 färre off. 'Garments are,
First, partly the wedding garments of Christs righteousnesse.
Secondly, partly the gracious carriage wherewith they cloached themselves in their outward conversation : They cloathed and decked themselves with Christ, not onely to their Justification, but with his Spirit to their Sanctification z. which fhewes forth it fefe in their humility, meekenes,patience, honesty,faithfulness,
1 Pet. 2. 12.
much the fouler it is. 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 * Piil.4.8 Ther.
whole course; yea, even in Trajans 9.-11. time, when the smell of garments was
not so strong: yet what a sweet testimoi Toh. 3. ny doth Pliny himselfe (though a perfe
cutor) give of them, when hee faid, hee Euseb.lib.3 could finde no fault with them but that cap. 30. Plin. Epift. they rose early and went into the woods
to sing Hymnes to one Fefus. Epist.97. Use l.
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 such, Christ might imbrace it with both his armes.
This is the Church excellent for her Ministers', excellent for common Christians, which had pure eyes of knowledge and faith ; so that by how much neerer any Church comes to o this b much the fairer it is; and by how much any Church comes short of it, by so