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140 Prayers the Churches Deapouas. Ch. Use 2:
Secondly,this lets us see, all the good ly situations of the earth are but dung. hils and desarts , in comparison of the Church; the Church is a garden, and in it are fountaines of living waters for every thirsty foule.
Thirdly, though the Church be some
times in open view of all, as a City set Mat.5.14. on a hill; yet it is sometimes also other
wise, inclosed, shut up, sealed. Use 4: Fourthly, when the Church is shut up
in corners and conventicles, the members of it hatch not treasons, schismes, factions, but still remaineth as a garden, orchard, fountaine , yeelding sweet waters, favoury and wholesome fruits.
Fifthly, see the wonderfull use of affictions and persecutions to the Church; what savoury, and wholefome and precious graces are thereby exercised
; yea, how mightily doth the Church then
spread when it is most restrained: Use 6. Sixthly, see then what the weapons of
the Church were against their perfecutors ; not daggers, dags,powder, pistols, rebellions, treasons, &c. but prayers for more seasonable times. Seventhly, we are to be stirred up to
Ch.5.The Churches state after Conftantinc.141 pray, that God would now stirre up aj wholesome Northwinde, to blow favourably upon the Churches beyond the feas, and strongly against their enemies. Eighthly,this may teach us whileft
Ule 8. enjoy at home these faire blasts, not to streame forth the unfavoury corruptions of our owne spirits, but the sweet graces of God; else wee abuse these sweet
opportunities we doe enjoy.
Lastly, it is a time of much rejoycing|uce 9. when God stirreth up Kings and Princes to come into the fellowship of the Church, and to partake of Gods ordinances in the same.
I sleepe, but my heart waketh, it is the Cant. s. voyce of my beloved that knocketh, saying, .]
chap: 6. Now followeth the description of the estate of the Church from Constantines time to the time of restoring of the Gospell, and reforming of the Church by the Miniftery of Luther, and other late Divines.
After that Constantine had largely endowed the Church with peace, and wealth, and honour ; it fell into an estate
ver. 2. to
The Churches security described. Ch.5. of carnall security;which carnall security is described,
First, by a comparison, resembling it to sleepe ; which sleepe of hers is amplified by the divers conditions, yet my heart waketh.
Secondly, by the carriage of Christ towards her in this her sleepe; where observe,
1. The meanes hee useth to awake and stirre her up: which were,
First, calling to her and knocking, as verse 2.
Secondly, putting in his hand by the hole of the doore, verse 4:
2. The successe of those meanes, or the respect she gave to them, or the use The made of them ; which was double,
First , his calling and knocking shee neglecteth wholly, upon very flight pretences and excuses, verse 3.
Secondly, his putting in his hand by the hole of the doore,
1. She is affected with it, My bowels were moved for him, verse 4:
2. She upon it sought him: which is further set forth,
First, By the degrees of her seeking him:
Ch.5. Hoin the Church seekes Christ. 1. She arose to open to him, ver se 5.
2. Her hands and fingers dropped Myrrhe upon the handles of the locke,
zi. She opened to her beloved , ver.6.
Secondly, by the fruits or successe of her seeking, where is interpreted the fruit or successe of these two degrees of her seeking, in regard,
1. Of Christ, hee was gone, hee had withdrawne himselfe, &c. verse 6.
2. Of the watchmen, of whom she asketh not for her beloved ; but they finding her seeking Christ, they
First, smote her.
Thirdly, tooke away her vaile from her, verse 7.
Fourthly, she, not discouraged with this bad dealing and hard usage of the watchmen, added a fourth degree in her secking of Christ ; shee chargeth the daughters of Jerusalem to move Christ for her, verse 8. The successe or fruit whereof is added, for upon this charge,
1. The daughters of Jerusalem are stirred and occasioned to enquire of her, who Christ is, ver se 9.
144 In peace Gods worship negle&ted. Ch.5.
2. She by their enquiry is occafioned to describe him,
First, by his colours, verse 10.
Thirdly, by his feverall members and parts, verse 11,-16.
Fourthly, by his amiablenesse, verse
3. The daughters of Jerufalem by this her description of him, are stirred up to affect him, and to promise their fellowship in seeking of him with her,
Chap.6.I. Verse 2:
i fcepe: ] The Church surfeiting with abundance of prosperity in Constantines time, neglected the purity and power both of doctrine and worship, and received corruptions ; of which were prayers to Saints, building of Temples to them, Superstitious regard of their reliques, Images, and their worship, Ceremonies annexed to their facraments, choyce of meats, affecting and applauding Monkish life , Purgatory, &c.
My heart waketh:] The Church was still awake,
First, to hearty devotion, according to their knowledge, and beyond it.