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Ch.6.Wealth occasions the Churches sleep. , 16
Cant.6.1.Whither is thy beloved gone? O thou faireft among women, whither is thy beloved turned aside ? that we may seeke him with thee. ]
and praising Christ, stirred up many verse 1. then to looke after Religion and Refor. mation.
First, we may here lec the danger of use 1. surferring the Church with wealth and pleasures and honour. Constantine had in the first verse onebriated the Church with wealth and honour, and hereupon the Church falleth into a long sleepe, which shee shook not wholly off for many ages, No wonder then of that speech heard from heaven, Hodiè venenum concidit in Ecclesiam: Now is poyson powred or fallen into the Church.
Secondly, this may let as see that they use 2. have not the spirit of the Church of Christ,that when they heare many voices o Religion carried sundry waies, know not vhom to follow, cannot discerne which
Want of watchfulnesse dangerous. Ch.6. is the truc voice of Christ among them: This Church here could disccrnethe voice of Christ even in her sleepe, how much more easily if she had been well awake:
Thirdly, this is to exhort both Ministers and other faithfull Christians to watchfulnelle, lest otherwise corruption in doctrine and worship grow amongst the people, till the locks of Christ bee wholly dabled with superstitions;chelocks of Christ, to wie, the common Christians.
Fourthly, this may teach us to know that they provide not well for the dire&tion of their owne judgements, that depend upon
the voice of the ancient Churches for their chiefe patterne and guidance in doctrine and worship:who would build upon thewords of a man(though otherwise a good man) when hee is halfe asleepe? Fifthly,hence we may
discern it is better the Church should open to Christ,appearing before him in the naked fimplicity of his worship, then to cover our felves and his worship with the blankets and inventions of mens weaving, which will but lull thc Church allcope in drowsic perfor. mances of perfun&tory worship and cause Christ to withdraw himselfc from us.
Ch.6. Perfecutions inflame our affe&tions. 16 Sixthly, this way teach us to know,to our use 6. shame and griefe, that our drowsic hearts will negled to open to Christ upon his calling and knocking, unleffe he be pleased to put the finger of his fpirit into our hearts, to open an entrance for himselfe.
Seventhly, the faithfull must not wonder, if, opening their hearts to Christ and secking after him, sometimes they finde him not; for it was so with the Church here, and hath bcene so with the faithfull in all ages : We neglecting to receive him when he offereth himselfe, wec must not wonder if for a time he neglect us. Eighthly, we may from hence learn that
Use 8. badMinisters wil sooner bear with anydilorder in people, then serious secking after Christ,and after the purity of ordinances.
Ninthly, we may here sec persecutions use 9. alicnate the affections of the faithfull, but infame them to more ardency & carnest pursuite after Christ, as this Church did.
Tenchly, it may be known the Church use 10. hath lyen in a deep sleep, when common Christians can more acknowledge the Church then Christ himselfe, when they can see her to be the fairest among women, vut knownot any eminent worth in Christ.
168 Faithfull Christians before Luther. Ch... Use II. Eleventhly,thc cstate of many Churches,
in many ages, maketh but onc bodic of Chrift; in every of which Christ manifelteth himselfe, in some members more
eminently then in others. use I 2.
Twelvethly, Cbrist had his faithfull people and members in the world before Luther was borne ; yea, he shewed himself glorious in sundry of them, in the darkest times of Popery.
Thirteenthly, in Chrift its well knowne there is nothing but what is lovely and defirable; cven persecutions for his fake are lovely and glorious.
Fourteenthly, it is no comfort, or but small, to know Christ to bec every way precious and excellent, unlessc wce can also say, hec is ours: This is my beloved, this is my friend, o yee. daughters of JeruSalem.
Fifteenthly, the affectionate faithfull preaching and setting forth of Christ, stirreth up in others a saving knowledge of Christ, and hearty affection to him. The Church here describeth Chrift affectio nately and faithfully, speaketh of him as her owne; whence the daughters of Jerusalem are converted and stirred up to secke after him,
Ch... The state of the Church reformed. 169
Lastly, hearts truely touched with sin-, Use 16 cere desire after Christ, chose rather to secke him in the Church, in the fellowship of the Church, then by wayes of soparation, as this Church did:Whither is thy beloved turned aside ? that wee may seeke him with thee.
My beloved is gone into his garden. ] The holy Ghost in these words descend-2-9. eth to set forth the state ofthc Church reformed by the Ministry of Luther, and other lare Divines,as in the verso following the calling of the fewes.
This reformed Church is diversly described:
First, by Christs visitation of her, together with the ends thercof:
1 To feede in the gardens.
Secondly, by her mutuall fellowship with Christ, verse 3.
Thirdly, by her degrees of rising:wherin shce is likened to be, verse 4.
1 As Tirzah.
As an army