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170 The state of the Church reformed. Ch.6.
Fiftly, by comparing the severall reformed Churches, as amongst themselves, and preferring onc above the rest of the reformed Churches there: 1 As Queenes, 60.
As Concubines, 80. 3 As Virgins without number, verse 8. 4 As a Dove; and who, First, to Christ is undefiled.
Secondly, to the whole Church as an onely one, as a choice one.
Thirdly, to the rest:
2 Praised, to the Queenes and Concubines, verse 8.9.
My beloved is gone downe into his garden, to the beds of Spices, to feed in the garden, and to gather lilies.
My beloved is gone downe into his garden:] The Church, which Christ next visited, and wherein hee was first found in that generall Apostacy wherein the Church fought Christ and could not find him.
In the former Chapter was the Church
Ch.6. What meant by beds of spices.
First, stored with variety of godly people, as sweete flowers set in order, some teaching, some hearing.
Secondly fenced in as with a hedge,pale or wall,by the protection of Frederick the good Duke of Saxony.
Thirdly, a place wherein Christ walkcd (as we do in our gardens) to refresh himselfe and his friends.
Is gone downe into his garden, ] Descending from those famous Cities and eminent places of Rome and constantinople, into a meane country citie.
To the beds of spices: ] Because in Germany at that time, sandry Christians were called and forted into severall beds and companies in severall places, though not attaining at the first to be so many gardens, so many
severall. Churches. To feed in the gardens. ] In processe of time, these severall beds of spices (companies of Christians) grew up to the fashion of just and full Churches in Zürich, Stranburgh,Braffel,Berne, Geneva, besides those in Hassia and Prussia. To feede,]
172 Faithfull Christians compar'd to lilies. Ch.6.
First, both himselfc with his peoples prayers and other worship and obedience.
Secondly, his people with his word and facraments, and other ordinances.
And to gather lillies; that is to gather and call more & more faithfull Christians out of a wild field of worldly people into the fellowship of his Church, as it were, to gather lilies into his garden.
They are called lillies,
First, for their fairneffe.
Thirdly, for Gods care in providing Mat.6.28, for them beyond their owne labour and
industry. Verse 3.
beloveds, and my
beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lillies.
I am my beloveds, and my beloved is mine. ] Which words imply foure things:
First, that the Church had familiar fel. lowship with Christ in his holy publike ordinances;especially inthe maine do&rinc of pardon of sins by Christs bloud alone, and of justification by faith.
Secondly, that shee enioyed this fellowship with him, before the time of
her deliverance out of a Babylonish, or Chap.2. Romis captivity : * for the same words
I am my
Ch.6. Protestants when, and why so called. 173 are used
the deliverance out of Babel,and enjoying Gods ordinances in their owne country; but with this difference : there the Church faith, My beloved is mine, and I am his; because, first, hc delivered her out of Babel before hee
gave her the free use of his ordinances; but here the Church faith, I am my beloveds, and my
beloved is mine ; because Ihce first found Christ in his ordinances, before shee enjoyed deliverance from subjection to Rome ; for Luther preached against the Popes pardons, before he rejected the fu. premacy of the Pope.
Thirdly, their open profession of their fellowship with Christ, when the Princes of Germany openly protested against the Mafsc,& other corruptions in theChurch, and avowed the defence of the reformation begun; whence they were afterward Sleyden.
lib.6.7. called Protestants.
4', Christs gracious protection of those Churches, specially in their first beginnings:for how should Luther( a poor Frier) have attempted and gone through with so great a work, against such great and generall opposition, and in the end die quietly in his bed, if Christ had not held him
174 How Tirzah loft ber beauty. Ch.6.
as it were in his armes ?
He feedeth among the lilies. ] Hee refresheth himselfe and strengtheneth his people, conversing amongst them, who Itrove for whitenesse, and purity, and re
formation. Verse 4.
Thou art beautifull,o my love,as Tirzah, comely as Ferafalem, terrible as an army with banners.
Thou art beautifull as Tirzah. ] Tirzah was the chiefe Cicy of the Kingdome of Israel,after they had separated themselves
from Fudah, uncill Samaria was after14.17.& ward builded *. TheCitie and Governers of it (che
peo. ple having recourse to it for judgement, rather then to Jerufalen) were at first in disgrace and obloquie with the Fewes for their schisme and separation from the house of David ar Jerusalem, and for her rebellion against the King of Fudah; but this did not diminish her beauty, because this feparation was from God.
Afterward Tirzah lost her beauty by 1 Kings erecting the golden Calves, and falling
off (not onely from the idolatry of solo mon, wherein they did well, but) from the true worship of God, restored and conti
I 2. 24