« PreviousContinue »
The state of the Churches little Sister. 245 elder Sisters to wit, of the Jewish Churches, and of that Church comming up out of the Wildernefle, what they shall doe for her when she shall be spoken of, ver. 8.
Secondly, by a resolution what they shall doe for her, surable to what her condition (as they shall finde her) shall require, ver. 9.
Thirdly, a fatisfa&tion given by this little Sister, to the elder, how her estate standeth, together witb the cause shereof, Gods favour, that they may the better know what courses to take for ker, ver. 1o.
The estate of the whole Church, as it shall stand after the conversion of the Jewes, and of those other Churches is set forth;.
First, from Christs care for thein, xpressed,
First,in his watchfulnesse over them n his owne person, which he ampliies by the leffe care which Solomon iad of his vineyard, committing the eeping of it to others, ver. 11,12. Secondly, in his charge to the
R 3 Church,
2 46 Christs care wherein it appeares, Ch..
Church, that he may heare her companions hearkening unto her, ver. 13.
Secondly, by the Churches prayer unto Christ, that he may hasten the translating of them into heaven in the end of the world, ver. 14.
who is this that commeth,&c.] Who thefe Churches should be that re: maine to be called after the conversion of the Jewes and Gentiles, we canpot conceive any more ficly than the Churches of Allyria ; secondly, of Égypt,of which we read Ifa.19.23.25. When a Church shall bee ele&ed among the Jewes, signified by Ezekiels goodly Temple, the water of Gods
Spirit fhall How from thence EaftEzek.47.
ward, goe downe into the Desert, and from thence spread themselves farre and neere.
This Desert, or Wilderneffe Eastward from Tudah, is the Wildernesse of Arabia, whither Spirituallgraces Thall be conveyed by some comming from Ierufalem, and from thence they shall bee further carried into the Eat Countries, to the gathering, and con
what Churches come in after the lewes. 247 wersion of the Alyrians and others : Whence it is, that Church arising from the Wildernesle of Arabia, is said to Icane upon her beloved in an Arabian word;as when the holy Ghost was to speak of the Babylonian Captivity (or Winter) being past, he useth the Babylonian or Caldean word. So Cant.2. 11. chen, when the Churches of I udea shall see such a goodly Church spring from small helpe, out of the Wildernefle of Arabia, beyond their expe&ation, they shall say of her, who is this that commeth out of the wildernese, leaning upon her beloved ? trusting by faith on him, and thereby attaining and enjoying fellowship with him: for to leane is put as an act of faith or trusting * and the gesture implieth familiar * lohn Iz. love *.
I raised thee. under an apple tree.] Christ, or the Church of the Jewes by his power raised up his Church by the meanes of fome inferior MagiAtrate, resembled here by an Apple tree, as before * : Forthough bee was Cant. 2.3. not lo high and mighty as the Cedars
248 Leaning an act of faith.
of Lebanon, or the Okes of Bafhan; yet eminent be was, and his shadow good, and his fruit cordiall and comfortable.
And the meanes of the gathering of this Church, being at first but an inferiour Magistrate ; 'the Church had more need and use of faith to leane upon her beloved, when soveraigne authority did not countenance the worke.
There thy mother brought thee forrb.] Towit, the Mother-Church of the
Jewes, orthe Catholique, which is the Gal.4, 26. Mother of us all. Verf. 6. Set me as a seale upon thy heart, as
a feale upon tbine arme, for love is strong as death, jealousie is cruell as the grave; the coales thereof are coales of fire which hath a moft vebement flame.
Set me as a feale upon the heart, as a seale upon thine arme.] That is, ler me be deep engraven as a seale is into thine heart, or affe&ion, and as a seale on thine arme, let me be continually in thy fight and remembrance. And because the heart is the seat of the
How love as strong as death. will, and thearme of strength,therefore she desireth his deep affection and mighty strength and power alwaies to be present with her for her comfort and
For love is ftrong as death.] Death Theweth his strength,
First, in subduing all sorts of people high and low, young and old.
Secondly, accepting no compassion, nor yeelding to any opposition, but going through with his worke; such strength of love shal this Church (hew to Christ, subduing all before her to the obedience of Christ, and not suffering any impediment to detaine her from him.
Tealousie is cruell as the grave.] Jealoufie is a mixt affe&ion of zeale or fervent love, and carries at any corriválts, arage with wrath againstthem: So fervent then shall the zealous love ofthis Church be to Christ, cha she may not endure any such things as shall steale away the peoples hearts from Chrift, or alienare or lellen his affe&ion to her, but as the grave,