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Ch.2. Ch.works in instruments of deliverance. 73
Turne my beloved.] That is, returne often to visit and succour me.
As a Roe, or a young Hart upon the mountaines of Bether.] That is, swiftly and speedily, * Bether being neere to * 2 Sam. them on the other side Jordan; as who 2. 29. should say, Though thou sometime turne from us, yet be not farre,but ready ever and anon to returne and succour us.
Untill the day breake, and the shadowes flee away.] That is, till Christ come and the Ceremoniall shadowes vanish.
First, this teacherh us that in all the use 1. instruments of the Churches deliverance, we should see and discerne Christ speaking and working in them: See here the Church lookes not at Cyrus so much, but at Christ in him. Doe they heare a rumour of a deliverance. It is the voyce of Christ, and it must needs be a strong voyce which Christ is the author of. The wiseft Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,they say it is Christ,and all the rest yeeld ; and the Church sees Christ come skipping: Doth it fee Cyrus about the wals: She sees Christ there. Doch she see Cyrus. Thewing himselfe through the lattice: She fees Christ there. Doth she
* Ver. 13. and come away.
74 Christ in all that befals the Charch. Ch.2
see when he is possessed there, and makes proclamation to them to goe up againe to Jerufalem : She looks at it as Christs voyce, saying,* Arise my love my faire one,
So the holy Ghost tcacheth, what favour any doth shew to the Church, it is Christ that doth it; fo take it, that if any good befall the Church, it is Christ that doth it ; If any lead into captivity, Nebuchadnezzar or any other, it is Christ that leads her into a wine Cellar : If there be any noise or worke of deliverance, it is Christ that comes leaping and skipping: So in all the calamities, and in all the
blessings that befall the Church, ascribe * Iob 1. all to Christ:* The fame hand that gave; 21.& 42. the same hand hath taken away: † God + Plal. 12.
turned the captivity of Fob, and God turned againe the captivity of his people. This is a wonderfull stay to Gods Church, and to every member of it; for man cannot bring it into captivity, and bring it out againe : Mans hand cannot bring hard things upon the Church, nor bring her out againe of them; for if it were in mens hands, or in Sathans, or in our own hands, it would not goe well
Ch.2. The Churches calamities not continuall. 75
but being in Christs hands alone, it may be a stay and a comfort.
Secondly, this teacheth us, that when ure 2. the time of the Churches deliverance is
Christ will come quickly and speedily for her deliverance, leaping and skipping as a Roe or a Hartó' The winter shall not alwaies remain on the Church, no not when she deserves a black winter. The patient abiding of the Saints shall not Pl.9. 18. alwayes be forgotten. Suppose God leades his Church into
captivityseven yeares, yea seventy yeares; yet it will not alwayes continue. This may serve to comfort us in the distresses of the Church, at home or abroad; God will not alwayes punish with reproach or desolation, but the time will come these will be gone and Alee away.
Thirdly, this lets us see the Church use 3. profitteth by calamities ; shee comes out better from them, then shee went into them : she entred and went into captivity hating God, defiled with many abominations; she returnes out, My love,my-faire one. The Church of God, and the members of it are more lovely in Gods fight by the hard times that passe over
76 The Church bettered by chastisements .Ch.2
them : when this Church had beene seventy yeares in captivity, (a hard time it was, yet)they loft nothing by it ; they kissed his Rod, and fought God; and now hee stiles them lovely: He loathed them because they loathed him ; they were now tried and purified; before they were loathsome, but are now lovely; before hated, but now loved. Bur fee what a blessed usechastisements are of to the Church: how loathsome soever wee goe into captivity, when wee defile our selves with lusts and sins, yet when wee have beene throughly humbled with
some crosses, how faire come wee out ! tPro.3.11 * My sonne despise not the chastening of the
Lord, neither be weary of his correčtion. And why doth God say, Deut. 8. 16. He proved them to doe them good ; when hee faith,my love, it is more then lovely, it is
love, it is love it felfe ; and faire one is + PC. 119. more then faire ? So, t It is good for mee
(faith David that I have beene afflicted : so
Thou art faire oh my love.
Ch.2. The Church not alwayes conspicuous. 77 ches winter:ftormes shall not alwayes lie upon her, but they shall in the end blow over : * The rod of the wicked shall not reft * Pl. 325. upon the lot of the righteous.
Fifthly, we may see that outward com- ure 5. forts are easily able to drowne in us a longing after Gods ordinances : the contentment that some found in captivity, made them stand in need of often calling to returne to Sion.
Sixthly, wee may learne here that the use 6. face of the Church is not alwayes visible and conspicuous in the eyes of men, but alwaies in the eyes of God; for they meet under the staires, and worship God in holes and corners. And a while after Christ faith, Why dost thou lie thus under the staires, and in clifts of rockes, let me see thy face, and heare thy voyce. The Church of Rome advanceth her felfe that she hath alwayes beene conspicuous ;
but this is no true signe of a true Church, for the true Church is not alwayes conspicuous : Though Christ alwayes
sees Tome to meet in corners and holes, yet not alwayes in solemne afsemblies. The Dove of Christ Jesus sometimes makes her rest in the rockes, and