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Ch.4. The estate of the Church in Chrifts time.
THE EXPLANATION. Cant. 4.1,-46. Behold, thou art fair my love,behold, thou art fair,sbou bajt doves eyes within the lockes: thy baire is as a flocke of goats, that appeare from mount Gilead, doc. TH "His Chapter describes the estate of
the Church in her periods: First, in Christs time, under his Ministery, verfe 1.6.
Secondly, after his Afcenfion, under the Apostles,verfe 7.-11.
Thirdly, after their departure, during the first ten Persecutions,ver.12.16.
The Church in Chrifts time is commended and described,
First, by her beauty in generall,Behold, thou art faire my love, behold, thou art faire.
Secondly, the beauty of her feverall parts at that time most confpicuous : 28,
First, of her eyes, verse 1,
that she was very
The Church faire in Christs time. Ch.4.
Secondly, the death of Christ falling out in her time,verfe 6.
Bebold, thou art faire.) Faire twice repeated implies, by an usuall Hebraisme,
fair: and beloved twice repeated, argues
her eminent beauty was very conspicuous ; such was the estate of the Church gathered by his Ministery and Alocking after him.
First, it was faire and beautifull, partly a Mar.4.
in her flocking after him a.
Secondly, leaving all to follow him, * hanging upon his mouth and wondring at the gracious words and deeds coming from him.
- Secondly, in his both, b Job.3.29 First, presence with her, as her light b. Joh. 12:35
Secondly, decking of her by his Ministery.
This beauty of the Church was well knowne, yet ought to have beene better observed :'.
First of all, by the children of wise: Mar. 11. dome c.
Secondly, of all the d Greekes, even strangers e of the Pharisees and Elders.
Thou hast doves eyes within the lookes.] Doves (as before, chap.1.15.) are noted,
* Mat. 19. 19,27 Luke 19. 48. & 9.
Ch.4. How the Church hath Doves eyes.
103 First, for their chastnesse.
Secondly,loathing of uncleannesse,but there is withall in their
eyes, 1. Cleannesse. 2. Simplicity.
This implies that the Church at thač time,
First, faw more clearely sundry truths about Christ then the Fathers had done f, Fluke 10. or the present Governours 8.
Secondly, was of a simple and inno- 8 Joh.9.39 cent looke and demeanour h.
Thirdly, looked with a chaste eye, af- | 16. ter Christ alone i,
i Joh.6.68 Fourthly, loathed the uncleannesse of Pharifaicall superstitions k.
k Mac. Is. Within thy locks.] For their knowledge, 1,2: though cleare in many things, yet perceived not sundry plaine points: as,
First, the Death and Resurrection of Christ 1.
I Luke 18 Secondly, the leaven of the Phari-32,33,34
As the eye within lockes of haire is hindred from discerning things lying Luke 12.1
Thiy haire as a flocke of goats that appeare from mount Gilead.]
m Mar. 8 IS.
open before it.
104 Christians how call'd haire and goats. Ch.4.
Haire , though it hang long upon the head, yet it may in time either,
First, fall of it selfe.
Secondly, bee cut off: so were the common Christians of that time (as it Were) haire,
1. For multitude.
3. Falling many of them from him: a Joh.6.66 First, either of themselves, or,
Secondly, cut off by the practises of b Mac 27. the b Priests: hence it was that Jesus durst John 12.
not commit himselfe to them,
As a flocke of goats.] Which are wont, c John 2. First, to afemble themselves in com33.-5. panics; so did the people gather after
Secondly, to be without a fhephcard, d Mar... as this people were d.
Thirdly, to feed afarre off, and that somewhat dangerously upon rocks.
So the people came from farre to bicar e Mar.8.3. Christe, and were in danger for feeding fJoh.9.22
on him f. Verse a.
Thy teeth are like a flocke of sheep that are even (horne, whicb came up from the washing: whereof every one beare twins, and none is barren among them.]
IOS Thc shecp whereto these teeth are likened, are set forth,
First, by their even-fhornneffe.
Secondly, by their cleanneffe, coming up from the washing
Thirdly, by their fruitfulnesse, Every one bringeth forth twins, none barren.
First, even set, none gaping out.
Thirdly, each answering to his fellow in the other jaw, none wanting, as it is a praise to the teeth to be. The teeth are such as chew the meat, and prepare it for the rest of the body, fuch in that Church were the Apostles, whom our Saviour calls a little flock$: they were all,
: Luke 12 First, even fet, and even fhorne, none | 32. bursting out beyond his fellowes: Peters fupremacy stretched not beyond the rest of the Apostles bo
h Mar. 16, The teeth of innocent sheep are even 19.compaset: They that have tulhes longer then red with the other teeth are hurtfull and favenous & Mar. 18 beasts; as Dogs, Beares, Lions, &c. Ten 18. Mat. of the Apostles disdained the motion of 20,20, 25. supremacy.
Secondly, came up from Fobas Bap- Luke 23. cisme, and therefore when Iudas tell a