« PreviousContinue »
Ch.6. Let us keep close to Chrift.
181 of Christ, as they have Christ walking in them, so they know it, and professe it, and rejoyce in it.
I am my wel-beloveds, and my wel-belo- Ver.3. ved is mine.] The Church of Řome disdaines such a song as Hereticall presumption, to say, I am my wel-beloveds, and he is mine. Sixthly, this doth teach
us, wonder if Christian Affemblies be at first suspected , as Tirzah for sedition, separation, &c. It is the lot of Gods Church, which when it groweth up to be better known, will appeare to be as it is, comely as Ferufalem.
Eighthly, from the description of the Church here by her Members, Eyes, Haire, Teeth, Temples; gather here a
not to use 7.
How Primit.and Refor. Ch.agree. Ch.6. gaine in the same Uses made of the like description, Chap.4. verfe 1,2,3. page in Ules 2,3,4. there expressed.
Ninthly observe the Reformed Churches to be the same that the Primitive Church in Christs time, was in sundry principall Members and respects; and therefore the same Members in the fame fort described, word for word; yea, such fellowship as the Church of the Jewes had with Christ coming out of Babylon, the same have the Reformed Churches with Christ coming out of Romifh Babylon.
There are threescore Queenes, and foureScore Concubines, and Virgins without number.
. This Verse containes the last part of the description of the estate of the Reformed Churches, which is a comparison of them together amongst themselves; of whom some are,
First, Queenes, and they are three-fcore.
Secondly, Concubines, and they are fourfcore.
Thirdly, Damosels, and they without number.
Ch.6.Wives and Concubines how they differ. 183
Secondly, one is eminent above them all unto Christ : First, a Dove, Secondly, undefiled.
Secondly, her selfe one.
Fourthly, her daughter, blessed.
Fifthly, the Queenes and Concubines commended her.
There are threescore Queenes, and foure- Verf: 8. score Concubines, and Damosels, or Virgins, without number.
Queenes differ from Concubines in foure respects:
First, Queenes, or chiefe Wives are taken into fellowship with their royall Huf-Gen.29. bands by folemne stipulation, and with 22• consent and folemne rejoycing of friends : The Concubines are not so, as Bilhab and Zilphah, &c. A man takes such to him rather by right of Dominion, than by fellowship of Wedlock.
Secondly, Queenes, or chiefe Wives bring with them dowries to their Husbands *.
Hence, Lesbonius to Lufitoles, in Matri- 9.16. mony,would not give his sister * fine dote, Sc&.? : left he should seem to give her in Corcubi
* Without Dowrie.
Gen. 16. 3.
184 Wives and Concubines how they differ.Ch.6.
natum potiùs quàm in Matrimonium : But Concubines were taken without dowry for the most part, as Hagar, Bilhah, Zilphah, &c.
Thirdly, chiefe Wives had the keyes of the families in their owne hands, they had government of the house under and with their husbands. Hence it is that
Hagar , though called Abrahams wife, Verse 6. yet is said to be in Sarahs hand, who also
corrected her: the Angell calleth her Sarabs maid , and shee calleth Sarab her Mistresse, as likewise the Angell doth.
Concubines, though secondary wives, yet were but as servants, fave onely they were admitted to the fellowshipofthe bed.
Fourthly, chiefe Wives brought forth children, to whom belonged the Inhericance'; whereas Concubines children
had, for the most part onely, fome Gen.25. gifts given then. That Dan and Nepta
li, Gad and Asher, the fonnes of Bilhah and Zilphah had Inheritances among their brethren, was by extraordinary difpenfation.
Queenes then are such Reformed Congregations where such properties of Queenes' are found : Chrift (indeed )
Ch.6. We have no dowry to give to Cbrift. 185 lookes for no Dowrie from us for his owne use, he needeth nothing of ours, neither have we any thing to give him, buț our owne nakedneste, filthinesse, and beggery. Here therefore looke at
Ezek. 16. Christ in the persons of the Ministers, whose Vicegerents they are, and Embassadours also ; and in whose name they being married to the Churches, doe beget children to Christ; though Ministers considered in comparison with Christ, 1 Cor.4. they are but as the friends of the Bride 15. groome, not Bridegroomes themselves. Such Churches then, and Congregati- John 3:29. ons are Queenes whom the Ministers and Congregations do with mutuall free consent chufe either the other, as when the people do give up themselves, first, to the 2 Corin. Lord, and then to the Ministers by the wil of God.Ofthis fortare sundry Congregåtions in England, and very many in the reformied forain Churches: Other Congregations,which have Ministers thrust upon them without their liking and consent, and whom Ministers have to them by some clandestine conveyances, are more like to Concubines. Againe, such Congregations as