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246 The Church of Egypt why a little Sister.Ch.8.

enemies; even so doth he keep our forain evills from breaking in upon his people, 1. Secondly, close to keep in his people within bounds from breaking out into disorder:

Thirdly, firme, whereon to reare (if occasion be) a silver Palace, whereon to lay the frame of a good motion, or course to be taken for publick good.

Fourthly, a wall of partition, to divide berween right and wrong, to give every man his owne.

Wee will build upon her a silver palace.] Wee will make her garment honourable and wealthy.

If she be a deore.] That is, if she have faithfull Ministers, which as a door open the way to Christ, that the people may goe in and out, and find pasture in him: We will inclose her with boards of Cedar. ]

Cedar is a timber thatwill neither rot,nor breed worms, and so will endure alwaies; whence it was that the Heathen made

their Simulachra deorum, Images of their Plin.lib.13.

gods of this wood, to make them seeme eternall; These Sister-Churches then promise, that if their little Sister of Egipt have any faithfull Ministers, they

cap.s.

Ch.8.Chrift will himself care for his Church.

247 will provide for their safety and peace, that they be not discouragəd, nor disturbed in their function.

I am a wall, and my breasts like towers:then Verse 1 was I in his eyes as one that found favour.

The little sister of Egypt resolveth her sisters, that she wants neither Christian Magistrates, nor faithfull Ministers; so full of wholesome Doctrine, as that her breasts swell like towers, which yet

shee acknowledgeth to be a fingular mercy and favour of Christ, and ascribeth all her store to his praife : Then was I is one that found favour in his eyes.

Solomon had a vineyard in Baal-Ha- Verse in mon: A place fo fruitfull, that for excellency it was called the Lord of a multitude, or the owner of great encrease, Hee let out the vineyard to keepers, who paid him a great rent, even thousands for the fruit of it, and yet had a good portion, certaine hundreds for their own paines.

My vineyard which is mine, is before me : Verse 12. thou (o solomon) must have a thousand, and those that keepe the fruit thereof, two hundred. To wit, I let not out my vineyard to

others,

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248

The Catholick Church where it dwells.Ch.8. others, but I kept it my felfe alwaies; let Solomon take his thousands for his fruits of his vineyard, and the Reapers their hundreds ; I will not so doe, but take all the paines to keep my vineyard, and reap all the gaines of the fruits thereof to my selfe. The meaning is, when Christ hath gathered all these Churches of the Jews, Aflyrians, Egyptians, and neighbourNations, he will then keep his Church with his mighty power that neither Dragons, nor wilde Bores, nor Foxes shall hereafter root it upor make havock of it, as in time past they have done: This is exprefly foretold, and shall come to passe after the destruction of Leviathan the

*Isa.27.1,

3 Verse 13.

great Turke*.

Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice, cause me to heare it.

Thou that dwelleft in the gardens.] The Participle being of the Feminine gender, sheweth that it is the Church not Christ that is here spoken to, who is said to dwell in the garden ; to wit, in the particular Churches, as the fea dwelleth in each particular Countrey sea; the German sea, the Spanish sea, the Baltick fea,

&c. So

Ch.8:The Catholick Church where it dwells.

249 &c. So the Catholick Church is divided into particular Churches, or the Jewish Mother Church dwelleth by her authority and directions in all other Churches.

The companions hearkning to thy word (or voice) cause me to heare it.] So the words in the originall which implyeth either that Church would have the Mother Church of the Jews take care of all other Christian Churches, and give directions unto them, and yet not as unto her handmaids, but as to her companions; or else if the words be read according to the translation, The companions hearken to thy voice, cause me to heare it : They imply, that after the calling of these Churches, this shall be their constant estate to the worlds end, as they shall all

First, embrace one another as companions, nor claiming Romish Supremacy.

Secondly, hearken to the voice and directions of the Mother Church, (in Sololomons daies for wisedome to him.)

Thirdly, continue in calling upon the Name of Christ without dissipation and interruption to the end.

Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to Verse 14, a Roe,or to a young Hart upon the mountain of spices.

This

II.

250 Gentiles not caft off at the Femes calling. Ch.8.

This is the prayer of all the Churches; now that all things are accomplifed, the which Prophets and Apostles have fore-told, that Christ would hasten his last coming as swiftly and quickly, as the swiftest of the creatures, the Roe, or young Hart, to take them up with himselfe into the higheft Heavens of the Mountaines of spices, where are all mannet of spices, where are all manner of sweet

and fragrant and pleasant thifigs, even Pfal. 16.

fulnefse of joy at Gods right hand for evermore. Thus is the end of the Revelations, The Spirit and the Bride, and every

faithfull foule saith in like fense, Come Rev.22. Lord Pelus, come quickly.

The Use of this is,firft, to teach us that the Nations of the Gentiles shall not be cast off from the fellowship of the Church, when the Jewes are called, as

the Jewes were out of the Church, that * Rom.ur. the Gentiles might be grafted in * ; but

even after their calling, new Churches of the Gentiles shall be brought in ; yea, their conversion shall bring from the dead into the world:What shal the receiving

of them be, but life from the dead? yea, the Rev.21. Gentiles shall bring their glory to it, yea, the

cursed

17,20. uile 1.

19, 20,

Rom.11. 12,15.

24.

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