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The use of marriage-fongs. Chap.i.

came a Proselyte to the Jewish Religion, d Plal:45. Hearken (oh Daughter) and consider, and

incline tbine eare, forget also thine owone people, and thy fathers house, &c.

Now, though that marriage song was penned upon that occasion; yet it ascendeth farre above all earthly respects of worldly marriage, and by a divine and heavenly workmanfhip sets forth a heavenly, marriage-song betweene Christ and his Church: of like Argument was this song penned by Solomon himselfe ; not to expresse his affections to Pharaohs daughter, or hers to him, or the good parts of either of them: no, nor the like respects to any Shunamite amongst the rest of his wives, as fome have vainly conceived, for then how abfurd and monstrous were fome of his comparisons, likening his Spouse to a company of borfes in Pharaohs Chariot, her Head to Carmel, her Eyes to Fish-pooles, her Nose to a Tower,'her Teeth to a flock of Sheep, her whole Selfe to a terrible Army with Banners ? But his scope is to defcribe the estate of the Church towards Christ, and his refpect towards her, from his own time to the last judgement, as afterward it shall appeare.

Now,

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Chap.i. Whó perforated in this song. 5

Now, through this whole marriage song this Decorum it keepeth, that though the calamities of the Church be as well described throughout this song, as the comfortable condition of the same in all ages;

yet such dismall passages are yailed and shadowed under fome sweet and amiable resemblances, left the joy of a marriage feast should be darkened by unseasonable mention of fo fad occurrences, neither are all the paffages of the estate of the Church in every age here described, (for how can that be in so fhort a song?) but the chiefe heads of things in every age arc sweetly, and shortly, and lively, not onely pointed at, but decyphered. These verses contain, First,the title of the whole book,ver'.1. The tide. Secondly, the description of the estate of the Church in the dayes, First, of song lomon, ver. 2.-4.

Secondly, of Solomon and Rehoboam, verfe 5.

Thirdly, of Rehobouir, verfc6.-9.
In the title we have
First,

the form of the book, It is a $ong. Secondly, the excellency of it, A song of songs.

Thirdly,

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Psalms, Hymns, Songs. Chap.i. Thirdly, the Author of it, which is so

lomons. 1, : Col.3.6. : The Song of songs, &c. In Coloff. 3.16.

there is mention made, !

First, of pfalmes.
Secondly, Hymnes.
Thirdly, spirituali Songs.

Amongst the Hebrewes there were Psalmes. Psalmes made to be sung with Instru

ments, as well as with voyce, and contained arguments of all forts, for Petition,

Thankelgiving, and Instruction. Songs. Songs were chiefly made for the voice. Hymnes. Hymnes are properly praises of God:

though any of these are sometimes put

for all. urci, First, this doch let us see, that it were is ir to be wished, that this Booke were túr

ned into verfé or meeter in each language, that we might fing the Canticles as the Hebrewes did.

Secondly, this teaches us to strive for such a gracious frame of spirit, that we mighe alwayes, bee ficted to sing to

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This Song containes the estate of the Church, as well in the worst as best times; yet Solomon can as well. fing in

the

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* Pfal.69.

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ChapÍ. Songs not unseasonable.
the misery of the Church, as in her pro-
sperity.And* David hath as well Psalmes
of his deep waters and calamities, as of 2:
his greatest deliverances. And the holy
Ghost faith, c Rejoyce in the Lord alwayes: Phil.q.4.
And though singing be chicfly fit and re-
quisice in mirth,yet we should be fit alsof Jam.s.
for a Psalm in our affliction. But we com-
monly in our ill houres are too sullen to
sing, and in our merry moods, our fpirits
vanish away in carnall mirth and jolity:
but whatsoever the estate of the Church
be, we should have our spirits as ready to
fing as to pray:

Thirdly, is reproved that ancient u z.
law and custome of the Synagogue,
which prohibited young men (under
thirty yeares of age) the reading and
use of this Booke ; but what age fitter
for Songs then cheerfull youth? And
further,

the amoroufnefse of the dittie will not stirre up wanconnesse in any age, if the words be well understood: but rather, by inflaming with heavenly love , will draw out, and burne up all earthly and carnall luft ; and even as fire in the hand is drawne out by holding it to a stronger fire, or as the light and

heat

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33•

326

Why this fong called Chap.I. heat of the Sunne extinguisheth a kitchin fire; fo doth heavenly love to Christ ex.

tinguish base kitchin lufts. Verse 1 A Song of fongs: That is, a most excel

lent Song, the chiefeft of Songs:as when

they would expresfe the holy place, they * Exod.26 say, The Holy of holiest, * The Lord of

lords, the King of kings, the Servant of fere

vants, an Hebrew .superlative; fo this is 1 King. 4. the chiefest Song, first of all Solomonso

ther Songs,even of his thousand and five.

Secondly, of all Songs without excep

tion ; for though David was in his time g 2 Sam.

g the sweet singer of Israel, yet as Solo

mons Throne exceeded his in all other b 1 King. magnificence: hso did his Name exceed

his also ; yet this is no disparagement to

the other Songs ; so neither, that some of + Pfal. 16. Davids Psalmes should be stiled t golden 56,57,58, Pfalmes: i All purified gold , yet fome i Pla:12.6 gold wrought more exquisitely then o

thers, and finer engraven then others; even some portion of the pure and holy Word of God, more exquisitely penned and polished then other.

The first Reason why this Song is more excellent then others, is, because this Song speakech not only of the

23.1.

1.47.

chiefest

Reason 1.

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