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71

o my

Chap 2.

who foxes to the Church.

dove.] That is, my chaste, innocent and faire spouse.

That art in the clefts of the rocke, in the fecret place of the staires.] That now doft worship me in holes and corners.

Let mee see thy countenance, let me heare thy voyce.] Let mee see thee assembled into the face of a Church, in my Sanctuary, let mee there heare thee calling upon mee, singing praise to mee, speaking my word.

For sweet is tby voyce, and thy countenance comely.]

First, the voyce of the Church, arone and the fame time.

First, rejoycing in Gods wonderfull mercy

Secondly, weeping and bewailing, partly,

a Pla.14.6 First, their owne unworthinesse.

Secondly, the decayes of the Church, with jer. in regard of former times a.

Tåke us the foxes, the little foxes that Spoile the vines, for our vines have tender Verse is. grapes.] That is, restraine (the foxes, the b Ezra 4. little foxes) the enemies of the Church, *5.3: of greater or leffer power ; b such as Neh. 4. were the Samaritans. These spoiled the time;

Heft.3.8,9 vines,

1,3.

50. 4,5.&

Ezra 3. 11.-13.

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E4

e Ezra 6. it,'3.

f Heb.7. 10.& 9.

72 The foxes of the Church destroyed. Chap.2. c Ezr.4.4./ vines, c hindered the proceeding of the $923;34. building of the Temple, and the peace

of the Church. And therefore Tobiah faid cruely, of himselfé and his fellowes , that they, as foxes, going upon the weake

foundation of the walls of Jerufalem, d Neh.4.3 might easily demolish the famed: Yet

these foxes in the end were taken and restrained , First, partly by the Edict of Darius e: Secondly, partly by the hanging of Hamar and his sonnes, and the destruction of some other of the Jewes enemies f.

My beloved is mine and I am his.] The Verse 16. Church cnjoyeth familiar and comforta

ble communion with Christ, thele ene* Nch.8. mies being quelled *.

Shee feedeih among the lillies.] That is, among pure and faire Christians, all

corruptions being weeded out both g Ezr. Jo. of strange wives 8,

of usury, of right of the Levitęs maintenance and mini+ Nch. 13. ftration, t and prophanation of the Sab

bath.

Until the day breake, and the shadopes flee Awo. ay : turne my beloved, and be thou like a Roe or a young Hart, upon the mountaines of Bether.

Turne

14,16.

Verse 170

Chap.2. Ch.works in instruments of deliverance. 73

Turne my beloved.] That is, recurne of. ten to visit and succour me.

As a Roc, or a young Hart upon the mountaines of Bether.] That is,swiftly and speedily, * Bether being neere to them on *. Sama the other side Jordan; as who should say, 29. 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 shadows vanifh.

First, this teacheth us that in all the ulc s. 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 wisest Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they say it is Chriít, and all the rest yeeld; and the Church fees Christ come skipping : Doth it see Cyrus about the wals: She sees Christ there. Doch she see Cyrus shewing himselfe through the lattice: She sees Christ there. Doth she

fee

Verse 13.

74

Chrift in all that befalls the Church. Chap.2. see when he is possessed there, and makes proclamation to them to goe up againe to Jerusalem. She lookes at it as Christs voyce, faying, Arise my love, my fair one, and come away;

So the holy Ghost teacheth, 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 doch 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 *Job 1.21 all to Chrift. * The same hand that

gave, & 42,10.

the fame hand hath taken away:t God t Pfal. 12. 6,11. turned the captivity of Føb, and God

curned againe the captivity of his people. This is a wonderfull stay to Gods Church, and to every member of it;

for màn cannot bring it into captivity, and bring it out againe. Mans hand cannot bring hard things upon

the Church, nor bring her out againc of them; for if it were in mens hands, or in Satans, or in our owne hands, it would not goe well

Chap.2. The Churches calamities not continuall. 75 with us; but being in Christs hands alone, it may be a stay and a comfort.

Secondly, this teacheth us, that when use 2. the time of the Churches deliverance is come, Christ will come quickly and speedily for her deliverance, leaping and skipping as a Roe or a Hart. The winter Thall not alwayes remain on the Church, no, not when she deserves a black winter. The patient abiding of the Saints shall not Pfal.6,18. alwayes be forgotten. Suppose God leads his Church into captivity feven yeares, yea feventy years, yet it will not alwaies continue. This may ferve to comfort us in the distresses of the Church, at home or abroad, God will not alwayes punish with reproach or defolation, but the time will come thefe will be

gone

and Alee 'away.

Thirdly, this lets us fee the Church usc 3: profiteth by calamities; shee comes out better from them, then shee went into them: the entred and went inco captivity hating God, defiled with inany abominations ; fhe returnes out, My love my faire one. The Church of God and the members of it are more lovely in Gods sight by the hard times that passe over

them.

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