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I Pral. 19.

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Ch.3. Christs espousals and crowning. 91

First, partly his offices:

1. Priestly , as pillars of silver abiding the fire of Gods wrath, and pure as filver tried in the fire.

Heb-7.26. 2. Propheticall, delivering us a word precious as gold, even as fine gold 1.

3. Kingly, whence it is said, verse 10. The covering of it of purple, the royall ornament of Kings.

Secondly, partly, the affection wherein he undertooke and executed these offices, love of the daughters of Jerufalem, Verse 10. ver,10. All these Fohn declareth m.

m John 3. Secondly, hee exhorteth and firreth 29. to the up

the faithfull co behold,
First, Christe.

n Jobn1. Secondly, The ornaments wherewith his 29.-end. mother crowned him in the day of bis efpon Ver. 11. fals. The day of his cfpoufals was the day when God the Father contracted him with the Church*; whence after hee is *Mar.3.19 called the bridegroome P, and Febn the P John 3. Bridegroomes friend ,- his Difciples the children of the Bride-chamber: And the Church herceforward in this Booke is called the Spouse, not before. The crowne wherewith his mether crowned bim, is the testimony of Chrifts fove

raignty,

end.

29.

92

gave him 9.

9 John 1. 33,34,35, 49.& 3. 29.-36. Life 1.

Christians condition changeable. Ch.3. raignty, which fohn and the faithfull First of the estate of the Church under

the Maccabees. First, this doth teach us with what intent wee are to come before God in the publicke Assemblies, namely, to feeke Christ the love of our soules ; not to shew our fine garments, wantonly to gaze at beauties; not to satisfie the Law or friends, for fashions fake , but to seeke Christ instructing us in temptations: Some come to catch something from Christ to entrap him , &c. but it is our duty to come unto him, as a Spouse to her Husband, for seed; so we must come to Christ, that hee may cast the seeds of grace into our soules, that we may bring forth fruit unto him.

Secondly, this lets us see the changeable estate of the Church; shee that rejoyced in the presence and fellowship of Christ, and could say, * My beloved is mine, and I am his, now seekes him every where, and with much difficulty and anguisht. And so it is oft with every true member of the Church, as wee may fee it was with David* : so it is now with

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Our

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Ch.3. Christ to be found in his ordinances.

93 our brethren beyond the feas, whom you might have commended a yeare or two agoe, and have found Christ there; but now he is gone, shee seekes him but findes him nor : See the Church of God sometime enjoyes all the ordinances of God, fometimes none; fo a Christian soule sometimes hath Christs left hand under her head, and his right hand to

Cant.2.6. embrace her, foone after thee findes him not so. Wee must not condemne the Church for this ; for they that are tenderly beloved of Christ

may

sometimes feeke him and not finde him. Thirdly, this

may

comfort such as usc 3. seeke. Christ in all his ordinances: they shall either finde him in them; or, after the use of them, in some unexpected or extraordinary help. The Church here that found not Christ in the Temple, nor in the Assemblies and recourse of Christian people, nor in conference with the Priests, found him soone after in an unexpected and extraordinary help, even Fudas Maccabeus , verse

4.

for indeed it was extraordinary for the tribe of Levi to take up the Sword and Scepter, which indeed belonged to Fudah : so you see

when

94

use 4.

Why Chrift fometimes hides himself. Ch.3. when ordinary meanes faile, God will be found in extraordinary: Whosoever then would finde Christ, and lecke him every where, they shall surely finde him either in his ordinances, or out of them.

Fourthly, this lets us see the affectionate cleaving of fuch to Christ, as have long fought him and not found him cill at last :such lay hold on him, and will not let him igoe, verse 4. which is one Reason why Chrift sometimes hides himselfe from us, that wee might seeke him the more diligently, and, having found him, cleave to him more stedfaftly; and this God lookes for at the hands of his.

Fifthly, this doch exhort Christians that live among bad neighbours to walk the more circumfpectly, as the daughters of Jerusalem are herecharged upon oath to doc,ver.s. being betweene the Syrians and Egyptians. It is a charge given by the Church to her daughters, to take heed they stirre not up her love, nor awake Chrift till he please.

Two Reafons are given for it.

First, it may provoke Chrift co bring another eftate upon the Church

ules:

verse 7.

:

Ch.3. Fearfull Chriftians not to be discouraged. 95 which will not be good for it.

Secondly, in regard of fearefull Christians, for they will start away; many are willing to come into the Church, but if the profession of Christ be troublefome and hot, they will not abide it: therefore this charge is needfull that wee may walke holily, that Christ be not stirred up, nor thefe fearfull Christians discouraged. See this handled, chap.2. Thus farre the first part, in the time

of the Maccabees : Now, Secondly, of the eftate of the church

in John Baptist's time. This is first to show us ,

that God can use i. raise up a Church even in the wilder-Verlc 6. neffe,to the admiration of observers : and fo hee can raise up our neighbour Churches, now brought to a wildernesse. This may comfort us in regard of them; for though they be now defolate, yet we may hope a time will come when they Shall rise againe.

Secondly, fee here is a part of the duty uke 2. of ancient Christians, not to maligne the graces of God in those that come after them, but to admire them* , who is it Vorfe..

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