Page images

Ch.4. The Apostles all equall. 105

The Nieepe whereto these teeth are likened, are set forth,

First, by their even-shornenesse.

Secondly, by their cleannesse, comming up from the washing.

Thirdly, by their fruitfulnesse,Every one bringeth forth twins,none barren.

First, even set, none gaping out. Secondly, white and cleane.

Thirdly, each anfwering to his fellow in the other jaw, ñone wanting, as it is a praise to the teeth to be. The teeth are such as chew the meat, and prepare it for the reft of the body;such in that Church were the Apostles, whom our Saviour calls a little flocke * : they were all,

*Luk. 12First, even set, and even shorne, none bursting out beyond his fellowes : Peters supremacy stretched not beyond the rest of the Apostles t.

The teeth of innocent sheepe are even set : They that have tushes longer then loh.20.23 the other teeth are hurtfull and ravenous & Mat.1 beasts, as Dogs, Bears, Lions, &c. Ten of the Apostles difdained the motion of 20, 25. fupremacy.

Secondly, came up from Fohns bap- Luk. 22. tisme, and therefore when Fudas fell a- 240 25.



Mat. 16. 19. com


Mat. 20.

Mar. 10.


106 The nature of the Apostles doctrine. Ch.4.

away, they must needs supply his place A&.1.21 out of the number of fuch as had conti

nued with them from Fohns baptifme.

Secondly, they were sutable each one

to his fellow, and therefore the feventy * Luk.zo. were sent out by couples *.

But especially they were fruitfull in bringing home many

lambs to Christ;& hence the feventy returned with joy to * Christ*, and Sathan is said to fall downe 17,18.

from heaven before them like lightning. Verse 3:

Thy lips are like a thread of Scarlet , and thy speech is comely : thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy lockes.

Thy lips are like a thread of Scarlet , and thy speech is comely. ] Both signifying the delivery or utterance of the Doctrine of the Church at that time, which was

First, as a thread slender (tenui filo,) not plump or swelling with humane eloquence, but favouring of Fisher-like tenuitie and fimplicitie.

Secondly, as a thread of Scarlet; for as Scarlet or Purple is a princely and

royall weare, so their Doctrine was, * Mat. 10. First touchingthe kingdom of heaven*. 7

Secondly, though tender, yet deeply dyed in graine with royall Majesty and


Ch.4. Ministers hoid like Pomegranates. 107 authority of the Spirit of God.

Thy temples are like a piece of a Pomegranate within thy lockes.] Temples of the head are they by which the whole body watcheth or resteth; they are such therefore as watch over the body and for it. The Pomegranate was of much use in the old Tabernacle and Temple: * Aa- * Exod. rons coat was hanged with Pomegra- 28.34. nates and Bels ; Bels for sound of doErine and prayer , Pomegranates for restraining and healing the disteinpers and diseases of the people, Pomegranates are commended by Fernelius * First, for repressing the heat of Choler. 26.

Secondly, the malignity, rottennesse and agrimony of feavers.

Thirdly, the loosenesse of the belly.

Secondly, for comforting and îtrengthning the stomacke and bowels, to the keeping backe all fainting t. This Fernelius office the Ecclesiasticall governours

of the Church doe performe to it; they re- lib.5.cap.3 presse the heat of fallings out among brethren, the notorious abuses,the loosenesse, or distemprednese of the people; they comfort the feeble, ind binde up the weake, and are therefore fitly resembled

* Fernel.p

Method. medond.



108 Faith is strong in Christ. Ch.4.

(by Pomegranates, yea by a piece of a Pomegranate: for it is not the whole body of the Pomegranate that doth this; but it, broken in pieces, by his juice and rinde is medicinable.

Within thy lockes : ] Because though

Christ established Discipline, and deliMat.18.

vered it to the Church in his time* 5,17.

; ýet it was not displayed, nor fhewed it felfe

in open execution till after his resurrectiI Cor.

onf. Verse 4. Thy neck is like the tower of David,&c.]

The necke is that part that joyneth head and body together ; now that which joyneth Christ and his Church together, is our faith : which faith in some of the members of that Church in Christs

time, was observed to be strong and Mat. 8. great*; and therefore is here fitly com10. & 15.pared to the tower of David, for an Ar.

Neb.9. mory, (whereof we read) * whereon there :5,26. hanged a thousand bucklers, all shields of

mighty men. It seemes Davids mighty men hanged up their shields in this Armory against times of warre , and fo in like manner all the Worthies of Israel all the faithfull before Christ , hanged their fhields of faith

upon Christ, in




2 Pet.2.

Ch.4 The Apostles how like Roes. 109 whom the faith of his Church was as a strong Armory t. Faith is not so much

+Heb.11. a tower of strength in it felfe, as in Christ 13. whom it apprehendeth.

Thy two breasts are like two young Roes Verse 5. that are twinnes, which feed among the lillies.

Thy two breasts are like two young Roes that are twins.] The breasts give milke : now the breasts that give milke to the Church,the sincere * milke of the word, are the Ministers, which in the Church 2. of Christs time were first the Apostles; secondly, the seventy: and are therefore here called two breasts and both as Roes, because not tyed to any certaine place within all the people of the Jewes ; for Roes stay not long in a place: And both as twins, because of equall commission, being both sent alike to the whole house of Israel, though after the Resurrection, the Apostles commission was enlarged further then that of the seventy.

Which feed among the lillies.) For they were sent not onely among the Gentiles or Samaritans, but amongst,

First, the lost fheepe of the house of Ifrael.



IO. Mat.

« PreviousContinue »