Imatges de pÓgina

6. Lastly, The delight which the people of God have in his word, is the fore-taste of heaven, and is working upward to meet that fulness of joy which there is in God's prefence, and to mingle with those rivers of pleasure that flow at his right-hand for evermore.


1. Is there fo much in the word of God to delight the foul? What a wonderful vouchfafement is the Bible to the world and church? O what a dark difconfolate place would this earth be without it? Let us blefs God for this word, and seriously study it and meditate upon it.

2. Get into the number of the children of God, who are the only ones prepared to take the comfort of his word..


3. Under all troubles run to the word of God for relief, and in converfing with it, pray for the Spirit to enlighten your minds, fanctify your hearts, fit you to take comfort in it, and fo to work in you the comfort he hath fitted you for. And as ever you would have folid confolation,

1. Value and labour after grace and holiness, as the ground of it. Be as earnest for grace, as you are for comfort and peace.


2. Expect the comfort need in God's way, by humbling yourselves and turning to God in cafe of fin, and by attending his ordinances and the inftitutions of his house.

3. Wait for comfort in God's time, and prefume not to prescribe to him, but continue to pray and look up for it.


For your encouragement, confider his nature, that he is ready and willing to comfort: Confider his relation to his people, he is their Father, and the most tender and compaffionate one: And if earthly parents know how to give good things to their children, how much more will your heavenly Father give his holy Spirit, the Spirit of grace and comfort, to them that afk it of him? Confider his omnifcence and omniprefence: He knows what comfort we want, in what season and to what degree; and he is able to raise up, how low foever we are reduced, and how long foever feemingly left. And may the depth of your distress under prefent trouble, add to your praifing fongs, when divine confolations fhall change the scene, and your heavenly Father shall call to you, faying, Come up hither, the days of your mourning are ended.

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CANT. I. 12.

While the King fitteth at his table, my Spikenard Jendeth forth the Smell thereof.

HESE words are the believers teftimony from experience of the bleffed effects which Chrift's prefence in his ordinances hath upon pious fouls, which wait upon him under them.

In the fore-going verfes, Chrift takes notice with complacency of the graces wherewith his fpoufe or church was adorned: That her cheeks were comely with rows of jewels, and her neck with chains of gold. And the acknowledges the fenfible comfort of her graces to be owing to influence from, and communion with him under his ordinances: For in the text fhe faith, While the king fitteth at his table, my spikenard fendeth forth the fmell thereof.

In which words we have,

1. The title fhe gives Chrift, The King: as fhewing thereby the fenfe fhe had of his dignity and dominion, and alfo of her subjection to him, and dependance upon him. In the fol

lowing verses, she calls him her beloved, or the object of her special affection: But this does not take off from her reverence for him, and godly fear of him nor doth her reverence for him leffen her love to him. To them that believe, Chrift is precious under every character he wears; as a King to command and rule, as a prophet to teach, and a priest to make atonement for their fins, and intercede for them with God the Father.

2. What the fays of him from her own experience, as a witness to his condefcenfion and grace, The King fitteth at his table: which may refer to all the ordinances of the gospel, in which, as at a feaft, he meets and entertains his people, fupping with them, and they with him, as his own expreffion is, Rev. iii. 20. His presence in his inftitutions, and the gracious manifeftations he makes of himself to his members who in the way of his appointments wait for him, are here meant, The King fitteth at his table. How far foever he is above us, he is yet pleased, in the most endearing way, to vouchlafe and give proofs of his prefence with us.

3. The happy fruit or effect of Chrift's fitting at his table, upon the believer who is admitted to fit with him. My fpikenard Jendeth forth the smell thereof.

This is a figurative defcription of the grace

wherewith the believer is furnished from Chrift his living head; he receiving of his fulness, and grace for grace, John i. 16. and having that grace put into exercife, by his approach and influence as the fun of righteousness, under his ordinances.

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ordinances. Spikenard was a precious Eastern plant of a pleafing fmell, as was also the ointment made of it; a pound of which was worth three hundred pence. With this, how costly foever, Mary, in token of her efteem and grati tude, anointed the feet of Jefus, and wiped them with her hair; and fuch was its fragancy, that the whole houfe, it is faid, was filled with the odour of the ointment, John xii. 3, &c. This was done while Chrift was fitting at table, the account of which feems to have a defigned reference to our text.

Grace is compared to spikenard for its precioufnefs and value; and the fending forth of its Ymmell, denotes that grace, as difcovering itself in a lively, fresh and vigorous manner. It is as

ointment poured forth, moft pleafing to Christ, and to all that love him too; they rejoicing in the honour paid him by themselves and others, through a lively exercife of grace.

Chift has his chambers, and his banquettinghouse, into which he is pleafed to bring his friends for fpiritual entertainment, and to give them the fore-taftes of heaven in the way to it. And when in his ordinances, particularly that of the Lord's fupper, where the King fits at his own table, ferious chriftians, the invited guests, have their graces in exercife; their hearts broken by repentance, raifed by faith, inflamed with holy love and defire towards Chrift, and joyful expectations of feeing and being with him in glory. Then the fpikenard may be faid to fend forth the fmell thereof, when grace fhews itself in fuch



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