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For your encouragement, consider his nature, that he is ready and willing to comfort : Consider his relation to his people, he is their Father, and the most tender and compassionate 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 ask it of him? Consider his omniscence and omnipresence: 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 soever seemingly left. And may the depth of your distress under present trouble, add to your praising songs, when divine consolations Thall change the scene, and your heavenly Father shall call to you, saying, Come up hither, the days of your mourning are ended.
CANT. I. 12.
Spikenard Jendeth forth the smell
HESE words are the believers testimony T
from experience of the blessed effects which Christ's presence in his ordinances hath upon pious souls, which wait upon him under them.
In the fore-going verfes, Christ takes notice with complacency of the graces wherewith his spouse or church was adorned : That her cheeks were comely with rows of jewels, and her neck with chains of gold. And she acknowledges the sensible comfort of her graces to be owing to influence from, and communion with him under "his ordinances : For in the text she faith, While the king fitteth at bis table, my spikenard sendetb forth the smell thereof.
In which words we have,
1. The title the gives Christ, The King : as Thewing thereby the sense she had of his dignity and dominion, and also of her subjection to him, and dependance upon him. In the fol
lowing verses, she calls him ber beloved, or the ob-
2. What she says of him from her own ex-
3. The happy fruit or effect of Christ's fitting at his table, upon the believer who is admitted to fit with him. My Spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.
This is a figurative description of the grace wherewith the believer is furnished from Christ his living head; he receiving of his fulness, and grace for grace, John i. 16. and having that grace put into exercise, by his approach and influence as the sun of righteousness, under his
It is as
ordinances. Spikenard was a precious Eastern plant of a pleasing sinell, 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 esteem and gratitude, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped them with her hair : and such was its fragancy, that the whole house, it is said, was filled with the odour of the ointment, yohn xii. 3, &c. This was done while Christ was sitting at table, the account of which seems to have a designed reference to our text.
Grace is compared to spikenard for its preciousness and value ; and the fending forth of its Yiell, denotes that grace, as discovering itself in a lively, fresh and vigorous manner. ointment poured forth, most pleasing to Chrift, and to all that love him too; they rejoicing in the honour paid him by themselves and others, through a lively exercise of grace.
Chiift has his chambers, and his banquetting"house, into which he is pleased to bring his friends for spiritual entertainment, and to give them the fore-tastes of heaven in the
way to it. And when in his ordinances, partia cularly that of the Lord's fupper, where the King fits at his own table, serious christians, the invited guests, have their graces
in exercise; their hearts broken by repentance, raised by faith, inflamed with holy love and defire towards Christ, and joyful expectations of seeing and being with him in glory. Then the spikenard may be said to send forth the smell thereof, when grace Thews itself in such
a way as Christ will be pleased with, and rec-
4. We have the connexion of this effect with
From the whole we may observe,
valuable and precious.
ces, particularly at his table, is that which
1. Grace in the friends of Christ is highly vaJuable and precious. It being compared to spikenard, denotes its worth.
Under this, I shall only briefly tell you, 1. What grace is.