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of silver, and their feathers with yellow gold'.' Though I rather
passage alludes to the splendid iniages of this bird, wrought in gold and silver upon their standards. Our love
— to Christ should be always dignified with devotion : it should be religious as well as pure. A certain writer mentions a young lady of rank in a foreign monastery, who from her con
a stant devotion to a crucifix conceived a pas• sionate tenderness for the object of her wor
ship;' and he adds, that the images of all the saints have their inamoratos 2. I fear this folly is not wholly confined to catholics. When we essentially mistake the character of the Redeemer, we worship an idol of our own imagination, rather than the true Christ of God.
In the following verses the bride returns the compliment to her beloved, and commences an amiable altercation, as Dr. Doderlein understands it, respecting the pleasures and advantages of a town and country life... Her commendation of the beloved is
expres: sed in two terms—He is beautiful, and pleasant. The former idea will recur with much enlargement in the description of his person : the latter term merits some observation here.
The term pleasant, personally applied, in the scriptures constantly intends the pleasures,
1 Ps. lxviii. See Harmer's Observations. 2 Noti's (des of Hafiz, p. 25; note.
D'yi from Sy pleasant, sweet, agreeable. The term is applied to a variety of objects which determine its sense ; as to a country, an instrument of music, or to speech : but, personally applied, it intiniates the felicity of friendship and union of heart.
and the agreeable harmony of friendship. So the Psalmist tell us, it is pleasunt for brethren
' " to dwell together in unity'.' Saul and Jonathan were . pleasant in their lives ; that is, harmonious and agreeable; and the latter was
very pleasant' also to David ; that is, he was emphatically his friend, which very term the spouse applies to her beloved in this song We may here remark by the way, that great part of the felicity of the matrimonial state depends on friendship. Where the husband considers the wife only as the instrument of his pleasures, or an object of his conveniency, it can only be expected that she should regard him as a master and a tyrant. But a union of interests, a reciprocity of affection, and an inter
in change of kind offices, engender friendship, and friendship completes and crowns the happiness of the nuptial state.
The Lord Jesus is eminently the church's friend, and she is his friend-companion-consort 3. Thus he addressed his own disciples
Henceforth. 'I call you not servants--but friends+!? And this term implies both privileges and duties.
1. It is the privilege of friends to be intrusted with each other's secrets. : • The servant know
eth not what his Lord doth : but I have
i Ps. cxxxiii. 1.
2 2 Sam. i. 23, 26. 3 The Hebrew name for a friend; companion, or neigh, bour, (1799) is properly a messmate, whence [n'yn) a female companion, a consort. See Parkhurst.
John xv. 15;
* called you friends,' saith our Redeemer; • for all things that I have heard of
Father, • I have made known unto you.' He re! vealeth himself unto them as he doth not • unto the world ;' for the secret of the Lord • is with them that fear him, and he will shew "them his covenant'.'. So Abraham was the friend of God: the Lord therefore would not destroy Sodom till he had acquainted him. * Shall I do this, and not let Abraham know?'.
On the other hand the Lord's people have their secrets, which they confide to his ear, They have their secret sins to confess, their secret sorrows to relate, and their secret com. forts to enjoy. They pray in secret to him that! heareth in secret;' and they have ' bread « to eat in secret' which the world knows nothing of,
2. The friendship here referred to arises, in a great measure, from a unity of ideas, interests, and designs. ' In thy light shall we
light,' saith the Psalmist. By viewing objects in the same light with God, we become reconciled to all his will, and assimilated gradually unto his image. By viewing sin in God's light, we see it to be exceeding sinfulby viewing holiness in God's light, we discover it to be altogether amiable—by viewing afflictions in God's light, we discern them to be working together for our good.—Unity of ideas creates unity of interest. If we see objects in
the same light with God, we see our interests to be the same. Men's interests, as individuals, are as various as their faces; but the believer's best interests are those of Christ and his cause. The promotion of holiness, and the advancement of vital christianity, are the believer's interest, and he prefers them to his chief joy.' Sectaries have all their interests the interests of parties and denominations; but in proportion as we drink into the spirit of Christ, we shall endeavour to submit our peculiar views and interests to that common one of Christ and his church ; and to say, with a pious versifier,
· Let names, and sects, and parties fall,
• And Jesus Christ be all in all! We are too apt to measure Christ's interest by ours, and suppose that his cause must be best promoted in the advancement of our party : but the contrary ought, and as grace prevails, will be our conduct. Let our party die and be forgotten, if so be the general interests of Christ may thereby be promoted..-In fine, if we expect Christ to make our interest his, let us make his interest ours.
Unity of interest implies unity of design. is the grand design of God to promote holiness. Be this our grand object, both as it respects ourselves and others.
Friendship has its duties as well as privileges, • Ye are my friends,' saith our Lord, if ye do 'whatsoever I command you :' and it is vain and hypocritical to assume this character without a disposition to perform its obligations : “A
man that hath friends must shew himself
• friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh • closer than a brother.'
But our subject would rather lead us to commend the pleasures of friendship: Christ is a pleasant friend.--His words are pleasant; and
pleasant words are as an honey-comb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones,'-His countenance is pleasant : ' it is a pleasant thing • for the eyes to behold the sun;' inuch more is it to behold the sun of righteousness. • the light of the king's countenance is life', says Solomon.
· Lord, lift, thou up the light of thy countenance upon us!'- His company is pleasant : one day in his courts is bet* ter than a thousand :' - His riches perish
* * with him,' says an old writer, who prefers • all the riches and pleasures of the world to * one hour's communion with Jesus Christ.? The spouse adds-“ Yea, verdant is our
-_ carpet. The reader is to recollect that the present scene is supposed to be the garden of the palace. The eastern gardens are laid out upon an extensive scale, including pleasure-grounds and plantations of various descriptions. The present spot appcars to have been à plat or lawn, "verdant' as ' a carpet.' ,
a The word which I have rendered verdant, does not refer primarily to colour, but to colour only as it is the effect of vigorous and lively. vegetation: The other term, rendered carpet, is
Prov. xvi. 15.