Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

eye seeth or thy heart desireth; live wantonly and jocandly; but be thou assured, that a day of reckoning will come, when, for all these wild and lawless courses of thine, God will call thee to a just and severe judgment.

XI. 10 Therefore reinové sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. Therefore strive to refrain all thy headstrong passions, and rid thyself of those vicious affections and dispositions whereto thou art subject; for thy childhood and youth, wherein thou now rainly rejoicest, are momentary things, gone and passed, ere thou canst find thou enjoyest them.

XII. 2 While the sun, or the light, or the inoon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain : Before thine eyes grow dim with age, so as thou dost not clearly discern the sun, the moon, or stars; and before the evils and mise: ries of age succeed one another in thee, in a woeful vicissitude:

XII. 3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, Before the time, that thine arms, which are the guard of this thy house of clay, shall tremble with palsies; and thy legs, which Were thy strong supporters, shall bow themselves ; and thy teeth grind slowly and difficultly, because they are few; and thine eyes, . which are as glasses in the windows of the head, be dusky and darkened:

XII. 4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low; When the street doors shall be shut upon thee, as now retired to thine own home, without care of others' visitations or affairs; when thy slow feeding shall have made thee unfit for other men's tables ; when every little noise, but of a bird, shall wake thee out of thy sleep; and when thy spirits shall be so dull and dejected, that thou shalt take no pleasure in the hearing of the most melodious music :

XII. 5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail : because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: When thy decrepit age shall make thee so unfit to move, that thou shalt be afraid of every rub or clod that lies in thy way; when the white blossoms of age shall cover thy head; and every light thing, though it be but of the weight of a grasshopper, shall seem burdensome to thec; and all those lusts and desires, which baunted thy stronger times, are now gone and past: for there is no way + but this one; man goeth to his long home, the grave; and the mourners, in a hired formality, go about the streets :

XII. 6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern,

Before ever all thy natural and vital spirits be utterly exhausted, and all the functions and offices of life be quite discharged; which shall be in the last act of death; for, as, when the cord is loosed, and the bucket broken, and the pitcher broken at the well, or the wheel at the cistern, no water can any more be drawn; so shen these vital parts fail, can there be no longer protraction of life.

XII. 10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words : and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. The Preacher sought to find out excellent and divine sentences, and matters of high and singular use; and such he hath indeed attained unto; for that, which is written by him, is full of ad.nirable wisdom and truth.

XII. 11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. The words of the wise and holy prophets of God are of singular benefit, for they are as goads to prick us forward to all good du. ties: yea, they go yet deeper; they are as nails driven up to the head, by gracious teachers, so as they cannot easily be pulled out : which words, however they be delivered to us, by several messengers, yet they come all originally from one hand, even from the great Pastor of his Church, the Word of his Father.

XII. 12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. By these divine words, O my son, do thou content thyself to be admonished; not roving in thy desires after multitude of other volumes, whereof there is no end; in the compiling and reading of which, there is much toil and weariness of the Aesh, and much expence of the spirits,

THE SONG OF SOLOMON.

THE CHURCH TO CHRIST. 1. 2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth : for thy love is better than wine. Oh that he would bestow upon me the comfortable testimonies of his love; and that he would vouchsafe me yet a nearer conjunction with himself; as in glory hereafter, so for the mean time in his sensible graces! For thy love, () my Saviour, and these fruits of it, are more sweet unto me, than all earthly delicates can be to the bodily taste.

1. 3 Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. Yea, so wonderfully pleasant are the savours of those graces that are in thee, wherewith I desire to be endued, that all, whom thou hast blessed with the sense thereof, make as high and dear account of thy Gospel, whereby they are wrought, as of some precious ointment or perfume; the delight whereof is such, that, hereupon, the pure and holy souls of the faithful place their whole affection upon thee.

1. 4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought ine into his chambers : we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remieinber thy love more than wine : the upright love thee. . Pull me therefore out from the bondage of my sips: deliver me from the world, and do thou powerfuily incline my will aud affections toward thee; and, in spite of all temptations, give me strength to cleave unto thee; and then both I, and all those faithful children thou hast given me, shall all at once with speed and earnestness walk to thee and with thee: yea, when once my royal and glorious Husband hath brought me, both into these lower rooms of his spiritual treasures on earth, and into his heavenly chambers of glory, then will we rejoice and be glad in none but thee, winch shalt be all in all to us; then will we celebrate and magnify thy love, above all the pleasures we found upon earth ; for all of thy righteous ones, both angels and saints, are inflamed with the love of thee.

I. 5 I am black, but comcly, Oye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Never upbraid me, () ye Foreign Congregations, that I seem, in outward appearance, discoloured by my infirmities, and duskish with tribulations; for whatsoever I seem to you, I am yet inwardly well-favoured in the eves of Him whom I seek to please; and though I be to you black, like the tents of the Arabian shepherds, yet to Him and in Him I am glorious and beautiful, like the cure tains of Solomon.

I. 6 Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked up in me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards : but mine own vineyard have I not kept. Look not therefore disdainfully upon me, because I am blackish and dark of hue; for this colour is not so much natural to me, as caused by that continual heat of afdictions wherewith I have been usually scorched; neither this, so much upon mine own just desert, as upon the rage and envy of my false brethren, the world, who would needs force upon me the observation of their idolatrous religions and superstitious impieties; through whose wicked importunity and my own weakness, I have not so entirely kept the sincere truth of God committed to me, as I ought.

I. 7 Tell me, 0 thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon : for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions ? Now, therefore, that I am some little started aside from thee, O thou whom my soul notwithstanding dearly loveth, shew me, I beseech thee, where and in what wholesome and divine pastures, thou, like a good shepherd, feedest and restest thy flocks with comfortable refreshings, in the extremity of these hot persecutions; for how can it stand with thy glory, that I should, through thy neglect, thus suspiciously wander up and down, among the con.

gregations of them that both command and practise the worship of false gods.

CHRIST TO THE CHURCH.

I. 8 If thou know not, thou fuirest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents. If thou know not, O) thou my Church, whom I both esteem and hare made most beautiful by my merits and thy sanctification, stray not amongst these false worshippers, but follow the holy steps of those blessed Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, which have been my true and ancient flock, who have both known my voice and followed me; and feed thou my weak and tender ones with this their spiritual food of life, far above the carnal reach of those other false teachers.

I. 9 I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots. Such is mine estimation of thee, () my Love, that so far as the choicest Egyptian horses of Pharaoh, for comely shape, for honourable service, for strength and speed, exceed all other, so far thou excellest all that may be compared with thee.

I. 10 Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold. Those parts of thee, which both are the seats of beauty and most conspicuous to the eye, are gloriously adorned with the graces of my sanctification; which are, for their worth, as so many precious borders of the goodliest stones, or chains of pearls.

I. 11 We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver. And though thou be already thus set forth, yet I and my Father have purposed a further ornament unto thee, in the more plentiful effusion of our Spirit upon thee; which shall be to thy former deckings, instead of pure gold curiously wrought with specks of silver.

THE CHURCH. I. 12 While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof. Behold, () ye daughters, even now, while my Lord and King seems far distant from me, and sits in the throne of heaven among the companies of angels who attend around upon him, yet now do I find him present with me in spirit : even now the sweet influence of his graces, like to some precious ointment, spreads itself over my soul, and returns a pleasant savour into his own nostrils.

I. 13 A bundle of myrrh is my wellbeloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts. And though I be thus delightful to my Saviour, yet nothing so much as he is unto me: for lo, as some fragrant pomander of myrrh, laid between the breasts, sends up a most comfortable

VOL. 111.

scent; so his love, laid close unto my heart, doth still give me continual and unspeakable refreshings.

1. 14 My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of En-gedi. Or if any thing can be of more excellent virtue, such smell as the clusters of camphire or cypress berries, within the fruitfullest, pleasantest, and richest vineyards and gardens of Judea, yield unto the passengers; such and more delectable, do I find the savour of his grace to me.

CHRIST. I. 15 Behold, thou art fair, my love ; behold, thou art fair ; thou hast doves' eyes. Neither dost thou on my part lose any of thy love, O my dear Church; for behold, in mine eyes, thus clothed as thou art with my righteousness, oh how fair and glorious thou art! how above all comparison glorious and fair! Thine eyes, which are thy seers, (Prophets, Apostles, Ministers) and those inward eyes, wbereby thou seest him that is invisible, are full of grace, chastity, simplicity.

THE CHURCH. I. 16 Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant : also our bed is green. Nay then, O my sweet Saviour and Spouse, thou alone art that fair and pleasant one indeed, from whose fulness I confess to have received all this little measure of my spiritual beauty; and behold, from this our mutual delight and heavenly conjunction, there ariseth a plentiful and Aourishing increase of thy faithful ones, in all places, and through all times. · 1. 17 The beans of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir. And behold, the congregations of saints, the places where we do sweetly converse and walk together, are both firm and during, like cedars amongst the trees, not subject, through thy protecting grace, to utter corruption; and, through thy favourable acceptation and word, like to galleries of sweet wood, full of pleasure and contentment.

CHRIST. II. i I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the vallies. Thou hast not without just cause magnified me, o my Church ; for, as the fajrest and sweetest of all Howers which the earth yieldeth, the rose and lily of the vallies, excel for beauty, for pleasure, for use, the most base and odious weeds that grow ; so doth my grace, to all them that have felt the sweetness thereof, surpass all worldly contentments.

II. 2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. Neither is this my dignity alone ; but thou, O my Spouse, that thou mayest be a fit match for me, art.thus excellent above the world, that no lily can be more in goodly shew beyond the naked

my spiritness I confie art that

« AnteriorContinuar »