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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Song of Solomon 5

 

 

Verse 1

Song of Solomon 5:1 I am come into my garden, my sister, [my] spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

Ver. 1. I am come into my garden.] So ready is the Lord Christ to fulfil the desires of them that fear him. [Psalms 145:19] Sometimes he not only grants their prayer, but fulfils their counsel, [Psalms 20:4] fits his mercy ad cardinero desiderii, as Augustine (a) hath it, lets it be to his, even as they will. Or if he cross them in the very thing they crave, they are sure of a better; their prayers they shall have out either in money or money’s worth. Christ, though he be a God that hideth himself, yet he scorns to say unto the seed of Jacob, "Seek ye me in vain"; [Isaiah 45:15; Isaiah 45:19] that is enough for the heathen idols. [Isaiah 45:16; Isaiah 45:18] He is not like Baal, who, pursuing his enemies, couId not hear his friends; or as Diana, that being present at Alexander’s birth, could not at the same time rescue her Ephesian temple from the fire. He is not like Jupiter, whom the Cretans painted without ears, as not being at leisure to attend small matters; (b) and whom Lucian the atheist feigneth to look down from heaven through certain crevices or chinks at certain times; at which time, if petitioners chance to pray unto him, they may have audience, otherwise not. No, no; "the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are always open to their prayers." [Psalms 34:15] Flectitur iratus voce rogante Deus. Basil compares prayer to a chain, the one end whereof is linked to God’s ear, and the other to man’s tongue. Sozomen saith of Apollonius, that he never asked anything of God in all his life that he obtained not. And another saith of Luther, Iste vir potuit apud Deum quod voluit. That man could do what he would with God; it was but ask and have with him.

I have gathered my myrrh with my spice,] i.e., I have highly accepted thy graces and good works: these are to be gathered only in Christ’s garden. Hedge fruits and wild herbs, or rather weeds, are everywhere almost to be had. Moral virtues may be found in a Cato, who was homo virtuti similimus, a man as like virtue as may be, saith Velleius. (c) And he adds, but I am not bound to believe him, Qui nunquam recte fecit, ut facere videretur, sed quia aliter facere non poterat, that Cato never did well that he might seem to do so, but because he could not do otherwise than well. But why then, might a man have asked the historian, did your so highly extolled Cato take up the trade of griping usury? Why did he so shamefully prostitute his wife, so cowardly kill himself? Was it not because he lived in the wild world’s waste, and grew not in the Church’s garden, hence his fruits were not genuine? His moral virtues are but shining sins, beautiful abominations, a smoother way to hell. Civil honest men are but wolves chained up, tame devils, swine in a fair meadow, &c. Operam praestant, natura fera est, as the civil law saith of those mixed beasts, elephants and camels, they do the work of tame beasts, yet have the nature of wild ones. They are cried up for singularly honest as ever lived by such as are strangers to the power of godliness, and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel; like as in Samaria’s famine, a cab of doves’ dung was sold at a great rate, and an ass’s head at four pound. But Christ, and such as have the mind of Christ, are otherwise minded: they look upon an unregenerate man, though sober, just, chaste, liberal, &c., as a "vile person," and upon all their specious works as "dead works"; whenas contrarily they "honour them that fear the Lord," [Psalms 15:4] and set a high price, as Christ here doth, upon their good parts and practices. Myrrh and spices, or aromatic fruits, are but dark shadows and representations of them.

I have eaten mine honeycomb with mine honey.] As it were crust and crumb together: not rejecting my people’s services for the infirmities I find cleaving unto them, but accepting what is good therein, and bearing with the rest, I take all well aworth, and am as much delighted therewith as any man is in eating of honey, whereof he is so greedy that withal he devours the comb too sometimes. Christ feedeth, saith an expositor (d) here, upon all the fruits of his garden; he so much delighteth in it as he eateth not only the honey, as it were the most excellent duties or works of the Church, [Hebrews 13:15-16; Hebrews 13:21] but also the "honeycomb," as it were the baser services and fruits of his Spirit, of least account: that he receiveth of all sorts most sweetly mingled together, both the common and daily fruits of godliness, understood in "milk," and the more rare of greater price, as solemn fasts and feasts, signified by "wine"; both which he drinketh together, that is, accepteth of them all.

Eat, O friends.] That is, O you holy angels (saith the former interpreter), which as my nobles, accompany me, the King of glory, in heaven, and have some communion with me in the gifts I bestow on you. Mr Diodate also thinks the same: but I rather incline to those that by Christ’s friends here understand those earthly angels, the saints, [John 15:14 Isaiah 41:8 James 2:23] whom he cheereth up and encourageth to fall to it lustily, and by a sancta crapula, as Luther calls a holy gluttony, to lay on, to feed hard, and to fetch hearty draughts, till they be even drunk with loves, as the Hebrew here hath it, being ravished in the love of God, where they are sure to find it, as in honey pots, the deeper, the sweeter. Such as so eat, are called Christ’s friends, by a specialty, and such as so drink, his beloved, as Gregory here well observeth; and they only do thus that hear the Word with delight, turn it in succum et sanguinem, concoct it, incorporate it, as it were, into their souls, and are so deeply affected with it, that like drunken men, they forget and let go all things else, that they may retain and practise it. These are "not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but filled with the Holy Ghost." [Ephesians 5:18]


Verse 2

Song of Solomon 5:2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: [it is] the voice of my beloved that knocketh, [saying], Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, [and] my locks with the drops of the night.

Ver. 2. I sleep, but my heart waketh.] It was no sound sleep that she took. She did not snort aloud in the cradle of security, as those do whom the devil hath cast into a deep lethargy, but napped and nodded a little, and that by candlelight too, as those wise virgins did; [Matthew 25:5] she slept with open eyes as the lion doth, she slept but half-sleep; the spirit was willing to wake, but the flesh was weak and overweighed it, as it fared with those sleepy disciples. [Matthew 26:41] Fain would this flesh make strange that which the Spirit doth embrace. O Lord, how loath is this loitering sluggard to pass forth into God’s path! said Mr Sanders (a) in a letter to his wife, a little before his death, with much more to like purpose. As in the state of nature, men cared not for grace, but thought themselves well enough and wise enough without; so, in the state of grace, they are not so careful as they should. Heaven must be brought to them, they will scarce go seek it. [1 Peter 1:13] And as the seven tribes are justly taxed by Joshua for their negligence and sloth in not seeking speedily to possess the land God had offered them, [Joshua 18:2] so may the most of God’s people be justly rebuked for grievous security about the heavenly Canaan. They content themselves with a bare title, or hang in suspense, and strive not to full assurance; they follow Christ, but it is, as the people followed Saul, trembling; they are still troubled with this doubt, or that fear, and all because they are loath to be at the pains of "working out their salvation." [Philippians 2:12] Something is left undone, and their conscience tells them so. Either they are lazy and let fall the watch of the Lord, neglecting duty, or else they lose themselves in a wilderness of duties, by resting in them, and by making the means their mediators, or by pleasing themselves (with the Church here) in unlawful liberties, after that they have pleased the Lord in lawful duties. The flesh must be gratified and such a lust fulfilled. A little more sleep, a little more slumber in Jezebel’s bed, as Mr Bradford was wont to phrase it. (b) Solomon must have his wine, and yet think to retain his wisdom. [Ecclesiastes 2:3] Samson must fetch a nap on Delilah’s knees, till God, by his Philistines, send out summons for sleepers, wake them in a fright, cure security by sorrow, as physicians use to cure a lethargy by casting the patient into a burning fever. Cold diseases must have hot and sharp remedies. The Church here found it so. And did not David, when he had sinned away his inward peace and wiped off, as it were, all his comfortables? [Psalms 51:1-19]

It is the voice of my beloved that knocketh.] She was not so fast asleep, but that the "hidden man of the heart," as St Peter calls him, [1 Peter 3:4] was awake, and his ears erect and attentive, so that she soon heard the first call or knock of Christ; whose care was to arouse her, that though she slept awhile through infirmity of the flesh, yet she might not "sleep the sleep of death," [Psalms 13:3] die in her sins, as those Jews did. [John 8:21] In the sweating sickness (that reigned for many years together in this kingdom), those that were suffered to sleep (as all in that case were apt to do), died within a few hours. The best office therefore that any one could do them, was to keep them waking, though against their wills. Similiarily our Saviour, solicitous of his Church’s welfare, and knowing her present danger, comes calling and clapping at the door of her heart, and sweetly woos admission and entertainment, but misseth it. He knocketh and bounceth by the hammer of his Word and by the hand of his Spirit, [Revelation 3:20 2 Peter 1:13] and if the Word work not on his people, they shall "hear the rod, and who hath appointed it," [Micah 6:9] that they may by some means be brought to summon the sobriety of their senses before their own judgments, and seeing their danger, to go forth and shake themselves, as Samson did. [ 16:9; 16:12; 16:14]

Open to me, my sister, my love, &c.] What irresistible rhetoric is here! what passionate and most pithy persuasions! Ipsa suada, credo, si loqui posset, non potuisset εμφατικοτερως, ubi quot verba tot tela, quae sponsae animum percellant, fodicent, lancinent. She was not so dead asleep, but that she could hear at first and tell every tittle that he said. And this she doth here very finely and to the full, that she may aggravate against herself the foulness of her fact in refusing so sweet an offer, in turning her back upon so blessed and so bleeding an embracement. The terms and titles he here giveth her are expounded before. Undefiled or perfect, he calleth her for her dove-like simplicity, purity, and integrity.

For mine head is filled with dew:] i.e., I have suffered much for thy sake, and waited thy leisure a long while; and must I now go look my lodging? Dost thou thus requite (repulse) thy Lord, O thou foolish woman and unwise? Is this thy kindness to thy friend? Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem, wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be. [Jeremiah 13:27] It is the ingratitude that makes the saint’s sins so heinous, which otherwise would be far less than other men’s, since his temptations are stronger and his resistance is greater. Oh, when God’s grace shall come sueing to us, nay, kneeling to us; when Christ shall come with hat in hand and stand bareheaded, as here, and that in foul weather too, begging acceptance and beseeching us to be reconciled, and we will not, what an inexcusable fault is this!


Verse 3

Song of Solomon 5:3 I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

Ver. 3. I have put off my coat.] Thus the flesh shows itself not only weak but wayward, treacherous, and tyrannical; rebel it doth in the best, and reign it would if it might be suffered. This bramble would feign be playing Rex, King, and doth so at other times, till he be well buffeted, as St Paul served it, [1 Corinthians 9:27] and brought into subjection. But what a silly excuse maketh the Church here for herself? "Trouble me not, for I am in bed," as he said to his friend. [Luke 11:7] My clothes are off, my feet are washed, and I am composed to a settled rest. But are you so? might Christ have regested. And is that the part and posture of a vigilant Christian? Might it not better have beseemed you to have had your loins girt up, your lamp in your hand, and yourself to have waited for your Lord’s return, that when he came and knocked you might have opened unto him immediately? [Luke 12:35-36] Or, being got to bed, must you needs mend one fault with another? Is it such a pains to start up again and let in such a guest, as comes not to take anything from you, but to enrich you much more than once the ark did Obed Edom? And in this sense some take those words in the former verse, "for mine head is filled with dew," as if Christ came unto her, full of the dew of blessings, to enrich her. Sure it is that Christ is no beggarly or niggardly guest. His "reward is with him"; he brings better commodities than Abraham’s servants did to Laban, or the Queen of Sheba to Solomon - even purest gold, whitest raiment, sovereign eye salve, anything, everything, that heart can wish, or need require. [Revelation 3:17; Revelation 3:19] How unworthily therefore deal they, and how ill do they provide for themselves that either deny or delay to entertain him, when either by the motions of his Spirit, by the words of his mouth, or by the works of his hands, he knocks at the doors of their hearts, and would come in to them! How do they "make void or reject the counsel of God against themselves" with those unhappy lawyers, [Luke 7:30] being ingrati gratiae Dei, as Ambrose speaketh, and judging themselves unworthy of everlasting life, with those perverse Jews! [Acts 13:46] Who can say it is otherwise than righteous that Christ should regest one day upon such ungrateful Gadarenes, "Depart from me ye wicked"; that such as say to him, as Felix did once to Paul, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season I will call for thee," [Acts 24:26] should hear from him, Get you to the gods whom ye have chosen, for I will not help you, &c.; and that those that would not obey this sweet precept, "Open to me," &c., "Come down, Zaccheus, for today I must abide at thy house," [Luke 19:5] should have no other left to obey but that dreadful "Go ye cursed," &c. The Church here did but lust awhile and linger, when she should have been up and about; and she soon rued it dearly, bewailed it bitterly. Now, what was it that she did? Did she rate Christ for coming at such unseasonable hours? did she answer him currishly, or drive him front her door? No, surely; but only pleads excuse, and pretends inconvenience. She had put off her clothes, washed her feet, &c. A great char she had done; and it would have undone her doubtless to have dressed her again, and set her fair feet on the foul ground. There is none so wise as the sluggard. [Proverbs 26:16] He hath got together a great many excuses, which he thinks will go for wisdom; because by them he thinks to sleep in a whole skin. Sin and shifting came into the world together. But what saith the apostle? Surely his counsel is most excellent, and worthy of all acceptation, "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh," [Hebrews 12:25] scil., By his blood, Word, sacraments, motions of his Spirit, mercies, &c. "Look to it," as the Greek hath it, "that ye refuse not," παραιτησησθε, "that ye shift him not off" by frivolous pretences and idle excuses, as those recusant guests did, [Matthew 22:5] as Moses would have done; [Exodus 3:11; Exodus 3:14; Exodus 4:1; Exodus 4:10] and Jeremiah. [Jeremiah 1:6] So again, Hebrews 2:3, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" He saith not, if we reject, renounce, persecute; but if we neglect, let slip, undervalue, &c. If, when God "sends forth his mercy and his truth," [Psalms 57:3] and looks that we should send a lamb to that Lamb of God, the ruler of the land; [Isaiah 16:1] we send messages after him, saying, "We will not have this man to rule over us"; [Luke 19:14] we break his cords, those "cords of love," [Hosea 11:4] and kick against his heart; and instead of serving him, "make him to serve with our sins, and even weary him with our iniquities." [Isaiah 43:24] How shall we escape? What hill shall hide us What will ye do in the end thereof?


Verse 4

Song of Solomon 5:4 My beloved put in his hand by the hole [of the door], and my bowels were moved for him.

Ver. 4. My beloved put in his hand by the hole.] Or, He let fall his hand from the hole, (a) where he was lifting at the latch, or seeking to put by the bar; he took it so unkindly to be so ill answered, that he departed in displeasure, and would be no further troublesome. "Sleep on now," quoth he, {as Mark 14:41} "and take your rest." He that will hear, let him hear, and he that hath a mind to forbear, let him forbear. [Ezekiel 3:27] but at his own peril; the best that can come of it is repentance, that fair and happy daughter of an ugly and odious mother. (b) Delicata res est Spiritus Dei, saith one, The Spirit of God is a delicate thing; and he that grieves that holy thing whereby he is sealed, by giving way to a spirit of sloth and slumber, may lose his joy of faith, and go mourning to his grave. And although with much ado he may get assurance of pardon, yet his conscience will be still trembling, as David’s, [Psalms 51:1-19] till God at length speak further peace. Even as the water of the sea after a storm is not presently still, but moves and trembles a good while after the storm is over. Take heed, therefore: Cavebis autem si pavebis Moreover, if you are terrified, you will beware. [Romans 11:21] But to take the words as they are here translated, "My beloved put in his hand by the hole"; that is, he touched mine earthly heart by his Holy Spirit; and notwithstanding my discourteous dealing with him, left a sweet remembrance of himself behind him. As he would not away, but continued still knocking till he had an answer, so, though the answer pleased him not, yet he called not for his lovetokens back again, he cast her not off, as Ahasuerus did Vashti - no, "he hates putting away"; [Malachi 2:16] but as the sun with his bright beams follows the passenger that hath turned his back upon it, so deals Christ by his backsliding people. [Jeremiah 3:22] Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, [Psalms 23:6] saith David; follow me, though I forsake mine own mercies, saith Jonah. [Jonah 2:8] And as the same sunbeams do convey the heat and influence thereof to the earth, thereby calling out the herbs and flowers, and healing those deformities that winter had brought upon it, so doth Christ, that sun of righteousness, arise (to his servants that are benighted with sin and sorrow) "with healing in his wings"; that is, with the gracious influence of his Holy Spirit, conveying the virtues of his blood to their consciences, and causing them, as by a new spring of holy desires and endeavours, to reflourish. [Philippians 4:10]

And my bowels were moved for him.] They rumbled, tumultuated, and made a humming noise, as the Hebrew hath it. She means that she had no rest in her spirit, her heart (that chiefest of the bowels, or inwards) did even quake and ache within her; her thoughts afflicted her, she was greatly disquieted, and all "for him," for the unkindness she had offered him, or concerning him, or over him, as those penitentiaries in Zechariah, that "looked upon him whom they had pierced, and" (by an instinct of the spirit of grace poured plentifully upon them) "mourned for him," or over him, till their hearts became a very Hadadrimmon, and fell asunder in their bosoms like drops of water, and all for the indignities and injuries they had done to Christ. This is a sorrow according to God; (c) or, as God would have it, [1 Corinthians 7:9] this is a repentance never to be repented of. [Song of Solomon 5:10] This is that rainbow which, if God see shining in our hearts, he will remember his holy covenant. The Church here, for instance. That she sorrowed after a godly sort appears by those seven signs set down in 2 Corinthians 7:11, and here in this chapter exemplified and evidenced. "I sleep"; "there is indignation." But "my heart waketh"; there is "apology," or clearing herself. "I arose to open"; there is "study," or "carelessness," and diligence. "My soul failed when he spake"; there is her "zeal." "I called on him, I sought him"; there is her "vehement desire." "The watchmen found me; they smote me, they unveiled me"; there is her "self-revenge," while she shrank not from any danger, but bearing patiently the Lord’s indignation, because she had sinned against him; she followed him through thick and thin, in the night, among the watch, &c., followed him hot afoot, and would not rest till she had recovered him. Lo, this is the guise of a godly heart; it runs into sin sometimes, but riseth again soon after by repentance; it is at as much unrest, till reconciled to God, as he that hath broke a bone till it be well set again. Whenas a profane Esau can sell his birthright (and with it his title to heaven), and when he hath so done, he can "eat, and drink, and rise up, and go his way," (d) without any the least remorse or regret. [Genesis 25:34] Wicked men grow worse and worse, saith the apostle, and take long strides towards hell, as if they feared it would be full ere they come there. Some seek to out sin one another, like unhappy boys, that strive who shall go furthest in the dirt. Noluit solita peccare, He does not wish to make sin a habit, saith Seneca; Et pudet non esse impudentes, And it is not permitted to be shameless, saith Augustine. Sin hath woaded (e) an impudence in their faces; "their spot is not the spot of God’s children." [Deuteronomy 32:5]


Verse 5

Song of Solomon 5:5 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped [with] myrrh, and my fingers [with] sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

Ver. 5. I rose up to open to my beloved.] This was repentance from sin, as that in the former verse was repentance for sin. To repent, and yet to lie still in sin, is to repent with a contradiction, saith Tertullian; Optima et aptissima poenitentia est nova vita, saith Luther. A new life is the best repentance. Up gets the Church, when once soundly sensible of her sin; and, leaving her bed of carnal security, makes after Christ with all her might, with a redoubled diligence, to make some amends for her former negligence. Nunquam sero, si serio. Late though it were ere she started and stirred, yet better late than not at all. We are too much after witted for the most part, post masters, Epimetheuses; we see not our folly (but cry with him, In crastinum seria), till we have smarted for it, and then wish, O mihi praeteritos, &c.

And my hands drop with myrrh.] That is, with the testimonies of his sweetness left behind him on the lock handles, the better to allure her to his love. Philip Beroaldus, (a) and many others, tell us of a very precious unguent Cinnamimum, because made of cinnamon and other sweet odours; whose chief commendation is, that the very smell thereof, if a man carries it about him, draws any woman, though passing by and minding other things, to draw nigh to him. What truth is in this relation I know not; but sure it is, that the smell of the gospel, and those spiritual blessings which the presence of Christ had left behind it, did notably attract and draw after him the Church’s affections. Goodness is of itself attractive. The Greeks call it καλον from καλειν, and Aγαθον from αγαν θεειν; because it doth, as it were, invite and call to it, and every man is willing to run after it. (b) Christ puts a secret instinct into his people to do so; like as nature hath put an instinct into the bee, the stork, and other creatures. And as the needle in a sundial that hath been touched with an adamant, though it may be forced this way and that way, yet it rests not till it look toward the north pole; so the soul that hath aliquid Christi something of Christ in it, that hath been once hand fasted to Christ by a lively faith, though for a season it may, by the malice of Satan working with corruption, suffer some decays of her first love, be drawn aside by some lust, and enticed so as to fall from former steadfastness; [James 1:14 2 Peter 3:17] yet after a while her thoughts will work, and the sweet remembrance that Christ hath left behind him, will make her to say, "I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better with me than now." [Hosea 2:7]


Verse 6

Song of Solomon 5:6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, [and] was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

Ver. 6. I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had withdrawn himself and was gone.] Or, "He was gone, he was gone"; a passionate complaint for his departure, which lay so much the heavier upon her spirit, because, by her unworthy usage of him, she had foolishly occasioned it. "Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquity, are afflicted." And when affliction comes with a sting in the tail, it is very grievous. But then they "cry unto the Lord in their trouble; he saveth them out of their distress; he sendeth his word and healeth them," [Psalms 107:17-20] he sendeth for them by his Spirit, and brings them back again into his own bosom, "that his banished be not expelled from him," [2 Samuel 14:14] though to themselves and others they may for the present seem to be as "water spilled on the ground, that cannot be gathered up again." Those fragrant footsteps and heart attracting stamps of his favour, that sweet smelling myrrh, mentioned in the former verse, had so eneagered and edged her affections, that she could not rest till she had recovered him. She opened unto her beloved, and, presuming upon his patience, was in good hope to have had him at hand; but patientia loesa fit furor, Christ will not always bear with our evil manners, (a) "but hide his face from us, like as we have behaved ourselves evil in our doings." [Micah 3:4] And whereas spiritual desertions are of three sorts, (1.) Cautional, for preventing of sin, as Paul’s seems to be; (2.) Probational, for trial and exercise of grace, as Job’s; (3.) Penal, for chastisement of spiritual sloth and sluggishness, as here in the Church; this last is far the heaviest.

My soul failed when he spake.] Or, Because of his speech, that sweet speech of his when he so passionately wooed her. [Song of Solomon 5:2] Then he could have no audience nor admittance; now, if he would but offer himself he might be sure of both. The word spoken doth not always presently take effect in the hearers, but lies long as the seed under a clod, till Christ the good husbandman come with some temptation, as with his clotting beetle, and give it room to rise. Then as the water casts up her dead after a time, so do their memories cast up that which seemed buried therein, by the help of the Holy Ghost, their remembrancer. [John 14:26 John 2:22] The new birth of some, the recovery of others out of their relapses, is like the birth of the elephant, fourteen years after the seed is inserted into the womb. Peter remembered Christ’s words and repented. [Matthew 26:75] If we remember not what hath been preached unto us, all is lost. [1 Corinthians 15:2] If we leak, (b) and let slip, actum est de nobis. The deed is by us. [Hebrews 2:1] If we keep the word, the word will keep us. [Proverbs 6:22]

I sought him.] So soon as recovered out of my swoon, I set to seek him. The Church went not to bed again to sleep as before, neither stays she longer within than to cast her veil or her scarf over her head; without any further dress, abroad she gets to seek him whom her soul loveth. She sought him by serious and set meditation of the word and promises; but after all that toil and travail she took therein she found him not. This is the greatest grief that can befall a good heart in this present world; it is to such little better than hell itself. "Thou didst hide thy face and I was troubled" saith David. [Psalms 30:8] Non frustra praedicant mentes hominum nitere liquido die, coacta nube flaccescere, saith Symmachus. Men’s minds are either clear or cloudy, as the weather is; but more truly, good men’s minds are as God’s countenance is. It is with the godly in desertion, as with vapours drawn up by the sun, which, when the extracting force of the sun leaves them, fall down again to the earth. And as in an eclipse of the sun there is a drooping in the whole frame of nature; so it is with the saints, when Christ withdraws himself. Hell itself is said to be a separation from his presence; the pain of loss there is worse than the pain of sense, the tears of hell are not sufficient to bewail the loss of heaven. Laetemur igitur in Domino, sed caveamus a recidivo. (c)

I called him, but he gave me no answer.] And it was but just, for she had dealt so by him. [Song of Solomon 5:2] Christ loves to retaliate. Such a proportion many times one may see between sins and punishments, that you may say, such a sin brought forth this affliction, it is so like the father. Howbeit, "his ear is not heavy that he cannot hear; but your iniquities have hid his face from you that he will not hear." [Isaiah 59:1-2] And this the saints take, as well they may, for a sore affliction, [Lamentations 3:8] when to all other their miseries, he addeth this, that he will not come at them, that he casteth out their prayers, that he deals by them as the lionness doth by her young ones, which she seems sometimes to leave, till they have almost killed themselves with roaring. This is to make them more careful another time. None look at the sun but when it is in the eclipse; neither prize we, for the most part, God’s loving countenance till we have lost it. In this case, the course is to set up a loud cry after him, as Micah did after his gods. [ 18:23] Or rather as the Church here doth after her beloved, in many strong cries and bitter tears, continuing instant in prayer. [Romans 12:12] The Greek word (d) imports a metaphor from hunting dogs, that do not stop pursuing the game till they have got it. For encouragement, see the happy success the Church here had; and further, take that saying of Brentius, Etiamsi fides tua nec lucem hominibus, nec calorem cordi tuo afferat, tamen non abiecit Christus, modo incrementum ores, i.e., Although thy faith, as smoking flax, yield neither light to others nor heat to thine own heart, yet Christ will not cast thee off, so thou pray for more and follow thy work close till thou have gotten it.


Verse 7

Song of Solomon 5:7 The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.

Ver. 7. The watchmen that went about the city, &c.] {See Trapp on "Song of Solomon 3:3"} The ministers that walk the round, that watch for men’s souls, [Hebrews 13:17 Isaiah 61:6] that know how to "time a word," [Isaiah 51:4] these smote her with the tongue, they buffeted her by just and sharp reproofs for her negligence, they unveiled her for being abroad at that time of night (which she needed not to have been, but for her own slothfulness), they dealt little better with her, than as if she had been some light and lewd woman; and all this they might well do out of zeal to God, and godly jealousy for her soul’s good - unless it were that hypocrisy of jealousy exercised by the false apostles over the Galatians; [Galatians 4:17] not pastors, but impostors; not overseers, but by seers, (a) potius grassatores, quam custodes, ηομονθμως tamen sic dicti, cut throats rather than keepers, wicked men taking upon them to be watchmen, church officers in name, but church robbers in deed. Such were those [Isaiah 66:5] that hated and cast out the true worshippers, under a pretence of "Let the Lord be glorified." Such a one was Diotrephes, that prating (b) prelate, that villanously entreated God’s faithful people. [3 John 1:9-10] And such is that man of sin, that antichrist of Rome, who, for so many hundred years together, hath smitten with the fist of wickedness, hath wounded and drawn blood from Christ’s dearest spouse, and despoiled her of her veil; that is, laboured to disprivilege her, and deprive her of that purity and soundness of doctrine that he hath committed unto her, as a means to hold her in the duty of all holy obedience and subjection unto him. [1 Corinthians 11:5-6; 1 Corinthians 11:10] Of these false friends and deadly enemies the Church here heavily complains, and might well have proceeded against them, as those six martyrs burnt by Harpsfield, Archdeacon of Canterbury, when Queen Mary lay a-dying. One of those six that were then burnt, and those were the last, John Cornford, stirred with a vehement zeal of God when they were excommunicated, pronounced sentence of excommunication against all Papists in these words: In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the power of his Holy Spirit, and authority of his holy catholic and apostolic Church, we do give here into the hands of Satan, to be destroyed, the bodies of all those blasphemers and heretics that do maintain any error against his most holy Word, or do condemn his most holy truth for heresy, to the maintenance of any false church or feigned religion; so that by this thy most just judgment, O most mighty God, against thine adversaries, thy true religion may be known, to thy great glory and our comfort, and the edifying of all our nation. Good Lord, so be it. (c)


Verse 8

Song of Solomon 5:8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I [am] sick of love.

Ver. 8. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem.] Being evil entreated by her enemies, she turns her to her friends, those damsels or daughters of Jerusalem. See Song of Solomon 2:7; Song of Solomon 3:5. So the Lord Christ, being tired out with the untractableness of his untoward hearers, turns him to his Father. [Matthew 11:25-26] Kings, as they have their cares and cumbers above other men, so they had of old their friends, by a specialty, as Hushai was David’s friend, [2 Samuel 15:37] to whom they might ease themselves, and "take sweet counsel." [Psalms 55:14] The servants of God are "princes in all lands"; [Psalms 45:16] and as they have their crosses not a few, so their comforts, in and by the communion of saints. The very opening of their grievances one to another doth many times ease them, as the very opening of a vein cools the blood. Their mutual prayers one with and for another prevail much, if they be fervent, or thorough well wrought, (a) as in this case they likely will be; for as "iron whets iron, so doth the face of a man his friend." [Proverbs 27:17] And as ferrum potest quod aurum non potest, iron can do what sometimes gold cannot do - an iron key may open a chest wherein gold is laid up - so a meaner man’s prayer may be more effectual sometimes than a better man’s for himself. His own key may be rusty, or out of order, and another man’s do it better. Hence the Church is so importunate with the daughters of Jerusalem - who were far behind her in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, as appears by that which follows - to commend her and her misery to Christ, to tell him, wherever they meet with him, "Behold, she whom thou lovest is sick," thy Church - in whom thy love is concentrated, as it were, and gathered to a head - doth even languish with love, and is in ill case. "Tell him," saith she. "What shall ye tell him?" as the Hebrew hath it. An earnest and passionate kind of speech, somewhat like that in Hosea, "Give them, O Lord. What wilt thou give them?" [Hosea 9:14] as if she should say, Would you know what you should tell him even that which followeth, that "I am sick of love." See Song of Solomon 2:5.


Verse 9

Song of Solomon 5:9 What [is] thy beloved more than [another] beloved, O thou fairest among women? what [is] thy beloved more than [another] beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

Ver. 9. What is thy beloved more than another beloved?] This capital question is here doubled for the more vehemence, as also for the strangeness of the matter, wherein they desire much to be better informed, and the rather because she so straightly chargeth, or rather sweareth them. Something they must needs think was in it more than ordinary, since good people do not use to be hot in a cold matter. But as in the Revelation, whensoever heaven opened, some singular thing ensued; so when the saints be so serious in a business, sure it is of very great concernment. Great matters are carried with great movings: as "for the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart," [ 5:15-16] great impressions, great searchings. It is a common saying, Admiratio peperit philosophiam, wonderment at the works of God, set men awork to inquire into the natural causes of them. Similarily, these damsels of Jerusalem, friends to the Church, little knowing the love of the spouse to Christ, which passed their knowledge, [Ephesians 3:18-19] and yet willing to comprehend with all saints the several dimensions thereof. First, they acknowledge her, amidst all her miseries, to be the "fairest among women." [Song of Solomon 1:8] As gold is gold, though found in the dirt, or cast into the furnace, and stars have their glory, though we see them sometimes in a puddle, in the bottom of a well, nay, in a stinking ditch. Secondly, They propound to her two most profitable questions: the one concerning his person, whereof we have here a very lively and lofty description, both generally and in his parts. The other concerning the place of his abode, and where he may be had, [Song of Solomon 6:1] to the which she makes answer, [Song of Solomon 5:2] and so her faith begins to revive, [Song of Solomon 5:3] which was the blessed effect of this their gracious communication. Conference in all arts and sciences is a course of incredible profiting. Est aliquid quod ex magno viro vel tacente proficias, the very sight, nay, thought of a good man oft doth good; how much more when he openeth his mouth with wisdom, and in his tongue is the law of kindness! [Proverbs 31:26] And surely it is a fine art to be able to pierce a man that is like a vessel full of wine, and to set him a-running. [Proverbs 20:5] Elihu would "speak that he might be refreshed." [Job 32:20] It would be an ease to him, it would be a great benefit to others, as the mother is in pain till the child hath sucked, and the child not at quiet till he hath done so. "Foolish and unlearned questions" about those things whereof we can neither have proof nor profit, we are bound to "avoid," [2 Timothy 2:23] knowing that they do "gender strifes," and breed crudities, fill men with wind, and make them question sick. [1 Timothy 6:4] But profitable questions are frequently to be propounded with a desire to learn, and resolution to practise, as the Virgin Mary demanded of the angel, [Luke 1:34] the disciples of our Saviour, [John 16:17; John 16:19-24] and he resolved them, which he refused to do for the Jews that asked him the same question, [John 7:35-36] because not with the same mind and desire. So that frolic self-seeker, with his fair offer of following Christ, was rejected, when those that had more honest aims and ends heard, "Come and see." [Matthew 8:19-20 John 1:46] These daughters of Jerusalem do not, therefore, ask because they were utterly ignorant of Christ, but (1.) That they might hear the Church what she had to say of him, as they that love Christ love to hear talk of him; his very name is mel in ore, melos in aure, &c.; ( 2.) That by her discourse they might better their knowledge; for the very angels know not so much of this mystery, but they would know more, and do therefore curiously pry into it. [1 Peter 1:12] Yea, to these very "principalities and powers in heavenly places is made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God" in contriving man’s salvation by Christ; they cannot but see an abundance of curious variety in this divine wisdom, such as is to be seen in the best pictures or textures, as the apostle’s word, πολυποικιλος, importeth. [Ephesians 3:10]


Verse 10

Song of Solomon 5:10 My beloved [is] white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.

Ver. 10. My beloved is white and ruddy, &c.] Love lacks no rhetoric to lay forth the thing beloved in liveliest colours. "White and ruddy!" What can be more laudable and lovely? What can come nearer to a perfect symmetry, to a sound and sure constitution and complexion? Sure it is that these two, being comelily mixed, do make the most beautiful or orient look or colour; see the prophet’s description of the Nazarites, Lamentations 4:7. And note, saith an expositor, that the Holy Ghost joineth both these together - the whiteness making the ruddiness more fresh and fair, and the ruddiness discerning the whiteness from paleness of face, or phlegmatic complexion. Sed sunt in his mysteria investiganda, saith another, itaque candor refert divinam Christi naturam, rubor humanam. White and red may signify Christ’s Godhead and manhood. God is called the "Ancient of days"; [Daniel 7:9] his "head and his hairs are white like wool, as white as snow." [Revelation 1:14] Man had his name Adam of the red earth, out of which he was taken. [Genesis 2:7] Christ also, the second Adam, became red with his own blood, whereby he "purchased the Church" [Acts 20:28] - a bloody spouse she was unto him - and paved for her "a new and lively way into the most holy place"; [Hebrews 10:20] upon the battlements whereof he hangs out still (as once that warlike Scythian did) a white flag of grace and mercy to penitent persons, that humble themselves at his feet for favour; but a red flag of justice and severity to those his enemies that will not have him to rule over them - in token whereof his raiment is said to be red, [Isaiah 63:1-3] his vesture dipped in blood. [Revelation 19:13]

The chiefest among ten thousand.] Heb., Vexillatus prae decem millibus; that is, famous and conspicuous among and above many, as "Saul was higher than the people by the head and shoulders," as the Hachmonite was the chief of David’s mighties; [1 Chronicles 11:11] or, "the standardbearer of ten thousand." Now the goodliest, and with it the ablest, men used to carry the banner or standard. Christ standeth "for an ensign of the people," [Isaiah 11:10] and hath ten thousand times ten thousand standing before him, following him wheresoever he goeth, [Revelation 7:9; Revelation 7:14] and singing, "We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God (vexillabimus) we will set up our banner." [Psalms 20:6] The Church’s design here is to hold out Christ as altogether matchless and incomparable, that there is none like him in the earth, as God said of Job; [Song of Solomon 1:8] to teach us to esteem him, as the people did David, more worth than ten thousand others; [2 Samuel 18:3] to set him upon the chief chariot, and to give him the sole command of all, as Pharaoh dealt by Joseph. And as the sun, moon, and eleven stars in Joseph’s vision did obeisance to him, so let our souls, bodies, all our temporal, natural, moral, and spiritual abilities, be subject and serviceable to Christ, who, if he be the chiefest of ten thousand, ought to have as much love as ten thousand hearts put into one could hold.


Verse 11

Song of Solomon 5:11 His head [is as] the most fine gold, his locks [are] bushy, [and] black as a raven.

Ver. 11. His head is as the most fine gold.] Here she begins her particular praise of his various parts; and here she may seem to speak with the tongues of men and of angels, performing, as lovers used to do, that for him which he had done for her before, [Song of Solomon 4:1-4, &c.} though all she could say falleth far short of him; and well she might say after all, as Nazianzen sometime said of Basil, ‘There wants but his own tongue to commend him with’; Loquimur de Deo non quantum debemus, sed quantum possumus. In speaking of Christ’s excellencies, men may speak what they can; they cannot possibly speak so much as they ought, they cannot hyperbolise. If any shall think the Church doth here, he must needs be of those that either know him not, or are not able to judge aright of his worth, as once Cicero (a) said of Crassus and Antony, the orators. Nusquam Origines non ardet, sed nusquam est ardentior, &c., saith Erasmus. (b) Origen is never but earnest; howbeit he is never more earnest than when he discourseth about Christ; in other things he may seem to excel others, but in this he excelleth himself. The same we may well say of the Church in this place, in setting forth the surpassing purity and perfection of her spouse: Quem manibus propriis finxit cordata Minerva. And first she makes his head to be of the finest and firmest gold - Fess- gold, so the Arabic, from the Hebrew, calleth it; and the land of Fess seemeth to be named of such gold there. David’s Michtam, or Golden Psalm, comes from one of the words here used; for in the original thus it is, "His head is most glistering gold, yea, most solid gold"; (c) that is, his deity which dwells in him is most pure and glorious - for "the head of Christ is God" {1 Corinthians 11:3] - and that fulness of grace which is communicated to his human nature is wondrously beautiful, and so sets it forth as black curled locks do a fresh countenance.

Spectandus nigris oculis, nigroque capillo est.


Verse 12

Song of Solomon 5:12 His eyes [are] as [the eyes] of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, [and] fitly set.

Ver. 12. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of water, &c., ] i.e., they are full of all innocence, singleness, and chastity; {See Trapp on "Song of Solomon 1:15"} {See Trapp on "Song of Solomon 4:1"} where Christ had attributed the very same to the Church, who is his image and glory, as the woman is of the man, [1 Corinthians 11:7] the very looking glass of his dignity and reflex of his comeliness. His eyes are elsewhere said to be as a "flame of fire," [Revelation 1:14 Daniel 10:6] sharp and terrible, such as pierce into the inward parts, and need no outward light. Here they are as the "eyes of doves," casting an amiable, gracious, joyful, and comfortable look upon his Church. As his "eyes behold, his eyelids try the children of men" [Psalms 11:4] - the one points out his knowledge, the other his critical descant - so he casteth an eye of singular providence and tender affection upon his afflicted people. "I have seen, I have seen," saith he, "the sufferings of my people; I know their sorrows, and am come down to deliver them." [Exodus 3:7-8] His "eye affects his heart," and his heart sets his hand to work for their help and safety. In Ezekiel 1:8, we read of faces, eyes, wings, hands, &c., all to express the sufficiency of God’s providence for all means of help; see Psalms 33:18-19; Psalms 34:16. The Church is like the land of Canaan, which is said to be "a hind which the Lord careth for: the eyes of the Lord are always upon it." [Deuteronomy 11:11] He seeth that loveliness in her that he overlooks all, as it were, to look upon her; he beholds that worth in her that the buzzards of the world cannot ken. Therefore the "world knows us not," respects us not, "because it knew not him," [1 John 3:1] saw "no such beauty that they should desire him." [Isaiah 53:2] Nicostratus in Aelian, himself being a cunning artisan, finding a curious piece of work, and being wondered at by one, and asked by one what pleasure he could take to stand gazing as he did on the picture, answered, Hadst thou mine eyes, thou wouldst not wonder, but rather be ravished, as I am, at the inimitable art of this piece. Similarily, had men those dove like single eyes that Christ and his people have, "washed in milk," that is, in milk white waters, cleansed from the dust of sinful prejudice, and "fitly set," as a precious stone in the foil of a ring, or as the precious filling stones in the holy ephod, [Exodus 25:7] they would "kiss the Son" and admire his spouse; whereas, for want of spiritual eyes, the northern proverb is verified, "unkent, unkist," unknown, unrespected.


Verse 13

Song of Solomon 5:13 His cheeks [are] as a bed of spices, [as] sweet flowers: his lips [like] lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

Ver. 13. His cheeks are as a bed of spices,] i.e., Comely and pleasant to the sight, sweet also to the smell; areolis similes, aromatum plenis; flourishing with a goodly, comely, fresh, and sweet beard; so declaring his face not only to be gracious and amiable, but also full of gravity, glory, and majesty. There are those who would have all these things to be taken literally about Christ’s natural body, and that here is set down his prosopograpohy; but this was written long before Christ was incarnated, and therefore it must needs be meant in a metaphorical and allegorical sense, hard to be explained. Ego quid de singulis statuam fateor me nescire, saith a learned interpreter. Allegorically to handle all these is not in my purpose or power, saith another: since the graces of Christ, as they cannot well be expressed, so, by reason of our weakness, they cannot better be declared. The drift of the Holy Ghost is to paint out unto us the spiritual and heavenly love of his Church to Christ, who doth not and cannot satisfy herself with any words or comparisons of this kind; and, secondly, to stir up our heartiest and liveliest affections to him that hath such a world of worth and wealth in him. As the worth and value of many pieces of silver is in one piece of gold, so all the petty excellencies scattered abroad in the creatures are united in Christ; yea, all the whole volume of perfections which is spread through heaven and earth is epitomised in him. Why do we not then make out to him, and despise all for him with Paul? Why do we not, with David, chide ourselves and others for loving vanity and seeking after leasing? [Psalms 4:2] "How long wilt thou go about, O backsliding daughter," [Jeremiah 31:22] and fetch a compass? knowest thou not that "the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth? a woman shall compass a man"; [Isaiah 7:14] that is, "a virgin shall conceive and bear a son," even the man Christ Jesus, in whom it pleased the Father that there should dwell all fulness. [Colossians 1:19] Make we therefore straight paths for our feet; [Hebrews 12:13] let us go speedily to Christ, [Zechariah 8:21] as bees do to a meadow full of flowers; as merchants do to the Indies, that are full of fruits and spices, that we may return from him full fraught with treasures of truth and grace.

His lips, like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh,] i.e., His word and doctrine is white, sweet, pleasant, far spreading as lilies, sweet to the smell, and yet bitter to the taste as myrrh, no way pleasing to the flesh, which it mortifieth, calling upon men to repent, reform, walk by rule, strive to enter in at the strait gate, resist unto blood, striving against sin. "These things are good and profitable to men," as the apostle speaks in another case, [Titus 3:8] but they naturally care not to hear about them. Drop not ye, say they; we like not your lilies dropping myrrh and nitre; let those drop or prophesy that preach pleasing things. We like your lilies, but care not for your myrrh; or, if we smell it, we like not to taste of it, because little toothsome, however it may be wholesome. See Micah 2:6.


Verse 14

Song of Solomon 5:14 His hands [are as] gold rings set with the beryl: his belly [is as] bright ivory overlaid [with] sapphires.

Ver. 14. His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl.] Or, Chrysolite; Heb., Tarshish, whence our word turkeis, as it may seem, a precious stone, of colour blue like the sky, or, as others say, green like the sea. Asher was graven upon this stone, who dwelt near the sea. [Exodus 28:20] Some write, that in former times this stone was most usually set in such rings as lovers did use to give one to another, or in marriage rings; because of the power that was thought to be in it to procure and continue love and liking one of them towards another. Whatsoever stone it is, whether a beryl, chrysolite, carbuncle, hyacinth, onyx (for all these ways it is rendered), the Church’s meaning is, that all the works of Christ, whether in the state of humiliation or of exaltation - for redemption we have by his abasement, application of it by his advancement - are most rare, dear, precious, and glorious, as numbers of rings filled with all manner of costly stones; they are acceptable and hononrable before God and man. And like as great men are known by their rings and rich jewels, so is Christ by his saints, the work of his hands. [Isaiah 64:8]

His belly is as bright ivory, overlaid with sapphires.] Heb., His bowels, in the dual - meaning his breast and belly, and there the heart and lights, those seats of the will and affections; here, the liver, stomach, entrails, which serve for nutrition and generation. By all this we may well understand Christ’s inward affections outwardly manifested. These are true and sincere, as bright and white "ivory"; they are also hearty and heavenly, as "sapphires"; various also and manifold, sicut sapphiri caeruleae sunt, his bowels yearn towards his afflicted people, his heart is turned within him, his "repentings are kindled together"; [Hosea 11:8] so the poet,

Ingemuit miserans graviter, dextramque tetendit. ” - Virg.


Verse 15

Song of Solomon 5:15 His legs [are as] pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance [is] as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

Ver. 15. His legs are as pillars of marble.] A sign of Christ’s firmness in his kingdom, works, word, and government, saith a learned expositor, and of his strength to trample upon his enemies, as also of his united power to accomplish the course of his threefold office. Pillars both bear up the building and beautify it; neither can anything be more sure and solid than these, if set upon a firm foundation. The pillars here mentioned are said to be "set upon fine gold" - that is, upon a foundation both fine and firm, for gold hardly rusteth or cankereth; whence it was likely that Tithonus and his son Memnon, when they built the city of Susa, in Persia, they joined the stones together with gold, as Cassiodorus writeth: Christ’s power is founded upon his divine nature; and this is the rock upon which the Church is built, and whereby it is set in safety from all miseries and molestations, satanic or secular. The gates of hell shall not prevail against her. Christ and the father are one; therefore none shall take her out of his hands. God hath "laid help upon one that is mighty," [Psalms 89:19] even upon Emmanuel, the mighty strong God, as he is called, [Isaiah 9:6] "declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead," [Romans 1:4] that your "faith and hope might be in God." [1 Peter 1:21] Trust perfectly therefore to, or hope to the end, (a) "for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus": [1 Peter 1:13] since he is "able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him." [Hebrews 7:25]

His countenance is as Lebanon.] His aspect, his look, or general view - i.e., whatsoever of himself Christ is pleased to manifest and lay open unto us is pleasant and delightful, goodly and glorious, excellent and eximious, choice as the cedars, that are chosen before other trees; and why? {See Trapp on "Song of Solomon 1:17"}


Verse 16

Song of Solomon 5:16 His mouth [is] most sweet: yea, he [is] altogether lovely. This [is] my beloved, and this [is] my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

Ver. 16. His mouth is most sweet.] Heb., His palate - that is, his word and promises, which are, as it were, the breath of Christ’s mouth - is all sweet. This she had celebrated before, [Song of Solomon 5:13] but, as not satisfied therewith, she repeats it, and rolls it again as sugar under her tongue. She doubles this commendation, to show that that is the chief lovely thing in Christ, his word; this fruit she had found sweet unto her palate, [Song of Solomon 2:3] and she spareth not to set it forth, as here, the second time, Mallemus carere, &c. We had rather be without fire, water, bread, sun, air, &c, saith a Dutch divine, than that one sweet sentence of our blessed Saviour, "Come unto me all ye that are weary," &c.

Yea, he is altogether lovely.] Totus totus desiderabilis, wholly amiable, every whit of him to be desired. Moses thought him so, when he preferred the "reproach of Christ," the worst part of him, the heaviest piece of his cross, before "all the treasures in Egypt," that treasure chest of the world. [Hebrews 11:26] Those of this world see no such excellence and desirableness in Christ and his ways, [Psalms 22:6-7] nor can do, till soundly shaken; "I will shake all nations, and then the desire of all nations" - that is, Christ - "shall come," [Haggai 2:7] with stirring affections, saying, {as Isaiah 26:9} "With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early." Lo, this is the voice of every true child of the Church; and these "desires of the righteous shall be satisfied." [Proverbs 10:24]

This is my beloved, &c., ] q.d., You may see I have cause to look after him; neither can you do better than to do likewise: howsoever, when you see him, do my errand to him. {as Song of Solomon 5:7} And here we have most excellent rhetoric, which, in the beginning of a speech, requires τα ηοη, milder affections; in the end of it, τα παθν, stronger passions, that may leave deepest impressions.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 5:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/song-of-solomon-5.html. 1865-1868.

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