R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:16

By R.C. Chapman

“Behold, You are fair my beloved; yes, pleasant: also our bed is green.” Song of Solomon 1:16


It moves my joy, sobered with sadness and grief for sin, to hear You, My Lord, commending what You see in me.  Your work and Your resemblance within me, I know, is lovely.  Oh give me wisdom to hear Your word of praise! Let me test my way with Yours, and I will be yet more depraved in my own sight, and yet more sweetly occupied with You!

You, Lord Jesus! Do fix Your eyes on me, that mine may ever be set on You, who gave Yourself for me, and also to me, and are my light and my salvation, my portion and my joy.  You see Yourself in me.  If You were not Jehovah my Righteousness, justifying and washing me in Your blood, I would have for ever dwelt in the shadow of death, and loved my filthiness:  therefore there is only one reason You should call me fair and pleasant, since in me You see Your own image.

You are my assurance; I was crucified with you, and made to sit together with my Lord in heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:6) This earth was your field to labor; in heaven you rest, having finished the work the Father gave you to do. Having suffered first You have entered into Your glory, which is ever new, and cannot fade—Your bed of green!  You are full of joy with the Father’s countenance, and at His right hand are pleasures for evermore.

I rejoice because all things the Father has are Yours, and I am joint heir with You. Therefore You say “Our” bed; the glory given You, You have given me!  I follow on to know the power of your resurrection and the fellowship of Your sufferings.  In you and with You my soul rests, ceasing from my own works; and dead to the law, I live; yet not I, but my Lord lives in me; so then to die daily is my work.

In this I exercise myself, knowing that sin uses that old husband, which held me in bonds; and I could bring no fruit forth except only the wild grape and dead works of the flesh, unless I had been dead to the law by the body of my Lord.

Oh teach me, then, to watch, and stand fast in You! Sprinkle me with Your blood! Let me ever abide at Your cross and triumph in the power of Your resurrection, sitting down and resting with You in heavenly places! So I will set foot on the neck of all enemies; so I will keep myself pleasant to You, and that wicked one will not touch me. I will be for my Lord—my Beloved—and nothing will divide my heart with Him!

 


[Language modernized in places by this site.]


 

 

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:15

By R.C. Chapman

“Behold, thou art fair; my love; behold, thou art fair: thou hast doves’ eyes.” –Song of Solomon 1:15

What though the law in my members be vile and corrupt? Thou, Lord dost teach me to hate the evil I do, and love the good I do not. Thou dost sprinkle me with Thy blood, and purge my conscience from dead works; and I can say before Thee, who knowest all things, it is no more I, but sin that dwelleth in me.  Sweet is my liberty, and holy and good, notwithstanding the flesh within me.

Mine outcry, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver?” –Romans 7:24, be tokens my freedom—slaves bend the knee and flatter; freemen fill their land with complaints upon a bare word of tyranny and while oppression is yet far off.  Lord, I comfort myself with double comfort.  I say within me, Consider, my soul, how that in thy weakness thy Lord’s glory in manifest, His strength made perfect! In this I rejoice! Yea, and will rejoice.

Moreover, my soul, know thou the day makes haste to come when that which is in part shall be done away; this body of death is not forever; but the workmanship of the Spirit of Christ shall endure forever; for “The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and the days of the mourning shall be ended.”—Isaiah 60:12

O my soul! In the first man, Adam, thou wast, with him, earthly, sensual, and devilish—in the Second Man, the Lord from heaven, thou art quickened and justified, and body and spirit shall be made like Him, free of infirmity and all pollution; thy conscience shall ever be pure—thine affections only love—thy body, once a house of clay, shall be fashioned like unto the glorious body of Thy Lord, and all thy members, once instruments of unrighteousness, shall forever be the instruments of love; Thy whole understanding, wondrously enlarged, shall know the riches of Christ, thy Lord, to be unsearchable!

O my Lord! While yet at home in the body I long after the deep humbleness of mind which shall beautify and be the holiness of thy glorified Church! Thou canst look on me as if I were already glorified with Thee. Thy love moves Thee to say, “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair: Thou hast doves’ eyes.”—Song of Solomon 1:15

 

Christian Love 18: His Love and Our Love?

That Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, who was the Father’s delight, yet, not withstanding, could rejoice in the habitable places of the earth, and so love poor, bad and miserable men, yet enemies, that he gave himself for them, that God so loved that he gave his Son, and Christ so loved that he gave himself a sacrifice for sin, both for me and others, O! who should not or will not be compelled, in beholding this mirror of incomparable and spotless love to love others?

1st John 4:9-11


“In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”  


 

Ephesians  5:2


“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor,”


 

especially when he seems to require no other thing, and imposes no more grievous command upon us for recompense of all his labor of love.

John 8:34-35


“A new commandment I give you, That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.”


If all that was in me did not alienate his love from me, how should any thing in others estrange our love to them? If God be so kind to his enemies, and Christ so loving that he gives his life for his enemies to make them friends, what should we do our enemies, what to our friends? This one example may make all created love to blush and be ashamed.  How narrow, how limited, how selfish is it?

 

 

 


This common domain work modernized in few places by this site.

Christian Love 15: Love Bears and Believes All Things

By Hugh Binning

Love “bears all things.” By nature we are undaunted heifers, cannot bear anything patiently.  But love is accustomed to the yoke, —to the yoke of reproaches and injuries from others, to a burden of other men’s infirmities and failings.  We would all be borne upon others’ shoulders, but we cannot put our own shoulders under other men’s burden, according to that royal law of Christ, Romans 15:1—“We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” and Galatians 6:2—“ Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  That is the law of love, without question.

Love “believes all things.” Our nature is malignant and wicked, and therefore most suspicious and jealous, and apt to take all in the worst way. But love has much openness, honesty and humanity in it, and can believe well of every man, and believe all things as far as truth will permit.  It knows that grace can be beside man’s sins.  It knows that itself is subject to similar infirmities.  Therefore it is not a rigid and censorious judger; it allows as much latitude to others as it would desire of others.

It is true it is not blind and ignorant.  It is judicious, and has eyes that can discern between colors. Credit omnia credenda, sperat omnia speranda.-“It believes all things that are believable, and hopes all things that are hopeful.” If love doesn’t have sufficient evidences, yet she believes if there be some probabilities to the contrary, as well as for it.  The weight of love inclines to the better part, and so casts the balance of hope and persuasion; yet being sometimes deceived, she has reason to be watchful and wise, for “the simple believe every word.”  If love cannot have ground of believing any good, yet it hopes still. Qui non est hodie, cras magis aptus erit, says love, and therefore it is patient and gentle, waiting on all, if perhaps God may “give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth,”—2nd Timothy 2:25. 

Love would account it both atheism and blasphemy, to say such a man cannot, will not find mercy.  But to pronounce of such as have often been accepted in the conscience of all, and sealed into many hearts, that they will never find mercy, that they have no grace, because of some failings in practice and differences from us, it wasn’t pronounced in sobriety but madness.  It is certainly love and indulgence to ourselves, that make us aggravate other men’s faults to such a height.   Self love looks on other men’s failings through a multiplying or magnifying glass, but she put her own faults behind her back. Non videtquod in mantica qua a tergo est. Therefore she can suffer much in herself but nothing in others, and certainly much self forbearance and indulgence can spare little for others.

But love is just contrary. She is most rigid on her own self, will her not pardon herself easily, knows no revenge but what is spoken of in 2nd Corinthians 7:11, self revenge, and has no indignation but against herself.  Thus she can spare much openness, honesty, and forbearance for others, and has little or nothing of indignation left behind to consume on others.

 


This common domain work modernized in few places by this site.

Christian Love 14: Love Thinks No Evil,…but Rejoices in the Truth

By Hugh Binning

thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  1st Corinthians 13 NKJV

Christian love “thinks no evil.” This love is apt to take all things in the best sense.  If a thing may be subject to different interpretations, it can put the best construction on it.  It is so benign and good in its own nature that it is not inclined to suspect others.  It desires to condemn no man, but would gladly, as far as reason and conscience will permit, free from guilt every man.  It is so far from the desire of revenge, that it is not provoked or troubled by an injury.  For that were nothing else but to wrong itself because others have wronged it already, and it is so far from wronging others, that it will not willingly so much as think evil of them.

Yet if need require, love can execute justice, and inflict chastisement, not out of desire of another’s misery, but out of love and compassion to mankind.  Charitas non punit quia peccatum est, sed, peccaretur– it looks more to prevention of future sin, than to revenge of a past fault. and can do all things with calmness of spirit, as a physician cuts a vein without anger.  Quis enim cut medetur irascitur? –”who is angry with his own patient?”

Love “Does not rejoice in iniquity.” Love is marred in itself, though it lower itself to all.  Though it can love and wish well of evil men, yet it does not rejoice in iniquity.  It is like the sun’s light that shines on a pile of manure, and is not defiled, receives no impurity from it.  Some base and wicked spirits make a sport to do mischief themselves, and take pleasure in others that do it.  But love does not rejoice in iniquity or injustice, though it were done to its own enemy.  It cannot take pleasure in the unjust sufferings of any who hate it, because it has no enemy except sin and iniquity and hates nothing else with a perfect hatred.  Therefore whatever advantage should come back to itself by other men’s iniquities, it cannot rejoice, that iniquity, its capital enemy, should reign and prevail.

But it “rejoices in the truth.”  The advancement and progress of others in the way of truth and holiness is its pleasure.  Though that should eclipse its own glory, yet it does not look on it with an jealous eye, it is not grieved to find it and know it, but can rejoice at anything that may give evidence of goodness in others.  There is nothing more beautiful in its eyes than to see everyone get their own due, though itself should come behind.


This common domain work modernized in places by this site

Christian Love 13: Love is Not Easily Provoked

By Hugh Binning

Love “is not easily provoked.”  This is the straight and solid firmness of it, that it is not soon moved with external impressions.  It is long suffering, it suffers long and much.  It will not be shaken by violent and weighty pressures of injuries, where there is much provocation given, yet it is not provoked.  Now to complete it, it is not easily provoked at light offences.  It is strange how little a spark of injuries puts all in a flame because our spirits are as gunpowder, — so capable of combustion through corruption.  How ridiculous, for the most part, are the causes of our wrath! For light things we are heavily moved, and for rediculous things sadly, even as children who fall out among themselves for toys or things of small value, or as animals that are provoked upon the very show of color, as red or such like.  We would save ourselves much labor, if we could judge rightly before we allow ourselves to be provoked.  But now we follow the first appearance of wrong, and being once moved from the outside, we continue our commotion within, lest we should seem to be angry without a cause.

But love has a more solid foundation.  It dwells in God, for God is love, and so it is truly great, truly high, and looks down with a steadfast countenance upon these lower things.  The upper world is continually calm and serene.  No clouds, no storms there, no winds, nothing to disturb the harmonious and uniform motion, but it is this lower world that is troubled and tossed with storms, and obscured with clouds.

So a soul dwelling in God by love, is exalted above the cloudy region.  He is calm, quiet, serene, and is not disturbed or interrupted in his motion of love to God or men.


The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle edition, Loc. 16493. [Language modernized in some places by this site.]

Christian Love 12: Love is Unselfish

By Hugh Binning

Love…doesn’t seek its own way,…—1st Corinthians 13:5

Self denial and true love are inseparable.  Self love makes a monopoly of things for its own interest, and this is most opposite to Christian affection and communion, which puts all in one bank.  If every one of the members should seek its own things, and not the good of the whole body, what a miserable malady this would cause in the body?  We are called into one body in Christ, and therefore we shouldn’t look only to our own things, but all  be looking also to the welfare of others, —Philippians 2:4.  There is a common interest of saints, mutual edification in faith and love, which charity will prefer to its own private interest.  Being addicted to our own thinking and understanding, and too much self-confident pride and self pleasing is the grand enemy of that place to which we are called into one body.  Since one Spirit teaches and gives life to all the members, what a monstrosity is it for one member to seek its own things, and look to its own private interest only, as if it were a distinct body!

 


Excerpt from The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle edition, Loc. 16482 [Language modernized in some places by this site.]


Christian Love 11: Love Does Nothing Inappropriate
Excerpts of Mercy

Christian Love 11: Love Does Nothing Inappropriate

By Hugh Binning

1st Corinthians 13  5 —doesn’t behave itself inappropriately,..

Then Love does nothing unseemly, “doesn’t behave itself inappropriately,” 1st Cor. 13.5. Vanity and swelling of mind will certainly breakout into some inappropriate carrying of one’s self, such as vain and conceited estimation, and similar things, but love keeps a sweetness and tastefulness in all its ways, so as not to provoke and irritate others, not to expose itself to contempt and mockery.  Or it may be said, it is not disagreeable, It doesn’t account itself disgraced and abused, to associate and be friendly with men in a low state.  It can with its Master bow down to wash the disciple’s feet, and not think it unseemly.  Whatever it submits to in doing or suffering, it is not ashamed of it, as that it were not suitable or becoming.

 

 

 

 


[Language modernized by this site in places.]


 

 

 

 

Christian Love 10: Love Is Not Envious or Proud

By Hugh Binning

 

“Love does not Envy” Envy is the seed of all contention, and self-love brings it forth.  When everyone desires to be esteemed as greatests would have pre-eminence among others, their ways must interfere with one another.  This is what makes discord.  Everyone would take away from another’s value, that they themselves may add to their own.  No one lives content with their own lot or position, and it is the aspiring beyond that, which puts all the wheels out of course.  I beleive this is the root of many contentions among Christians,-the apprehension of slighting, the conceit of disrespect, and the like, kindles the flame of difference, and heightens the least offence to an unpardonable injury.  But love envieth not where it may lie quietly low.  Though it be under the feet of others, and beneath its own due place, yet it does not envy, it can lie contentedly so.  Suppose it is slighted and despised, yet it doesn’t take it badly, because it is lowly in mind.

“Love is not proud, and doesn’t praise itself.” If love has gifts and graces beyond others, it restrains itself, with the bridle of modesty and humility, from praising or boasting about itself, or anything in its carrying of itself that may taste of conceit.  Pride is a self admirer, and despises others, and to please itself, cares little if others others are displeased.  There is nothing so unfitting in human or Christian society, so apt to alienate others’ affections, for the more we take our own affection to ourselves, we will have less from others.  O these golden rules of Christian walking! Rom.12:10,16, “In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate to one another; in honor preferring one another; Don’t set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble.  Don’t be wise in your own conceits.” O but that were a sightly competition among Christians,  to prefer another in unfeigned love, and in lowliness of mind, each to esteem another better than themself. Philip. 2:3.  “Knowledge puffs up” says the apostle (1sr Cor. 8:1) “but love edifies.” It is only a swelling and inflamation of the mind, but love is solid devotion and real Christianity.

 


[Language modernized in some places by this site]