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. 1:12

By R.C. Chapman

“While the King sitteth at His table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.” —Song of Solomon 1:12

Happy Spirits! Ye who banquet above with Jesus, we give you joy!  Your joy is ours, and our sweet company when ye quit our company, departing to be with Christ; we also see our Lord’s chariot, sent to bear us home, as it were at our very door!  “Tis but an hour or two of waiting; if He come not to receive us to Himself He will compose our body of humiliation to sleep; and pleasant our bed in the grave, while our spirits mount aloft, to join the Lamb and ransomed above.

Thou, Lord, hast proved me by taking to thyself many a lover and friend; but Thou preparest for me a table in the wilderness, Thou anointest me head with oil, my cup runneth over.  In the presence of mine enemies, my Lord will have me sit down with Him at His table.  Many are they which rise up against me; they would cut me off from meeting with my Lord: in His presence, and at His table, I am more than conqueror.

While by the power of my Lord I keep me there, that evil one toucheth me not.  My foolishness and my guiltiness are as a quiver full of sharp arrows in the hand of mine enemy.  Pride, unbelief, ignorance, are his sword and spear: my faith cries out, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth me from all sin” —1st John 1:7, and the victory is mine.  I deny not my debt, but flee to Thee—to Thee, my Lord and Surety! And behold the bond of the Law, the handwriting that was against me, nailed to the cross.  In Thee my great strength lies; and, as I hear Thy voice of invitation, of entreaty, Thy voice of power and love, the cords of mine enemies are as green withes—an host flees before me.

—before the presence of my Lord!  My apparel, I see, is meet for banqueting house and table—the robe of righteousness; the garments of salvation!  I am melted and self-abased as I enter and sit down.  Thou, Lord, dost gird Thyself and serve me! Thy flesh is meat indeed, Thy blood is drink indeed; and Thou fillest my soul with joy unspeakable and full of glory! Access to Thee, my Lord, emboldens me; for Thou hast all to give, and no heart to withhold aught that is good—and Thou art well pleased with my confidence.  Thou holdest forth the golden scepter, and sayest, What is Thy request? I answer, “Lord, that I may behold Thy beauty, sit at Thy feet, and banquet with Thee.”  So shall my lowly, contrite spirit be spikenard, fragrant and precious to my Lord.

 

Life of Faith 7: Faith Throughout

By Richard Sibbes

Now we have come to the main thing intended, how we live by the faith of the Son of God.  We will not approach the depths of such a profound mystery; only I will endeavor to give you some heads, where faith principally exercises her powers and functions.

  • The life of faith is exercised in our effectual calling.
  • In the state of justification, through which comes reconciliation.
  • In a vigorous life, arising on the comfort of our justification, our being credited right with God.
  • In our sanctification; in those supplies faith finds out to make up the imperfection thereof, faith works to make itself and us more perfected.  
  • The life of faith in glorification.

We live by faith in all the several passages of this life, as we will see when we come to them.  Thus we live continually by the faith of the Son of God, and so we must live until we come to heaven.

We live the life of faith in our effectual calling.  The Spirit works it, the Spirit is God’s hand.  This makes our eyes to be bent upwards to see a better life, to see a calling, to a holy and righteous living in all things,  to see what a rich means is provided to reconcile God and man, to satisfy justice, and so to draw us in a new way and course of life, to rely on God, and look to him in all our actions.

Then the grace of union is given.  God’s Spirit works our hearts by this faith, to have first union and then communion with God.  Thus the soul being seasoned, and seeing the excellency and necessity of another life, touches Christ, and begins to live the life of faith in effectual calling; for at first we are dead and unlovely creatures, estranged from grace and gracious actions, until, in this state, Christ is discovered by the Spirit, and faith to unite us to him.

 


This common domain work modernized in few places, words in italics added by this site.  

 

 

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:11

By R.C. Chapman

“We will make Thee borders of gold with studs of silver.” Song of Solomon 1:11

Thou, Lord art our portion, and we are Thine! Thou art a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty unto us; and we, in turn, are these to Thee.  Lord, not to us, not unto us, but to Thy name, give glory.  What Thou art to us (and Thou art our all), that Thou madest Thyself: for Thou gavest Thyself for us, and also to us: it was Thy own will to become our Brother and our slain Lamb.  But did we of our own will yield ourselves to Thee? Ah, no!  Thy grace we hated; Thy very cross and blood, which is our life, was an offence to us.

We hated the holy law of God, and yet more spitefully did we reject the gospel! By Thy word the dead were raised and quickened—our enmity was slain by the blood of sprinkling—and by wisdom to win souls, we, Thine enemies, we reconciled.  Now, therefore, our shout of joy is: Grace! Grace! And all its glory, be ascribed to Thee, our sure Foundation, Head of the Corner!  Thou art the Son of God, the giver, the object and the pattern of faith, working in us by the Spirit, both to will and to do Thy good pleasure.

Behold, then, our heart’s desire! Are we made alive by Thee, by the blood of Thy cross? Are we crucified with Thee and risen with Thee? We would live to Thee:  we would be the girdle which Thou causest to cleave to Thee for glory and for beauty—Thy jewels by Thine own hand shaped and polished!  O let our eye be single—let it ever suffice us for honor, that we serve the Lord Christ! In the fires we will glorify Thee, and take pleasure in necessities, distresses, for Thy sake; saying, in the midst of sorrow and tears, that every bitter cup is sweet, since Thou in love dost mix it, and in patient endurance we are conformed to Thine image.

If Thou sittest by the furnace, though no eye but Thine be upon us, we are content. O Thou Brother born for adversity! Who canst succor the tempted, who never forsakes Thy Church! At Thy feet we cast ourselves, with our burdens.  There with our ignorance we sit and wait for the grace of Thy lips, and would be sweetly nothing that we may delight in Thee, and admire and exalt Thee, Lord, alone! So shall we, Thy Spirit’s workmanship, be ever wearing the garment of humility; our oneness with Thee its golden brother; the life—giving death its studs of silver; and by thy glory and ornament of grace, even as Thou art our diadem of beauty and crown of glory.

Lord, our desire is before Thee—our aim is a grateful offering! Nor vow nor covenant can we make, for all our strength is gone; but our hungering and thirsting are Thy good work; do Thou, who gavest the desire, Thyself fulfill it.

Life of Faith 3: God’s Strong Working

By Richard Sibbes

always carrying in the body the putting to death of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. —2nd Corinthians 4:10

…So the apostle shows the aim of a Christian is to be in sufferings of this life for the increase of a better, 2nd Cor. 4.10, says he, “always bearing about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”  When the body is weakest, the spirit is strongest.  Take a man who doesn’t have this spirit and hope, he is à la mort  at the apprehension of death, because he has no faith, no knowledge, no new life, no sense or taste of more excellent things; he doesn’t know if there is a Holy Spirit or not:  or if he is convinced in conscience, yet he is taken up with horrors, and fears condemnation at hand and for evermore.  Oh what are we without this life?  Otherwise an unbeliever or non-Christian were as happy as we.

A Christian given this spiritual life can see Christ and glory, beyond all the things of this life; he can look in backwards, make use of all things past, see the vanity of things so admired by others; he can taste things nature does not relish; he has strength of reasons beyond all the understanding of reason; he is a man of strong working.[God’s working]  This should stir us up above all things to get this spiritual life in us, lest, like St. Paul’s living dead widow, we be dead while we are alive, 1st Tim.5.6.  Therefore, unless we will be dead, we must labor for a spiritual life,[see footnote] for there is another death that follows the first death.  We not only lose God and Christ, life and glory, eternal life, communion with saints and angels, but also we come to eternal torments with the devil and his angels.  Therefore above all things we go to Christ, that we may live in his sight.


 

Excerpt from Works of Richard Sibbes, Kindle edition, Loc. 53740. [Language modernized in few places by this site][mine]

“labor for a spiritual life” , working for salvation, as in earning salvation? no, Sibbes, I believe, has the right understanding, we stir ourselves up to seek God, trusting that God is behind our own motivations to seek and labor for Him.  We trust that God’s working (His Spirit) on and in us is compelling us to seek and labor after Him, it is His strong working on and in us, causing our own work and labor for a spiritual life.  (Philippians 2:13)

 

 

 

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[Language modernized in places by this site.]

 

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:8: 1/2

By R.C. Chapman

“If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.”  Song of Solomon 1:8

 

 

Thine heart, O my Lord! inclines Thine ear to hear.  Thou hast compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way.  Thou knewest no darkness of error; Thou wast holy, and art the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)

Thou art our near kinsman; thy love and grace made the stoop; thou wast made flesh, and art the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high.  Thou lovest to show us the bosom of the Father, all whose counsels are in Thee fulfilled, and whose utmost glory is manifest in Thee.

Thou art my Prophet, thou Lamb of God!  I love to learn, because of the lesson, and because of the Teacher.  Lord, my soul hangeth upon Thy lips; I cannot know my path but by Thy light, nor pursue my way but as Thou dost sustain my feebleness and check my wandering.

My need compels me, Thy love constrains me, therefore I draw near; I boast no wisdom; I confess my foolishness, and Thou upbraidest me now; rather dost Thou commend me, for by my poverty Thy riches are manifest, and Thou delightest to show me all the lovingkindness of Thine heart.

Behold me, Lord!  The work of Thine hands—not Thy creature only, Thy new creature also, quickened when dead in trespass and sins, without will or power to take hold of Thee, to look unto Thee, or to touch even the hem of Thy garment.

Now, by Thy Spirit quickened and created anew, behold me, wrought by Thyself after Thine own image.  Forsake not, then, the work of Thine own hands! Thou wilt not leave me; Thine eyes look with joyfulness upon me, as with a heart above a mother’s; Thou, abiding in Thine own peace, dost consider me, and watchest over me with tenderness divine.

Thou dost in equal truth and love entitle Thy sister-spouse the fairest among women; each member fair and lovely in Thy sight, and I, among the rest, can say: “Though black, I am comely” (Song of Solomon 1:5). But, “Tell me, O Thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest” (Song of Solomon 1:7).  I know Thou hearest me; what then is Thine answer?  Hear it, O my soul; thy Lord, thy Beloved, bids the go thy way by the footsteps of the flock.

Hast thou dreamed a dream of a bed of roses and path of flowers?  Through much tribulation must thou enter the kingdom.  Start now aside; see the footprints of thy Lord.  Such was His cup as only He Himself could drink and drain, full of gall and wormwood of thy sin and curse: and now, thou art forever free.


Excerpts of Mercy

This is 1:8-1/2

1:1           1:4          1:5          1:6          1:7           1:8-1/2 —2/2          1:9          1:10          1:11          1:12          1:13          1:14          1:15          1:16

Life of Faith 2: A Better Life

By Richard Sibbes

…There is a life besides the natural life, and the root of it is Christ, who is our life.  Life is the best thing in the world, most valued by us; as the devil said concerning Job, “Skin for skin, and all that a man has he will give for his life,” Job 2:4.  Life is the foundation of all comforts; life is the energy proceeding from soul and body.  So the spiritual life is nothing else but the excellent energy, and strong connected strength of the soul and body renewed, grounded on supernatural reasons, which makes it follow the directions of the word, conquer the flesh, and so by degrees be transformed into the image of Christ, consisting in holiness and righteousness.

First point then is, that there is a better life than a natural life, because there is something in a man that aspires and looks to a better state.  A child in the mother’s womb has life and senses in that dark place, but it is not contented there, but is restless as in a prison, tumbles and turns up and down; this life that it has is not to dwell there, but a beginning-life to fit it to live in the more open and spacious world, where it must shortly be sent forth.  So in this dark life of ours there is a divine instinct, power, and thinking in men, that nothing here is enough for us.  Which shows, that there is a place to satisfy the will and the understanding, and fill the affections; that there is a condition that shall make a man fully happy.  That there must be a spiritual life which is this spiritual life; for this life which we live in the flesh is a thing of nothing.

Our little life we live here, what is it?  To live a while, to eat and drink and enjoy our pleasures, and then fall down and die like a beast?  Oh no but to make a beginning for a better life.  If this life be such a blessing, what is then that most excellent spiritual life we speak of? It holds out beyond all.  By this spiritual when one is most sick, you will see him most lively and spiritual.  When sense, and spirit, and sight, and all fail, yet by reasons drawn from spiritual life he comforts himself in Christ, the glory to come, and what he has done for him.

 


Excerpt from Works of Richard Sibbes, Kindle Edition, Loc. 53722 [Language modernized in places by this site.]

 


Life of Faith 1
Life of Faith 3
Excerpts of Mercy

Christian Love 9: Love is Patient and Kind

By Hugh Binning

Speaking of Paul and 1st Corinthians 13:

Now he shows the sweet properties of it [Christian love], and good effects of it, how universal an influence it has on all things, but especially how necessary it is to keep the unity of the church.

Charity[Christian love] “is kind” and “suffers long with”, it is able to remain calm and keep itself from retaliating or expressing resentment and generous and gracious toward those against them and or less powerful. And there is indeed no haughtiness of mind but is patient and long suffering.  It is a great weakness and lack of courage and determination to be angry.  Such a spirit does not control itself, it is in bondage to it own lust, but “he who rules his own spirit is greater that he who takes a city.”  Now, it is much of this affection of love that overrules passion.  There is a greatness and height in it, to love those who do not well deserve it from us, to be kind to the unfaithful, not to be easily provoked, and not soon offended and or displeased by others.  A fool’s wrath is presently known.  It is a folly and weakness of spirit, which love, much love cures and amends.  It suffers much unkindness, and long suffers it, and yet can be kind.

 


Excerpt from The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle Edition, Loc. 16455, [Some language modernized]


Christian Love 10: Love Is Not Envious or Proud

Christian Love 8 : Greatness of Love

Excepts of Mercy

 

Sweet Drops 9: Changing Sight

By Richard Sibbes

The more we set before the soul that quiet estate in heaven which the souls of perfect men now enjoy, and itself ere long shall enjoy there, the more it will be in love with it, and endeavor to attain unto it.  And because the soul never works better, than when it is raised up by some strong affection…–let us look upon our nature, as it is in Christ, in whom it is pure, sweet, calm, meek, every way lovely.  This sight is changing sight; love is an affection of imitation; we affect a likeness to him we love.  Let us “learn of Christ to be humble and meek,” and the we “shall find rest to our souls,” Matt. 11:29.  The setting of an excellent idea and platform before us, will raise and draw up our souls higher, and make us sensible of the least moving of spirit, that shall be contrary to that, the attainment whereof we have in our desires.  He will hardly attain to mean things, that sets not before him higher perfection.  Naturally we love to see symmetry and proportion, even in a dead picture, and are much taken with some curious piece.  But why should we not rather labor to keep the affections of the soul in due proportion? seeing a meek and well ordered soul is not only lovely in the sight of men and angels, but is much set by, by the great God himself.  But now the greatest care of those that set highest price upon themselves is, how to compose their outward movements in some graceful manner, never studying how to compose their spirits; and rather how to cover the deformity of their passions than to cure them.  Whence it is that foulest inward vices are covered with the fairest masks, and to make this the worse, all this is considered the best of proper society.

 


Excerpt from The Works of Richard Sibbes, Kindle edition, Loc. 3612  [Language modernized in few places by this site.]


Excepts of Mercy

Sweet Drops: This is 9

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