R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 2:3

By R.C. Chapman

“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my Beloved among the sons” Song of Solomon 2:3

A waste land, O my soul! is this earth to you, a forest full of briers and thorns, in which once you were a wanderer in darkness “such as might be felt”  no path for your foot of peace, your heart was brought down with labor!  The you made your earnest begging, and your cry was heard, for Jesus became your Light of Life, your Guide, your Defense and Shield!

O my soul! My enemies are strong and active; at times they roar against me in the way; they would have me credit their proud boasting, that I am their prey.  Theirs is the serpent’s guile, the poison of asps is under the adversary’s lips: Satan transforms himself into an angel of light.

O teach me, then, to watch and pray, lest I enter into temptation! I don’t ask, Lord to be taken out of the world before the set time; rather gird and provide for me , by the Comforter, with the whole armor of God; and give me out of weakness and poverty of spirit to be strong, and to be made valiant in fight, looking ever to you, You Lamb of God and Captain of my salvation!

Ah, Lord! You love to hear from Your own the song of triumph which Your cross and throne teach them while in the midst of battle!  The blood of Your cross took away the handwriting that was against us, the holy law, whose glory is terrible in condemnation, chiefly in condemnation of You, my Sin-bearer, Surety, Redeemer!

Your blood has spoiled the rule and power of darkness; and I also am a conqueror, more than a conqueror now, even now! I overcome by the word of Your testimony, and by the blood of the Lamb! But, O my Lord, bow down Your ear! Safety from destruction cannot satisfy my soul, but only enlarges desire, and gives room for a powerful love!

You be my tree of life, and let Your fruit, You, my soul’s Beloved! Be my heart’s strength and my spirit’s joy, for what can this earth yield me since I have tasted You!  I once fed on ashes; now I love by You, O You who humbled yourself a was made flesh!

You are fairer than the children of men.  You are meek and lowly; they are fierce and proud.  You are true, yes, truth itself; while they speak with double heart.  They change like the wind that whirls about continually; but You are He that was, that is, and is to come; the same yesterday, today, and forever!

You came in the likeness of sinful flesh, infinite was Your humiliation and poverty! And yet in Your poverty you were infinitely rich and great! In the light of Your countenance I have joy, for which I give to the winds all other joys!

I claim You, in Your poverty and riches, for my own.  You call me brother, and I call You my Lord and my God, and, in all boldness of faith and confidence of love-my Friend, my Brother, Guide, Companion, all in one!

You have now gone forth out of the forest of this world, in which You were once ” a stranger to Your mother’s children” (Psalm 69:8). I would also be a stranger and sojourner with You, knowing that by Your help and guidance I will one day see You face to face, and go out no more.

 

 


This common domain work’s language modernized in places.

Christian Love 23: Loving is not a Grievous Burden

by Hugh Binning

When a Christian looks within his own heart, he finds an inclination and desire to have the love of others, even though his conscience witness to him he doesn’t deserve it.  He finds and heartily approves of that good and righteous command of God, that others should love him.  Now he may persuade himself, it is so sweet and pleasant to me to be loved by others even though I am conscious that I’ve wronged them? It has such a beauty in my eyes, while I am the object of it? Why then should it be a hard and grievous burden to me to love others, though they have wronged me, and deserve it no more than I did?

Why doesn’t it have the same amiable aspect, when my brother is the object of it?  Certainly there’s no other reason but, I am yet carnal, and do not have that fundamental law of nature yet written again upon my heart, “What you would have others do to you, do it to them,” —Matthew 7:12.  If I am convinced there is an equity and beauty in that command, which charges others to love me, forgive me, and forbear me, and restore me in meekness, why should it be a grievous command that I should pay that debt of love and tenderness to others?  1st John 5:3—”For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous.”

 

 


This common domain work’s language has been modernized in places by this site.

Life of Faith 6 : Faith Conveys Life

By Richard Sibbes

We have seen briefly there is another life than the life of nature; and the root and spring of it is the Son of God.  Now the way of conveyance of this life is “by faith.”  A fountain is not sufficient to send forth water abroad; there must be pipes to convey it for use.  So from the heart and liver there must be arteries and veins for the maintenance of life and conveyance of blood through all the body.

Christ is the heart and liver of all spiritual life; but there must be a conveyance to bring it to us, and this is faith.  But why is faith the grace to convey life to us?

Because we are saved now out of ourselves by another.  Therefore that grace which brings us to this great good must lead us out of ourselves.  This faith does, which is the hand of the soul, to lay hold of all the graces, excellencies, and high perfections of Christ.

Because faith gives all the glory to the party whom it relies on and trusts, as in Romans 3:20.  Paul shows why works were excluded; and such a righteousness was brought in, he says, the he might be just, and the justifier of him who believes; and then he adds, “Where is boasting then? it is excluded.  By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.”  If by love it has come, or humility, patience, or anything in us, there might be some boasting; but this looks another way, lays hold upon another’s riches.  Faith acknowledges nothing to be at home;  therefore it goes to another to fetch it, which else it would not do.

Because we must be brought back to God by a contrary way than we were lost by; for the same way could never have recovered.  The serpent, we know, shook Eve’s faith in believing the threatening.  While they kept the word and feared the commandment, they kept their life; but, losing this fearing respect, they lost communion with the fountain of love.  So we fell by infidelity, and must return again by faith in the righteousness of another.

 


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

R.C. Chapmans S.O.S. 1:10

By R.C. Chapman

“Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,
your neck with strings of jewels.”  —Song of Solomon 1:10

You, Lord, are wise in heart and tender! You know, in this our ceaseless warfare, our weakness, our drooping and fainting; and are skillful to encourage our hearts and revive our spirit.

The adversary’s fiery darts are sharp and dreadful; his power is great, and His cunning deep in stirring the filth of the flesh.  You cannot, without him, reveal to us all foul things and abominations of the chambers of imagery.

The battle is hard and needs one exercised and by use become expert to hold and handle shield and handle sword and spear, to stand and hold on to fight.

Lord, Your eye is upon us!  And while we see and feel the flesh and its motions, You behold Your Church’s beauty.  Glorious her clothing!  For in You, her husband, she is made the righteousness of God.

Our debt became Yours.  You, the Son of God, made under the law, was made a curse for us, to be the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Your beauty and Your glory, You mighty God and Prince of Peace!  Are upon Your Church, and upon me, who boast of Your grace as one of Your redeemed.  Your spouse is of fair countenance; for though once cast out to the hating of her person, and from the womb disgusting and hateful, You have washed her and worked and formed her anew; so now Your eyes rest forever upon her attractiveness, her “strings of jewels and her chains of gold.”

You always take the precious from the bad.  We may confound the flesh with the Spirit; not so You.  How great soever the deformity of the flesh, You cannot forget that we love You and delight in You whom man rejects, whom the nations despise and regard with disgust and hatred.

Oh, my soul! Your Lord calls you Hephzibah, for He delights in you, rejoices over you; He admires you, folds you to His heart, holding you up for the admiration of elect angels, who see His masterpiece in His Church.

Be you of good courage, for you have come to excellent ornaments; let His praise embolden you and make you strong and patient for battle.  Only be a “worm” and “you will thresh the mountains” —Isaiah 41:15; so you will please Him who bought you with His blood and choose you to be a soldier, and who glorified by the great increase of your faith and love.

For what you have of the fruit of the Spirit, be thankful.  Yet don’t count it as your attaining of anything, but while your gratitude owns the gift already given, do not turn away from Jesus, or boast in anything, save Christ and Him crucified.  Oh, my soul! Be ever growing up into Him in all things.


Modernized in places by this site.

Life of Faith 4: He is Life

By Richard Sibbes

Why is it that we do not seek this spiritual life more? Because when the conscience is not awakened, we think there is no such thing: like Judas walking on in the state of nature, in drunkenness, sensual pleasures, covetousness, and such things, until we perish suddenly. If the conscience is awakened, then it is easy to work upon such who sees his misery and desires a remedy.  It was easy to persuade Jacob to send for corn in Egypt, when a famine was in the land of Canaan.  It is easy to persuade men hungry and thirsty to eat and drink; easy to persuade a weighed down, weary man to lay down his burden and rest.  So it’s the same with us.  If the conscience is awakened to have a sense of sin, and that intolerable wrath and eternal punishment that is due, we should and would long for this spiritual life.

I urgently ask you, let us believe there is such a life. Look at 1st Peter 1:3.  There he blesses God, “who according to his great mercy became our father again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  No one can go to heaven unless they are born again here.  The main help is the use of the means.  This is that pool of Bethesda, at which if we lie the angel of the covenant will put us in to be healed.  Never rest then until this life has gotten into us…[never rest from seeking and looking to God, through His means, I take this to mean things such as praying and reading his word, in expectation of his mercy.]

…Christ is called life, the bread of life, tree of life, and he gives us living water to refresh our souls, not that he is so essentially bread, or a tree, but by the ability of his working in us. For God is life in himself.  Therefore he swears by it: “As I live, says the Lord, I do not desire the death of a sinner,” —Ezekiel 33:11.  Here we do not consider life so high, but this life must be derived from him principally.  It is done so naturally.  The Son is the fountain of life, because he is God, who is radically, fundamentally, and essentially life.

 

 

 

 [Language modernized in places by this site] [mine]

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R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:8, 2/2

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

 

He, for thee, was taken from prison and from judgment; He, for thee, stood surety.  Be of good courage, shout aloud: “I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me”. —2nd Corinthians 12:9–  Cry aloud the cry of faith: “I can do all things through Christ, which stengtheneth me”. —Philippians 4:13

Thy case, my soul, stands not alone; the same afflictions have been accomplished at all times in each member of Christ.  Of old was it said: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous”; —Psalm 34:19– “The Lord trieth the righteous”. —Psalm 11:5– In this present time of peace—when persecutors are held in with bit  and bridle, so that the earth is not drunk with the blood of the saints—even now, go join thyself to the flock, draw near the shepherds’ tents; thou wilt see the poor and afflicted people still poor and afflicted, though rich and blessed, for they trust in the name of the Lord.  And, indeed, thou lovest the temple and dwelling place of Jesus, which is His body, the Church; He entered and sits there upon His throne, high and lifted up, and is the glory in midst.  There He shines forth, not confounding us, but giving light and life to all; all eyes wait upon Him, and He satisfies us from His fullness.

My soul, consider thy profit and blessedness in dwelling by the shepherds’ tents, for it is thine both to hear in the Church, and, in fitting time, to speak.  Seek humility form thy Lord, and thou shalt be able both to learn and teach, to give and receive, to weep with them that weep, and to rejoice with them that do rejoice.  So wilt thou sweetly beguile the time until thy brief course be fulfilled, and shalt daily grow up into Christ, thy Head in all things.

 

 

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.]


 

 

 

 

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