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By R.C. Chapman
“Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.” (Song of Solomon 2:4-5)
Have you been left, O my soul, to your own will, and the way of your own wisdom, could you ever have known Jesus or desired to know Him? It was the Spirit of God who led you, opening your eyes, convincing your conscience, drawing you to Christ, whose grace He showed you and caused you to believe.
Lord Jesus, Your grace is true grace. In You, my soul makes her boast; and while You gird Yourself, and make me sit down in Your house of wine, a sweet sadness steals over my spirit. I was at one time in darkness, one time an alien and enemy, before Your love was set on me and my name was in Your book.
These solemn memories do not mar my joys; they are needed so long as I live in this earthly house, to give me richer communion with Your love!
O Crowned King, Jesus of Nazereth, the mighty and glorious One, who made Yourself of no reputation, You rule me with Your Almighty love. For if Your sceptor was not a sceptor of grace You could indeed, by a word destroy me; but You could not win my heart.
Now You show me Your wounds, and say: “Peace to you.” You hold me with the cords of Your love. Lord, You open to me the gates of glory, bringing me into Your banqueting house, to sustain and cheer me on my way; and the wine of Your house fills me with longing for those things which are above.
My soul surveys Your glory, O King of Zion, Beloved One, and altogether lovely! I sit down with You on Your throne, sin, death, the law, hell, and the world under my feet. Your fullness satisfies me. In You I see the Father’s heart; He is Your God and my God; Your Father and my Father. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.
Lord, You sit down with me at Your own table, delighting Yourself in my soul’s afffections to You and admirtion of You, and my song and triumph of faith. Your love to me is my soul’s strength and joy; it engages You to take up spear and shield against my enemies, draw me to my hiding place, and lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. In the light of Your love I see my foes, hate their baits, and avoid their snares.
To idols I say,”Depart, my soul is the temple of my Lord.”
Lord Jesus, You have said, “Behold I come quickly (Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20). O keep Your word! Even so, come, Lord Jesus, come quickly, and let my soul, with Your gathered saints, without enemies to frustrate us, rest in Your presence, and be filled with Your glory, and feast forever in Your love.
Modernized in places by this Site.
By R.C. Chapman
“I sat down under His Shadow with great delight and His fruit was sweet to my taste.” Song of Solomon 2:3
Mercies are inscribed on the lowly heart! The sweet memories of former joys, the joys of communion with Jesus, and profitable also, if these remembrances cause thankfulness and praise; if it confirms faith and hope; revitalizes desire, and makes sin more hateful.
Lord Jesus, when all strength is gone, and when through many temptations, hands hang down, knees been made feeble, it is Your desire in the fierce heat of battle to make me sit down beneath Your shadow!
By faith I rest in You; at the voice of Your rebuke my enemies take flight. Then there is holy stillness within me. I set myself to meditate on You, my Lord and Savior, on You, my own Emanuel! I see Your glory, and think deeply about Your eternal Godhead. As I look abroad, all things speak of Your power, and talk of Your praise; I see, and hear You, and trace Your footsteps everywhere.
I know You are the Word that endures forever, that was with God and was God, the Son who came from the heart of the Father. For me You came forth, and You have persuaded me of Your everlasting love; of the counsel of peace and the covenant that stands fast with You forever and forever.
I see You, You, the Lamb of God, my Great High Priest, who is highly exalted. You have an unchangeable priesthood, given by the oath and promise of God the Father, that I might have an anchor of the soul that is both sure and steadfast, which enters within the veil. I have You, my Rock to build on; to build so securely that storms and gales will only prove the building. I drink of Your love with great desire, which grows with each new gale, and aims to comprehend the greatest amount of Your glory and Your grace.
How beautiful is Your fruit; how sweet and refreshing; and Your shadow, how pleasant, the shadow of the Tree of Life. Ah, my Lord, for what reason do I grieve the comforter, by whom You satiate my soul? Sad to say! In me (that is, in my flesh) there lives no good thing. By grace, by grace, I am saved. But, Oh You, the Beloved of my soul, hold me up, and teach me to sit at Your feet, and in the midst of the richest refreshing of Your smile to grow in poverty of spirit and self-reproach!
Let me live and stay at the blood of sprinkling, to which I have come; and while being nothing myself in my own eyes, in You I will boast and magnify my Lord and God and Savior evermore.
Language updated by this site.
By R.C. Chapman
“As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” Song of Solomon 2:2
You, Lord Jesus! Dwell in us, You who esteem your church honorable and lovely. Your eyes can search all the chambers of the soul; yet not all the blackness of the flesh can hide from Your gracious view of beauty in your people: only our iniquity is covered (by Your robe it is hid!) and never will You deny Your bride her title:
“the lily among thorns.”
It is Your own image we bear! For You Yourself have worked it in us. You purify our hearts our by faith, to have unfeigned love for Yourself, and for the brethren.
And, O, my soul! For trying your own nature let these by your central questions: Do you beleive Him? Do you love Him? These two jewels, faith an love, how precious in the eyes of Jesus!
Faith exalt Him, reveiving Him, and resting in Him as a Savior: to be such is His glory; Love delights in Him as the soul’s portion, friend, and husband. O my Lord! Sweet is our mutual love! Yours to me is infinite, eternal, vast with many elements: mine to You, is Your own working, hindered though is may be through the flesh, is still sweet to You.
In none but Your own is love of You: they are Your temple, Your garden; and while all the earth otherwise lies waste, Your church has Your blessing. Your lily grows up among thorns. Am I reviled and hated? O let me rejoice if being Christ’s lily I suffer!
Isn’t it your honor, O my soul, to be like Him who humbled Himself and dwelt in humiliation among us? Should and will not I also bear my cross. Great is the gain from my sufferings! For You, Lord Jesus, help me, and whisper in my ear Your love; You fill me with evidences of Your favor and of Your delight in me.
I look into Your heart, O my Lord, which opens to me; I see it full of love, full of compassion, towards me! I know that every frown, each angry and scornful word of the wicked, You take to heart, saying to the ungodly, Why do you persecute me?
O my Lord, purge me; turn Your had upon me, I beg You! Let me, while living here be as Your lily. By grace teach me to purify myself from all dirtiness of flesh and spirit, and to walk in white with You; So that Your image may be seen in me; and what though the world hate and revile, all is well if You command and bless!
This common domain work’s language updated in places by this site.
By Richard Sibbes
The life of faith in sanctification, springs from these grounds:
Faith lays hold on Christ, as God offers him. How is this? See 1st Corinthians 1:30—”Because of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” God gives Christ, not only for justification, but also for sanctification: and therefore faith must apprehend him.
Faith receives him as whole Christ in all his offices; not as a priest to save only, but as a king to rule; as a wife receives her husband, to be ruled and governed by him.
Again, Christ came not only to take away the guilt of sin, but the dominion of sin also. He came as John speaks, to destroy the whole work of the devil; as it is said in Ephesians 5:25-27—” …as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without defect.” Christ purges his church not only from the guilt of sin, but also from the meddling and polluting of itself in the world with filthy things. So in Romans 8:3, the apostle shows, that “God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh; that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” He came as well by water as by the blood. Therefore faith puts him on, not only by justification, but also in sanctification.
This common domain work’s language has been modernized in places by this site.
By R.C. Chapman
“I am the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valleys.” —Song of Solomon 2:1
He to whom all worship was due from angels and men became a worshipper and servant of the Father.
Lord Jesus! Thou art the Rose of Sharon! Thou art the Lily of the Valleys! For our sakes Thou becamest poor. Thy poverty was as deep as the glory of Thy Godhead is high. This earth, under a curse, was Thy choice, where, in Thy low estate, Thou wouldest take root and grow up to scent all heaven and earth with the sweetness of Thy name! Angels were passed by, and Thou becamest the Son of Man, a partaker of flesh and blood, like unto Thy brethren!
Thou Son of God! Thou hast known hunger, weariness (Thy body fainting, not Thy heart). Thou didst bear the drought of day, the dews of night! At Thy birth Thy cradle was with the beast. (O, unkind world! But O kind and gracious Savior!) Persecuted was Thou, betrayed, denied, reviled, blasphemed, spit upon, mocked, scourged, buffeted, crucified and slain!
O, my Lord! My soul pants with longing for Thee! Teach me Thy ways. Let Thy blood purge my conscience of guilt, my understanding of darkness, my affections of idols! Give me to search the mystery of Thy wounds, Thy sweat of blood, Thy crown of thorns! Mournful and outward show, deeper things were in Thy soul. That cry of Thine, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34) That cry, Thou Lamb of God, tells Thine agony, and declares Thee bearer of Thy Church’s sin and curse!
Thou was cast out of earth and of heaven. It pleased Thy Father Jehovah Thy God, who delighted in Thee, to bruise Thee and put Thee to grief: “He spared not His own Son!” (Romans 8:32). The ever-during fragrance of Thine atoning sacrifice give Thee prevalence above: Thou the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valleys, art the heaven of heaven!
Men of this world walk in condemnation; I stand rejoicing before God in Thee, my robe of righteousness! O my Lord! I have learned before Thy cross that the joys of earth are cankered! Thorns and thistles, sorrow and shame, this evil world brings forth!
Content, yea, glad am I, my Lord, with Thee to be a worm and no man, with Thee, Thou Rose of Sharon, Thou Lily of the Valleys! Yea, my whole heart cries out, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world”. (Galatians 6:14)
By Richard Sibbes
One may ask:
“But what is the reason that many who are justified yet do not find daily comfort?”
Perhaps they smear up themselves, and do not search the bottom of their corruption: as Psalm 32:8, David, when he kept close his sin, his bones waxed old through his roaring all the day long, and God’s hand was heavy upon him day and night. Then he shows how he found comfort: “I acknowledged my sin to you, and my iniquity I have not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions to you; and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” So it may be in this case. We come not off with God freely, we do not ransack our sins, we do not search all the corners. Sin is a marvelously subtle thing. Again, because of this many times God will humble us for a former sin, and keep the oil of comfort, until we are more humbled, and stand in awe of sin.
Hence springs a vigorous life. A life of cheerfulness, when a man has his pardon found out, then comes life and joy, strength of holy actions well rooted and grounded. Who should joy, if a triumphant righteous person should not? Who have cause to rejoice more than kings?
By justification we are made kings and priests, are lifted above all sins and lusts, world and devil; have a right and title to heaven. Shall a carnal man joy in his titles and privileges, and shall not we much more, being sons of God by adoption, and heirs of all things? So Romans 5:1—”Being justified by faith , we have peace with God, and joy in tribulation.” Being once justified, the sting of all troubles is taken away. God is ours. This is all in all. The blood of Abel, that cries for vengeance; but the Spirit of God in this state tells me, that the blood of Christ speaks better things, mercy, mercy; in his blood is always comfort, though we be weak and unskillful to apply it. The washing in this blood should make a Christian walk on cheerfully in the comforts of the Holy Spirit.
This common domain work’s language has been modernized in few places by this site.
By Hugh Binning
Now the fountain of uncharitable and harsh dealing is seen in the 3rd verse,”If any man thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Since all mortal men are nothing, vanity, altogether vanity, he that would seem something, and seems so to himself, deludes himself.
Hence is our insulting fierceness, hence our haughty rigor. Every man apprehends some excellency in himself beyond another. Take away pride, and charity shall enter, and modesty shall be its companion. But now we mock ourselves, and deceive ourselves, by building the weight of our pretended zeal upon such a vain and rotten foundation, as a gross practical fundamental lie of self conceit of nothing.
Now the Apostle furnishes us with an excellent remedy against this in the 4th verse, “Let a man prove himself and his own work, and then he shall have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” — a word worthy to be fastened by the Master of assemblies in the heart of all Christians! And indeed this nail driven in would drive out all conceit. Hence is our ruin, that we compare ourselves among ourselves, and in so doing we are not wise, 2nd Corinthians 10:12. For we know not our own true value. Only we raise the price according to the market, so to speak. We measure ourselves by another man’s measure, and build up our own valuing of ourselves upon the disesteem of others, and how much we please ourselves.
But, says the Apostle, let every man prove his own worth, search his own conscience, compare himself to the perfect rule; and then, if he find all well, he may indeed glory in himself. But that which you have by comparison with others is not your own. You must come down from all such advantages of ground, if you would have your just measure. And indeed, if you prove yourself, and your work after this manner, you will be the first to reprove yourself, you shall have that glory due unto thee, that is none at all. For every man shall bear his own burden, when he appears before the judgment seat of God. There is no place for such imaginations and comparison’s in the Lord’s judgment.
This common domain work modernized in few places by this site.
By R.C. Chapman
“I am the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valleys.” —Song of Solomon 2:1
O say, my Lord, for Thou reavealest secret things, the rose and lily, what their voice concerning Thee? Surely they join their scent and beauty to be a memorial of the Lamb of God. O Thou Redeemer of Israel! Upon Thy work of love Thy heart was set in the beginning, from everlasting!
When Thou didst plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, Thou didst show forth Thy power to create. In Thy manifold wisdom also Thou didst fashion them to shadow forth Thy grace. And now these flowers of the earth, the rose and the lily, are heard to speak Thy name, and show forth Thy salvation.
Surely the rose tells me of Thy Cross, whereon Thou was made a curse, and wast stained in Thine own blood. O Thou Lamb of God! Give me now to stand and look upon Thee whom I pierced; yes, ,my soul, the Lamb whom thou didst pierce! Not for Himself was Messiah cut off. He was spotless, or He were not the Lamb of God.
Elect angels are holy and undefiled, yet in their holiness bounded by the creature’s narrow measure, and in itself liable to change. When their companions fell they were sustained and preserved, God in them providing His Church a goodly train and needful safeguard.
But who or what is Jesus? Mark Him! He travels in the greatness of His strength, no servant by nature, but the only begotten Son! Immanuel, the Lord Jehovah our Righteousness! And the Word that endureth forever (1 Peter 1:25); that was with God and was God. (John 1:1) All the acts of the Son of Man have the glory, the unsearchable glory, of His Eternal Power and Godhead in them. Our Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
If creatures serve and worship God, they do but take their true place, whereas the Son thought it not robbery to be equal with God. Yet He, The Son of God, took on Him the form of a servant!