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Commentary on the Song of Songs, Chapter One Verse 11

by James Durham

Verse 11. We will make thee borders of gold, with studs of silver.

In the 11th verse for confirming of the former consolation, he gives her a promise; the scope whereof is to obviate an objection which jealous sense might make against what he hath said: how shall beauty be obtained, or continued, might she say? Whence shall it come, seeing I am so black and loathsome? To this he answers, as it were, by a sweet promise, 'we will make,' &c. Wherein we may consider, 1. The thing promised, it is 'borders of gold' and 'studs of silver.' 2. The party promising, and undertaking the performance of it: 'we will make them to thee,' saith he.

Borders of gold and studs of silver, (it's like) have been some special ornaments in these days, and that which is here pointed at by them, in general seems to be an addition to what formerly the Bride possessed, he would add to her beauty, and gloriously complete it: and certainly it must be an excellent work; which needs such workers as are here spoken of. We take the thing promised, to comprehend the increase, continuance and perfecting of her comeliness and beauty; in which work the blessed Trinity are engaged: and so, the second thing is, who undertakes it. 'We will make thee' saith the Bridegroom; this word make, in the original is used for making of man at first, Gen. 1:26. As also, for renewing of him, and begetting holiness in him, Psalm 100, because it is no less work to renew, than to create man. The number here is changed from the singular, 'I have compared,' &c. verse 9, to the plural, 'we will' &c. As it is also in the first making of man, from the singular, 'He made' heaven and earth, to the plural, 'let us make man according to our image;' as if the Holy Ghost, purposely in mentioning this renewing-work of grace, did allude to the first work of man's creation. And this, 1. To show the excellency of it, not that God was put to any deliberation, but that the work was and is, exceeding excellent, and therefore deliberately as it were gone about. 2. To show, that man hath no more hand in his renovation than in his first creation, that is, he is no more of himself able to bring about the one than the other. By this 'we,' we do not understand God speaking of himself in the plural number, as in some languages, for honour's cause, kings do of themselves: for, 1. If that were more honourable, then it would have always been used for God's honour, especially at solemn times, such as when the law was given; but we find the contrary true from the scripture. 2. Although that manner of speaking be used in some other languages, yet it is never so used in the Hebrew tongue (as by those who understand it, is asserted, and by some of the most learned Jews is acknowledged) and therefore we understand the Trinity of persons in one Godhead to be here understood; for, this one is also three, the Father, Son and Spirit, having a joint design in promoting the salvation of the elect, Isa. 61:1,2. And grace being a work, and gift prayed for, from them all, Rev. 1:4,5, it must be understood of these three blessed persons of the Holy Trinity, this work being common to the three persons of the Godhead, and communicable to no other. This then makes the consolation strong: for, saith Christ, although the perfecting of your grace be a great task, and far above your reach, yet fear not, we the Father, Son, and Spirit have undertaken it, and shall make it out to you.

Hence we may learn, 1. That grown believers, even the Bride, hath need of more grace and spiritual comeliness; there is a necessity of looking after a further growth in those, even to be transchanged from glory to glory, 2 Cor. 3:18. 2. That growing in grace, and perseverance therein, is a great consolation and comfort to a true believer; and therefore the promise of it is given to the Bride for that end here. 3. That neither growth in grace, nor perseverance therein, is a work of the believer's own working, but the omnipotency of grace is exercised here. 4. There is plurality of persons in the one Godhead; the Godhead, that is, 'I,' is also 'we.' 5. All the persons of the blessed Trinity concur, and are engaged in promoting the holiness, and in perfecting the beauty of a believer. 6. All the graces of a believer are pieces of the workmanship of the Holy Trinity: grace then must be an excellent thing. 7. The perfecting and perseverance of a believer is infallibly sure and certain, seeing all the persons of the Godhead are engaged in this work, and they who this day are believers, may promise this to themselves. 8. Much of believers' beauty is yet in the promise, and in the perfecting, so that it hath its defects and imperfections while they are here. 9. What is promised is so sure, that it ought to be no less comfortable, than if it were enjoyed; for the promise ought to have no less weight for that end, than the former commendation. 10. Christ allows his people freedom from anxiety, because of things that are to come, and to be comforted in him against the fears of those as well as to draw consolation from him against any evil that is present; therefore is this intimated unto them. 11. Believers ought still to hold all their enjoyments and privileges as from him, and the expectation of what is coming, as well as the performance of what is past. 12. Faith in the promise, hath a large comprehensive object to rest upon, and to draw consolation from, even the power of the Godhead, and what may be by the Father, Son, and Spirit created, and brought about for a believer's good, even though it have not at present a being; 'we will make thee' what is wanting, and what is needful, says the promise; creating power is engaged to through his work concerning them, 'I create the fruit of the lips,' Isa. 57:19; And 'I will create Jerusalem a joy,' &c. More cannot be desired, and less the Lord allows not.




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