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Commentary on the Song of Songs, Chapter Four Verse 7

by James Durham

Verse 7. Thou art all fair, my love, there is no spot in thee.

This verse contains the last piece of the commendation which Christ gives to the Bride, and it is the scope of all; whereby, having spoken of some particular parts, he now sums up all in a general, 1. Positively expressed, 'thou art all fair, my love,' then, 2. Negatively, 'there is no spot in thee.' The reason why, thus in a general, he closes up her commendation, is to shew that his forbearing the enumeration of the rest of her parts, is not because of any defect that was in her, or that his touching of some particulars was to commend these parts only, but to shew this in general, that all of her parts, as well not named as named, were lovely. This universal commendation is not to be understood in a popish sense, as if she had had no sin; for, that will not agree with other express scriptures, nor with this Song, where she records her own faults, as chap. 1:6, and 3:1, and 5:2, 3. And also this commendation agrees to all believers, who yet are acknowledged by themselves not to be perfect. Neither is it to be taken in an Antinomian sense, as if their sins and failings were not sins to them, and did not pollute them; for, 1. That is not consistent with the nature of sin. Nor, 2. With the Bride's regrets and confessions in this Song: nor, 3. With the present scope, which is to shew the Bride's beauty: and he doth thus highly commend her beauty, not because her sins were not sins in her, as they were in others, but because her graces were more lovely, which were not to be found in others: hence the particular parts of the new creature, or inherent holiness, are insisted on for the proof of this; further this commendation did agree to believers before Christ came in the flesh. And this love assertion, 'thou art all fair,' holds true of the Bride, in these four respects, 1. In respect of the justification and absolution; she is clean, though needing washing in other respects, John 13, 'Ye are clean by the word that I have spoken,' yet they needed to have their feet washen. Thus a believer is in a justified state, and legally clean and fair, so as there is no sin imputed to him, or to be found in him to condemn him, because the Lord hath pardoned them, Jer. 50:20. 2. It is true in respect of sanctification and inherent holiness, they are all 'fair,' that is, they are wholly renewed, there is no part but it is beautiful in respect of God's grace (though in degree it be not perfect.) Thus where grace is true, it is extended through the whole man; and makes an universal change. 3. It is true in respect of Christ's acceptation; and so where there is sincerity in the manner, he overlooks and passeth by many spots; thus 'thou art all fair,' that is, in my account thou art so; I reckon not thy spots, but esteem of thee as if thou had no spot: Christ is no severe interpreter of his people's actions; and where there is honesty, and no spots inconsistent with the state of children, Deut. 32:2, he will reckon of them, as if there were none at all. 4. It is true of Christ's Bride that she is 'all fair,' in respect of Christ's design, he will make her at last 'without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing,' Eph. 5:25, &c. And because of the certainty of it, it is applied to her now, as being already entered in the possession thereof in her head, in whom she is set in heavenly places. Hence we may see, 1. The honest believer ere all be done, will be made fully fair and without spot. 2. Christ often expounds an honest believer, from his own heart-purpose and design; in which respect they get many titles, otherwise unsuitable to their present condition; and believers themselves may someway reckon so also. If all were put together, it were a great matter for a believer to conceive and apprehend these words as spoken to him in particular from Christ's mouth, thou, even, 'thou art fair,' and without this, they will want their lustre, for certainly Christ speaks so upon the matter to some, and he allows that they should believe that he speaks so unto them.



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