|Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings|
[Table of Contents] [Fast Index] [Site Map]
by James Durham
Verse 10. I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.
In this tenth verse, and the two verses that follow, the Bride comes in speaking and accepting the Bridegroom's gracious answer and promise: and first, she doth confirm, the truth of it from her own experience, verse 10, and then she doth more fully clear and strengthen her experience, by laying down the grounds from which she draweth that comfortable conclusion (of finding favour in his eyes) in reference unto herself, verses 11,12.
First, then, in the tenth verse, the Bride brings forth her experience, for confirmation of the truth of what the Bridegroom had spoken: that they are the Bride's words, we conceive is clear; for, this 'I,' is she that put up the suit for the little sister, and by her description is opposed to her, as being 'a wall,' and having breasts like towers, which 'she,' the little sister had not; and there is none other that hath found favour in Christ's eves but she. What the scope is, shall be cleared when we have opened the words; which have three things in them. 1. A short description of her own good condition. 2. An excellent advantage that followed thereupon. 3. The connexion of these two. First, Her condition is set forth in two expressions. 1. 'I am a wall:' that is, what the little sister was not, and what the condition, proposed by the Bridegroom in the former verse, required: in a word, that condition is fulfilled in me (saith she) by faith I am built on Christ, and like a wall stand stable on the foundation. The second expression, setting forth her condition, is, 'and my breasts like towers:' this supposeth a growth, and further degree of her faith and other graces, as having not only breasts, which the little sister had not, verse 8, but 'breasts like towers,' i.e. 'well fashioned,' Ezek. 16:7, and come to some perfection; and so she is a wall with towers.
Next, the privilege, or advantage which accompanies this her good condition. is held out in these words, 'I was in his eyes as one that found favour,' or peace; to find favour in his eyes, is to be kindly and affectionately dealt with, and to have that manifested by some suitable evidence: so it is said, Esther found favour in the eyes of the King, and he held out the golden sceptre to her, Est. 5:2. The thing that Moses pitched on, as the evidence that he and the people found favour in God's eyes (Exod. 33:16,17) is, that his presence might go with, them, 'whereby' (saith he) 'should it be known that we have found grace in thy sight, is it not in that thou goest with us?' So then, to find favour in his eyes, is to have his presence in a gracious manner manifested to his people, as John 14:23. And in sum, this expression implies these three, 1. Love in Christ's bosom to her. 2. His manifesting of this by his complacency in her, or his making the delight which he had in her, manifest in the effects of it on her. 3. Her being comforted and delighted in the favour that she found from him.
3. The connexion of this comfortable attainment, with her gracious state, is implied in the word 'then:' 'then was I' &c. That is, when I was a wall, and by faith rested on him, I found this favour, and not before: it holds out no casuality betwixt the one and the other, but a peremptory connexion of order and time; for though God's love of benevolence, whereby he purposeth good to us (such as was his love to Jacob, 'before he had done good or evil,' Rom. 9:13) and also his love of beneficence, whereby he actively confers, and brings about our conversion and regeneration, go before our believing in him, and our love to him, and is the cause of our loving of him (who love him because be first loved us) yet his love of complacency, whereby he shews himself delighted with the graces, which by his love he hath bestowed on us, doth follow, in order of nature, upon our faith in him, and love to him; so, John 14:21,23, 'He that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him;' and what is meant by this love, the words following clear 'I will manifest myself to him;' and so, verse 23, having said, 'my Father will love him,' it is added, 'we will come and make our abode with him:' This then is the sum of this verse, I am by faith founded on him, and united to him, and so am a wall, and have breasts, who by nature once was not a wall, and had no breasts; by which union my breasts becoming as towers, I did find favour from him, and had his presence friendly manifested to me. The scope, as appears from the coherence of this verse with the former, is to make good, from her experience, the truth and certainty of the promises, which he had made for the encouragement of the little sister and for comforting of herself, who had been seriously pleading with him on her behalf: thus, these promises are faithful, saith she; for, in my comfortable experience, I have found it so: I was once without the evidence of his love, as now others are; but being by faith engaged to him, I have found favour of him, so as others may be assured of obtaining the like, and on the same terms, if when he is bespeaking them by the gospel, they will close with Christ, and by faith unite with him.
Observe. 1. There are great, real, and discriminating differences betwixt one in nature, and one that is in Christ; the one is not a wall, and hath no breasts; the other is a wall, and hath breasts, which shows a great odds. 2. Believers may come to know that marches are cleared betwixt their estate and condition, now while they are in Christ, and their estate and condition as it was before; or, believers should set themselves to know, whether marches be cleared or not, or if they may say that of themselves, which cannot be said of others that are not in Christ. 3. It is no little advancement, to be able upon good grounds to assert our union with Christ, to to say that 'I am a wall,' &c. each one cannot do it. 4. Although none ought to be proud of their attainments, yet may believers humbly (where there is good ground) acknowledge the reality of grace in them. 5. Although the Lord loves the elect, and the believer always, yet there are special times or occasions upon which, or ways by which, he manifests his love to them. 6. The believer hath Christ's favour otherwise let forth and manifested to him, than it was before his conversion, although this love, as it is in God himself, be ever the same. 7. It is a singularly refreshful thing to find favour in Christ's eyes, and to have that love of his sensibly manifested, and clearly made out unto us. 8. There is an inseparable and peremptory connexion betwixt holiness in a believer's walk, and Christ's manifesting of his favour thus unto them. 9. Those that have felt by experience, the fulfilling of Christ's promises, are both more clear in the meaning of them, and more thorough in the faith of them: experience is both a good commentary upon, and proof of, the promises of Christ, which the Bride makes use of here. 10. The experience of one believer in the way of grace, which is founded upon the essentials of the covenant, and is agreeable to it, may be an encouragement to strengthen others, in expectation of the accomplishment of the same thing, when the same way is taken in suing for it. 11. Believers that are more versed in, and acquainted with experiences than others, should fitly and conveniently bring them out, and communicate them for the benefit of others, who yet have not attained that length. 12. It is the duty of hearers, when they hear gospel truths and offers (such as were held forth in the ninth verse) to reflect on themselves, and try if their experience suit with them, if they have such conditions in themselves, and have felt the fulfilling of such promises in their own particular experience and it is comfortable, when their experiences and the promises agree so together, that when he saith, 'If she be a wall, we will build on her': or, 'who loveth me, I will manifest myself to him,' they may groundedly answer, and say; 'I am a wall,' and so have 'found favour in his eyes; I love him, and so he hath manifested himself to me.'
Return to Song of Songs Index
|Table of Contents||Main Page||Quote of the Week|
|History & Biography||Poetry||If You're Looking For...|
|New & Favourite||Reformed Links||Fast Index|
|About the Puritans||Our Church|