|Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings|
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by James Durham
Verse 5. Thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from Gilead.
6. Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them.
7. As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks.
The following particulars of her commendation, in the end of the 5th and in the 6th and 7th verses, are set down in the same words, chap. 4:1,2,3, and therefore we need say no more for their explication, only we would consider the reason for repeating them in the same words, which is the scope here, and it is this; although he commended her formerly in these expressions, yet considering her foul slip, chap. 5:2,3, and his withdrawing on the back of it, she might think that he had other thoughts of her now, and that these privileges and promises which she had ground to lay claim to before, did not belong to her now, and therefore she could not comfortably plead an interest in them now as before: to remove this mistake or doubt, he will not only commend her, but in the same very words, to shew that she was the same to him, and that his respect was not diminished, to her, therefore he will not alter her name, nor her commendation, but will again repeat it for her confirmation, intimating his love thereby; and also for her instruction, teaching the Bride her duty by these particulars of her commendation and shewing her what she should be: and this commendation had not met so well with her case, nor expressed so well his unchangeable love, if it had been given in other terms. From this we may Observe, 1. As believers are ready to slip and fail in their duty, so are they ready to suspect Christ to be changing towards them because of their failings; they are very apt from their own fickleness and changes, to apprehend him to be changeable also, and to refuse comfort from all by-gone evidences and intimations of his love, and from all words that have comforted them, till they be restored and set aright again. 2. Our Bridegroom is most constant in his affection to his Bride, continuing still the same, and as he is the most free forgiver of wrongs to his own, so he is the most full forgetter of them, when they return; and therefore he continues speaking to her in the same terms as formerly, without any alteration, as if no such wrong on her side had been committed. 3. Renewing of repentance and faith by believers after failings, puts them in that same condition and capacity with Christ, for laying claim to his love, and their wonted privileges and comforts, wherein they were before, even as if such failings and miscarriages had never been. 4. Our Lord Jesus would have his people confirmed, and strengthened in the faith of the constancy of his love, the unchangeableness of their interest, and the privileges following thereon: and seeing he thus loves his people, he allows them to believe it. 5. It is not easy to fix and imprint Christ's words on believers' hearts, and to get them affected with them: therefore often, both promises and duties must be repeated; and what was once spoken must be again repeated for their good, especially after a slip and fit of security, the same word hath need to be made lively again, and fresh to their relish, which the Lord doth here. 6. Unless Christ speak and make the word lively, the sweetest word, even that which once possibly hath been made lively to a believer, will not savour, but will want its relish and lustre, if he repeat it not.
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