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For your encouragement, consider his nature, that he is ready and willing to comfort : Consider his relation to his people, he is their Father, and the most tender and compassionate one : And if earthly parents know how to give good things to their children, how much more will your heavenly Father give his holy Spirit, the Spirit of grace and comfort, to them that ask it of him? Consider his omniscence and omnipresence: He knows what comfort we want, in what season and to what degree ; and he is able to raise up, how low foever we are reduced, and how long soever seemingly left. And may the depth of your distress under present trouble, add to your praising songs, when divine consolations Thall change the scene, and your heavenly Father shall call to you, saying, Come up hither, the days of your mourning are ended.

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CANT. I. 12.
While the King sitteth at his table, my

Spikenard Jendeth forth the smell

HESE words are the believers testimony T

from experience of the blessed effects which Christ's presence in his ordinances hath upon pious souls, which wait upon him under them.

In the fore-going verfes, Christ takes notice with complacency of the graces wherewith his spouse or church was adorned : That her cheeks were comely with rows of jewels, and her neck with chains of gold. And she acknowledges the sensible comfort of her graces to be owing to influence from, and communion with him under "his ordinances : For in the text she faith, While the king fitteth at bis table, my spikenard sendetb forth the smell thereof.

In which words we have,

1. The title the gives Christ, The King : as Thewing thereby the sense she had of his dignity and dominion, and also of her subjection to him, and dependance upon him. In the fol

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lowing verses, she calls him ber beloved, or the ob-
ject of her special affection: But this does not take
off from her reverence for him, and godly fear of
him: nor doth her reverence for him lessen her
love to him. To them that believe, Christ is
precious under every character he wears; as a
King to command and rule, as a prophet to teach,
and a priest to make atonement for their fins, and
intercede for them with God the Father.

2. What she says of him from her own ex-
perience, as a witness to his condescension and
grace, The King sitteth at his table : which
inay refer to all the ordinances of the gospel,
in which, as at a feast, he meets and enter-
tains his people, supping with them, and they
with him, as his own expression is, Rev. iii. 20.
His presence in his institutions, and the gra-
cious manifestations he makes of himself to
his members who in the way of his appoint-
ments wait for him, are here meant, The King
fitteth at his table. How far foever he is above
us, he is yet pleased, in the most endearing
way, to vouchsafe and give proofs of his pre-
fence with us.

3. The happy fruit or effect of Christ's fitting at his table, upon the believer who is admitted to fit with him. My Spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.

This is a figurative description of the grace wherewith the believer is furnished from Christ his living head; he receiving of his fulness, and grace for grace, John i. 16. and having that grace put into exercise, by his approach and influence as the sun of righteousness, under his


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It is as

ordinances. Spikenard was a precious Eastern plant of a pleasing sinell, as was also the ointment made of it; a pound of which was worth three hundred pence. With this, how costly foever, Mary, in token of her esteem and gratitude, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped them with her hair : and such was its fragancy, that the whole house, it is said, was filled with the odour of the ointment, yohn xii. 3, &c. This was done while Christ was sitting at table, the account of which seems to have a designed reference to our text.

Grace is compared to spikenard for its preciousness and value ; and the fending forth of its Yiell, denotes that grace, as discovering itself in a lively, fresh and vigorous manner. ointment poured forth, most pleasing to Chrift, and to all that love him too; they rejoicing in the honour paid him by themselves and others, through a lively exercise of grace.

Chiift has his chambers, and his banquetting"house, into which he is pleased to bring his friends for spiritual entertainment, and to give them the fore-tastes of heaven in the

way to it. And when in his ordinances, partia cularly that of the Lord's fupper, where the King fits at his own table, serious christians, the invited guests, have their graces

in exercise; their hearts broken by repentance, raised by faith, inflamed with holy love and defire towards Christ, and joyful expectations of seeing and being with him in glory. Then the spikenard may be said to send forth the smell thereof, when grace Thews itself in such


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a way as Christ will be pleased with, and rec-
kon himself honoured by striving that it may,

paying our homage to him in a spiritual manner,
as the wise men from the east did once, by open-
ing their treasures, and presenting him with
frankincense and myrrhe.

4. We have the connexion of this effect with
its cause, or the presence of Christ, and the de-
pendance of this upon it: While the King fitteth
at bis table, my spikenard fendeth forth the fmell
thereof. When this is vouchsafed, grace stirs
and acts, flows and flourishes, and thus continues
to do while his presence and influence continues :
but when this is withdrawn or suspended, grace
droops and languishes, and so little discovery is
made of it by the exercise, that it becomes like
flowers withering, or spices unstirred, which send
not forth the delightful fragrancy by which they
should be known.

From the whole we may observe,
1. That grace in the friends of Christ is highly

valuable and precious.
II. That Christ's presence as king in his ordinan-

ces, particularly at his table, is that which
draws forth the graces of his people into that
exercise, which is most pleañng to him, and
comfortable to themselves. While the King sit-
teth at his table, my spikenard sends forth the
Smell thereof.

1. Grace in the friends of Christ is highly vaJuable and precious. It being compared to spikenard, denotes its worth.

Under this, I shall only briefly tell you, 1. What grace is.

II. From

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