Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Matthew Henry on The Song of Songs, or Love the Church!

Taking a lead from Daniel Newman, after Matthew Mason and Ros Clarke I've been enjoying Song of Songs by accepting this proposal from Matthew Henry:
"The best key to this book is the 45th Psalm, which we find applied to Christ in the New Testament, and therefore this ought to be so too. It requires some pains to find out what may, probably, be the meaning of the Holy Spirit in the several parts of this book; as David's songs are many of them level to the capacity of the meanest, and there are shallows in them learned, and there are depths in it in which an elephant may swim. But, when the meaning is found out, it will be of admirable use to excite pious and devout affections in us; and the same truths which are plainly laid down in other scriptures when they are extracted out of this come to the soul with a more pleasing power." CCEL, Introduction to Commentary on SOS
And so we observe in chapter 7, Christ's love for his bride. His love for the church:
The complacency which Christ takes in his church thus beautified and adorned. She is lovely indeed if she be so in his eyes; as he puts the comeliness upon her, so it is his love that makes this comeliness truly valuable, for he is an unexceptionable judge. He delighted to look upon his church, and to converse with it, rejoicing in that habitable part of his earth... much more reason have they to delight in them, and to reckon a day there better than a thousand. (on Chapter 7)
If he loves his church, let us love her too.

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