Of four more of Mr. Hunt’s Nineteen open Disparages of Christ, in his Discourse upon a portion of Song.2:1.

Having in the other chapter vindicated Christ from three open disparagements of his Person, against Mr. Hunt, which he hath asserted of Christ; to wit, his comely parts, even his Eternal Power and Godhead; his Divine Nature shadowed out unto us; and the hook of the Divine Nature; now, in this chapter is contained all that remains more to be vindicated of the Excellency of Christ, viz., in his Person against open disparagement in the four last of the seven reproachful particulars that I proposed, to fill up this branch of the Vindication, touching the Person of Christ, from that sacred passage of Scripture, “I am the Rose of Sharon.”

1. Mr. Hunt makes him to be Christ on a pricking bush, &c.

2. As roses are not very delightful to the eye, so he applies it unto Christ.

3. So fearful was Christ.

4. Christ is a Rose he’ll have gathered.

All these farther things I am purposed to bring into this chapter, and prove them open disparagements of the Person of Christ.

The first article of my charge against his book in this chapter, is, that he makes the Lord Christ to grow upon a pricking bush. His words are these, for I will first lay them together. “Roses are observed to grow upon pricking bushes, and he that will gather the Rose, must expect some scratch, more or less, in his flesh; so as to Christ, some thorn in the flesh will be ready to grieve those that enjoy the sweet of this Rose of Sharon. Troubles and persecutions are called briars and thorns, &c.” {Pages 18 & 19}

It is obvious, through the general carriage of Mr. Hunt in this coherence, to hint an universal mismanagement. Who is he {almost} that cannot see the disorder, and among other things his fetch of mere playing with the metaphor, and straining it, against which he had solemnly declared? {Page 9} But my work is of another nature, and lies in two things that must be considered in this section, to overthrow the dispraise, which rebounds to our Lord Christ, in what the Book saith. 1. “Roses are observed to grow upon pricking bushes.” 2. “He that will gather the Rose must expect some scratch.” Concerning each of these things the province will be to show, that these things are written of Christ in the Book; and to prove, that both these things, as the Book hath applied them to Christ, are open disparagements of his Person. This is my method to go upon the first article.

His first particular in the article, is this, “roses are observed to grow upon pricking bushes.” Well, but how doth Mr. Hunt bring up this to Christ, but to say that Christ grows upon a pricking bush? How does he make it out? Only thus, “so as to Christ, some thorn in the flesh will be ready to grieve those that enjoy the sweet of this Rose of Sharon.” Brave work for a pen to run on, and have no control!

Now, to show in point of fact, {for there may seem some ambiguity in it to the common reader,} that he makes our Lord Christ here, in the matter I have transcribed out of the book, to grow upon a pricking bush. I do observe, by the confusion and wandering of his way of proving, the man was so bewildered, that he knew not what to say in form of words consistently, unless he spake inconsistently in mismatching things, altering the very subject of the metaphor. He durst not apply it to Christ so very close as he was wont in the other particulars to go on with it, nor yet according to the strain he had begun in this particular; but quite shifts the point. He is in a maze! He is at a complete loss! Brought down to a plunge! He must not pursue it directly in form of language, nor write it out in words at length, in so many letters and syllables {Christ grows on a pricking bush} as he had said of roses in general, that “they are observed to grow upon pricking bushes,” because then he must have seen the disparagement had been too open. He no doubt would have seen it? Nay his own Church would have seen it, to instruct which alone, he tells us, he wrote his first book. “Not designing it, says he, if possible, to be exposed beyond the extent of my Church.” {Page 2} A motion every way worthy of himself in that book, that a man should write a book to instruct his Church alone, and in matters too which might have been inculcated in preaching {since intended only for them} as often as he saw need from the pulpit, when his Church had been come together into one place. I Cor.11:20. Be it as it is, if Mr. Hunt had not altered the subject of his metaphor in this particular resemblance, his common readers would have perceived the open disparagement of Christ, and there had been no help for it, from this ill wording it, that “roses are observed to grow upon pricking bushes, so as to Christ, he grows upon a pricking Bush.” To avoid therefore the evil he foresaw, he changes the subject {Christ} into a ‘we,’ and that with the greatest absurdity and precipitancy of thought, {if possible,} to build the resemblance; and yet the mischief is that his haste would not procure him help, though he alters his metaphor, from one resemblance to another; yet it doth not hide the matter, for the disparagement still breaks out. The proposition, though bridled to conceal him, yet betrays him. What doth it avail him to turn it over to a ‘we’ and a ‘those’ when he had connected the resemblance with his words, “so as to Christ?” What help of vindication can be for him in shifting and changing subjects, ‘those’ and ‘we’ instead of Christ, the radical subject of all his resemblances? That as soon as he had put in “so as to Christ,” then to add, “some thorn in the flesh will be ready to grieve those that enjoy this sweet Rose of Sharon;” and again, “troubles and persecutions are called briars and thorns, &c., and such briars and thorns we must expect to meet with while we are traveling through this howling wilderness;” and thus he runs on, &c. But what was this now to his purpose? Was this the place for all this? A word fitly spoken, the Holy Ghost tells us, is “like apples of gold in pictures of silver,” Prov.25:11, or demonstrates the matter to be better than the manner, yet always finds equal trimming for the stuff; but I am sure it is not so here. What confidence would he have had his reader put upon all this unfaithfulness? Would he had remembered the proverb of Solomon, Prov.25:19, that “confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble, {and this is a time of trouble when men meddle with the Word, yet in the end they do not divide the Word aright, II Tim.2:15, nor handle the Word aright,} is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” And, I think, this is to put us all out of joint, if we take up these things, as he has laid them down. The proper strain and tendency of this new-fetched comparison is so alienated from what he began with, it will be impossible to make two such vast extremes meet in the one center; but if things will not meet fairly of themselves, he will try to wrench and pull, as if he could make east and west buckle to stand in one point. And yet after all this mismanaging the observation of roses growing upon prickling bushes, the resemblance he has given us will speak its own sense at last; and that is, to fasten his thorny metaphor upon the Blessed Rose of Sharon. This must fall upon it, according to the native construction of his proposition, though otherwise put forth as a seeming evasion to pinch it in.

However it be, I have the best grounds to detect the fraud, joined to the disparagement, and that upon this assurance, that the Holy Ghost can never be thought to sanctify such a passage as this, as it stands, and do the souls of men good by it, for it is so inconsistent with the Wisdom of God, I Cor.1:24; for the Lord hath abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence. Eph.1:8. It is easily proved that Mr. Hunt has been daubing with untempered mortar, Ezek.13:10, that together which will not stick, when the next shower {this answer} comes and washes it. I shall show that the tendency of his proposition is to speak out the full disparagement, notwithstanding his obstinate way of evading it, that the Rose of Roses in the Canticles {according to his vile resembling him} grows upon a pricking bush.

I shall prove by three arguments that his book in the clause transcribed says thus much.

First Argument: The form of his application to Christ {though imperfectly laid down, yet} is some proof of the matter in these words of his, “roses are observed to grow upon pricking bushes, so as to Christ.” Here now he first of all affirms it, in a contradiction of the phrase, “so as to Christ,” the same ‘so’ makes it to be so; for I know nothing but the close comparison can come up to Christ.

Second Argument: A thesis in course of speech must have its due antithesis. Look, he saith, “roses are observed to grow upon pricking bushes;” and so here is a part of his thesis, his first part of the proposition he lays down. Now a thesis always hath its antithesis in course of speech; that is, it has its opposite part of the proposition to complete the whole proposition, which makes it out full; and this other filling part must be always answerable to the former, or it is not sense. Well now, lay an antithesis to the thesis, answerable in form of speech, and what must it be? If the thesis be {in resembling Christ unto Roses} that roses are observed to grow upon prickling bushes, then what is the antithesis, in the explicatory part of the words introduced, “so as to Christ?” Why, truly so, the latter part of the resemblance in the proposition must speak out for it’s self the first in pious and disparaging sense. And then ‘tis a branch of the resemblance of Christ truly set against it, as mostly elsewhere {in his other comparisons} he observes the antithesis. See how he does thus, pages 9-10, “resemblance between Christ and roses is this, roses grow not common in every place; and thus with respect to Christ, Christ is not found in all.” Again, pages 11-12, “roses are sweet and refreshing to all, but such as are deprived of their natural senses; and thus it is as to Christ, the Rose of Sharon, as his fruit was sweet to my taste, saith the spouse.” Again, page 15, “roses may be counterfeited, or a rose may be nearly resembled by art, and so as to Christ, there shall arise false Christs.” Now in all these places you may see that his antithesis, or latter part of the speech he sets against the former part, is un-answerable, for he changes not the subjects of the resemblance, Roses and Christ, but in them all keeps to these two. Why then; {answerably;} according to himself, in the same form of speech, the thing runs on, and speaks out the same, very plain, that “roses are observed to grow upon pricking bushes; and so Christ is observed to grow upon a pricking bush.” And let any man show me, that this is not fair dealing with the author.

Third Argument: For I have not yet done with him in this, as there is no help against this proof laid open upon him, if we sought his rescue out of his own book-way, in the residue of his wording it, added under great entanglement of thought, as if in the briars himself. “So as to Christ,” says he, “some thorn in the flesh will be ready to grieve those that enjoy this sweet Rose of Sharon.” What a non-sensible evasion is this, quite foreign to the point! Doth Christ grow upon some thorn in our flesh; and as a rose too grows upon a pricking bush? What is a thorn in our flesh to a rose thorn? Sometimes he pretends to be against straining the metaphor, and yet again at other times is not against straining to run away from the metaphor. Who can say in a consistent resemblance, that roses are observed to grow upon some pricking bushes, so as to Christ, he is observed to grow upon some thorn in our flesh? What nonsense is this! And what pity a preacher and a writer should preach and write thus in any matter of the Gospel? But more especially upon that glorious Subject, the Excellency of Christ! What is the thorn in our flesh to the thing {whatever it be} upon which the Rose of Sharon is grown? Doth the pricking bush {that he is so fond of} and Christ, agree, as roses, and other prickling bushes, or the rose bush, match? Yet thus he wildly runs us into the bushes, being put to the shifts to get on in a way he never knew; and put upon impossibilities too {this way} to speak aptly, and to avoid what he thought he must not say, the gross words of the disparagement in {length} that were else meeting him full-butt.

To help him out a little, and but a little {unless it be to help him more off from the open disparagement of Christ;} if he had kept off from inconsistence in the general scope of the resemblance, and kept his eye upon that which might have prevented the disparagement of our Lord, he should have limited his particular by the light of other texts to the state of Christ’s Humiliation, and have said thus; that as roses grow upon prickling bushes, so take the Generation of Christ, as once it was, in his general relation to the whole body of the Jews, {for he came to his own, and his own received him not, Jn.1:11,} when he was on earth, and there in his humbled state, he sprung of a people, according to the flesh, who were prickly enough. That Church {though then by Law established} was at best no better than a rose bush, and more bush too than rose; take them separately from this Rose of Sharon, who grew up out of his place, Zech.6:12, without any influences from, or dependence upon the Jews in his growth and bloom; {and again, what hath this text to do with their bush,} however; take all matters together, for it helps him a little {and he hit on it} to have made the body of the Jews rather the Bush, and so have retained the subject metaphor, Christ the Rose, once, according to the flesh, belonging unto that Bush; for this is certainly nearer akin, than Christ and the thorn in our flesh. Nevertheless, this would not have helped him out altogether, because it would not have led him into a proper resemblance which the Holy Ghost intended to shadow out in this Glorious Canticle Rose, “I am the Rose of Sharon.” {Song 2:1} Thus I have proved out of the inclination and tendency of his argument to speak by way of resemblance, that, notwithstanding all his shifts and alterations, “Christ is observed to grow upon a pricking thorn;” as he too plainly tells us.

Now then, to prove his wild position, as the genius of it inclines to run to be an open disparagement of our Lord’s Person, to draw his character after this fashion, out of this bright and blooming text, I shall proceed to some arguments to show how much damage he hath done.

First Argument: The Holy Ghost in this text and metaphor sets out Christ’s Glorified State in Heaven, and nothing else, besides that communion which the spouse now in her present state hath with the Lord; even her Lord, by the blessed Spirit, whilst she is in this wilderness. Now ‘tis disparagement of our Lord in this text, to draw that character of him which the text hath not done; and to make Christ grow upon the pricking bush is both shameful and odious. If I attach anything of Christ’s Humiliation upon his Glory, {and there’s nothing but his Glory in this text,} I debase him. This text goes beyond all his fleshly kindred to the Jew; whilst other texts may speak of this relation, but the text before us doth not. ‘Tis Mr. Hunt’s fundamental mistake on this text, and it runs him into this disparagement of Christ, notwithstanding he seems to avoid the disparagement by an inconsistence, in that he has proceeded in this resemblance of Christ’s external relation only, as once on earth; and yet in nothing on earth too {through the book} properly as the Rose of Sharon, but spoils all in similitudes fetched from other common roses. The text looks to that Man Christ Jesus as glorified, I Tim.2:5, though he was once on earth in such properties and respects as none ever were before him; in such proprieties, I say, appears by this text, “though found in fashion as a man,” Phil.2:8, and having the common properties of a man, as appears in other texts. Here he is set out as Glorified; the Old Testament speaking of things to come, as done, according to Ancient Settlements between God and Christ, though yet to come, in open transaction between Christ and the Church. He is not set forth in these words, “I am the Rose of Sharon,” as humbled, but as the Humanity now absolutely subsists in the Open Glory of the Divinity; and the Human Nature of Christ is perfectly filled with all the Glory due unto his Personal Glory in Heaven; and is here described as such. Oh, what a sight will this be to come into Heaven and behold; and to be with him where he is! “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” {Jn.17:23} He hath forever done with his Law-relation to the Jews, and his fleshly kindred upon earth; so that saints no more do know him after the flesh, II Cor.5:16, nor doth he at all appear in Glory as a Man of sorrows. Isa.53:3. Accordingly, he is set forth in this metaphor of the text abstractly in his Personal Glory, as in the next, {“and the Lily of the Valley,”} he takes notice, how once he sprung on earth in his abasement. And indeed his Glory was first in God’s Eye, before his abasement, and therefore is fitly placed before it. So that in this description of him, “I am the Rose of Sharon,” the Holy Ghost hath admirably fitted him with purpose, to cut off all considerations of him on earth, but only those that are in every way worthy of him in Heaven. We must not therefore in this Representation of him bring in any natural, antiquated relation of him, for this is altogether foreign and indecent. ‘Tis Mr. Hunt’s disparagement of Christ to resemble him growing upon the bush and thorn! He is absolutely the Rose without the prickle near him. This text hath to do with the Lord Christ, under the Glorious and Kingly Shadow of his spreading favor to the saints, and in this text to the saints alone; for neither doth a stranger “intermeddle with his joy.” {Prov.14:10} Though this Sharon-Rose be gotten into bloom, ‘tis a secret, Jn.14:17, between the Bridegroom and the bride; “for all things that I have heard of my Father, says he, I have made known unto you.” {Jn.15:15} To you, and not to others. “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” {Mt.13:11} Well then, had it not been enough to have taken this text, as it lies, in its elegant and revealed metaphor? Hosea 12:10. What need to have disparaged our Lord Christ thus by a foreign shadow as that of a pricking rosebush? How durst Mr. Hunt have given his liberty thus to a wanton fancy, and his vent to the luxuriances of his wit against Christ! This is disparaging! We have help from a text to speak, of what it means; but this is to strain our own invention and the text besides, to put it upon the rack, and make it confess what yet it cannot discover. “Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the LORD.” {Psa.107:43} That man too is likely to bring no great reputation to himself, who disparages his Master, Job 42:7, and seeks to rob him by counterfeiting his Master’s hand. Sure, when he gave us that account of house-robbing very impertinently, pages 142-143, it was more pity he had not known this consideration, now suggested to him in the room of it.

Second Argument: To make Christ grow upon our thorn in the flesh, to which he turns it over, to avoid a worse disparagement, of his growing upon some pricking bush, {which yet I have proved his resemblance speaks,} is a farther proof of an open disparagement of the Person of Christ; for it is to make as if Christ did sit upon thorns in Heaven. Other roses sit upon thorns, but if he had been contented to have kept the metaphor in that of Sharon, he should have found no reason for exuberant thoughts in this similitude. The metaphor would have been without straining. “But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know; and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.” {Dan.5:23}

Third and Last Argument: It is a disparagement to Christ to make him grow upon our troubles, {if we force it along with his forced evasion,} when he says that “roses are observed to grow upon pricking bushes, so as to Christ, troubles and persecutions are called briars and thorns.” Doth this argue that the Rose of Sharon, Jesus Christ, grows upon our briars and thorns? Does he spring out of our troubles? Are our persecutions either the tree or root that bears Him? Whereas the Bush is the stem that bears the Rose. Aye, the pricking bush, how derogatory is this, that he lays down and applies this metaphor to Christ! And so I have done the former branch of this article.

Having thus proved that our Lord Jesus Christ, as represented by the similitude in our text, is passed all {growing} in his Person; now a few words to Mr. Hunt’s second particular, or his latter branch of the article, which is this, “he that will gather the Rose must expect some scratch, more or less, in his flesh.”

Here he wanders again from the Rose to the Bush. 1. Here he changes the subject of this resemblance again; for instead of Christ, retained, he puts in the ‘we,’ invented; and instead of keeping to the due resemblance, which the metaphor of a Rose points us to, he has taken in the scratches of his howling wilderness, for fear of what it was {by his precipitancy} running up to {in the resemblance laid,} and then left he should have been intolerably put to have said, Prov.16:13, the scratches of the Sharon-Bush. “And such briars and thorns {as troubles and persecutions} we must expect to meet with while we are traveling through this howling wilderness,” says he. 2. The resembling proposition, according to the laws of grammar, must have its own scope, notwithstanding his alienation of the resemblance; for the current of speech, in form of similitude, is this, “he that gathers the Rose must expect some scratch in his flesh,” {here is the thesis of the resemblance; and then the resembling antithesis, for he was drawing the parallel thereof, must be,} “so as to Christ, he that receives Christ, must expect some scratch in gathering him,” as here and elsewhere he scandalously phrases it. 3. In the scope there comes in a direct application to Christ, which doth in effect apply that to Christ, which he hath spoken of the briar. 4. In the direct application to Christ there lies the open disparagement of his Person; for, he that gathers the Rose meets with the scratch in his flesh, more or less, where the Rose was observed to grow; and therefore he does not meet with the scratch on the other side of the garden; neither is he pricked by a briar that stands a good way off from the Rose, nor by a thorn over the wall, or pale, or fence, out of that ground. He is scratched {if he does not look to himself} with something that belongs to the Rose; not with a briar, or thorn afar off. So here, if there be anything in his straining of the metaphor, ‘tis the scandal of his similitude, which insinuates, as if he that partook of Christ was scratched and torn with something belonging to Christ. For there was nothing else left in due course of the resemblance or similitude, he could run it to. This ought to have been duly attended on, and he ought not to have ventured into so disgracing a comparison of our Lord in Glory, “who is gone into Heaven.” I Pet.3:22. The Rose is not in our wilderness.

It is impossible to bring in these irritating troubles, as in this new proposed form of a resemblance, to make his metaphor cast the shadow, but he will so {ill} shadow out Christ unto us, that our Lord must be very despairingly set down in his thoughts, as Rose and Thorn, not only growing up in one place, {which is observed of Rose and Thorn in his change of the metaphor,} but scratching him that hath to do with him in the same place where he is; and is not this abominable?

To make the best of it that can be thought on, from what he has said, for avoiding this. Wicked men, ‘tis true, are briars and thorns; as Ezek.2:6, “and thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions; be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks;” these were the “rebellious house” of Israel. Ezek.2:5. Such briars and thorns now, if we are faithful to Christ, would scratch and tear us by their own outward application, if God would suffer it again for Christ’s sake; Ezek.28:24 with Isa.33:1, but do we go to their bush for this Rose? Don’t they scratch and tear men for Christ’s sake, as they themselves stand far enough from this Rose? It is not as Christ and they in any sense are one, as the Rose and the Thorn are. Is Christ among them, Psa.119:155, that are persecutors and informers {for he likewise gives instance in persecutions} as a rose is that grows among his own thorns in the rosebush? He hath but begged the metaphor and borrowed what there was no need of; he should have wrought with what he had, pursued the similitude that the text had given him, and not rambled into the briars. Indeed had the man’s eyes been opened, Numb.24:15, he must needs have seen his odd similitude of the rose upon the scratching branch, that himself had invented, did necessarily confine his application {as odd as it was} to our Lord Jesus Christ. For, roses grow upon the same briar that scratches, and the hands are pricked by the same branch which gave being to the rose; not by another briar, the rose briar; nor the white thorn {suppose} or wild-rose-briar at a distance. And how could he fall upon such an instance as this, that the similitude must carry it up thus towards Christ? On the other hand, he ought to have known {for ‘tis plainly enough revealed in the Gospel} that he who receives Christ, receives him where he is to be had; to wit, of the Father; for the Father, Jn.6:44, hath given him to all who are enabled to receive him, because Christ is God’s. I Cor.3:23. So, let the true Root that bears Christ; viz., the Father {for I am not speaking now of God in his Essence; but in his Personal Relations, as hath been afore distinguished} be admitted {and this ought to be} and then the Father is dishonored; for, what wickedness is it to suggest a thorn upon that True Root, where the Rose of Sharon stands, to prick or scratch the hand, and that hand is Faith, which lays hold upon this Rose? Heb.6:18 with Prov.3:18 with Isa.27:5. Is not this a disparagement, not only of Christ, but likewise of the Father of Christ too, according to that John 5:23, especially the latter part, “that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” Now according to the analogy and resemblance of his particular, page 18, there can be no thorn growing up with our Rose upon different roots; which is a made projection, by distorting the resemblance, for the resemblance without torture will not confess it; so it must be a vile insinuating, that a thorn is to be found upon the True Root that bears Christ. {Note: Afflictions come from God’s management, not from anything in God’s subsistence. “These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.” Psa.50:21.} It is a sad case indeed, when a minister cannot know his own language which he uses to signify things of such a weighty importance! And this is the sad disparaging case here! To go and relate Christ, or make him belong, in his Union, to a scratching Bush! For there is a union between the Rose, and what the Rose grows on that’s prickly. Was it not a vile thing for this man {in all the particular that hath made this work for us} to go and strain a holy metaphor at this rate? What, join Christ influentially to the thorn? “And what concord hath Christ with Belial?” {II Cor.6:15} For other roses that have the neighbor-scratchings are joined influentially to the thorn-stem that bears them. Vile suggestion! Which his similitude, in no other way of reasoning out of his absurd disparagement, obviously leads forth the thought unto. “Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.” {Jer.23:32} And all because he hath departed from Truth, in fetching in his fifth resemblance of the Rose of Sharon. And this is, “as roses are observed to grow upon some pricking bush;” and again, “he that will gather the Rose must expect some scratch, less or more, in his flesh;” so to apply it as to be any setting forth of Christ, Song 2:1, is a vile approach to this Rose. He had told us that he would open the metaphor, or he should have told us so, when he said, “I shall first handle the metaphor;” but if this be his handling, to prick us and himself too with a bush, it’s such a strange sort of opening the metaphor; that he had better have diverted and resolved to have shut it up at first. Here ends the fourth section, which is the first article of the chapter.

The second article in this chapter about the Person of Christ runs upon the sixth resemblance of Christ to roses thus, “roses, though sweet and refreshing, yet they are not very delightful to the eye; so as to Christ, this Rose of Sharon, though in himself he is most Excellent, yet his outward appearance was very mean in the flesh; he was looked upon by the carnal world to be as a root out of a dry ground, &c.”

A brief reply to this: 1. This is a disparagement of Christ; because roses are equally delightful unto all. A peasant that scarce knows any virtue of roses may delight in the color of the leaves, as much as a philosopher, or a physician that has studied the nature of them. Ecc.9:2. Whereas, it is a disparagement to make Christ such a colored one, that even he who knows him not spiritually, may be said to delight in his Complexion and Glory, equally with him that knows him most! His whiteness and ruddiness, Song.5:10, are seen by his Spouse, but are a riddle to the foolish daughters of Jerusalem. Song.5:8-9. 2. This is a disparagement of Christ; for roses are no more delightful to one sort of men, that ever I could understand, than to another; especially, a good man is no more delighted with a rose than an ill man. Is this then a fit resemblance for Christ? Job 34:18. He pretends afterwards to insist upon some excelling characters of Christ above roses; then what need he have pitched upon ill resemblances, and proposed disparagements, in things so much beneath Christ, as these? Is the Lord Jesus looked upon by saints, as he is esteemed by the carnal world? Where then lies the proposed resemblance? Roses are no more delightful to the eye of a saint than to the eyes of the ungodly. Good and bad do generally esteem of them alike. Can this be applied to Christ without falsehood and disparagement? Jer.2:5. Do the eyes of the righteous see no more Excellency in Christ than unbelievers see? And do unbelievers see what the upright behold? Why doth he sometimes give us hints, that “others, whose eyes the god of this world hath blinded, care for none of these things;” and that “many know nothing of this feast of fat things.” {Page 62} And the like in many other places? And yet now he gives us a resemblance of Christ wherein all eyes do see alike? If men can’t judge of Christ and spiritual things, for want of the seeing eye, Prov.20:12, why doth our Resembler set him forth by a similitude, wherein all men have their eyes, and judge agreeably. For, as to roses being not very delightful to the eye, ‘tis mostly to the eye of all alike. Wherein then is this resemblance to bring it up to Christ? Here is such a cast of the shadow, as {to be sure} is foreign enough to the Sun of Righteousness. Mal.4:2. Doth not the Church behold Christ as the “chiefest among ten thousand,” Song.5:10, while the Jew looked on him as a “root out of dry ground.” Isa.53:2. Doth not this writer hint the same in the same place? And what can we do then with a resemblance in colors where every man sees alike? Doth this match with Christ’s Excellency, to draw him into the fainter colors of a rose, which no man regards, and drop his lively colors as the Spouse {with whom he hath to do in the Canticles} views him in believing? The saints do see all in Christ; {Jn.1:16, with Psa.27:1, and Psa.18:2, also Rom.5:17, and Psa.73:25,} their own beauty, holiness and all, before it reaches them. And this, whilst the greatest part of men, now at this day, see more delight in language, more beauty in wit, more color in gold, and more taking show in carnal honors than they see in Christ! Where do we find a part of the world set against the beauty of roses, as they are set against the Beauty of Christ? For the more Christ shines forth in any one truth, in any one person, in any one ministry, {and he doth not shine forth in all truths, in all saints and good men, nor in every Dissenting, II Cor.1:19, Ministry alike;} is he not the less delighted in, as to the very notion of him, for the sake of this?

Doth not that Light {for instance} of Christ, Jn.3:19, which, in the Preaching of the Gospel, discovers, that doing the will of Christ’s Father, Mt.7:21, is believing on Him whom the Father hath sent, Jn.6:29, like as other obedience is obedience to Christ, he having all Power given Him, Mt.28:18, of the Father to appoint and command it, distinctly, set the bold Neonomians to corrupt the Faith of the Gospel, and the same practical Antinomians to trample upon the Order of the Gospel? As one, they cannot bear the Light of the Gospel, and as the other, they cannot bear the heat of the Gospel, in the Government of Jesus Christ, of the Increase of whose Government there is to be no end. Isa.9:7. I’ll tell any man plainly, it is the Gospel, in the bright splendor and glory of it; that splendor which very few of all sides can endure, but brand {with ignorance enough} for Antinomianism, Acts 14:2, which was the only thing that ever drew me with the bands of Love into the strictest order of Fellowship, in breaking of Bread and in Prayers; Acts 2:42; on the other hand, in the carnal and confident way of pressing to the duties of the Gospel, before acquaintance with, and experimental interest in the Privileges of the Gospel; I mean, absolute Pardon of Sin, Holiness of Nature from Christ, Peace of Conscience, Joy in the Holy Ghost, and so forth; I say, before an Experimental Acquaintance with these, I was always a very great hater of the strictest Saints and Churches, and yet then a Preacher! Jer.23:21. And so it had been in my soul to this day, both against the Government of Christ, his Gospel, and all Obedience to Him in it, Mt.11:29-30, if the Lord had not preached down all such {Preachers} as misted me! And that, by bringing His mighty Grace, Eph.1:20, into my soul, and turning all their way and scheme for doing the will of God quite out of doors! Blessed be Jehovah forever, I am now alive to Christ, Ps.72:18-19; Rom.6:11; 7:4, and dead to their way of doings! And I hope, and am verily persuaded, that there are thousands of the saints in this Nation, can experience this {so far as concerns profession} in their own souls besides; and I look upon this argument both fit and seasonable, to vindicate Christ from the disparagement cast upon his Person in this resemblance of our Lord to roses, said to be “not very delightful to the eye.” For, are they more delightful to one sort of men than another? And again, are they less delightful to one sort of men than another? Christ is so! “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” {Isa.53:2} Doth not one man as well as another promiscuously smell to the rose, because it is so sweet and refreshing? But do men generally esteem Christ so? No, for the brighter Christ is, the more we find multitudes of Professors, of most Persuasions, slight him, and run back to Old Adam!

This is a disparagement of Christ, to liken him, as in this resemblance, because the text views him on the Throne, and the Resembler views him besides his text on the Cross. “If we view him on the cross, says he, numbered with transgressors, how unlike did he seem to be He that should redeem Israel.” {Page 14} Oh; this is a blessed thing to view Christ upon the cross! But let me tell you, heaven would not be heaven, if Christ were to be crucified again! Let us never think of him crucified, but as he was at Golgotha, Mt.27:33, and in texts that evidently {withal} set him forth crucified, Gal.3:1, before us. This text in the Song of Solomon sets him up in his Glory, where he is visible but to some, and yet delightful to them all, and every soul to whom he is so visible, Mt.13:16, and to none beside; no, not to your good men, if they walk by themselves in their own darkness, and think it enough to walk in the light of Christ, when they come to heaven. It is the saints that have seen him which are all in this, of one mind. This resemblance therefore, “roses are not very delightful to the eye,” is a resemblance, which, when our Resembler bringeth up to Christ, out of this text, I must expunge and wipe out of the book. For, ‘tis a withered rose, not delightful to the saints eye, and fitter to be thrown to a dunghill, than laid up {for a cheat} with any of the precious things in the saints treasury.

The third article of disparagement in this chapter relating to the Person of Christ, from which I am to vindicate the Excellency of our Lord in Glory, is touching the carriage of his Person, when he was upon the earth; a matter that will be most proper now to insist upon, and be put {before} that other and last, or seventh vilifying of his Person, in the act of the soul’s participation of Christ, where he maketh him to be a rose to be gathered. In his dealings with the point of Christ’s carriage upon earth, he has this base expression, “so fearful was he!” He thus disparages Christ in his very commending of him! The whole sense of my author in the case is this, “Christ charged his disciples that they should not make it known that he was the Son of God, lest it should discourage his enemies from making any further attempts to crucify him? So fearful was he {if I may so speak} lest he should escape their rage.” {Page 113}

What a conception is the caution Christ used, to prevent his enemies from making further attempts to crucify him! The Scriptures reveal to us that in some respects Christ feared, but it never allows us to speak that Christ was fearful! The Apostle tells us of Christ, that in the “days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.” {Heb.5:7} He feared, because he obeyed, praying and crying to God in our stead and place. Obedience consists partly of godly fear, {“let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear,” Heb.12:28,} but never of ungodly fearfulness, the nature of which is to be ungodly. Again, it was prophesied of him, Isa.11:2, that among other things of the Spirit, who should rest upon him {which was fulfilled in the Holy Ghost’s descending upon Christ, that all the Evangelists take notice of; Matt.3:16; Mark 1:10; Lk.3:22, and the Apostle John particularly comes up to Isaiah’s word in the sense thereof, and John the Baptist, “bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.” Jn.1:32. Mark that word, and he “abode” upon him; according as Isaiah had said, “and the Spirit of the LORD shall rest” or abide, “upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;” Isa.11:2; and among other things of the Spirit who should rest upon him,} the fear of the Lord, or the Holy Ghost, the Spirit, as the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD, which was foretold should rest upon him. The spirit of the fear of the Lord, being one of the seven spirits {in the Revelation} which are before his throne, Rev.1:4; that is, the Spirit of Jehovah in the sevenfold distribution of his gifts, the multiplied unction of him who rested, or abode upon him, Jn.1:32, according to the number seven prophesied of him, touching his receiving the Holy Ghost in this place of Isaiah. Isa.11:2. 1. Here’s the Spirit of the Lord that shall rest upon him. 2. The Spirit of wisdom. 3. And understanding; that is, the Spirit of understanding. 4. The Spirit of counsel. 5. And might; to wit, the Spirit of might. 6. The Spirit of knowledge. 7. And of the fear of the Lord; that is, the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord. For all the seven spirits before the throne came upon Christ-Man in the Descending of the Holy Ghost. “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.” {Acts 10:38} “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, &c.,” Isa.61:1, “and John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him; and I knew him not; but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” {Jn.1:32-34} Among the rest {we see} there was the fear of the Lord. Godly fear was necessary in the soul of Christ as he took our nature to be in our room and stead to God; but then it was necessary that in the soul of our Surety, Heb.7:22, the Object of it should be God {and in a qualified sense too} and not man. For we never read of Christ fearing any man, or being unbecomingly afraid of God; the meaning is, that he was never afraid of the un-successfulness of anything that he took in hand. {“The pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” Isa.53:10. “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zeph.3:17.} This is to state it as to Christ’s fearing, how he feared, and how he feared not. But now to the other point that hath suggested his being fearful; I shall prove this a disparagement of Christ by these eight arguments. 1. It’s unscriptural. 2. To be fearful is to be sinful. 3. To be fearful is to be weak. 4. To be fearful is to be unbelieving. 5. To be fearful exposes to a surprise upon insincerity and unsoundness. 6. It is inconsistent with the voluntariness of Christ’s death. 7. It argues that he was not God in union with the Man. 8. Our disparager makes it to be in a light case, “so fearful was he!”

First Argument: It is a phrase altogether Unscriptural! Not only the form of it, but the energy and scope lies beyond the Word. And that which is not written ought not to be received. Jn.5:39. He who makes One Proposition that hath not its Basis in God’s Word, to be a Measure either in his Catechism or his Cannon, Phil.3:16, will not scruple, if he sees a fair occasion, to make another so, and another; and then by the same pattern of transgressing, or leaping over all bounds of Divine Revelation, a Heretic, Tit.3:10, might plead for a whole Body of Doctrine to be compiled; and by this instruction begun, he should expose the Bible to contempt, and discard the mysteries of its Sacred Oracles! “A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers; who received the lively oracles to give unto us.” {Acts 7:37-38} Not but that there are many blessed truths in the Word that everybody doth not see; yea, Truths which many, in the darkness of their own spirits, Mt.6:23, think are against the Word. Such truths, nevertheless, when brought to light, the more they are struck at, the more they stand. But as to the affront, now under examination, it was not believed by him that wrote it to be the mind of Christ. I Cor.2:16. Sure, had it been believed, he durst not have published it so precariously, with an ‘if I may so speak,’ but he must have done it boldly, ‘as he ought to speak,’ Eph.6:20, when he speaks God’s Truth.

Second Argument: To be fearful is to be sinful. It beats a man off from his duty and steadfastness in the Ways of God. When God brought Israel out of Egypt to fight against the Canaanite, Psa.114:1, he appoints an officer to proclaim that every fearful man should be dismissed from the war. “And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, what man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart.” {Deut.20:8} And this Law was put into execution in the Army of Gideon against the Midianites. “Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead.” The prevalency of this passion scares men from their own profession; as it follows, “and there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.” {Judg.7:3} Now, if this be recorded as an evidence of sinful frailty in an Israelite soldier, shall “an Israelite indeed,” Jn.1:47, fasten the reproach upon the Captain of our Salvation; Heb.2:10, as if he was afraid something would prevent his dying for the elect?

Third Argument: To be fearful of any im-prosperous event is such a piece of weakness as is inconsistent with the qualifications of the great Sacrifice for sins. 1. That this weakness is evident, we perceive from the Testimony of the Holy Ghost in Isaiah 35:4, “say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not.” The Lord saw this disposition in some of the heirs of the kingdom, to arise from weakness and cowardice, as if things would not fall out to the best advantage, but something or other they feared would spoil some gracious disposition of the Lord to bless, and thus turn a blessing into sorrow. No, no, saith the LORD, let not them be troubled about that; bid them be strong; ‘tis a weak heart that admits of any doubtful thoughts. “Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.” {Isa.44:2} “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” {II Tim.2:1} And who then but a Disparager dare impute it unto Christ, the heir, Heb.1:2, of all things? 2. It was inconsistent with his Qualifications to offer up himself without spot to God. Heb.9:14. This appears, because the Sacrifice, in the very institution of the type, was to be without blemish. Lev.1:3. “And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God.” {Deut.15:21} And the Law explains itself by expressing the blemish, as if it be lame or blind, &c.; now if Christ had not foreseen the certainty and un-alterableness of all events by Judas, Pilate, the Chief Priests and Scribes, and the Elders of the people, touching their leading him away to crucify him, when his hour was come, Jn.17:1, he would have had a blemish; and had not been quick-sighted enough to be offered up in this service. Whereas, on the contrary, the Spirit of the Lord upon him made him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord; Isa.11:2, and he was in every way a Lamb without blemish and without spot. “The precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” {I Pet.1:19} That is the third argument of my vindication of our Lord Christ from this abhorrent calumny, “so fearful was he lest he should escape their rage.”

Fourth Argument: To be fearful is to be unbelieving. To be fearful a thing will not succeed is to believe it may miscarry. And how contrary is unbelief and jealousy to the spirit wherewith our Lord on earth was acted! “The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” {Isa.50:5-7} Fearfulness was the very failure of his disciples which he sharply rebuked in them. “And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” {Mk.4:40} And again, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” {Mt.8:26} They had no faith in exercise, they had but a little faith as to what was then asleep, and even at other times in exercise. They were troubled that their Master slept, but were not concerned their own faith slept, and was so hard to be woken up, when Christ was awakened by them, as if he did not still the winds! “And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water; and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith?” {Lk.8:24-25} They were fearful that they should never get well to shore again, and this is branded for their unbelief. Shall anyone then attribute the same unbelief to Christ, that his enemies who had begun with him would never make any further attempts to crucify him? If the least measure of this unbelief could have entered the soul of Christ, it had raised a storm of fear in him too, that would have made him fearful, less his elect should never have been redeemed! And what an incongruous thought is this, to apply to our Redeemer that is mighty! Prov.23:11. The fearful and unbelieving do go in couples, Rev.21:8; and so ‘tis Sin. What an abominable thing is it then to say in any sense that Christ was fearful! “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore will not we fear.” {Psa.46:1-2}

Fifth Argument: To be fearful exposes to a surprise upon Insincerity and Unsoundness. He that is fearful is always in a surprise, when the reward of his hands is given him. “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites.” {Isa.33:14} “And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.” {Mt.22:12} The hypocrite presently respects that matters are not right within him, because such and such things are happening. “And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother,” &c., Gen.42:21, said the distressed brethren of the same brother. So a fear of disappointment {had our Lord been capable of falling under such a character, as is disgracefully suggested to us,} must have made Christ fear too, that the Father would give him up into wicked hands. Acts 2:23. That he would not accept his service in his being “obedient unto death.” Phil.2:8. And so must have put him upon reflecting, “what am I, what have I done to displease my Father?” But all this is so unworthy of Christ, who was without blemish and without spot, I Pet.1:19, and so is the other things suggested. It was a surprising thing to the Babylonian, to be suddenly invaded by the Persian Empire, and have his kingdom taken by Darius the Median; Dan.5:31, the terror of it, as Daniel afterwards expresses it of Belshazzar {the last of the Babylonian Monarchs} from the handwriting on the wall, how the “king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another, Dan.5:5-6, was long before prophesied by Isaiah the prophet in words that do set out the true nature of what it was to be fearful, “my heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me;” Isa.21:4, and let me tell you, {as light, Deut.32:15, as Mr. Hunt might make that fearfulness to sit upon Christ’s own soul, when he supposed it,} if Christ had any cause whatsoever to be fearful, that the plot of the Jews would not have taken against him, his own Glory then, Jn.17:4, as the Man, and our Salvation, Acts 4:12, and All, being considered to depend by Council and Providence upon the success of that point, the instance in Belshazzar’s surprise had been nothing compared to it, what should be the meaning thereof! “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” {Isa.46:9-10}

Sixth Argument: To be fearful is inconsistent with Christ being voluntary in his death, Eph.5:2,25, and with his being able to maintain the steadfastness of his determination. “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour.” {Jn.12:27} For, if we do but suppose that he had been capable of the fear that he should not die, he had been equally capable of fear, we must suppose withal when it came to the point, that he was about to die, ‘tis the nature of fearfulness to wish for an alteration. “My heart is sore pained within me; and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove; for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” {Psa.55:4-8} Now, if we admit of the one respecting Christ, it is admitted upon a foundation that doth necessarily admit the other too, as a piece of the equal superstructure. And ‘tis a dishonoring of Christ; for the tendency of it makes, as if, had not this plot of his enemies succeeded, he must have flinched for it, or deserted the cause he came to undertake. “Thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins.” {Mt.1:21} But be it known, if God had appointed that the plot of Judas and the malice of the Jews should not have brought forth the death of Christ, in the order as it was laid out, he would from everlasting have appointed another way that should. How could Christ then be fearful lest he should escape the rage of his enemies? Christ had also foretold that it should be so, and could he be fearful that it should not be so? ‘Tis a mere cavillation to suggest it! “Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed; and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high; even against the Holy One of Israel.” {Isa.37:23}

Seventh Argument: That Christ feared argued he was a Man, and, as Isaiah has it, God’s Servant; Isa.42:1, but if Christ had been fearful, though but in one transient passion of his mind, it would argue against his being God; as if he that knew all men, Jn.2:24, and what they would be left to do, should need to fear that they would not do, what he knew they must do; Jn.6:64, and, as though it had been possible for him that was God to be deceived, and believe that all might not be accomplished in accordance to the Divine Decree. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” {Isa.46:10} How could Christ be so fearful that the attempts of his enemies, Psa.2:2, might not issue in his death, when it was his absolute prerogative, as the Son of God, to know the Scriptures which foretold it? “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken; ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” {Lk.24:25-27} For he came openly the Man, Ps.80:17; Dan.7:13, the Son of Man {as he is so early called} that he might reveal it. Jn.15:15. He must infallibly, as God, know that Predestinating part of the Gospel, which is contained in the Scripture, touching this Chief Cornerstone in Zion. You have it in Acts 2:23, “him, being delivered by the determinate Counsel and Foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Aye, by wicked hands! By wicked hands; and yet determined and predestinated. “For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” {Acts 4:28} And did not Christ, as God, determinate it, as well as his Father? Was not the Council of Peace between them both? They counseled our deliverance by the Death of Christ; even as since his Death and Exaltation, that same Counsel is between them the pattern of Christ’s Advocacy with the Father, and the Father’s grant to this Advocate upon the plea of his full Atonement. Rom.5:11. ‘Tis the management of the whole in heaven, by the Ancient Platform of the Covenant of Redemption, that the prophet Zechariah has foretold. “And speak unto him, saying, thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD; even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” {Zech.6:12-13} Now, shall I say that, “he charged his disciples that they should not make it known that he was the Son of God, because he was so fearful?” Indeed, so fearful of what? Why, says my author, “lest it should awe the enemy from making any further attempts to crucify him.” But how could he be fearful lest he should escape their rage, when as he knew, being God, matters were so laid, that he could not escape it? “The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” {Isa.50:5-7} He will knew, Mt.16:21, that their hour and the power of darkness was come, Lk.22:53, and straightly charged his disciples and commanded them to tell no man, Lk.9:21, that he was the Christ of God. Was not Christ their Sovereign? This disparaging ‘brother’ ought rather to have held that Christ’s command was in authority rather than in fear. Had not the disciples in giving themselves up to Christ, given up themselves onto his Lordship? Were not servants to be tried and laid under commandment by their Lord and Master? Again, it is not the place of the Scripture, this author alludes to in his book to be found in Luke 9, verses 20, 21, as places into account in his margin? How wide is he from the mark there! That text speaks of our Lord two years at least before his sufferings were ready, and seems not at all to be, because his enemies should not make farther attempts to crucify him. For, how could they make further attempts to crucify him, when as yet they had made no attempts at all to crucify him? Jn.7:30 – Jn.8:20. {Note that it came into their thoughts to stone him long before they thought of crucifying him.} And then, that he charged them not to reveal him, it is plain, that it was not in order that he should escape the rage of his enemies; for in the next words he positively foretells his death and the circumstances of it to be affected by the rage of his enemies, saying, “the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.” As much as to say, he must die standing to the Glory of his Mediation; and thus, it will be the only article of his death they will be able to draw against. Mark 14:62, with verses 63, 64. Now, what can be more evident, than that charging his disciples that they should tell no man that he was the Christ of God, the Messiah, was not in fear {lest if his disciples had made him known, the enemies of our Lord would not have sought his life, as our mistaken ‘brother’ have alleged on this text} but in circumspection. Besides, it was not in the power of their making him known to the Jews, to make the Jews believe ever the sooner, that he was the Messiah, and for that reason give over their attempt of murdering him. “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory; which none of the princes of this world knew; for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” {I Cor.2:7-8} But there is quite another thing in it, however the preacher of these matters {for, I have been told that he preached the sermons at Royston, before he published them from Northampton} was quite beside the cushion, when he strangely diverted from the scope of this text in the Gospel according to Luke. We see that our Lord had a power over his disciples, and so might fitly enough charge his disciples upon another ground than this mistaker hath admitted. However, though this was the fundamental reason, viz., his being their Master and Lord; yet I do not lay it down for the formal reason, as men so love to distinguish; for that reason is different, and I take it to be this; that our Lord gave his disciples this command in a prudent caution, that his Divinity, so far as the disciples had seen this glory, Jn.2:11, in miracles, conduct, &c., might not be spread too early among his enemies {yet not to put them by their rage, but,} to exasperate, Jn.11:47 & 48, them to proceed against him in their courts before the time, and to obstruct the benefit of his ministry among the people, and prevent the people from attending to his ministry, if the Council of the elders had been permitted to have proceeded against Jesus of Nazareth, before the set time was come, that Messiah should be cut off. Dan.9:26. He would not be entangled, any more than he would die before his hour. He was resolved that the Council of Peace, Zech.6:13, should in everything be attended to; otherwise, he made himself known at last very gloriously, and was afraid of none of his enemies, in the witnessing of this very truth that, “hereafter shall the Son of Man sit on the right hand of the power of God;” Lk.22:69, and that “they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Mt.24:30. And as he did this openly in their court, so he foreknew that it would bring on his immediate Condemnation and Execution by the bloody Jews, into whose hands the Father had delivered him. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” {Rom.8:32} “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” {Rom.4:25}

Eighth and Last Argument: It is the greater aggravation of this disparagement, because he makes it to be of Christ in a very light case, where there was no just cause of fear, our Lord having the power in his hands to pray to his Father, Mt.26:53, to turn all men’s hearts which way he would. Our Northampton ‘brother’ makes fearful, which he applies to Christ, to be from a thing that was infinitely less than the Wrath of God; and so he would have Christ to be afraid of nothing. For to be afraid of what he hath suggested, Neh.6:8, Christ was so fearful of, is to be afraid of what Christ must know could never be, and so to be afraid were no fear was. How is it, that this consistent ‘brother’ was not afraid of dishonoring the Person of Him who is “Faithful and True.” Rev.19:11. If Christ-Man had been left to the fear of non-suffering, he had been exposed, to the fear of horror too, and been capable of detriment from the undertaking, {as I have enough shown,} which had been contrary, Numb.23:19, unto Christ-God in the hypostatical Union, Ps.89:19, of the two Natures. Now, it is not the better, but the worse, that he makes it to be in so light a case. He thought, no doubt, but he was on the safe side in his conjecture, so long as he did not say Christ was fearful of his sufferings; but only said, “so fearful was he,” lest it should not come to that point. Nevertheless, he is rather of the worst side, because this more abundantly lessens Christ. It is as if a vessel made fit to carry me to the Indies, were not fit enough {in preparation} to be taken off the docks, and launch forth into the Thames. So, it is as if Christ was willing to redeem me, by submitting to be made a curse for me, Gal.3:13, and encounter God’s wrath for me, yet not able, but fearful lest all the efficacy of his love should have been prevented by a sudden turn of the hearts of his enemies. What a greatening of the offense against Christ is this, by the lessening of his Person under that ridiculous notion of his fearfulness, as if the Jews, after all, might not accomplish their outrageous design against him? Odious disparagement! Don’t your hearts ache to hear of this?

I shall conclude this large section with a very needful and extraordinary remark upon the whole matter. Mr. Hunt hath written a zealous appendix, to show that a sinner may be too filthy to come to Christ; and yet four years after he dare fasten some filth of sin upon Christ himself; and that by a personal contraction of the guilt and defilement too {for in sin they both go together} “so fearful was he,” says he! And I have shown how fearfulness in Scripture is branded for sin, Rev.21:8, committed and punished. Because here, we have to do with it {considerably} in the gross sense, as Sin acted, not in the Evangelical, as Sin imputed. But of the nature of this more hereafter, if the Lord please, in a distinct chapter, or two; to wit, chapters 22 and 23.

The fourth and last article of dishonor, which hath reflected upon the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ assigned to fill up the matter of this chapter, he hath mingled with his 21st and 24th pages in the book compared. His words on page 21 are these, “in the sixth resemblance, roses, says he, are to be gathered but at some certain seasons, as in the summer; and if you come at nighttime, you may have them at a reasonable rate; scarce any will refuse to give you a rose freely; but if you stay till the summer is gone, if you would give all you have in the world a rose cannot be had. So as to Christ, this sweet Rose of Sharon, he is now held forth at a reasonable rate, yea, freely.” Compare this with what he farther adds to the same resemblance. “Alas; says he, what fools to let slip the time, the only time, that should be improved for the soul; they often forget or neglect to gather the Rose until the summer is ended, and then it cannot be found.”

Thus it is plain that he resembles Christ to a rose which may be gathered. As to his notion {anti-evangelical enough} of seasons and opportunities of grace, the summer ended when it cannot be found, the right time, and the reasonable rate of Christ, I shall defer to examine until I come to the proper place where his notion of these matters must directly fall, which will not be till I get into the body of my vindication, and proceed from the head to the members, which may be about the 30th chapter of my book among the nine chapters of his Arminianism detected. My work is now to examine the disparagement he hath reflected upon Christ in his open resemblance, when he tells us that, “roses are gathered - so as to Christ; and they often forget or neglect to gather the rose,” which I will show is wrong.

It is very true that Christ is received by faith, “as many as received him,” &c., Jn.1:12; by faith Christ is laid hold of, as “the Hope that is set before us.” Heb.6:18. “Let him take hold of my Strength;” Isa.27:5, “and there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee.” Isa.64:7. {I Tim.6:12 & 19} By faith Christ is apprehended, but only after Himself hath apprehended us; for all these acts of faith are not acts before grace receiving and laying hold of us, who are the “vessels of Mercy afore prepared unto glory,” Rom. 9:23, but after it. “I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” {Phil.3:12} All these things that Faith is created and enabled for in the soul are true. Faith is wrought of the Operation of God, Col.2:12, and the soul receives Christ, lays hold on him, takes hold of him in His strength as our Rock and Anchor-hold, and apprehends Him. Yet faith never gathers him, Isa.54:7, in that resemblance by which roses are gathered. I deny the straining of the metaphor, {for see how he had broken his bond of obligation to the contrary, which I have taken notice previously,} I deny that this resemblance hath any truth in it for divers substantial causes; and if I prove that our Lord Christ is the Rose of Sharon that cannot be gathered, why then the expression of ‘gathering him’ is a deface of the Blessed Jesus!

First Argument: To say anything of Christ which the rule of faith will not warrant me to speak, is a disgrace to his Glorious Name. Psa.72:19. But the Scriptures nowhere warrant me to say that the Lord Christ is a rose that may be gathered, and therefore to say so is a blemish upon his Glory. Let any man that hath wisdom search the Scriptures upon this occasion, and then tell me whether the phrase of gathering the rose be fitted by any text of the Scripture about Faith or Fellowship, and if it be not in the texts that speak of the acts of faith or fellowship, I do not know where he will find it, to set forth any act of the soul towards Christ?

Second Argument: To gather Christ is inconsistent with the glorifying him as we ought. Take his Person as represented by the Rose of Sharon, and he is advanced to the full Bloom, he is displayed in the highest perfection due to the Mediator; for a Rose in full Bloom is, Isa.35:1, ripened into the utmost Perfection of its kind. This now applied to Christ points us to him in that amplitude of Glory in which the Church shall behold Him as he is, I Jn.3:2, when he shall appear, and the saints shall be like him, and see him as he is! The Holy Ghost setting Christ forth by the Rose of Sharon, Song.2:1, doth not represent him as he is preached in the Gospel to sinners, but as he is preached in the Gospel to his own that have obtained, by believing, the fore-views of him in a glass darkly, I Cor.13:12, and to set them more a longing after his appearance, when he shall in all His Glory be beheld! And through the saints conformity unto Him, in the resurrection of the just, Acts 24:15; II Thes.1:10, shall be admired in all them that believe; when he will lay it out before the world. What right, though short, conceptions of the most excellent Glory of his Person, in opposition to all worldly glory, Jn.18:36, have been given unto the saints by and with the Holy Ghost in this life; and what right conceptions, though short of their own, raised, glorious bodies in conformity to his own {most} glorious body, Phil.3:21, they once had in believing, when here in a poor state on earth! For this I take to be much of the meaning of that phrase in II Thes.1:10, “when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.” Oh! What golden dreams are these unto the world; and yet I know that with mine eyes, as Job speaks, Job 19:27, I shall behold Christ in his Glorious Kingdom! Thus it is, as he is risen, and his blossom shall not fade, that this glorious Rose hath conversation with the lily in the next verse, Song.2:2, even now, while he is preparing her with his Righteousness, as his Love among the daughters, singling her out for the everlasting embraces of her God! The Song of Solomon in general, and this expression of it in particular, “I am the Rose of Sharon,” is between Christ and his spouse, not between Christ and unconverted sinners. Again, this Person in Glory is capable of being enjoyed in communion, and even experienced in his Spiritual Kingdom with the utmost delight, but in no wise it suits either with us or him, to speak of our gathering Christ as a rose! Nor {touching this ascended Lord} can men come with their rude approaches near him. The very sound of the phrase, as well as the notion, of gathering the Rose, doth not carry that reverence and due regard to Christ in it, which we ought to have.

Third Argument: Gathering a rose is separating it from the stem upon which it grew; but Christ in our Nature can be no ways separated from God. “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” {Col.2:9} He is capable of being enjoyed as he is, but this is by a suitable enjoyment that must not alter his glory in our thoughts. To sever his Humanity in our thoughts from his Godhead, Matt.19:17, is to dis-worship him as Mediator. To sever his Person from his Covenant, {I am but pursuing what Mr. Hunt meant by this severing phrase of gathering a rose, being the severing it from its stem upon which it grew,} is to represent Christ as a Person that is come in his own name, as he himself foretold, Jn.5:43, that imposters would so do. I do not take that “another which was to come in his own name” to be many others, as Mt.24:24, but one single Person; and not the Antichrist neither, II Thes.2:3-12, as our Reformers, Whitaker, Ames, &c., have generally against the Papists expounded that text, but some {one particular} false Christ eminently distinguished from all {other} false Christ’s, as was Barcohebas. Now because I am upon the matter of Exalting Christ, it may not be amiss, for the better confirming also that same oracle and prediction of Christ, Jn.5:43, to speak a few words of him I pitch upon to be conceivably meant by our Lord in that particular text, and that is Barcohebas, or Barcosbas, or Bencosbas, or Barchossiba, {for he goes by all these several names in writers,} the name signifying the ‘son of a star’ and the ‘son of a liar.’ In his prosperity he was called by the former name, but when the imposter was discovered he was called by the latter name. This Jew took upon him to be Christ, counterfeited miracles, sketched his pretended original from the prophecy of the Messiah in Num.24:17, “there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel.” He established himself to be a temporal monarch, which the deluded Jews looked upon to be the essential character of Messiah. He made them to believe that he would deliver them out of the power of the Romans; restore Jerusalem and the Temple to their ancient grandeur; and resettle the disturbed state of affairs in Judea. He was universally received of the Jews, and held out much about the same time that our Lord had exercised his ministry on earth; I mean, three years and a half, being shut up in the strong town of Bethhoron, which signifies the house of liberty, being one of the cities that King Solomon had built. I Kings 9:17. But that place being not able to fortify him any longer, he was entirely routed by Adrian, one of the Roman emperors. This happened just before the last captivity and dispersion of the Jews, Deut.32:26, which brought them over hither into the Western Monarchy, by the conquests of that Adrian {in the year 136} who placed them in Portugal and Spain, and as far as he could from the Imperial Seat, the Jews being such a turbulent people, after all their proud boasts in our Lord Christ’s time, “we have no king but Caesar;” Jn.19:15, now, Barcohebas having his head cut off in the city of Bethhoron, and brought to the Emperor Adrian, he commanded also his body to be fetched after it, which was found with an ugly serpent twisting about it; and without doubt this was to show the Jews that those serpents and that “generation of vipers,” Mt.12:34; 23:33, as Christ had fitly styled them, whose children they were; that is, the children of the devil, that old serpent, Rev.12:9, as certainly as they had been now in their posterity the followers of this Barcohebas, {branded with this ugly serpent, the image of the devil twisting about their pseudo-Messiah,} it showed the Jews, we may see, though they could not, having the veil upon their faces, II Cor.3:14,15, that their serpentine race resembled their serpentine original, and their bruising the Second Adam by crucifying him, Mt.27:35, as the serpent, Gen.3:1, had bruised the first Adam, by bringing on him, and his posterity, death and ruin. The serpent also that twisted about the carcass of Barcohebas might be to show them, that it was the devil {that subtle serpent} which had deceived them by this imposter; and made it out that Barcohebas, the pretended son of the star, was the apparent son of a lie; not the Christ of God, Lk.9:20, not the Seed of the woman, Gen.3:15, which was to break the serpents head; which Seed of the Jews they rejected, after he was come from the Father, Jn.16:28, and had delivered the elect of God. The true Seed of the woman was to overcome the serpent and his seed, and to bruise the head of that serpent on the tree; not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Gen.2:17, as the old serpent had twisted his body when he deceived Eve, but on the tree of the cross, I Pet.2:24, by suffering the accursed Death thereon. By this means the Seed of the woman did bruise the head of the serpent; for as Christ came from God, even out of the bosom of the Father, Jn.1:18, so he went to God again. The true Messiah destroyed the serpent, according to the original prediction of Genesis 3:15, “and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” {I Jn.3:8} “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” {Jn.12:31} But here the serpent prevailed, and destroyed this false Messiah, as he entwined about his dead corpse; to show how he had climbed up by this man, to destroy the Jews that murdered Christ, just as he once climbed up the tree of knowledge, Gen.2:17, to murder our first parents, and in them had morally destroyed their seed. Thus I have shown perhaps who that ‘another’ is, that Christ said should judicially come in his own Name among them, and be received by the Jews, though they would not receive, but cut off our Messiah. Dan.9:26. “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”

Well I’ll now resume my argument, of gathering a rose as separated from the stem upon which it grows, for Christ in our Nature can be no more separated from his Covenant than he can be severed from his Godhead, or divided from the Father. He that cannot be severed from his Covenant, and the Commission of God and his Father, by which commission he acts towards us, can never in receiving him be gathered as a rose. So to break off this Relation from his Office in our thoughts, as a rose, and gathering it, is broken off from the stalk, is to put a high affront upon our Redeemer! What ‘gathering him’ then can there be, which is left to the propriety of the phrase, when he loses no propriety, Heb.13:8, by our receiving him? This is an argument that we do not gather Christ when we receive him, because our receiving Christ makes no alternation of him from God, from the Covenant, from his own Mediatorial Office. It is enough that he is given in the Gospel, and so received without severing or distraction of Nature or Relation. Let us not bring in new phrases of receiving Christ, lest we bring in another Christ, Gal.1:8, the son of a Lie, and not the Son of God! Let us cast out this other gospel, and all its language that we have not received, as soon as it starts up, as at unawares amongst us. We desire to hear no more of this new doctrine, because it hath not one old text for it, lest instead of receiving Christ, Jn.1:12, when men talk of their gathering the Rose, they take up with a lie, Isa.44:20, in their right hand. Take heed, poor soul, lest Satan put thee off with a cheat, whilst thou thinkest thou art stirred up by a ‘good’ man’s counsel to gather Jesus Christ.

Fourth Argument: A rose gathered is quickly good for nothing, for it is soon withered, shriveled and lost. But to advance such notions upon Christ is to pollute his Name, Ezek.20:39, which is holy and reverend. Psa.111:9. Christ hath a perpetual bloom in heaven, never to drop or fade away. It is some wonder to me, how that a man that allows Christ the excelling property of the rose, to be always flourishing, as he says, page 65, should yet advance such an eclipsing resemblance, and take such open liberty to contradict himself, as he has done in this impish phrase, of gathering Christ, Gen.49:10, from the common resemblance of gathering a rose. For this brings the Rose of Sharon under the fading change; and all the help of it lays in a contradictory complement a few pages after, as to how he can never fade. Christ’s “name shall endure forever; his name shall be continued as long as the sun; and men shall be blessed in him; all nations shall call him blessed.” {Psa.72:17} How can a rose flourish when it is gathered? How could Christ flourish, if Christ were gathered as a rose? For I do but follow him into his own strain of the metaphor, where he has strained and strained so often, against his old promise that Christ is the Rose always flourishing, blessed be the Lord, I readily admit; but that he is the rose gathered into hand at any certain seasons, according to the notion that he advances, {though he is a Gift received and laid hold on by faith,} I do with very good assurance deny. “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts; and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.” {Psa.145:4-7}

Fifth Argument: Gathering a rose is in order to sever it from its stem, and carrying it off the place where it grew follows; but Christ, notwithstanding all our receiving him, is always at the right hand of the Father, Eph.1:20, not to be displaced. Gathering Christ in his glory cannot be admitted without a gross notion of transacting towards him, and sullying his Glory, after we have been complimented by this author into other expectations of his Glory Unveiled. What profit is there in exalting Christ’s title beyond the metaphor, and to flatter him with my lips, if I disparage his Personal Glory, and have lied to him with my tongue? Psa.78:36.

Sixth Argument, and last: It is a phrase fitted unto some of Christ’s dealings with us, but is fitted to none of our dealings with Christ. Christ gathers us off from the stock of Adam, where we grew when he graciously dealt towards us by his own engrafture. He gathers us too unto Himself, as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings. Mt.23:37. It was a mere petition of David, Psal.26:9, that his soul be not gathered with sinners, nor his life with bloody men; where the gathering act still lies on the part of Christ, and not on the part of David. “Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.” {Psa.106:47} It makes the argument good against this untoward application of this rose gathering. The Lord gathers us, but we never gather him. “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” {Ezek.36:24-27} It is fitted to the Shepherd of the flock, Isa.63:11, to “gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young;” Isa.40:11, but it was never fitted to the flock, sheep or lambs, to go and gather their Shepherd. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” {Jn.10:27-28} To sum it up in a word, it is Christ’s own prerogative, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies, Song.6:2, but it was never the property of the Lily to gather the Rose of Sharon.