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I am a rose of Sharon,

a lily of the valleys.


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Christ the Rose of Sharon.

1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.   2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

See here, I. What Christ is pleased to compare himself to; and he condescends very much in the comparison. He that is the Son of the Highest, the bright and morning star, calls and owns himself the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys, to express his presence with his people in this world, the easiness of their access to him, and the beauty and sweetness which they find in him, and to teach them to adorn themselves with him, as shepherds and shepherdesses, when they appeared gay, were decked with roses and lilies, garlands and chaplets of flowers. The rose, for beauty and fragrance, is the chief of flowers, and our Saviour prefers the clothing of the lily before that of Solomon in all his glory. Christ is the rose of Sharon, where probably the best roses grew and in most plenty, the rose of the field (so some), denoting that the gospel salvation is a common salvation; it lies open to all; whoever will may come and gather the rose-buds of privileges and comforts that grow in the covenant of grace. He is not a rose locked up in a garden, but all may come and receive benefit by him and comfort in him. He is a lily for whiteness, a lily of the valleys for sweetness, for those which we call so yield a strong perfume. He is a lily of the valleys, or low places, in his humiliation, exposed to injury. Humble souls see most beauty in him. Whatever he is to others, to those that are in the valleys he is a lily. He is the rose, the lily; there is none besides. Whatever excellence is in Christ, it is in him singularly and in the highest degree.

II. What he is pleased to compare his church to, v. 2. 1. She is as a lily; he himself is the lily (v. 1), she is as the lily. The beauty of believers consists in their conformity and resemblance to Jesus Christ. They are his love, and so they are as lilies, for those are made like Christ in whose hearts his love is shed abroad. 2. As a lily among thorns, as a lily compared with thorns. The church of Christ as far excels all other societies as a bed of roses excels a bush of thorns. As a lily compassed with thorns. The wicked, the daughters of this world, such as have no love to Christ, are as thorns, worthless and useless, good for nothing but to stop a gap; nay, they are noxious and hurtful; they came in with sin and are a fruit of the curse; they choke good seed, and hinder good fruit, and their end is to be burned. God's people are as lilies among them, scratched and torn, shaded and obscured, by them; they are dear to Christ, and yet exposed to hardships and troubles in the world; they must expect it, for they are planted among thorns (Ezek. ii. 6), but they are nevertheless dear to him; he does not overlook nor undervalue any of his lilies for their being among thorns, When they are among thorns they must still be as lilies, must maintain their innocency and purity, and, though they are among thorns, must not be turned into thorns, must not render railing for railing, and, if they thus preserve their character, they shall be still owned as conformable to Christ. Grace in the soul is a lily among thorns; corruptions are thorns in the flesh (2 Cor. xii. 7), are as Canaanites to God's Israel (Josh. xxiii. 13); but the lily that is now among thorns shall shortly be transplanted out of this wilderness into that paradise where there is no pricking brier nor grieving thorn, Ezek. xxviii. 24.