The Church of Jesus Christ
THE CHURCH AS CHRIST'S BRIDE IN TWO PARTS AS A VIRGIN AND A WIFE
THE CHURCH COMPARED TO A VIRGIN
" I have espoused you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste Virgin to Christ," 2 Cor. XI. 2
A chaste Virgin. This simile alludes to the legal type of the High Priest, who might marry none but a Virgin. Lev. xxi. 15.
Note. The Church, or a gracious soul, is by the apostle compared to an espoused Virgin: " I have espoused you," i. e. I have been an instrument or spokesman in the hand of my blessed Lord and Master herein.
I. The Church of God and every sincere Christian is kept pure from idolatry, viz., the inordinate love of the world, and all Antichristian worship. Hence the forty-four thousand upon mount Sion are said to be Virgins; "these are they which were not defiled with women," that is, with the mother of harlots, mystical Babylon, nor with any of her daughters; for they are Virgins, that is, true and chaste to Christ. Rev. IV. 4.
II. So the Church, and each sincere Chris?tian, is dearly beloved by the Lord, who is said to rejoice over his people, " as a young man rejoiceth over his bride," Isa. Ixii. 4, 5.
III. So, the Church longeth for the return of the Bridegroom, when Christ will take her to him?self. " The marriage of the Lamb is come," &c., Cant. viii. 14, Rev. xix. 7, 8.
IV. So all sincere souls wonderfully prize every precious token of Christ's special favor to them. " Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for his love is better than wine," Cant. i. 2.
V. So is the Church the wife of Christ.
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