“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” Song of Solomon 2:1
Most expositors agree that these (foregoing words) are the words of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” Wherein He expresseth His own excellencies, to draw, allure, and enamour the souls of those that love, and long after Him: how fitly He may be compared to a Rose we have showed in this book, in some other place, to which we refer you. And as there is great and lovely beauty and amiableness set fort by a Rose; so here, I shall by His assistance, endeavour to set forth His delicious qualifications, by a lily, the lily of the valleys.
|A lily is a sweet and a fragrant flower, yet of such a strong and odoriferous scent that a man’s senses (naturalists say) will be easily overturned with the sweet savour thereof.||The Lord Jesus Christ may vary fitly be compared to the lily, whose savour and spiritual sweetness very much excels and transcends the sweetest of any odours that can be mentioned; and honey and the honey-comb are sweet to the smell, and sweeter to the taste: O then how sweet is the precious savour of our blessed Saviour! See Rose of Sharon.|
|A lily is white and very beautiful; within it are seven grains or seeds, of the color of gold, so amiable that our Saviour saith, “That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” For whiteness it exceeds all flowers.||Whiteness denotes holiness; it is said of the bride, the Lamb’s wife, “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” Revelation 19:8. And of those “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” Revelation 3:4. Purity is essential, originally, perfectly, and absolutely inherent in Christ; He is holiness itself, His glory is infinite, within and without, every way glorious; the perfection of beauty.|
|It is observed that the lily is exceeding fruitful; one root puts forth fifty bulbs or scallions.||Jesus Christ is exceeding fruitful, from this Root, (for so is He called) how many lilies, or holy, and heavenly churches, have there sprung? Yea, from this blessed lily many thousands of holy and sanctified Christians. See the metaphor vine.|
|The lily is the tallest of flowers, yet hangs down its head.||Jesus Christ is higher than the mighty princes, kings and emperors of the earth, higher than heaven or angels, and yet humble and lowly in heart; therefore He is compared to the lily of the valley, in His exaltations, as God very high; but in His humiliations, He seems to hang down His head.|
|The lily is a flower that hath many medicinal virtues; the distilled water of a lily is good to restore a lost voice, it helps faintness, is good for the liver, helps the dropsy; and the oil of it is good for divers maladies, says Galen.||The great and incomparable virtue that is in the Lord Jesus Christ, is excellently good to cure all the diseases and maladies of the soul; it cures spiritual blindness, it softens a hard heart, it cures stubbornness and obstinancy, by His blessed infusion of grace; in a word, there is no malady too hard for this spiritual Physician. See Physician and Heart. And for other properties of the lily, see more where the Church is compared to it. For the disparity, see Rose of Sharon.|
From hence we may seasonable learn to be humble, seeing the lily which is said to be of a tall growth, yet hangeth down its head. As Christ is humble, so holiness and humility are the glorious ornaments of a Christian. That Christian that hath most holiness, hath most humility. The ear of wheat, which is well kerneled and fullest, hangs down its head most.