C. H. Spurgeon
Sermon Notes From Charles Spurgeon
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66. The Rose And The Lily.

I am the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the valleys. - Song of Solomon 2:1.

HERE we have the Bridegroom praising himself, and this is a thing to be considered with careful attention.

This self-praise is not tainted with pride: such a fault could not find a place in the lowly Jesus. His egoism is not egotism. He does not commend himself for his own sake, but for our sakes He sets himself forth in glowing terms because:

In condescension he desires our love. What a poor thing it is for him to care about! Yet he thirsts after it.

In wisdom he uses the best way to win our love.

In tenderness he deigns to describe himself that we may be encouraged by his familiarity in praising himself to us. This is one of the most effectual proofs of lowliness.

Of necessity he describes himself, for who else can describe him? "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father" (Matt. 11:27).

Moreover, he here states a fact which else might not be believed, seeing he makes himself so common a flower of earth, so graciously a joy for men, that all may have him. We will not take up your time by trying to discover what flowers these may have been in the eastern flora: we may select those most like them in our own western land, and do our Lord no wrong.

I. THE EXCEEDING DELIGHTFULNESS OF OUR LORD.

He compares himself, not only, as in other places, to needful bread, and refreshing water, but to lovely flowers. In Jesus there are all delights as well as all necessaries.

1. He is now all that he ever was, for his "I am" runs through all eternity in unabated force.

2. He is in himself the delight of men. He speaks not of offices, gifts, works, possessions, but of himself. "I am."

3. He is delightful to the eye of faith, even as flowers are to the bodily sight. What more beautiful than roses and lilies?

4. He is delightful in the savor which comes of him. In him is a delicious, varied, abiding fragrance.

5. In all this he is the choicest of the choice: the rose yea, Sharon's rose: the lily yea, the most delicious lily of the valleys. There is none like him. He is indeed "a plant of renown."

Yet blind men see no color, and men without scent perceive no odor in the sweetest flowers; and carnal men see no delights in, Jesus. Roses and lilies require eyes and light ere they can be appreciated, and to know Jesus we must have grace and gracious dispositions. He says, "I am the Rose of Sharon"; and so he is essentially; but the grave question is, "Is he this to you?" Yes or no?

II. THE SWEET VARIETY OF HIS DELIGHTFULNESS.

1. Of the rose, majesty: of the lily, love.

2. Of the rose, suffering: of the lily, purity.

3. Of both a great variety: all the roses and all the lilies, all the beauties of heaven and earth meet in Jesus.

4. Of both the very essence. Of all the creatures, all the excellences, virtues, and blessings, which may be found in them, come from Jesus, and abide in Jesus without limit. Many eyes are wanted to spy out the whole of Christ. No eye, nor all eyes, can see all that lies in his varied perfections.

5. Of all these a perfect proportion, so that no one excellence destroys another. He is all a rose should be, and yet not the less perfect as a lily. Hence he is suitable to all saints, the joy of all, the perfection of beauty to each one.

III. THE EXCEEDING FREENESS OF HIS DELIGHTFULNESS.

1. Meant to be plucked and enjoyed as roses and lilies are.

2. Abundant as a common flower. He is not as a rare orchid, but as the anemones which covered Sharon's plains, and as the lilies which abounded in all the valleys of Palestine.

3. Abiding in a common place, as roses in Sharon, and lilies in the valleys, where every passer-by was free to gather according to his own sweet will. Not found on inaccessible steeps, or within guarded enclosures, Jesus is out in the open: a flower of the common. This is a leading idea of the text. Those who desire Christ may have him.

4. Scattering fragrance, not over a room or a house, but far and wide, perfuming every wandering wind.

5. Yet roses and lilies fail to set forth our Beloved, for his is unfading virtue.

They are soon withered, but "He dieth no more."

In all things look for Jesus. See him in primroses and daisies.

In Jesus look for all things of beauty and sweetness: lilies and roses are in him.

Listen much to Jesus, for he can tell you most about himself; and, coming at first hand, it will be surely true, and' come with great force and unction. Hearken, and hear him say, "I am the Rose of Sharon."

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