That Fairest Among Women

Thou art beautiful, O my love as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners. – Song of songs 6:4

There are various estimates of the Christian church. Some think everything of her; some think nothing of her; and probably neither opinion is worth the breath which utters it. Neither Ritualists, who idolize their church, nor skeptics, who vilify all churches, have any such knowledge of the true spiritual church of Jesus Christ as to be entitled to give an opinion. The King’s daughter is all glorious within, with a beauty which they are quite unable to appreciate. What is usually the most correct character which is obtainable of a woman? Shall we be guided by the praises of those neighbors who are on good terms with her, or by the scandal of those who make her the subject of ill-natured gossip? No; the most accurate judgment we are likely to get is that of her husband. Solomon saith in the Proverbs concerning the virtuous woman, “Her husband also riseth up, and he praiseth her.” Of that fairest among women, the church of Christ, the same observation may be made. It is to her of small consequence to be judged of man’s judgment, but it is her honor and joy to stand well in the love and esteem of her royal spouse, the Prince Emmanuel… it is evident that the Divine Bridegroom gives His Bride a high place in His heart, and to Him, whatever she may be to others, she is fair, lovely, comely, beautiful, and, in the eyes of His love, without a spot. Moreover, even to Him there is not only a beauty of a soft and gentle kind in her, but a majesty, a dignity in her holiness, in her earnestness, in her consecration, which makes even Him say of her that she is “terrible as an army with banners,” “awful as a bannered army.” She is every inch a Queen: her aspect in the sight of her Beloved is majestic. Take, then, the words of our text as an encomium upon Christ’s church, pronounced by Him who knows her best, and is best able to judge concerning her, and you learn that to His discerning eye she is not weak, dishonorable, and despicable, but bears herself as one of highest rank, consciously, joyously strong in her Lord’s strength.~ C.H. Spurgeon


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