This latter part of the psalm is addressed to the royal bride, standing on the right hand of the royal bridegroom. God, who said to the Son, Thy throne is for ever and ever, says this to the church, which, upon the account of her espousals to the Son, he here calls his daughter.
I. He tells her of the duties expected from her, which ought to be considered by all those that come into relation to the Lord Jesus: “Hearken, therefore, and consider this, and incline thy ear, that is, submit to those conditions of thy espousals, and bring thy will to comply with them.” This is the method of profiting by the word of God. He that has ears, let him hear, let him hearken diligently; he that hearkens, let him consider and weigh it duly; he that considers, let him incline and yield to the force of what is laid before him. And what is it that is her 3523 e required?
1. She must renounce all others.
(1.) Here is the law of her espousals: “Forget thy own people and thy father’s house, according to the law of marriage. Retain not the affection thou hast had for them, nor covet to return to them again; banish all such remembrance (not only of thy people that were dear to thee, but of thy father’s house that were dearer) as may incline thee to look back, as Lot’s wife to Sodom.” When Abraham, in obedience to God’s call, had quitted his native soil, he was not so much as mindful of the country whence he came out. This shows, [1.] How necessary it was for those who were converted from Judaism or paganism to the faith of Christ wholly to cast out the old leaven, and not to bring into their Christian profession either the Jewish ceremonies or the heathen idolatries, for these would make such a mongrel religion in Christianity as the Samaritans had. [2.] How necessary it is for us all, when we give up our names to Jesus Christ, to hate father and mother, and all that is dear to us in this world, in comparison, that is, to love them less than Christ and his honour, and our interest in him, Luke 14:26.
(2.) Here is good encouragement given to the royal bride thus entirely to break off from her former alliances: So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty, which intimates that the mixing of her old rites and customs, whether Jewish or Gentile, with her religion, would blemish her beauty and would hazard her interest in the affections of the royal bridegroom, but that, if she entirely conformed to his will, he would delight in her. The beauty of holiness, both on the church and on particular believers, is in the sight of Christ of great price and very amiable. Where that is he says, This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell, for I have desired it. Among the golden candlesticks he walks with pleasure, Rev. 2:1.
2. She must reverence him, must love, honour, and obey him: He is thy Lord, and worship thou him. The church is to be subject to Christ as the wife to the husband (Eph. 5:24), to call him Lord, as Sarah called Abraham, and to obey him (1 Pet. 3:6), and so not only to submit to his government, but to give him divine honours. We must worship him as God, and our Lord; for this is the will of God, that all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father; nay, in so doing it is reckoned that they honour the Father. If we confess that Christ is Lord, and pay our homage to him accordingly, it is to the glory of God the Father, Phil. 2:11.
II. He tells her of the honours designed for her.
1. Great court should be made to her, and rich presents brought her (Ps. 45:12): “The daughter of Tyre,” a rich and splendid city, “the daughter of the King of Tyre shall be there with a gift; every royal family round about shall send a branch, as a representative of the whole, to seek thy favour and to make an interest in thee; even the rich among the people, whose wealth might be thought to exempt them from dependence at court, even they shall entreat thy favour, for his sake to whom thou art espoused, that by thee they may make him their friend.” The Jews, the pretending Jews, who are rich to a proverb (as rich as a Jew), shall come and worship before the church’s feet in the Philadelphian period, and shall know that Christ has loved her, Rev. 3:9. When the Gentiles, being converted to the faith of Christ, join themselves to the church, they then come with a gift, 2 Cor. 8:5; Rom. 15:16. When with themselves they devote all they have to the honour of Christ, and the service of his kingdom, they then come with a gift.
2. She shall be very splendid, and highly esteemed in the eyes of all, (1.) For her personal qualifications, the endowments of her mind, which every one shall admire (Ps. 45:13): The king’s daughter is all glorious within. Note, The glory of the church is spiritual glory, and that is indeed all glory; it is the glory of the soul, and that is the man; it is glory in God’s sight, and it is an earnest of eternal glory. The glory of the saints falls not within the view of a carnal eye. As their life, so their glory, is hidden with Christ in God, neither can the natural man know it, for it is spiritually discerned; but those who do so discern it highly value it. Let us see here what is that true glory which we should be ambitious of, not that which makes a fair show in the flesh, but which is in the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible (1 Pet. 3:4), whose praise is not of men, but of God, Rom. 2:29. (2.) For her rich apparel. Though all her glory is within, that for which she is truly valuable, yet her clothing also is of wrought gold; the conversation of Christians, in which they appear in the world, must be enriched with good works, not gay and gaudy ones, like paint and flourish, but substantially good, like gold; and it must be accurate and exact, like wrought gold, which is worked with a great deal of care and caution.
3. Her nuptials shall be celebrated with a great deal of honour and joy (Ps. 45:14, 15): She shall be brought to the king, as the Lord God brought the woman to the man (Gen. 2:22), which was a type of this mystical marriage between Christ and his church. None are brought to Christ but whom the Father brings, and he has undertaken to do it; none besides are so brought to the king (Ps. 45:14) as to enter into the king’s palace, Ps. 45:15.
(1.) This intimates a two-fold bringing of the spouse to Christ. [1.] In the conversion of souls to Christ; then they are espoused to him, privately contracted, as chaste virgins, 2 Cor. 11:2; Rom. 7:4. [2.] In the completing of the mystical body, and the glorification of all the saints, at the end of time; then the bride, the Lamb’s wife, shall be made completely ready, when all that belong to the election of grace shall be called in and called home, and all gathered together to Christ, 2 Thess. 2:1. Then is the marriage of the Lamb come (Rev. 19:7; 21:2), and the virgins go forth to meet the bridegroom, Matt. 25:1. Then they shall enter into the king’s palaces, into the heavenly mansions, to be ever with the Lord.
(2.) In both these espousals, observe, to the honour of the royal bride, [1.] Her wedding clothes—raiment of needle-work, the righteousness of Christ, the graces of the Spirit; both curiously wrought by divine wisdom. [2.] Her bride-maids—the virgins her companions, the wise virgins who have oil in their vessels as well as in their lamps, those who, being joined to the church, cleave to it and follow it, these shall go in to the marriage. [3.] The mirth with which the nuptials will be celebrated: With gladness and rejoicing shall she be brought. When the prodigal is brought home to his father it is meet that we should make merry and be glad (Luke 15:32); and when the marriage of the Lamb has come let us be glad and rejoice (Rev. 19:7); for the day of his espousals is the day of the gladness of his heart, Song 3:11.
4. The progeny of this marriage shall be illustrious (Ps. 45:16): Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children. Instead of the Old-Testament church, the economy of which had waxed old, and ready to vanish away (Heb. 8:13), as the fathers that are going off, there shall be a New-Testament church, a Gentile-church, that shall be grafted into the same olive and partake of its root and fatness (Rom. 11:17); more and more eminent shall be the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, Isa. 54:1. This promise to Christ is of the same import with that Isa. 53:10; He shall see his seed; and these shall be made princes in all the earth; there shall be some of all nations brought into subjection to Christ, and so made princes, made to our God kings and priests, Rev. 1:6. Or it may intimate that there should be a much greater number of Christian kings than ever there was of Jewish kings (those in Canaan only, these in all the earth), nursing fathers and nursing mothers to the church, which shall suck the breasts of kings. They are princes of Christ’s making; for by him kings reign and princes decree justice.
5. The praise of this marriage shall be perpetual in the praises of the royal bridegroom (Ps. 45:17): I will make thy name to be remembered. His Father has given him a name above every name, and here promises to make it perpetual, by keeping up a succession of ministers and Christians in every age, that shall bear up his name, which shall thus endure for ever (Ps. 72:17), by being remembered in all the generations of time; for the entail of Christianity shall not be cut off. “Therefore, because they shall remember thee in all generations, they shall praise thee for ever and ever.” Those that help to support the honour of Christ on earth shall in heaven see his glory, and share in it, and be for ever praising him. In the believing hope of our everlasting happiness in the other world let us always keep up the remembrance of Christ, as our only way thither, in our generation; and, in assurance of the perpetuating of the kingdom of the Redeemer in the world, let us transmit the remembrance of him to succeeding generations, that his name may endure for ever and be as the days of heaven.