The Church's Testimony to Christ
Songs 1:12
While the king sits at his table, my spikenard sends forth the smell thereof.

These words are the Church's testimony from experience of the blessed effects which Christ's presence in His ordinances hath upon pious souls which wait upon Him under them.

1. The title THE CHURCH gives Christ, "The King": as showing thereby the sense she had of His dignity and dominion, and also of her subjection to Him, and dependence upon Him.

2. What she says of Him from her own experience, as a witness to His condescension and grace, the King sitteth at his table: which may refer to all the ordinances of the Gospel, in which, as at a feast, He meets and entertains His people, supping with them, and they with Him, as His own expression is (Revelation 3:20).

3. The happy fruit or effect of Christ's sitting at His table upon the believer who is admitted to sit with Him. "My spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof." Grace is compared to spikenard for its preciousness and value; and the sending forth of its smell denotes that grace as discovering itself in a lively, fresh and vigorous manner. It is as ointment poured forth, most pleasing to Christ, and to all that love Him, too; they rejoicing in the honour paid Him by themselves and others through a lively exercise of grace.

4. The connection of this effect with its cause, or the presence of Christ, and the dependence of this upon it.


1. Grace in Scripture most usually denotes these two things, namely, God's goodwill to us, and His good work in us.

(1) His goodwill to us lost sinners in and through His Son, and this as revealed and tendered to us in the Gospel (Titus 2:11; Ephesians 2:8).

(2) God s good work in us, in all His people, which is the fruit or effect of that goodwill which He had in His heart concerning them (Ephesians 4:7; John 1:16).

2. From whence its worth and excellency may he collected.

(1) Grace in the friends of Christ may be said to be valuable and precious, as having so much of heaven in it.

(a)  It comes from heaven;

(b)  It marks out for it;

(c)  It leads to it;

(d)  It will issue in it.

(2) The necessity of grace is a further evidence of its value. Without grace we cannot please God upon earth, nor be admitted to the enjoyment of Him in heaven. It is grace that crowns all outward mercies, and speaks and makes them mercies indeed; and nothing but this can sweeten afflictions, and make our heaviest crosses light.

(3) The excellency of grace may be argued from the happy distinction it makes in them, from fallen angels, from the rest of mankind, and from their former selves.

(4) The value of grace may be gathered from the price that went to purchase it, which was no less than the blood of Christ.

(5) It is precious in regard of its Author, the Spirit of God: hence He is called "the Sprat of Grace." Under this character He is promised where a saving change is designed (Zechariah 12:10). And it is wrought by His agency wherever it is wrought. The instrument He ordinarily makes use of is the Word; but all the influence it hath, and the saving impression it makes, is from Him.

(6) It is precious in its nature. No two things can more widely differ than the old and the new; the corruption propagated with the common nature by the first birth, and the grace infused in regeneration.

(7) The excellency of grace is proved by its effects: particularly as it ennobles, enriches, secures and comforts. APPLICATION:

1. Is grace so valuable? How blind are they that see not its worth I What enemies to their souls are they who labour not after it I

2. How much hath God done for them on whom He hath bestowed His grace, so excellent in itself, and leading to glory 1

3. How greatly are the partakers of grace obliged to Christ, by whose blood it is purchased, and for whose sake it is bestowed! 4.-How glad should they be of all the opportunities to meet Him, by His presence and influence, to have grace drawn into act!

5. How thankful should they be who can say with the Church, "While the King sat at His table, my spikenard sent forth the smell thereof I"

6. How willing should they he whose grace hath been drawn forth by the presence of Christ here, to behold Him in His glory, and dwell with Him for ever.

(D. Wilcox.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.

WEB: While the king sat at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.

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