"A bundle of myrrh is my beloved unto me." -- Cant. 1.13
Is it so with you? is Christ a bundle of myrrh to you or no? Every man thinks he doth prize Christ, but most deceive themselves.
Try, therefore, by the five following notes:
1. Who reigns in your hearts? He that is sovereign Lord and commander, he it is that is esteemed. Hath Christ the throne? or hath sin, the world, the throne? Do you lay that charge upon your souls which the Church doth? Psal. xxiv. 7, 8. If Christ be not principal in your hearts, if all things do not bow to Christ, he is not esteemed.
2. Who hath your thoughts? Do you meditate on Christ, do you study Christ, or do you study the world? That of the apostle is excellent to this purpose, 1 Cor. ii. 2. There was nothing so much in his thoughts as Jesus Christ was. Desire of much communion is a true argument of esteem. Anima est ubi amat. Can you say, as the Church in this chapter, ver. 7, Set me where thou feedest? If so, then Christ is high in your hearts indeed.
3. What opinion have you of his members? Do you value them? Are they precious in your eyes because of their relation to Christ, and because of their similitude to Christ? See 1 John v. 1; he that loves not saints in their meanest dress, before sinners in their best robes, prizeth not Christ truly at all.
4. What do ye do to bring others to Christ? Do you woo souls to marry with Christ? Do you make it your work to cause others to be enamoured of him? Then you may conclude you esteem him indeed. But if you be careless whether Christ be without disciples or have disciples, he is not rightly prized of you.
5. Do ye mourn for his dishonour? David saith, Psal. lxix. 9, 'The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.' Can you say so? You are haters of Christ if you can hear or see him dishonored, and not lay it to your heart.