Preface

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 7
AT the request of many of the readers of "things New and Old," the " Meditations " now appear in a separate volume. And here I may state what I thought and felt in commencing these studies on the Canticles.
Amidst the incessant calls to public labor in London, it requires great diligence and watchfulness, to maintain the soul in fullness and freshness suited to the Lord's service; and unless the soul finds ways and means of. drinking for itself at the fountain head, it will soon become unprofitable in ministry. Every fresh service ought to be the result of fresh, personal communion with the living Head, the fountain of all supply. Nothing short of this will meet the need. There must be enjoyed association with the Source of life and blessing, in order to become the channel of life and blessing to others. Ability, however great, gift, however distinct, are not enough without personal communion.
If anything be allowed to come in between the heart of the servant and his Master, his service will be marred. For to me to live is Christ." I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me," was the high ground of the apostle. Christ was his motive, power, and object. He did all in the view of Christ. This is the true ground of service, however far below the apostle's measure the servant may be. When this is the condition of his soul, Christ is honored, the Spirit is ungrieved and acts in power, and the soul must be full and fresh for service. There may be little time for private study, yet we learn. The Spirit is our teacher, and in this state of mind we are easily taught. " If any man thirst," says Christ, " let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." It is perfectly clear from what the Lord here says, that we must drink first the living waters for our own refreshment, before they can flow out for the refreshment of others.
Conscious of this need, and where the full supply could only be found, the "Song of Songs" presented a most inviting theme for this purpose. The whole book is full of Christ; and more especially is it filled with the free expression of His thoughts, feelings, affections, and desires towards His spouse, and all who put their trust in Him. Hence the study of the book brings the soul into direct communion with the Person of the Lord in a yen,- precious way. And, surely, nothing is so fitted to meet every need of the servant, both for public and private service. With these thoughts, and with this end in view, the " Meditations " were commenced. And if my readers have entered with me into the spirit of these studies, they may be able to speak with me of profit there from. To be admitted, as it were, to the inner temple of the Savior's heart, is surely the greatest privilege and blessing we can now enjoy.
I have thus freely expressed my thoughts and feelings, in the hope that some may be helped and. encouraged thereby. Many known to me, who have a willing heart for service, feel pressed for time. Engaged in business during the day, and with meetings almost every evening, when or where is the time, they may truly say, for drinking in? I am familiar with the difficulty. But it is a much happier thing to be overpressed with service for the Lord, than hardly to know how to fill up your time. Be thankful The very pressure, when the Master is before the mind, separates the heart from the scene around. Nothing else will; and the moment the hands are freed from the secular they are ready for the spiritual.
But, after all, the one grand personal question is-Has Christ His right place in my heart, and His truth its right place in my ways? If so, all other things will naturally fall into theirs, and divine light will shine on all my path.
The Lord grant that this may ever be the case with both reader and writer, for His own name's sake.
A. M.
London.