Song of Solomon 7

Song of Solomon 7  •  32 min. read  •  grade level: 6
VERSE 1 " How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! " The spouse of the King is again minutely surveyed, and addressed by a new title. " O prince's daughter." Her connection with royalty is now acknowledged. She is brought into the closest relationship with the King. This is manifest to all. When Messiah takes the throne according to the plain and forcible language of Psa. 45, this will be her place. There we read, " Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir." When He enters the scene, and takes the throne of His father David, everything is changed in Israel. What a change for Jerusalem! What a change for the Jewish people! Jerusalem will have the first place, and all the cities of Judah shall own it. The earth's blessing will also come in then through the exaltation of the Jews. " Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth."
And now, hear, as it were, His first address from the throne to His beloved people. " Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people and thy father's house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him." It was no longer the glory of the fathers-Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-but the brighter glory of the true seed royal of the house of Judah. Christ is all in all. He who loves righteousness and hates wickedness: proves himself fit to govern. In righteousness and in judgment, He has brought in the full triumph and glory of the Jewish people. He had led them on to victory over the heads of all their foes. He who led them into captivity, is now a captive in the bottomless pit. Christ is on the throne, and all His enemies are made His footstool. And now, the people are to look to Him, not to the fathers, in whom they have hitherto boasted. " We be Abraham's seed," was once their empty boast, to the lowly Jesus; but everything is changed now, Hence the emphatic word to the daughter of Zion; "Forget thine own people, and thy father's house: so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him."
But has this beautiful address from the lips of Jesus, though as King of the Jews, no voice to thee, my soul? Is it only fit for Israel? Far from it, I would say. In spirit, and in principle, it is plainly applicable to all Christ's disciples now. " Abide in me "-" Follow me," are still deeper. No sooner is a soul converted to Jesus, than it should, in that sense, forget, and turn away from, all its old associations. Everything contrary to His will, or that would hinder us in carrying out His will, should be given up, and, as it were, forgotten. The application of the passage is easy, provided we are prepared to give up our hearts to Him. " My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways," is surely a fair demand, at all times, from Him who gave Himself for us. His devotedness to us is complete. He kept nothing back; He gave all. He loved us, and gave Himself for us. Not only His life, true and blessed as that is, but He gave Himself. The cross, of course, is the strongest expression of His love that we can ever have. But in giving Himself, He gives all that He is, as the Man Christ Jesus-the Savior of sinners. Observe, especially, I pray thee, the greatness of this gift—HIMSELF! And also, the Giver-HE, gave Himself. All His qualities-all His excellencies, are given in this gift. This is love-this is devotedness-this is consecration. He keeps hack nothing from us; His love is perfect. He, Himself, is mine.
"Now I have found a friend,
Jesus is mine;
His love shall never end,
Jesus is mine."
We have a full Christ, adored and blessed be His name! May we allow nothing that would lessen to the soul His fullness-may we count self, and all that belongs to it, as dross. His wisdom, His righteousness, His peace, His joy, His grace, His glory-in short, the perfection of His work, His more abundant life in resurrection, and the glory of His Person-all are the believer's in the gift of Himself. Take one illustration of this marvelous truth, and see that thou fully understand this mystery of perfect love, O my soul. It is written, that He " made peace, through the blood of his cross." " Peace," in this connection, means reconciliation. We are reconciled, our peace is made, according to the perfection of His work on the cross. But it is also written, " Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." Here, " peace " does not mean reconciliation, but Christ's own peace. " My peace "-a peace answering to the glory of His Person, which He leaves to us as a legacy in this troubled scene. And He gives not as the world gives; the world gives a part, and keeps a part, but He gives all. Oh, what blessing! What has love not done! Oh, what a ground of confidence for the heart is this unspeakable gift! To know that " Jesus is mine," is to know the sweetness of full peace, and quiet rest, in His own blessed presence. But if there be such a ground for confidence in this gift, Oh, what a motive there is for whole-hearted devotedness-for entire consecration of body, soul, and spirit to the blessed Lord! May we know the confidence, and act from the motive. May our love be the fair reflection of His.
" Thine eye confiding, manifests the love,
A love producing love reciprocal,
Which overshadoweth thy being's course,
As face to face in water answereth-
Yea, as one passing by Bath-rabbim's gate,
In Heshbon's waveless mirrors may behold
The faithful transcript of o'erhanging skies."
It is rather difficult to say whether the first five verses of this chapter are addressed to the bride by the daughters of Jerusalem, or by the Bridegroom. The tone of verse 6, which is evidently His, appears to be deeper. In chapter iv. when speaking of her qualities, He begins with the head. And in chapter v. where the bride gives a full-length portrait of her Beloved, she also begins with the head. But here it is different, the description begins with the feet and ends with the head. She appears to be looked at, in this passage, from earth's point of view; as if the daughters of Jerusalem were first attracted by her walk. Besides, the portrait here given is not so much her own personal, faultless beauty, which the Bridegroom so admires, and delights to dwell upon, as the circumstances and associations of royalty. Or, perhaps, more that which is national glory than personal beauty. But we must bear in mind as we go along, that the spouse represents, for all Israel, great glory and blessing.
Having examined with some care, when Meditating on chapters 4, 5., each feature therein described, we would now do little more than endeavor to point out the most obvious bearing of the present comparisons.
The expression, " How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter," conveys to the mind, more the idea of majestic footsteps-stately goings, than of the general walk. " The joints," being like jewels, giving freedom to the step, strengthens this view of the passage. Her gait is noble, majestic, suited to royalty. " A round goblet which wanteth not liquor.... an heap of wheat set about with lilies," surely denote an abundance of that which cheers and sustains; and yet, these are surrounded with grace and humility. A fence of lilies forbids the approach of none to come and partake of the king's munificence; but sweetly invites, as it were, in the words of wisdom, " Come eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled." Such will be the fullness and character of earthly blessing under the peaceful reign of the true King Solomon. An abundance of corn and wine, fenced off with lilies. What an idea these beautiful and significant symbols give of millennial blessing! An overflowing abundance with true lowliness of mind. What must be the beauty and fragrance, the peace and security of that land, whose border defenses are the lilies of the valley! What must be the impression produced on those who come up to Jerusalem! Jesus is there! The King of Salem reigns, He is having everything His own way. That explains all.
The twin roes may point out the unity, harmony, and great family likeness which shall then characterize the people of the land. Referring to their blessing under the new covenant in the future day, the word says, " Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers: and ye shall be my people and I will be your God." (Ezek. 36:25-2825Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:25‑28).) The apostle, in applying these promises to Israel, not, withstanding their present dispersion, says, " For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." (Heb. 8 II, 12.) Who could doubt, with such texts before them, the full restoration of Israel, the reality and uniformity of their blessing?
The " tower of ivory " would suggest the thought of great riches and exaltation. It would also bespeak national glory if not national purity-ivory being snowy white. " The fishpools of Heshbon," that which is calm, deep, clear, and reflective. If the " tower of ivory " bespeak Israel's national riches, may not the " fishpools of Heshbon " bespeak their national character? What so beautiful or suggestive, as the calm, full, bright eye? Besides, it is said of Israel, " Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord." (Psa. 25) This will he singleness of eye. Lord, hasten it in Thy time!
" Serene as Heshbon's tranquil lake,
Thy meditative eyes forsake
The world's distracting joys."
" The tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus," suggests the idea of strength, security, supremacy. The Jews, once so persecuted as a people spread over the earth, and so frequently invaded as a nation, especially by the Syrians, can now look out on Syria, and on all the surrounding nations, in tower-like strength. All the nations of the earth are at their feet. The tower " looketh toward Damascus "-the capital of their once restless and powerful foe. " For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin." A tower on the heights of Lebanon looks out on all, and is seen by all. It will then be known that the power of Jehovah-Jesus dwells in the midst of His beloved people. This will be their national supremacy.
Verse 5. " Thine head upon thee is like Carmel." " Cannel," in scripture, is the type of fruitfulness. It was famous for its vineyards, gardens, and rich herbage. " Thine head upon thee," would seem to point out a head ornament, not the head of the body. The reference may be to a crown, or wreath of laurels, presenting " the excellency of Carmel," and emblematic of the land's fruitfulness-national abundance. Israel is crowned with goodness. They are blessed with all earthly blessings in Immanuel's land. But glorious as that will be (and glorious it shall be), still it is but the contrast, divinely drawn, of the church's blessings, even while she wanders a pilgrim in this world. " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." This is the character and measure of the Christian's blessing, if measured it can be. And here note, my soul, for thy deepest and loftiest meditations, the three things spoken of in this wonderful verse: 1. " All spiritual blessings." Not one is wanting. And, observe, they are spiritual, adapted to our new nature. 2. " In heavenly places." The highest sphere-the best of places-not earthly places, like Israel's in the land of Canaan, blessed as theirs will be.
3. " In Christ "-in the most blessed and excellent way that God could give them. Here, we can draw no comparison; we can only worship and adore. Oh! to enter more fully into that which is already ours, in Christ, according to the love of God our Father; that we may be holy and without blame before Him in love.
" And the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries." " Purple " is the emblem of royalty. The eye rising from the beautiful shoes to the bridal coronet, finds all perfect. The fair spouse of the king is faultless. And the comparisons are suggestive of true national greatness and glory. The king is overcome by her attractions. He is bound, as it were, by her comeliness-comeliness which He has put upon her. " She is all glorious within the ivory palaces; her clothing is of wrought gold; she shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework." " The king is held in the galleries." He cannot leave His royal bride. Wondrous love! wondrous grace! Oh, to know the heart of Jesus!
" The glorious and majestic One,
Whom death nor hell could e'er detain,
Is by thy powerful graces won,
And tied as with a mighty chain.
" Strange loveliness it is that sways
The Sovereign Regent of the skies;
Constraining Him to stay and gaze,
Thy charms do so attract His eyes.
" Faith's efforts bold o'ercome the King;
How happy they the conquest share,
Who to His sacred courts Him win,
And then have power to hold Him there! "
Verse 6. " How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights " This, we doubt not, is the Bridegroom's voice. We perceive more depth of feeling and interest in this verse than in the previous five. Others may admire her, but He delights in her. Through His patient grace, a moral resemblance to Himself has been wrought in her. This He now sees and delights in. The more perfectly Christ sees in us His own likeness, the more He will delight in us. This is necessarily true, yet a truth that is easily understood by all.
A strictly upright man can find no delight in one that is crooked in his ways. An honest man can find no pleasure in one who is dishonest. A morally pure person can have no fellowship with one who would drag him through all the impurities of a low and degraded nature. Assuredly not. The upright man can only delight in uprightness, the honest man in honesty, and the pure in purity. So the blessed Lord can find His delight only in that which resembles His own moral perfections. Oh! what a needed, practical lesson thou mayest learn from this fact, O my soul! In what respect let me ask, and in what measure, is thy moral resemblance to Christ? Think of His love, His holiness, and the perfection of all His ways; and then inquire-in what respect, in what measure, does He see His own moral image practically reflected in thee? And consequently, how far can He find His delight in theme? Resist not these searching inquiries-abide in the light-let all thy practical ways be fairly examined there. And seek above all things, conformity to Him, who has left us an example that we should walk in His steps. How sweet to a soul that loves Him must that word be from His own lips, " How fair and how pleasant are thou, O love, for delights! "
But before dismissing this subject, it may be well to notice for a moment the teaching of scripture on the blessed subject of our oneness With Christ-our completeness in Him; which is like the other side of the same subject. Practically we come infinitely short of Christ, yet, in spirit and in virtue of His finished work, we are one with Him as risen and glorified. This is a glorious truth: is it plainly taught in scripture? Take the following texts as a sample of many that might he quoted. " He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." (1 Cor. 6:1717But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:17).) " For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."
(1 Cor. 12. 13) " And you, being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses." (Col. 2:1313And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (Colossians 2:13).) " There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:11There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1).)
The blessed position of the believer in Christ is abundantly taught in scripture. And faith asks nothing more than the plain word of God. Our own frames and feelings would only mislead us on this all important subject; and doubts and fears would only be to doubt the work of redemption, on which the truth of our oneness with Christ is based. Being one with Hire as risen from the dead and exalted on high, we are partakers with Him of the same life and privileges before God. It is plainly stated, for example, that Christ is our life. " When Christ, who is our life, shall appear." If, then, the question be raised as to whether we have eternal life, the believer may reply by asking the question, " Has Christ eternal life? for the word of God affirms that Christ is our life." Again, as to our oneness in righteousness. We are " made the righteousness of God in him." As to acceptance, we are "accepted in the beloved." As to position, we " sit together in heavenly places in Christ." Observe the form of the expression. " In Christ-in him." And mark especially the fullness of the following verses. " But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." (1 Cor. 1:3030But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (1 Corinthians 1:30).) " And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power." (Col. 2:1010And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (Colossians 2:10).) " In him," observe, who is above "all principality and power," even above the angels that never sinned.
Some, we are aware, speak of this heavenly character of truth as unpractical, and sometimes in less worthy terms. This we think a serious mistake, and one that must lead to serious consequences. On the contrary, we firmly believe, that the Christian's full assurance of pardon, justification, peace, acceptance, will be in proportion to the clearness of his apprehension, and the measure of his enjoyment, of these truths, as taught in the word of God. Salvation is nothing short of passing from death unto life. Then, where am I-what am I, if death is behind me? Associated with a risen Christ, and eternally one with Him. " We are members of his body." As the hand and foot, the eye and ear, are included in the man, so is the believer included in Christ.
So far from this character of truth being unpractical, we have no hesitation in saying, that our moral resemblance to Christ now, will be proportionate to our knowledge of, and fellowship with, our exalted Head in heaven. What made Paul so heavenly minded? His eye was fixed on Christ in the glory, and his heart breathed fervently after Him there. " One thing I do." Christ in heaven was the " one thing " before his soul. This, and this alone, will produce on earth that in which Christ finds His delight-His own moral image reflected in us. Knowing this, may we set the Lord always before us, and ever seek to do the things which please Him.
But in the midst of all our shortcomings, it is comforting to know that in the day of His coming glory, He will be surrounded with that which He loves and in which He delights. Then the heavenly saints shall be fashioned like unto His own glorious body-changed into the same image. " We know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." And then, too, of Israel, as a nation on the earth, it will be said, " Thou shalt no more be termed forsaken; neither shall thy land be termed desolate, but thou shalt be called Hephzibah [that is, my delight is in her], and thy land Beulah [that is, married], for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married." (Isa. 62:44Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. (Isaiah 62:4).) Lord, hasten it in thy time, for thine own name's sake!
Verse 7. " This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes." The " palm tree " and the " clusters of grapes " may be considered as the emblems of victory and maturity—of uprightness and fruitfulness. The palm is much spoken of throughout scripture, and variously applied as a symbol. As to its natural form, its stem is slim but graceful, erect and lofty; the type of uprightness. " They are upright as the palm tree." Though pressed, or bound downwards for a time, it refuses to grow crooked, and soon recovers its perpendicular form. Wondrous illustration of the long pressure that has been on the Jews, and of the way they will yet lift up their heads. The leaves and fruit cluster richly at the top, and have the form of a crown or canopy. Some kinds grow to a great height, so that the fruit is not easily reached, the stem being branchless. This circumstance may be referred to in the next verse: " I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the bough thereof." The fruits of the Spirit are never beyond the Lord's reach. He gathers and appreciates the fruits of grace in His people. It is said to be the sure sign of water in the desert -that sweet springs of water are always found near to the palms so that no sight is more welcome to the eye of the thirsty traveler than the palm tree. This historical fact is most interesting, and suggestive, and seems to agree _ with scripture. " And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters." (Ex. 15:2727And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters. (Exodus 15:27).)
We have also frequent reference in scripture to the branches of the palm tree as the emblem of victory. They were the sign of the feast of tabernacles to the Jews; a period of great rejoicing in Israel. " And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook: and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days." (Lev. 23:4040And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. (Leviticus 23:40).) The innumerable multitude which John, in vision, saw, before the throne and before the Lamb, were " clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." Many thoughts as to Israel's past, present, and future history pass before the mind, in meditating on the expressive illustrations before us, but we can only at present briefly apply them.
The fair spouse of the king has now reached her moral maturity. Blessed truth! Grace has triumphed! She is perfect in His sight-the delight of His heart-the reflection of Himself. The prayer is answered and the promise fulfilled. " Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us." " The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree." Moreover the feast of tabernacles is come. She waves her palm of victory-her joy is full. Elevated and upright as the palm, with its luxuriant crown, and living waters welling up and flowing forth from its roots. Lowly, weak and dependent, like the feeble vine, yet clinging to the Mighty One and bearing much fruit to His glory. Loveliest of emblems of man's low estate and of abundant fruitfulness through trust in God-abiding in the true vine. " For when I am weak, then am I strong." Fragrant also, she is, as the apple tree -the chosen emblem of the well-Beloved, she spreads abroad the sweet odors of His name.
From the ninth verse it would appear that the Bridegroom now reposes in the charms of His bride. His heart is at rest. Wondrous truth! He sees in her of the travail of His soul and is satisfied. The desires of His love are answered. What love! What grace! What blessing! Happy bride! Happy Israel! Perfectly and forever restored; the Lord thy God rests in thee. He is revived, refreshed, and cheered by "the best wine," which thou hast prepared for thy Beloved. "Causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak." Should there be the least doubt on my reader's mind of the full, happy, glorious, and blessed restoration of the Jews, let him carefully read the following beautiful prophecy. Surely no one could question that it is still unfulfilled. " Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel: be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy; the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee; thou shalt not see evil any more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not; and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing." (Zeph. 3:14-1714Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. 15The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. 16In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. 17The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:14‑17).)
" For what though Judah's palm tree now is dry,
Withered and leafless, like a beacon-mast,
Though " Raze it, Raze it,' is the taunting cry,
Von pallid crescent moon is waning fast;
'Twill soon be quenched. Then Israel's night is o'er;
Her sun shall rise, her moon shall wane no more.
" Palm branch in hand, go forth to meet the King;
Messiah comes! rejected once, and slain.
Daughter of Zion, loud hosannahs ' sing!
Who came to suffer once—now comes to reign.
Beneath the palm tree Israel's Judge shall sit;
Behold the people gathering at His feet."
Verse 10. " I am my beloved's and his desire is toward me." This, we may truly say, is the highest note in the Song of Songs. And yet, we may as truly say, it is the lowest. Now the soul is done with itself, and entirely occupied with Christ. It expresses, we believe, the highest apprehension of Christ. His desire is toward me-He delights in me. Consequently, self is lost sight of. Grace has done its perfect work-the soul is established in grace. This is the perfection of beauty in the people of the Lord; and always that in which He delights. So long as a soul is under law, it never reaches this place of confidence, rest, peace, and joy. It never strikes so high a note. No matter who, where, or when, the soul that is under law must be troubled with doubts and fears. Not but that the law is good, but we cannot keep it, and we cannot remain always here, for leave this world we must; then the solemn question arises, how shall it fare with me at the judgment-seat? A dark cloud hangs over the future. The troubled soul believes not, though plainly written, that by grace, through faith, it has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:2424Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24).)
Grace alone can bring the soul into this blessed, happy state. Law never can, because it condemns those who break it, and shows-no mercy. Besides, if I have fear now, I have torment. But " perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." This " perfect love " expresses itself in perfect grace, and grace alone establishes the soul in the perfect love of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the perfect work which He has accomplished for us. Israel sang praise to God on Canaan's side of the Red Sea, where grace flowed without rebuke in their complete redemption; but at the foot of Sinai, where they heard the thunders of the law, there was no singing; it was all fear and trembling. Ever since then Israel has been under law, and must be, until their Messiah come again. At the same time, we know, of course, that those who now repent, and believe in Jesus, give up their Jewish ground, and become members of the church of God-the body of Christ; and are brought into all the privileges and blessings of a present salvation.
The condition of the Jews, as such, and especially as having crucified the Lord, is strikingly presented in the case of the manslayer under the law. He was compelled to remain in the city of refuge, until a change took place in the priesthood. (Num. 35) In this significant type, we see Israel's full deliverance when their Messiah comes in His Melchisedec glory. Then He will set them free from the pressure of law, under which they are suffering; and deliver them out of the hands of all their enemies. Ile will also meet them according to the ancient type in Gen. 14, and refresh and cheer their fainting hearts with the bread and wine of the kingdom. Then their long blinded eyes shall he opened to see their own Messiah, and that He is all for them. This will be the relief, the rest, and the joy of their hearts.
This is a character of experience which the Spirit of prophecy does not present in the Song of Solomon It would not be in harmony with its object. Here, it is more the exercises of the heart-the affections, that are given. In the Psalms, for example, it is chiefly the exercises of conscience that we find the remnant passing through.
If we look back to chapter 2:16, we find the bride expressing the joy of her heart in that she had found the Messiah-in possessing Him. " My beloved is mine, and I am his." In chapter vi. 3, we find her experience considerably higher. Her heart finds sweet satisfaction in knowing that she belongs to Him. " I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine." But in the verse under our immediate meditation, she reaches the highest point in a soul's experience, she rests in the happy assurance that His heart delights in her. " I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me." This is the happy fruit of His own patient, perfect grace; she is all beauty and perfection in His sight-she is clothed in the comeliness of grace. She knows this, and this is the perfect rest of her heart. " His desire is toward me." Higher, than this, the soul never can rise; better than this, the soul never can End. It is finding all in the love-the changeless love of Christ. This must ever, and only, be the heart's deepest joy and sweetest peace. Oh! happy state for a poor sinner saved by grace to be in, and to be in now! To find all its fresh springs in the love of Jesus! To be able to say, " He knows me thoroughly-He knows what I am in myself-what I am in Him. Vet, nevertheless, He not only loves me, but delights in me." There is nothing beyond this. •Oh! wondrous truth! Here pause for a moment in thy meditations, O my soul. And may I venture to ask of thee, " Has thy harp ever been tuned to take this note? And canst thou take it easily? Is there no strain in reaching it? And hast thou learned to dwell upon it-sounding it long and fully? " This ought to be the key-note of all our praise-the uniform condition of our souls. We start, if we start aright on our christian course, with the knowledge of the love of Jesus-of the efficacy of His sacrifice-of the completeness of redemption-of the certainty of glory. And should the song of His love ever become feeble on our lips? Surely it should become stronger and stronger, as we near the bright realms of glory where the same Jesus, and the same love, shall he our happy song forever.
" O how I thirst the chains to burst,
That weigh my spirit downward;
And there to flow, in love's full glow,
With hearts like thine surrounded!
Lord, baste that day of cloudless ray-
That prospect bright unfailing:
Where God shall shine in light divine,
In glory never failing."
Verse 11. " Come, my belong, let us go forth into the fields; let us lodge in the villages; let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see it the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranate had forth; there will I give thee sty loves." The bride now addresses the Bridegroom, in the full communion and happy enjoyment of His love. Observe the change in the tone and character of her address. It is far beyond anything we have heard from her before. And she speaks only of those things which she knows to be well-pleasing to Him. There is oneness of mind and heart. Her faith has attained to the measure of His thoughts and affections concerning herself. Thus it was with David in the valley of Elah. His faith rose to the height of God's thoughts and affections concerning his people Israel, and so reckoned on him. This is the true ground of communion. In Christ, the believer has it fully and perfectly displayed now, and such should be the character of his communion-oneness of mind and heart with Christ.
The love of Jesus to us-ward, is not in word only, but in full, perfect manifestation. His work is finished. And, moreover, we have, according to the promise in John 14, the Holy Ghost in us, as individuals (1 Cor. 6:1919What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)), and with us, as the assembly of God. (1 Cor. 3:16, 1716Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1 Corinthians 3:16‑17).) And is not He the witness, seal, and revealer to our souls of the love of Jesus, and our oneness with Him? Why then should the tone and character of our communion be lower than the whole will of Christ concerning us? But it may be that we grieve the Holy Spirit by our unbelief, our worldliness, and the untenderness of our ways; and so lose that character of communion with Christ, which an ungrieved Spirit alone can give. Oh! watch and pray, my soul, that thou mayest live, walk, and worship, in the light and power of a present, ungrieved Holy Spirit.
The expression, " Let us go forth into the fields; let us lodge in the villages," etc., seems to intimate that the blessings and glories of the millennium are extending beyond the limits of Israel. The fields and the villages are outside the city. Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, as forming the earthly center of Messiah's glory, will, no doubt, first be filled therewith. But from this center it will spread forth on the right hand and on the left, until the whole earth be filled with His glory. But the peculiar sweetness and blessedness of the truth before us is-that the Jews are associated with their Messiah in this wide-spreading glory. They are formed for each other; and they, together, spread, witness, enjoy, and delight in all the blessings of the earth. This seems perfectly clear from the words of the spouse, " Come, my beloved, let us go forth-let us lodge -let us get up early-let its see if the vine flourish," etc. They visit and survey, in happy fellowship, the varied and wide extending fields of millennial glory. Then she adds, with a confidingness of heart that is thoroughly at home in His presence, " There will I give thee my loves." Her heart is overflowing. There is now, as it were, an excess of love. Hence she uses the plural " loves." Exceeding, abundant, excellent love. Our love can never be too fervent, or too abundant, when Christ is the object.
The church, I need not say, and all saints that are raised with her, shall ere this, be glorified with Christ in the Jerusalem above. For it is the purpose of God to gather together all things in heaven and on earth under one Head, Christ. He will hold under His power, both the heavenly and earthly departments of His kingdom. Then they will be joined together, as by Jacob's ladder. The glory of the heavenly saints will be visible to those on earth, and indeed to all the world. " That the world may know that thou last sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." (John 17:2323I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:23).) And in reference to the New Jerusalem it is said, " And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it." (Rev. 21:2424And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. (Revelation 21:24).)
Verse 13. " The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved." The happy spouse now finds that there is in her heart, for the Son of David, an abundance of precious fruits; such as love, gratitude, praise, and devotion. Indeed, all manner of precious fruits, new and old. There is much depth and beauty in the closing sentence of her address, " Which I have laid up for thee; O my beloved." An entirely new character of feelings has been awakened in her soul for the Lord Himself. Such as she has never had, and never could have for any one else. Her heart, so long desolate and barren, is now filled and fruitful with her own Messiah's love. He has created affections peculiar to Himself-affections which have been laid up, as it were, during the whole period of her wanderings, and kept for the Lord alone. " Which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved."