I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.
Song of Solomon 5:2-8
I. Christ is ever knocking at the heart; in those who have not received Him, that they may receive Him; in those who have received Him, that they may receive Him more fully; in those who are negligent or who relax that they may rouse themselves; in those who are holy that they may be holier still. Christ is within the heart, else we could not open it. He is without it, because it is finite, He infinite. He knocks by all things which teach us to choose Him; that He is all, and all else nothing, except as He is in it, and comes with it, and makes it anything.
II. In the Song of songs, our Lord speaks of another case, when at His knocking the bride delayeth to open. He finds the soul of the Church after long peace, when not strung by trouble within or without, at ease, relaxed, unaware that He is not with her as before. Since his tender voice fails he puts forth his hand. He takes away what we have set up instead of Him, the idols of our hearts within us or without, and "chastens us whereby we have offended."
III. Our souls are not the home of grace that it should, without effort on our part to detain it, remain there. Its home is God; it comes to us, visits us, dwells with us, but only if we with diligence keep it and use it. We are ascending the mount of God; if we relax, we slip back. But then there follows a time of dreariness. God hides His face, and the soul is chilled. He withdraws His light, and the soul is dark. The remedies for this state are taught us in the Bride. (1) She opened that which was closed before. (2) She mortified what she found amiss. (3) When she found not Him whom her soul loved she sought Him perseveringly in the broad places of the city, in active duty. (4) She was not hindered by discouragement. (5) When she knew no more how to seek, she sent, exhausted, the aspiration to Him, "I am sick of love." That one word speaks all her ills, all her needs, as Martha and Mary sent to Jesus, "Lord, he whom Thou lovest is sick."
IV. Desolations of soul, even though chastisements of sin, are among God's choicest means of enlarged grace. By these God teaches the soul how unutterable an evil it is to be separated from Him. He teaches her to hate the memory of all sin, to cleanse herself from all lesser faults which come between her and God. He stirs the inmost heart, kindles her longings, makes her love Himself for Himself, increases her desires that, when they are increased and enlarged, He may fill them.
E. B. Pusey, Sermons for the Church's Seasons, p. 92.
References: Song of Solomon 5:2-8.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiv., No. 793. Song of Solomon 5:3.—J. M. Neale, Sermons on the Song of Songs, p. 367; C. A. Fowler, Parochial Sermons, p. 207. Song of Solomon 5:4.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 273; J. M. Neale, Sermons on the Song of Songs, p. 217. Song of Solomon 5:5.—S. Baring-Gould, One Hundred Sermon Sketches, p. 97. Song of Solomon 5:5, Song of Solomon 5:6.—J. M. Neale, Sermons on the Song of Songs, p. 230. Song of Solomon 5:6.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 89. Song of Solomon 5:8.—Ibid., Sermons, vol. ix., No. 539; Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 235. Song of Solomon 5:9.—J. Richardson, Penny Pulpit, No. 817; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 290. Song of Solomon 5:9, Song of Solomon 5:10.—J. M. Neale, Sermons on the Song of Songs, p. 239. Song of Solomon 5:11.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 304. Song of Solomon 5:13.—Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 122. Song of Solomon 5:16.—Ibid., Sermons, vol. xvii., No. 1001, and vol. xxiv., No. 1446; Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 69. Song of Solomon 6:1.—J. M. Neale, Sermons on the Song of Songs, p. 252. Song of Solomon 6:4.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xvii., No. 984. Song of Solomon 6:5.—Ibid., My Sermon Notes: Ecclesiastes to Malachi, p. 210. Song of Solomon 6:10.—J. M. Neale, Sermons on the Song of Songs, p. 261.
I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.
I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?
My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.
I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.
I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.
The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.
I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.
What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?
My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.
His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.
His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.
His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.
His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.