Let My Beloved Come into his Garden and Eat the Fruit of His
appletrees. I am come into my garden, my sister Spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spices; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk; eat, O friends, drink and be drunken, O dearly beloved.

The Spouse, who, as her Well-beloved has declared, is a beautiful garden always full of flowers and fruits, earnestly begs Him to come there to enjoy its delights and to eat His pleasant fruits. It is as though she were to say, I desire neither beauty nor fertility except for Thee; come, then, into Thy garden and possess all things, partake of and use them for the advantage of favored souls, otherwise I deserve them not. -- The Well-beloved consents to the desire of the Spouse; He desires indeed to come and partake of everything, but He would have the Bride present to see that He Himself first eats from the table He spreads for His friends. I have gathered, He says, My myrrh; but it is for thee, My Spouse, for it is thy sustenance, which is nothing but bitterness; for suffering never ceases in this mortal life. Nevertheless, this myrrh is never alone, but is always accompanied by very pleasant spices. -- The perfume is for the Bridegroom; the bitter myrrh for the Spouse. As for me, says the Bridegroom, I have eaten My sweets, I have drunk wine and milk, I have fed upon the sweets of thy love.

Enchanted with the generosity of His Bride, He invites all his friends and His children to come and satisfy their hunger and quench their thirst beside His Bride, who is a garden laden with fruits and watered with milk and honey. A soul of this strength has abundant supply for the spiritual needs of all sorts of persons, and can bestow excellent advice upon all who apply to her.

This is also true of the church which invites Christ to come and eat of the fruit of her appletrees, which is simply to collect the fruit of His merits by the sanctification of His predestinated, as He will do it at His second coming. The Bridegroom replies to His beloved Spouse, that He did come into his garden when He became incarnate; that He gathered his myrrh with his spices when He suffered the bitterness of His passion, which was accompanied by infinite merits, and sent a perfume up to God the Father. I have eaten My honeycomb, He adds, with My honey. This is to be understood of his actions and teaching; for He practised what He preached, and ordained nothing for us which He did not first Himself put in action, meriting for us, by the very things which He practised, the grace for what He requires of us. Thus the life of Christ was like a honeycomb, the divine order and sweetness of which constituted His meat and drink, and His happiness, in the view of the glory which His Father would receive from it, and the advantage it would be to men. I have drunk My wine with My milk. What wine is this, O Saviour divine, which Thou hast drunk and with which Thou wert so deeply intoxicated as to entirely forget Thyself? It was the overpowering love He bore to men which caused Him to forget that He was God, and think only on their salvation. He was so intoxicated with it, that it is said of Him by a Prophet, that He should be loaded with reproaches, such was the strength of His love. He drank wine with His milk, when He drank His own blood in the supper, which, under the semblance of wine, was virgin milk. The milk, again, was the influx of the Divinity of Christ into His humanity.

This Divine Saviour invites thither all His elect, who desire to be nourished like Him upon suffering, reproaches and ignominy, on the love of His example and His pure doctrine, which will be delicious wine and milk for them; wine, which shall give them strength and courage to perform every thing required of them, and milk, which shall delight them by the sweetness of the doctrine that shall be taught them.

We are, then, all invited to hear and imitate Jesus Christ.

16 arise o north wind
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