7:10-13 The church, the believing soul, triumphs in its relation to Christ, and interest in him. She humbly desires communion with him. Let us walk together, that I may receive counsel, instruction, and comfort from thee; and may make known my wants and my grievances to thee, with freedom, and without interruption. Communion with Christ is what all that are made holy earnestly breathe after. And those who would converse with Christ, must go forth from the world. Wherever we are, we may keep up communion with God. Nor should we go where we cannot in faith ask him to go with us. Those who would go abroad with Christ, must begin early in the morning of their days; must begin every day with him, seek him early, seek him diligently. A gracious soul can reconcile itself to the poorest places, if it may have communion with God in them; but the most delightful fields will not satisfy, unless the Beloved is there. Let us not think to be satisfied with any earthly object. Our own souls are our vineyards; they should be planted with useful trees. We should often search whether we are fruitful in righteousness. Christ's presence will make the vine flourish, and the tender grapes appear, as the returning sun revives the gardens. If we can appeal to him, Thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee; if his Spirit witness with our spirit, that our souls prosper, it is enough. And we must beg of him to search and try us, to discover us to ourselves. The fruits and exercises of graces are pleasant to the Lord Jesus. These must be laid up, and always ready; that by our bringing forth much fruit, he may be glorified. It is all from him, therefore it is fit it should be all for him.
13. mandrakes—Hebrew, dudaim, from a root meaning "to love"; love apples, supposed to exhilarate the spirits and excite love. Only here and Ge 30:14-16. Atropa mandragora of Linnæus; its leaves like lettuce, but dark green, flowers purple, root forked, fruit of the size of an apple, ruddy and sweet-smelling, gathered in wheat harvest, that is, in May (Mariti, ii. 195).
gates—the entrance to the kiosk or summer house. Love "lays up" the best of everything for the person beloved (1Co 10:31; Php 3:8; 1Pe 4:11), thereby really, though unconsciously, laying up for itself (1Ti 6:18, 19).