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Poems and Essays.
ON PART OF THE
SONG OF SOLOMON.
"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth," v. 1. Thou who art the eternal Jehovah.... Who art God over all, blessed forever ; whose throne is in the heaven of heavens, and who yet condescendest to dwell with the children of men, even in the hearts of thy ransomed ones: thou Son of man, who art the shepherd of Israel, and the keeper thereof; who, having made peace by the blood of thy cross, art exalted to be the prince of peace : thy name is wonderful! thou art become Immanuel, God with us! and in thee dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily. Visit me with thy salvation, O thou, who art the Saviour of sinners; thou, who hast loved me, and given thyself for me ; thou art my heavenly bridegroom; thou hast purrbas.
ed me, at the infinite price of thy blood, and betrothed me to thyself in everlasting loving kindness, in righteousness, faithfulness, and truth ; but I will dwell in a howling wilderness, surrounded with dangers, and many afflictions: O lift up the light of thy countenance on me, and bless me with the consolations of thy Spirit....for thy love is better than wine : because of the savour of thy good ointments, thy name is as ointment poured forth; thou art the repairer of the breach ; thou art the Saviour of our souls; thy blood is the prea cious balm of Gilead, that alone is able to cure all the festering sores of sin : thy righteousness is the robe, in which, being clad, we are found complete; thy Spirit is the oil of gladness, with which thou anointest us
; from thee, thou fountain of all blessedness, flows all the sweet streams of pardon and peace, reconciliation, justification, sanctification, preservation and glorification; therefore is thy name as ointment poured forth, and because of this, do the virgins love thee; those who see thee are complete in thee, rejoice in thee as their salvation....they triumph in a Saviour's name : O how sweet is the name of Jesus, when pronounced by his Spirit to the soul; then we cry out, “ Whom have I in heaven but thee! and there is nonę upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee!" But when that blessed Spirit withdraws his divine influence, when Jesus turns away his face, we cannot sec him, we no longer delight in his name, nor rejoice in his love ; our affections freeze.... winter spreads his cold dominion over our hearts, and we find, without him, we can do nothing: draw me, therefore, Othou Almighty Saviour, with the cords of thy love, and my soul shall run after
thee : let thy quickening Spirit continually breathe the life of God into my heart, and I shall live to thee.
“ I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.” What is man, that he should be clean ? and he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous ? I am vile, born in sin, and conceived in iniquity ; I have been drinking up iniquity like water, and am altogether black as hell : my father was an Amorite, and my mother an Hittite, and therefore had no right to the heavenly Canaan : I was a poor babe, cast out, not washed from guilt and filth, naked and stripped of all; and not only so, but wounded, having fallen among thieves ; they had left me more than half dead, in this condition, this lamentable condition : (and yet alas, no eye pitied me). But when Jesus passed by, he saw me.... he took compassion on me, and when I was in my guilt, in my sin, and pollution, he bade me live! Be astonished, O my soul, at this wonder of grace! the eternal three entered into a covenant engagement to deliver my soul; and in consequence of this, Jesus thoroughly purged away my guilt with his own blood ; he covered my nakedness with his own robe ; anointed me with the oil of his Spirit, and shod me with the preparation of the gospel of peace : he hath fed me with the bread which came down from heaven, and with honey out of the living rock; and he hath pronounced me perfect, through the comeliness which he hath put upon me: he who knew no sin, was made sin for me; that I, who knew no righteousness, might be made the righteousness of God in him.
“ I am the rose of Sharon,” says Jesus, " and the lily of the vallies; thou hast redemption through my blood, the forgiveness of thy sins: I am the express image of the invisible God, for I and my Father are one. By me were all things created in heaven and in carth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones Or dominions, principalities, or powers, all things were created by me, and for me: I am before all things, and by me all things exist; and it pleaseth the Father, that in me should all fulness dwell. I have made thy peace, with the blood of my cross: I have loved thee, and laid down my life for thee; as the lily among thorns, so is my beloved among the daughters : I have washed thee and made thee white; I have made thee partaker of my nature, thou art a lily among thorns : all who have not received my grace, are thorns by nature ; thou wert so once, but I have changed thy state, and changed thy nature; thou art complete in me, and I have adorned thee with the graces of my Spirit ; thou art all fair, I will see no spot in thee." This is the Saviour's language to his espoused. And what shall I say unto thee, O my king and my God! as the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons : thou art superlatively excellent; my beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand : thou art King of kings, and Lord of lords ; infinite in holiness, glory, and majesty : yea, thou art altogether lovely: every thing else is void of goodness, but thou art like a green fir-tree; from thee my fruit is found. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, () ye daughters of Jerusalem! I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. We speak the things we do know, what our eyes have seen, and our hands handled of the word of life.
6 The voice of my beloved,” Jesus speaks! listen, O my soul, to the kind words he pronounces: “ I have blotted out as a thick cloud they transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins; return unto me, for I have redeemed thee; I will heal thy backslidings, I will love thee freely ; for mine anger is turned away from thee: I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon; his branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive-tree, and his smell as Lebanon. I give unto my shesp eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.” This is the voice of my beloved, his sheep know it, they follow hiin ; they know not the voice of strangers, therefore they flee from them. The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills; over all the mountains of unbelief, over all the hills of corruption and difficulties : Jesus flies to thy relief; he will not tarry forever: behold he cometh, he cometh to give thee a crown of righteousness ; he is gone to prepare thee a mansion above, and will come to receive thee in the arms of his love; to wipe away all tears from thy face; to conduct thee to the happy realms of light and love ; and to present thee to his Father, and thy Father....to his God, and thy God, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing.... Then the day, the perfect day will break; then the shadows shall all flee away.... Thou now seest through a glass darkly; but then thou shalt behold him face