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Unnumber'd ills hath borne,
The mockery and the pain,
With garments rolled in blood,
For wretched man withstood.
DUBLIN : Published by the Proprietors, T. R. and R. DUNCKLEY, at the New Irish PULPIT OFFICE, 1, ST. ANDREW-ST. ; John ROBERTSON, W. CURRY, Jun. and Co.; R. M. Tims, W. CARSON, D. R. BLEAKLEY. London, SIMPKIN and MARSHALL; Edinburgh, WHITE and Co. ; Cork Tract Repository ; Derry, CAMPBELL ; and all Booksellers.
THE NEW IRISH PULPIT,
“ We preach Christ crucified-
IN THE EPISCOPAL CHAPEL, UPPER BAGGOT-STREET, DUBLIN.
ON SUNDAY MORNING, 12th APRIL, 1840,
BY THE REV. THOMAS VORES, A.M.
Song of Solomon, iv. 16. “Awake O north wind, and come thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof
may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden and eat his pleasant fruit."
Our gracious Lord hath been pleased to within our own hearts which we should describe his church by many beautiful be continually presenting to our Recomparisons: but among them all, there deemer's praise.-0 how wonderful is is none more beautiful-none more in the thought, that I am now looking down structive, than that in which the church on a part of the Lord's garden-that is compared to a lovely oriental garden. there are here, doubtless, many trees of Every object in this comparison, while it righteousness, trees of the Lord's plantis replete with beauty, is also pregnant ing; and that, even through such a feeble with instruction.- The limpid streams instrument as I am, if God withhold not with which it is watered, remind us of his grace, the spices thereof may this day the waters of life—the bright eastern sun flow out. O dear friends, unite with me which shines upon it, tells us of that Sun in a heartfelt prayer to that God who of Righteousness which arises to them never rejects the humble aspirations of a that fear the name of God, with healing believer's soul, that his Holy Spirit may in his wings. The lovely flowers that indeed be made to operate this day on adorn that garden teach us of those beauties our hearts—that the Saviour may come of grace which deck the believer's soul. | into this his garden, and eat his pleasant The rich and sunny fruits which hang from | fruits. every bough, remind us of those substan | Now, in endeavouring to derive some tial proofs of the reality of God's work instruction from the text, my first busi
ness must necessarily be, to ascertain, as | are mine,” yet, at the same time, when a far as may be possible, its precise distinction is observed, we plainly permeaning.
ceive that the Saviour with more proThe Song of Solomon,, then, as you priety would call that church his garden know, is composed after the pattern of a which he had purchased with His blood, pastoral poem. There are two principal | than would even the bride herself; and speakers in this poem, a bridegroom and accordingly, in the concluding words of a bride. The scene of their dialogue is the text, which are certainly spoken by chiefly laid in a beauteous garden. The the bride, the garden is not called hers, concurrent opinions of all commentators but she says to her Redeemer, “ Let my agree in considering, that the bridegroom beloved come into his garden and eat represents the Lord, the bride his church his pleasant fruits.” On these grounds, in its collective and instructive capacity. therefore, I venture to take it, as, at least, The garden, on the other hand, with its highly probable that the former part of the trees and plants, represents the objects of text should be ascribed to the bridegroom, the church's care, the individual believers and only the latter portion to the bride. who have been grafted into the Lord. --| Assuming, then, that it is the ReBut further, since the poem is con- deemer who speaks in the former porstructed in the form of a dialogue, it is tion, our next business is to ascertain the absolutely essential to ascertain which of meaning of the beautiful figurative exthe two parties utters the words of our pressions themselves. They constitute text. Now the general opinion of com- an address to the winds, and you, doubtmentators is, that the whole verse is to be less, beloved friends, are well aware that put into the mouth of the bride, but I in more than one portion of holy writ desire to bring two short reasons before | this beautiful and most apt image is used you, for considering that the former part to represent the Holy Spirit himself.of the text is spoken by the bridegroom, In that remarkable passage where Ezekiel and only the latter by the bride.
is led into the valley of dry bones, he is First of all, the whole structure of the commanded by God to prophecy to the chapter, uninterrupted, as it is, down to wind_and here it is recognized on all the 16th verse, leads us to suppose that hands that the wind means the Holy the same person continues to speak. | Spirit. Our Lord, in his conversation The chapter begins by an address of the with Nicodemus on the subject of rege bridegroom to the bride ; “behold thou neration, uses the same metaphor. He art fair my love”-the same person con tells him that as men hear the sound of tinues to speak throughout. In the 8th the wind, but cannot tell whence it verse he says, “come with me from cometh or whither it goeth, so also is Lebanon my spouse;" in the 9th verse every one that is born of the Spirit.he addresses her in the words “my sister, Hence, we conclude, that the metaphor. my spouse;" in the 10th verse, “how ical address, here made use of, is an fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse ;" | | address to the Holy Spirit of God. But the same person is still speaking in the | at first sight it might seem as though the Ilth verse, nor is there any break in the | address to two different, and two wholly sense of the passage which would lead us opposite winds would be hostile to this to suppose that a different person takes up interpretation; for that the north and the dialogue when we come to the words south are intended in this passage to of the text. My second reason for represent winds which are opposite, not entertaining this opinion is this: when I | only as to the quarters from which they examine the words themselves, I find blow, but also in their effects, is evident them to be more appropriate, if consi- from other portions of the word of God.. dered as issuing from the mouth of the For instance, we learn from Job xxxvï. bridegroom, than if spoken by the bride. that the north wind in the land of PalesThe address to the winds, " awake o tine produces the same effects which it north wind, and come thou south,” is is known to produce in our own land, immediately followed by the words, since in the 9th verse we read “that “blow upon my garden.” Now though cold cometh out of the north”- while it is very true, that with regard to the another verse shows, that the south wind Church and its great Head it might be is warm and genial there as it is with us, truly said, “all mine are thine, and all thine 1 for Elihu asks the question whether Job
knew “how his garments are warm when believe in Christ are accounted holy and he (God) quieteth the earth by the south righteous, without spot, stain, or blemish, wind ?” Thus in our text two winds are or any such thing, through the perfect addressed which produce directly oppo- righteousness furnished by the Redeemer. site results. Yet when we come to This is the way in which the Holy Spirit enquire into the matter more carefully, is pleased to operate on the soul of man we shall find, that this very contrariety when he first comes to take him out of only serves to show that the Holy Spirit, the world—to take him as a shoot of the -the third person in the ever-blessed wild olive tree, and graft him into the Trinity is, indeed, the gracious Being good olive tree, and make him a fruitful here addressed; for the Scriptures dis- plant teeming with holiness to the Retinctly inform us that the Holy Spirit has deemer's honor. Nor does his holy two different and two opposite offices, office end here—that repentance which which, in his infinite condescension, he was nəcessary at the commencement of performs for the soul of man. When the believer's career is described as confirst God sends him into the hearts of any tinuing necessary so long as he remains of his servants, he comes as a reprover- upon earth—as long as "the flesh lusteth He reproves of sin because they believe against the spirit and the spirit against pot in Jesus Christ - He convinces man the flesh,” it is needful that repentance of his own utter helplessness his own should be continuous; and the Holy absolute corruption of the tainted foun- Spirit renews from day to day that contain from which he derives both body viction of sin which makes us come and and soul— He also brings conviction to call for mercy as miserable sinners, the sinner's mind of those repeated through the blood of the Lamb. And as offences and multiplied and heinous he constantly performs the office of a transgressions which all the children of Reprover, so also does he continually Adam are guilty of against God, not only work in us as the Comforter, and is conas their Creator, but far more heinously tinually leading on the people of God to as their Redeemer.- The Spirit of God, increasing comfort and increasing joy. breathing thus on the soul, as it were Nor is it only in the internal work which with the keen blast of the north wind, God the Holy Spirit carries on in the comes to reprove man, and move him to believer's soul that we find the exact vea genuine and spiritual repentance. But, rification of the words of the text :God be praised, not only is the address external circumstances are also brought given to that Spirit in the words, “awake to bear by God upon his people in the O north wind," but also, at no long in same way ;—“whom the Lord loveth he terval succeeding it, comes the gracious chasteneth,” and our gracious Redeemaddress from the Redeemer, “and come er, knowing that the believer could not thou south wind, and blow upon my grow to a due proportion, to matured garden, that the spices thereof may flow holiness, unless he were first made to out.”— When the Spirit has indeed convin- pass through varied trials, ever and anon ced the sin-smitten soul of its guilt, of its gives the command that the north wind helplessness, and of its hopelessness, anon of affliction should awake. Yet he has the south wind blows away the dark clouds never sent a trial to those who faithfully which hang around the cross of Christ, and, trust in him, but he has in reserve for quite convinced of sin, the soul is led by them consolation and comfort too. He the same Holy Spirit in his other gra summons the south wind as well as the cious office-in his other merciful capa north. We find then that the meaning city as Comforter and Consoler of God's of the figurative expressions in the text people, to look to Christ and obtain the is simply this; it is an address to the remission of its sins. The same Spirit Holy Spirit to come into the hearts of all who is pointed out so clearly as the God's people as the Reprover-as the author of that godly sorrow which work Being who brings continuous repentance, eth repentance unto salvation not to be and who sanctifies all the afflictive cirrepented of, reveals also that flowing cumstances of life, and in this capacity fountain of never ending love, which he is addressed as the north wind. On issues from the cross of Christ, in which the other hand he comes as the Comthey who wash are cleansed from every forter, who shews us the cross of Christ, sin. Taught by the Spirit, they who I confirms our faith and increases our joy, and makes us to know by blessed and here given, that many of these graces increasing experience that the kingdom absolutely require for their very existence of God is neither meat nor drink, but the presence of trying or afflictive cirrighteousness, and peace, and joy in the cumstances. The north wind must Holy Ghost, and then he is summoned as awake or else the spices cannot flow out. the south wind.
There can be no real meekness where But, we have further to consider the there is no trial of temper—there can be immediate end proposed by the bride- no patience where there is no afflictiongroom in this address, which is expressed and resignation cannot be truly shown by the further very beautiful figurative except in the afflictive dispensations of language of the text, “that the spices our lives. Longsuffering will exemplify thereof may flow out." Now we know, what I mean-that grace cannot exist that in the whole of the New Testament unless where there are vexations, harrasit is a very common thing to speak of the sings, disturbances and trials continually result of the influence of the Spirit on besetting us on our daily path. Of this the heart and life as the fruit of a tree; I lovely Christian grace a departed Chrisand no image could be more beautiful or tian friend said as beautifully as justly, descriptive; the same image is here “ how beautiful and blessed a grace it is, employed but with a peculiar and most amidst all the sorrows, commotions, and appropriate limitation. The common | vexations of this troublous world, it disfruits indigenous to northern climes are plays its tranquillizing power, just as the not mentioned, but those spice-bearing rainbow rests on the spray which has plants which diffuse their delicious and risen from the turmoil of the falling refreshing aroma far and wide, form the cataract ?" And it is even this blending beautifuland significant emblems of the end of the north and the south that produces proposed by the bridegroom in his invoca- the most fragrant spices. These graces tion. No one can enter an eastern spice cannot be confined to our own hearts garden without having the delicious per- they cannot be exercised without being fume wasted to his senses. How descriptive perceived by our relatives and friends, then is this imagery of some of the fruits our neighbours and acquaintances-withwhich the Christian ought to bear, and out shedding, in fact, their spicy fragrance which are the especial object of this all around. invocation. There are indeed some And we have further to notice, that fruits of the Spirit which may be hidden the end proposed by our Lord is not in the treasure house of our own hearts- merely that these fragrant fruits should be such, for instance, as true repentance- produced, but that they should “flow a constant grief for the sinfulness and out.” The meaning of this expression is depravity of our nature and the wickedness evident. The Holy Spirit is invoked in of our hearts, which, while it is one of the his varied offices, not merely that scanty blessed fruits of the Spirit, is yet one in fruit should be borne by the plants of the which our neighbours cannot be sharers, Lord's garden; but that they should be for “the heart alone knoweth its own produced in such rich abundance, and bitterness.” It, from its very nature, is grow in such prolific fertility, that from known only to God and our own souls. them a fragrant stream of the sweetness These fruits then are not the spices of of Divine grace might “flow out” to the which the text speaks, but there are Church of Christ. others which are known to those around And now it is only needful to take one us, which in fact cannot be hid. These, further view of the whole of the phrase like beautiful plants in the spice gardens as thus pronounced by the Bridegroom. of the East, spread around each hallowed | It might seem at first sight as though the Christian home, and diffuse throughout language did not exactly correspond with each Christian household, a lovely fra- the description of the Redeemer's exaltgrance of Christian grace. Such are ation to the right hand of the Father's meekness, long-suffering, patience, resig throne, inasmuch as he can command, nation, and submission to the will of God. and consequently can have no reason for the Wherever these are practised, their holy invocation or address which is contained in fragrance cannot, but be perceived the text.-But a little consideration will
And it is also worthy of remark as an shew us that this, so far from interfering with additional confirmation of the explanation the interpretation suggested, is only an