|Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings|
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by James Durham
Verse 7. I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love till he please.
This verse contains her care to entertain this condition, and the way she takes for that end. [That] they are the Bride's words, is, 1. Clear from the scope and matter. 2. From the expressions she useth, speaking of him, 'my love,' and 'till he please;' for, it becomes to give Christ his own liberty in staying, or going, and it were not for our good that our pleasure were the rule in our fellowship with him. Now in order to the securing of this comfortable condition to herself, first she adjures and charges, which is, 1. To show the concernment of the thing. 2. Her seriousness in it; for, she is in very great earnest. 3. A fear of misguiding this condition. 4. A difficulty so to prevent the hazard, as to keep all quiet.
2. The parties she speaks to, while she thus adjures, are the 'daughters of Jerusalem:' giving them the lesson she would take to herself, because they had need to be thus guarded. Observe. 1. That professors are in hazard to mar their own enjoyments, and to interrupt an intimate fellowship with Christ. 2. Beginners are readiest to fall into this sin. 3. Seriousness will stir up believers to be watchful over themselves, and will make them press others to be so also.
The expression, 'by the roes and hinds of the field,' is but added, for keeping the strain of this song (which is composed in an allegoric way, and every similitude is not to be narrowly searched into) and to show how tenderly they ought to watch, to prevent this hazard, as men having to do with 'roes and hinds of the field,' is but added, for keeping the strain of this song (which is composed in an allegoric way, and every similitude is not to be narrowly searched into) and to shew how tenderly they ought to watch, to prevent this hazard, as men having to do with roes, who are soon stirred; shewing that a little thing may stir up Christ, and mar the comfortable fellowship that is between him and his people.
3. The charge itself is, that 'they stir not up nor awake the beloved;' as a wife would say (when her husband is come home and resting in her arm) be quiet all, and let no din be in the house to awake him : and this charge reaches herself, as well as others; when she as the mother, commands all the little ones, or children (as it were) to be quiet, that Christ may not be stirred up, and made to remove; she ought to be much more careful in this herself. Hence, Observe. 1. If a sensible presence be not tenderly entertained, it will not last. 2. Believers should be most careful then, when they are admitted to near and sensi-ble fellowship with Christ, that nothing may fall out which may provoke him to depart. 3. The least sinful motions and stirrings of corruption should be suppressed, as having a great tendency to provoke and stir up the beloved to be gone.
Lastly, This charge is qualified in these words, 'till he please.' Which does not imply, that she gives them leave at any time to stir him up ; but the meaning is, see that by your fault he be not awaked, till his own time come. Observe then, 1. Christ guides his visits and love-manifestations, by his sovereignty and pleasure. 2. He may withdraw from his people without respect to any particular provocation, as having sinful influence thereupon. 3. Christ's pleasure is believers' rule, in the things that are most precious to them: here she acquiesces, even to his withdrawing, when he shall please. 4. Believers may have peace, and be quiet under absence, if they have not sinfully provoked Christ to withdraw: for this is the thing the Bride aims at, as to herself, in this her care. 5. Often believers are guilty in marring Christ's fellowship with them before he please, and they might enjoy Christ's company much longer oftentimes, if they did not sin him out of house and doors.
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