|Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings|
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by James Durham
Verse 5. Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples; for I am sick of love.
She is almost overcome with this banquet, and therefore cries out for help, verse 5. Here consider, 1. The case she is in, 2. The cure she calls for. 3. From whom she seeks it.
Her case is, that she is 'sick of love.' This is not to be taken for the fainting of a soul under absence, and the want of sense; all the context before and after, and the scope, will show it otherwise with her; but it is a sickness from the weight and pressure of felt inconceivable love, damishing her (as it were) and weakening her, she cannot abide that sight and fulness which she enjoys.
2. The cure she desires confirms this, 'stay me,' (saith she) or support me, for I am like to fall under it; and 'comfort me,' the word is strengthen me, or bed me, straw me with, or in apples, let me lie down amongst them. The first expression looks to the house of wine where she was, which suppones no want, and may be rendered, 'stay me in flagons,' as seeking support in this holy fill of the Spirit, whereby she was staggering. The second looks to the apple-tree, verse 3. And she would ever roll herself among the apples that come from this tree; and like the disciples, Matt. 17:4. saith (as it were) 'It is good to be here;' she would even be fixed and lie down in that posture, never to part with this happy condition again.
3. Those she speaks to, and from whom she seeks help, are expressed in the plural number (as is clear in the original) which shews a ravishment and kind of rapture in this exclamation; not observing to whom she speaks, but expressing her delight in that which she enjoyed, yet mainly intending Christ (as the disciples did, Matt. 17, not knowing what they said) for it is he who applies the cure in the next verse.
Observe. 1. Love will have a great out-letting at sometimes beyond others, as if a dam were gathered, and then letten out. 2. Sense of love in a high degree will straiten and weight a believer, as over-burdening and overpowering him, so as he is put to say Hold, and 'wo's me;' as it is, Isa. 6:5: the nature of God's presence is such, and our infirmity so unsuitable thereto. 3. Love is lovely when the believer is almost dotting with it, and staggering under the weight and power of it. 4. It can cure even the same sickness it makes. These flagons and apples are the only remedy, though our bottles be now weak, and can hold but little of this new wine.
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