Verses 15–16

These seem to be the words of the spouse, the church, in answer to the commendations which Christ, the bridegroom, had given of her as a pleasant fruitful garden. Isa. she a garden?

I. She owns her dependence upon Christ himself to make this garden fruitful. To him she has an eye (Song 4:15) as the fountain of gardens, not only the founder of them, by whom they are planted and to whom they owe their being, but the fountain of them, by which they are watered and to which they own their continuance and well-being, and without whose constant supplies they would soon become like the dry and barren wilderness. To him she gives all the glory of her fruitfulness, as being nothing with out him: O fountain of gardens! fountain of all good, of all grace, do not thou fail me. Does a believer say to the church, All my springs are in thee, in thee, O Zion? (Ps. 87:7), the church transmits the praise to Christ, and says to him, All my springs are in thee; thou art the well of living waters (Jer. 2:13), out of which flow the streams of Lebanon, the river Jordan, which had its rise at the foot of Mount Lebanon, and the waters of the sanctuary, which issued out from under the threshold of the house, Ezek. 47:1. Those that are gardens to Christ must acknowledge him a fountain to them, from whose fulness they receive and to whom it is owing that their souls are as a watered garden, Jer. 31:12. The city of God on earth is made glad with the river that flows from this fountain (Ps. 46:4), and the new Jerusalem has its pure river of water of life proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, Rev. 22:1.

II. She implores the influences of the blessed Spirit to make this garden fragrant (Song 4:16): Awake, O north wind! and come, thou south. This is a prayer, 1. For the church in general, that there may be a plentiful effusion of the Spirit upon it, in order to its flourishing estate. Ministers’ gifts are the spices; when the Spirit is poured out these flow forth, and then the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, Isa. 32:15. This prayer was answered in the pouring out of the Spirit on the day of pentecost (Acts 2:1), ushered in by a mighty wind; then the apostles, who were bound up before, flowed forth, and were a sweet savour to God, 2 Cor. 2:15. 2. For particular believers. Note, (1.) Sanctified souls are as gardens, gardens of the Lord, enclosed for him. (2.) Graces in the soul are as spices in these gardens, that in them which is valuable and useful. (3.) It is very desirable that the spices of grace should flow forth both in pious and devout affections and in holy gracious actions, that with them we may honour God, adorn our profession, and do that which will be grateful to good men. (4.) The blessed Spirit, in his operations upon the soul, is as the north and the south wind, which blows where it listeth, and from several points, John 3:8. There is the north wind of convictions, and the south wind of comforts; but all, like the wind, brought out of God’s treasuries and fulfilling his word. (5.) The flowing forth of the spices of grace depends upon the gales of the Spirit; he stirs up good affections, and works in us both to will and to do that which is good; it is he that makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us. (6.) We ought therefore to wait upon the Spirit of grace for his quickening influences, to pray for them, and to lay our souls under them. God has promised to give us his Spirit, but he will for this be enquired of.

III. She invites Christ to the best entertainment the garden affords: “Let my beloved then come into his garden and eat his pleasant fruits; let him have the honour of all the products of the garden (it is fit he should), and let me have the comfort of his acceptance of them, for that is the best account they can be made to turn to.” Observe, 1. She calls it his garden; for those that are espoused to Christ call nothing their own, but what they have devoted to him and desire to be used for him. When the spices flow forth then it is fit to be called his garden, and not till then. The fruits of the garden are his pleasant fruits, for he planted them, watered them, and gave the increase. What can we pretend to merit at Christ’s hands when we can invite him to nothing but what is his own already? 2. She begs he would visit it, and accept of what it produced. The believer can take little pleasure in his garden, unless Christ, the beloved of his soul, come to him, nor have any joy of the fruits of it, unless they redound some way or other to the glory of Christ, and he will think all he has well bestowed upon him.