‘My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.’ Song of Solomon 2:10–13
Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 74:9–17
The things which are seen are types of the things which are not seen. The works of creation are pictures to the children of God of the secret mysteries of grace. The very seasons of the year find their parallel in the little world of man within. We have our winter when the north wind of the law rushes forth against us, when every hope is nipped, when all the seeds of joy lie buried beneath the dark clods of despair, when our soul is fast fettered like a river bound with ice. Thanks be unto God, the soft south wind breathes upon our soul, and at once the waters of desire are set free, the spring of love comes on, flowers of hope appear in our hearts, the trees of faith put forth their young shoots, the time of the singing of birds comes in our hearts, and we have joy and peace in believing through the Lord Jesus Christ. That happy springtide is followed in the believer by a rich summer, when his graces, like fragrant flowers, are in full bloom, loading the air with perfume; and fruits of the Spirit like citrons and pomegranates swell into their full proportion in the genial warmth of the Sun of Righteousness. Then comes the believer’s autumn, when his fruits grow ripe, and his fields are ready for the harvest; the time has come when his Lord shall gather together his ‘pleasant fruits,’ and store them in heaven; the feast of ingathering is at hand—the time when the year shall begin anew, an unchanging year, like the years of the right hand of the Most High in heaven.
For meditation: Until we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, our souls languish in an eternal winter’s night. Faith in him is the gateway to a new life in which we advance through the seasons of the soul towards eternal day (Zechariah 14:7; Revelation 21:25; 22:5).
Sermon no. 436
23 February (1862)