By R.C. Chapman
“My Beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.” Song of Solomon 1:14
In this wilderness, O my Lord! Thou hast planted Thy vineyard—the Church, for Thy name, and Thou hast fenced it and enclosed it; Thy glory is round about us. We have walls of salvation which all our enemies cannot overthrow. O glorious security! Shining forth in the midst of the adversary’s fury and mischief and cunning!
What thanks worthy of the benefit canst thou render, O my soul! Because of thy safety, in the midst of manifold dangers, within the fence of thy Lord’s grace and power. Those above—dismissed from battle—do they boast any other keeper than Jesus, who is thy boast? If left by Him, they would unassaulted fall, and sink into destruction: now they stand in the Son of God, the Shepherd of Israel; and thou, my soul, dost stand in Him, and by Him prevail over thine enemies!
He not only maketh thee safe, but showeth thee aslo thy safety. Thank Him for faith—thank Him again for assurance of heart before Him! He has separated thee unto Himself, and would have thee dwell alone while in the midst of His enemies. Seek, then, no rest nor abiding city here, but retreat the bosom of Jesus; there lodge and rest. Lord! I know it is Thy will and joy that so I should do; and since Thou hast given my Thy Spirit, and taught me to walk I the Spirit, my soul counts all things but Thyself as the small dust of the balance.
Man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieteth himself in vain: I marvel at the grave folly of the wise, and the childish strife of the great ones of the earth. My heart pities them, prays for them; for I know they are but as hewers of wood and drawers of water to the congregation of the Lord. They sink into brutes, while they would be as gods. O Lord, I leave them their portion in this world, and find rest and peace in Thee! O teach me to sit at Thy feet, and keep me there! Let me dread the proud look, and every high thought; ever let Thy mind be in me.
Thou didst humble Thyself out of love; and in Thy grace, being rich in Thy Godhead, Thou becamest poor. And shall not I sink with Thee? Lord, open to me Thine humiliation and poverty; Thy low estate, when Thou was a “worm and no man” –Psalm 22:6, and let me be fashioned after Thine image, as I behold Thy stoop of love; so shall my heart be contrite, my spirit meek and lowly, and Thou shalt be unto me daily a cluster of camphire, that revives the spirit of the humble and the heart of the contrite!