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Desiring the Lord

Staff Member
"Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth."—Song of Solomon 1:2.

For several days we have been dwelling upon the Saviour's passion, and for some little time to come we shall linger there. In beginning a new month, let us seek the same desires after our Lord as those which glowed in the heart of the elect spouse. See how she leaps at once to Him; there are no prefatory words; she does not even mention His name; she is in the heart of her theme at once, for she speaks of Him who was the only Him in the world to her. How bold is her love! it was much condescension which permitted the weeping penitent to anoint His feet with spikenard—it was rich love which allowed the gentle Mary to sit at His feet and learn of Him—but here, love, strong, fervent love, aspires to higher tokens of regard, and closer signs of fellowship. Esther trembled in the presence of Ahasuerus, but the spouse in joyful liberty of perfect love knows no fear. If we have received the same free spirit, we also may ask the like. By kisses we suppose to be intended those varied manifestations of affection by which the believer is made to enjoy the love of Jesus.

The kiss of reconciliation we enjoyed at our conversion, and it was sweet as honey dropping from the comb. The kiss of acceptance is still warm on our brow, as we know that He hath accepted our persons and our works through rich grace. The kiss of daily, present communion, is that which we pant after to be repeated day after day, till it is changed into the kiss of reception, which removes the soul from earth, and the kiss of consummation which fills it with the joy of heaven. Faith is our walk, but fellowship sensibly felt is our rest. Faith is the road, but communion with Jesus is the well from which the pilgrim drinks. O lover of our souls, be not strange to us; let the lips of Thy blessing meet the lips of our asking; let the lips of Thy fulness touch the lips of our need, and straightway the kiss will be effected.

Charles Spurgeon
Staff Member
From Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
c/o Song of Solomon 1 Commentary - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Song of Solomon 1:2

Thus the song, opens: and there can be no hesitation to discover the singer, namely, the Church. It is she which begins it. But Reader! do not imagine, that because the Church opens this Song, that thereby is meant to intimate love begins first in the human breast. No! thou blessed Jesus! thy love is first in the field; and if we do love thee, it is because thou hast first loved us. 1 John 4:19. Hadst thou not loved us with an everlasting love; nay, hadst thou not found out some way of subduing the natural enmity of our hearts; hadst thou not sweetly constrained and drawn us with the bands of love to thyself; never should we have loved thee, or desired to love thee. But when that everlasting love of thine prompted thy sacred breast to manifest it to us, and by thy sweet Spirit to give us a sense and perception of it; then thy love to our souls became the source and fountain of our love to thee, and hath drawn us to thyself, and now will keep us near thy dear Person forever!

There is a great beauty in the manner of the Church's expression when she saith, Let him kiss me. She doth not call Jesus by name, but him: meaning, no doubt, that her whole soul and heart was so full of him, that it was needless to mention whom she meant. She could refer to no other. We have several beautiful examples of the same kind in scripture. The Psalmist; Psalms 73:25. Mary Magdalene; John 20:15. Peter's account of the Church; 1 Peter 1:8.

The object of the Church's request is interesting, that Jesus would kiss her with the kisses of his mouth; meaning the manifestation of his presence. This was what the Old Testament-saints longed for; the appearance of Christ in the flesh: and the same is what New Testament believers continually desire more of. The manifestation of the Lord Jesus, in substance of our flesh, might well be called kisses; because his incarnation was a sure pledge that he came to redeem our fallen nature; and the acceptance of redemption by us, is, in one part of scripture, summed up in this comprehensive way, as kissing the Son. Psalms 2:12. Well might the Old Testament Church thus long for Christ's coming, that the salvation of Israel might come to Zion. Psalms 53:6. For however God spake in sundry times, and in divers manners, to our fathers by the prophets; yet prophets, nor angels, nor wise men, nor scribes, none were like Jesus: never man spake like him. Thou, and thou only, dearest Jesus, hast the words of eternal life. But, my soul, was this the request of the Old Testament Church only? Dost not thou, doth not every real follower of the Lord Jesus in the New as earnestly long, and passionately cry out, for frequent, constant, uninterrupted manifestations of himself, and his love to our hearts? Yes! the language of all that know our Lord Jesus Christ, is, like the Church: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.

I hardly think it necessary to remind the Reader, that the request is for kisses in the plural number, and not for one kiss only, a single token of Jesus's love. The cause of this is very obvious. They who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, will desire to taste more and more of him. There must be repeated manifestations of his love, and repeated desires of the soul going forth after him. And though a believing soul may, and will say, when under a dark state of mind, and an absence, as to our view of things, of the light of God's countenance; oh! that Jesus would but grant me one token of his love, one kiss of his mouth, one sweet smile of his favour, which is better than life itself; yet, when the Lord Jesus comes with his hands full of grace, and his heart full of love, the soul finds such rapture in communion, that she will not be satisfied with a little; but, like the Patriarch, will wrestle for a blessing, and will lay hold of the skirt of his mantle, saying, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. Genesis 32:26. Pause, Reader, and admire with me the condescension of our Jesus! doth he, indeed, whom angels adore, kiss with the kisses of his mouth poor polluted sinners. Is it an honour to kiss the hand of an earthly prince? And will our heavenly King himself kiss with his mouth the beggars of the dunghill? Oh! precious Jesus! what a love is thine. But we must not stop here. The Church gives the reason for her request: Thy love is better than wine. Let the Reader remark with me, that the manner of expression in the song is now changed. She had before been speaking of him. And now she particularly speaks to him. But what an endless subject is opened here in the view of Jesus love? Who shall describe it, as it is in itself; as it is in its effects; or as it manifests itself to the souls of his people.

Yes! thou dearest Jesus, none but thyself can tell what it is. It began before all worlds. It had its rise in thyself: nothing in us, no, not even our misery prompted thee to it, though our misery afforded occasion for its display. But it would rob thee, dearest Lord, of thy glory, in thy love to us, to say that anything in us became the cause. No! it was spontaneous in thy holy breast. And as it was from everlasting; so it is to everlasting. And the duration of thy love is only equaled by the nature and quality of it, in its greatness, extensiveness, aboundings, unmeasurable by heights, and depths, and lengths, and breadths: a love indeed that passeth knowledge: and as infinitely surpassing all creature love as the drop of the bucket, or the small dust of the balance. Its blessed effects also are such as no language can describe. All that we have in time: all that we look forward to in eternity. All the mercies of redemption, all the works of grace, and all the hopes of glory; the whole hath its rise in this unparalleled love of Jesus. Neither are the manifestations of it less wonderful on the hearts of the Lord's people. For what can equal the astonishing powers of this love in converting such an heart as mine, (may I, Reader, add yours also) from an hatred to the Lord and his ways, to the love of him and his salvation. Can you be surprised, Reader; then, that the Church should cry out under such views of Jesus; Thy love is better than wine. Wine is an high cordial, and as such it is recommended in the book of the Proverbs, to be given to the heavy in heart. Proverbs 31:6. But then it can reach no further than to the refreshment of the body. But the love of our Jesus reacheth to the soul. If I give a poor, famishing, fainting creature a little wine, it may revive his spirits. But if Jesus gives his precious love to me, it will heal my soul. It hath done so, dearest Lord, for thou hast quickened my soul which before was dead in trespasses and sins. And now the renewed draughts of the same everlasting love keep my soul alive, and preserve it from day to day. Reader! do you know anything of this love of Jesus? Can you say, as the Church did, Thy love is better than wine? If so, let us ask the dear Lord to shed abroad the sweet tokens of this love more and more in our hearts: here is no danger of intoxication. We would be drunken, but not with wine. Jesus hath said, Drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.
Staff Member