TELL NO MAN THAT HE WAS THE CHRIST
"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake love, until it please" Song of Songs 8:4
Let us go back and read 2:7 and 3:5. The similarity to this verse is at once recognized. In each case I omit in reading the "my" which is suggested by translators, and adopt the marginal reading "it” instead of “he.” In each case there is identity in the call; the only difference is that in this last occurrence the illustrative words "By the roes, and by the hinds of the field" are omitted. When this great Song is carefully set out, it is found to consist in the main of words of the Bride and Bridegroom. To these are added certain words of the virgins addressed to Bride or Bridegroom. But on these three occasions it is yet another voice. This is the voice of Wisdom, uttering a warning, which is needed, and which is made powerful by the matchless love-story. What is this warning? That love is so sacred a thing that it must not be trifled with. It is not to be sought. It stirs and awakens of itself. To trifle with the capacity for it, is to destroy that very capacity. This is the evil of all philandering, would that these words could be sung into the deepest soul of all youths and young girls. The tragedies of disobedience to the warnings are everywhere. Is there any application of these words possible in that higher realm which we have had in mind throughout our reading? I think there is. They warn us against the peril of endeavoring to FORCE AN EXPERIENCE OF LOVE to Christ and God in others. Our privilege is to introduce our loved ones, our children, our friends, everybody, to Christ; but they must fall in love with Him for themselves. Was not this in His mind, when He told His disciples to TELL NO MAN THAT HE WAS THE CHRIST (Matt. 16:20)? As He had said to Peter, that revelation comes, not of flesh and blood, but of the Father (Matt. 16:17). We wrong the souls of the young, and indeed of any, when we endeavor to force an experience. Let us lead them to Him. HE WILL AWAKEN LOVE.