"Awake, O north wind; and come, you south wind; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my Beloved come into His garden, and eat His pleasant fruits" (Song of Sol. 4:16). Come! Blessed Spirit, in all the plenitude of Your gifts and graces—and as I am about, this day, to go to the sacred Feast, breathe upon me and my fellow-communicants, and say, "Receive you the Holy Spirit!" Come, as the North wind bringing with it conviction of sin—my own sin—seen in the light of my Savior's Cross and sufferings. Come, as the South wind—with all soothing, comforting, sanctifying influences—bearing on its wings the Beloved's own balm-words of mercy—revealing the wonders of His love—the tenderness of His sympathy—the riches of His grace. Let the spices—the fragrance of a grateful heart filled with all joy and peace in believing—flow out.

One of the most sublime prayers on record, is that of the Apostle, for the special bestowment of the Holy Spirit preceding the dwelling of Christ in the soul—a beautiful and befitting prelude-utterance to a Communion season and service—"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man." "He shall glorify Me," says the Redeemer Himself, "for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you."

Awake, then, O North wind! come, you South wind, blow upon my garden! Make this sacramental season—one in which heaven and earth seem to touch one another—an occasion of hallowed and blissful intercommunion between my soul and Jesus. Yes, 'intercommunion.' The joy of this permitted fellowship, delightful to His people, would almost seem, with reverence be it spoken, as if shared by His own Infinite heart. The Beloved comes into His garden "to eat His pleasant fruits."—"I am glorified," says He elsewhere, "in them." Who can ever fail to be struck in the Gospel narrative, with the intense—the vehement earnestness of the Savior's longing to meet His own disciples at the first institution of the Supper, immediately before His death? His own soul was—I was about to say—strangely engrossed with the preparation and arrangement for it. "With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" (Luke 22:15). The disciples, knowing and noting how singularly that Festive hour seemed to fill their Lord's thoughts, came to Him and said—"Master, where will we go to prepare for You to eat the Passover?" When they met the man bearing the pitcher of water, they address him thus—"The Master says, my time is at hand, I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples." Moreover, when the Feast itself was being partaken, the season of hallowed and confidential fellowship proved evidently to Him a sweet "song in the night"—a gleam of joy amid the gathering, thickening darkness—"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." It is the same now as it was then. While to all disciple-guests it is primarily a blessed occasion and opportunity of unburdening their inmost thoughts to their divine Lord; of having faith strengthened—love deepened—misgivings lulled—troubles healed—they may exult in the assurance that it is distinctively also a season of complacent joy to the Redeemer Himself. The blessedness, felt and realized by His covenanting people, is most deeply shared by the true Solomon—It is "the day of His espousals, the day of the gladness of His heart" (Song of Sol. 3:11).

As the Great Master of assemblies, He there sees of the fruit of the travail of His soul and is satisfied. "Satisfied!" wondrous thought! as if His own intensest joy were in the happiness of His redeemed people. "Father," He said, on that same betrayal night, when fresh from the Institution of the New Testament Passover, and when the shadows of His own Cross were projected on His path—"Father, I will,"—(what is this mighty boon which Omnipotence is about to invoke at the close of His intercessory Prayer? It forms the climax of His pleadings; as if He had reserved the crowning solicitation to the last)—"Father, I will,"—(with what does He fill up the formula?—He knows that He can write under it what He pleases—what then is the great yearning, filial wish—the richest reward and recompense of His soul-travail?)—"Father, I will, that those whom You have give me, may be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory!"

May that glory—the glory as of the only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth—may the distant rays of it, at least, be revealed to me, today, on the holy ground of Communion. May the meeting in the earthly Garden prove a blessed pledge and foretaste of that diviner communion and fellowship in the better Garden above—that Garden in which there is no sepulcher, no funeral spices, no "why are you weeping?" whose precincts can be invaded and saddened by no sin—no sorrow—no broken vow or forgotten resolution—no Lebanon storms to dread; no "lions' dens or mountains of leopards" (Song of Sol. 4:8), but where disciple and Master, and that forever and ever, shall rejoice together with joy unspeakable and full of glory!