The horticulture of the heart!
(Alexander Smellie, "The Secret Place" 1907)
"You are My private garden, My treasure, My bride!" Song of Songs 4:12
"My Beloved has gone down to His garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens and to gather lilies." Song of Songs 6:2
I pray that in my heart and life, God Almighty may find a garden of His own planting, where He can talk with me in the cool of the day.
Let my "winter of adversity" grow submissiveness and patience and prayer.
Let my my "spring of promise" abound in hope.
Let my my "summer of attainment" show the blossoms of thanksgiving and humility.
Let my my "autumn of fruit" be dedicated to God's glory and praise.
I would acquire skill in the horticulture of the heart . . .
by meditating much in His Book,
by sincere communing with Himself,
by keeping company with my Master's friends,
and by kissing His chastening rod.
I must reverence God's hedges:
the restraints of His providence,
the warnings of His Word,
the bounds imposed by an enlightened conscience,
the forbiddings of the Holy Spirit.
I must have no wish for the profane wasteland outside.
If the garden of the soul is to maintain beauty and fragrance — must not the waters of my spiritual life be constantly renewed? Must I not return daily to the Well from which the living streams flow ever forth?
There should be no weeds in the garden of a regenerated life. May the Lord the Spirit fill me to overflowing, that my holiness may be spontaneous, enthusiastic, exuberant — not fettered and checked by the weeds of sin.
So I shall walk in peace and pleasantness; and in the garden God will talk with me.
"Oh, I pray that the cold north wind and the soft south wind may blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out in abundance for You in whom my soul delights. Let my Beloved come into His garden and eat its choicest fruits!" Song of Songs 4:16