Draw me, we will run after you: the king has brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in you…
We have to investigate what is taught us herein of the Church and her Lord. He is to draw her; she is to hasten after His steps. This is the statement in its simplest form; but it will lead us across deep mysteries, and doctrines which have ministered food for much controversy.
I. THE TEXT BRINGS US ACROSS THE GREAT MYSTERY OF GOD'S PREDESTINATION. The cry of man to God is, "Draw me, and I will follow Thee." In the New Testament we have our Blessed Lord declaring, "No man cometh unto Me, except the Father draw him." It is asserted that God must call, before there can be any access of the creature to Him. St. Paul has accurately traced the order of Divine providence in this respect; "those whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified." The act by which the Almighty draws, or calls, His people, is a consequent of His predestination. Now, wherever predestination is spoken of, it is a predestination which concerns not our final salvation or condemnation, but simply our call to the knowledge of Christ Jesus. "Whom He did foreknow," says St. Paul, "He did predestinate — to what? why — "to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren." And again in the Epistle to the Ephesians we read, "God predestinated us unto the adoption of the children, by Jesus Christ." These are the only two places in which the apostle speaks of predestination; and it is, you observe, a predestination to the knowledge of the Gospel, to incorporation into the Christian Church, to which he alludes. He to whom the future is as the present, fixed by His high decree that some kingdoms should immediately be instructed in the truth as it is in Jesus; that others should only after the lapse of years be enlightened; that others should not be summoned to enter the fold until the thunder-clouds of the last tempest should be seen gathering in the sky. The whole history of the propagation of the Gospel, in short, the relation of the fulfilment by man's agency of the determinate counsel of God, which in the morning of creation, whilst the first dew was yet upon the hills, traced out across them the path of evangelists and teachers, and decreed who should be called and who passed by, while yet all the generations of human kind were in the loins of Adam. And this is the predestination of the Bible; and it has, you see, nothing whatever to do with the salvation of individuals. A predestination to eternal ruin would be hopelessly irreconcileable to the Divine attributes of justice and mercy; but there is nothing so hard in accepting the doctrine of a predestination to the knowledge of Christ and His Gospel here upon the earth. We would not have you then recoil from the doctrine of God's predestination, as from something too hard for flesh and blood. It is the alone doctrine which will explain why one is taken and another left; one people adopted into the Church, and another passed by. I cannot tell what moves the Eternal King in His dispensation of the Word of Life; but I am prepared to believe that He has a reason for all He does, and believing this, I take the doctrine of His absolute predestination as a most marvellous proof of His infinite nature. Who but God could thus comprehend in His counsels thousands of years, and myriads of living things? Even now there are millions of our race to whom the name of Christ is an unknown thing. But not according to man's eagerness, but His own ancient counsel, does the Lord reveal Himself to those that sit in darkness: their day and their hour was predestined long since. But this predestination touches not their free-will to live soberly, righteously, and godly; and therefore do I hear but a tribute to His greatness and omniscience in the cry that floats upward from the dim waters to Him who arranges the times and seasons for every islet that sleeps upon the wave, "Draw me, we will run after Thee."
II. Let us now consider the words AS THE UTTERANCE OF THE BRIDE AFTER HER UNION WITH CHRIST. Let us examine in what way they may be used by us, who have already been grafted into the family of Christ. Now with respect to ourselves, the Divine acts of predestination, justification, and sanctification, are past and gone. We are of those who were predestined to be early adopted into God's household. So far, then, He has drawn us to Him, and we have hastened after Him; we have believed in Christ, we have taken up the sign of the Cross to be our banner; we have, in a word, accepted the Gospel, and are members of the Church, the mystical bride of the Lamb. Is there, then, no further application of the language of the text? no further drawing by the Lord God? Indeed the entire life of man is a period during which there is perpetually being exerted upon the soul a gentle violence, alluring, tempting it to follow the footsteps of Christ. The life of every man is, we believe, arranged by God in such a manner as will best conduce to his salvation. The details of our existence are so planned as to lead us unto heaven. Do you ask why any of us fall short of the promised reward? Oh! is it not because, though God draws, we hasten not after Him? We thwart God's purposes; we resist His impulses; we counteract His designs. If we would surrender ourselves into His hands unreservedly, He would bring us safe to the eternal city. And there is yet a further truth involved in the text. It implies, that the course of the servant of God is one of constant progress and active advance. Christ is ever, as it were, moving onward; He leads us from one height of moral excellence to another. There is no rest in store for us on this side the grave. We dare not look for ease; we dare not fancy that the time shall ever come on earth when our discipline for eternity shall be over, or the lessons of our schoolhouse be learnt. He that looketh back is not fit for the kingdom of God. Whatever ye are, ye may be better; whatever ye have done, ye may do more.
Parallel VersesKJV: Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.
WEB: Take me away with you. Let us hurry. The king has brought me into his rooms. Friends We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will praise your love more than wine! Beloved They are right to love you.