"This is my beloved, and this is my friend." Song 5:16
THE object of the believer's trust is Jesus, his Beloved. He is spoken of by the apostle as "THE Beloved," as though he would say, "There is but one beloved of God, of angels, of saints—it is Jesus." He is the beloved One of the Father. "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delights." "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." But Jesus is also the church's beloved, the beloved of each member of that church. His person is beloved, uniting all the glories of the Godhead with all the perfections of the manhood. His work is beloved, saving His people from the entire guilt, and condemnation, and dominion of their sins. His commandments are beloved, because they are the dictates of His love to us, and the tests of our love to Him. O yes! you have but one beloved of your heart, dear believer. He is "white and ruddy, the chief among ten thousand;" He is all the universe to you; heaven would be no heaven without Him; and with His presence here, earth seems often like the opening portal of heaven. He loved you, He labored for you, He died for you, He rose for you, He lives and intercedes for you in glory; and all that is lovely in Him, and all that is grateful in you, constrain you to exclaim—"I am my Beloved's, and any Beloved is mine."
And where would you lean in sorrow but upon the bosom of your Beloved? Christ's heart is a human heart, a sinless heart, a tender heart; a heart once the home of sorrow, once stricken with grief; once an aching, bleeding, mournful heart. Thus disciplined and trained, Jesus knows how to pity and to support those who are sorrowful and solitary. He loves to chase grief from the spirit, to bind up the broken heart, to staunch the bleeding wound, and to dry the weeping eye, to "comfort all that mourn." It is His delight to visit you in the dark night-season of your sorrow, and to come to you walking upon the tempestuous billows of your grief, breathing music and diffusing calmness over your scene of sadness and gloom. When other bosoms are closed to your sorrow, or are removed beyond your reach, or their deep throbbings of love are stilled in death—when the fiery darts of Satan fly thick around you, and the world frowns, and the saints are cold, and your path is sad and desolate—then lean upon the love, lean upon the grace, lean upon the faithfulness, lean upon the tender sympathy of Jesus. That bosom will always unveil to welcome you. It will ever be an asylum to receive you, and a home to shelter you. Never will its love cool, nor its tenderness lessen, nor its sympathy be exhausted, nor its pulse of affection cease to beat. You may have grieved it a thousand times over, you may have pierced it through and through, again and again—yet returning to its deathless love, penitent and lowly, sorrowful and humble, you may lay within it your weeping, aching, languid head, depositing every burden, reposing every sorrow, and breathing every sigh upon the heart of Jesus. Lord! to whom shall I go? yes, to whom would I go, but unto You?
We lean truly upon Jesus that we may advance in all holiness, that the graces of the Spirit may he quickened and stimulated, that we may cultivate more heavenly-mindedness, and be constantly coming up from the world, following him without the camp, bearing His reproach. Let our path, then, be upward; let us gather around us the trailing garment, casting away whatever impedes our progress; and leaning upon our Beloved and our Friend, hasten from all below, until we find ourselves actually reposing in the bosom upon which, in faith and love, in weakness and sorrow, we had rested amid the trials and perils of the ascent. There is ever this great encouragement, this light upon the way, that it is a heaven-pointing, a heaven-conducting, a Heaven-terminating path; and before long the weary pilgrim will reach its sunlit summit; not to lie down and die there, as Moses did upon the top of Pisgah, but to commence a life of perfect purity and of eternal bliss.