O Thou whom my soul loveth! exclaims this poor affianced one, thus obliged to leave the sweet employment within, to be engaged about external matters of the lowest description; O Thou, whom I love so much the more as I find my love more thwarted; ah, show me where Thou feedest Thy flocks, and with what food Thou satisfiest the souls that are so blessed as to be under Thy care! We know that when Thou wert upon earth, Thy meat and drink was to do the will of Thy Father (John iv.34), and now Thy meat is that Thy friends do Thy will. Thou still feedest Thy followers upon Thyself, revealing to them Thine infinite perfection, to the end that they may love Thee more fervently; and the more Thou art revealed, the more they seek to know, that they may be able ever to love Thee more and more.
Tell me also, pursues she, where Thou reposest at noon! By this figure she intends to convey the vehemence of pure love desiring to learn from its author and master, in what it consists; lest perchance, wandering into some human path, though under the semblance of spirituality, she may be misled, and may be ministering to self-love, at the very moment when she was persuaded she had nothing in view, but pure love and the glory of God alone.
She is right in fearing a mistake which involves such important consequences, and which is too common among the flocks of the church. It happens whenever persons are guided by spiritual advisers whom Jesus Christ has truly rendered His companions, associating them with Himself in the direction of souls, but who, not being dead to themselves nor crucified to the world with Him, do not teach their pupils to deny themselves; to be crucified and dead in everything, in order to live to God only, and that Christ may live in them. Whence it happens, that both being in an extremely natural and unmortified life, their path is also exceedingly human, and consequently liable to turn aside hither and thither, frequently changing their devotions and their guides, without ever arriving at anything solid. And because this wandering arises from the failure to consult with care the maxims and example of Jesus Christ, and to apply to Him by prayer to obtain from Him what He alone can grant us, therefore it is that this beloved soul, being well instructed, implores with so much earnestness the knowledge of His Word with which He feeds souls, and faithfulness to follow his example. For she knows that these alone, with the help of grace, can prevent her from going astray.
We are too often arrested at created means, however religious. God alone can teach us to do His will, for He alone is our God. -- (Psalm cxliii.10.)
She asks also of the Word that He would conduct her to his Father, since He is the way that leads there. The bosom of the Father being the place where He rests in the noontide of His glory, and in the full light of eternity, she desires to be lost in God with Jesus His Son; to be there hidden and there to rest forever. And though she does not say so explicitly, she gives us to understand it distinctly enough by what she says afterwards, -- lest I should begin to wander as I have done. There I shall be perfectly secure; I shall never more be deceived; and what is far better, I shall sin no more.