When the Bride, or rather the lover (for she is not yet a bride), has found her Bridegroom, she is so transported with joy, that she is eager to be instantly united to Him. But the union of perpetual enjoyment is not yet arrived. He is mine, she says, I cannot doubt that He gives Himself to me this moment, since I feel it, but He is to me, as it were, a bundle of myrrh. He is not yet a Bridegroom whom I may embrace in the nuptial bed, but a bundle of crosses, pains and mortifications; a bloody husband ( Ex. iv.25), and crucified lover, who desires to test my faithfulness, by making me partaker of a good share of his sufferings. For this is the part of the soul at this period.
As an evidence, however, of the progress of this already heroic soul, note that she does not say, my Well-beloved will give me the bundle of the cross, but that He Himself should be that bundle; for all my crosses shall be those of my Well-beloved. This bundle shall be betwixt my breasts as an evidence that He will be a Bridegroom of bitterness as well without as within. External crosses are a small matter, if unaccompanied by those which are internal, and the inward are rendered much more painful by the simultaneous presence of the outward. But though the soul perceives nothing but the cross on every side, it is nevertheless her Well-beloved in the shape of the cross, and He never is more present to her than in those seasons of bitterness, during which He dwells in the midst of her heart.