The Drawing of the Soul to Christ.

Excerpt taken from, EXPOSITION OF THE BOOK OF SOLOMON’S SONG, COMMONLY CALLED CANTICLES.
Written by John Gill, (1697-1771) the 1805 Edition

Solomon And Wife

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. –Song of Solomon 1:4

There is a powerful efficacious drawing of soul to Christ, at conversion…

…when God calls a poor sinner by his grace, brings him to Christ, enables him to venture upon him, and believe in him for life and salvation; which is what Christ speaks of in John 6:44 when he says, ‘No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me, draw him.’

A soul’s coming to Christ for life, is not the produce of power and free-will in man, but of the grace of God in drawing, though it is not effected by force or compulsion; it is true, the sinner, in his natural estate, ‘is stouthearted, and ‘far from righteousness,’ averse to Christ and the way of salvation by him; but by mighty grace, this stout heart is brought down, and made willing to submit to God’s way of salvation; this obduracy is removed, and hardness of heart taken away by him, who has promised to take away the stony heart, and give an heart of flesh.’ Unconverted sinners are indeed unwilling to come to Christ for life; but those who belong to the election of grace, are made ‘willing in the day of Christ’s power:’ the manslayer did not more willingly flee from the avenger of blood, to the city of refuge, than a sinner, sensible of sin, and the danger of his state, does to Christ for salvation;

…for though a soul is not brought to Christ; by the power of his free-will, yet he is not brought against his will…

This drawing does not always suppose force and compulsion; there are other ways of drawing besides that. Thus the fame of a skillful physician draws many people to him; thus music draws the ear; love the heart; and pleasure the mind; as the poet says, ‘Trahit sua quemque voluptas.’ Nor is this done by mere moral suasion, which is what ministers use; knowing the terrors of the Lord, they persuade men: but if the mighty power of grace does not attend their ministry, not one soul will ever be converted; though they represent the joys of heaven and the terrors of hell, in never such a lively manner; speak in never such moving strains, and use the most powerful arguments to win upon souls; yet they will stretch out their ‘hands all the day, to a gainsaying and disobedient people;’ they will return with a ‘who hath believed our report?’ the arm of the Lord not being revealed unto them. God does not act as a mere moral cause in man’s conversion; he does not only propose an object, and then leave the will to choose, but powerfully and effectually works both to will and to do of his own good pleasure; for this drawing is accomplished by the secret and invisible power of his mighty grace: and in this sense is the word used, in Judges 4:7 when Deborah tells Barak, that the Lord had promised, saying, ‘I will DRAW unto thee, to the river Kishon, Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitudes, and I will deliver him into thine hands;’ that is, ‘I will have the hearts of kings, generals, and captains of armies in my hands, and can turn them as the rivers of waters, whithersoever I will,’ will powerfully and invisibly work upon, move and incline Sisera’s heart to lead his army to the river Kishon, where I will give an instance of my power and goodness in delivering him into thine hands.

Thus God powerfully and invisibly works upon the hearts of sinners, bends their wills, slays the enmity of their minds, allures and draws them to Christ, ‘by a sweet omnipotence, and an omnipotent sweetness;’ and this he does by revealing Christ unto them, in all his beauty and loveliness, discovering the love of Christ unto their souls; by the kind invitations of his grace, the precious and encouraging promises of the gospel, and the special teachings of his Spirit; all which is an evidence of his everlasting love; for it is, because he hath ‘loved them with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness’ he hath ‘drawn’ them; this is also a fruit of Christ’s death; ‘I, if I be lifted up from the earth,’ says he, meaning his elevation upon the cross, ‘wilt draw all men unto me,’ John 12:32; that is, all that the Father hath given me, and has promised, shall be gathered to me, and whom I shall shed my blood for. Moreover, it is likewise an indication of the weakness and impotence of sinners, seeing they cannot come unless they are drawn; and sufficiently destroys the notion which advances the free-will and power of the creature in conversion: but I apprehend that this is not the drawing intended in this petition, for thus the church had been already drawn.

Of those chambers of intimate communion and fellowship; which Christ sometimes brings his people into, and of which they are exceeding desirous: this inestimable blessing Christ frequently grants to his people in his ordinances; for he does not always suffer them to stand without, in the outer courts, but sometimes takes them into his inner chambers, where he discloses the secrets of his heart unto them, gives evident intimations of his love, and fills their souls with divine consolation: or else, the doctrines of the gospel, which contain the unsearchable riches of Christ, and the mysteries of his grace) which he brings his people gradually into, and shews them those things which eye hath not seen, neither hath ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived of: He took me, as if she should say, into his chambers, and there more thoroughly instructed me into his mind and will; gave me to know more fully the mysteries of the kingdom; opened all the treasures of his grace, and shewed me all his riches, and glory contained therein. Now this sense suits well with a practice much used by the Jews, who frequently taught in chambers, where they also met together to converse about, and determine matters in religion, as fully appears from their writings; and we have many hints in the New Testament, which confirm it; it was in such a chamber that Christ kept the Passover, and instituted the Lord’s Supper, and gave there a discovery of the nature of his death and sufferings to his disciples: in such a room the disciples met together, after his ascension; and in such an one Paul preached till midnight.