This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
A garden could scarcely be a garden except it were enclosed: the marginal reading of the text is barred, which gives us a meaning beyond simple enclosure. We not only enclose our garden, but have a lock or a bar on its gates. There are two reasons for this: our own pleasure, and the preservation of the garden. We make our garden what it is by painstaking and labour. It differs from the wood, the wilderness, the heath, or the common field. We would not have a high-road running through it, on which any one might walk; and its flowers may not be gathered like those of the hedgerow or the waste.
I enclose my garden as a place of private pleasure and delight, and for the enjoyment of invited guests. Were its walls broken down, or its gate unbarred, I should be deemed "slothful," or "void of understanding;' the wild animal, or the rude foot of the stranger, would tread down its beauty, or the nightly marauder carry away its choicest treasures.
The garden enclosed and barred, is, then, an apt simile for the Church of God; they are a "peculiar people," and "not of this world." "The Lord taketh pleasure in his people," and therefore encloses them for his own delight; "the Lord preserveth his saints," and therefore encloses them for their own safety." "None is able to pluck them out of his hands;" the bars of his garden are too strong. Florists! remember, whilst taking such pains with your garden, that God himself has a garden. He plants it, waters it, and gathers its flowers. And Christ said, "Every plant that my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be plucked up." His plants are all " pleasant plants." It is a fruitful and spicy garden, as well as one filled with sweet flowers. God and his Christ have formed this garden, and are bestowing infinite pains upon it. What a privileged lot to be the least plant in this enclosed garden, so as to have some "sweet savour of Christ!" In order to be there, we must be transplanted out of this world's wilderness, and know a Saviour's love and care.
The florist likes to have his garden attended to, and visited, and admired, and walked in by one who is a judge of its beauties.
* Cant. iv. 12-16; v. 1; vi. 2, 11; viii. 13: John xvii. 6, 16, etc.
Now God condescends to use all this language with respect to his garden, the Church. Whatever grace there is in any persons, whatever pleasant thing there is in any of God's people, it is all from him; and therefore they are represented as saying, "Let my Beloved come into his garden;" and the immediate answer is, "I am come into my garden." The gate is barred against enemies, but wide open to the Owner. Again, whether the north wind blow over this garden, or the south, - that is, whether rough adversity, or soft prosperity, visit God's people, - something is to be seen in them, and issues from them to his glory and praise.