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My blessed Lord, art thou a lily flower?

My blessed Lord, art thou a lily flower?
Oh, that my soul thy garden were, that so
Thy bowing head root in my heart and pour
Might of its seeds, that they therein might grown.
Be thou my lily, make thou me thy knot:
Be thou my flowers, I’ll be thy flower pot.

My barren heart thy fruitful valley make:
Be thou my lily flourishing in me:
Oh lily of the valleys, for thy sake,
Let me thy valley, and thou my lily be.
Then nothing shall me of thyself bereave.
Thou must not me, or must my valley leave.

How shall my valley’s spangling glory spread,
Thou lily of the valley’s spangling
There springing up? Upon thy bowing head
All heaven’s bright glory hangeth dangling.
My valley then with blissful beams shall shine,
Thou lily of the valleys, being mine.

The significant aspect of Taylor’s meditation is not a bare desire for Jesus. Such desire is certainly present:

My blessed Lord, art thou a lily flower?
Oh, that my soul thy garden were

However, it is not a mere desire to somehow possess Jesus (the lily flower) but to be transformed by Jesus. He first expresses this desire with the imagery of seeds scattered:

that so
Thy bowing head root in my heart and pour
Might of its seeds, that they therein might grown.

The imagery of seeds is used in the NT of the Word of God as “seed”. Jesus famously gives the parable of the sower in which the scattered seed is the gospel proclamation (Mark 4:1-20). James, while not expressing saying “seed” writes of the “implanted word, which is able to save your souls” James 1:21. Peter writes of being born of seed:

23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:23-25.

Thus, scattering of “seed” would be seeking a transformation.

Taylor then speaks of the lily making the valley (the poet) fruitful (line 7).

The reason he desires the transformation is given in line 9, “for thy sake”. This seems to come from nowhere and may easily be missed in importance.

The Christian seeks to be “conformed to the image of” Christ (Romans 8:29). This process will lead to “glory” (Romans 8:30). This transformation process is wrought by Father through the Spirit to glorify the Son, “that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29). This doctrine could be drawn elsewhere, but the point is plain: Taylor seeks transformation to glorify the Son, hence this is sought “for thy sake”.

The glory and beauty of the Christian is all of Christ. In forensic terms, it is an “alien righteousness”, that is, a righteousness which derives from and belongs to Christ. In Colossians 3:3-4, the image is that our life and glory are in Christ:

3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Thus, the life and glory of Christ becomes ours and make us radiant to the glory of Christ:

Upon thy bowing head
All heaven’s bright glory hangeth dangling.
My valley then with blissful beams shall shine,
Thou lily of the valleys, being mine
.

Thus, Taylor’s desire is not merely for himself, but rather for the glory of Christ, in which glory Taylor may participate.