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In his riches and magnificence.
In the extent of his dominion, “from sea to sea.”

In the peaceful character of his reign. “God gave him rest round about."

In the prosperous condition of his kingdom. “Silver was not accounted of in the days of Solomon,” all was of gold.

And chiefly in that he built the temple of God, which was the shadow of that temple which the Lord built, and not man. This is the song of songs,” the best of songs. There “

. is more of Christ in it than in any other part of the Old Testament. The subject is the best. It is the love of Christ to his people, his union and communion with his bride. She is called by his own name (vi. 13), The Shulamite," which is the female of Solomon. If we belong to Christ we are Christians. He is King of Kings, and we are kings. He is “the Lord our Righteousness,” and “this is the name whereby she shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness(Jer. xxxiii. 16), and therefore her name in this book is “The Shulamite."

Songs are expressions and utterances of joy and gladness in those that sing, and of their praise whom the songs concern. And this is the chief song, “the song of songs”;

" for it is of Christ in his most attractive aspect. The ineffable mystery of the unspeakable love of Christ is here set forth in gracious condescension to human weakness. The Spirit of God here endeavours to make us apprehend spiritual things, uttering in human language the thoughts of God, and setting forth under the figure and emblem of a marriage, the sweetest passage in human life, the

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marriage of Christ with his bride. And under the emblem of love the most delightful of human passions is set forththe love of Christ to his people—and by the sweetest expression of it, a song. And all this in order to attract and lift up our thoughts and hearts to Christ our Lord and King, that we may die to all earthly loves and things, and be enabled to say with our hearts, “Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee.”

There are many descriptions and expressions in this song at which corrupt minds take offence. It


be wrested, and has been wrested, as also other scriptures, to their own destruction. But “ to the pure all things are pure.” And it is the same God who made Adam and Eve in spotless purity, who has given us here the admiration of Christ for his Church. But we are so fallen from the purity in which God created us, that we need a spiritual mind to enable us to apprehend and grasp aright these things. The

song is set in heavenly imagery, and speaks of themes incomprehensible to the natural mind. The subject is of the length and breadth and depth and height of the love that passeth knowledge. It is a new song. No man can learn it but the 144,000 redeemed from among men (see their description in Rev. xiv. 3, 4).

This “song of songs” is a test song. The enjoyment we have, or have not, in the study of it is a real and true test of the state of our souls before God. Other songs must first be learnt before we can learn this, for it is the “song of songs,” and its melody is extracted from other



songs. We must first have learnt the song of God's electing love. Has he taken us from among all others around us, and “given us a place and name better than of sons and of daughters ”? We must have learnt the song of his regenerating and adopting love. We must be children of God before we can enter into its fulness. We must have learnt the song of redeeming love, “ Unto him who loved us and washed us in his own blood.” If we have learnt these songs we shall be in a fair way of apprehending the song of songs.

We must learn the song of pardoning love, of justification from all things, of sancti. fication in him who is holy, holy, holy, “even the song of Moses and the Lamb." And it is out of these melodies we catch the echo of this song, and more than this, even the fact of our everlasting union and fellowship with him who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and who has himself stooped down to the dunghills of earth to take us up to his heart, and to his home, and to himself, that we may sing for ever, “My beloved is mine and I am his, and his desire is toward me."

Two objections have been urged against the inspiration of the song of songs, both utterly futile.

The first is that the name of God does not occur in it; but it is full of God. God's best name, love, sparkles all through it. No spiritually-minded reader needs the name, love needs not to mention the name it loves; you remember Mary at the sepulchre, “If thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him."

The book was always in the canon of Scripture. It is, in fact, the simple opening out in detail of Psa. xlv. No


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one doubts that that refers to Christ, and the bride of Christ, and the marriage of Christ, and when David attempted the subject, “ his tongue was the pen of a ready writer,” “Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever."

“Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” “All thy garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.”

“Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house ; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty, for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him.” “The king's daughter is all glorious within, her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.” This is David's song! and this before us is the Song of Solomon the Son of David.

Another objection is that we do not find the Song of Solomon quoted elsewhere in Scripture. I cannot read the Bible without recognising the spirit of the Song of Solomon in the teachings, both of the Old and New Testaments. It is a fountain at which prophets, apostles, and even Christ himself, oftimes refreshed their spirits : who can doubt the allusion in Isaiah to this song, or that the same Holy Spirit who inspired the prophet had not also inspired the song ? Compare, for instance, “The king hath brought me


into his chambers,” Song i. 4, with Isa. xxvi. 20,

Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers.” Compare Song i. 7, “Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon," with Isa. xl. 11, “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd”; and compare “Come with me from Lebanon, my sister, my spouse, with me from Lebanon,” with Isa. lxii. 5, “As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” Compare Song vii. 1, “How beautiful are thy feet,” with Isa. lii. 7, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings.” Compare “The rain is over and gone,” Song ii. 11, with Isa. liv. 9, “This is as the waters of Noah unto me.” Compare Song ii. 10,

“Rise up, my love, my fair one,” with Isa. lx. 1, “Arise, shine, for thy light is come.” Compare Song iii. 6, “Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke," with Isa. iv. 5, “The Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night.” Compare Isa. xxvi. 9, “ With my

soul have I desired thee in the night,” with Song iii. 1, “By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth.” Moreover, Carmel, Heshbon, Lebanon, Shenir, the mountains of this song, are similarly referred to in Isaiah. Compare Song viii. 6, “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm,” with Isa. xlix. 16, “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.”

hands.” Compare Song viii. 12, “My vineyard, which is mine, is before me," with Isa, xxvii. 2, 3, “Sing ye unto her a


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