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MINISTER OF ST. LUKE'S EPISCOPAL CHAPEL, LEAMINGTON PRIORS.
This is no attempt at bookmaking, but simply an humble effort to make plain and practical a most precious portion of God's Word, which, for one cause or other, is very generally lost sight of; and so has fallen into a kind of disrepute.
During the summer of 1850, I was led to deliver some twenty or thirty lectures on some portions of the Song of Solomon. At the time, and subsequently, I was much pressed to publish them. Until the close of last year, however, I could not persuade myself that it was either my duty or wisdom to comply with the request of those whose judgment might be more favourable to the delivery of lectures, than the present compressed and (in many instances) extended form of exposition of the whole Song. In the midst of pressing and constant ministerial engagements, I commenced, in December, 1852, the preparation of the following pages, and have hurried them through the press as best I could. I have not sought to adorn, but hope I have been enabled to make plain some portions of Christ's Truth, and the Believer's experience of His dealings. I have expressed, in great plainness of speech, the sublime truths contained in this Song of Songs. Those who seek for truth itself, rather than its adornments and decorations, will pardon the homeliness and simplicity of language, which has been studiously aimed at.
Whatsoever of God's Truth you find herein, may you bé enabled to receive in the love of it: whatever imperfections (and, I doubt not, they are manifold), may you have charity to pardon. May the Holy Ghost's inspiration sanctify the Reader and Author through the Truth! May they both thereby enjoy an "undoubted interest in Him : a transcendent affection towards Him: an evident conformity to Him on earth : and an everlasting enjoyment of Him in Heaven”—who is the sum and substance of all Holy Scripture, and especially of this Song of Songs, JESUS CHRIST, to whom be glory for ever and ever! AMEN and AMEN!!
SONG OF SOLOMON.
CHAPTER I. 1. The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's. These words inform us who the Author of this Book of Scripture was ; also the nature of its composition, and its supreme excellency. The Author was Solomon-inspired by the Holy Ghost. The structure of the composition is that of a Spiritual Drama, or Allegorical Poem or Poems. Its superiority, above all other poems in matter, manner, and style of composition, well entitles it to be designated the “ Song of Songs.”
When or where Solomon composed this Book of Songs is not of great moment.
It seems most probable that in old age when, after his sad backslidings he had been drawn again to the God of his father David, being moved by the Holy Ghost, Solomon composed these Canticles, as well as the Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
Certain it is that he who had passed thro' such varied experience—a child of God in his youth, a