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The love of Christ, and] SOLOMON'S SONG. [the beauty of the church.

7 Thou art all fair, my love; there is garments is like the smell of Lebanon. no spot in thee.

8 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look, from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

9 Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.

10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy, love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!

11 Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy


12 A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

13 Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,

14 Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:

15 A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.

16 Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. (D)


(D) The love of Christ, and the beauty of the Church.-The bridegroom may here be supposed to have alighted from his palauquin, to converse with the bride, when he commends the beauty of her countenauce, and the symmetry of her features. This description may not, indeed, exactly suit our European ideas; but the images are certainly in accordance with the taste of the East, and such as are employed by their chastest poets; and that, too, in reference to moral and religious subjects, as is most satisfactorily proved in the writings of Sir Wm. Jones, Bishop Lowth, and other eminent eastern scholars. We think ourselves fully justified in our application of these images to the moral and spiritual beauty of the church, and her divine Redeemer's love, by many similar images which occur in other parts of the sacred volume. Thus (in Ps. xlv. 11.) it is said to her, “The King (doubtless King Messiah) shall greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord thy spiritual husband) and worship thou him." So St. Paul tells us, that Christ and the church are" one flesh," even as man and wife. "This is a great mystery, (he adds) but 1 speak concerning Christ and the church."

(Ephes. v. 31, 2. See also the Scriptures referred to in the first Note on p. 245.)

The supreme authority which instituted marriage, has pronounced it not only innocent, but "honourable." (Heb. xiii. 4.) And experience shows, that when men began to consider it in the opposite light, and affected monachism for greater purity, they sunk into crimes the most unnatural and detestable. Let us beware, therefore, of attempting to refine upon the divine law, or aiming to be purer than God's commands. That which God has pronounced holy, let us not dare to call "unclean." But to return from this digression: When the bride is described as all fair," and "without spot," is not this the very character of the Christian church, and of the true believer, as she appears before her Lord? He who purchased her by his own blood, sanctifies her by his word and Spirit, "that he may present her to himself, a glorious church, not having spot, or wriukle, or any such thing; that it, (or she) should be holy, and without blemish," iu which the very passage before us seems referred to. (Comp. Ephes. v. 25-22.)

When the church is here required to come from Lebanon and Hermon, from the dens of the lious, and the mountains of


Ver. 6. Until the day break Heb. "Breathe." See ii. 17. Mountain of myrrh, &c -the bride is here compared to a hill of fragrant plants. Comp. ver. 13, 14.

Ver. 9. Thou hast ravished Marg. "Taken away;" rather, "captivated.". With one of thine eyes-With a side view, perhaps; but in some parts of the East, ladies, in conversation, raise one side of their veil. Dr. Percy, "With one (glance) of thine

eyes, with one turn of thy neck." This is quite in the
style of the oriental poets.

Ver. 10. Better is thy love than wine.-See ch.i.?.
Ver. 11. Thy tips-that is, conversation.

Ver. 12. A garden enclosed- Heb. "barred," or fenced.

Ver. 13. Camphire-Marg. "Cypress." The va rious aromatic plants here named, remind us of Psalm xlv. 8.

Another dream]



AM come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

3 I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

4 My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.

5 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and

[related by the church.

was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

7 The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.

8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.

9 What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

10 My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.

11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as

a raven.

12 His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.


the leopards; what can it mean but for her to forsake the world, and cast herself upon the protection of her celestial husband? And when she is compared to "a garden enclosed, and a spring sealed," what can it import, but a devotion to her Lord, and to him alone. Then does she produce the

sweetest plants, and the most pleasant fruits, which are not to be considered as the wild productions of nature, but must be attributed to the living waters and the heavenly gales, by which alone fertility can be produced.


CHAP. V. Ver. 1. Drink abundantly-Marg. "Be drunken with loves." On the mystical devotion of the l'ersians, and other Asiatics, see the Author's New Translation," Preliminary Essay, pp. 75-95. In reference to true religion, it can mean nothing but that rapture or fervour of devotion, sometimes experienced by eminently pious per. sons, but which should not be considered as essential to its reality.

Ver. 2. My beloved... knocketh.-See Rev. iii. 20. Ver. 3. I have nashed my feet.-A Hindoo (who never wears shoes within doors) wipes or washes his feet before he retires to rest; and if called up in the night, will often plead, that he shall daub his feet. Ward's Hindoos, vol. ii. p. 329.

Ver. 4. By the hole of the door. This refers to the locks or latches of the ancients, somewhat like those in our own country villages.

Ver. 5. Dropped with myrrh, that is, with liquid perfume.

Ver. 6. My soul failed-Williams, "fainted;" as we should say, ready to drop.

Ver. 7. The watchmen—that is, the guards of the palace. See chap. iii. 3. Took away my veil-that is, drew it on one side, to see who I was.

Ver. 8. That we tell him-Heb. "What should ye tell him? That I am sick with love," Williams. Compare chap. ii. 5.

Ver. 10, White and ruddy.-So David is described, 1 Sam. xvi. 12 —The chiefest-Heb. "Standard bearer." The tallest and most comely youth were doubtless appointed to this office.

Ver.11. His head as the most fine gold-Most refer this to his splendid crown, but perhaps it may refer to the internal value; So Solomon calls the skull" the golden bowl." (Eccles. xii. 6.-Locks are bushy-Heb. " Curled," as the branches of the palm tree. Michaelis.

Ver. 12. Washed with milk. — Perhaps meaning "milk-white doves."-Fitly set-Marg. "Sitting in fulness," which our translators explain thus: "Fitly placed, and set as a precious stone in the foil of a ring." Percy renders it, "sitting at the full


Ver. 13. As sweet flowers-Marg. "Towers of perfume;" referring, doubtless, to the beard aud whiskers, no inconsiderable feature of masculine beauty, in the East. His lips like lilies-The beautiful red Syrian lilies. Compare chap. iv. 3.

Description of]


14 His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory, overlaid with sapphires.

15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

16 His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. (E)


WHITHER is thy beloved gone, O

thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.

2 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.

3 I am my beloved's, and my be


[the beloved

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(E) Another dream, which introduces a description of the Messiah, as the beloved of the Church.—In the close of the preceding chapter, the bride, that is, the church, had been wishing and praying for the influences of the Holy Spirit, to awaken her energies, and warm and invigorate her piety, that her Beloved, coming into his garden, might show his approbation, or, as it is metaphorically expressed," eat his pleasant fruits." The verse which opens this chapter, which certainly ought not to have been separated from the preceding, is the answer of the bridegroom, express ing his delight in her conduct and conversation. "I am come into my garden;" i. e, the church; (see chap. iv. 12.) "I have gathered my spices;" (ch. iv. 13, 14.) "I have eaten my honey," (from the comb) meaning, listened to her conversation; (ch. iv. 11.) "I have drunk my wine," I have received the utmost pleasure in the evidence of thy love and attachment; and then he turns round to his companions, and invites them to partake with him the

pleasures of her conversation. "Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved." The marriage feast, we must recollect, was kept open during all the seven days appropriated to its celebration.

The following verses relate another dream, more evidently so than that in chap. iii. for it is not easy to describe a dream in language more correct and beautiful than this: "I slept, but my heart waked." Indeed, upon that hypothesis, all the circumstances are natural and easy; but upon any other, utterly inexplicable. The object of this dream is evidently to introduce a portrait of the Beloved, who is described as fair and beautiful, tall and majestic, and clothed in royal apparel. In applying this allegorically, there is no doubt but it must refer to the Messiah, the same illustrious person who is described in the 45th psalm, as "fairer than the children of men;" as having "grace poured into his lips;" as being "clothed in glory and majesty;" his garments richly perfumed, and his hand wielding the sceptre of the church and of the world. (Comp. that psalm throughout.)

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The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concuObines, and they praised her.

10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?

11 I went down into the garden of nuts, to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded.

12 Or ever I was aware, my soul dmade me like the chariots of Amminadib.


[mystical bride.

13 Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies. (F)


[Omit in Family Reading.] HOW beautiful are thy feet with shoes,

O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman. 2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of


(F) The church, in the absence of her heavenly spouse, anticipates his speedy return: he returns, and repeats and amplifies his commendations of her.-The commendations of her beloved by the spouse, excite others to seek him with her, to whom she gives a farther description of his beauty and glory. At the same time she expresses herself confident that he was not far off; that he was only in the gardens; and as he had signified his love to her, and accepted her vows of love to him, she doubted not but that he would soon return to her. While she expresses her confidence in this, he suddenly re-appears, and again expresses his admiration and attachment to her person, partly in the same language as he had before employed, and partly in other terms, no less affectionate and beau tiful. She is compared to Tirzah and Jerusalem, the two most beautiful cities of Judea, and to their bannered turrets; or perhaps to an army in military array, with all its banners gleaming to the sun. He then confesses himself enamoured with her charms, and declares that, though he had seen "threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number," she remained unrivalled in his affections and esteem. But shall it be said that the All-beautiful and Infinitely-pure, can de

light himself in sinful mortals? What saith the prophet Zephaniah, in his name, to the Jewish church? "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing." (Zephan. iii. 17; compare Isa. Ixii. 5.)

In the latter verses of this chapter, the bride (the Lamb's wife) is compared, for her opening virtues, to the rising dawn; and her beauty to the moon for softness, and to the sun for splendour-and to what else? An army with banners," say our translators; but the original says nothing of an "army," and the banners, or streamers, here intended, should seem to be celestial, and related to the sky; but whether they relate to the eccentric path of a comet, the corruscations of the Northern lights, or some other splendid meteor, we presume not to decide. All the real beauty and glory which the church possesses, or its individual members, is certainly of celestial origin. Whatever moral dress she wears, or whatever spiritual beauty she exhibits, it is "the comeliness" which the Lord hath "put upon" her: (Ezek. xvi. 14.) and as to her splendour and glory, we know that it arises solely from being "clothed with the Sun," even the Sun of Righteousness. (Mal. iv. 2; Rev. xii. 1.)


Ver. 12. Or ever I was aware-Heb. "I knew not." -Like the chariots of Amminadib-Marg. "My soul set me on the chariots of my willing people." This has been generally taken as a proper name, but it may be applied to the mind being carried away with joy, or transport.

Ver. 13 Shulamite-Williams, "Solima."" Bride of Solemon," Good, Boothroyd, and others.

Ibid. The company of two armies.-Perhaps meteors in the sky; comp ver. Jo But it may be applied to a chorus of musicians, or dancers.

CHAP. VII.-We have abstracted this Chapter from the family reading; not because we suppose it

less sacred than the rest of the Song; but because we think it very unhappily translated, and by many improperly expounded. It has been generally understood as referring to the naked person of the spouse; and that this description is the language of the vir gins, either in undressing or dressing her. It may be The latter; but we refer the doubtful passages wholly to the dress, and that for the foliowing reasons:1. The language otherwise understood would not become the lips of virgins, much less the language of inspiration. 2. The other personal descriptions in this poem, and in the 45th Psalm, all expressly refer to dress. 3. The king was now waiting probably in the anti-chamber till the virgin attendants

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wheat set about with lilies. 3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins. 4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools of Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim : thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which lookǝth toward Damascus. 5 Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries. 6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights! 7 This thy stature is


vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves. 13 The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.


THAT thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.

like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clus-O
ters of grapes. 8 I said, I will go up to
the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs
thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as
clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy
nose like apples; 9 And the roof of thy
mouth like the best wine for my beloved,
that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips
of those that are asleep to speak.

10 I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. 11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. 12 Let us get up early to the

2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.

3 His left hand should be under my


had finished the decoration of her person. 4. The Jews used to name the parts of the person for the dress of those parts, as the head, ver. 5.5 The feet are clothed, which renders it more unlikely that the other parts of the body should be naked: ladies, we presume, do not bathe in slip


Ver. 1. Thy feet with shoes-rather "sandals:" those of Judith ravished the eyes of Holofernes. Judith xvi. 9.-Joints of thy thighs-Williams, "Cincture of thy loins." On the most mature reflec tion, we conceive this refers to the female drawers. Lady M.W. Montague, describing her Turkish dress,

mentions her drawers, which came down to her ancles, as composed of thin rose-coloured damask, embroidered with silver flowers: "this surely is "like jewellery, the work of the hands of a cunning (or ingenious) workman. Dr. Chandler also de.cribes drawers as part of the dress of the Eastern ladies, and mentions a fragment of Sappho, from which it appears they were worn in ancient Greece. See Parkhurst's Lexicon, in Hamak. 4to. 3d edit. The Lexicons of Buxtorf, Cocceius, Leigh, &c. favour this rendering.

Ver. 2. Thy navel is like a round goblet that wanteth not liquor-Marg. "mixture." Applying this as the other verses to the external form, it very naturally refers to the girdle fastened with a golden clasp set with rubies, which may be well compared to a cup or goblet filled with wine that is mixed with aromatics.-Thy belly-rather body; it is a very general term, applied either to the body of the man, or the womb of the woman. (See Judges iii. 21; Psa. xxii. 9.) Also to the region of the bosom and the heart (See Job xv. 35; Prov. xvi.i. 8-xx. 27xxii. 17.18.) As we have applied ch. v. 14 to raiment of white and blue, so here we incline to think the raiment of the bride must be intended. The original Hebrew term here used is explained by the lexicons to mean naked corn; i.e. the grains of wheat, which were heaped together after threshing, and, as some think, strewed with lilies. Lily-work we know was the favourite pattern of the Hebrews, and their tabernacle and temple were full of it; we think, fore, it may with propriety be understood of a ight with lilies, and fastened with the gir entioned. Still, however, we consider tical, and that her robes were thus mpliment her with the promise of ferelden tells us, it was customary at the ages, to cast a few grains of wheat or

barley over the new-married couple, with friend wishes of a numerous family; which was also pr bably accompanied by drinking together a glass wine, (as at the present day,) and that possib alluded to by the goblet of wine" wrought jewellery. These things may appear more probab if we consider that the ancient Jews were accustom ed to speak by action-(See the following Introdu tion to the Prophets,)-and were every where st rounded by types and figures.

Ver. 3. Thy two breasts-See Ch. iv. 5.

Ver. 4. Tower of ivory-the tower of David, pr bably, ch. iv. 4, supposed to have been built of p white marble, polished like ivory.-Eyes like fis pools; a fine classical image.-Nose as the tower Lebanon, which had probably an abutment like finely formed human nose.

Ver. 5. Like Carmel.-This was a mountain markable for its beauty, and might well represent head erect, and crowned with the nuptial garland The hair-like purple-not the colour, but the s of the porpura (or murex,) which is spiral, and much unlike the form in which English ladies of t present day roll up their tresses. (See Williams New Translation, p. 318. N.)-The king is held(Heb. bound,) or waiting in the galleries, or an chamber. This we take to be an intimation from of the virgin attendants (or maids in waiting, which the king is immediately introduced, and " joices as a bridegroom over his bride." Isa. Ixii..

Ver. 7. Thy breasts to clusters-not of grapes our translators have supplied it,) but dates, fruit of the palm-tree here mentioned, which is s to be sweeter than honey. The palm is celebrated its being straight and tali.-See Eccles. xxiv. 13,1 Ver. 8. The smell of thy nose like apples: "T odour of thy breath like citrons," Williams.-1 best wine for my beloved, &c. Williams, "W is sent to those whom I love for their integrity, causeth the lips of those who are asleep to muriat See the notes in the Editor's New Translation, 320, 321.

Ver. 11. Let us go forth into the villages-1.e take a ride round the vicinity of the metropolis. T Italians call this villaging-going into Villaggi



Ver. 12. Mandrakes.-By these, some understa flowers, and others fruit. The modern mandrak of Judea are neither sweet nor fragrant-but they used to excite-love. Dr. Good's Transl. N. p. 14

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