Thursday, 31 January 2013

Adolph Saphir on the Song of Solomon

In the Song of Songs we may read a description of the soul’s varying experience. That Song does not describe the marriage of the Lamb. The Bride is sometimes in Jerusalem, then in the mount of Lebanon; now and at night-time wandering in the street, now in the wilderness, now in the garden, now in the fields, now in the house. Sometimes she is left desolate; sometimes she seeks and does not find; she calls, and He does not answer. Then again she rejoices because she hears the voice of the Beloved, and is assured of His never-changing faithfulness. At times she is deeply conscious of her unworthiness, and takes to heart the bitter reproaches of the watchmen; at other times the loyal spirit bursts forth in exultation, and she is persuaded that she is the chosen one, beautiful in His sight. The Song of Solomon describes, therefore, the experience of the pilgrim state; and though there are in this book Old Testament aspects which perhaps will be fully understood only when Israel is converted and restored, and though since the Incarnation and the gift of the Holy Ghost we have received deeper and fuller disclosures, yet is this Song a most precious and fragrant divinely-inspired commentary on this word: ‘Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you’ (Adolph Saphir [1877], The Open Secret, John F. Shaw, p 25). 

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