Imatges de pÓgina


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is sweeter to me than the most fragrant scents, • the sweetest viands, or the most refreshing • liquors ?'

The TARGUM on this passage is, “The.congregation of Israel said, let God


beloved • come into the house of the sanctuary, and

graciously accept the offerings of his people.' The holy blessed God said unto his people, the house of Israel ; ' I am conie into the • house of my sanctuary, which thou hast built • for me, O my sister, the congregation of Is

rael, who art like a modest damsel : I have o • caused my Shekinah to dwell with thee; I have ' received thy sweet incense, which thou hast

made on my account; I have sent fire from • heaven, and it hath devoured the burnt offer

ings, and the holy drink offerings ; the liba• tion of the red and white wine is graciously 6 received by me, which the priests pour out

upon mine altars. This paraphrase, as it respects the Jews, is not to be despised ; but that of Bishop Hall is more suited to our dispensation. • O my sister, my spouse! I have received those fruits of thine obedience which

Tliat these delicacies, are now, as well as formerly, in the highest esteem in the East may be seen in Mr. Harmer on this Song, p. 304. It may be worth adding, that the disciples of our Lord, after his resurrection, presented him with a piece of honeycomb, from which he ate, no doubt, the honey, Luke xxiv. 42, 43. So I apprehend here, to eat the honeycomb with honey, is properly to eat the honey in or from the comb. Dr. Taylor, however, in his Concordance, renders the passage, I have eaten my pure wood honey ' with my palm, which is supported by good authorities; and the editor of Calmet—- I eat my liquid honey with my firm honey.' Continuation, part II. p. 95.


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• thou offerest unto me, with much joy and pleasure. I have accepted not only of thy good works, but thy endeavours and purposes of holiness, which are as pleasant to me as • the honey and the honeycomb.'

The concluding sentence, we have said, appears to be addressed by the bridegroom to his companions, who are invited to rejoice with him, and partake the marriage feast: and is not this fulfilled in the instance of our great Redeemer? Do not all that love him rejoice with him in the prosperity of his church? Yea, is there not joy even among the angels in his presence, over every sinner that repenteth?

But this passage evidently refers to the marriage. feast, which was kept open during all the festival. To this we have repeatedly adverted, and shall avoid repetition. But · blessed are

they who are called to the marriage supper of 'the Lamb! All the enjoyments of the believer here, which are neither few nor small,'

• are but the foretastes of what ‘God has prepared' in a future state for them that love him.' Here we may drink abundantly of his love and of his consolations, without danger of satiety or excess': there we shall drink of the river of his pleasures for evermore!

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The original [D'7171900] has been rendered by Mercee. rus, • Inebriamini amoribus :' by Cocceius, Inebriamini "amenitatibus; and by Ainsworth and Gill, Be drunken '-be inebriated, with loves. We have observed in the Preliminary Essays, (p. 87 & seq.) that this kind of expression is very common among the religionists of the east, and SECTION IX.


Chap. V. Ver. 2-8
Spouse. I slept; but my heart waked :

The voice of my beloved, (who was] knocking i
• Open to me, my sister, my consort,
• My dove, my accomplished one;
• For my head is filled with dew,
• And my locks with the drops of the night.

I have put off my vest, how shall I put it on?
• I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them?'
My beloved put forth his hand by the opening (of

the door,]
And bowels were moved for him.
I rose to open to my beloved ;
But my hands dropped myrrh, and my fingers liquid

Upon the handles of the lock.
I open'd to my beloved :

beloved had withdrawn-was gone.
My soul fainted when he spake:
I sought him, but could not find himn;
I called him, but he gave me no answer.
The watchmen who

go round the city found me:
They smote me--they hurt me:
The keepers of the walls plucked my veil from me.
I adjure you, O‘daughters of Jerusalem, if


find What should you tell him?--That I am sick with


my beloved

to the instances there given, I would now add the following:

They who walk in the true path, are drowned in the sea

of mysterious adoration :—they are inebriated with the meí lody of amorous complaints. — Through remembrance of · God they shun all mankind: they are so enamoured of the ' cup-bearer that they spill the wine from the cup.' Sir W. Jones's Works, vol. III. p. 372. Quoted from the third, book of the Bustan.

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WE have already considered a parallel scene in Chapter III. as visionary; and nothing can be more clear than that this must be considered in the same light. Indeed, the expression, 'I

slept, but my heart waked,' will scarcely admit of any other interpretation; but, in this view is beautifully poetic. The heart is the seat of the imagination, as well as of the affections ; and this same inspired Poet tells us, speaking of a man of cares and business,“ his • heart taketh not rest in the night:' that is, his anxiety is continued in his dreams, for a "dream,' he says, 'cometh through the multi

, "tude of business"

This being admitted to be a dream, we are, as before, relieved from the necessity of accounting for every circumstance on the principle of probability : and farther, as several of the circumstances here are repeated from the former scene, I shall excuse myself from discussing them, and confinè my remarks to those particulars in which the accounts differ.

1. In the former instance she sought the be-. loved in this he seeks her. It is the same thing in effect, whether the Lord, by a secret influence of his grace, stir up our minds to

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2. Eccles. ii. 23. v.


A Persian sonnet in the Divan of Jamy presents us with almost exactly the same image as the royal poet in this song.

· Last night, my eyes being closed in sleep, but my good ' fortune [query, genius] awake

• The whole night, the live-long night, the image of my • beloved was the companion of my soul.' Qrient. Collect. vol. I. p. 187.

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seek him ; or whether, by the dispensations of his providence he knock, as it were, at the door of our affections. "No man cometh unto

me, except the Father who hath sent me, • draw him.'Behold I stand at the door and • knock; if any man open unto me, I will ;

, • come in unto him, and sup with him, and he 6 with me."

2. The Beloved pleads with her for admittance, while she resists his importunity. Let us compare his plea and her excuses. The plea introduced, in analogy to the nature of the poem, is that of a lover exposed to the dews of the night'; and to give due weight to this plea we ought to know, that the dews in the east are very copious, and the laws of hospitality very strict. The excuses here made imply that the Beloved had a right to admittance; and, consequently, that the marriage was complete. The Jewish custom, as above remarked, satisfactorily accounts for his absence, and the scene being visionary, sufficiently covers all improprieties. In the application of this scene it must be considered as referring to a state of great languor and supine


? Dr. Hodgson thinks Anacreon borrowed from this passage his famous ode, . In the dead of the night,' &c. It must be owned that there are some striking similarities, and that it is very possible a Septuagint version might have fallen into his hands, as well as into the hands of Theocritus: but as it would be difficult to decide, so the object would hardly pay the investigation. I wish no writers more modern than these had profaned the sacred stories.

. Above, p. 239.

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