CERTAIN DIVINES have doubted the inspiration of Solomon's Song; others have conceived it to be nothing more than a specimen of ancient love-songs, and some have been afraid to preach from it because of its highly poetical character.
The true reason for all this avoidance of one of the most heavenly portions of God's Word lies in the fact that the spirit of this Song is not easily attained. Its music belongs to the higher spiritual life, and has no charm in it for unspiritual ears. The Song occupies a sacred enclosure into which none may enter unprepared. "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground," is the warning voice from its secret tabernacles.
The historical books I may compare to the outer courts of the Temple; the Gospels, the Epistles, and the Psalms, bring us into the holy place or the Court of the priests; but the Song of Solomon is the most holy place: the holy of holies, before which the veil still hangs to many an untaught believer.
It is not all the saints who can enter here, for they have not yet attained unto the holy confidence of faith, and that exceeding familiarity of love which will permit them to commune in conjugal love with the great Bridegroom.
We are told that the Jews did not permit the young student to read the Canticles—that years of full maturity were thought necessary before the man could rightly profit by this mysterious Song of loves; possibly they were wise, at any rate the prohibition foreshadowed a great truth. The Song is, in truth, a book for full-grown Christians. Babes in grace may find their carnal and sensuous affections stirred up by it towards Jesus, whom they know, rather "after the flesh" than in the spirit; but it needs a man of fuller growth, who has leaned his head upon the bosom of his Master, and been baptized with His baptism, to ascend the lofty mountains of love on which the spouse standeth with her beloved.
The Song, from the first verse to the last, will be clear to those who have received an unction from the holy One, and know all things. You are aware, dear friends, that there are very few commentaries upon the Epistles of John. Where we find fifty commentaries upon any book of St. Paul, you will hardly find one upon John.
Why is that? Is the book too difficult? The words are very simple; there is hardly a word of four syllables anywhere in John's Epistles. Ah! but they are so saturated through and through with the spirit of love, which also perfumes this Book of Solomon, that those who are not taught in the school of communion, cry out, "We cannot read it, for it is sealed."
The Song is a golden casket, of which love is the key rather than learning. Those who have not attained unto heights of affection, those who have not been educated by familiar intercourse with Jesus, cannot come near to this mine of treasure, "seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of heaven."
O for the soaring eagle wing of John, and the far-seeing dove's eyes of Solomon; but the most of us are blind and cannot see afar off.
May God be pleased to make us grow in grace, and give us so much of the Holy Spirit, that with feet like hind's feet we may stand upon the high places of Scripture, and this morning have some near and dear intercourse with Christ Jesus.
Excerpt from A Sermon (No. 558) Delivered on Sunday Morning, February 28th, 1864, by the Rev. C. H. SPURGEON, At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington