This little book, whose design is to lead the devout Bible student into the Green Pastures of the Good Shepherd, thence to the Banqueting House of the King, and thence to the service of the Vineyard, is one of the abiding legacies of Mr. Hudson Taylor to the Church. In the power of an evident unction from the Holy One, he has been enabled herein to unfold in simplest language the deep truth of the believer's personal union with the Lord, which under symbol and imagery is the subject of The Song of Songs. And in so doing, he has ministered an unfailing guidance to one of the most commonly neglected and misunderstood of the Sacred Scriptures. For how many have said in bewilderment at the richness of language and profusion of figure which both conceal and reveal its meaning, "How can I understand except some man should guide me?" It is safe to say that these pages cannot fail to help and bless all such.
To those who knew him, Mr. Hudson Taylor's life was in the nature of emphasis upon the value of this small volume. For what he here expounds he also exemplified. If his words indicate the possibility and blessedness of union with Christ, his whole life declared it in actual experience. He lived as one who was "married to Another, even to Him Who is raised from the dead"; and as the outcome of that union he brought forth "fruit unto God." What he was has given a meaning and confirmation to what he has here said, which cannot be exaggerated. It is inevitable that there are those who will read and reject as mystical and unpractical, that which is so directly concerned with the intimacies of fellowship with the unseen Lord. I would, however, venture to remind such that the writer of these pages founded the China Inland Mission! He translated his vision of the Beloved into life-long strenuous service, and so kept it undimmed through all the years of a life which has had hardly a parallel in these our days.
This is really the commendation of the following short chapters. They proclaim an evangel which has been distilled from experience, and form at least a track through this fenced portion of God's Word, which will lead many an one who treads it into the joys of Emmanuel's land.
PORTMAN SQUARE, LONDON W.
June 1, 1914.