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RICHARD FREDERICK LITTLEDALE,

• LL.D., D.C.L.

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LONDON:
• JOSEPH MASTERS, ALDERSGATE STREET,

AND NEW BOND STREET.
NEW YORK: POTT AND AMERY.

MDCCCLXIX.

101. g. 328

LONDON : PRINTED BY JOSEPH MASTERS AND SON,

ALDERSGATE STREET,

IN DEAR MEMORY

OF

JOHN MASON NEALE.

PRE FACE.

The Song of Songs, though for many centuries a favourite theme of the most eminent Saints and Christian writers, either by way of direct comment or of illustrative quotation, has fallen, during these latter times, into comparative neglect. It is rarely made the basis of sermons, or even of devotional treatises, and thus, as may be reasonably inferred, does not occupy any prominent place in private study of Holy Scripture.

Two attempts, both most valuable in their way, to reinstate it in its proper position as an element of religious teaching, and as affording ample subject matter for practical meditation, have been recently made. The first is the well-known translation of Avrillon's devout book, L'Année Affective ; the second is the series of Sermons in a Religious House, preached by the late Dr. Neale.

But the plan of each of these works excludes completeness of treatment, and leaves much of the ground still uncovered. Nor do any of the commentaries usually accessible supply the defect. The mystical exegesis, which is of the very essence of any true understanding of perhaps the most difficult book in Scripture,

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