I’m frantically trying to finish off an essay on James Durham and the Song of Solomon for the Confessional Presbyterian Journal (nine thousand words down – a few more to go). One of the objections he considers to reading the Song through the lens of “Christ and the church” is that it would have been impossible for an OT believer to read the Song like that as, well, Christ had not come yet. Here is my understanding of what Durham has to say on the matter:
The second objection Durham raises is that some might argue reading the Song as an allegory of Christ’s love to his church is to “make this Song look more like the gospel of the New Testament, than a song of the old.” His answer to this objection is forthright and depends heavily on the underlying unity of the covenant of grace. He states that Old Testament believers had “the same gospel” as New Testament believers and that “their faith and communion with God stood not in outward ceremonies, which were typical; but in the exercise of inward graces, faith, love, &c. which are the same now as then.” He goes on to argue that Christ was the “same” to believers in the Old Testament and in the New. They had “the same [S]pirit, covenant, &c. and so the same cases and experiences … [as] are also applicable to us now.” The fact that Christ had not yet come in the flesh did not mean that Old Testament believers had “another gospel, covenant, faith, yea, nor church; we being grafted in that same stock which they once grew upon, being by faith heirs of the same promises, which some time they possessed.”
Anyway – back to writing the essay!