Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, by Witness Lee


For us to be the palanquin and the crown of the Lord is indeed wonderful. But we must go on to be the garden. We must grow all the spices which are the attributes of Christ, the sweet aspects of the Lord’s person. The calamus, the cinnamon, the aloes, the myrrh and frankincense, the pomegranate and the henna flower are all different aspects of the Lord’s person and work. In the first part of this book, the Lord Jesus was the henna flower to the seeking one. She said, “My beloved is unto me as a cluster of henna flowers.” But now she grows henna flowers for the Lord. He was the henna flower to her, and now she grows the henna flowers to Him. He was her enjoyment, but now what He is has been wrought into her, and she is growing it back to Him for His enjoyment. This is really wonderful! And whatever grows out of this garden is the material for the building up of the city. The growing is for the building. We are God’s farm to grow the materials for the building up of God’s house. This is why we are both the garden and the city. We must grow all the materials for the building up of the city. So the entire book is on life and building. At the end, the seeker becomes a city. This is the last figure used by the Lord to describe His Bride. The city, New Jerusalem, is called the Bride of the Lamb (Rev. 21:9).


Now we need to go back to see a few points about the improvement, the progress, and the growth of the seeking one. In chapter two she said, “Until the day break, and the shadows flee away.” We know that this really happened. She did have a day break, and it seemed that all of her shadows fled away. She attained to such a place that she became the palanquin and crown to the Lord. But still, in the following chapters, she said the same thing again. “Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense” (4:6). Regardless of how much we appreciate her as the palanquin and the crown, she herself still realized the existence of some darkness, for shadows were still there. In a sense the day had broken, but in another sense it had not broken yet. This is proof that the palanquin and crown are not the consummation of the Christian life. The Christian life must go on to obtain the building. The building is the ultimate issue of all spiritual experiences. However high our experiences are, as long as we have not reached the building, we are still falling short. This is why she still is conscious of some shadows in her life.

What then shall she do? She says that she will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense. The myrrh and the frankincense had transformed her from her natural state into the palanquin and crown of Christ, and she realizes that they will also take her on. This time, however, she needs to enjoy not just a little myrrh, but a mountain of myrrh. It is not a small amount of frankincense, but a hill. This is her realization of how much she has experienced the death and resurrection of Christ. But she realizes she still needs more; she needs even to abide in the death of Christ and in the resurrection of Christ. The death of Christ must be a mountain to her, and the resurrection of Christ must be a hill to her. It is not a small amount, but a mountain and a hill. She realizes that she must go there to stay. This was the way she was wrought into the building. In 3:6, she was perfumed with the myrrh and frankincense, but in 4:6, she is going to a mountain of myrrh and a hill of frankincense. When we compare 3:6 with 4:6, we can see the difference. She has come out of the wilderness by being perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, but she still feels that some shadows have not yet fled away. So she goes to the mountain of myrrh and remains there. She goes to the hill of frankincense and dwells there until the day breaks and all the shadows flee away. By staying at the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense, something of God’s building is thoroughly wrought into her, and she is fully wrought into God’s building. In this way she becomes the garden and then the city.

It is at this stage that the Lord likens her to a garden, and she herself realizes that she is a garden. She invites the Lord Jesus to come to her as to a garden, and He does. “Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits” (4:16.) “I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse” (5:1). The Lord Jesus comes to her as His garden and enjoys all the pleasant fruits. Now she is not only a palanquin for the Lord’s move and a crown for the Lord’s boasting, but also a garden to grow something for the Lord’s satisfaction. All the spices that are grown in the garden are for the Lord’s satisfaction and are the materials for building the city.

(Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)