An Exposition of the Book of Ecclesiastes

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But to come more closely to the difficulties connect ed with this Book — Besides the objections brought against its principles, the peculiar construction of some of its maxims occasionally gives rise to perplexity. Mr. Holden adverts to the mistake of taking in their utmost extent expressions designed to convey a qualified and limited signification.' He wisely re marks General propositions are not always to be received in the strictest sense of the words. And particular observations must not be stretched beyond the intention of the writer. This results from the in herent imperfection of language, that his expressions ought to be interpreted with such restrictions, as are necessarily required by common sense, and the scope of the context. If several expressions in the Ecclesiastes, which have been condemned, be understood in this qualified sense — a sense clearly suggested by truth and reason — they will be found in every respect worthy of the inspired Author, from whom they proceed. But with all its difficulties, we must admit the book to be fraught with practical interest. It teaches les sons peculiarly its own — lessons, which we are too slow to learn; and yet. Which we must thoroughly learn for our own personal profit and happiness.

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