conscious, and tending to self-righteousness. Ecclesiastes shows us how we ought not to feel. To go about crying Vanitas! is to miss the lesson it was meant to teach, namely, that the Old Covenant was vanity ? proved to be vanity by allowing a son of the Covenant to get into so despairing a mood.? Chadwick says that Ecclesiastes got into the Canon only after it had received an orthodox postscript.
Pfleiderer, Philos. Religion, 1:193 ? ?Slavish fear and self-righteous reckoning with God are the unlovely features of this Jewish religion of law to which the ethical idealism of the prophets had degenerated, and these traits strike us most visibly in Pharsiaism? It was this side of the Old Testament religion, to which Christianity took a critical and destroying attitude, while it revealed a new and higher knowledge of God. For, says Paul, ?ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption? ( <450815>Romans 8:15). In unity with God man does not lose his soul but preserves it. God not only commands but gives.? Ian Maclaren (John Watson), Cure of Souls, 144 ? ?When the book of Ecclesiastes is referred to the days of the third century BC, then its note is caught, and any man who has been wronged and embittered by political tyranny and social corruption has his bitter cry included in the book of God.?
(c) Such testimony can be adduced in favor of the value of each one of the books to which exception is taken, such as Esther, Job, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Jonah, James, Revelation.
Esther is the book, next to the Pentateuch, held in highest reverence by the Jews. ?Job was the discoverer of infinity, and the first to see the bearing of infinity on righteousness. It was the return of religion to nature. Job heard the voice beyond the Sinai-voice? (Shadow-Cross, 89). Inge, Christian Mysticism, 43 ? ?As to the Song of Solomon, its influence upon Christian Mysticism has been simply deplorable. A graceful romance in honor of true love has been distorted into a precedent and sanction for giving way to hysterical emotions in which sexual imagery has been freely used to symbolize the relation between the soul and its Lord.? Chadwick says that the Song of Solomon got into the Canon only after it had received an allegorical interpretation. Gladden, Seven Puzzling Bible Books, 165, thinks it impossible that ?the addition of one more inmate to the harem of that royal rake, King Solomon, should have been made the type of the spiritual affection between Christ and his church. Instead of this, the book is a glorification of pure love. The Shulamite, transported to the court of Solomon, remains faithful to her shepherd lover, and is restored to him.?
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