Charles Bridges’ commentary on Ecclesiastes shows that this neglected book of Scripture is:
- Relevant for today. Our land needs to be awakened to the futility of seeking happiness without God.
- Clear when interpreted in the light of its overall theme.
- Suitable not merely for ‘the light-hearted and thoughtless’ but for ‘the most eminent saint of God’.
- Necessary. ‘On no account could we have spared this book from the canon. It has its own sphere of instruction and that of no common value’.
- Harmonious with the New Testament. ‘We cannot fully enforce and apply Ecclesiastes except by the aid of Gospel light’.
- Sanctifying. The message of the book is designed to bring men to complete consecration to God, as Bridges declares: ‘The men that we want are lively, warm, real men- men who have a daily contact with a personal living Saviour- men whose religion is the element in which they breathe, the principle by which they work- men who think of life as the seed time for eternity’.
Charles Bridges (1794-1869) was one of the leaders of the Evangelical party in the Church of England in the nineteenth century. He was the vicar of Old Newton, Suffolk, from 1823 to 1849, and later of Weymouth and Hinton Martell in Dorset. Although The Christian Ministry is Bridges’ best-known literary work, his expositions, which include Ecclesiastes, Psalm 119, and Proverbs, are highly valued.
"The Scriptural method of exposition so well carried out by Bridges renders all his writings very suggestive to ministers. While explaining the passage in hand, he sets other portions of the word in new lights." — C.H. SPURGEON