The Ancient Scriptures and the Modern Jew/Chapter 01

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The Ancient Scriptures and the Modern Jew by David Baron
Preface

ONE or two explanations are all that is necessary by way of preface to this work. It will be noticed that it is divided into two parts. The first consists of connected expositions of some of the most striking pro- phetic utterances in the ancient Scriptures. They are in- dependent Bible Studies of very solemn and momentous subjects, but arranged in a continuous and progressive order, showing that the revolving centuries unfold an eternal purpose, and that prophecy was history written in advance, in order, as I said elsewhere, " that in suc- ceeding ages men, by comparing the Divine forecasts in Scripture with the actual condition of things, might learn to know that there is an omniscient God ; one who first makes His counsel known, and then causes all things to work together towards the carrying out, and fulfilment, of that which He declared beforehand, should come to pass."

I have had no controversial end in view in writing these pages, my aim being simply, by the help of God, to show the harmonies of Scripture, and to unfold His wonderful and gracious purposes as revealed in His holy Word. While so engaged my eyes and heart have been continually lifted up to the God of Israel, not only for light and guidance, but that He would condescend to use this inadequate and unworthy effort, as a means of blessing and spiritual profit to His people.

It was my intention, had time permitted, to add four or five other expositions to the first part of the volume, but much pressure of other work, in this country and abroad, has prevented my doing so at present.

In the second part, in which I have embodied material from some of my articles in The Scattered Nation, and from one or two previously published booklets, my aim has been to present from a Christian and Bible stand- point an all-round view of " The Jewish Question " a question which will press itself more and more upon the attention of the nations, and the development of which must be watched with the greatest possible inte- rest by all intelligent observers of the signs of the times, who believe in the words of the Psalmist, that " when the Lord shall rebuild Zion, He shall appear in His glory."

To those who are themselves " watchmen on the walls of Zion," some of the facts in the second part may be already familiar, but I venture in all modesty to quote the following words of Pascal, as applicable to this part of the book : " Let no one say I have said nothing new. The disposition of my matter is new. In playing tennis two men play with the same ball, but one places it better. It might as truly be said that my words have been used before. And if the same thoughts in a diffe- rent arrangement do not form a different discourse, so neither do the same words in a different arrangement form different thoughts."

As will be seen, I have allowed one of the most eloquent of modern Jews himself to state the case of the " general condition " of his nation at the end of the nineteenth century, the remarkable address quoted, being as far as possible, a literal rendering by Mrs. Baron, of that which Dr. Max Nordau delivered at the first Zionist Congress in Basle.

I have also embodied a short article, or rather address, on " The Religious Condition of the Jews from a Christian Point of View," by my esteemed friend and fellow-worker in the " Hebrew Christian Testimony to Israel," the Rev. C. A. Schonberger.

I need only add that to many of my readers I shall not appear altogether a stranger. It is about sixteen years since my first attempt towards the elucidation of parts of the Hebrew Scriptures was published in " Rays of Messiah's Glory," and although there are passages in that book (at present out of print), which require re- writing, and I am even more conscious now than I was at the time of its publication of imperfections in its plan and composition, the Lord has been pleased to put His seal upon that unworthy effort to magnify His Word, and Him who is its very life and substance. Many have been the testimonies, some even from very highly honoured servants of Christ, to light and blessing received through its pages. Since then some of my smaller publications have had a fairly large circulation both in England and America, one of them, "The Jewish Problem ; or, Israel's Present and Future," having been translated into six different languages.

And now I commend this book, the result of spare moments saved in a very busy life of service for Christ among His own nation, to Him who condescends to bless the things that are weak and small, and pray that wherever it goes it may carry a blessing with it, not only to Christians, but to my own brethren and " kins- men according to the flesh," for whom my heart does not cease to yearn, with the yearning of Him who shed tears over Jerusalem, and who died for " that nation," and not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

DAVID BARON.

23, BOSCASTLE ROAD, LONDON, N.W.

November 3rd, 1900.