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immense economy of time and labour. To this storehouse of Scriptural information let the youth of our community also repair, and it cannot fail to afford them ample materials for their perfect conviction of the truth and purity of our holy faith, and weapons of defence against the obtrusive efforts of the 'overzealous proselyte-seeker, and the insidious attacks of the hireling missionary.
Such are the claims and merits, the purport and intent, of FAITH STRENGTHENED; but great and invaluable as those claims and merits are in the maintenance and elucidation of our Holy Faith, its worth and usefulness are but little known and imperfectly understood beyond the pale of the theological scholar, the work having been written in the Hebrew language. Actuated, therefore, with a wish to make its invaluable knowledge universally accessible to his Jewish brethren, the Translator has used his best endeavours to render it into the vernacular language of the country, in order that it inay no longer be a sealed book, but may freely circulate among all grades and classes of the Jewish community, both in the mother country and in the colonies, and become, in the domestic circle and the private closet, a handbook, and a text authority of the principles and doctrines of our Holy Religion.
It may here be desirable to remark, that as the style of the Author was rather diffuse, and his language quaint and inharmonious, the Translator has adopted à more condensed and a more congenial phraseology. He has also omitted the superfluous repetition of the same arguments and quotations with which the . original work was needlessly overlaid; as also certain epithets and harsh expressions, in which the Author, in despite of the moderation he professed, occasionally indulged ; but which doubtless are referrible to the persecuting spirit of the times in which he lived. To those who are acquainted with the metaphorical style of the East, and the unadorned simplicity of European phraseology, it is unnecessary to state the difficulties attending the translation of a work like this, so as to adapt it to the taste of educated Englishmen, The difficulty of the task was further enhanced by the daily impediments to which the infirmities incident to old age cast in the way of an Octogenarian. That task, however, has been sweetened by the comfort and serenity of mind which accompany purely spiritual and religious undertakings, and has cheered on its aspirant, with the hope that his toilsome, but gratifying, undertaking, will not only tend to raise and excite a spirit of religious inquiry among all classes of the Jewish community, particularly the young and the
inexperienced, but will impart new vigour, and bring new honour on the name and profession of the Israelite.
That FAITH STRENGTHENED may realize the exalted aim of its author, must be the ardent wish of every sincere admirer of, and faithful adherent to, the sound and pure principles of that Revelation the Almighty vouchsafed to bestow on his chosen people.
ABSTRACT FROM THE AUTHOR'S PREFACE.
My religious zeal was aroused, on finding that the name of the Supreme Being was dishonoured, and our Holy Law profaned, by the very people who had been appointed to be the guardians of faith and the witnesses of those grand truths which make the simple man wise, the sorrowing heart glad, and the dim eyes bright. To my grief, I found that the inquisitive and indefatigable study of religion, which yields due reward to its zealous followers, was not cultivated among us as in former days, and am persuaded that ignorance and growing misapprehensions have added mental to physical burdens. Persecutions arising from religious hatred were heaped upon the children of my faith in all quarters of the globe, and were ever increasing in acrimony, not less in consequence of the low state of knowledge possessed by the Jews in matters of theological controversy than by the confused and mistaken notions which Christians had formed of Judaism. But it is absolutely imperative on man to be at all times prepared to repel any attack made on his belief. In conformity with this observation, our sages have recorded their opinion in the following
axiom :—“Man ought assiduously to study his own faith, and be competent to give a proper reply to his antagonists,” more particularly when we consider that, in the majority of cases, the opposition to our doctrines rests on the misinterpretation of those Scriptures of which we alone are the legitimate heirs and expounders.
Influenced by the foregoing reflections, I have undertaken this humble work, which, in its narrow compass, embraces a subject of the utmost importance. It is intended to afford a stronghold to the sincere believer in the Sinaic revelations who may be incapable of defending himself, and whose opinions may be exposed to the persevering attacks of his assailant. I refer my co-religionist so situated, to an attentive perusal of the “FAITH STRENGTHENED,” wherein he will find an ample supply of arguments and proofs in favour and support of our venerable creed. In former years, when I investigated the works of several Christian divines, and had frequent disputations with other literary Christians, I made a point to reason in a mild and dispassionate manner. Indeed, I placed my reliance on the soundness of my position, by preserving a constant evenness of temper. Thus I rendered the discussions advantageous to myself and more acceptable to my opponents. Seeing that our Holy Scriptures contain immutable truths, revealed to us for the benefit of the whole human race, I have presented in this work such biblical passages as serve to illustrate the genuineness of Judaism, and also such as require elucidation, in order