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A SERIES OF WORKS FROM THE SACRED SCRIPTURES PRESENTED
IN MODERN LITERARY FORM
EDITED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
RICHARD G. MOULTON, M.A. (CAMB.), Ph.D. (PENN.)
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.
All rights reserved
Set up and electrotyped January, 1897. Reprinted October, 1897; March, October, 1898.
Norwood Mass. U.S.A.
To him who at this day reads in the Book of the prophet Isaiah the paramount question is still, ‘Understandest thou what thou readest?' The literary instinct is drawn to this wonderful book by a charm which often seems to be flying from us if we press it beyond beauty of expression to clearness of thought. The version of King James's time, so grand in its English sentences, so imperfect in that connectedness thought which lifts language into literature, has lulled too many of us into being content with prophecy as a storehouse of sacred sayings. If, desirous of something more, we go to the commentators whose Hebrew learning makes them our natural advisers, we find them intent upon other things : upon constructing out of Isaiah's writings the history of his times, upon the grand question of authorship – whether there are two or even more Isaiahs. And when in regard to some particular obscurity we seek from them exactly what has been said, no matter by whom nor when, our eagerness is dashed by finding that in the opinion of these eminent authorities