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by Henry Allen Ironside
Prefatory Note for Ezra
That the book of Ezra contains much-needed truth for the present time is my firm belief. A re-affirmation of early principles is necessary on account of the attempt on the part of many to set aside “that which is written” as to the gathering and fellowship of children of God in separation from evil; and this, because of break-downs on the part of some who sought, through grace, to take a scriptural position years ago. Corporate failure has been supposed (in some way incomprehensible to one who would be guided alone by the word of God) to sanction individual turning from the path of the truth, and thus excuse and palliate what the late W. Kelly very appropriately called “nothingarianism in Church relations.”
No amount of failure alters divine truth. We to-day are as responsible as our fathers were to go back to “that which is written” and act in faith upon it.
It is true difficulties and perplexities abound as might be expected, because of the near close of the dispensation. But “God and the word of His grace” are still all-sufficient for every peril or disaster. A careful study of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah would, I feel certain, preserve from a gloomy pessimism as to the carrying out of the truth of gathering to the Name of the Lord and furnish many needed warnings against the abounding snares of the last times.
This little book has been written far away from the opportunities of consulting the writings of others, while laboring in the gospel among the Pueblo Indians. Here in the wilderness the same blessed work is going on among our red-skinned fellow - believers, of making Christ the one only Centre. The principles put before them, and blessed to the souls of many, are, in this brief exposition, presented for the consideration afresh of those older in the truth.
I should add that while, as noted above, unable now to consult the works of others, I have in times past read several expositions of Ezra with profit, and, no doubt, much suggested in their writings now appears in this work. “We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.” That what is of God may prevail, is my earnest desire; and to forward this, is my only object in sending out these unpretentious pages, which are now committed to the care of “the Spirit of truth” in the worthy name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
H. A. Ironside
Casa Blanca, New Mexico
the Sixth Week after Easter