Графични страници
PDF файл
[ocr errors]

the rest of the world on the other. either, particularly the Gipsies. His
Perhaps the best way for Providence remark is too short, vague and ob-
to preserve the Jews as they have scure to admit of any comment be-
existed since the dispersion would ing made on it. For a full discus-
have been merely to leave them sion of the two questions, I refer
alone-leave them to their impeni- him to the History of the Gipsies,
tence and unbelief, and take that which was published a year before
much care of them that is taken of the first edition of the Reign of Law
ravens; and that would consist appeared; and two years before the
with their relation to Him—that of fifth edition, in which corrections
rebels against the majesty of heaven, were made to meet criticisms on va-
and outcasts from His presence. rious matters treated in it. I may
Before asking how it is that the add, that the subject of the Jews is
Jews exist to-day, it would be well not so well known to the world at
to inquire by what possible process large, as to justify the many positive
they could cease to be Jews; and by assertions that have been made in
what human means they, as a people, regard to them.*
will receive Christ as their Messiah,
and thereby become Christian Jews.

To elucidate the subject of the
It is no wonder that they should be preservation of the Jews, I add a
Jews, as all the circumstances that few extracts from the Disquisition
have kept them distinct from others on the Gipsies.
during past generations continue to The circumstances connected with
keep them apart at the present day. the perpetuation of the Gipsy and Jew-
It is quite sufficient for the Christian ish races greatly resemble each other,
to know that the Jews exist, and Both races are scattered over the face
that they have fulfilled, and will yet he has a strong attachment to it, and

of the earth. The Jew has had a home; fulfil the prophecies that have been looks forward to enter it at some future delivered in regard to them, and day. Make the acquaintance of the that they are a living proof of the Jews, and you will find that each genetruth of Christianity, without hold-ration of them tell their “wonderful ing that any miracle has been story” to the following generation, and wrought for that end. He should be the story is repeated to the following, more considerate in his estimate of and the following. The children of what a miracle is, and not maintain Jews are taught to know that they are

Jews before they can even lisp. Soon that the existence of the Jews is one, do they know that much of the phefor nothing having the decent ap- nomenon of their race, as regards its pearance of an argument can be ad- origin, its history, and its universality, vanced in support of such a theory; to draw the distinction between them and far less should he, like the writer and those around them who are not on the Christian evidences alluded Jews. Soon do they learn how their to, stake, in a spirit of gambling; the race has been despised and persecuted,

and imbibe the love which their parents whole question of revelation on his have for it

, and the resentment of the own dogma, and according to his odium cast upon it by others. It has hypothesis lose it. “ Yea, we estab- been so from the beginning of their lish the law."

history out of Palestine, and even while The Duke says,

The case of there. Were it only religion, considered the Gipsies has been referred to as in itself, that has kept the Jews together somewhat parallel. But the facts of as a people, they might have got lost this case are doubtful and obscure, the Jews there are to be found the

the rest of mankind; for among

among and such of them as we know in- rankest of infidels; even Jewish priests volve conditions altogether dissimilar in kind.” I should not imagine * What follows did not appear in the that he knows personally much of paper sent to the Scottish clergy.


will say that, “it signifies not what a made of Jewish converts to Christianity,
man's religion may be, if he is only sin- we will find that, notwithstanding their
cere in it.' Is it a feeling, or a know- having separated from their brethren,
Tedge, of religion that leads a Jewish on points of creed, they hold themselves
child, almost the moment it can speak, as much Jews as before. But the con-
to say that it is a Jew? It is simply the versions of Jews are,
workings of the phenomena of race that
account for this; the religion peculiar to “Like angels' visits, few and far between.”
Jews having been introduced among
them centuries after their existence as a In the case of individuals forsaking the
people. Being exclusively theirs in its Jewish, and joining the Christian,
very nature, they naturally follow it, as Church, that is, believing in the Messiah
other people do theirs; but although, having come, instead of to come, it is
from the nature of its origin, it presents natural, I may say inevitable, for them
infinitely greater claims upon their in- to hold themselves Jews. They have
telligent belief and obedience, they have feelings which the world cannotrunder-
yielded no greater submission to its stand. But beyond the nationality,
spirit and morals, or even to its forms, physiognomy, and feelings of Jews,
than many other people have done to there are no points of difference, and
their religion, made up, as that has there ought to be no grounds of offence,
been, of the most fabulous superstition, between them and the ordinary inhab-
on the principle, doubtless, that

itants (p. 473).
“ The zealous crowds in ignorance adore, the Gipsies for the religion of the Jews,

Substitute the language and signs of And still, the less they know, they fear and we find that the rearing of the the more.” *

Gipsies is almost identical with that of The Jews being a people before they re- the Jews, and in the same manner do ceived the religion by which they are dis- they hold themselves to be Gipsies. tinguished, it follows that the religion, But the one can be Gipsies, though in itself, occupies a position of secondary ignorant of their language and signs, importance, although the profession of and the other, Jews, though ignorant it acts and reacts upon the people, in of their religion ; the mere sense of keeping them separate from others. tribe and community being sufficient to The most, then, that can be said of the constitute them members of their respecreligion of the Jews is, that, following tive nationalities (p. 475). in the wake of their history as a people, But how different is the position it is only one of the pillars by which the which the Jews occupy towards the rest building is supported. If inquiry is of the world! They are certainly quiet * The following extract from Leaves

and inoffensive enough as individuals, from the Diary of a Jewish Minister, arises the dislike which most people

a community; whence, then, published in the Jewish Messenger, on the 4th April, 1862, may not be uninter- have for them ? The Gipsies may be esting to the Christian reader:

said to be, in a sense, strangers amongst “In our day, the conscience of Israel is seldom troubled ; it is of so elastic a

lishment of the Mosaic law was circumcharacter, that

, like gutta percha [india- cision, which was termed the covenant rubber?], it stretches and is compressed, made by God with Abraham and

his seed according to the desire of its owner. We (Gen. xvii. 10-14). The abolition of idols, seldom hear of a troubled conscience, and the worship of God alone, are pre

· Not that we would assert that sumed, although not expressed. The our people are without a conscience ; we

Jews lapsed into gross idolatry while in merely state that we seldom hear of its Egypt, but were not likely to neglect cirtroubles. It is more than probable, that cumcision, as that was necessary to when the latent feeling is aroused on

maintain a physical uniformity among the matters of religion, and for a moment

race, but did not enter into the wants, they have an idea that 'their soul is not

and hopes, and fears inherent in the huwell,' they take a homeopathic dose of

man breast, and stimulated by the daily spiritual medicine, and then feel quite istence. The second table of the moral

exhibition of the phenomena of its exconvalescent" (p. 503).

law was, of course, written upon the + The only part of the religion of the hearts of the Jews, in common with those Yuws having an origin prior to the estab- 1 of the Gentiles (Rom. ii. 14, 15). (P. 474.)

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors][merged small]

us, because they have never been ac- | religion was divine, and all others the knowledged by us; but the Jews are, inventions of man, as are Christians of to a certain extent, strangers under any theirs. Then it was a religion exclucircumstances, and, more or less, look sively Jewish, that is, the people followto entering Palestine at some day, it ing it were, with rare exceptions, may be this year, or the following. If a exclusively Jews by nation. The illChristian asks, “Who are the Jews, and will which all these circumstances, what do they here?" the reply is very and the very appearance of the peoplain :-“ They are rebels against the ple themselves, have raised against Majesty of Heaven, and outcasts from the Jews, and the persecutions, of variHis presence.” They are certainly ous kinds, which have universally followentitled to every privilege, social and ed, have widened the separation between political, which other citizens enjoy ; them and other people, which the genius they have a perfect right to follow their of their religion made so imperative, and own religion ; but other people have an their feelings of nationality-nay, family equal right to express their opinion in --so exclusive. Before the dispersion, regard to it and them (p. 484).

Palestine was their home ; after the disThe position which Jews occupy persion, the position and circumstances among Christians is that which they of those abroad at the time underwent occupy among people of a different no change; they would merely contemfaith. They become obnoxious to peo- plate their nation in a new aspectple everywhere; for that which is so that of exiles, and consider themselves, foreign in its origin, so exclusive in its for the time being, at home wherever habits and relations, and so conceited they happened to be. Those that were and antagonistic in its creed, will always scattered abroad, by the destruction of be so, go where it may. Besides, they Jerusalem, would, in their persons, conwill not even eat what others have slain; firm the convictions of the others, and and hold other people as impure. The reconcile them to the idea, that the very conservative nature of their creed Jewish nation, as such, was abroad on is, to a certain extent, against them; the face of the earth ; and each generawere it aggressive, like the Christian's, tion of the race would entertain the with a genius to embrace all within its same sentiments. After this, as before fold, it would not stir up, or permanently it, it can scarcely be said that the Jews retain, the same ill-will toward the have ever been tolerated ; if not actually people who profess it ; for being of that persecuted, they have, at least, always nature which retires into the corner of been disliked, or despised. The whole selfish exclusiveness, people will natu- nation having been scattered abroad, rally take a greater objection to them. with everything pertaining to them as a Then, the keen, money-making, and ac- nation, excepting the temple, the highcumulating habits of the Jews make priesthood, and the sacrifices, with such them appear selfish to those around an ancient history, and so unequivocally them; while the greediness and utter divine a religion, so distinct from, and want of principle that characterize some

obnoxious to, those of other nations, it of them have given a bad reputation to is no wonder that they, the common the whole body, however unjustly it is descendants of Abraham and Sarah, applied to them as a race (p. 486).

should have ever since remained a disThe circumstances attending the tinct people in the world; as all the cirJews' entry into any country to-day are

cumstances surrounding them have unisubstantially what they were before the versally remained the same till to-day advent of Christ; centuries before which (p. 487). era, they were scattered, in great num A Jew of to-day has a much greater bers, over most parts of the world; hav- aversion to forsake the Jewish commuing synagogues, and visiting or looking nity than any other man has to reto Jerusalem, as their home, as Catho- nounce his country; and his associalics, in the matter of religion, have tions of nationality are manifested looked to Rome. In going abroad, Jews wherever a Jewish society is to be would as little contemplate forsaking found, or wherever he can meet with their own religion, and worshipping the another Jew. This is the view which gods of the heathen, as do Christians he takes of his race, as something disto-day in Oriental countries; for they tinct from his religion ; for he contemwere as thoroughly persuaded that their plates himself as being of that people

of the same blood, features, and feel- world; whereas, if he studies his own ings, all children of Abraham and Sarah Scriptures, he will see that the condition —that are to be found everywhere; that of his race is the punishment due to its part

of it to which he has an aversion rebellion (p. 490). being only such as apostatize from his The history of the Jews acts as a religion, and more particularly such as spell upon the unfortunate Jew, and embrace the Christian faith. In speak- proves the greatest bar to his conversion ing of Jews, we are too apt to confine to Christianity. He vainly imagines our ideas exclusively to a creed, forget that his race stands out from among all ting that Jews are a race; and that the races of mankind, by a miracle, Christian Jews are Jews as well as wrought for that purpose, and with the Jewish Jews. Were it possible to bring special approbation of God upon it, for about a reformation among the Jews, by adhering to its religion; and that, therewhich synagogues would embrace the fore, Christianity is a delusion (p. 491). Christian faith, we would see Jewish Christians not only flatter but delude Christian churches; the only difference the Jew, when they say that his race is being, that they would believe in him

"purity itself;" they greatly flatter and whom their fathers pierced, and lay delude him, when they say that the pheaside only such of the ceremonies of

nomenon of its existence, since the disMoses as the Gospel had abrogated. persion, is miraculous. There is nothing If a movement of that kind were once miraculous about it. There is nothing fairly afoot, by which was presented to miraculous about the perpetuation of the Jew, his people as a community; Quakerdom; yet Quakerdom has existed however small it might be, there would for two centuries. Although Quakerdom be a great chance of his becoming a is but an artificial thing, that proceeded Christian, in one sense or other : he out from among common English peocould then assume the position of a pro- ple, it has somewhat the appearance of testing Jew, holding the rest of his coun- being a distinct race, among those surtrymen in error; and his own Christian- rounding it. As such, it appears, at first Jewish community as representing his sight, to inexperienced youth, or people race, as it ought to exist. At present, who have never seen, or perhaps heard the few Christian Jews find no others much of Quakers. But how much greater of their race with whom to form asso- is the difference between Jews and Chrisciations as a community; so that, to all tians, than between Quakers and ordiintents and purposes, they feel as if they nary Englishmen, and Americans ! And were a sort of outcasts, despised and how much greater the certainty that hated by those of their own race, and Jews will keep themselves distinct from separated from the other inhabitants by Christians, and all others in the world ! a natural law, over which neither have It must be self-evident to the most unany control, however much they may reflecting person, that the natural causes associate with and respect each other which keep Jews separated from other (p. 488).

people, during one generation, continue The main prop of a Jew for remain- to keep them distinct during every other ing a Jew, in regard to religion, rests generation. A miracle, indeed! We much more upon the wonderful phe- must look into the Old and New Testanomena connected with the history of

ments for miracles. A Jew will natuhis nation—its antiquity, its associations, rally delude himself about the existence its universality, and the length of time of his race since the dispersion being a which it has existed, since its dispersion, miracle ; yet not believe upon a person distinct from the rest of the world, and if he were even to rise from the dead so unique (as he imagines), that he at (p. 493) ! once concludes it must have the special While the history of the Jews, since approbation of God for the position the dispersion, greatly illustrates that of which

occupies ; which is very true, the Gipsies, so does the history of the although it proceeds from a different Gipsies greatly illustrate that of the motive than that which the Jew so Jews. They greatly resemble each vainly imagines. The Jew imagines other. Jews shuffle when they say that that God approves of his conduct, in his the only difference between an Englishstubborn rebellion to the claims of man and an English Jew, is in the matChristianity, because he finds his race ter of creed ; for there is a great differexisting so distinct from the rest of the ence between the two, whatever they

may have in common, as men born and for themselves, as a people, from the reared on the same soil. The very ap- nations among whom they live. The pearance of the two is palpable proof present Disraeli doubtless holds himthat they are not of the same race. self to be a Jew, let his creed or ChrisThe Jew invariably and unavoidably tianity be what it may; if he looks at holds his " nation” to mean the Jewish himself in his mirror, he cannot deny it. people, scattered over the world ; and is We have an instance in the Capadose reared in the idea that he is, not only in family becoming and remaining for creed, but in blood, distinct from other several generations Christians, then remen ; and that, in blood and creed, he turning to the synagogue, and in anois not to amalgamate with them, let ther generation joining the Christian him live where he may. Indeed, what Church. The same vicissitude may atEngland is to an Englishman, this uni- | tend future generations of this family. versally scattered people is to the Jew; There should be no great obstacle in the what the history of England is to an way of it being allowed to pass current Englishman, the Bible is to the Jew; in the world, like any other fact, that a his nation being nowhere in particular, person can be a Jew and at the same but everywhere, while its ultimate des- time a Christian ; as we say that a man tiny he, more or less, believes to be can be an Englishman and a Christian, a. Palestine. Now, an Englishman has McGregor and a Christian, a Gipsy and not only been born an Englishman, but a Christian, or a Jew and a Christian, his mind has been cast in a mould that even should he not know when his anmakes him an Englishman ; so that, to cestors attended the synagogue. Chrispersecute him, on the ground of his tianity was not intended, nor is it capabeing an Englishman, is to persecute ble, to destroy the nationality of Jews, him for that which can never be changed. as individuals, or as a nation, any more It is precisely so with the Jew. His than that of other people (p. 497). creed does not amount to much, for it is

In my associations with Gipsies and only part of the history of his race, or Jews, I find that both races rest upon the law of his nation, traced to, and the same basis, viz: a question of peoemanating from, one God, and Him the ple. The response of the one, as to who true God, as distinguished from the gods he is, is that he is a Gipsy; and of the and lords many of other nations : such other, that he is a Jew. Each of them is the nature of the Jewish theocracy has a peculiarly original soul, that is (p. 496).

perfectly different from each other, and The being a Gipsy, or a Jew, or a

others around them ; a soul that passes Gentile, consists in birth and rearing. as naturally and unavoidably into each The three may be born and brought succeeding generation of the respective up under one general roof, members of races, as does the soul of the English their respective nationalities, yet all

or any other race into each succeeding good Christians. But the Jew, by be- generation. For each considers his nacoming a Christian, necessarily cuts tion as abroad upon the face of the himself off from associations with the earth; which circumstance will prerepresentative part of his nation ; for serve its existence amid all the revoluJews do not tolerate those who forsake tions to which ordinary nations are subthe synagogue, and believe in Christ, as ject. As they now exist within, and the Messiah having come; however independent of, the nations among much they may respect their children, whom they live, so will they endure it who, though born into the Christian these nations were to disappear under Church, and believing in its doctrines, the subjection of other nations, or beyet maintain the inherent affection for come incorporated with them under the associations connected with the new names. Many of the Gipsies and race, and more especially if they also Jews might perish amid such conoccupy distinguished positions in life. vulsions, but those that survived would So intolerant, indeed, are Jews of each constitute the stock of their respective other, in the matter of each choosing nations; while others might migrate his own religion, extending sometimes from other countries, and contribute to to assassination in some countries, and their numbers (p. 499). invariably to the cruellest persecutions In considering the phenomenon of in families, that they are hardly justified the existence of the Jews since the disin asking, and scarcely merit, toleration persion, I am not inclined to place it on

« ПредишнаНапред »