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בס"ד

Remarks On The State Of The Jews.

By A Christian Lady.

(Continued from issue #8)

We again repeat that we do not share all the sentiments of our esteemed correspondent; but she inveighs against the unjust prejudice existing against Jews; and what more consistent organ could she have for bringing these her sentiments before the world than a work devoted to Jewish interests? But, again we say, if any of our readers do not like the sentiments expressed, or the views advanced, we shall be ready to give them an opportunity of replying. We will merely remark in this connexion, that in admitting correspondents to speak to our readers, it is impossible for us to have them always uttering our sentiments. More anon, if we find it requisite.—Ed. Oc.

We are very tolerant towards Deists, and treat with respect such of the Turks, Chinese, and Indians as may come amongst us; yet they have no knowledge of the Saviour, and if they had, they would reject him. If they did not partake of or connive at the crime of shedding his innocent blood, they have at least sacrificed many a follower of Christ.

"Impute it not as an indelible crime," said a Jew, "that a few misguided men put an innocent man to death. If you examine our laws, you will perceive that it was religiously enjoined on us to punish transgressors with death, even when their crime was of a less heinous nature than that which our people imputed to Jesus. The Lord whom we worship considered it as a sufficient atonement if Aaron laid both his hands upon a live goat, and confessed our sins upon him. This goat, called by us the scape goat, was driven out into the wilderness with the sins of the whole nation upon his head. We are confident that our God did not make any amendment to the laws which he enacted for our guidance: He foresaw all that was necessary to our well-being, and there was no necessity for an alteration. He expressly says 'My laws shall never change.'

"Could we believe that when a goat was thought all-sufficient, even a living goat, that God should afterwards require the blood of his only son* to perform the same office of atonement? The Jews could not believe it. God commanded us, likewise, to beware of worshipping any other god than himself, the Great Eternal. When we were told that a man was amongst us who claimed to be equal to God, and styled himself the King of the Jews, as God had styled himself, we were bound to slay him. We thought we were acting agreeably to God's word when we put Jesus to death for impiety and blasphemy. If we were wrong, blame the severity of our laws, and not us; murder not so many of our nation for that one murder, if you will call it a murder; and above all things, remember that the very Christ you worship strictly enjoins it upon you to forgive your enemies, and not to return evil for evil. You treat us with great severity, because we cannot embrace your faith; and yet see how many of your sect, professing Christians, as they call themselves, no more obey the injunctions of Jesus Christ than if they had never heard his name. The Jews are not so blinded by ignorance as not to see, that with the mass of Christians their religion is a mere pretence."

* Admitting even, what Jews deny, that such a being could exist by any possibility. We reject the idea of God's parting with any part of himself to constitute a personage to whom the name of his son could with any propriety be applied. We do not recognize any division in the Godhead.—Ed. Oc.

It is stated by the disciples themselves, that the Jews considered it as blasphemy for anyone to represent the Almighty, and assume all the attributes of God. Even amongst those Jews who did acknowledge Christ to be the true God and Redeemer, there were many who could not comprehend the mystery. Some of the disciples themselves doubted, closely as they observed their master's life and conversation. As the Jew observed above, why must all the Jews come under the odium and punishment for not believing, when Christians themselves doubted? At any rate, the whole body of Israelites should not suffer for the crime of the few.

There can be no doubt that the persecutions of the Jews by the Christians, arose from the belief that it was acceptable in the eyes of God and Christ. We have every reason to believe that those inexorable Christians—defenders the faith—were sincere when they slaughtered their fellow-beings in the name of the Saviour. Look at the Crusaders! They made the name of the mild and peaceful Jesus the watchword for the most barbarous deeds! The most bloody wars were in his name; he who, when on earth, preached forbearance and forgiveness.

But let not the Jews remember this with bitterness; nor, as of old, with a smothered desire of vengeance; for, if they look into our history, they will find that when there were no more Jews to persecute, the Christians fell upon one another. When the Catholics arose in their strength, they slaughtered the Protestants; and pursued them with as much rigour and cruelty as they ever did the Jews; and when the Protestants were again in power, they retaliated: all in the name of that blessed one who had the tenderness of an infant for the whole human race.

With the exception of the Rabbins, and a few learned doctors and scribes, the Jews, in the time of our Saviour, were grossly ignorant and superstitious. The religious dogmas and the laws were expounded by the Rabbins and doctors, and a due observance of these religious and civil laws was rigorously enjoined, and enforced. The common people had little practical wisdom, and less knowledge; and, unlike their brethren of the present day, were as excitable and as easily acted upon as the Irish are of our own times. The voice of tumult spread like wildfire, and many of them, like the common soldiers of our modern armies, entered into an affray or fought in battle, without knowing the real grounds of the quarrel for which they were to sacrifice their lives.

But, ignorant as they were, they never lost sight of the prophecies in their favour: it was the cloud by day and the fire by night throughout all their misfortunes. The word of God was immutable; His promises never failed; He could not change; and it was He who comforted them with an assurance that they should ultimately return to Palestine, and rebuild their temple, which was never again to be destroyed. Relying on this promise, they journeyed on through miseries unparalleled, without sympathy from Christian or infidel, but with that secret hope of restoration which never left them, and which the greater part still cling to as the imperishable word of their God.

Surely the hand of God has led this people to and fro in all their wanderings, and has sustained them through all their troubles and severe trials: otherwise there would not be a man left to tell their story.