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munity. Throughout the whole of the vicissitudes which they underwent, scattered or united, persecuted or caressed, plundered or aggrandized by the government under which they lived, the Jews are shown to exhibit a wonderful constancy, under all the circumstances, not merely to their religion, but to those habits and feelings which characterize the Jewish race in their intercourse with mankind. From that period our author considers the Hebrew community to be a modern class, as contradistinguished from their forefathers who Aourished in ancient history, and finished a most remarkable career, by a vain struggle to perpetuate their political existence in Judea. The subsequent annals of the Jews have been well divided by this writer into three heads. We shall give the arrangement in his own words, merely calling the reader's attention to the candid and pathetic tribute which he pays to some of the best features of the Jewish character.
'The history of the modern Jews may be comprehended under three beads : Ist, Their literature, which, in fact, is nearly the same with that of their law and their religion, the great mass of their writings being entirely devoted to those subjects ; 2. Their persecutions : 3. Their industry. With regard to the first point, it would not be consistent with the popular character of our work to enter into it, further than as it has influenced the character and circumstances of the nation. The second will be too often forced upon our notice : at one period the history of the Jews is written, as it were, in their blood : they show no signs of life but in their cries of agony; they only appear in the annals of the world to be oppressed, robbed, persecuted, and massacred. Yet still patient and indefatigable, they pursue, under every disadvantage, the steady course of industry. Wherever they have been allowed to dwell unmolested, or still more in honour and respect, they have added largely to the stock of national wealth, cultivation, and comfort. Where, as has been more usually the case, they have been barely tolerated, where they have been considered, in public estimation, the basest of the base, the very outcasts and refuse of mankind ; they have gone on accumulating those treasures, which they dared not betray or enjoy; in the most barbarous periods they kept up the only traffic and communication which subsisted between distant countries ; like hardy and adventurous miners, they were always at work under the surface of society, slowly winning their way to opulence. Perpetually plundered, yet always
wealthy; massacred by thousands, yet springing up again from their un| dying stock, the Jews appear at all times and in all regions; their per| petuity, their national immortality, is at once the most curious problem to 1 the political inquirer; to the religious man a subject of profound and awful
admiration.'--pp. 92, 93. B; The attempts at a renewal of their former organized condition,
on the part of the Jewish people, together with their various treatament by the Roinan emperors, and their dispersion over every
country almost in the then known world, form the topics of one of in the most interesting parts of this narrative. Their separate hisAll tory is then traced, with extraordinary erudition, in every clime
Where they had, in any numbers, fixed their abode, and their
connech longer pop
appoicarth; "ation anah religichat the will of laced." put fort
crimes and virtues--their sufferings and prosperity, are related with the most remarkable impartiality. Indeed, of no one of the higa qualifications that are essential to the historian, has this writer proved himself more unequivocally in possession, than of a spirit of equal justice-a perfectly judicial indifference to creeds or countries, which teaches him to award commendation or reproach in a way that must obtain the concarrence of every honourable and intelligent mind. We are too well aware of the popularity which such a work must arrive at, to dwell much longer on its contents.
There are some points, however, connected with this history, on which we may be permitted to offer a few remarks. We think it a material error in the general plan of the work, that the great religious moral, which as Christians we are instructed to look for in the remarkable history of the Jews, has not been put forth into that prominence in which it deserves to be placed. Because if it was the declared or the intimated will of God, that the sceptre should depart from Judah-that the body politic into which every professor of the Jewish religion was enrolled, should be shivered to its foundation and the fragments carried to the four corners of the earth; then not ouly does the process by which the Divine appointment was executed become interesting, but the fulfilment of it ought to be made a specific object of repeated observation. We cannot applaud the delicacy that would be disposed to cancel, for a single moment, one of the most striking clauses of the Christian charter. From this we pass to a portion of the preface to the third volume of this work, in which the author notices a complaint against the earlier part of his history.
It has been suggested, that the Author has not sufficiently regarded the “inspiration” of the word of God. His views of inspiration are nearly those of Tillotson, Secker, and Warburton," " A spurious notion," says the latter, “ begotten by superstition in the Jewish Church, and nursed up by piety in the Christian, hath passed, as it were, into a kind of article of faith, that every word and letter of the New Testament (the Bible) was dictated by the Holy Spirit in such a manner, as that the writers were but the passive organs, through which his language was conveyed." Warburton proceeds, with his usual vigour, to show the objections to this opinion; but the Author prefers subjoining the lucid statement of the present eminently learned Bishop of London. “ This supposition permits us to believe, what indeed we cannot deny to be probable, that Moses may have possessed many sources of information, from which he would be enabled to draw the most material circumstances of the early history of mankind, without being indebted for his knowledge of them to the immediate inspiration of God. Thus much we may conclude with certainty, that where he did possess the means of accurate knowledge, the Holy Spirit would not interpose to instruct him; since God, assuredly, never makes an extraordinary exertion of his power to effect that which may be brought about by the ordinary operation of human means ... And in general we ought to be cautious of asserting a revelation, when the lower kind of spiritual interference, (i, e. the Superintendence of the Holy Spirit)
acting upon the materials of human knowledge, would be sufficient to produce the same result.” A late writer, of great good sense and piety, seems to think, that inspiration may safely be limited to doctrinal points, exclusive of those which are purely historical. This view, if correct, would obviate many difficulties.'-pp. V.-vii.
We are not to be led away by the authority of great names, and it is only exercising our undoubted privilege to examine doctrines, however speciously recommended, before we close with them. If we understand the Reverend Bishop aright, he means to say that Moses may have had access to means independent of supernatural ones, for collecting the facts of his history. Perhaps he had, and therefore it would have been unnecessary for God to exercise that extraordinary interference which he never exercises without a sufficient motive. We agree to all this—but how far will this theory answer? It will answer no farther than as Moses must have possessed accurate knowledge. That is to say, God will not interfere as long as Moses records the truth. But can we imagine for an instant, that if Moses be deceived, and is about to convey falsehood to the world, then the case does not arise for the divine interposition to take place ? Certainly it does, and nothing can be more preposterous than that the heavenly legate chosen by God to be the organ of his doctrines to mankind, should be allowed to mix up with those doctrines, unfounded and fallacious relations. The argument then of the Bishop of London comes to this. As long as Moses states the truth from his ordinary sources of intelligence, then the Holy Spirit forbears to interpose; but assuredly the prevention of false statements, and the communication of the truth, (when all human means of discovering it, are out of the question,) constitute the very nodus which in such circumstances claims the Divine interference! Supposing this view to be correct, we then ask, what is the difference, in effect, between that book which is the fruit of God's immediate inspiration, and that which is sent forth under his direct sanction? We can see none, and, to say the truth, we discover in this modern inclination to draw a distinction between the doctrinal and the historical matter of the Old Testament, much more of an amiable complacency, than we do of an honest and useful prudence.
We have been very much struck with the manner in which the failure of the Jewish body, under the sanguine encouragement of Julian, to effect the re-edification of their temple, is treated by our author.
With Lardner he discredits the general opinion of the Christian world, that the fiery explosion which suspended the operations of the workmen, was miraculous. He proceeds to explain the eruption, by stating that deep and extensive excavations lay under the floor of the former temple; that they had been enclosed for a long period, by the rubbish that must have accumulated in its neglected precincts; and that within those subterranean apartments
a description of air was generated, which upon its sudden liberation by the workmen, and its contact with the atmosphere, produced that phenomenon, to which even pagan historians of the time bear witness. Suppose we admit our author's theory to be philosophically correct. We will grant him, that the explosion was an exclusively natural operation, and we doubt not, but that Sir H. Davy, if he were living, would be able exactly to estimate the proportion of the various gases, by whose agitation all Jerusalem was so affrighted. What then? Does not our author know right well, that God has often produced a preternatural end by natural means? Why he himself, in the very preface to which we have just alluded, describes two kinds of miracles, 'first, where natural means operate in a preternatural manner; secondly, w bere the whole is preternatural.' But we go farther, and we assert that regard being had to the state of knowledge of those days, and the entire ignorance of the principles of Chemistry which marked them, that eruption of fire which we now know to have been produced by a natural operation, was to the world at the period we speak of, an event contrary to all its experience, a complete violation of the order of nature, and therefore a miracle. If the artificers at the temple had been struck down by lightning from the heavens, instead of by fire from the earth, how would it diminish the miraculous character of such a visitation, to prove that all the changes preliminary to a thunder storm had been previously observed in the atmosphere.--One thing at all events is certainthat the eruption was received as a supernatural token at the time; that it operated as an intimation from above; and that it effectually checked that passionate ambition, which had been a part of the religion of every Jew, to co-operate in the rebuilding of the temple.
But our historian, in justification of his incredulity, assumes, that a miracle in such a case, does not appear necessary for its end, because he says the discomfiture of the Jews was completed, and the resumption of their labours was for ever broken off by the death of Julian. With humble deference we beg to differ from the writer. To be sure, the Imperial patron of the Jews was prematurely cut off, and the event was followed by the accession to the throne, of Jovian, who, as a Christian, could have entertained no great partiality for the Hebrews. The Jews in fact were utterly discomfited, and were in a hopeless state on the death of Julian. But it must be remembered, that this forlorn condition was brought about by easy and natural gradations, not at all calculated to excite observation, as being peculiar to their race. The same disasters might have occurred to any other community, without their being regarded as the tokens of a particular ordination of God to their prejudice. The Jews then, under such circumstances, would be looked upon by the world, merely as a race of men undergoing in their turn the adverse vicissitudes of life. The accession of Jovian
to the Imperial throne, could not be considered a greater injury to the Jewish cause, than that of Julian had been to the Christian; and so far it must be confessed the object of Divine preferenceJew or Christian—was equivocal.
When we consider, then, that the tokens of Divine partiality to either of the communities were thus, to say the least, balanced equally; and moreover, when we remember how subsequent Empefors were favourably inclined towards the Jewish race, we have no hesitation in saying that some striking exemplification of God's determination with respect to the Jews was necessary. There never was a moment in Jewish history more favourable for the enterprise of rebuilding the temple, than that in which it was undertaken. The Emperor was on the throne, who from the reputation of his talents, philosophy and courage, inspired fear or commanded confidence. Julian was young, and therefore promised to maintain a lengthened tenure of the sceptre; he was an apostate from the Christian faith, and therefore its deadliest foe; he had at his back the pagan world, which of course felt complimented at the choice which he had made of their religion; and the Jews would have stood by him, not merely on account of the toleration, or rather encouragement, which he afforded them; but because by his revolt from the standard of Christ, he had, as they thought, left an opprobriune upon the Christian cause. Authority, power, numbers, inexhaustible treasures,-these were combined in one mighty etfort, the practical execution of which would have belied the production of our Saviour. Julian issued his decree for the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem, and who can forget the almost frantic prodigality with which the Jews answered the injunction ? Were there not silver shovels to dig up the rubbish, and tissues of gold to remove it, supplied by the enthusiastic He. brews? Were not the tenderest hands employed in the lower offices, was not the zeal of the humble outdone by the wealthy in personal services, when the time came for commencing the work of reparation ? The Christians at this time remembered the words—"not a stone of that Temple shall remain on another.”— Did they interfere? They remained quiescent. Human resistance would have been unseasonable against the operations of the Jews, because, though they might prevent the work from going on, still the immediate intention of providence would have been ambiguous. But that all that power, all that authority, all that determination and fanatic zeal which we have described, should have been paralized, not by opposing hands, or by human menaces, but by a gush of ignited air from an ignoble cavern beneath the works, and paralized for ever-seems to us in all its circumstances to be a phenomenon which demands from Christians of the present day, far other feelings than those which would dispose them to a cold and shallow criticism of its source.
We had iotended to shew that the modern history of the Jews in England, -we mean particularly that part of it which relates to
and tistion ? w prodigalin at Jepulian iss: