Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

“ preached the crusades to the nations of Europe,

and a part of its inhabitants left their country to " moisten with their blood the plains of Palestine, " the knell of promiscuous massacre tolled before “ the alarm-bell of war. Millions of Jews were " then murdered to glut the pious rage of the cru" saders. It was by tearing the entrails of their “ brethren that these warriors sought to deserve « the protection of heaven. Skulls of men and s bleeding hearts were offered as holocausts on the " altars of that God who has no pleasure even in “ the blood of the innocent lamb, and ministers of “ peace were thrown into a holy enthusiasm by " these bloody sacrifices. It is thus, that Basil, " Treves, Coblentz, and Cologn, became human “ shambles. It is thus, that upwards of 400,000 « victims of all ages and of both sexes lost their " lives at Cesarea and Alexandria-And is it, after " they have experienced such treatment, that they « are reproached with their vices? Is it, after “ being for eighteen centuries the sport of con« tempt, that they are reproached with being no " longer alive to it? Is it, after having so often

glutted with their blood the thirst of their "persecutors, that they are held out as enemies to “other nations ? Is it, when they have been bereft “ of all means to mollify the hearts of their “ tyrants, that indignation is roused, if now and " then they cast a mournful look towards the ruins of their tempie, towards their country, where

“ formerly

.

cares

“ formerly happiness crowned their peaceful days, * free from the cares of ambition and of “ riches ?

“ Since the light of philosophy began to dawn or over Europe, our enemies have ceased to satisfy “ their revenge with the sacrifice of our lives. Jews are no longer seen, who, generously re“ fusing to bend under the yoke of intolerance, were " led with solemn pomp to the fatal pile. But,

although the times of these barbarous executions are past long ago, although the hearts of “ sovereigns are now strangers to this cruelty, yet “slavery itself and prejudices are still the same. “ By what crimes have we then deserved this fu" rious intolerance? What is our guilt? Is it in " that generous constancy which we have mani* fested in defending the laws of our fathers? But “ this constancy ought to have entitled us to the ad“ miration of all nations, and it has only sharpened “ against us the daggers of persecution. Braving

all kinds of torments, the pangs of death, the " still more terrible pangs of life, we alone have " withstood the impetuous torrent of time, sweep“ing indiscriminately in its course nations. reli“ gions, and countries. What is become of those “ celebrated empires, whose very name still excitęs

our admiration by the ideas of splendid great“ ness attached to them, and whose power em.“ braced the whole surface of the known globe? '" They are only remembered as monuments of the VOL. I.

66 vanity

vanity of human greatness. Rome and Greece

are no more; their descendants, mixed with “ other nations, have lost even the traces of their

origin; while a population of a few millions of “ men, so often subjugated, stands the test of “ thirty revolving centuries, and the fiery ordeal

of fifteen centuries of persecution! We still " preserve laws, which were given to us in the first “ days of the world, in the infancy of nature ! “ The last followers of a religion which had em“ braced the universe have disappeared these “ fifteen centuries, and our temples are still stand“ ing! We alone have been spared by the indis“ criminating hand of time, like a column left “ standing amidst the wreck of worlds and the “ ruins of nature. The history of this people

connects present times with the first ages of the

world, by the testimony which it bears of the “ existence of those early periods: it begins at the “ cradle of mankind, and its remnants are likely “ to be preserved to the very day of universal “ destruction. All men, whatever may be their

opinions and the party which they have adopted,

whether they suppose that the will of God is to “ maintain the people which he has chosen; o whether they consider that constancy which cha“ racterises the Jews as a reprehensible obsti“ nacy; or if, lastly, they believe in a God, who, 6 regarding all religions with equal complacency, “ needs no other wonders to exemplify his great

“ness, ness, but the incessant and magnificent display

of the beauties of nature: all, if their minds are susceptible of appreciating virtue and tried “ firmness, will not refuse their just admiration to " that unshaken constancy unparalleled in the “ annals of any nation *."

How can we satisfactorily account for the wonderful preservation of the dispersed Jews, without admitting, what is so repeatedly inculcated in prophecy, that their concerns are under a Special superintendance of God's providence t? And for what purpose can we suppose them to be thus preserved distinct among the nations, except for that which is no less repeatedly declared in prophecy, their restoration and conversion ? Assuredly the time will arrive, when they shall be gathered out of all the countries of their dispersion, and brought to the saving knowledge of the Gospel; when Jews and Gentiles shall jointly form only one flock; and when the hallowed name of Jesus the

* Ar appeal to the justice of kings and nations, cited in Transactions of the Parisian Sanhedrim, p. 64.

+ The Jews themselves seem to be conscious of this truth. One of them observes, that his nation, “ scattered by the “ storm of adversity over the face of the habitable globe, “ always unfortunate, always persecuted, always faithfully “ adhering to the religion of its ancestors in spite of tortures " and of sufferings, affords, to this very day, a striking phe“ nomenon incomprehensible to human reason.” Transacs tions of the Parisian Sanhedriin, p. 165.

H

· Messiah Messiah shall be great even to the very ends of the earth.

[ocr errors][merged small]

The millennian glory of Jerusalem-The rebuking

of Antichrist.

Isaiah ii. 1. The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2. And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shalt be exalted above the hills: and all nations shall flow unto it. 3. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths : for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people *. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks:

* And he shull judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people.] “ Both by the power of his word, 'which is 66 compared to a two-edged sword in Scripture; and by the « remarkable judgments which he will exercise upon those 66 who are incorrigible. See Luke xix. 27. Rev. xix. 15. " Psalm cx. 6.” Mr. Lowth's Comment in loc.

nation

« AnteriorContinuar »