« AnteriorContinuar »
conscience ;--and, as other men, when our peculiar religious tenets, and our character, as a people, are attacked, we have the right of defence, and the guardianship of the laws, in common with them.
But we are told by our opponents, that“ they, above all, have a right to demand that we should never forget the respect which we owe to that great body of men who are firm believers in ......ianity ; who have adopted it after the most deliberate and satisfactory investigation." This language has heretofore been held in a religious controversy among themselves, * and wherein Jews had no concern ; and therefore, as we may expect that this, or a similar mode of reasoning will still be used against us, I will concisely consider the weight we ought to attach to it. When all enjoy equal rights, no party can demand a right ABOVE ALL ; it would then be an exclusive right, derogating from the equal right of all; and although I can have no objeetion to concede the right demanded, I cannot concede it otherwise than a general right. Each party ought to be treated with respect, as well in regard to the subject discussed, as to the persons discussing it. The party departing from this course, ought to be apprised of it; but then his departure cannot derogate from the subject discussed, which should not, in any case, lose its right of being respectfully treated of ; nor will it warrant or excuse the o: ber party in assuming a like departure. The right of respect belongs to every party, whether consisting of a great body of men, or a smaller number. Numbers may indeed constitute power, but not right :-neither can we make any exclusive concession on account of the “ deliberate and satisfactory investigation ;" for in such a situation stands each and every party, and it is derogating from the respect due the opponents, to presume otherwise.
In questions of great interest and moment, wherein the parties differ so widely, plainness of speech is required, and indeed cannot be avoided. And as truth, and truth only, we are bound to presume, is the object of both parties, plain languge should not occasion any soreness of feeling, but be charitably borne with by each. This soreness is the more to be guarded against, both because the plain language which occasions it, dare not be avoided, lest truth, the only legitimate end of controversy, should fail of being discovered by the neglect; and because it is the invariable resort of the unyielding convinced party.
And if any should blame an undertaking of this nature, either as a departure from the usual caution of our wisest men and rabbies, or because of the danger of the undertaking to our nation from ......ianswould ask of those to consider, that men as wise as any of our cautious rabbies have thought otherwise, and have victoriously defended Judaism
Carey r. English
against ......ians :-as the martyr Isaac Orobio, whose crown of martyrdom proves his victory. Rabbi Isaac, the son of Abraham ; Rabbi Lipman; David Levy, and Mr. Nicklesburger ; of these five worthies, but one met danger, and that was personal only; two wrote in Hebrew, and the two last in English, in England, without damage or danger either to themselves or our community. It is paying a poor compliment to Americans, to suppose them less enlightened than Englishmen :--to such I would say, “ The long agony is past!” caution is now fear, and instead of being a virtue, is in truth a weakness. In the present enlightened age, not to defend Judaism, would be considered a tacit acknowledgment that it was indefensible, or at least that we thought so. Not to defend our character as a people, as Jews, by repelling detraction, would be a deriliction of duty, and might be considered as a proof, either that we had not a character worth defending, or that we despised the good opinion of our fellow citizens, and of the world, and it is a vain expectation to presume that a concession not demanded will be granted : long'established habits of uttering a hard and opprobrious language, when speaking of Jews, is considered as a warrantee of its fitness. We have long borne the grief, and carried the sorrowful load, insomuch that now our opponents, instead of charging themselves with speaking oppression, think they are justified, and pronounce us stricken, smitten, and afflicted of God :--and this is not confined to any particular sect, but is the erroneous, prejudiced usage of all Gentiles. Trinitarians, Unitarians, Deists, and even Materialists.It is unpleasant to rehearse the unwarrantable language used; and we consider it the only unpleasant duty we have to perform ; still calumnies must be repelled.
The American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews, began its career under the name of the American Society for Evangelizing the Jews, and only changed the word evangelizing to meliorating, in order to obtain a charter. This purpose answered, it can only be considered as a society instituted to evangelize Jews, that is, to convert them to ...... ianity; for, as regards meliorating, nothing further can be done than to allow them equal rights when they become citizens, and which the law provides for, and the constitution guarantees ; and we will not begin with a supposition that the intention is to insult Jews, by intimating that their condition is so bad as to want a temporal melioration. * Now, supposing the object of converting Jews to ......vanity to be legitimate the only proper method must be to convince them of its truth; this done, they will be truly converted ; and as it is not very likely Jews can be convinced of the truth of ......ianity till their objections against it are answered to their satisfaction, and since it is believed ... ...ians, or rather the American Society, are not acquainted with their objections, it is the purpose of this work to state them :Who knoweth but good may be derived to one or other of the parties, or to both.
* Are gentlemen aware that in all parts of the world Jews provide for the relief of their own poor? that there are, in most cities, societies for that particular purpose ? and that such are in this city? Their poor are not indeed enriched, neither are they suffered to want.
But hard, oppressive, and offensive language against Jews must be avoided, or rather entirely expunged, or the object is defeated. Neither persecution or detraction ever yet made a single convert. Men will not listen to arguments, when, with the same breath, they are charged with follies they despise, or with crimes they detest and abhor, as much at least as those who make the charges, and which they utterly deny: and so soon as it shall be ascertained that this object is not to be attained, we then shall know of a surety, that there is no longer any very great danger of the society's gaining many converts from among Jews. We shall then with pleasure leave that part of the field, and shall only, for the sake of our brethren and companions, continue the subject till it is exhausted.
That we may, in God's own way, be instrumental to bring many to righteousness, is the fervent prayer of
BEING A DEFENCE OF JUDAISM AGAINST ALL ADVERSARIES, AND PARTICULARLY AGAINST THE
INSIDIOUS ATTACKS OF
עת לעשות לה' הפרו תורתך : ואענה חרפי דבר כי בטחתי בדברן:
““ 'Tis time to work for the Lord; they make void thy Law. * And I will answer the blasphemers of the word, for I depend on thy words."
THE Advocate being three numbers before me, and being confined to one sheet to answer them; I must, without prefatory remarks, proceed to their examination.
In the consideration of “ The importance of converting the Jews," the writer* reminds his readerst of the claims they (the Jews) have on their benevolent exertions. He then enumerates: 1st, “ The obligations we are under to them;" 2nd, the injuries we have formerly done them; 3d, the very awful apprehensions we are compelled to entertain concerning them, while they remain unconverted; 4th, the visible and glorious display of divine power and mercy, in their conversion ; 5th, the aspect this
great event will have on the salvation of the world at large. The two last, I cannot at present notice at all: and the first three but lightly; weightier matter precluding them from the consideration they perhaps merit.
In regard to the 1st, on the obligations they are under to the Jews, he says, that all their blessings came to them through the instrumentality of Jews.
66 The first propa
* A. S. M. C. J., as a body, are considered the writer.
gators of ...... ianity, were Jews.” This is too true; “ for, from the prophets of Jerusalem hath profaneness gone out into all the earth.” Jer. xxiii. 15. He next says, that the penmen of the Bible, not only of the old, but of the New Testament, were Jews. The penmen of the Old Testament, that is, of the Law, Prophets, and Scriptures, are allowed to have been of Israel : but of the New, it is very problematical whether any of them were Jews. I thought it was conceded that Luke was a Gentile. For the
present, I can only say as above; but I trust, God willing, to prove during the course of this examination, that neither of the writers of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, were Jews.
Again, on account of “ the obligation resulting from the inestimable benefits, they have been the instruments of communicating to us.” Again, “ we derived spiritual blessings from them, when totally destitute of them ourselves; let us endeavour to impart to them those blessings, now they are in a condition as destitute as we were, when we first began to derive them from their hands.” The meaning of all this is, we were Pagans, they made us...... ans, let us now return the compliment; do the same to them they did to us; let us make them ...... ians also. Softly, gentlemen, not too quick if you please; allowing all you have said, that the first propagators of your
inestimable blessings were Jews, even that the writers of the New Testament were Jews; what did they do? they wrote, they preached : did they persecute you ? did they bribe you? did they give you farms ? did they settle colonies ? no, nothing of this kind. Do you, then, gentlemen, do as they did; preach to us, as they did to you ; write to us, as they did to you; and gentlemen, be careful you live to us, as you tell us they lived; and we have no objection, you also, as they did, or as you tell us they did, (or as they say themselves,) work some miracles, if you have the faith they are said to have had; and if you have it not, perforce we must remit you the last test, and this we are the more