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Anglo-Judaica: Description of a Collection of Pamphlets and Books Illustrative of the interest in Hebrew Studies and of the Progress of the Jewish Cause in Christian England. Presidential Address

Hermann Gollancz

<plain_text><page sequence="1">ANGLO-JUDAICA : Description of a Collection of Pamphlets and Books illustrative of the interest in Hebrew Studies and of the Progress of the Jewish cause in Christian England. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. Delivered by the Rev. Prof. HERMANN GOLLANCZ, D.Lit., on January 28, 1906. I need not dwell at any length upon the honour you have been good enough to confer upon me by electing me to occupy the position which in the past has been filled with so much usefulness and dignity by several well-known members of the community. Let me say at the outset, I appreciate this honour to the full; and in thanking you once for all, I would express the hope that, during the tenure of my office as President, I may be of some service to the cause we all have at heart? the furtherance of the study of Anglo-Jewish history, and of the interests of Anglo-Jewry generally. I will, therefore, plunge in medias res and ask you to spend an hour with me among some of the curious and in? teresting items of my collection of pamphlets and works printed in England principally on Anglo-Jewish history?specially bearing upon the religious and socio-political interests of our people. I do not pre? tend to possess a complete library on this subject, nor will the time at my disposal permit me even to refer to the greater portion of the works which I do possess; nevertheless, there may be some points which I shall bring under your notice that may be new to some, if not to all, assembled here this evening, and in my rapid survey I may be able to indicate the kind of material that exists among works printed in England during the last three centuries for the preparation of an interesting volume, illustrative of the interest in Hebrew studies and of the progress 56</page><page sequence="2">ANGLOJUDAICA. 57 of the Jewish cause in Christian England. Without in any way pledging myself at the present moment, the works on this head which I have collected one by one during a period extending over several years may one day, as a collection, find a habitation, in which they may be con? sulted by a larger class than is possible within the limits of a private residence. When it could clearly be seen that no efforts would spare the Second Temple from destruction, and R. Jochanan ben Zaccai (of the peace party) had to resort to a stratagem in order to save for Judaism that which was of even greater value than Temple and Altar, he practi? cally declared to the world that it was the spirit of learning, love for the study of Israel's Law, which had to be fostered, if Judaism itself was to continue to live. The schools of Jabneh and other centres were, therefore, the life-belt, the salvation, of the Jewish people. And in like manner, although, after suffering at various times during the preceding 200 years the destruction and confiscation of their houses and property and the massacre of their kinsmen, the early Jews of England were banished the country in 1290 by order of Edward L, even in their departure they saved the seed which was destined gradually to revive an interest in the Jewish people by the time the Protector had assumed the government of England. They left, or were compelled to leave, their books of learning behind them. From earliest times the Jew was always an object of interest or envy to his neighbours; and it is, therefore, not improbable that it was owing to the interest which Hebrew studies awakened in early England and in later times among those not of our race, that the Jew was regarded with some milder form of tolera? tion than was extended even to other bodies of Nonconformists or Dissenters. In the words of Leland :? " Within 200 years after their admission and establishment by the Con? queror they were banished the kingdom. . . . This circumstance was highly favourable to the circulation of their learning in England. The suddenness of their dismissal obliged them to sell their movable goods of all kinds, among which were large quantities of Rabbinical books. The monks in various parts availed themselves of these treasures. At Huntingdon and Stamford there was a prodigious sale of their effects, containing immense stores of Hebrew MSS., which were immediately purchased by Gregory, Prior to the Abbey of Ramsey. He bequeathed them to his monastery. ... At Oxford many of the works formerly the property of the Jews fell into the</page><page sequence="3">58 ANGLO-JUDAICA. hands of Roger Bacon ; and the Franciscan Friars are said to have stored their valuable library with a multitude of Hebrew MSS. which they obtained from the Jews." The Jew could never have been wholly forgotten in England from 1290 to 1655, for his spirit lived in the Hebrew studies which at various times flourished, and were cultivated not only by men of learning, but also by ladies of high standing, culminating in the remarkable work (though not free from errors) of the translation of the Bible from the original into English made by order of King James I., and known as the Authorised Version. I omit the works belonging to the Elizabethan period, such as Peter Morvyn's translation of the famous "Joseph ben Gorion " (" Yosippon " or " Pseudo-Josephus ")?a work constantly re edited and reprinted in the sixteenth century and beyond, and I pass on to the period in which we are more minutely interested at present, namely, the seventeenth century. In the first quarter of this same century, there appeared several works by one John Weemse, of Lathocker, in Scotland; in 1622 (London), "An Explanation of the Ceremonial Laws of Moses as they are annexed to the Ten Commandments," and in 1636 (London) the fourth volume of his works, with a rather curious title. We are all acquainted with the expression of the Passover Hagadah, the " Four Sons" or " Characters": but some may not have heard of a work which is entitled "A Treatise of the Foure Degenerate Sonnes, viz., the Atheist, the Magician, the Idolator, and the Jew"?a respectable company, indeed. Speaking of magicians, some fifty years later (1684) in the collected works of Sir Robert Filmer we come across what is termed "An Advertisement to the Jurymen of England touching Witches," showing in an essay what is the " Difference between an English and Hebrew Witch." We are told that " the late execution of Witches at the summer Assizes in Kent occasioned this brief Excercitation." A well-known work of the century is Godwyn's "Moses and Aaron; Civil and Ecclesiastical Rites used by the Ancient Hebrews." This leads me on to an important work by Henry More, the famous '' Fellow of Christ's College," Cambridge, printed in London, in 1653, and dedicated "to his eminently learned and truly religious friend Dr. Cudworth, Master of Clare Hall and Hebrew Professor in the University of Cambridge." This Dr. Cudworth is the same who was summoned by Oliver Cromwell to take part in the Whitehall Conference.</page><page sequence="4">ANGLO-JUDAIC A. 59 He was evidently one of Cromwell's admirers, as lie was one of the contributors to the Oliva Pads, a rare and curious collection in Latin and Greek, in praise of Oliver, published at Cambridge, 1654, and bound together with Panegyricus Cromwelli. The work itself is on the "Literal Cabbala," the "Philosophic Cabbala," and the "Moral Cab? bala," with the " Defence of the Three-Fold Cabbala," to which is added "An Antidote against Atheisme, or An Appeal to the Natural Faculties of the Mind of Man, whether there be not a God." As an evi? dence of the interest shown in Hebrew and other Eastern languages, a work by Walton (2nd edit. 1655) may serve, being Introductio ad Ledionem Linguarum Orientialium, which Oriental languages comprise Hebrew, Chaldaic, Samaritan, Syriac, Arabic, Persian, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Coptic; as also " The Hebrew Text of the Psalms and Lamentations (without points or vowels, 1656), by William Robertson, Master of Arts, from the University at Edinburgh in Scotland, and now residing and teaching Hebrew in London." One of my copies of this little work bears the autograph of W. Mandell, Queens' College, Cambridge, and on a leaf in this copy appears the following little MS. poem, dated Sunday evening, April 7, 1799 (1) The Songs of David glow with fire, True melody pervades his breast? Celestial rapture tun'd his lyre On earth; but now he's gone to rest. (2) He's joined the choir, the heavenly throng Where Seraphs chant ecstatic lays? And mingles his harmonious song With songs of everlasting praise. (3) How sweet the theme to bless God's name, May it still be my chief delight? Attune my voice, my heart inflame, With ardent prayer by day, by night. A book of genuine interest to our people appeared in 1672, the English translation from the French (a translation of the original Arabic) of " The Egyptian History, treating of the Pyramids, the Inundation of the Nile, and other Prodigies of Egypt, according to the Opinions and Traditions of the Arabians." It may surprise some to learn that a Latin</page><page sequence="5">60 ANGLO-JUDAICA. translation appeared in London in 1649 of the "Targum Jerusalem " on the Pentateuch by one Francis Tayler, of Christ's College, Cambridge?a forerunner in this respect of the redoutable Targum and Syriac worker, Etheridge, of the middle of the last century. "The present state of the Jews, more particularly relating to those in Barbary, wherein is contained an exact number of their customs, secular and religious. To which is annexed a summary discourse of the Mischna, Talmud, and Gemara." This is the title of a book written by L. Addison (father of Joseph Addison, the essayist), the first edition of which appeared in London in 1675, the second in 1676. I possess a copy of both editions. Towards the end of this work, about a dozen pages are devoted to a consideration of " The Present Obstruction of the Jews' Conversion." Perhaps you would like to test whether you feel yourselves reflected in its views, which are as follows :? " Among the fatal impediments respecting the Jews' conversion in general, their own ingrafted perverseness, and obstinate adherance to the doctrines of their forefathers, may be reckoned for the chief; and, indeed, the root of the rest. As to the former, the Jews are notorious therein above all other people; though the latter be a thing common to the Hebrews with other nations. . . . For upon a fair occasion pressing a Spanish Jew with the evident danger he was in, if after means of conviction he should obstinately die in his Judaism ; he made no other reply but that he desired to be in no better state, nor to be accounted wiser than the Sabies (sic) or wise men of his nation. And that if he was damned, so would Rabbi Ben Maimon, Rabbi Solomon Jarchi (and so run over a large catalogue of their Rabins) placing great consolation to have such Good company in perdition." May these faults remain ours to the end of time ! But I will return to the general subject of Conversion later on; although I shall not be able this evening to deal with the special works coming under this head. Our customs and ceremonies have ever been a fascinating theme for those outside our communion, and many have been the glaring misrepresentations, wilful or ignorant, to which these have been sub? jected by non-Jewish writers. The work by Leo De Modena, a Venetian Rabbi, seems to have been a favourite source of information on this subject. A translation from the Italian appears in a French garb in 1674, in English (by Edmund Chilmead) in 1650, and (by</page><page sequence="6">ANGLO-JUDATCA. 61 Simon Ockley) in 1707, and in Dutch (with illustrations), in 1725 ; the last-named has added to it " a comparison between Jewish and Christian ceremonies." A peculiar little work of this nature of some sixty pages was printed in 1753, called "The Jewish Ritual; or the Religious Customs and Ceremonies of the Jews, used in their public worship and private devotions." The more modern works in English, such as Adam Clarke's (Abbe Fleury's), Burder's, and Jennings's, on the manners, customs, and antiquities of the ancient Israelites are too well known to require special notice. We must, for the present, also omit all refer? ence to works on ceremony and liturgy by Isaac Nieto, A. Alexander, L. Alexander, Gamaliel Ben Pedahzur, and others. Scarcely less attractive to the men of all times than the Bible itself was its Greek version; and it is, therefore, not surprising to meet with a small 8vo, printed in London in 1685, called "The Ancient History of the Septuagint, written in Greek by Aristeas near 2,000 years ago . . . first Englished from the Greek by the learned and revered Dr. John Done, late Dean of St. Paul's." The title contains the further information that it is a description of " His Voyage to Jerusalem, as Ambassadour from Ptolomaeus Philadelphus, unto Eleazar, then High Priest of the Jews: concerning the First Translation of the Holy Bible by the Seventy-two Interpreters"; and in the body of the work the names of these seventy-two interpreters are given, while at the end the English translation adds "A short discourse of the antiquity and dignity of the sacred books, and excellency of their inspired writer, the Prophet Moses." Speaking of Aristeas's voyage to Jerusalem, I am reminded of a highly interesting little work published in London, in 1683, called " Two Journeys to Jerusalem," containing, first, an account of the travels of two English pilgrims, and, secondly, the travels of fourteen English? men in 1669 ; to which are added, an account by an Englishman present of the Great Council of the Jews assembly in Hungary in 1650, to examine the Scriptures concerning Christ; a curious illustrated account of a counterfeit Messiah, Sabatai Sevi at Smyrna, 1666, and other matters. In the later edition occurs a brief history of the Jews in England, to the time of Cromwell. The Hebraic and Hellenic were often in close touch in the course of history; and Andrew Clark's edition (1674) of "The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, the Sons of Jacob " (translated originally from the Greek), is a fine instance of</page><page sequence="7">62 ANGLO-JUDAICA. black letter with wood-cut illustrations. On the fly-leaf of my edition occur the following remarks, among others, by a former owner: " The editions prior to those of Andrew Clark appear to have had in the title page the same wood-cut as precedes the Testament of Jacob ; Clark appears to have substituted for this the wood-cut of the Israelites worshipping the Calf, a wood-cut of the French and English editions of the Decameron." As examples of translations from the Greek, I might instance " The Lives, the Ends, and the Martyrdomes of the Prophets, Apostles, and Seventy Disciples of our Saviour, written in Greek by Dorotheus, Bishop of Tyrus, about 1,000 years ago, and now translated by M. H. Imprinted at London, 1585"?a fine folio black letter inter? leaved. The year 1655 must ever have a profound interest for members of the Jewish Historical Society of England, and as regards the cities of England, Oxford was, even in the pre-expulsion period, a favourite seat of Hebrew learning, whilst the name of Maimonides will live among Jews and non-Jews alike. It is, therefore, not to be wondered at that we find a fine quarto Arabic text and Latin translation of Maimonides's "Porta Moses," printed at Oxford in 1655 (supposed to be the first Hebrew text printed at Oxford), and edited by Edward Pococke, the splendid Oriental scholar and traveller in the East, who also translated Maimonides's long preface to the Mishna as a preface to the Latin translation of Mischna Zeraim, edited with notes, Oxford, 1690, by William Guisius. The text and Latin translation, with an introduction on Maimonides's works, of the two treatises of Maimonides's " Yad Hachasakah "?" Talmud Torah and Tshuva "?appeared at Oxford in 1705, by Robert Clavering, Fellow of University College. A neat little edition of the " Book of the Precepts, or the Affirmative and Prohibitive Precepts compiled by Rabbi Moses Maimonides out of the Books of Moses, with the life of the Author," was published in the last century by Robert Young, of Edinburgh; whilst in 1840 an interesting work appeared by James W. Peppercorn, containing, among other useful matter, " The Laws of the Hebrews relating to the Poor and the Stranger from the Mischna Hathora of the Rabbi Maimonides." Having referred to some of the works of the great Jewish luminary, Maimonides, printed in England, I would pass on to another historical name, and cite the scarce and curious translation from the Latin, in 1699, of Manasseh ben Israel's</page><page sequence="8">ANGLO-JT7DAICA. 63 "Term of Life," and his "Humble Addresses" to Cromwell, of which latter I possess but a reprint of 1868 (by Dwight of Melbourne). I have not yet been fortunate enough to obtain a 1655 copy; and should one be put upon the market, I trust I shall not be forestalled by some of those lynx-eyed friends always on the look-out who frequently run me close, and whom I have the pleasure of seeing in the room to-night, without, I am sure, having any evil intent against me. What English student is not acquainted with Manasseh's " Conciliator" through the English translation (1842) of E. H. Lindo, author of "A History of the Jews of Spain and Portugal" 1 A Latin translation (at all events of the Pentateuch section) appeared in Amsterdam, 1633; the Spanish original (first part) having appeared in Frankfurt in 1632. Not long since I came into possession of another translation of the " Conciliator,"?in Italian with marginal notes in Hebrew by Marco Luzzatto, doubtless the autograph MS. of the ancestor of the renowned Samuel David Luzzatto. In his preface, Lindo remarks that he "is gratified by the reflection that this great and good man was the author of an able refutation (under the title of Vindicioe Judceoruni) of the crimes ignorantly imputed to the Jews in the Middle Ages, accusations which have recently been renewed for the vilest purposes against their perse? cuted descendants in the East; but, by the spirited conduct of the Jews throughout the world, assisted by every true Christian, and the powerful support of almost every enlightened and liberal Government, have been proved through the philanthropic exertions of Sir Moses Monte fiore to be utterly groundless." With the exception of the last clause alluding to "almost every enlightened and liberal Government," as we listen to these words must we not ask ourselves the question, Are we living in the year 1842 or 1906? The Vindicice Judceorum origi? nally printed in 1656, appears as a reprint under the heading " Defence of the Jews" in a two-volumed publication called "The Phenix," pub? lished in London in 1707 and 1708, containing most valuable infor? mation, or, as its name implies, " A revival of scarce and valuable pieces nowhere to be found but in the closets of the curious." The Vindicice reappeared in London in separate form in 1743, and again in 1838 in one of the two volumes of M. Samuels' translation of Mendelssohn's "Jerusalem," which contains also a translation of the Preface to Mendelssohn's German translation of the Vindicice. This</page><page sequence="9">64 ANGLO-JUDAICA. German translation, under trie title " Mannasseh ben Israel, Rettung der Juden, aus dem Englischen Ubersetzt, Nebst einer Voredde Von Moses Mendelssohn," printed in Berlin and Stettin in 1782, is exceed? ingly rare, perhaps more so than the original version. M. Samuels had previously, in 1825, published the "Memoirs of M. Mendelssohn," including the celebrated correspondence on the Christian Religion with Lavater. The second edition appeared in 1827. Speaking of Lavater, I would call attention to the very scarce little work printed in London in 1788, called "Aphorisms on Man." I would also mention a beautiful English translation (1789) of Mendelssohn's "Pluedon ; or the Death of Socrates," written in imitation of the "Phsedon" of Plato, on the Im? mortality of the Soul. Returning to religious and philosophic works, we have to go back and note a rare small 8vo, recalling a burning question of the day, in which the learned David Nieto, Haham of the Sjmnish and Portuguese Congregation, was absolved from the charge of heresy preferred against him by a decision of R. Zevi Ashkenasi and his Beth Din at Amsterdam in 5464, corresponding to 1703. The volume, printed in London in 5472 (1711), contains the two dialogues and the decision in Spanish, together with the reply in Spanish and Hebrew. David Nieto was the scholar who, in 5474 (1713) published in London his Hebrew and Spanish work entitled "Matten Dan," in which he endeavoured to prove the Mishna and Gemara to be the link connecting the Written and the Oral Law. It is impossible within the narrow limits of time at our disposal to speak of all the scholarly works printed in England in con? nection with the Hebrew Scriptures, the Jewish religion, philosophy, and language; we can scarcely mention them by name, so numerous are they. Yet we might refer to a well-knoWn name in Anglo-Jewish history, the author of an English translation of the Prayer-Book, David Levi, as he was the author also of " Dissertations on the Prophecies of the Old Testament, containing all such prophecies as are applicable to the coming of the Messiah, the restoration of the Jews, and the resurrec? tion of the dead; whether so applied by Jews or Christians (revised and amended, with a dedication and introduction by J. King, Esq., of Fitzroy Square"). This work called forth a rejoinder by "An In? quirer" (1810) entitled "Remarks on David Levi's Dissertation on the Prophecies." Years before, David Levi had become the central spirit of</page><page sequence="10">ANGLO-JUDAICA. 65 controversial writings, for we have (1787) "The objection of Mr. David Levi to the mission, conduct, and doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ, examined by John Hadley Swain " ; and " A Friendly Address to the Jews," by J. Bicheno, of Newbury, " to which is added a letter to Mr. D. Levi, containing remarks on his answer to Dr. Priestley's letters to the Jews" (1787). An interesting tract is Priestley's "Inquiry into the knowledge of the ancient Hebrews concerning a future State," 1801. It reminds one of a work published in London in 1757, "Remarks on Dr. Warburton's account of the sentiments of the early Jews concerning the Soul." To these we must add Brassey Halhed's " Testimony of the Authenticity of the Prophecies of Richard Brothers, and of his mission to recall the Jews " (1795), and David Levis "Letters to N. B. Halhed in answer to his Testimony, &amp;c." This favourite theme of all times among both Jews and non-Jews, is responsible for such pamphlets as the " Full and Final Restoration of the Jews and Israelites, evidently set forth to be nigh at hand ; with a happy settlement in their own land, when the Messiah will establish his glorious kingdom upon earth and begin the Millennium" (London, 1713); printed in Taunton (1788), we have "Israel's Salvation," by Thomas Reader, "or an account from the prophecies of Scripture of the grand events which await the Jews till the end of time"; "A brief sketch of the present state and future expectations of the Jews," by Ridley H. Herschell (1837, 4th edit.), father of the late Lord Herschell; Henry Bourne's " The Return of the Jews to Palestine" (1845), &amp;c. The conversion of the Jews, their naturalisation and their restora? tion, would, at first sight, appear to be quite unconnected one with the other. But this was not the case. The readmission of the Jews and their conversion were brought into close relationship with each other. In evidence of this statement, I would cite the following typical remarks from " The Perfect Politician, or a full view of the Life and Actions of Oliver Cromwell" (3rd edit, published in London, 1681). The author was not the only one to ascribe to the Protector some mixed motive in his desire to grant the Jews permission to resettle in England. " Another design (of a far different nature, but for like ends with the former) was about this time set on foot by the Protector, to wit, the re admission of the Jews into this nation. . . . This our Protector having a large VOL. VI. E</page><page sequence="11">66 ANGLO-JUDAICA. (I say not conscience, but) heart, ... his charity extended so far as to plead for the re-entertainment of these guests to which purpose he propounded it to several eminent ministers for their approbation, alleging that since there is a promise of their conversion, means must be used to that end, which is the preaching of the gospel, and that cannot be had except that they be permitted to reside where the gospel is preached. But (by his leave) when God's good time is come, there shall not be means wanting to accomplish that work, which, being of an extraordinary nature, is not like to be done by ordinary means. Besides, such was (then, and yet is) the temper of the people of England, so full of diversities in opinions, and reduced to such an indifferency in matters of religion, that it is more than probable the number of their proselytes would have exceeded that of our converts." (P. 233 sep) In a similar strain we read in a work on the Life of Oliver Crom? well, published in 1724 : " About this time, a design was formed by the Protector, of settling the Jews again in this nation; and Manasseh Ben Israel, a great Rabbi, came over and made his stated proposals, and had a conference upon them, for readmitting the people to exercise trade and worship in England. The Protector, on tLis occasion, sent for divers ministers of the gospel, and laid those proposals before them, and at the same time with great earnestness declared his opinion, ' That since there was a promise that they should be converted, means ought to be used to that end; and the most likely way was, the preaching of the gospel in truth and sincerity, as it was then in England, devoid of all popish idolatry, which had rendered the Christian religion odious to them.'" It may not be amiss to see ourselves as others saw us a few years after Cromwell's death. In a curious compilation called "Anglise Notitia; or the Present State of England," by Edward Chamberlaine, Doctor of Laws, and Fellow of the Royal Society, and published in the Savoy (3rd and 6th edit., 1671-2), the following remarks occur (p. 39, pt. 1): " Touching the Jews which by the late usurper were admitted at London and since continued by the bare permission of the King, and suffered to hire a private house wherein to hold their synagogue; they are not considerable either for number, making not above thirty or forty families, nor for their wealth or abilities, being for the most part poor and ignorant." Works such as the following throw an interesting sidelight on the condition of affairs in England from the middle to the end of the seven? teenth century :?</page><page sequence="12">ANGLO-JUDAICA. 67 ?&lt; England's Confusion . . . Written by one of the few Englishmen that are left in England" (1659) ; " Fundamentum Patriae ; or England's Settle? ment" (1665), dealing with events from 1660-1665; "A Compendious View of the Tumults and Troubles in this Kingdom by way of Annals for seven years," by J. W. (1685) i.e. 1678-1685 ; "Arbitrary Government displayed to the Life" (1682). We referred to conversion as one of the alleged motives in the toleration of the Jew. But whatever the motive, the fact remains that there were spirits at all times among the English people so imbued with the early principles upon which the British Constitution was founded, that they could not resist the plea for toleration and liberality of treat? ment on behalf of the Jewish people. The Jew compelled both a reli? gious interest and a commercial interest in him. In a word, as I suggested before, he has always been an interesting figure. He was frequently the subject of sermons in the English Church, and I have before me Pecullum Dei, a discourse about the Jews, as the peculiar people of God, preached before the Aldermen and citizens of London in 1681. He was always thought of sufficient value to be drawn into reli? gious disputations, shown by such tracts as "A Conference betwixt a Papist and a Jew; or, a Letter from a Merchant in London to his Corre? spondent in Amsterdam " (4to, London, 1678), and "A Conference between a Protestant and a Jew ; or, a Second Letter from a Merchant in London to his Correspondent in Amsterdam" (4to, 1678). These appear re? printed in 1754 (8vo), as "Two Disputations concerning the Messiah, one between a Papist and a Jew, the other between a Protestant and a Jew." But we must not overlook " A Letter concerning Toleration, Licensed October 3, 1689," and printed in London, the author of which was the famous John Locke, though his name does not appear on the title-page. This tract called forth " The Argument of the Letter concern? ing Toleration, briefly considered and answered," which was printed anonymously at Oxford, 1690. But sufficient for us to-day is the bold statement of Locke towards the end of his letter: " If we may openly speak the truth, and as becomes one man to another, neither Pagan nor Mahumetan nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth, because of his religion.yi One such doctrine propounded by one honest spirit is sure to fructify in the interest of toleration, and in time to open men's eyes to what is true and right. And so the current of progress could not be diverted or turned back.</page><page sequence="13">68 ANGLO-JUDAICA. The Whitehall Conference of 1655 (which we hope to celebrate next week) had practically paved the way for the readmission of the Jews into England. In addition to what we know and what has been said already, let us, in justice to Cromwell, recall his declaration at Westminster in September 1654, respecting the "Fundamentals that could not be altered," namely, "That in matters of religion there ought to be liberty of conscience and means used to prevent persecution " ("The Perfect Politician," London, 1681, page 209). The controversy on the subject between two protagonists as to whether Cromwell or Charles II. is to be regarded as the real harbinger, calls to mind a document of great historical importance though no reference to Jews occurs therein, viz. Charles IL's " Declaration . . . concerning Ecclesiastical Affairs," issued in London on October 25, 1660; and another document by James IL, " Given at our Court at Whitehall, the 4th April 1687," entitled "His Majesty's Gracious Declaration to all his loving subjects, for Liberty of Conscience." Thoughts and attitudes on " Ecclesiastical Affairs," and on " Liberty of Conscience " of the country in general, of necessity wielded their influence upon the condition of the Jews in particular, and it was not long before they made their presence felt even in the affairs of the State. We consequently come across a rare tract, printed in 1711, being "The report of the Commissioners for taking, examining, and stating the publick accounts of the Kingdom, with the Depositions at large of Sir Solomon Medina, Kt." and others. This was in connection with the unfortunate accusation against the Duke of Marlborough for peculation; he was ultimately refused a vote of thanks for his splendid victories, and deprived of his offices by Queen Anne, Sir Solomon being the chief witness against him. The Duke, after his fall, is defended in a rare publication of eighty pages, printed in London in 1735, styled "The Grand Accuser, the Greatest of all Criminals "?referring to a periodical called " The Examiner," which was unsparing of the Duke. The " History of John Duke of Marlborough " (London, 2nd edit., 1742), and an interesting volume of discourses by John Mackqueen (London, 1715), on " British Valour Triumphing over French Courage, under the conduct of the Duke of Marlborough, Prince of the Empire," may do something to put the Duke's character in a more favourable light. Speaking of State affairs, I call to mind an exceedingly interesting monthly, " The Political State of Great Britain," by Mr. A.</page><page sequence="14">ANGLO-J?DAICA. 69 Boyer, published in London. The number for January 1716 contains, among other items, " An Historical Account of the remarkable Tryal of Francia, the Jew, for High Treason "; he was, however, acquitted on the charge, " to the great surprise of the generality of those that were present at this remarkable tryal." But it must frankly be owned that some of the best lawyers were of opinion that there was not sufficient legal proof of Francia's having written the treasonable letters found in his copy book and upon which the accusation was chiefly grounded. Was &amp; Affaire Dreyfus in our time a far-distant echo of this remarkable trial ? While on the subject of trials, I would like to refer to " The History of the Right Hon. Lord George Gordon" (Edinburgh, 1780); " A -Defence of the Right Hon. Lord George Gordon and the Protestant Association" (Glasgow, 1780); "Narrative of the late Riots and Dis? turbances in the Cities of London and Westminster and Southwark . . , with an account of the commitment of Lord George Gordon " (London, 1780) ; the fine large folio copy of the " Trial of George Gordon, Esq., commonly called Lord George Gordon, for High Treason ... on February 5, 1781," taken in shorthand, by Joseph Gurney (London, 1781) ; and "The whole proceedings on the Trials of two informa? tions . . . against G. Gordon, Esq., commonly called Lord George Gordon, one for a libel on the Queen of France and the French Am? bassador, the other for a libel on the Judges, and the administration of the Laws in England" (London, 1787). I need scarcely remind my hearers that the said Lord George Gordon ultimately became a convert to Judaism, an entry occurring in the minute-book of the Hambro' Synagogue of his having been called to the reading of the Law and having made an offering of ?100. A curious pamphlet exists entitled " The Case and Appeal of James Ashley of Bread Street, London, addressed to the publick in general.'7 This was in relation to one "Henry Simons, the Polish Jew," whose likeness forms the frontispiece to the pamphlet, which was printed in 1753. The peculiar value of this publication lies in the "remarkable addition." On the obverse of the affidavit concerning the said Henry Simons, folio, there is printed in red ink, " To the Honourable the Commons of Great Britain, in Parliament assembled." " The humble petition of the several merchants and traders in the City of London, whose names are hereunder subscribed ; Sheweth, that your</page><page sequence="15">70 ANGLO-JUDAICA. petitioners have observed by the votes of this Honourable House, that a Bill hath been brought into Parliament, to permit persons, professing the Jewish Religion, to be naturalised by Parliament; and your petitioners being of opinion, that the passing the said Bill into a Law may encourage persons of wealth and substance to remove with their effects from foreign parts into this kingdom, and increase the commerce and credit of this nation; Your petitioners most humbly pray this Honourable House, that this Bill may pass into a Law. And your petitioners, as in duty bound, shall ever pray. (Here follow signatures, in all 102.) Examined by T. Dyson, Clerk Dom. Com. copy." Individual attempts to prejudice the conscience of Englishmen in regard to Dissenters were not wanting earlier; to wit, Solomon Abra banel's " Complaint of the Children of Israel, representing their grievances under the penal laws, and praying that if the tests are repealed the Jews may have the benefit of this indulgence in common with all other subjects of England. In a letter to a Reverend High Priest of the Church by law established." (London, 1736). I may be excused the pardonable pride of quoting a few sentences from the end of the book issued by the author, " From the place of my sojournment in Synagogue Lane, Bury Street"?the street in which I myself resided for about the first twenty-five years of my life; but, to speak more seriously, on account of the satire and pathetic humour of the writer. He remarks (page 34):? "From this period, Anno 1291, we had no readmission into England till 1655, being kept in banishment three hundred and sixty-four years. It was then the wisdom of Oliver Cromwell that brought us into this country again by a treaty with Manasseh Ben Israel, wherein the Jewish nation were restored to the exercise of their trade and worship in England. As it is but fourscore years since our readmission, our fathers, for the most part, were aliens by birth, and could not claim a natural right to the privileges of the community. They could only be received as foreigners, with proper en? couragement to trust their families and effects under the public protection. But in this course of time the Jews of CromwTell's days are dead, and we their children are natural-born subjects of Britain; so that what incapacity or disability may remain upon us, is entirely to be laid to the charge of religion, and is an hardship upon us for dissenting from the national establishment. This is our grievance, and this we hope will at length have redress ; that the war which hath been carried on against us almost ever since the Norman Conquest may now be brought to a conclusion, and that we may not be oppressed any longer for no other reason, than that after the way which men</page><page sequence="16">ANGLO-JUDAICA. 71 call heresy we worship the God of our Fathers. ... I have already said, and I cannot but insist with humble submission that it is time we should be differently treated by the Christian world ; and that as you have taken the covenant of grace entirely from us, you ought in common justice to leave us in quiet possession of the rights of nature. In what manner, or to what degree, the legislature ought to indulge us must be submitted to their con? sideration, and must be determined from a variety of circumstances; but whatever they grant to other Dissenters will, by undeniable parity of reason, be due to us, unless it could appear that we are not Dissenters, because we are Jews; whereas there is not a more common case in this great city than to see the Jew and the Dissenter blended together in one and the same person. . . . How great analogy there is in general between the Dissenters and Jews, and how easily we are to be mistaken for each other, wants no other witnesses than the pastors of each persuasion. How happily do they concur in the black cloak and the short bib ? How perfectly does the dirty phiz of a French refugee accord with the sable hue of a Rabbi in Israel ? How exactly alike are the size of their consciences, and the reach of their understandings ; their zeal for works of faith and piety ; and above all, for the ready penny ? This similitude of circumstances is the ground of our just confidence, that there will be no difference of indulgence. We are perfectly reasonable in our desires ; we want no more than what you allow them ; we think ourselves as well qualified to govern corporations, to sit in that grave assembly the City Common Council, and to make a Jobb of my Lord Mayor's house, as the most religious elders of Salter's Hall. We concur with them entirely that it is respectively our right by the law of nature, and we humbly persuade ourselves that no distinction will be made by the law of grace. We have now stated our case to the impartial world. We are willing to be judged, even by the Reverend Bench, whether our complaints are not well grounded, and our desires just. We have nothing further to propose than to attend our dissenting brethren in a body whenever a petition for the repeal of the tests is to be presented. And we accordingly intend, on that day, to march in a solemn procession through the streets of London, from our Synagogue in Bury Street, with our Priests, and our Law and Aaron's Bells at the head of us. If this moving appearance shall not have its effects, we must despair of being restored to our natural rights. But, as you, sir, have power to assist us in our pious design, we hope you will imitate the pattern set before you by the Apostle Paul, who, unto the Jews became as a Jew, that he might gain the Jews, and, if you protect the Children of Israel in this emergent affair, we will promise you, whenever you come amongst us, the first cut of the Paschal Lamb and the chief seat in the Synagogue." The year 1753?nearly one hundred years after the summoning of the Whitehall Conference by Cromwell?was, indeed, prolific in</page><page sequence="17">72 ANGLO-J?DAICA. writings dealing with the Jewish Question in England, as far as their civil status was concerned. The question of naturalisation had come to the front, and tracts for and against the naturalisation of the Jew was the inevitable result. Hence the appearance of such rabid writings as "The Rejection and Restoration of the Jews"; "Admonitions from Scripture and History, from Religion and Common Prudence, relating to the Jews," both by Archaicus, 1753; "A Modest Apology for the Citizens and Merchants of London, who petitioned the House of Commons against Naturalising the Jews"; "An Answer to a Pamphlet entitled Considerations on the Bill," etc. I feel tempted to read to you the opening sentences of the preface to the "Modest Apology" :? " The Jews have exceedingly troubled our city of late, and they are likely to trouble it much longer. They have been attempting a Naturalisation Bill, though it be contrary to the express words of their own Lawr, and contrary also to our present religious and civil establishment. The City of London, apprehensive of the fatal consequences which might arise from incorporating such a set of people, assembled together in Common Council, and writh great unanimity resolved to address the House of Commons against the Bill. Their petition was carried up, presented, and read. The persons who spake to it were some of the ablest of our merchants. Their arguments were good and strong, But the Honourable House did not see them in the same light as we did in the City. The Bill was read the third time and carried by a vast majority, and if it obtains the Royal Assent, it will soon pass into a Law, and then every vagabond Jew may purchase all the liberties and immunities of free-born Englishmen. The conduct of the City was warmly censured for opposing the Bill. The Jews' agents could not keep their temper; they said very hard things of the citizens and merchants, and they still speak of our opposition with bitterness, and, therefore, we are forced to make our apology to the public, for what we have done, whom we desire to consider the tendency of this Bill. We thought it affected our civil liberties as a free trading nation, and our religious liberties as a Christian nation ; we viewed it in these two respects.55 The " Answer to a Pamphlet," &amp;c., &amp;c, is a tract of remarkable interest for the incidental references therein contained. The following passage on page 33 must appeal to us, more especially in view of the forthcoming celebration by our Society. Speaking of Oliver Cromwell, the writer says (quoting from Raguenet's Hist. oV Oliver Cromwell):? " About the time Rabbi Manasseh Ben Israel came to England to solicit the Jews admission, the Asiatic Jews sent hither the noted Babbi Jacob Ben Azahel</page><page sequence="18">ANGLO-JUDAICA. 73 with several others of his nation, to make private inquiry whether Cromwell was not that Messiah whom they had so long expected. Which deputies upon their arrival pretending other business, were several times indulged the favour of a private audience from him. And at one of them proposed buying the Hebrew books and manuscripts belonging to the University of Cambridge, in order to have an opportunity, under pretence of viewing them, to inquire amongst his relations in Huntingdonshire, where he was born, whether any of his ancestors could be proved of Jewish extract." Amid the throes of a General Election in the country in the year of grace 1906, when hard things are said and unrighteous epithets employed in the heat of a Parliamentary campaign, the concluding words (page 57) of this pamphlet may be listened to with more than ordinary interest: " The citizens and merchants are not to be terrified with an hard name. They can appeal to their conduct. Their lives and actions shall answer the calumnies of their enemies : For these speak stronger than words, and let these declare to the public, who is the best friend to the Government?the Christian?or the Jew 1 The Christian who is a natural-born subject and who serves his God, his King, and his country out of principle: or the foreign outlawed Jew, who has no God, no king, and no country, and who never acts upon any higher principle than self interest." But the Jew had his defenders, too. Witness Josiah Tucker's "Letter to a Friend concerning Naturalisations (1753): showing (i.) What a naturalisation is not; (ii.) What it is; (iii.) What are the motives for the present clamours against the Bill passed last sessions for enabling the Parliament to naturalise such Jews, as they shall approve of," &amp;c. On page 15 sq. he remarks:? " I should be glad to be shown a single passage, either out of the Old or New Testament, commanding us to treat this people ill, or, what comes to the same, forbidding us to grant them the common privileges of subjects. I say common privileges, not of sovereigns, not of the governing part of the society, but of subjects, mere subjects. For that is the question now before us, and no other. But one would think, from the clamours that have been raised, that the question was whether the Temple at Jerusalem was to be re? built ; whether the Jews w7ere to be re-established in their own land, and their Levitical sacrifices and ceremonials to be revived again. Indeed, such an attempt would be flying in the face of providence, and most undoubtedly would meet with as signal an overthrow as is recorded of Julian the Apostate. But till such an attempt is made by the British Parliament, why should they be charged with the guilt belonging to it ? Why indeed, unless it can be</page><page sequence="19">74 ANGLO-JUDAICA. proved (and strange things^have been undertaken to be proved of late) that Great Britain is Judea, that London is Jerusalem, the synagogue in Duke's Place is Mount Zion, and the liberty granted to buy lands and merchandise is an order to set up an altar for offering burnt-sacrifices and oblations. But it seems there is some further objection against the Jews, for it is apprehended that if foreign Jews were permitted to settle in England (which, by the bye, they were fully permitted to do, even before the passing of the late Act, in all capacities, but as merchants and purchasers of lands) they would corrupt us?corrupt us, sir ! In what instances 1 And what vicious principles or immoral practices can they introduce from abroad for which England is not infamous already? For, indeed, there is no country under the sun where vices of all kinds reign so triumphantly, or where the Christian religion is so outrageously attacked. Therefore, bad as unconverted Jews are, surely they are not worse than apostate Christians ; and these are all of our own growth, true English-born subjects, invested with all our rights and privileges, whose names and writings would furnish out a very ample catalogue." A curious tract appeared in the same year (1753) addressed to an eminent Father of the Church, being " A Proposal humbly offered to the Legislature of this Kingdom for the re-establishment of Christianity. The Bill to pass the House this session, lest if it be deferred till the next, there remain no idea thereof to be re-established." It is signed " Timothy Telltruth," and is bound together with " A Letter to the Pablick," signed A.Z., in favour of the Jews' naturalisation, the arguments being finally summed up (pages 18, 19):? " That we have not so much money in the kingdom as that an addition thereto would do us any harm. That the Jews cannot purchase our estates unless we have a mind to sell the in ; and that neither our religion or govern? ment are in so tottering a condition as to give room to fear being supplanted by naturalising the Jews. Wherefore, I must beg leave to think, that, as this Act will, in all probability, bring an addition of men, money, and trade into the kingdom, it will therefore tend to a general advantage, and not be con? fined to the Jews only, in prejudice to the English." Upon this very point, viz. the purchase of estates, a rare and highly important quarto was issued in the same year " by a gentleman of Lincoln's Inn," entitled " The question whether a Jew, born within the British Dominions, was, before the making of the late Act of Parliament, a person capable by law to purchase and hold lands to him and his heirs." This publication is a historical presentment, and its special value lies in the appendix, containing copies of public records relating to the Jews,</page><page sequence="20">ANGLO-JUDAICA. 75 more particularly a list of one hundred and four Jews, made denizens in the reign of Charles II. and James II., among them some of the names with which we have grown familiar, and whose descendants are among us at the present day. One of my copies of this splendid production is bound together with : " A reply to the famous Jew question in which, from the public Records and other undoubted authorities, is fully demon? strated . . . that the Jews born here before the late Act were never intitled to purchase and hold land to them and their heirs; but were considered only as Aliens or Vassals of the Crown. In a letter to the gentleman of Lincoln's Inn, by a freeholder of the County of Surrey." One of the most partial and curious of tracts is the " Second Part of the Satyrical Review of the manifold falsehoods and absurdities hitherto published concerning the earthquake, with a genuine account of the In? quisition, of the Auto De Fe, and of the execution of Jews at Lisbon," written by "A man of business" and published in London 1756. The language is gross and vulgar, the object being to deride a minister of the Church of England for holding the view and informing the King of Portugal that the earthquake in Lisbon was " a punishment from heaven for his toleration of the Inquisition ; and that his only means to obtain the Almighty's pardon and recall His protection must be to abolish that tribunal." He asks (page 31):? " What! Is Heaven then so partial, so blind, so insensible to its own dignity, as to destroy or distress half the globe and involve the innocent with the guilty, in favour of one race of mortals ? And that in favour of whom ? Of Jews ? Of perfidious, thankless, man-devouring, heaven-daring Jews ? And above all, of Portuguese Jews ; the last, the lowest of that fry ; and of all mankind the least intitled to expect or ask extraordinary favours from their insulted Maker ? It is not from malice, bigotry, or prejudice, I speak thus of them ; but from the force of incontestable truth. To a Jew, as a man, I have no more dislike than to any other. On the contrary, I pity them all enough to wish them honest, peaceable, and happy ; and would not for any sum hurt the hair of the head of any individual among them. But a Jew, as a Jew, must be the abhorrence of all mankind." " An Essay on the Commercial Habits of the Jews " (London, 1809) is certainly not pleasant or flattering reading, but it gives an insight into the prejudices against the Jew at the beginning of the nineteenth century. " Many forcible objections," the writer remarks (page 71),</page><page sequence="21">76 ANGLO-J?DAICA. " present themselves against the naturalisation of the Jews; the prin? cipal of which are : First, the pecuniary power of that people . . . and, secondly, the pernicious efforts which might be produced by such an open encouragement of immorality and religious infidelity." Again, he says (page 77) :? " The Jews will assuredly never step forward as the champions of liberty ; what they neglected in the plenitude of their power and prosperity, in their pristine glory, when they even possessed a temporary preponderance in the scale of nations, they will have no desire of cultivating in their state of com? parative insignificance. Instead of resisting, they will promote the encroach? ments of arbitrary power, as the best groundwork whereon to erect the bulwark of their own mercenary interests. Should wre admit them into closer intimacy by imparting to them a community of franchises and rights, we should infallibly place in their hands another merchantable commodity, with? out deriving ourselves any advantages from the capital employed in its circu? lation, which, from the first to the last penny, would all flow out of our own pockets." In concluding, the author sums up (page 81):? " Such are the considerations which first occur in discussing this in? teresting question. They are offered with some confidence of their utility, although without any pretension to correctness of arrangement; in the full persuasion that ere long their production will become necessary, seconded by the many weighty arguments which it will still be very easy to adduce, in order to combat the grant of a legal title, which is preparing to authorise the encroachments of the Jews. In a measure of this sort we should be on our guard against adopting too hastily the example of a neighbouring country ; where particular circumstances may have conspired in some degree to obviate its inconveniences." The reference to " a neighbouring country" is to that of France, allusion having previously been made by the writer (pages 70 sqq.) to the attitude of Napoleon Bonaparte towards his Jewish subjects. This remarkable change in the condition of the Jews in France naturally excited the attention of Englishmen ; and we consequently find printed in London (1807), "Transactions of the Parisian Sanhedrin, or Acts of the Assembly of Israelitish Deputies of France and Italy, convoked at Paris by an Imperial and Royal Decree, dated May 30, 1806. Translated from the original, published by M. Diogene Tama, with a preface and illustrative notes by F. D. Kirwan, Esq." This valuable compilation is bound up with another work of absorbing interest, termed i pYiriJD</page><page sequence="22">ANGLO-JUDAICA. 77 ntiHn causes and consequences of the French Emperor's conduct towards the Jews ... by an advocate for the house of Israel." (London, 1807). Whilst the former work contains the translation of two odes and a hymn composed in Hebrew in honour of Napoleon, the author of the latter, in deploring the " enormity of our political system, the dreadful depravity of our morals, the imminent danger of the State," reproduces (page 198 sq.) in Hebrew with a somewhat free translation, what is said to be " the sentiments of a modern Hebrew poet," in which occurs the name of Lord Viscount Nelson. Considering that only recently on the occasion of the centenary of his death, all Englishmen were again thrilled with a recollection of Nelson's famous exploits, you will, I am sure, bear with me while I read this short composition:? 7311 w ami *3 '? nn.73Bi).d^n itr? m jrn hpyn) km DWi in. bin iw ^b KDnni jrcnn dk rrm* }kdJ&gt;]J33 ddii Dn^ yinn hi dk pjki nn ^h ^pD nrr&amp;oi^ ^h ixiM *?mb ito 13? dk p i*3* nS&gt; b&gt;w vn* jao^s fro* yrbn hi my nny \ib um^k *:ai&gt; ii3i33i nyi33 wnonta dp6 )iih aon.wpbn by ni3iv idb&gt;5&gt; mi3i : 1^3K 13*1* D13*1 fllT Kill 13M1X3?3 iw km " Mark my words; it is the spirit of God that speaks within me ; He will direct thy ways aright. If thou sinnest and committest evil before the Creator, and followest the crooked ways of the wicked, then if thy whole host of warriors were undauntedly to pour forth their blood like Nelson, yet would they be driven before the enemy like chaff before the wind. Not so if thy conduct be just and righteous before God ! then everyone would become a Nelson, and not one would shrink. Let us therefore humble ourselves before the Lord, and give Him thanks ; He has fought our battles. May He yet go forth in our hosts and overcome our enemies." But not only among non-Jews in England did Napoleon's Assembly evoke a warm interest; as was natural, English Jews had their own opinions upon the change of fortune which had supervened upon their French brethren. And they expressed their views also, as is shown by</page><page sequence="23">78 ANGLO-JUDAICA. " A Letter to the Parisian Sanhedrin, containing reflections on their recent proceedings, and on their venal apostacy from the Mosaic Insti? tutes with observations on the conduct of Buonaparte relative to his projected subversion and final extermination of the religion of Judaism in France." It is written by an English Israelite (London, 1808), and is dedicated to L. De Symons, Esq. The trend of this publication will be easily gauged from the opening sentences, which are as follows :? " Sirs,?While I contemplate the transactions of the Parisian Sanhedrin, or acts of the Israelitish Deputies of France and Italy, convoked at Paris by a Royal and Imperial Decree of the 30th May 1806, I own I cannot refrain from expressing (in common with many of our brethren in this country) the sorrow and regret I feel at the apostatising debasement which has so generally characterised these proceedings, particularly in the several answers you have returned to the questions that have been submitted of the Emperor of France, touching some of the doctrinal points of our ancient religion. If those answers were dictated by a fearful sense of offending your August Founder, inasmuch as that you dared not indulge in speaking the more just and correct senti? ments of your minds, they may then admit of some little extenuation, in differing so widely from the language of truth ; but, in receiving them as the result of your serious and honest conviction, or, as according strictly with the spirit of the Mosaic dispensation, neither the Jews themselves, nor any who are in the least acquainted with our system of religious faith, can ever con? sent. It is impossible to reconcile the undermining principles contained in these answers, with the solemn ordinances prescribed to us by the divine legislation of Moses, or with the writings of our other inspired prophets ; these, it is clear, most fiatly confute what you have so boldly asserted, and which I will, in its proper place, more fully demonstrate. It would, indeed, seem by your seceding thus from the Mosaic Institutes, that you are ready to embrace, or adopt any others that may be found more congenial to the views and interest of your August Prince, who, under a specious and fallacious pretence of introducing a salutary reform in our religious code, is invidiously aiming at its entire subversion." " An Appeal to the Humanity of the English Nation in behalf of the Jews"?an exceedingly rare tract printed at Dunstable, 1812, might, judging from the title, seem an innocent publication, issued in the interests of humanity and liberty. Not so ; its motive is the conversion of the Jew. " The researches of the learned into the calculations from prophecy," says the writer in a typical passage (p. 20), " all concur that the blessed period is fast approaching when ' all shall know the Lord from</page><page sequence="24">ANGLO-JUDAICA. 79 the least to the greatest' (Jer. xxxi. 34). Eminent divines of the Eng? lish Church, after the most laborious examination, declare this as their firm opinion?a Roman Catholic Bishop thus expresses himself : ' We see that the Jews, after having lain under the curse of God and man for eighteen centuries, are now rising to notice and favour. We are in the sixth age, the age of increased warfare and desolation, the age of the conversion of the Jews/ " But I repeat whether, in individual instances, the motive was con? version or not, the condition of the English Jew was attracting ever increasing attention, and the dawn of improvement in their social and civil status was beginning to break and to manifest itself throughout the country. The Jews, therefore, were beginning to wake up and to assert their position. In a spirited pamphlet, entitled " Remarks on the Civil Disabilities of British Jews," Francis Henry Goldsmid, in 1830, gave his view of the case, and appealed by logical arguments and in no undignified manner in favour of the improved condition of his co-religionists. He contended (page 34 sq.):? " The existence of the disabling laws is to the last degree prejudicial to those whom they affect, and the removal of them can scarcely occasion even an anticipation of evil. There is nothing in the numbers, nothing in the tenets of the Hebrews, nothing in their past conduct, whether degraded or freed from degradation, that can occasion alarm?everything which should prevent it.'' This honoured champion concludes (page 37) his address thus :? " Every member of a large community, though degraded by law, enjoys at least whatever comfort he can derive from the sympathy of many brothers in misfortune. But whither shall the Jew look for consolation ? Among one thousand of his countrymen he will see that he alone is marked with the badge of dishonour ; that all others are free to follow those paths of credit? able ambition, which against him alone are closed?I trust I need not say for ever. These, Christians, are the circumstances which the Jew believes to be as useless to you as they are fertile in evil for him. These, therefore, are the circumstances which he implores you to alter. Surely you will not, you cannot, reject his entreaty." The Bill was lost; but nothing daunted, with "hope deferred," Henry Goldsmid issues, in 1831, another publication, and in a series of letters deals with the chief " arguments advanced against the en</page><page sequence="25">80 ANGLO-JUDAICA. franchisement of the Jews " (this is the title of the essay); letter ii. treating of the objection " That the Jews are in constant expectation of their return to Palestine"; letter iii., "That the Jews consider themselves as a separate nation, and that their religion forbids their political identification with the state in which they live." Rather interesting reading at a time when Zionism and Territorialism are crying aloud for recognition amongst us, and when over thirty Jewish candidates have sought the suffrages of British electors to represent them in Parliament! " A Letter to Isaac L. Goldsmid, Esq., F.R.S., Chairman of the Association for obtaining for British Jews Civil Rights and Privileges, on certain recent mis-statements respecting the Jewish religion, reported to have been made by one of the Hon. Members for Oldham";?this is the title of a publication (1833) by Hyman Hurwitz, Professor of Hebrew in the University of London. The charges which the Professor is called upon to refute are of the most ridiculous character; and to strengthen his arguments, he adds " Extracts from an authentic report on the resolutions of the San? hedrim ... in the year 1807, for the purpose of declaring what are the principles of the religion of the Hebrews, and which was composed of about eighty of the most learned Jews of France and Italy"; he also adds " Extracts from the Elements of Faith," published in London in 1815, with the sanction of S. Herschel and the late E. L. Meldola, Chief Rabbis; and concludes with a "letter written in March 1833, by S. Hirschel, Chief Rabbi in London/' and addressed to I. L. Goldsmid, Esq. " Vindicce Hebraicce, or a defence of the Hebrew Scriptures . . . occasioned by the recent strictures and innovations of Mr. J. Bellamy" (1820), is the title of a work by the same Hyman Hurwitz. We might mention in the same category " The Arguments of Faith," in Hebrew and English, by Hart Symonds, published in London in 1822; a Israel Defended," a translation of Isaac Orobio's work, by Grace Aguilar (1838); and the translation of the miDtf pirn " Faith Strengthened," by Moses Mocatta. As the sound of the name of Mocatta falls upon our ears, can we fail at least for a few seconds to come under the spell of the charm which this name awakens, and gratefully call to mind the unique personality of one of the founders, aye, the chief supporter, and a former President of the Jewish Historical Society, the late Frederic David Mocatta ? He</page><page sequence="26">ANGLO-JUDAICA. 81 also has given us literary works in the English language; from his own pen, " The Jews of Spain and Portugal and the Inquisition " (1877), and from his purse Gratz's epoch-making " History of the Jews." But he has bequeathed to us members of the Jewish Historical Society of England and the English community generally more than this, namely, his own library?the nucleus of what will henceforth be known as the " Mocatta Library and Museum," now located, by the ready co-operation of University College, in the University buildings in Gower Street?a fitting memorial, an enduring testimony to one of the most honoured names in Anglo-Jewish History. The march of events is attested by the addition to the ranks of the champions of freedom among the Jews themselves, who were not slow to perceive that the mists were gradually dispersing; and we welcome in 1836 " Further Observations on behalf of His Majesty's Subjects professing the Jewish Religion," by David Salomons, already then one of the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex : to which is added a valuable appendix, giving the texts of the various oaths of allegiance, supremacy, and abjuration, affirmation of Quakers and Separatists, of the Jews' Naturalisation Act, Jews' Relief Bill, etc. The object of this pamphlet is clear. " It has been shown," says Salomons (page 6), " that the disabilities of the Jews do not proceed from any positive legal enactments against them, but arise from the peculiar form of the oath required to be taken, not only as a qualification for offices and employments, but also for the exercise of professions by no means connected with the use of any political privileges. The exclusions are chiefly caused by the words * upon the true faith of a Christian,' at the end of the oath of abjuration ; and also by the same words in the declaration appointed to be made by the Statute which repealed the Corporation and Test Acts. Were indulgence granted to them as to all other sects, and a Bill passed for their relief in this particular, it would give them an equal chance with their neighbours in the race for public honours, as the reward of just and honourable conduct." Only twelve years had elapsed since David Salomons had been elected Alderman for the Ward of Aldgate; ten years after, Sheriff Montefiore became ^Sir Moses Montefiore; and six years later, Isaac Lyon Goldsmid was created th-e first Jewish baronet. VOL. VI. ?</page><page sequence="27">82 ANGLO JUDAICA. " Ought Baron de Rothschild to sit in Parliament 1" This is the title of " An imaginary conversation between Judseus and Amicus Nobilis," by an honoured co-religionist, Dr. Barnard Van Oven, issued in the December of 1847. Time will not permit me to reproduce the points contained in this conversation?I leave them to your ima? gination. But a few sentences culled from the dedication might be considered of such general interest, of guidance, I should say, for all times, that they deserve to be heard. " When, nearly twenty years ago, attempts were first made by the Jews in this country to obtain civil rights and privileges, the late Lord Holland, a statesman of enlightened and liberal mind, and one of the most zealous friends of our cause, repeatedly advised, that Jews 4 should so conduct them? selves as to shew that their exclusion was a really practical grievance.' 'Make yourselves,' he was wont to say, 4beloved by, and useful to, your fellow-countrymen in your counties and in cities ; and when they shall elect you to be their representatives or magistrates, and the law will not allow you to take office, it will be a practical grievance on them as well as on you, and must be amended.' The Jews have strictly followed the advice of their noble friend : thus the rejection of David Salomons, Esq., by the Court of Aldermen was not only a practical evil as regarded that gentleman, but also as regarded the Wardmote which elected him ; and thus it soon led to such alteration of the law as would permit a Jew to serve any municipal office. The only serious disability which remained to Jews was their exclusion from Parliament; and it, therefore, only required that some Jew?sh gentle? man of unimpeachable character and position should, by offering himself as a candidate, test the opinion of a large and powerful constituency." Dr. Van Oven concludes with the 44 earnest hope that the last remnant of political oppression which disgraces our community in England, and depresses their energies, may be shortly removed in the instance of Baron Lionel de Rothschild." But, as is well known, not till ten years later, in 1858, and not till Baron Lionel had been returned three times, was he able to take his seat in Parliament as representing the City of London. In the meantime the debate was raging, not so much round the vital principle of admission to Parlia? ment, as round the verbal quibble?the seven words of the oath which barred him out of the legislature, 44 On the true faith of a Christian." The year 1848 is accordingly deluged with such literature as this : 44 A Few Words on the proposed Admission of Jews into Parliament, by</page><page sequence="28">ANGLO-JUDAICA. 83 a graduate of the University of Cambridge," containing the view: " Ought the Jew to fit himself to legislate? or ought the legislature to un-Christianise itself for the Jew ?" " Euphron," in his " Remarks on the proposed Bill for admitting Jews into Parliament," draws attention to the point that " The real question before the country, and in which every thoughtful lover of his country takes a deep interest, is not, who among us are entitled to certain honours and distinctions ? but an infinitely more grave and momentous one?Who among us are qualified to discharge the important functions of a legislator?to devise laws for the well-being of the people of this country ? A Member of Parliament has work to do, not merely honours to enjoy. And on the principles, political and religious, which he conscientiously and consistently maintains, depends his fitness for the high office with which he is invested." We certainly do not quarrel with this view of the case; but let us hear the conclusion of the matter. He finishes his essay with the words :? " I do yet hope and believe, that when the proposition comes to be more closely examined, and especially the principles on which it is to be judged, more accurately and maturely weighed, a light will be thrown around it, which will display its real nature and inevitable tendency, and we shall be spared the pain of witnessing so serious a breach so needlessly made in the bulwarks of our constitution." Judging from an important pronouncement on the subject, styled "Substance of a speech on the motion of Lord John Russell, for a committee of the whole house, with a viewT to the removal of the remaining Jewish disabilities, delivered in the House of Commons, on Thursday, December 16, 1847, together with a preface," the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P. for the University of Oxford, did not share the alarmist views of some of his countrymen. I will let him speak for himself in the opening words of his preface. He says :? " The proposal to open the doors of Parliament to the professors of the Jewish creed, and to make them eligible for political office, is manifestly one of deep religious interest. The University of Oxford, as well as that of Cambridge, has accordingly given expression to its own feeling upon the subject, through a petition to the" House of Commons, which was carried in convocation by a very large majority. On such an occasion, she has an</page><page sequence="29">84 ANGLO-JUDAICA. especial title to know for what reasons it was that a person whom she has recently and most highly honoured by choosing him to be one of her representatives in Parliament, has been constrained to place himself in opposition to her own formally-recorded sentiment. The following speech, to which reference would naturally be made for those reasons, took its form mainly from the previous course of the debate ; and from this cause, as well as from others, particularly the nature of the subject and its nearness to the region of abstract principle, it supplies but an imperfect statement of opinions which I am desirous to place under the cognisance of members of the University with more approach to completeness. The immediate ques? tion, contracted as it may at first sight appear to be, touches the whole range of topics connected with national religion, and with the connection between the Church and the State. Yet the positive arguments on both sides is concise; while almost all detail goes to illustration, and to the removal of objections. On the one side, it is the presumptive claim of the Jew, bearing civil burdens without limitation, to the similarly unrestrained enjoyment of civil rights. On the other side, it is mainly the maxim, that the constitution of this Christian nation, having now a Christian character, ought not by any act of us, its guardians, to be divested of it, a maxim which, thus generally expressed, appeals to instinct not less than reason for its support. I am not ashamed to confess that, upon a first view of these rival considerations, the latter is calculated to make the livelier impression. But it is not less my duty to avow how very different with me has been the result of prolonged reflection ; how I have found both the political claim strengthened, and likewise the religious objection enfeebled, by every fresh and widened ex? amination of the facts bearing upon them." Needless to inform my hearers that the speech itself on this occasion (recalling to one's mind Macaulay's famous essay of January 1831, on the "Civil Disabilities of the Jews") evinced the same broad and liberal sentiments as are contained in this manly preface. During the progress of Lord John Russell's Bill for re? moving the remaining disabilities of the Jews, there appeared in 1848 the reprint of a speech (together with additional remarks) de? livered in the House of Lords on August 1, 1833, by Dr. Whately, Archbishop of Dublin, on the "Jews' Relief Bill." It is instinct with the spirit of humanity and tolerance towards the Jews, and the arguments adduced are telling and incisive. He rightly observes (page 6) :? " Whoever is admitted to a seat in the Legislature, is admitted to a share in the government not only of the State, but also of the Church; and that,</page><page sequence="30">ANGLO-JTJDAICA. 85 not only in respect of its temporalities, but also of purely ecclesiastical affairs. If, therefore, the question be asked, 'What right can a Jew have, under any circumstances, to legislate for a Christian church V I know of no answer that can be given to that question, except by asking another : &lt; What right has a Roman Catholic to legislate for a Protestant church, or a Presbyterian for an Episcopal church ? What right, in short, has any man to legislate, in ecclesiastical matters, for any church of which he is not a member 11 This anomaly appears to me to exist in all these cases alike. The Jews, it is true, are much further removed from us than any sect of Christians ; but it does not follow that they are more likely to make innovations in our religious institutions. They never attempt to make proselytes, nor to in? troduce into Christianity any admixture to Judaism ; nor is it likely they would attempt, in any way, to interfere with the doctrines or institutions of any description of Christians. Christians, on the contrary, of different persuasions, have often interfered in the most violent manner with each other's faith and worship. . . . (page 12 sq.). "As to the right of punishing men for their religious errors, however great?and as to the right of defend? ing ourselves against the consequences of these errors ... to claim the former is the very spirit of persecution. And if there be any such persons as per? secuting Christians in this country, I scruple not to say that I differ more from them, in point of religion, than I do from the Jews themselves. ..." (page 14). " I own it does, therefore, appear to me to be a scandal rather on our own faith, to consider it so frail and brittle as not to bear touching? to proclaim that Christianity is in danger unless the hands of Christians are tied to preclude them from the election of Jews." . . ." (page 16). "Both parties are apt to regard the question as being, ' Whether a Jew generally, or such and such a particular Jew, be a fit person to sit in Parliament, or to represent such and such a particular constituency'; the real question being, ' Whether this point shall be left to be decided in each case by each conr stituenc}', or shall be decided for them by the legislature' ; and that a similar fallacy prevails with regard to questions about religious disabilities universally, i Which religion is the truest?' being often confounded with ' Shall a man be allowed to adhere to that which he thinks true or be com? pelled to profess what we think true ?' " The Archbishop towards the end of his ''Additional Remarks" (page 28 sq.) argues :? " Suppose the Bill in question passed, which would virtually remove, in this country, all disabilities connected with religion; it may be hoped that men of common sense and candour will understand immediately, and the rest, in time, that we have adopted, not such a monstrous conclusion as that religion altogether is a matter of no consequence ; but this, that it is a</page><page sequence="31">80 ANGLO-JUDAICA. matter between each man's own conscience and God ; that no one's religious opinions, so long as he does not molest his neighbours, ought to interfere with his civil rights ; and that, as men, we should employ our conscience to sit in judgment on ourselves, not on our brother, whose religious errors, however great, and scruples, however foolish, should not prevent us, as civil legislators, from treating him as a good citizen, so long as he show himself qualified and disposed to act as such." The Archbishop's noble stand in the matter is not lost sight of, but is quoted by Francis Henry Goldsmid in a pamphlet published in 1848 as a "Reply to the arguments advanced against the removal of the remaining disabilities of the Jews." He says (page 56 sq.):? "When it is seen that many pious Christians at least, both divines and laymen, attribute the same meaning to these commands, when (I cite two instances from among many) the Archbishop of Dublin has emphatically said that to punish men for religious error is persecution, and that if there be any such persons as persecuting Christians in this country, he differs from them in religion more than from the Jews themselves ; when Sir Robert Grant, in bringing forward a motion for removing the civil disabilities of the Jews, called on the professors of Christianity to efface the reproach that affected their national faith, and to render their religion what it ought to be, a reli? gion of peace and goodwill towards all mankind; I am encouraged to believe that I have rightly understood, according to the simple meaning of the words in which they are expressed, those passages of the New Testament which appear to declare that justice knows no distinction of creed, and that charity in its most comprehensive sense is the highest of human duties. And so believing, I venture (although, myself an adherent of a more ancient faith) to say to my Christian fellow-subjects : As you value the reputation of your country for generosity and uprightness, exclude not one small body of men from privileges to which all others have been admitted ; continue no longer a useless and degrading disqualification. But if you have resolved on the contrary, then at least give any reason for your determination rather than your love for religion. Cast not upon your faith so foul a stigma, as to say that respect for it requires you to perpetuate a law producing extensive injury to one class of your countrymen, and not the slightest benefit to the rest. Declare not (in contradiction to the words of the book which you revere as divine) that you ought not to do to others, as you would that they should do unto you?that honour ought not to be the portion of the Jew that does good that faith is greater than charity?and lastly, whilst you boast that the moral system of Christianity is a development of the most sublime portions of the Revelation delivered to the Hebrews, do not abandon that great precept on which the morality of the Old Testament is founded, and which even Jews</page><page sequence="32">ANGLO-JUDAICA. 87 have hitherto supposed to have been adopted as the foundation of the New. ' Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.'" Owing to the fulness of material on the subject and the fascination of the theme, one might continue for hours, but I must break off my remarks somewhat abruptly, and can do so with no better maxim than the Biblical one just cited. Let the statement suffice that, by a slow and gradual process, with help from without and perseverance from within, the Jew of the present day in this heaven-favoured land enjoys equal rights and privileges, equal rank and station, equal promotion to every office of State, with the professors of other creeds. With Sir David Salomons, Sir Moses Montefiore, Sir Francis Goldsmid, Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, Baron Lionel de Rothschild?pioneers in the former half of the nineteenth century?began the line of a fairly large list of English citizens belonging to the Jewish faith, whose names figure with respect and honour in the annals of English history as chief magistrates and sheriffs of the City of London, as knights and baronets, as King's or Queen's counsel, as Master of the Rolls, as members of the Lower House, as members of His Majesty's Privy Council, as Parliamentary Secretaries, and even as Peers of the realm. It is the object of historic research to endeavour to see facts in their true light, to rub off narrow prejudices, to broaden men's minds, to judge peoples and sects among peoples, not according to one fixed standard of thinking (the outcome often of partial or imperfect views), but according to the standard of conditions, opportunities, climate, and other accidental characteristics, which must be determining factors in influencing the habits and growth of nations, as well as individuals. Two points press themselves upon me as I bring my remarks to a close : First, the attitude of Christians in England towards us Jews, and the arguments used on religious grounds, when it was a question of our admission to full civil and political rights; and, secondly, the attitude of some Jews towards their co-religionists who differ from them in religious opinion, now that we have, by heaven's blessing, obtained those rights. May it never be said of us English Jews that we have forgotten the advice which might well serve as a motto for this or any Historical Society : "Remember the days of old, consider the years of generation and generation " ! Let us take the lessons to heart!</page></plain_text>

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