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Miscellanies: A Petition for the Re-Admission of the Jews to England

Lee M. Friedman

<plain_text><page sequence="1">A PETITION FOR THE READMISSION OF THE JEWS The story of the mission of Manasseh Ben Israel to Oliver Cromwell in 1655, undertaken to obtain permission for Jews to resettle in England is too well known to need any re-telling. It was, perhaps, one of the most romantic adventures under? taken by post-biblical Jews. In conception it addressed itself most adroitly to Puritan susceptibilities. As an appeal to religious emotions, it represented that the granting of the petition would be a step in realization of their aspirations to hasten the millennium which, according to their interpretation of the prophecy, was only to come after the Jews had been so scattered that their " calling " should draw them from every corner of the world. Subtly there was also the suggestion that as good practical English Puritans until the millennium, they would find it good business to advance their commercial interests by allowing Jews to enter England, thereby helping themselves more successfully to compete in the foreign markets where Jewish merchants were then factors in the developing Dutch trading. Puritan imagination was captivated by the picturesque personality of the Rabbi and stirred by the incentive to further their religious ambitions and fill their pocketbooks. A furore of extensive propaganda literature, prolific in polemic interchanges, agitated for popular attention as theologians, politicians, merchants, and pamphleteers aired their conflicting views, advocating or opposing the granting of the petition. Opponents and supporters deluged the Government with their polemics, petitions, and protests. Lately I acquired a volume in which was bound the small broadside (5-I by 6| inches), England's Deplorable Condition. Inasmuch as I had found no reference to such a petition in Roth's Magna Bibliotheca Anglo-Judaica or in any other bibliography or history of the period, I undertook to investigate whether such a petition on behalf of the Jews existed. I found that only one copy was known, located in the British Museum, catalogued under the name " F., E. de CV." or " E. F. de CV." who cannot be identified. The petition was printed in the pamphlet as an appendix and runs as follows : To the Magistrates of England, E.F. on the Jews behalf. Humbly Declareth,</page><page sequence="2">Plate I. ENGLANDS DephrMe Condition t SHEWING The COMMON-WEALTHS Malad &lt; ^ Sacriledge, and wane of Duty in che People. ' ] By &lt; Coocemioo &gt; wane of Charity in che MiniAery. * 1 C Perjury &gt; and wane of Truth in both. . And Its Remedy, y.r,A : ? r The Peoples Obedience and Liberal icy. / *'1 1 By &lt; The Minitters Love and Unity. ! c+Boch their Repentance j and Fidelity, j nritfii^clard in THREE TREATISES*' J The Minifters Patrimony, and Peoples Duty. Of ^ proP?flls lo reconcile fuch as are for Lordly Bpifcopacy, ax ?n-ordain'd Pr9*$^; for Popular Independancy, ai Upftart Antipxdc^^lry. And againtt Perjury. Alfo, a Petition for the JEW S. As Oft}? tbet ftrved et tbe Altar lived of it, /? bath tbe Lord ordained tbnt tbeywbitb mw tbe GifpctfbonU I'M-ff h , i Cor. $.13,14. ) EveryDevotedttbingumo^boljtotbeL?rd% itfballbe tbeFrk?s, it {ball not bt {old* tu redeemed 9' Lev. %7*?i&gt; **? Imenitome Dnntu % Exod. ao. t&gt; 6m MxteMtiexc Recipients* &gt; 1 Gor. v6.14., tmpletione M**d*tor*my Rom? 13.8. v*cceptmom* EMMtgilil^ Luk. 10. ?7, Oriffme OhdiimU y 1 Cor. 13.1, &amp;c. Oper#tio*c *M$iw Rom. 1 3. io. ?tu tu it. - -? ? Whqfliall inherit heaven ^ V ?* * Pfal. iy. 4. ?Th*thMthM*t fveern deceitfully ^ Pfal. 24*4, I bave opened mj mouth me tbe toed* mid i erntet go bub* Jude. 11.11 ?ve* fi *&gt;?b Ae Jews wem m believed* that tbrbugb jo*r merty. tbey ajfoma, tavn mercy ^ Rom? z f . 34*? " JU*den?&gt; Printed for ch^Author, and are to be fold by Richard Skelten k &lt;: Jit the BMJovtdBitlein D*ckrl**e. 16 +9. J." Facing p. 222.</page><page sequence="3">michael bolaffi and hayim vita bolaffey 223 much more their fulness ? For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what will their Assumption be, but life from the dead, Rom. 11.12. Zach. 8. 13. And sith by our mercy they shall obtain mercy, Rom. 11.31. And many shall seek their favour, as its prophesied Zach. 8.23. And God will execrate and destroy those Nations that have been enemies to them, as the Prophets fore-tell, Isa. 11.13. Gen. 12.3. Jer. 3. 16. Zeph. 3. 19, 20. Isa. 51.21, 22 &amp; 47 6. Jer. 2.3. Zach. 1. 12, 15. And sith in our Directory made by the late reverend Assembly, and confirmed by the High Court of Parliament, the Ministers of the Gospel were commanded to Pray for their conversion, and so to use all means to effect the same, unless we will flatteringly mock God in our Prayers, especially sith they are beloved according to the Election for their Fathers sake, of our heavenly Father, whom we are to imitate, and whose gifts and callings are without repentance, Rom. 11.28. and whom we are to follow as dear Children, sith from them came the Adoption, and the Glory ; from them we received the Covenants and the Law, the Worship of God, and the Promises ; for theirs were the Fathers, and from them Christ came, who is God over all, blessed for ever, Rom. 9.4 &amp;c. Lastly, Sith they abound in Wealth, Arts, and Sciences, and excel in ingenuity and Tongues, and God is able to graft them in again, and the Redeemer shall come to Zion to turn away iniquity in Jacob, and the time of fulfilling this is by the common suffrage of the Godly at hand, Rom. 11.26. Therefore to hasten their Conversion, and to procure the Blessing and life to us and our Posterity, to have the honour and glory to be happy instruments of their Conversion, through out mercy spread towards them, to get to us and our Posterity deliverance from the evil threatned to fulfil the Prophesies, avert all Judgements, and to obtain our Petitions for ingrafting and Salvation : Therefore your Petitioner humbly prayeth, That they may have Liberty (as well as other Nations) to Trade and Traffick in our Common-Wealth without peril of their lives : To that end, let the Statutes of Bannishing them be Repealed : And if the Parliament think fit, let them (on good Cautions and Conditions as shall seem meetest to their wisdom) be suffered here to Continue and Dwell amongst us, as formerly before the Conquest, that so living with us, they may with the Sweetness and Fatness of our Land, receive into their Souls the wholsome and saving knowledge of the Gospel, which in no Country under Heaven (blessed be God, and continued still be this Mercy to us and ours till Christ come) is so purely and powerfully preacht and held forth as in this Common Wealth : To effect which ; Tour Petitioner shall alwayes Pray, &amp;c. Lee M. Friedman (Boston, U.S.A.).</page></plain_text>

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