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And, if they do come upon terms and agreements, there may be inconveniences, and offending of many: That, because the lawyers say, there is no law against their coming, there may only be a connivance and permission of them; and, is afterwards there be inconveniences, there may be proceedings against them, and no just cause of excep. tions.
Some questioned whether the Jews conversion shall be of the nation; or but here and there one, as of French, &c.or not until Christ appear unto them, as in converting Paul. And though we should shew mercy to Jews, yet begin at home, and not so infect ourselves, or wrong our merchants. The merchants said, such an inlet would be to inrich foreigners, and impoverish English merchants. [Merchants, especially, has caused the Jews departure from England, whereby some thousands of Jews perished in the Thames, by the cruelty of a ship-master, that was to transport them; partly otherwise.]
Some judged, seeing the Jews deal chiefly in way of merchandise, and not in husbandry, nor buying houses, nor in manufactures, that the Jews coming, and so trading, might tend to the bringing lower the prices of all sorts of commodities imported; and to the furtherance of all that have commodities vendible to be exported; and to the benefit of most of our manufactures, where they shall live, by their buying of them. And thus, though the merchants gains were somewhat abated, it might tend to the benefit of very many in our nation, even in outward things, besides the hopes of their conversion; which time, it is hoped, is now at hand, even at the door. [This last was spoken of at a more private meeting.] One of the lawyers rehearsed from records the history of the Jews in England, and many of their sufferings here in the time of Constantine the Great, and of some Kings before the conquest, and then of William the Conqueror's calling them to England, and incir sufferings, and other proceedings since that time, until Edward I's reign, when many thousands of them were urged to leave Eng. land, and a great part of them were drowned in the 'Thames, or in the decp waters. And, now that they are gone, they wished not their return bither again. Also, the lawyers said, that there is no law that forbids the Jews return into England.
All having been heard, the Lord Protector on the eighteenth of Decomber, and before, professed that he had no engagement to the Jews, but only what the Scripture holds forth; and that
le had hoped by these preachers to have had some clearing of the case, is to conscience. But seeing these agreed not, but were of two or three opinions, it was left the more doubtful to himn and the council; and he hoped to do nothing herein hastily or rashly; and had much need of all their prayers, that the Lord would direct them, so as may be to his glory, and to the good of the nation.
And thus was the dismission of that assembly.
1. Dr. Tuckney of Cambridge, and Dr. Whichcock; Mr. Newcomen of Essex, Dr. Wilkinson of Oxford, and Mr. Rowe of Westminster.
2. Mr. P. Nye, Mr. Carter, Mr. Caryll, Dr. Cudworth, Mr. Bridge, and Mr. Be'n of Dorchester.
3. Mr. Thomas Goodwin, Mr. Jessey, and Mr. Dike near Essex.
Of merchants: the lord mayor, the late lord mayor, and the two sheriffs of London: Alderman Tichburne; Mr. Cresset, master of the Charter-house, and Mr. Kiffen.
Lawyers: the Lord Chief Justice Glyn, and the Lord Chief Baron Steele.
The protector shewed a favourable inclination towards our harbour. ing the afflicted Jews, professing he had no engagements, but upon Scripture grounds, in several speeches that he made. So did some of his council, though some inclined not to their coming hither. The counsel of the Lord, it shall stand. What shall be the issue the most wise God knows, and he will order all for the best.
Rabbi Manasses Ben Israel still remains in London, desiring a favour. able answer to his proposals; and, not receiving it, he hath desired, if it may not be granted, that he may have a favourable dismission, that he may return.
But, other great affairs being now in hand, and this being a business of very great concernment, no absolute answer is yet returned unto him, unto this present day of the conclusion hereuf, being vulgarly the first of April, 1656, old stile, but, according to the Holy Scripture, the fourteenth or fifteenth of Abib, the first month (called also Nisan, Exod. xiii. 4. Esth. iii. 7.) at which time the Jews feast of passover was to be kept, Numb. xxviii. 16, 17.
Many Jewish merchants had come from beyond seas to London, and hoped ihey might have enjoyed as much privilege here, in respect of trading, and of their worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob here in synagogues publickly, as they enjoy in Holland, and did enjoy in Poland, Prussia, and other places. But, after the conference and debate at Whitehall was ended, they heard by some, that the greater part of the ministers were against this; therefore they removed hence again to beyond the seas, with much grief of heart, that they were thus disappointed of their hopes. Jews must be planted into their own olive, and great riches shall that be to the believing Gentiles, Rom. xi. 12, 15. Isa. Ix. 1, 2, 3. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem ; they shall prosper, that love it,' Psal. cxxii. 6. Here followeth part of a letter, written at Leghorn, 1652, and sent by the preacher in the Phænix frigate to a friend in London.
Leghorn, a-board the Phænir,
19 of the 1, 1652. Dear Brethren, WE have great cause to rejoice, that the Lord carrieth on the endeavours of his people to long after the good of the poor blind Jews. Some of us were desirous to see their synagogue; and, coming, they were at their service; but their glory we forbear to mention, their lamps, their candlesticks, their mitres, their bells, Aaron's bells they say. We spoke to one that could speak a little English, a very grave pro
per man, and asked him the meaning of such and such things; and we, as we durst, spoke of the Messias, and his actings.
But he said, the Messias was not come; moreover, that the Jews are naughty men now, but they shall be good. We asked, When? They answered, it is about ten years first.
They long to hear that England would tolerate them; surely, the promises of Jehovah will be performed, and he will give them favour in all nations. () that England may not be slack herein! Shall they be tolerated by the pope, and by the Duke of Florence; by the Turks, and by the Barbarians, and others? And shall England still have laws in force against them? When shall they be recalled?
Truly, we are persuaded, the antichristian state must have a great fall before their conversion. Othat the poor Jews might have toleration to come into England, out of her, that they may be succoured in that terrible day!
A postscript, to fill up the following pages, that else had been vacant :
1. The proposals of Rabbi Manasses Ben Israel, more fully. 2. Part of his letter, written Anno 1647. 3. The late progress of the gospel amongst the Indians in Neza
THE substance of the late proposals by Rabbi Manasses Ben Israel was to desire these favours:
1. That the Hebrew nation may be received here, and be protected from all wrongs, as the English are, or should be.
2. To have publick synagogues allowed in England, &c. to observe their religion as they ought.
3. To have a burying-place out of the town, without being troubled by any about their burials.
4. To traffick as freely in all sorts of merchandise, as other strangers.
5. To the end that the Jews that come over may be for the profit of this nation, and prejudice or offend none; that a person of quality may be assigned by the lord protector, to receive their passports, and their oath of fealty to him.
6. To prevent trouble to our judges and others, that matters of differences amongst the Jews, may be accorded and determined by the heads of synagogues, and others with them, amongst themselves.
7. To repeal any laws, if any such be, as are against Jews, for their greater security.
This was the substance of the proposals.
The protector, when the proposals had been read, said, If more were proposed than it was meet should be granted, it might now be considered, 1. Whether it be lawful at all to receive in the Jews. 2. If it be lawful, then upon what terms is it meet to receive them?
His further speaking in favour of that nation, and the expressions of others, pro and contra, are before related.
Here followeth part of a letter written by Rabbi Manasses, from Amster.
dam, in September, 5407, or 1647, to one in England, whilst the sword in our late wars consumed many thousands.
That is, Sir, I cannot express the joy that I have, when I read your letters, full of desires to see your country prosperous, which is heavily afflicted with civil wars, without doubt, by the just judgment of God. And it should not be in vain to attribute it to the punishment of your predecessor's faults, committed against ours; when ours, being deprived of their liberty under deceitfulness, so many men were slain, only because they kept close unto the tents of Moses, their legislator, &c.
Of the proceedings amongst Indians in New-England, IN Martin's Vineyard, southerly from Boston and from Cape Cod, the fourth book, published by Mr. Whitfield, 1651, the Lord began with one Hiacome, 1643, whom his King did strike on the face, because he spoke for the English; Hiacome was patient, and said to one afterwards, I had one hand for injuries, and the other laid greater hold on God.
1645, and 1646, Indians observed, that God's hand, by a sickness, was far more on them, than on Hiacome's house and friends; and met, and would know things of religion. He spoke of one God, &c. A great Indian said, that had thirty-seven gods, Shall I throw away thirty-seven gods for one? Hiacome said, I have done it, and you see I am now preserved: That Indian said, I will throw away all my Gods too, and serve that one God with you.
1647, Sagamar Towanquatick, turning from paganism, was shot by a devilish Indian in the night; the next morning Mr. Mahew, that preacheth to those Indians, found him praising God that he was not killed.
1649, many Indians came to Hiacome to learn more of God, and were encouraged not to fear their Pawaw witches.
1650, by Hiacome's means, Humanequem turned from paganism. In the fifth book, called Strength out of Weakness, Mr. Mahew relates, 1651, three converted from being Pawaws, losing those gains, friends, &c. there is a conference with an Indian.
In the sixth book, called Tears of Repentance, 1653, Mr. Mahew sets down the covenant to serve Jehovah, that those Indians made, 1652; that about thirty Indian children were then at school. These praying Indians were shortly to be gathered into one town.
Mr. Elliot relates the confessions and repentance of about fifteen Natick Indians, in New-England Bay. Their own words Englished, and the hopeful words of two Indian children, under three years of age, before they died, as, 'God and Jesus Christ help me; God and Jesus Christ bless it,' before it would eat. The other, when its bawbles were brought it, being in pain, putting them away, it said, 'I will leave my basket, for I am going to God; I will leave my spoon and my tray, for I am going to God.'
In the seventh, and last book, called A late and further Manifestation of the Gospel's Progress amongst Indians in New-England, Mr. Elliot relates the examination of the Indians at Rocksbury, the thirteenth of the fourth month, 1654, before an assembly of the elders in and about the Bay, and others, concerning their knowledge in the grounds of the Christian religion. The narration whereof is judged fit to be printed, that God may have praises for his free grace wonderfully manifested ; as it is attested by,
The two following narratives contain an account of all the parliament
men in Oliver Cromwell's usurpation, and shew which way they all
got their money, The former narrative, particularly, gives an account of the choosing,
coming together, secluding some, and of the sitting of the rest of Oliver's parliament; as also of the things that did attend them, and the acts that were passed by them; amongst which, what could be more oppressive, than that wicked and unjust act for new buildings, by which many, that for sixteen years before, had paid twice the yalue of their houses in taxes, were obliged to pay a year's rent more, or submit to be plundered, have their estates sequestered, and their persons cast into prison? This was attended with another act, establishing an excise for ever; which, with the customs it settled upon the crown, or person reigning, was a standing revenue to enable the governinent to keep the people in perpetual slavery. After this, it was also enacted, that the people should pay a tax for three years in