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I have taken the only method in my power of being useful to him, and have published his letter.
As for Shylock, who is so obnoxious to my 'correspondent, I wish I could prove him the son of a Samaritan ás clearly as Simon Magus; but I Aatter myself the next best thing for his purpose is to prove him the son of a poet, and that I will endeavour to do in my very next paper, with this further satisfaction to Mr. Abrahams, that I do not despair of taking him down a step in his pedigree, which for a poetical one is, as it now stands, of the very first family in the kingdom.
As for the vulgar fun of smoaking a few, which so prevails amongst us, I am persuaded that my countrymen are much too generous and good-natured to sport with the feelings of a fellow-creature, if they were once fairly convinced that a Jew is their fellow-creature, and really has fellow-feelings with their own: Satisfy them in this point, and their humanity will do the rest: I will therefore hope that nothing more is wanting in behalf of my correspondent, (who seems a very worthy man) than to put the following short questions to his persecutors-Hath, not a Jew eyes?' Hath not a few hands, organs, dimensions, senfes, affections, passions ? Fed with VOL. III.
the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the fame diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same summer and winter, as a Christian is? If you prick them, do they not bleed? If you tickle them, do they not laugh? If you poison them, do they not die? _The man, who can give a serious answer to these questions, and yet persist in persecuting an unoffending being, because he is a Jew, whatever country he may
claim, or whatever religion he may profess, has the foul of an inquifitor, and is fit for nothing else but to feed the fires of an Auto da Fé.
When I turn my thoughts to the past and prefent situation of this peculiar people, I do not see how any Christian nation according to the fpirit of their religion can refuse admission to the Jews, who, in completion of those very prophecies, on which Christianity rests, are to be scattered and disseminated amongst all people and nations over the face of the earth. It seems therefore a thing as inconsistent with the spirit of those prophecies for any one nation to attempt to expel them, as it would be to incorporate them.
The fin and obduracy of their forefathers are amongst the undoubted records of our gospel, .but I doubt if this can be a sufficient reason,
why we should hold them in such general odium through so many agès, seeing how naturally the fon follows the faith of the father, and how much too general a thing it is amongst mankind to profess any particular form of religion, that devolves upon them by inheritance, rather than by free election and conviction of reason founded upon examination.
Let me put the case of a man born a Jew and settled in a kingdom, where the Inquisition is in force; can he reconcile his natural feelings to à conversion in favour of that church, which denounces everlasting damnation against him, if he does not betray the secrets of his parents, and impeach them to the Inquisition for the concealed religion, which he knows they practise, though they do not profess.
If we as Chriftians.owe fome respect to the Jews as the people chosen by God to be the keepers of those prophetic records, which announce the coming of the Messias, we owe it also to the truth of history to confess, that the hope indulged by them that his coming would bring temporal as well as spiritual salvation, was general to all the nation. Their antient sages had united the military with the prophetic character; fome had headed their armies; all had gone forth with them, and even their women
had contributed to the downfal of their enemies and oppreffors : They had been delivered from their Egyptian and Babylonish thraldom by the arm of God; the yoke of Rome laid no less heavy on their necks'; and they regarded their former deliverances as types and forerunners of the greater deliverance to come, when the Son of God should descend upon earth in the plenitude of his power to rid them from their enemies and oppreffors.
In place of this glittering but delusive vision they beheld a meek and humble man, a teacher of peaceful doctrines, who went about preaching forgiveness of injuries and submission to authorities. They asked him (and the question was a proving one) whether he would have them render tribute unto Cæfar: He told them in reply they should render unto Cæfar the things that were Cæsar's, tribute to whom tribute was due : Mortifying reply! extinguishing at once their hopes and their ambition. Still there was something about him that converted many and Itaggered all ; never man spoke as he spoke, never man did what he did; he had evident power of working miracles; the hand of God was with him and the operations of nature were under his controul : His power was great, but was not great to their purposes, and therefore they denied that
it was derived from God; they charged him with being a magician, and casting out devils by the aid of the prince of the devils : A likely intercourse between the representatives of light and of darkness; a notable collusion between heaven and hell; if Beelzebub was to be charged with conspiring to cast out Beelzebub, it was at least incumbent on the abettors of the charge to prove that any being, endowed with such power could be so devoid of intelligence.
Conviction and rebuke only rendered them more furious and inveterate ; despairing at length of employing his power against Rome, they resolved upon turning the power of Rome against him: They impeached him before Pilate the Roman procurator ; Pilate unwillingly at their urgent requisition sentenced him to ignominious execution ; disavowing in the strongest terms hiş share in the act, and by the figurative exculpation of washing his hands in public view, purifying, (as far as such a ceremony could purify) his tribunal from the guilt of spilling innocent blood.
Can it be a wonder with us at this hour that the Jews should persist in avowing their unbelief in the Messias ?. If they admit the evidences of the Christian religion, do they not become their own accusers? And this, although it be no rea