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statements concerning himself, and the present movements, &c. of "the Jewish Rabbis."
Sir,—When, last year, you requested my permission to publish' a letter I had addressed to you-as an individual declaring yourself unconnected with, and disapproving of, any society, or body of men, whose avowed object is to seduce Israelites from their faith-it was with reluctance I yielded to your urgent and repeated request; not because that letter contains anything I ought not to have written, or any one sentence I would disown, but because the serpent is most cunning, and that those who seek to ensnare Israel are by no means scrupulous in the method they employ. In the Liverpool Standard of the 17th ultimo, I find an account of a meeting held by the Liverpool Auxiliary Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews; which account states, that the Rev. J. H. Stewart (read an interesting letter from Mr. Herschell, the Chief Rabbi of London, expressive of the satisfaction which he felt in witnessing the interest shown by THE JEWISH Society in the restoration of the children of Israel to the land of Judah. The letter strongly asserted that the Jews were now looking with earnest expectation for the appearance of the Messiah to rule over his ancient people. A day had RECENTLY been appointed as a day of special intercession for the RETURN of the Messiah; that day would be on Wednesday next,' &c.
" To the best of my recollection, I have not for many years written to any Christian on the subject of the hopes of Israel, except to yourself; and as it cannot be a matter of indifference to me, that my name should be publicly used as the authority for a series of mis-statements calculated to do great mischief, I call upon you publicly to contradict this fabricated abrégé of the letter I wrote to you.
"I never expressed satisfaction at anything done by the * Jewish Society,' (i. e. the London Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews.) Many years ago, on the 10th January, 5567, I publicly declared in the synagogue,
that the whole purpose of this seeming kindness on the part of the society, is an inviting snare, a decoying experiment to undermine the props of our religion. In the thirty years and more which have since then elapsed, nothing has occurred to induce me to alter that opinion, but much to confirm it; nor could I express satisfaction at anything connected with that society, except, indeed, at its dissolution. Accordingly, my letter to you does not contain the slightest allusion to the Jewish Society.'
“ The assertion that the Jews are now looking with earnest expectation for the appearance of the Messiah,' only
states what ever since their dispersion has been a well-known fact; nor does my letter to you state that their confidence in the promises of their heavenly Father is now in particular greater or less than it always has been. But to quote me as authority for the invention, that a day of special intercession for the return of the Messiah has been recently appointed,' is really too bad. I will not offer any remark on the degree of biblical knowledge which could proclaim the day of atonement as one "recently appointed,' nor will I notice the expression 'RETURN of the Messiah,' further than by saying, had I used it, I should be unworthy the name of a Jew. But as the whole paragraph is absolutely the reverse of what I wrote to you, I have a right to expect that you, as an honest and candid man, will, in the same journal in which it was published, contradict this unfair and untrue use of my name and authority.
"I am, sir, your sincere well-wisher,
"S! HERSCHELL, Chief Rabbi. “5, Bury-court, 22 Oct., 5600 A. M. [last Oct.) "HENRY INNEs, Esq.” [layman of the Church of England.]
The above documents are now copied, with precision, from "THE PLYMOUTH HERALD," (Eng) of Nov. 23, 1839, having previously appeared in the "LIVERPOOL STANDARD” of Sept. 17 and Oct. 22. The paper out of which the above documents are taken, was generously loaned me, by Mr. Isaacs, one of the Jewish priests of New York city; and was sent over by the High Priest himself, as appears by the following mark upon the top of it, viz., “With compliments from the Rev. S. Herschell, London, to Mr. M. Micholl
, 291 Broadway, New York."
Upon this document of high authority, or from "the highly talented and much esteemed Dr. Herschell,” (as he is called in the same Liverpool paper,) “Chief Rabbi of the English Jews," I offer no further remark, than that it proves to us, that the testimony of the most learned, reputable, and high standing of the Jews, when obtained, is very much at war with many statements concerning that people, which statements have heretofore passed currently among us, as arguments in favor of increased efforts for their entire removal, at no distant period, to the land of Palestine.
An extract may now be given from a christian missionary at Jerusalem, who, of course, favors the present christian efforts for the return of the natural Jews, &c.
"A missionary, writing from Jerusalem, says, “The Jews here have neither trade nor profession, and live on the free contributions of their benevolent brethren abroad; and these
contributions are tendered entirely on the supposition that the Jews here are peculiarly devout, and most assiduous in studying the talmud. * * * One thing more; the number of the Jews here is nothing like what you think in England. Mr. Nicolayson thinks it is in all 5000; and this is the highest number I have heard yet; but some of the Jews told me that the number of souls does not exceed half this number. Nor is the number of those who annually come here so great, and they are barely or scarcely sufficient to make up for the ravages that the periodical visitations of the earthquake, plague, &c., make among them. A Jew told me that he had now been here four years, and that the number of Jews he then found are now no more, while a majority of the present are new comers.'
“This is an affecting statement respecting the Jewish population ; entire generations of which seem to be cut down by pestilence, earthquake, or the sword, in the space of a few years. A considerable accession of new comers must be required to keep up the number; and continual changes must spread among the Jews, throughout the world, the knowledge of what is doing at Jerusalem. It is well known that the Jews are in the habit of studiously concealing their numbers.”—[From the New York Evangelist of Nov. 23, 1839.]
The learned Jewish priests of New York city, professing to understand the state of the Jews at Jerusalem, deny a part of the above statements, affirming that no such disasters have there occurred to diminish the Jewish population leaving us to conclude, that this acknowledged want of increase there, results from their want of business and money, rather than from such disasters as here stated.
Such being the condition of the whole Jewish population at Jerusalem, what motive could thousands and millions more of the same people have, for going there also, to be supported as paupers, or immediately to return to their present Gentile habitations, still to enrich themselves by merchandising?
The following items of testimony were kindly given me, at my request, in July last, by Messrs. J. J. Lyons and S. M. ISAACS, the only two regularly officiating Jewish Rabbis, or priests, of New York city, with permission to publish them, concerning the present condition and prospects among the Jews generally, in relation to their soon going to Palestine. The testimony has since been published in papers of New York and Boston, and I now copy it from the N. Y. Olive Leaf, in the very form in which I first took it from their united verbal statements; which document was exa
mined by themselves, approved as correct, and allowed for publication.
"In all christian countries, they say that their people enjoy equal social, civil, and religious privileges with Christians in almost all respects; that they take part in the government, hold offices, &c.; and that so far as some may have suffered more or less persecution as Jews in pagan countries, where they have sometimes staid a little too long, they only went there from choice, in hopes to do better than elsewhere, while they might all abide safely, if they chose, in christian nations. Although, now, their situation is so favorable throughout the world, they have, in former times of their dispersion, experienced more occasional persecution. Of late, some ten or dozen of the Jews have been massacred at Damascus by some avaricious and unprincipled Romanists and others, under the false charge of their having murdered a monk, and used his blood in some of their Jewish rites; which is supposed to be only as a pretence to obtain their property, then considered as lawful spoil; while it was very well known that the Jews never use blood of any kind on any occasion, considering it most strictly forbidden of God in his word.
“The Jews of Jerusalem they admit to be poor, and generally without business to support themselves, while they live on the benevolence of their more wealthy brethren abroad, whose business is lucrative.
“Nearly all the Jews elsewhere, throughout the world, are engaged in mercantile business or trade, and but very few, anywhere, in farming.
“With regard to their return to Jerusalem, or "Judah, they understand all the prophecies to foretel it, though they profess not to see any more signs of the event now near, than there have heretofore been, since their dispersion.
“They have no anticipations nor desires of going to inhabit that country at present, or under existing circumstances, and would by no means consent to go as a people, even if the whole country were given them, with the city and temple at Jerusalem already built, unless the eastern powers would become pledged to protect them as citizens and as Jews, not being able to protect themselves.
"When their Messiah shall come, and they as a people shall return, they expect him to come not as a mortal man, but with great power and glory, as Daniel and the prophets have described it—to destroy all his and their enemies, in the end of all worldly things—to dwell with them, and they with him, in a glorious state forever and ever; when their land, being created anew, will 'flow with the milk and honey'
of spiritual and everlasting enjoyments—then with angels in a heavenly state.
"They utterly disclaim all fellowship and sympathy with christian efforts and societies for bettering their condition, or for gathering them again into the land of Israel; believing all these movements to be evil designs against them, to denationalize, or mingle them with the Gentile world.
“They affirm that the christian institutions of the East for the maintenance and education of the indigent children of Jews, have not been successful in obtaining such children; and that although those institutions have obtained such reputed children, inquiry has been made into the matter, when it was ascertained that such children were not really of Jewish parents, though in some instances one of the parents might have called themselves Jews, but were not truly of the Jewish faith. As proof of this assertion, they say, that the Jews themselves stand ready, with their own institutions, to maintain and educate all such indigent Jewish children, instead of their being driven by want to take refuge with a people not their own."
The preceding testimony of the New York Jewish priests I have been led to consider credible, from the considerations, that it perfectly harmonizes with that of the highly talented and much esteemed Dr. Herschell, Chief Rabbi of the Eng. lish Jews,” and also with that of the christian "missionary at Jerusalem," on the prospects of the Jews, and with a mass more of authentic testimony which might be given, if time permitted. I have also felt bound to give heed to the same, from the fact, that on becoming personally acquainted with these gentlemen, Jewish priests, being several times at their houses, and having made particular inquiry of others concerning them, I felt constrained to regard them, aside from their professed and consistent Judaism, as said of the High Priest of London, "highly talented," &c.
It will be seen readily, that this testimony, from the most authentic sources, is all directly to the point; and that it presents itself in formidable array against the foundation of the popular argument in favor of the speedy literal return of the natural Jews, which argument stands on the alleged position of the present unprecedented and successful movements among the Jews themselves for their speedy removal. And thus we leave the testimony, and the whole subject; without further remark, except most seriously and affectionately to urge all, of an opposite opinion on this subject, to whom these and other facts may come, faithfully to examine and weigh them; and to give the whole subject a fair