Discourses on the Jewish religion, volume 10

This book has been photographed in its entirety. Images can be seen by clicking here. [Page i] DISCOURSES THE JEWISH RELIGION. ISAAC LEESER. "Behold ! thus is my word, saith the Lord, like the fire, and like the hammer that shivereth the rock. Jeremiah xxiii. 29. VOL. X. THIRD SERIES. P H I L A D E L P H I A : PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR BY SHERMAN & CO. 5628. [Page ii] Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, By Isaac Leeser, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. STEREOTYPED BY SHERMAN & CO. [Page iii] CONTENTS OF VOL. X. LECTURES. PAGE I. Hebrew Poetry, . 1 *II. On Prayer, No. I., . 29 III. On Prayer, No. II., 57 IV. Life and its Issues, . 82 V. The Past and Future of Israel, . 95 VI. A Plea for Religious Education, 117 VII. The Hospital, 159 VIII. Our Charities, 174 ADDRESSES. I. The End of Life, . 207 II. Life and Eternity, . 216 III. Funeral of Mr. Touro, . 226 IV. Mr. Lincoln's Death, 235 V. Wedding Address, .... 242 VI. Bar Mitzvah Address, 249 VII. Education, ..... 252 VIII. Union in Israel, .... 257 IX. The Fathers and Teachers of Israel, 267 X. Dangers and Remedy, 271 XI. Planting the Seed, .... 287 XII. Instruction for All, . . .. 295 XIII. A Retrospect, ..... 306 XIV. Some Work of the Ministry, 315 XV. An Anticipation, .... 321 (iii) [Page iv] IV CONTENTS. P R A Y E R S. PAGE Prayer I., 335 ' II., . 338 ' III., . 342 ' IV., . 345 ' V., 349 ' VI., . 353 ' VII., . 357 ' VIII., 359 ' IX., 361 ' X., . 364 ' XL, 366 ' XII., 368 APPENDIX I. Moses and Jethro, 375 II.On Education, . 390 [Page 1] LECTURES AND OCCASIONAL ADDRESSES. LECTURE I. HEBREW POETRY.* Beloved Young Friends ! The pleasure I now have of appearing among you to respond to the request made of me to deliver an address before a body of Israelitish youths, who have nobly resolved to devote their leisure hours to their mental improvement, has been delayed much longer than I wished or could have anticipated. Circum– stances, however, beyond my control, and various delays naturally incident to the life of one who holds a public, responsible station which, whilst it is hon– ourable, nevertheless deprives him not unfrequently of the disposal of his own time, have detained me * A lecture delivered in Elul 5601 (1841), at the Crosby Street Synagogue, New York, before the Young Men's Literary Associa– tion. VOL. X. (1) [Page 2] 2 HEBREW POETRY. hitherto, and I fear that some of you may have thought me lukewarm, for not rcdcemhig sooiior–tlic promise I made of co–operatiug with you in your laudable efforts, when you did mc the honour of electing me an honourary member of your society. But such a judgment would be unjust; for at no time did I feel more hopes for the revival of that religion, an un– worthy minister of which I have been chosen, in this country, than when I learned, that those who were natives of the soil had associated for the purpose of diffusing a knowledge of it among themselves and their friends, by the institution of a library, lectures, and a public school, whereby the deeds of our ances– tors, the mercy of the Creator so often displayed among the sons of Israel, the ancient language of Jacob's sons, and the sufferings of the martyrs of our faith, might become widely spread and generally known. Could I then feel indifferent about the prog– ress of such a society as yours? Could my non– appearance at an earlier date than to–day be sufHcient evidence that my spirit had not been with you long ere this? I trust, therefore, that you, my friends, will acquit me of neglect, and that you will bear with me, whilst I in my turn call your attention to a theme which has not been without cause the glory of Israel. But it is not of the prowess in battle of our fore– fathers, not of their daring deeds of arms, how they stood forward in the day of light to strike for their people and the cities of their God ; not of the renown which they richly acquired for their unresisting suf– ferings, rather than yield to the threats of the op– pressor and his allure–ments, in the cause of their blessed religion, that I mean to speak now ; for though [Page 3] HEBREW POETRY. 3 rich and inexhaustible as these subjects would be to the Israelitish patriot, they have already frequently roused the orator and the poet to pour forth their thoughts that burn, and to excite others to go and do likewise. And indeed wherever the name of Israel– ite is mentioned, there arise in the mind of the hearer ideas of his constancy and ancestral renown, and even his enemies must acknowledge that he is not to be despised as one of obscure origin and a parentage of no note in the world's history. I therefore do not wish now to soar so high, and to bring before you the account of deeds of which sinning man is scarcely worthy; but I mean to offer to your consideration another branch of the Hebrews glory, in a field where there are indeed thorns and weeds, but where still no blood can flow by the cultivation of the soil. Deeds of arms, though performed in the cause of justice, bring home sutt'erings to the bosom of many ; martyr– dom, though endured in a holy warfare, is still a pain– ful subject for reflection. But the glory achieved by the Israelites of old in the art of poetry is one which we can contemplate without feelings of regret or pain. And it is the triumph which those who went before us have acquired in this peaceful pursuit, on which I would desire you to dwell for the brief space I am permitted to detain you this day. Poetry proper consists in investing the subject with a light and attraction which indeed belong to it, but which are not represented in the language of conver– sation, commonly called prose. The poet's province, therefore, is to select the beautiful and striking fea– tures of his subject, and present them to the hearer or reader in such a manner as to captivate his fancy, [Page 4] 4 HEBREW POETRY. and to cause him to feel within himself that the image before him is truly beautiful, powerful, or good. The prose writer or the ordinary speaker, ou the contrary, may without impropriety represent the subject in all its parts without ornament or dress; since he merely is to give an account of the thing so as to represent it correctly to tlie one he means to inform. If you therefore read in a medical work a description of a man, you would in vain look for any agreeable or lively sketch of his structure and capacities, but merely a dry detail of bones, muscles, sinews, veins, and internal organization ; for the writer's object will evidently be to convey to you intelligible information of something which he knows, or fancies he knows, and which he feels called upon to communicate to others. But if this subject were handled by one pro– fessing to be a poet, you would be shocked were he to dwell in measured verse upon the anatomical struc– ture of the body, upon the organs of sensation, breath– ing, or digestion; because you would justly deem, that a medical description is not to bo expected from a poet. It will be evident from this short definition, which I believe to be as accurate as can be given without resorting to a long and laboured dissertation, that the prosaist is to address the understanding, the poet, however, the feeling chiefly; and whilst the first must endeavour to convince our reason by his carefully arranged argument, the latter should excite our sensibility by the quickness and rapidity with which he sketches, as it were, his subject before our perceptive faculty. It will, however, be apparent to you without re– quiring any extended explanation from me, that mauy [Page 5] HEBREW POETRY. 5 a thing, which is neither actually beautiful, nor great, nor good, may still be able to be presented in such a light as to excite the fancy or the imagination ; or in other words, the art of poetry, which in its proper application should only elevate what is really deserv– ing of admiration, may be prostituted to endow with a fictitious outward glare that which of itself had better remain buried in its well–merited darkness and obliv– ion. Hence, all the effects of every species of vice, crime, or cruelty, are of right no fit objects upon which the genius of poetry should alight. They are of an impure nature, and only calculated to contaminate the innocent and spotless. What connexion then can there be in the realms of truth between the spirit in its purity, and the pollution of sinful nature? We should say, none whatever. In fact, if we view it un– connected with the satisfaction which all men have not rarely in the contemplation of things wrong and sinful in themselves, we must aver, poetry cannot or at least should not exhibit aught but what is beau– tiful, great, and good; since the contemplation of themes having one of these qualities alone can tend to the moral improvement of man. Nevertheless, it is a deplorable fact, that poets of all ages and coun– tries and languages, save those of one people, have lent the charms which flow from their well–stored minds to beautify things that are odious in moral de– formity, and have glorified the worthless, and praised the pernicious aniang men and things. In other words, the glare of poetry has been thrown around vice, crime, and cruelty, and has appealed for applause to the satisfaction which erring man has not rarely in the coutemphition of things wrong and sinful in them– 1* [Page 6] 6 HEBREW POETRY. selves. This power of a misapplied art arises from tliefact that we have inclinations which are not good, at least such as are not unfreed from evil, and because we are more or less attracted by sensual things, ueces– sary perhaps to our self–preservation and the continu– ance of our species, which are notwithstanding this far removed from an absolute state of purity. In other Avords, if one takes advantage of our known propen– sity to sin and sensuality, and sketches their effects in such a manner as to hide their coarse and offensive features, he may produce a picture which, though repugnant to virtue, will yet be attractive in its col– ouring and arrangements, and consecpiently well–cal– culated to mislead the imagination and –warp the understanding. Judgment and our better reason may loudly exclaim that such poetry is destructive to the peace of society and of the individual, and injuri– ous to morals; but the poison will still be diffused, and its apparent sweetness will hide from the many the im– moral effect which it bears within it. Another fact may be adduced here, that in exact proportion to the faulty selection of his subject, a poet is often admired by the unthinking multitude. They see only the beauty of the colouring, and the harmony of the style, the rapid fire of the diction; but they remain utterly forgetful of the fact, that the subject itself is not one belonging to the realms of true poetry. It matters not, however, in what maimer the poet speaks, whether it be in rhyme, in rhythm, that is, in measured sentences, or whether he discard the jin– gling sound of similarly ending lines and metre, and uses elevated words, as they flow freely from his richly endowed soul. I say it is all the same; it is poetry, [Page 7] HEBREW POETRY. 7 or a subject treated to captivate the fancy more than convince the understanding; and if used for an adorn– ing of vice, or for a palliating of crime, it is alike in– jurious in either of the modes we have just mentioned. And all of us (for I believe that there can be scarcely an exception in this age, when reading is so generally resorted to as a mode of recreation and instruction) must have at times become aware in their own expe– rience of the truth of my assertion, that a subject, evil in itself, treated in the attractive light of poetry, has more or less tainted our mind, before we were even aware of the injury to which we were exposed. Look at the immense array of novels, dramas, and other poems of the last three hundred years, — not to men– tion those of the Grecians and Romans, — and say then whether their perusal does not cause, in most cases, a dissatisfaction with the actual world around us, and excite in us desires and passions, the gratification of which is clearly prohibited by the religion of the Is– raelite. This is not, however, the time, nor is this the place, to prove the assertion by examples, although, it would be easy enough to do so; sutficient for us that the fact is, alas ! too true to suffer a denial, and experience is too generally cognizant of it to require any argument. I said, therefore, that I would " call your attention to a theme which has not been without cause the glory of Israel;" because the poets of our peo– ple — and there were times when we had poets of high eminence — properly applied their art to its only true province, to illustrate what is truly beautiful, great, and good, and although the greater part of what re– mains to us of their works refers to but one subject, that one subject is nevertheless the most beautiful, the [Page 8] 8 HEBREW POETRY. greatest, the best our imagination can conceive — it is the Creator himself, beyond whom there is nothing that deserves the epithets of beautiful, great, and good. I do not mean, liowever, to say that nothing but God is a fit theme for poetry, nor tliat the He– brews illustrated nothing else; fur from it: I meant to advance and to maintain that the general one– sidedness of our biblical and later poetry is nowise derogatory to its beauty, dignity, and usefulness, in– asmuch as it treated, wdien treating this great theme, one which cannot be excelled by the creatures of the most lively imagination with proper dignity and force ; for the reality of the Deity is invested Avith all the attributes which can lend enchantment and pleas– ingness to the works of the poet. But even the other matters which engaged the at– tention of our poets, such as outward nature, and man in particular, have not been treated to beautify crime and lend attraction to sin. On the contrary, there is not a woi'd in all the ancient remains which by any possibilitj' could corrupt the morals of inno– cence; and well may we be proud that our Jioly lan– guage — holy–, therefore, in more senses than one — was never abused by being degraded to be made the handmaiden of sin and impurity. Would to mercy that the same might with truth be said of the poets of other languages ! Let us then be charged with the poverty of the Hebrew, a poverty rather in words than in ideas, and which is owing more to the calam– itous dispersion of the nation than to any original inherent defectiveness, which, however, could hardly have been the case when the people of Israel pos– sessed, it as their daily conversational language, as we [Page 9] HEBREW POETRY. 9 may readily judge from the elegance of the Scriptural style; — let it be said that no heroic poem is discover– able in our language, that dramatic literature was nnknown in Palestine : still we may proudly point to the beautiful illustrations of nature and of nature's God which we discover, the sublime, admiring thoughts awakened within us, the love of truth and righteous– ness that is kindled up, when we carefully peruse the writings of our psalmists, prophets, and teachers,— writings which yet remain unapproached, not even to think of unequalled, although the world has been increasing, as it is said, in refinement and learning, ever since when Moses first sang his hymn at the border of the dead–strewn gulf of Arabia. It is erroneous to believe that the Scriptures and later Hebrew writings contain nothing but merely religious subjects, in the limited sense of the words; for though all have a bearing towards religion, still the matters selected to effect this bearing are as widely diflcrent as the whole range of nature itself. For our poets availed themselves of historical events, of legends, of natural historical illustration, of de– scription of phenomena, in short of everything which possesses the qualities of beauty, greatness, and dig– nity, to dignify and adorn their subjects; and let me here at once remark, that were we but perfectly ac– quainted Avith the imagery they employed, we would feel no difficulty to understand precisely their mean– ing, which is now unfortunately very often quite ob– scure. We may freely say that religion was to them the life of life; hence everything was to be used to adorn this life, and to make it attractive and loved, even as is the newly–married wife to a devoted bus– [Page 10] 10 HEBREW POETRY. band. It has accordingly been remarked before by otliers, and I shall have occasion hereafter to advert to it again, that many of the line scenes and descrip– tions in the best modern writers liave their origin in tlie books of the Bible, and that the more a poet liad studied the sacred text, the nearer he approached in his tnrn to the sublime, the true, and the beautiful. Let us now advert to the nature and arrangement of the Hebrew poetry and its style. Our modern idea of poetry is pretty nearly confined to two modes of expression, if I may use the word in this peculiar meaning: and these are rhyme and blank verse. In the first, certain lines of every verse terminate in similarly ending words ; in the other, however, this agreement in sound is omitted, but still the verse proceeds in a rhythmical or measured manner. It is not to be denied that these modes of expressing poet– ical thoughts have their advantage, and by way of illustration we will give an example of each. THE HOUR OF PRAYER. " Child, amidst the flowers at play, "While the red light fades away ; Mother, with thine earnest eye, Ever following silently ; Father, by the breeze of eve Called thy harvest work to leave; Pray — ere yet the dark hours be, — Lift the heart and bond the kneel " Traveller, in the stranger's land, Far from thine own household band ; Mourner, haunted by the tone Of a voiee from this world gone ; [Page 11] HEBREW POETRY. 11 Captive, in whoso narrow cell Sunsliinc hath not leave to dwell ; Sailor, on the darkening sea, — Lift tlic heart and bend the knee. " Warrior, that from battle won, Breathest now at set of sun ; Woman, o'er the lowly slain Weeping on his burial–plain ; Thou, the weary and o'er worn ; Thou, whose hope hath wings of morn ; Heaven's first star alike ye see, — Lift the heart and bend the knee ! " Hemans. Are these lines not beautiful? They are addressed to all; the young, the old, the sorrowful, the gay, the victor, and the conquered, to lift up their heart to the Giver of life; nothing is wanting to present a pleas– ing uniform picture of quiet and holiness. And not the least of their charm consists in their harmonious rhyming, and natural flow of imagery. Let us now present another extract where the rhyme is omitted. " These, as they change. Almighty Father ! these Are but the varied God. The rolling year Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing spring Thy beauty walks ; Thy tenderness and love. Wide flush the fields ; the softening air is balm ; Echo the mountains round ; the forest smiles; And every sense, and every heart is joy. Then comes Thy glory in the summer months, With light and heat refulgent. Then Thy sun Shoots full perfection thro' the swelling year. And oft Thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks ; And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve. By brooks and groves, in hollow–whispering gales. [Page 12] 12 HEBREW POETRY. Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfincd, And spreads a common least for all that lives. In winter, awful Thou I with clouds and storms Around Thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rolled Majestic darkness I on the whirlwind's wings Kiding sublime, Thou bidst the world adore, And humblest Nature with Thy northern blast." Thomson. It will readily strike you that in both cases, though to a larger extent in the rhymed species, a great de– gree of forced construction must frequently occur to give the verse its outward appearance, and conse– quently be a constant check upon the boldness and rapidity which would at times appear but for these conventional trammels. For the poet is compelled, not so much to give utterance to sublime thoughts, as to express them in the form he himself has invented, or the adopted rules of his art have prescribed. He has consequently to file away, to use an expressive word, everything which stands in the way of the adopted euphony, and to reduce his ideas often to the measure of his lines. If, therefore, harmonious and even–progressing sounds have a decided advantage in one respect, they are obnoxious to the fault we have, just stated, of preventing us from receiving the full gush of elevated feelings which animate the poet's soul. It is, therefore, not in the least surprising, that in the early Hebrew poetical remains barely a trace of rhyme and even–measure is to be found. Our psalmists, orators, and poets, had a higher aim than pleasing the ear and exciting pleasurable sensations in the hearer; hence they looked more to the expres– sion of the idea in forcible language than to an agree– [Page 13] HEBREW POETRY. 13 able dressing of the same. I must not, however, be understood as assertuig that no attention was paid to a certain evenness of measure, which latter is undeni– ably discernible in the Psalms, Job, Proverbs, the songs of Moses, the Canticles, and in other passages of Scripture ; but as maintaining that it would be useless labour to look for an equal number of syl– lables in the verses of any Hebrew poem of as early a date as the Bible, or for a regular structure of verse or stanza, which latter is of so rare an occurrence — for instance, in the cxi. and cxii. Psalms — as to make it certain that the exceptions are owing to another cause than the idea of regular versification. Let me say at once that these two Psalms are of the kind properly called alphabetical, or those which are so arranged that each verse or part of a verse com– mences in succession, with one of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet; which, as you all know, amounted to twenty–two. If, then, the first verse commences with X, the second would commence with r, and so forth. Several Psalms and the Lamentations of Jer– emiah, as also the concluding portion of the xxxi. cliap. of Proverbs, are so arranged; some in the reg– ular order of the alphabet as it is yet in use among us, thereby betokening its high antiquity; others again in a slightly varied order, by putting a verse commencing with d before j; or the like, or by omit– ting one letter, as the j in Psalm cxlv. ; again, some have their verses commencing in regular order, thus consisting of about twenty–two verses to the Psalm ; others, however, have the alphabet repeated, as Lam– entation iii. and Psalm cxix., and others have other verses interposed between the regular order, as Psalm VOL. X. 2 [Page 14] 14 HEBREW POETRY. xxxvii. An exception to all these modes are the Psalms cxi. and cxii., which have the. alphahet to commence at every half verse ; thus : nnS Sdd 'n miN* nnSSn mri on::'* "jidd Now, having adopted this arrangement, the psalm– ist is compelled to make his verses of pretty nearly the same length, or, in other words, adopt to a great extent the rhythmical structure, which, as can be proved, was not known, at least not adopted by the early Hebrews. When he, therefore, has gone through this arrangement eight times, or with sixteen letters, he throws the remaining six into two verses, merely to vary the too uniform and unusual method he has here employed. Hence the apparent stanza form which is presented in the concluding verses: We may likewise assert as an undeniable fact, that the verses of the alphabetical Psalms are not so inti– mately connected with each other as are the others, the structure of which is of a less laboured kind. The same is the case with the two Psalms on which we have been commenting, and to a greater extent even, since each semivorse, or each part commencing with the proper alphabetic letter, is a sort of aphor– [Page 15] HEBREW POETRY. 15 ism, nearly indepcntleiit of its neighbour. Hence it matters little, as far as subdivision in the verses is concerned, whether they consist of two or three parts; and hence the varied combination discernible in these Psahns is no evidence of a metrical structure, or of the existence of the modern stanza in Hebrew poetry. To prove the epigrammatical nature of Psalm cxi., let us adduce a translation : " Praise ye the Lord. 1. I will thank the Lord with all my heart, In the midst of the righteous, and the assembly. 2. Great are the deeds of the Lord, Understood by all who search therein. 3. Glorious and beautiful is his work, And his righteousness endureth forever. 4. He causeth his wonders to be remembered, Gracious and merciful is the Lord. 6. Food He gave to those who fear Him, He will ever remember his covenant. 6. The power of his deeds Ho told his people, To give them the heritage of the nations. 7. The works of his hands are truth and justice. Steadfast are all his commands. 8. They stand fast forever, unto everlasting, Are ordained in truth and uprightness. 9. Redemption He sent unto his people. He established his covenant unto everlasting — Holy and fearful is his name. 10. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, It is good understanding to all who do accordingly, The praise thereof standeth forever." In thus rendering the Hebrew words as near as possible, we can readily see the independent struc– ture of the Psalm, and we must be tarther convinced that the poet himself did not mean to attach himself to the artificial form of the more modern writers. In [Page 16] 16 HEBREW POETRY. what, then, is Hebrew poetry distinguished from prose? In this, that it consists in an elevated style of diction, in a rapid transition from point to point, till the image before the mind's eye of the poet is completed with all the individuality and character which are required of the poetic mode, whereas He– brew prose is, like that of other languages, diffuse and circumstantial in its details. The manner of ef– fecting this description is by dividing the idea as it appears generally in two parts, occasionally in three or four, and presenting it in contrast with the oppo– site idea, or varying it by describing it in other though synonymous words, so as to present it in a full and .readily remembered light. As an illustra– tion, let us take the commencement of the Psalm XXX. : " I will extol Thee, O Lord ! because Thou hast lifted me up, And didst not suffer my foes to rejoice over me." David means to represent himself as thanking God for a signal deliverance, and this idea is complete in the first part of the verse; but to give it more inten– sity, he adds another feature, another motive of grati– tude, that his enemies had not been gratified by his downfall. And after enlarging on this thought, and awakening himself and others to feelings of devotion, he says : " For his anger is momentary, In his favour is life, — In the evening cometh weeping, But in the morning there is rejoicing." To illustrate how all is depending on divine dispen– sation, he contrasts the effects of God's auger and those [Page 17] HEBREW POETRY. 17 of liis mercy, and says that evil and death are the re– sults of the anger of God, which hists but a moment, for the Lord loves not to inflict sufferings on his crea– tures, whilst life is long enduring, being the eflect of God's favour. If then we are threatened with evil, which, as it were, would seem to sojourn with us in the evening, we should not despair, as it will be chased away by the joy of deliverance, which is sure to come in the morning, if but the favour of the Most High is invoked by us. Is not this idea well managed and beautifully expressed ? Is it not full of poetic fire, without the aid of rhyme or measure? It is true that a translation, ever so carefully made, cannot convey in full the whole force of the Hebrew, because we cannot find equivalent words in any modern language. We are therefore unable to give, as it ought to be done, the epigrammatic i3X3 j;j–i 'j " For one moment He is wroth," with its antithesis, iJ:fi3 D'^n "Life is in his favour," in English, without losing the point therein conveyed. Our translation is a mere approach to the original, though far from reaching it. In modern languages the poet is bound to preserve strictly the identity of persons and numbers with which he commences; or if he should deviate, he must use such means of indicating the change as are customary In the language in which he writes. At the time, however, of the early Hebrews, these aids were not known ; and as the intention was to express thoughts, more than dwell long upon the arrange– ment, we discover sudden changes from person to person, and from tlie singular to the plural, which very often cause some trouble to the translator. Let us instance the second Psalm, one of those which 2* [Page 18] 18 HEBREW POETRY. have offered many difficulties, and which has been variously explained, to suit the particular views of certain sects. " "Why do the nations rage, And people imagine vain things? They stand up, the kings of the earth, And rulers take counsel Against the Lord and against his anointed." Here we find the poet speaking of the rage and the devices of the gentiles against the Lord, that is, against the peace and well–being of his anointed king, probably David himself. He speaks of them in the third person, and tlien at once introduces them as speaking without giving us any farther indication of the change of the speakers, than what the context affords. He makes them say : " Let us tear asunder their bonds, And let us throw from us their cords." He then introduces another actor, the Lord him– self, as if looking on at these vain endeavours, smiling in derision at their presuming to thwart his counsel: " He that is enthroned in heaven laugheth, The Lord holdeth them in derision. Then He will speak to them in his anger. And with his wrath He will ten–ify them." Again another speaker is brought forward, and the Lord, just introduced as acting, then speaks: "And I have appointed my king — oven I, Upon Zion, the mountain of my holiness." [Page 19] HEBREW POETRY, 19 This verse contains the rebuke of the Lord for the daring of the gentiles to disturb the prince whom He had chosen. Again David speaks : " I will declare it as an ordinance, The Lord said unto me, Thou art my son. This day have I begotten thee. Demand of me, and I will give nations for thy heritage, And for thy possessions the ends of the earth. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, Like a potter's vessel thou shalt dash them." Having thus announced what w:as the will of God, he turns round to the kings of whom he at first spoke, and addresses to them the following warning : " And now, ye kings I reflect well, Be instructed, ye judges of the earth! Serve the Lord with reverence, And rejoice with trembling. Acknowledge the son's rule,* * 12 nti'J the words here rendered as above, have caused the critics a great deal of trouble, as both words are nowhere else in the Bible met with in juxtaposition. Some object to render it as we have done, because ^3 in the signification of son is found but once in Hebrew (Prov. xxxi. 2) ; still this once is enough to justify our version. Kasheku may be properly rendered, "acknowledge the sovereignty," for a kiss was the sign of homage, for which see 1 Sam. X. 1. As God is introduced calling the anointed his son (verse 7j, it is no more than proper to exhort the conspiring nations to be– ware how they omit the homage due to God's favourite. It is in– deed possible to reconcile Kashi's version, "Arm yourselves with purity," with the secondary meaning of the word p;yj it being " ar– mour," and ip'^j Nashekii, therefore, may mean "put on the ar– mour," and of 13 "purity," rather "the pure" elliptical "state of the heart." But the context will hardly bear the construction, though it can be explained to fit in the Psalmist's speech. FUrst, in [Page 20] 20 HEBREW POETRY. Lest He be angry, And ye perish on your way, As soon as liis wrath is kindled ! Happy are uU who place their trust in Him." David by these words means to inform his oppo– nents that he himself or whoever the person may be, whom God in this Psalm introduces as his son, is under the special protection of Providence, that any rebellion against him would be resistance against divine Majesty, and that therefore evil would of ne– cessity betide all those who, in the presumption that his Lexicon, assumes –\3 to be a contraction of I'n^, "the chosen," chief, or king ; if this be correct it would do away with the diffi– culty of taking the Chaldaic –\2 for the Hebrew ]2, son. There would have been little trouble to accept the Eabbinical commen– tary, had it not been for the endeavour of the adherents of the Naza– rene to prove his messiahship, for no better reason than that he called himself, or was called by his followers, a son of God. But if this be the whole evidence of his claim, it rests on the weakest foundation; for ho first must prove that he is the son in question, before he can ask of the world, and Israel in particular, to acknowl– edge his rule. The running commentary given above will, it is believed, clearly prove that the Psalmist describes the conspiracy of the gentiles against acknowledging the rule of the Lord's anointed, and that be simply warns them against disobedience; and no individual can, therefore, assert that this proves th.it he is meant, mcrely because " the son of God" is spoken of as the one whose rule the nations are to acknowledge, if they wish to avoid the wrath of the Lord. There is no occasion for an Israelite to decry the correctness of the common version, "kiss the son," so as not to admit the authority of every claimant to the honour of the Messiahship, which is founded erroneously on this text. A note, however, is not the proper place to discuss a controversial subject ; but the correctness of the translation given here having been impugned, a few words by way of comment wcro deemed necessary. [Page 21] HEBREW POETRY. 21 thej are on the right way in their striving against the Lord's anointed, will not acknowledge the rule of this favourite of Heaven. And then having thus denounced the rebels against the Lord, who merit his wrath in opposing his will, he bursts forth in the concluding line : " Happy are all who place their trust in Him ;" no evil will reach those who rely on God's promises and obey his precepts; and having said this he at once ceases, filled with the contemplation of the beat– itude of the men, who endeavour in all things to consult their Maker's will as their rule of action. It would be a pleasing task to go into a full exam– ination of the Psalms, and exhibit their meaning in a clearer light than the ordinary translation affords; but the limits of one or two lectures are far from suf– ficient for such a purpose. Let us proceed, therefore, to the matter and subject of the poetic remains of the ancient Israelites. They consist, with few exceptions, of hymns, prayers, conversations, proverbs, descrip– tions, and narratives. Epics and dramas we have none, and what is more, it is very doubtful whether these difiicult branches of poetry were invented con– temporaneously with the Bible, or, if they had been, whether they would have been congenial to the genius of the Hebrew seers and psalmists. It was not their province to glorify the deeds of man, nor to exhibit the vices of his nature and the various passions which ajxitate him for the amusement and instruction of the public ; besides which, it was incompatible with their fiery nature to walk for a very long period in one con– tinuous path, led along in measured and closely de– fined bounds, as is required in the epic and drama. And in truth it would seem that it is next to impos– [Page 22] 22 HEBREW POETRY. sible to keep up the inspiration and ardour required for the composition of good verse for years and months, or even days, wliich men of more modern times have feigned to do, in laying before the world their highly artificial numbers, as the outpourings of a freely gushing etibrt of genius. Our poets did not alone seeia to speak extemporaneously, but actually did so; their ardour was not feigned, but real; their imagery was not looked after to be imitated in the words of tlieir verses, as several celebrated lines in profane wu'iters prove to have been done by others, but was, so to say, snatched up from the iield of na– ture around them and from the soul within, as they felt themselves Avarmed by the contemplation of the subject, which stood prominently before their mind. It is owing to this, that nothing ever equalled the beauty of the diction of our hymns, and elegies, and moral lessons; they are true to nature, and tind a response in every feeling breast. Let us take an example of the terrible exhibition of God's power as instanced in his workings on earth by his messengers, the wind, the fire, the rain, and other aerial phenomena : "And the earth shook and trembled, And the foundations of the mountains Avere moved, And thej' quaked, for He was angry. Smoke rose up from his nostrils, Fire bhized out of his mouth, Burning flames issued forth from it. And lie bent the heavens and went down. And a cloud of darkness was under his feet." How beautifully sublime ! God is represented as hearing the prayer of the oppressed, as was the case [Page 23] HEBREW POETRY. 23 when the Egyptians meant to drive the Israelites into the heaving iloocis of the Red 8oa; and at once the anger meet for the sinners is wakened up in tlie all– just One, and ere its effects are jet seen, the earth shakes with dread at tlie coming wrath, and the moun– tains, piled up rock upon rock so as to endure for ages, feel themselves moved to their very centre, and are terrified at the impending storm. The Psalmist disdains to ascribe the clouds charged with thunder and destruction to exhalations from the earth, to a silent working of nature; no, he at once ascends to nature's God, and he represents Ilim as issuing forth fire and burning flames, which are soon to hasten along on their deadly mission. In describing the gathering of the storm, he does not say that the sky became overcast, but as though God were bending down the heaven above to make it approach nearer the earth, and He then descends with his feet enveloped with the thick clouds with which lie means to execute his purpose. In this way is this subject sublime in itself, the execution of impartial justice, the highest a.ttri– bute, mercy alone excepted, of the great Supreme, in– troduced in a manner every way befitting the sublim– ity of the thought; and though the Almighty, who is incorporeal, is invested here with the attributes of humanity, in order to personify to our sensual capa– cities the workings of the purest Spirit: it is done in such a manner, that nothing in the whole description militates in the least against the dignity and holiness of the Creator. Having prepared us for the terrible eflects of the Divine descent, and the storm which thence resulted, David continues : [Page 24] 24 HEBREW POETRY. "And ETg rode upon a cherub and flew along, And rushed by upon the wings of the wind.. And He shrouded liimself in darkness, made it his pavilion around, Dark waters, cloud on cloud. From the brightness around him passed through his cloud Hail and coals of fire. And the Everlasting thundered in heaven, And the Most High sent forth his voice — Hail and coals of fire. And He cast down his arrows, and scattered them, And mighty lightnings, and confounded them. And the channels of the waters were seen, And the foundations of the world were laid bare, From thy call, Lord ! From the blast of the breath of thy wrath." The whole scene is fearfully grand ; not a breeze flics athwart the sky but it is the breath of God; the thunder sounds — it is the voice of God ; the light– nings flash — they are the arrows of God; and when all nature is convulsed, it is the direct eflfect of the Creator's agency. So we have at once a picture of his goodness, of his justice, and of his power, laid be– fore us, and we rise from its perusal better men and humbler servants of tlie almighty Power by whose goodness we live, and whose mercy and justice we are compelled to crave. When I flrst commenced this lecture, I fancied I could embody a great deal of information, and should be able to furnish translations of some of the writings of our later poets, together with some account of their lives. But I find that for the present, I have said so much already on the composition of a few Fsalms, and not a word more than I should have done, that I am compelled to defer nearly all I intended to say to [Page 25] HEBREW POETRY. 25 another opportunity. Before we conclude for to–day, I will merely give you a descriptive piece from Job, and contrast it with an extract from one of the sweet– est of England's poets; or rather I will tirst recite to you an extract from Thomson's Seasons, and follow it up with the sublime words of our own Scriptures. As far as I know there never was a profane author who better described nature, and who had more of the spirit of the Bible than Mr. Thomson ; and yet even he falls far short of the close elegance and rapid– ity of the sacred writers. "Along these lonely regions, where retired From little scenes of Art, great Nature dwells In awful solitude, and naught is seen But the wild herds that own no master's stall, Prodigious rivers roll their fattening seas : On whose luxuriant herbage half concealed, Like a fallen cedar, far diffused his train, Cased in green scales, the crocodile extends. " The flood disparts : behold ! in plaited mail. Behemoth rears his head. Glanced from his side, The darted steel in idle shivers flies : He fearless walks the plain, or seeks the hills, Where as he crops the varied fare, the herds, In widening circles round, forget their food, And at the harmless stranger wondering gaze. " Peaceful, beneath primeval trees, that cast Their ample shade o'er Niger's yellow stream, And where the Ganges rolls his sacred wave ; Or mid the central depth of blackening woods, High raised in solemn theatre around. Leans the huge elephant : wisest of brutes I O truly wise ! with gentle might endowed ; Though powerful, not destructive I hero he sees Kevolving ages sweep the changeful earth, VOL. X. 8 [Page 26] 26 HEBREW POETRY. And empires rise and fall ; regardless he Of what the never–resting race of men Project ; thrice happy ! could he 'scape their guile, "Who mine, from cruel avarice, his steps ; Or with his towery grandeur swell their state, The pride of kings I or else his strength pervert, And bid liim rage amid the mortal fray. Astonished at the madness of mankind." These three sketches of the crocodile, hippopotamus, and elephant, are truly splendid, and every way fitted for the solemnity of a didactic poem ; the poet de– scribes them not minutely, but he places them before you in such a light that you must recognize the out– lines as belonging to these animals, if you have had at any time the least knowledge of their habits and structure. Nevertheless, Mr. Thomson was indebted to the Bible for the ideas which he so handsomely elaborates, and but for the defectiveness which is so obstinately inherent in a translation, nay, even despite of this, you will acknowledge that Job is far more cogent and poetical. "Behold ! the elephant whom I made with thee, He eateth grass as an ox. Lo how great is the strength of his loins I "What force in the muscles of his belly! He swingcth his cedar–like trunk, The nerves of his loins are closely wrapt together. His bones are like strong pieces of brass, His frame is like bars of iron. He is the first of God's works. His maker alone can bring the sword near him Truly the mountains bring forth his food, There where all the beasts of the field play about. He lieth under shady trees, In the covert of reeds and swamps. [Page 27] HEBREW POETRY. 27 Shady trees cover him with their shade; He is surrounded with the willows of the brook, Behold I the river sweeps along, but he hasteneth not away, Without fear he draweth Jordan's waters in his mouth, With his eyes he scareth away him who would catch him in snares. And bore a hole through his nose." The horse is described as follows : "Dost thou give strength to the horse ? Clothcst thou his neck with the mane ? Dost thou cause him to jump like the locust ? Gives thou him the terror of his majestic snort? He paweth in the valley, and rejoicing in his strength, He goeth forth to meet the armed array. He laugheth at fear, knoweth no dread, And turneth not back before the sword. Over him rattle the quiver, Bright spear and lance. In fierceness and rage he holloweth with his hoof the ground. And keepeth not quiet when the trumpets call to battle ; When loudly they sound he neigheth joyfully. And from afar he perceiveth the fight. The command of captains, and the battle–cry." It is needless to make farther extracts, and to dwell longer upon the beauty and excellence of our poets. The prayers which we have inherited from them are priceless jewels, and in all ages to come they will ever be resorted to, to comfort the mourners and to stimulate the despairing to place their trust in God. You, my young friends, are the descendants of the people among whom these glorious men lived ; and if no twofold portion of their spirit has fallen upon you, still you are the legitimate heirs of the wisdom which through them was bestowed by a beneficent [Page 28] 28 HEBREW POETRY. Providence upon the cbiklron of his creation. What, then, is your duty as the inheritors of so many bless– ings? Surely, to preserve the legacy inviolate and unchanged, and to transmit it to your descendants in the manner you have received it from your predeces– sors. Not in a translated form only, where the ig– norance and presumption perhaps of a translator may induce him to palm ofl' his own inventions as the truth which he is to deliver; but in the original lan– guage itself, which is in reality an heirloom peculiar and proper to the house of Jacob. Our poets sang in that blessed tongue; rich and harmonious effusions were by them transmitted in the words of the sons of Ileber; and in this tongue, and in these words, should you also try to hand them down to your chil– dren. It is a language precious to the Israelite; in all his wanderings it went with him as the solace of his spirit, which fainted under the iron–sway of ruth– less tyrants; in all his dispersions it enabled him suc– cessfully to combat the enemies of his faith, and to answer them in the words of the holy Text, that his hopes were not vain, and that he professed indeed the truth, ay, thetruth of the God of truth. And if you wish to preserve, therefore, the law, the prophets, and the prayers of Jacob, in their purity, you must strive also to preserve the language likewise in which they were originally conveyed. Let it, therefore, be your endeavour to leave no means untried to further a proper acquisition of the Hebrew, and to encour– age every undertaking wliicli promises to aid in this desirable result, and to promote the undetilcd worship of the true God, in all its purity and holiness. And reflect that it was for such an end that the prophets [Page 29] ON PRAYER. 29 were sent, and our seers insyired ; and that, in fact, the redemption from Egypt would not have taken place, were it not that God had thereby intended to establish his law to all eternity. Show, then, in a manner not to be misunderstood, that you are He– brews as well as Israelites, lovers of your language, and worthy descendants of a world–renowned race ; and may the Lord thus prosper your undertaking, and aid you in the acquisition of knowledge and true enlightenment, which are the basis of all heartfelt religion, that all the best desires of your hearts in this noble field may be amply realized, and lead to a consummation which all will acknowledge to be the result, and the reward at the same time, of a pious dependence on providential assistance, united to a steady pursuit of what you were taught to regard as a God–pleasing course of life. LECTURE II. ON PRAYER.* No. I. THE INSTITUTION OF PRAYER IN ITS HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT. Ladies and Gentlemen ! There is perhaps not one duty enjoined by our re– ligion which is more than all others consonant to the human heart like that of prayer. This is not indeed * Being a lecture delivered before the Hebrew Literary Asso– ciation of Philadelphia, at their room, on Thursday evening, May 22d, 5611. 3* 30 ON PRAYER. based upon the conviction that we shall obtain that for which we ask, but upon the full assufance of our entire helplessness in all circumstances of life, when we liave to confess that nothing within our reach can extri(;ate us from our difficulty and embarrassment. If we then look around us and iind that all who are near us are equally powerless with ourselves, we natur– ally cast our eye upward and seek the aid from Above which we in vain search for on earth. Reason, cold human reflection, might indeed tell us that it is of no use to address the God of all concerning our wants, as He must know them, and that if lie were inclined to aid us lie would, as He surely can, come to our assistance without our petitioning Him beforehand. Hence there are probably those, who exalt the human intellect as a species of divinity, who never pray. But if we, as Israelites, or believers in revelation in general, have confidence in the Scriptures as they have been handed down to us, we cannot so reason nor withhold humbling ourselves and asking divine support; for Ave are assured from the highest author– ity which we recognize, that prayer is efficacious, al– though Ave are not told in Avhat manner this is or can be. God is not less omniscient, because Ave are taught to pray to Him, nor is He less good, because He awaits our humiliation before He grants us relief; but we must assume in general terms, that the expression of our wants in prayer is one of the duties incumbent on us, and is, in common with all others, a test whether Ave are obedient, and thereby deserving the divine favours, or Avhether Ave are obdurate, and therefore deserving the continuance of the evil Avhich afflicts us, as a just recompense for our transgressing [Page 31] ON PRAYER. 31 in not recognizing the divine Power, in whose hand alone our enhxrgement is phxced. Besides this, we must naturally regard God as our parent, through whose " it shall be" all things came into existence, and among them we, ourselves, the sufterers and petitioners. When a child now sees that his parent has wealth, and therefore gifts to be– stow, if he be properly approached ; when a son dis– covers that his father has power to aid him in a great difficulty, if his favour be but propitiated; if the daughter feels conscious that her progenitor is com– passionate and willing to forgive any offence, pro– vided only she crave for this grace with due submis– sion and humility : what is so natural as that they should emploj' these means, that is, petitioning in a proper manner, to obtain of what they stand so much in need ? It would be deemed the height of folly and obstinacy in a child to refuse asking of an earthly parent any favour which this one could and would willingly bestow, if it were merely desired in a be– coming manner. How much greater, therefore, is– this the case when we reflect that the Father of all is the One who requires of us, to lay open before Him our wants and our sufferings, in order that He may take cognizance of our helplessness? For, if man may have accidently wealth to bestow, if he may have power to relieve in a few instances, if once in a while he may be willing to forgive an injury or trespass without exacting recompense, how immeasurably greater is all this with God, who is emphatically Al– mighty and Most High ; because his wealth is un– bounded, and no one will go away empty–handed, for the reason that a preceding one had been already [Page 32] 32 ON PRAYER. supplied; no one need to fear that he will remain un– aided for want of power in Ilim to grant our desire ; and finally, we dare not think even that we would ask too much of his mercy, when we crave forgiveness, because that we might regard our conduct as past pardon and atonement, since we are taught that God readily pardons iniquity and passes by transgression, and no indication is given that there exists one sin for which atonement and free pardon are absolutely denied. Consequently our religion regards it as a simple duty, which should never be omitted, to resort at all times to prayer, which means in other words that we should daily, ay; momentarily, freely ask in becoming language for whatever the circumstances of our life may require, be this worldly gifts, en– largement from difficulties, or forgiveness for past olfences. It is not my intention at present to treat the subject on purely religious grounds, as 3'ou have asked of me a lecture and not a sermon ; and perchance the very choice of the theme " prayer," may have been un– fortunate as altogether too religious; but I fancy that the society of which our young friends are members, and the character I myself possess, will not render it amiss that even a lecture, which means a scientific dissertation, should largely partake of a religious nature ; since to Israelites their faith forms the basis of their actions through life, and there is no possible contingency, during their whole existence, where it does not present itself as either approving or disap– proving what they have done, be this in capacity as members of the synngogue, household, society, or state. In all these various relations our religion is [Page 33] ON PRAYER. 33 present as the priuciple to be consulted; hence it and its interests are proper themes for discussion on all occasions when we meet for mutual instruction and friendly discussion, that we may literally speak of it when we sit in our houses and walk by the way. But there is much that is purely scientific connected with the subject, such as the history and development of the idea of prayer, the method in which it is car– ried out by us and others, the thoughts entertained of it by various classes of individuals, and the man– ner in which our customary liturgy or book of prayers has gradually assumed its present shape; so that there is ample scope for many lectures, not to mention one, without exhausting the subject scientifically, and with– out touching once even its religious bearing, strictly so called. So let us proceed without farther preface. Whatever may be alleged by learned and unlearned pretenders to science and to superior knowledge and information, there is no assertion more consonant with truth, than that the Pentateuch, and especially the book of the creation. Genesis, contains the most ancient account accessible with regard to man and his history. Many have endeavoured to throw doubt on the antiquity and authenticity of our law–book; but without going into the inquiry, as foreign to our pres– ent topic, I may assert that no one acquainted with the grammatical structure of the Hebrew language, in which, as every one knows, the Scriptures are com– posed, can for a moment admit that the book of Gen– esis is otherwise than the most ancient document of history and religion which is at the present day ac– cessible to us. There may have been more ancient ones in times gone by; but if so, they have long since [Page 34] 34 ON PRAYER. passed out of existence' and we have no reliable ac– count of them, consequently they are of no impor– tance to us, nor can they aid us in any inquiry which we may institute. I will not say, however, that it is not possible to bring forward architectural monuments, which by some chance may antedate the composition of the book of Genesis; for this is actually said to be the case, and I would not hazard to array science against religion, and falsify tlie one or the other as incompatible with the existence of this other, or that religion and science are incongruous systems. I do not so understand my faith; it can let science exist, and still be the sole truth unto salvation, free from doubt and error ; and the antiquity of Egyptian mon– uments, and the long alleged duration of the dynasties of Mizraim, may even be traced in some phrases of the book of Exodus, and the only difficulty in the way would be the brief chronology of the eleventh chapter of Genesis, which, though I am not able to rec– oncile it, may still be capable of elucidation by some one better familiar with the recesses of history than I can profess to be. But in candour I must say, that the great age which is claimed for Egypt appears very doubtful to me ; for we have nothing, absolutely noth– ing, to mark the progress of man in science and re– ligion, beyond what the monuments themselves pre– sent, for 80 many centuries of the palmiest days of Egyptian glory. Now compare this simple fact with the mighty impulse given to society by Abraham, Jacob, and Moses, the sudden and still lasting im– pression made by these teachers in Canaan, Syria, and Egypt itself, and it becomes really incredible that the world could have stood still, nay, retrograded [Page 35] ON PRAYER. 35 in all the essentials of civilization, during the long continuance of so enlightened a set of legislators as the sages and priests of Egypt are alleged to have been. But we are leaving our subject, and at this rate of progress my address would detain you hours instead of minutes ; so let us come back to where we started from. It was intended to convey that the Scriptures are the most ancient historical and religious records; consequently, if we wish to trace any religious idea to its first inception, we must as a matter of course refer to them, and but little doubt can be entertained of our finding a solution to our inquiry. Many people read the Bible as a religious task, so many chapters a day or week, little heeding that they survey in this perusal the greatest stores of antiquity. So also there are unthinking unbelievers, who look upon the whole word of God as a fabrication of ambitious men, and they fix the dates of the various books composing it at such times, comparatively modern, as to destroy all credibility of its contents. It requires, however, little penetration to exhibit the unsoundness of both, unlearned believers, and unwilling learners such as skeptics are. The Bible is in good earnest much more than a merely religious work, and is, as hinted already, the only reliable source of information for the candid antiquarian, and is actually what it pro– fesses to be, a collection of various books composed at great intervals of time in various countries, and under the greatest variety of circumstances, and is, therefore, not a cunningly forged series of inauthentic documents, but a veritable narrative of events, and a contemporaneous exposition of ideas, philosophical [Page 36] 36 ON PRAYER. and moral, prevailing at tlie periods that the events described took place. If Ave, therefore, wish to trace the idea of prayer, we ought, as is consonant with a common–sense view of the question, refer to the Bible to see what it was in its first inception among men, and follow it up in its gradual progress till it reaches the development which it has attained at the present time. The antediluvian history, short as it is, presents us with the first speci– men of prayer in the reply of Cain to God, when he was doomed to exile for the crime of slaying his brother. The words, however, which he uses are more of a remonstrance than a petition, and exhibit only a reliance on God's justice as tempered with mercy, more than a humiliation of the petitioner him– self. These are the words : " Behold, thou hast ban– ished me this day from the face of the ground, and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and vagabond on the earth; and it shall come to pass that every one that findeth me will slay me." (Geo. iv. 14.) We are told that rude as this prayer seems to us, it was accepted, inasmuch as the first murderer received the assurance that he should be protected against the. violence which he dreaded. — It is not to be supposed that the voice of prayer was silent during all the centuries that elapsed from Cain to jSToah, al– thouo–h we have no recorded evidence to prove this. The next case we have is in the second progenitor of our species, who, awaking from the sleep produced by his having drunk the product of the first vineyard mentioned in history, pronounced a malediction on the disobedient child, and a blessing on those who had pitied their father and shielded him in his un– [Page 37] ON PKAYER. 37 conscious exposure. The language employed what poetical: "Blessed be the Lord, thy Shem; and Canaan shall be a servant to them, may God enlarge the boundaries of Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be a servant unto them." (Gen. ix. 26, 27.) There is even here but little elevation of idea; there appears much of impulse and little of deliberation ; still taking it as a prophecy and an indication of future events, it is not the less important than though it had been couched in the magnificent language of Moses, or the sweet poetry of David. But the next instance of prayer is quite of a differ– ent order. It is indeed a remonstrance against a pre– sumed injustice ; nevertheless the language is exceed– ingly deferential to the divine Majesty, and exhibits that the petitioner felt his extreme lowness in thus in– terceding for others. I allude, as you probably know already, to the prayer of Abraham for the sinful in– habitants of Sodom.* He sets out, after being told that almighty Justice would take cognizance of the doings of the doomed city, with saying : " Wilt Thou then destroy the righteous with the wicked ? Perad– venfcure there be fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou then also destroy and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous that are therein ? Far be it from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the right– eous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be * I omitted, it appears, the petition of Abraham for Ishmael, –when the birth of Isaac was announced to him. (Gen. xvii. 18.) Perhaps the remonstrance of the patriarch (ib. xv. 2–8) may also be regarded a similar prayer. VOL. X. 4 [Page 38] 38 ON PRAYER. wicked; from Thee ; shall the Judge earth not exercise justice?" It is not nec– y to recite the whole of this passage, which is contained in the eighteenth chapter of Genesis, to which you are referred ; but on inspection it will ap– pear that it contains the main elements of a proper petition, as we have sketched it in our introduction, acknowledgment of divine power and of human in– feriority, or what is the same thing, placing the de– liverance or exemption from the evil entirely in the hands of God, and only requesting of his attribute of mercy or justice a release from threatened or pass– ing evils. With Abraham, therefore, we have the first prayer, in the proper sense of the word, on record, and by it we may freely frame any petition for our– selves, of which we may feel that we stand in need. Subsequent to this we have no example of prayer prior to Jacob, unless we may so construe the bless– ings of Isaac to his children, which are in efiect in– vocations of the divine aid to do an act of mercy to those whom he wished especially placed under his protection. The words are again put in a poetical garb, and assume a higher elevation than mere naked prose, such as Abraham used, although they bear in this respect no comparison with the productions of his own immediate son and remoter descendants. But if we recur to the history of Jacob, we shall find the idea of prayer already farther developed than it was in his ancestors, as in everything else relating to religion he exhibits the confirmed character of one to whom faith and virtue were inherited traits of character, and not merely the acquisitions of a strong though untutored mind. The prayer to which refer– [Page 39] ON PRAYER. 39 ence is made is found in the thirty–second chapter of Genesis. Jacob was on his return from his long resi– dence with Laban, and dreaded to meet his brother, whom he had obtained by obtaining, upwards of twenty years before, the blessing of their father origi– nally intended for him, the first–born. The last of the patriarchs had numerous followers to oppose Esau's violence with the sword likewise; but he revolted from such a thought, and he justly conceived that One like him, who had been shown the wonders of the Creator when he watched at night, under the bril– liant glow of the constellations, which beam and shine with peculiar splendour in the beautiful and clear sky of Mesopotamia, the flock of his father–in–law, would best show that the lesson thus acquired had not been lost on him, by resorting to the Giver of all good for support in his trouble, and aid under his apprehen– sion. He therefore spoke : " God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who saidst unto me. Return unto thy country, and unto thy birthplace, and I will deal well with thee ! I am not worthy of all the mercies, and of all the truth which Thou hast shown unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan, and now I am be– come two bands," meaning that he had been com– pelled to divide his property on account of its great extent, consisting as it did of cattle, camels, and flocks, the usual wealth of those days, in two divis– ions. And he then continues : " Deliver me, I pray Thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau ; for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, the mother with the children. And Thou hast said, I will surely do thee good, and make thy [Page 40] 40 ON PRAYER. seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be num– bered for multitude." You will see that Jacob does not rely on his own merit, but first on the imputed righteousness of his progenitors, who emphatically were the worshippers of the true God, amidst an overwhelming number of idolaters, so that he was authorized by the Lord himself to call Him the pe– culiar God of Abraham and Isaac. This we are sure was not done to remind the Supreme of this well– known fact, but to awaken himself to a feeling of confidence in the same eternal Power, seeing that through so many difficulties, whatever they were, his fathers passed unharmed. Was not Abraham put in confiict with numerous hordes of invaders, and yet he overcame them with his household–servants alone? "Was not Lot saved from the destrution of Sodom, through the merit of the same beloved servant of God ? Was Isaac not summoned to become a sacri– fice on the altar, and was not his willingness accepted, and a ram received in favour in his stead ? And now though dano–cr threatened him from his enras–ed bro– ther, he could not imagine that God would be untrue to his promise, and allow mother and children to fall a prey to the sword, when they had been announced as the progenitors of the great nation that was to spring from Abraham. Jacob thus in his prayer rouses himself to cast ofl" all apprehension ; he feels that the Lord would be untrue should extermination befall his family; for himself, the decaying stem, he asked nothing; he cared little that he should fall, provided only those who were to perpetuate his lineage should survive; and therefore, although we do not find that any token of his petition having been granted was [Page 41] ON PRAYER. 41 vouchsafed to him, he went forward cheerfully, rely– ing ou the truth of the One who never deceives those who put their trust in Him. I have not referred to the prayer which Jacob made when he was comforted by the vision of angels as– cending on a ladder, and descending thereby, as it is more in the nature of a conditional vow, nor is it necessary for our object that we should introduce every verse which has the shape of entreaty into our discussion. It is enough for our purpose that we can prove that from the earliest period of the history of our race, which properly commences with the Meso– potamian shepherd Abraham, and will yet stretch far– ther onward till mankind shall be no more on earth, if this catastrophe be actually impending, or whilst any other family of men live in this world, prayer in its fullest sense was prevalent among us, and that we are furnished from the earliest periods with models not alone iit for imitation, but which cannot be im– proved upon either in simplicity of language or the sublimity of ideas which they convey. It must be evident that when we address the Deity two thino–s must be avoided, familiarity and vulgarity on the one side, and high–sounding phrases and pompous expres– sions on the other. Language here, as in every other case, ought to be in consonance with the object in view; hence the propriety of having our ideas clothed in chaste and dignified words, in a style not too or– nate, as though we wish to display our learning, when approaching the throne of Grace. If we proceed onward in our investigation, and contemplate the productions of Moses, the father of all the sages and prophets of Israel, we shall find him 4* [Page 42] 42 ON PRAYER. eminently successful iu all the essentials we have just laid down. Examine the sublime prayer which he offered up to God when Israel had fallen into idol– atry, and you will see that it is almost identical in its elements with that of Jacob just discussed. Like him, Moses does not claim any merit for himself or people ; he only refers to the merits of the patriarchs, and to the divine promise of the Lord of perpetuat– ing their descendants, maintaining them on earth as his people and witnesses. He had indeed been told that entreaty would be useless, so great was their transgression; but he considered justly that the di– vine mercy far outweighs human guilt, and forgives where justice demands the extermination of the transgressor. If we take in view this twofold quality, if it be permitted to use such a term, of our God, as He is the Judge and the Merciful at the same time : we shall perhaps be able to explain away the diffi– culty which presents itself in reading the thirty–second chapter of Exodus, where the Lord, on seeing that the Israelites had made the golden calf, said to Moses that he should not pray, but leave his anger to be kindled against them, that they might be consumed. Moses, however, disregarded the injunction, and asked, and obtained a remission of the guilt. We may, in this connexion, freely assume that we are presented here merely with the contest between jus– tice and mercy. Justice demanded the severest pun– ishment, which was that the erring and rebellious race should cease to exist; but Mercy, through the prophet, pleaded for a mitigation of the evil, inas– much as this would best carry out the promise to the patriarchs, which we have already considered. Time [Page 43] ON PRAYER. 43 prevents me to–night from enlarging on this point, which would require a long dissertation by itself; so work out for yourselves the hint given you, and no doubt but the subject will be as clear to you as any other which refers to the thoughts of the One above, whom we can only approach, but never reach in our mortal state. We know that Moses's prayer was ac– cepted, and the doom was averted from the mass, though many suffered ; since no guilt, as we are told, can be passed over without some punishment being inflicted on the sinners. The ninetieth psalm, which is headed — " A Prayer of Moses, the man of God," is every way worthy of the great prophet. It exhibits the Creator as the Producer of the universe, and still as the Protector of every individual man on earth. Often as this idea comes before us in investigating any religious truth, its importance is such that we cannot recur to it too often. Whether, therefore, we wish to elucidate that God is the Providence, the Governor, the Judge, the Rewarder, the Avenger, or the Hearer of prayer, it is always to be considered that He is especially watch– ful over all, from his very nature as the Omnipresent and Almighty, not as though He recpiired any special effort of power or vigilance to execute his wish in general or in detail, on earth or in heaven. The prophet next sketches the eternity of God, and the perishableness of man. He says : " For a thousand years arc in thy eyes as the yesterday, when it passeth, and as a watch of the night. Thou strewest them (men) out, they spring up in sleep; in the morning man sprouteth forth like grass; in the morning he bloometh and sprouteth, in the evening he is cut oft' [Page 44] 44 ON PRAYER. and withereth." He then prays for understanding to comprehend his existence and relation to God, asks for mercy and the avertance of evil, and closes with invoking protection and permanence for the work in which he was engaged, probably the sanctuary, which he was the means of erecting in the wilderness. You will find in the whole of this extremely beautiful psalm nothing mean, no idea unworthy of acceptance; so, on the other hand, there is no laboured attempt to glorify God, — nothing but the gushing forth of simple and natural language of the highest order, to express the emotions of his soul. The Psalms of David, of Assaph, of the sons of Xorah, and other sweet singers of Israel, are, as may well be expected, strictly made after the model of Moses. Though the Psalmists wrote on a great vari– ety of occasions, and, if critics may be believed, at great intervals of time, they always kept before them the illustrious and holy men who first taught us by their examples how to pray. I would gladly analyze specimens of each ; but the time to do so would be quite too long for a single lecture. But this much is certain, that in the Book of Psalms we have a collec– tion of devotional exercises far exceeding in value, both as regards their influence on the spirit and their stylistic excellence, anything within the whole range of literature. Many have been the attempts to add by new compositions to the store in our possession; and though some have rare merit, they have not yet equalled the legacy of the ancients. "With this I do not mean to assert that the psalms and prayers scat– tered through the Bible have exhausted the subject, or that there are not occasions for which they might [Page 46] ON PRAYER. 46 be considered inappropriate ; but we must not forget that we were never interdicted employing our own words to address our Maker; and I only wish to maintain the simple truth, that the biblical prayers are the best in existence, and should alone serve as models by which we should frame our thoughts and combine our words, so as to lay before God a prayer or thanksgiving worthy of his acceptance, which we are assured it will be, if duly offered with sincerity and devotion. It is perhaps impossible at the present day to ascer– tain whether, during the existence of the first temple, a set form of prayer was in use among us. Tlie Psalms, or a portion at least, existed in a separate collection, and no doubt were used as devotional exercises; but we know nothing of this with any degree of certainty. According to 1 Chronicles xxv., it appears that David appointed certain musicians and their assistants to sing and play at the house of God during the service of sacrificing. In 2 Chronicles v. 13, we read that, at the dedication of Solomon's temple, the immense choir then estabhshed duly performed the task im– posed upon them, "praising the Lord who is good, for his kindness endureth forever." And in the same book, chapter xxix. 30, we read that Hezekiah and the chiefs ordered the Levites to praise the Lord in the words of David and Assaph the seer, which they accord– ingly did. In the reign also of Josiah, xxxv. 15, we see that the singers were at their post, according to the ordinance of David, Assaph, Ileman, and Jeduthuu the king's seer; all which proves the probability at least that, with the music thus traditionally brought down during the whole series of the Davidean kings, [Page 46] 46 ON PRAYER. the prayers of his composing and those of his asso– ciates, the world–renowned Assaph and Heman, and their contemporaries, were also in practical use, not alone at the temple, but likewise among the people. If, however, the idea of regular prayer was not developed so early as the first temple, we shall have no such difiiculty of arriving at the fact immediately after its destruction. It is probable enough that no sooner were the daily sacrifices abolished by the vio– lent irruption of the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnez– zar and his chief guardsman JSTebuzaraddan, than the pious of Israel resorted to prayer as a suitable substi– tute, knowing as they did that " the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit," and that " obedience is better than the fat of rams." They came to the conclusion that, with the abolition of the daily oblations on the altar at Jerusalem, the permanence of Israel and the salvation of the pious were by no means forfeited. Hence they resorted to periodical prayer, at those hours, we may assume, when the priests formerly brought the offerings to the door of the temple. Hence therefore the morning and afternoon–service ; add to this the obligation of speaking of the law " when we lie down," whence accordingly the evening–prayer. On referring to Daniel vi. 11, you will find, that " when Daniel learned that the decree against praying had been signed by the king Darius, or, as he is called in the Bible, Daryawesh the Median, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber which looked towards Jerusalem, and three times every day he fell on his knees, and prayed and praised before his God, just as he had been doing before that time." If even this practice was customary with [Page 47] ON PRAYER. 47 Daniel only, which it would be absurd to suppose, it soon spread to others, as there is no doubt that the Shachariih, Mmchah, and 'Arbiih, or morning, after– noon, and evening–prayers, are institutions existing during the second temple, for which purpose the synagogues were erected not alone in the country of Palestine, but Jerusalem, the seat of the temple, also, and were thus established that the people might as– semble and pray in a body, having their Sheliach Zib– biir, or messenger of the congregation, — now called Chazan, or superintendent of the worship, — to read aloud certain portions, to which the people responded, or listened in silence to be in readiness to answer Amen to the portions called Berachoth, or blessings, in case they could not recite the prayers themselves, from ignorance of the words they should use. The Chazan thus acted mediatorially for the uninformed, and the responses they made were considered equiv– alent to praying themselves; hence the custom of repeating aloud the Shemonay 'Essray, or eighteen benedictions, otherwise called the 'Amidah (from 'Amad, to stand, they being recited in an upright posture), after they have been read by all able to read, each one to himself, in a low tone of voice. Hence also the formulas of Kedushah, Kaddish, Bahrechu, and similar pieces. From Ezra iii. 10, 11, and Nehemiah xii. 45, 46, it appears that the ancient institution of David, that is, the Psalms, was duly revived at the rebuilding of the temple, and also that the law was publicly read in the street from a wooden stand by Ezra, and that it was interpreted and expounded by his assistants, who are recorded in Nehemiah viii. 7. Having thus clear [Page 48] 48 ON PRAYER. proof that the temple was the place where the Psalms were chauntcd, and that other localities were used to instruct the people, we have at once the twofold ele– ment of Jewish worship, — the temple for sacrifice and musical accompaniment, — and the place of assembly, whether this was a stand temporarily erected in the street to have much room, or a separate building specially devoted to worship, for prayer, praise, and instruction ; for we read in verses 5 and 7 of the chapter just now cited : " And Ezra opened the book before the eyes of the whole people, for he stood above all the people; and as he opened it, all the people stood up," just as we do when the law book is borne to the desk where it is read. " And Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people cried out Amen, Amen, in lifting up their hands, and they bowed down their heads, and prostrated them– selves before the Lord with their faces to the ground." The latter observance of prostration is not generally followed among us at the present day, except by the Israelites of the German custom on the IsTew Year's festival and the Day of Atonement; but the genu– flexions, and bowing of the head at particular pas– sages, are yet practised, as you all know ; so also the responding of Amen at a blessing, or Bcrachah as was done when Ezra prayed before the reading of the law, is yet constantly observed among us. If there– fore we freely acknowledge that the praj–er–book, as it exists at the present hour, is the gradual accumula– tion of many additions to an original simple form, we at the same time claim for it much of the highest an– tiquity, and a uniformity from the earliest return of the Israelites from the Babylonian captivity. [Page 49] ON PRAYER. 49 It may be assumed as doubtful whether any one now living could determine with accuracy whether, in the early days of our history, any set form of prayer or liturgy was in use, except the reading of portions of the sixth and eleventh chapters of Deute– ronomy, and of the sixteenth of Numbers, known collectively as the Shemang, so called from the initial words of the first of these sections commencing with the words Shemang Yisi–ael, " Hear, O Israel." It is more than probable that, though prayer was always a duty, the wording of it was left voluntary with each individual. When, however, at the return from Baby– lon, the pure Hebrew had ceased to be the spoken language of the people, and when, we have every reason to judge from JS'ehemiah, no proper dialect was prevalent, but a sort of Lingua Franca, a com– pound of Hebrew, Persian, Aramaic, and Phoenician, and afterwards of Greek and Latin : it became evi– dently the business of the Sanhedrin, or Synedrion, — those who both superintended the aflairs of the state and the interests of religion, to introduce a formulary of prayer written in the old Hebrew, so as to pre– serve the connexion with ancient Israel, and to main– tain the purity of the law in its original, uncorrupted, traditional text, and to add also pieces in the popular speech of the people, chiefly Aramaic, that they might understand, without interpretation from the Meturg– eman or translator, the words of praise which the Sheliach Zibbur uttered. "We have several such fras:– ments of prayers ; one the celebrated Kaddish, evi– dently of great antiquity, from all absence of allusion to Roman or gentile supremacy, and the other the Ye/cum Parkan Min Shemayah, a petition for the peace [Page 50] 50 ON PRAYER. of the schools at Babylon and Palestine, as also for the welfare of the individual congregation where it is recited or used, among the German Jews. There are other Aramaic pieces scattered through the prayers, but it would take too long to quote them now. The most learned can only hazard conjecture; but it is not reasonable to suppose that at any time great and violent changes could be introduced into Juda– ism. No one acquainted with the character and dis– position of our people, and the pertinacity with which even small changes are opposed and little matters conserved, can for a moment imagine that prayer three times a day could ever have been introduced, unless the custom had always been more or less prev– alent, as was the sacrificing twice or three times every day in the temple. The only difficulty in the case is the amount of pieces which are to be recited, and in them, even at the present moment, the greatest di– versity of views prevails. If we, however, take up the prayer–book and examine it by the internal evidence of style, we shall be able to determine pretty accu– rately the age of the various component parts. We need not expect the elevation of diction to be found in the ancient portions of the Bible; for, as said, the Hebrew had ceased to be the vernacular tongue, and was therefore merely the language of the learned, or the priesthood and scholars. Still we can trace the gradual deterioration of the style, until it received a new impulse, first by the Asiatic school of neo–Heb– raico poets, such as Kalir and Rabbi JSTissim of Baby– lon, and afterwards by the writers of Spain and the Barbary coast; for instance. Rabbi Jehudah llallevi, R. Shelomah Ibn Gebirol, Abraham and Moses Ibn [Page 51] ON PRAYER. 51 Ezra, the contributors to the Portuguese Sicklur, and tlieir imitators and followers in France, Italy, and Germany, Examining now the form of prayers by this stand– ard, and taking into account the hints regarding the blessings found in Mishnah and Talmud, we must characterize as most ancient Elohai Neshamah, to– gether with the benedictions and petitions till Vai/e– c/abber of the German Minhag, which are also found, though in a somewhat different order, among the Sephardim or Portuguese. The subsequent portions till Yishtabbach, except Barueh Sheamar, are either se– lections from Bible, Mishnah, and Talmud, or entire psalms and passages from Scripture. But from Yish– tabbach till the end of the 'Amidah or Shemonay 'Essrat/, with the exception of some interpolated pieces, the whole is of high antiquity, and is regarded as a preface and conclusion to Shemang, and the 'Amidah is then joined to the last as the close of the prayers proper. The form for Nejilath Apayim or falling on the face, which ceremony in full is not now in vogue, is only in a small portion original, as ilU the Minhagira em– ploy a Psalm, and the variety of the phraseology of the various readings shows that modern additions and changes have taken place. The prayers proper were concluded with 'Alenu Ijcshabcach, both in style and substance beautiful and forcible in the extreme. The same process of investigation will show us the portions of the evening and night–prayers which are from early ages; and we may freely appeal to any one critically acquainted with the Hebrew, to confess whether this hypothesis has not every appearance of correctness. I only wish that time would permit to [Page 52] 52 ON PRAYER. analyze the whole in your presence. But this being out of the question, I must hasten to complete what I meant to advance. In going over the legacy of our fathers which our various Tefilloth, Siddurim, or prayer–books (all these terms being synonymous) afford, the candid inquirer will be convinced that as little as our faith is wanting' in containing all practical moral duties, so little are our prayers wanting in all that is spiritual and soul– elevating. It is true that, for those who have not leisure, the forms are somewhat long, at least as they now exist; but this does not say that to the pious and devout soul they are too long, or that a man properly alive to his position towards the Most High should not love to spend a considerable portion of his day in exercises of devotion, by which he will live more in, so to say, a friendly intercourse with his Maker, rather than think it a burden when he has to pray, and which he cannot too quickly throw ofl" from his shoulders. But those who were compelled to labour for their support, and who were in imminent danger, and therefore not able to fix their minds in devotion, were not expected to recite the usual, but a much shorter form. Permit me to give you the two forms which are already mentioned in the Talmud, and thus accepted as authoritative. To premise, let me call your attention to the fact that the various 'Am– idah–forms, for all the year, differing as they do, all commence with the same three benedictions, and con– clude Avith three others of the same tenor. The first refers to the covenant with the patriarchs, the second to the universality of God's power, and the third to his holiness. Of the last three, the first speaks of [Page 53] ON PRAYER. 53 the service, which we pray may be acceptable; the second is the general form of thanksgiving, and the third is a petition for universal peace, as the crowning blessing of all which the Lord can bestow. Now the rule is, that when we are in a place of danger we need not say the whole of the 'Amidah, not even the first and last three blessings; but, instead of this, as fol– lows : " The wants of thy people are many, but their knowledge is weak and limited. O, may it please Thee, OLord our God! to give to each individual his maintenance, and to every creature whatever he may stand in need of; do, however, as seemeth best to Thee in thy wisdom. Blessed art Thou, Lord! who hearest prayer." When the danger, however, is not imminent, another formula is required ; for then the first three blessings are to be recited, after which, " Give us understanding, O Lord, our God! to know thy ways, and subject our heart to thy fear, and for– give us our trespasses, send us the redeemer, and remove all diseases from us; satisfy us also with the pleasant products of thy earth, and vouchsafe to gather our scattered captives from the four corners of the world. Do Thou also judge those who go astray from thy law, and raise thy hand over the wicked. Cause the righteous to rejoice at the rebuilding of thy city, and the restoration of thy temple, and the growing of the horn of David thy servant, and the lighting up of the lamp of the son of Jessd, thy anointed. Before we call, answer Thou us; while we speak, do Thou hear; for Thou, O Lord! re– deemest and savest in all times of trouble and afflic– tion. Blessed art Thou, Lord ! who hearest prayer." After which, the concluding benedictions are to be 5* [Page 54] 54 ON PRAYER. said. Those of j'oii, my hearers, who are familiar with our daily service, will readily reooguize in the above an epitome of the full eighteen, or rather nineteen, benedictions, or, more correctly speaking, the thir– teen between the third and seventeenth of our series. You will readily understand that, like the larger 'Am– idah, the prayer Habinemi, as it is technically called from the initial word, contains all that man can ask of God in his individual and social capacity, to satisfy his daily wants, and to bestow on him wisdom, as likewise the spiritual beneiits to be expected in the building up of the kingdom of the Messiah, and the restoration of the worship of the Lord at Moriah. Let me here remark that it is probable that, whilst the temple stood, the clauses relating to worship, and that referring to the restoration of Jerusalem, may have been differently worded, to answer the then state of things, both in the large and condensed forms. But, either during the existence of the Jew– ish commonwealth or now, there is no question that the essence of prayer was known and appreciated among us, and that this proceeded, not from oppo– nents or reformers of Judaism, but from its teachers and supporters. We may, to prove this, freely offer our liturgy, — I speak mainly of the most ancient portions, — and we need not fear the verdict of the world. It is, therefore, erroneous to assume that true spiritual prayer was invented or revealed by a man who, descended from Israelites, has in the pro– cess of time become the object of adoration to a large portion of mankind. I would deem my lecture incomplete, were I to omit noticing the assumption of Christians, which, [Page 55] ON PRAYER. 55 suicide–like, some spiritualizing Jews acquiesce iu, that the prayers of our neighbours are more spiritual than ours ; and as an evidence we are referred to the formula called the Lord's prayer, which is said to have been composed by the founder of the iTazarene creed himself. It is found in Matthew vi., and is in these words: "Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever." No one will gainsay that this prayer contains correct ideas of de– votion, and conveys them in concise and proper terms. But, from what has been said already' this evening, it would be the work of supererogation to prove its simple Jewish origin and its conformity with mate– rials in our own possession, and which were in vogue when the man of Nazareth is said to have lived on earth. The phrase Abinu Shcbashamayin is so entirely Hebrew that no one can mistake it for a moment for one of foreign origin. The Talmudists loved to re– gard God as their Father, in conformity to the Scrip– ture phraseology in a great variety of passages. "Hallowed be thy name" are the identical words with which the Kaddish commences, — Yithgaddal, Veyithkaddash Shemay Rabbah, &c., "May his great name be extolled and hallowed in the world which He hath created according to his will." " Thy kingdom come" are the words which follow "May He establish his kingdom." " Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" is almost identical with the form of the [Page 56] 56 ON PRAYER. usual weekday Kedushab, of the German form, or of the Portuguese, for the ninth of Ab, which com– mences, " We will sanctify thy name in thy world, as they sanctify it in the highest heaven." " Give us this day our daily bread" is the prayer of the sage, — " Give me my daily bread," — which is interwoven in many portions of our devotional exercises. " And for– give us our debts" is " Forgive us, O our Father ! for we have sinned" of the 'Ainidah; "as we forgive our debtors" is almost the same with the formula n'"? my '^ –li'^fOT |N^'7 N1D "Forgive, Lord! the one wlio ag– grieveth me." "And lead us not into temptation" is the same as in the Shacharith, "And lead us not into the power of sin, transgression, temptation, nor contempt." "But deliver us from evil" is identical with "Deliver us from a bad man, — evil occurrences," &c. And lastly, "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever," is only a paraphrase of the words of David, in 1 Chron. xxix. 11 : " Thine, O Lord ! is the greatness, power, glory, victory, and majesty; for all tliat is in the heaven or on the earth is thine." There is, according to this exposition, nothing original in this celebrated Christian prayer; all it can claim is that it is a compilation not pos– sessed by us. But we really doubt whether the ideas which it embodies are properly comprehended by those who make use of it ; since the petition that God's kingdom should come precludes the assump– tion, that the author of it could have been the Mes– siah, who is destined to advance that very kingdom which is here asked for. But it is time that I should conclude. Gladly would I have given you a more carefully prepared lee– [Page 57] ON PRAYER. 57 ture, more worthy every way of your acceptance ; but since your kind invitation to address you this even– ing has been received, I have been absent for near a week, and my time since my return has been so much occupied, that I have barely been enabled to sketch hurriedly what I have done. You will easily see that I have touched upon a great variety of topics connected with our subject; but let me trust that your good sense and personal inquiry will supply any defects which you may discover. I have done. Iyar 20th. | 5611. May 22d. LECTURE III. ON PRAYER.* No. II. RESPECTING THE SCRIPTURAL PASSAGES CONTAINED IN THE PRAY– ERS — THEIR PROPRIETY — THEIR INFLUENCE — THE NECESSITY OF RETAINING THEM. Ladies and Gentlemen! When last spring I appeared before you by request of the Hebrew Literary Association, the theme chosen was that of Prayer. I have now to thank you for the strict attention you paid me whilst discussing a sub– ject so extremely dry, and divested of all ornament as that was ; and it is this kindness which again em– * Delivered by request of the Hebrew Literary Association. 58 ON PRAYER. boldens me to speak on this topic somewhat more at length. It is certainly encouraging to a public teacher to tind that it is not merely high–seasoued food which pleases the people's taste; though there are so many who regard ornament and figurative language as alone fitted to be addressed to the popular ear, and there is, unfortunately, not wanting a class of hearers, to whom nothing else can afford the least pleasure. Plain truths, plainly spoken, are not always agree– able; and tlie more disguised wholesome instruction is conveyed, the more gratification do the unthinking display. Still it must be evident that a lecture which is, or ought to be, a dissertation on some scientific subject, ought to partake largely of the severity and exactness of an argument, where the reason and not the fancy should naturally preside. "When a man rises before an audience to excite their sympathy, to rouse their passions, to awaken their good or bad feelings, he may then deal freely in the flowers of oratory, employ metaphor and allegory, poetry and parable, to rivet their attention. But even then he should be sparing of the glitter of fine words, if he at all desires that his hearers should think him in earnest, and not be led to the conclusion that all his excitement is but mere pretence, all his elevation the product of cold study; since the vehemence of pas– sion and the energy of high–wrought feelings soon subside, after the first outburst of words to which they spontaneously give birth. My young friends, I trust, will pardon this digression, indulged in before I fairly begin ; because many of them nuiy, probably, at one time or the other attempt to speak in public; and having some experience, I deem myself a little [Page 59] ON PRAYER. 59 qualified to advise them to beware of meretricious or– nament or false glitter, and to depend more on the solidity of their intelligence, their knowledge of the subject, and the good sense of their audience, than the adventitious display of fine words, which are not rarely sound and fury, signifying nothing. Ornament, however, well and skilfully applied, pleases the most refined taste, and it shows the hand of the master when it is displayed in the proper place, and in proper time. And in this chiefly consists the differ– ence between the true orator and the meaningless violent declaimer, and between the man of genius, and the mere collector and condenser of other men's ideas. The ranter may inflame the passions of the vile and vulgar, but he leaves the refined mind cold and untouched ; whilst, at the same time, the mere collector of thoughts and words of others cannot produce a permanent impression, because, being un– acquainted with the springs of thoughts and actions, be cannot find the words to which the soul responds, like the musical instrument to the skilful touch of the master. But, to proceed with our subject. To many the idea of praj'er embraces only a mode of asking a fa– vour, or, at most, returning thanks for bounties re– ceived. Prayer, according to such a view, would simply be an outpouring of our necessities before God, either to demand relief, or to be grateful when it has been obtained. If this were so, the duty of prayer would be confined to periods of necessity or moments of hilarity, when we have enjoyed an ex– pected or unlooked–for good. In this case we should be always on the watch to keep a strict account with [Page 60] 60 ON PRAYER. God, as the recipients of his favours, anxious to call on Him when in need, and, perhaps, mindful of our dependence when our wishes have been granted. This would bring, as a result, that we should grad– ually lose sight of the power of the Supreme; since, in our self–confidence, we would often defer praying, because we might think that we had the ability to obtain justice for ourselves by our own strength, wis– dom, skill, or dexterity; and that, when success has attended our eflbrts, it was not Providence who had the least to do with the agreeable issue. Thus, also, would thanksgiving be omitted, if it were only re– sorted to on signal occasions; since, for the reason just assigned, we should, to a certainty, not always recognize the hand of our Father above in our pros– perity. So far as religious purposes are concerned, there– fore, prayer ought to be more universal than the mere petition and thanksgiving; or, in other terms, re– ligion must require prayers which are neither the one nor the other, and that they should be performed even at times wlien we are neither in any imminent trouble, nor have received any great favour which expressly demands our gratitude. If this be once conceded, we may go a step farther, and claim that, whereas the object of prayer is to draw man to God habitually, and to remind him of his great power, goodness, and wisdom, any matter, which can have such an influence on the heart, may fairly be introduced into the form or liturgy of a particular religious society. If we have arrived at this conclusion, and its pro– priety could be proved if it were necessary, we may at once assume that prayer should be a continual ex– [Page 61] ON PRAYER. 61 ercise, daily repeated, and that it should embrace ever3'thing which can bring the power of God ever present before our eyes. For since God is all–power– ful, and is thus able to grant all that we need, with– hold the expected favours, or send afflictions even greater than those we already sufler under, and since it is according as we are deemed worthy or otherwise, that we receive reward or punishment: it is evidently the best for us to have such influences acting on us and oup motives, that the acts which we perform should be of such a kind as to draw on us the favour and not the displeasure of the One, who not alone has created us, but whose vigilance is ever active to accord to us the recompense which is justly our due. Those, therefore, who composed our daily service, the seers of Israel, who accompanied Ezra from the Babylonian captivity, and their pious associates, the men of the so–called " Great Assembly," did, in ar– ranging for us a system or series of petitions and thanksgivings, incorporate with these numerous Bible– passages, literally copying without abbreviation, or change, entire verses or sections, as part and parcel of our devotional exercises, deeming them, without doubt, the best calculated to produce the proper effect of prayer ou the individual. For, let us ask, what do we declare when we pray ? Simply that we ac– knowledge ourselves inferior, and under the protec– tion and control of the Lord in heaven, who, at his pleasure, can dispose of our fate. If now the identi– cal words of Scripture can make this impression and utter this declaration in the best manner, they are evidently the best calculated for our use, although, VOL. X. 6 [Page 62] 62 ON PRAYER. in themselves, they are neither petition nor thanks– giving. The best example I can give you of this Scripture– reading in the midst of our prayers proper, is the celebrated collection of passages, commonly called the iSliemang, with which you are too familiar to re– quire any extended explanation. The Rabbis justly term it d^ow niD^o ^i;r rhip^ " The reception of the yoke of the kingdom of Heaven," as it is viewed in the light of a daily renewed acknowledgment of our alle– giance to God, who is alone in his power, uncircum– scribed in his mercy, unapproached in his wisdom, single and alone in his unity. — Let us pause awhile on the last expression, which has casually escaped me, since it is pregnant with the highest significancy. The ideas which a man entertains of the beina: or na– ture of the Supreme, and of his own relative position to Him, have a material influence on his thoughts, motives, and actions. If we believed that the Deity whom we worship delighted in cruelty and suft'ering, we would, to a surety, not regard the infliction of pain and sorrow on others in the light of a heinous offence. If we imagined that God took no cogni– zance of the acts of his creatures : we would, to a cer– tainty, indulge in all the imaginations of our own untamed heart, and live for ourselves alone, regard– less of the wishes of others; since the greatest amount of self–indulgence would, in that view, be the highest attainable happiness. If we could be induced to be– lieve that our God were powerless in himself, and re– quired the conjoint aid of another, in order to fulfil the desire of his creatures, even assuming that He in this case, too, were the sole Creator of all things : [Page 63] ON PRAYER. 63 we would, as in reason bound, propitiate the favour of this adjunct,* or associate, if this were in our power, to the neglect of regarding the wishes, com– mands and injunctions of the being, who, by himself, is powerless to save and to execute his own purposes without ulterior assistance. In the first case we would be cruel, in the second voluptuaries, and in the third idolaters or polytheists ; since the very idea of an asso– ciation in the power of the Godhead is an assumption of a plurality of gods, each more or less invested with the prerogative and powers of divinity. JSTow, Judaism is in all respects an emphatic denial of these three ideas. It declares God to be benevolent, and delighting in mercy; it represents Him as ever atten– tive to the deeds of man ; and it exhibits Ilim as alone able to execute his will ; in the words of Scrip– ture, " Wherever the word of the King is, there is his government; and who can say to Ilira, What doest thou?" (Eccl. viii. 4.) Again, "And He exists alone in his unity, and who can turn Him back? and what his soul desireth He executeth." (Job xxiii. 13.) If, therefore, it is our wish to please this great, watchful, benignant, universal Being, we ought to endeavour to follow all the rules of life which He may have prescribed for us to pursue ; and, consequently, the belief in this God should be exhibited in the acts which are to respond to it. * This fact is proved by Catholics praying to what they call the mother of God, to intercede with her son, with whom she is said to bo all–powerful, while he is equally influential with the father, thus having three male gods, the spirit being one, and a fourth adjunct, and this a female god. This is a plain view of the absurdities in– dulged in by a large and intelligent class of men. [Page 64] 64 ON PRAYER. The Scriptures, therefore, and if not these, the chief men of our nation at the partial restoration of our government, have made it our duty to repeat as a daily exercise those parts of the Bible, wherein the truths just stated are found in a condensed and sim– ple form, and which, once admitted, shut the door against the entrance of all erroneous ideas which might by any possibility injure the growth of this coniident belief in our hearts. Let us now trace the meanincj of the words of the iirst verse, " Hear, O Israel ! the Lord Avho is our God, is the Lord alone." In the correct acceptation of these words they present themselves as the beginning of an address, which the great teacher Moses delivered to the people a few days prior to his death. For near forty years he had been their guide in religion ; their judge to settle their many disputes; their political chief in government, and military leader in their battles. They had grown from a rude mass of liberated slaves into a well–organized state, ruled by equitable laws and a uniform legislation, — although as 3'et their capital was a camp of tents, and their chief temple a movable structure of gold–covered boards. Yet much had been gained in that period of wandci'ing in the desert ; the name of the national God of the Hebrews had alone usurped the places formerly occupied in the minds of the people by the multitudes of the divinities of the Egyptians; the power of a grasping priesthood, who kept the people in darkness by means of the superior knowledge which they alone possessed, had been annihilated ibrever by imparting that knowledge, and more yet which they had never dreamed of, to an entire race of intelligent beings; and profligacy and cruelty had [Page 65] ON PRAYER. 65 been restrained by a severe system of laws, terrible only to the transgressors, but mild and merciful to those who would consent to bridle their passions in obedience to their dictates ; and all this was based on the sole idea that but one God does exist, that but one God can be thought possible. Moses now in addressing his people, after repeat– ing to them the Ten Commandments and the history of the revelation imparted to tliem, calls on his hearers not to forget by "whom these laws were made known; that they did not emanate from a multitude, not from one of weak power, not from a cruel God who de– lights in the sufferings of mortals, or who is an indif– ferent spectator of what is done in this world ; but he rose up in his enthusiasm, pointed to the heavens resplendent with the glorious orb of light, showed them the earth teeming with the fertility which then distinguished our own lovely Palestine, where they were at that moment encamped, and then said that all that had been witnessed by themselves, and what– ever had been done since the creation, was the work of but one sole pervading Power — eternal, almiglity, One. It is a constant re–echoing of the same words in our ears, an everlasting "Hear, O Israel!" which the prophet meant to institute, and with his last energy he breathed forth the words which so strongly combine the greatest truths in the fewest possible words. — Moses thus declares, /iVsf', that the Being of whom he was the messenger, was " the Eternal," who was, who is, and who alone can say that lie will be; combining in himself the existence of times past, present, and future, consequently enjoyujg a con– tinuance of power without abridgment or interference 6* [Page 66] 66 ON PRAYER. from those more limited in their duration of life– Secondly he defines Ilim farther as " our God," the one who choosing for himself a people who should he in possession of his religion, and the truths con– nected therewith, selected tiie nation which had sprung from Jacob, who was called Israel; conse– quently, they had a more powerful incentive than any other family of men, to obey the laws then made known to tliem, from a feeling of gratitude for the distinction thus conferred, although they often– had proved themselves a stiff–necked and rebellious peo– ple. Thirdlij, he meant to impress on their convic– tion, that this Eternal Lord our God was alone in his eternity, not associated nor accompanied by any co– existing eternity, unaided by any other divine power, unchecked by any substantial being; since He alone is, all others are created; consequently it would be rebellion in them, at any time after his death, to per– mit themselves to believe in an association in the Godhead, or to invoke any other being tn their pray– ers, to aid them in the affairs of life, or to atone for them, in any imaginable way, with the Creator and universal Father, to insure their salvation and re– demption from the power of sin. Do you wonder that the enthusiasm which burst forth from the mouth of the most favoured of mortals, found a re– sponsive thrill in the heart of all his hearers? Had they not been witnesses of the same Power which he had seen ? Had they not listened to the same fearful Voice which had instructed him ? Had they not like him beheld the downfall of the idols of their oppress– ors, and the destruction of J'haraoirs hosts in the bil– lows of the Arabian Sea? What did he tell which [Page 67] ON PKAYER. 67 they did not know ? "What did he narrate to them which they had not seen? Nothing, save the details of revelation for which they had appointed him their messenger, and which they felt sure were communi– cated to them exactly as he had received them. There– fore did his inspired words enkindle the lamp which was already prepared in their souls ; he struck a chord which was already attuned to beat in harmony with their own heart's throbbing; and now behold! the lamp yet burns with unextinguishable brilliance in your, in my own heart, worthy hearers, and the sound yet vibrates, undying, imperishable in our bosom. Where is the son of Israel who does not feel the full force of the faith and hope which these fiery words of truth inspire ? yes, he feels them inly, deeprty ; and they dwell with him in his manhood; they abide with him in his declining years; and when as he sinks into decrepit age he loses the stores of learning he may have acquired in the days of his youth, he still cherishes in his fading memorj' the words he learned from a sainted mother, from a father long gone home to his heavenly Parent, and he murmurs with his last failing breath " The Lord is One," and falls asleep in the vision of a glorious immortality. In this is nothing of idle declamation, no fancy pic– ture evoked to win your applause or to excite your admiration, but something substantial, of which 30U all have heard many examples related to you by those who have watched the life of their brothers in faith; and it exemplifies beautifully how undying is truth, how potent the spell which sincere conviction throws over the soul of man. Let passions howl their fiercest storms ; let interest appeal ever so loudly for awhile [Page 68] 68 ON PRAYER. to the captive spirit, to pursue the path of selfishness; let pleasure allure the mind to pluck the flowers while they bloom, to quaff the wine whilst it foams and sparkles in the ruby cup: there is still seated within us that conviction of the power, and greatness, and unity of the God above, which will speak when all other voices become silent, which will cheer when all other pleasures are one by one failing and escaping from our grasp, and stand as a faithful guardian by our sinking head, when earth and sky, and sun and moon, fade into darkness before our quenched eye. It is diflicult indeed to check myself from continu– ing in this strain, and to exalt the beauty and force of our religion, to lapse into a sermon instead of a lecturcon prayer; but I must return to where I di– gressed from, the object and uses of introducing Scripture–passages as quotations or portions of devo– tional exercises into our various liturgies. All I meant to exhibit to you was, that the daily acknowl– edgment of the unity of God was calculated to impress on the mind deeply, undyingly, the lesson which it conveys, to be true and steadfast to the last, not to turn aside to the right or the left, after the inventions of sinful men, who have set up for themselves objects of worship, nonentities, fictions, which have no power. no reason, no knowledge, — idols which have no breath in their nostrils, and cannot save those who call on them for aid. AYere it now that we could frame a prayer more emphatic in our own words, more ex– pressive of our thoughts than that which springs di– rectly from revelation : we might be permitted to use it, substitute it, if you will, for the Shemang itself; but where is that man, who would dare to measure [Page 69] ON PRAYER. 69 his intellect with that which spoke out of the son of Amram ? yes ! where is he who would venture on the contest to step into the arena and dispute the superi– ority of him who has never been and cannot ever be excelled? "For there never rose up a prophet in Is– rael like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face," that is, who so completely had cognizance of the things high and holy, which are concealed from other mortals. And shall we disdain to continue using the words which he set up as a standard of faith? No ! never; for it is fit that the child of earth should learn from his heavenly Father how to pray, to em– ploy those words which he knows beforehand that they will be received in favour. But perhaps you may after all say, "The Shemang is no prayer at all ; it contains no petition, is no thanks– giving, and is as a confession of faith quite inappro– priately placed in the midst of our petitions and praises." In so judging, however, my hearers, you would misconceive the very object of prayer. Un– derstand well that prayer is not so much to remind God of your wants; for He, who knows all the ways of man, cannot be ignorant or unmindful of what we actually need. Still, as you have been told before, it is our duty to lay our wants open before Him, in order to obtain relief, just as we are commanded to exercise other acts of religion, in order to receive the divine aprobation of our deeds. It is not our prov– ince to look into the reason of this requirement of our religion; we cannot understand the thoughts of God; would He even reveal to us in words his mode of ruling the world, we could not, unless we were en– dowed with an increase of wisdom, penetrate the [Page 70] 70 ON PRAYER. depths of his designs. Is it not now the ease, that tliough we are told in the Bible that God pardons sins and passes bj transgressions to those who sin– cerely repent, there are millions of men who profess to believe that the justice of God cannot be satistied without a sacrifice, without the absolute destruction of the sinner ? And yet by this belief they contradict the teaching of the Scriptures. But so is the insulii– ciency of our reason ; we cannot reconcile to our no– tions the unlimited power of God with our concep– tions of them ; and we venture constantly upon theo– ries which we shall have to discard upon a close investigation. The same now is the case with the duty of praying to God for relief from difficulties, troubles, and dangers ; we are told in revelation that the Lord will listen to us whenever we call on Ilim; but we are not informed that by our words we convey to Ilim a knowledge of our state which He has not without them. If, however, the effect of prayer on the Supreme is not what it is on a fellow–man, who is by our petition, perhaps, first made cognizant that we are in distress, and that he can aid us : it has, never– theless, a great influence on ourselves, as it reminds us that we can obtain enlargement only from the Author of our spirit, that human aid must fail, un– less seconded by his blessing; hence in framing words of entreaty to the throne of the Most High, we must necessarily judge our own conduct, to see whether we have antj rUjJit to approach llini, wliether even in human reason we have not done that wliieli juust act as a bar to the acceptance of our entreaty. Etymologists say that the word TijUhdi Ti^2r\ prayer, is derived from the word ^^£i to judge, whence V73 [Page 71] ON PRAYER. 71 Pahlil, a judge ; and that the word SSdhh Uithpallel, to pray, as comniouly rendered, ought properly to be given with " to judge oneself," which would thus convej', that every act of prayer ought to be preceded by a strict self–examination, in order to discover wliether we have any right to approach, even as peti– tioners for an undeserved favour. Him who knows the secrets of our heart. There can be no question that such a self–examination and self–judging cannot fail of being highly promotive of a virtuous and re– ligious life; for, since daily we have some favour to ask, we shall have daily an inducement to institute the inquiry which is the prerequisite to a proper en– treaty ; and if we lind that it is not right within our– selves, we must, as a matter of course, set at once about remodelling our conduct upon a better and more pious plan than the one we have been pursuing; and thus prayer will be a constant incentive to perse– verance in the right, or an impulse to a thorough ref– ormation, unless we are so lost to our accountable state as to pray with insincere lips, and merely per– form it as a routine of duty, in which the heart is cold, the soul unmoved, and the result unfelt in our conduct. But such a mode of praying can only be acceptable upon the supposition that the One whom we address can be deceived, and merely hears our words which penetrate to his lofty presence, while distance and intervening obstacles hide from his view the deformity of our conduct. That such prayers cannot avail us aught to obtain favour in our need, requires no argument, and common sense would at once declare it an insult to God, if even the Bible uttered no condemnation of it. But the Word of [Page 72] 72 ON PRAYER. God palpably conderaus insincere prayer, and de– clares it unacceptable; consequently, there can be no excuse for offering it, nor any reasonable hope that it will in the least benefit him who utters the same. It is now evident to yon, that we can pray in sin– cerity as Jews, only when our faith in our religion is perfect, by which I mean, that we have a full assur– ance in the truth of God, as He has himself revealed to us through nature, and more yet through the Scrip– tures. No thought which is in conflict with this con– viction must at all dwell in our mind when we utter petition or praise, when we look to the Lord for en– largement, or feel grateful for the mercies extended to us. Our heart should then, if at any time, be per– fect, entire with God; no possible doubt should ob– scure our entire dependence on Him, our entire sur– render of ourselves to his holy keeping. What is, therefore, more proper than a full confession of faith, in the midst of our formal prayers, which have been framed by our sages, to express all possible wants which we can experience individually and nationally? And what confession of faith can you point out as existing, or likely to be devised hereafter, so every way adapted to declare our undivided trust, as the words of the Shemang? Each one calls to the other, " Hear, Israel !" invoking those around him to be witnesses, that he testifies, in full consciousness of the importance of the thought, that the Lord Eternal, whom we worship as the national God of the He– brews, wlio has loved and protected us ever since we sprung into being, is alone the Eternal One, is alone God, is alone Creator, is alone Sovereign, is alone Saviour, is alone the Hearer of Prayer. And what [Page 73] ON PRAYER. 73 do we thus declare, but that, in all that may befall us, we will invoke no one else, since in all space, through– out the extent of all time, there is no possibility of the existence of any power independent of his will? Ay, the "Hear, O Israel!" is neither petition nor thanksgiving; but it is more, it is a higher element of prayer, as we have defined it — it is the essence of the surrender of self to the divine protection — it is the full declaration of our fealty to Him who was the Help of our fathers from the times of old. Prayer, you will easily understand, can only be de– manded as a duty, upon the same general principle that all other religious precepts were instituted, " for our own good," for our moral improvement. As little as God needs our charities to enrich Him, or the labour of our hands to prepare Him a house to dwell in, or offerings of steers and wethers, that He maybe satisfied with our bounty: so little can He require our petitions or praises to please his ear, or to instruct his understanding of matters otherwise unknown to Him. If this view be correct, prayer must partake of the means of instructing and elevat– ing the petitioner, and to imbue him with proper thoughts, with such ideas as are the best for his hap– piness. I must acknowledg'e that this opinion is not shared by many Israelites, who imagine that, by the repetition of mere words, they acquire a power over things, by which these become obedient to their will, if they are themselves fully prepared by a pious life and due knowledge to be worthy of this signal favour. In other words, I allude to the Kabbalists, who place an especial value on certain terms and expressions, and regard many verses of Scripture as particularly VOL. X. 7 [Page 74] 74 ON PRAYER. potent to produce given efiects. I know not, indeed, whether I state the case correctly; but several pieces to be met with in the books which we use, would seem to leave no room for any other solution. But be this as it may, the Scriptures themselves, and the early teachers of Israel, subsequent to the close of the Bible–canon, do not convey any such opinions; where– fore we may not only freely reject them, but express, without any heresy, the regret that the persons who, in later periods, reduced our prayers to a consistent form and had them printed, did permit themselves to admit any mysticism or Kabbalistic allusions into our books of devotion. "We will not now dwell on this point, as we have not yet fairly reached it. We were led off to speak of it, when remarking that prayer should properly have an instructive effect on the pe– titioner. This is so self–evident that we need hardly discuss it. But we will not hurry over it, and endeav– our to illustrate it as briefly as possible. — If we pray at all with the least devotion, the words which we employ must arrest our tlioughts, so that we may not utter unworthy things in the presence of our Supreme King. Whether the prayer be extemporaneous, or recited from a written form before us, it should al– ways be in choice language, in regular order, and free from confusion and unworthy references. It should be– speak care in the arrangement, and be clear, concise, and to the purpose. The Scriptures evidently are the source whence we can derive many elements for cor– rect prayer; since the Psalms and other passages con– tain a large mass of the most sublime thoughts, most cogently and beautifully expressed. But other por– tions of Holy Writ, besides those just referred to, [Page 75] ON PRAYER. 75 have the tendency of elevating the thoughts, and to lift man above the earth; and these are principally those passages which recite the greatness and good– ness of Grod, and give us an insight into his mode of governing the world ; such as the ten commandments, the song of Moses, the thirteen attributes of mercy, the passages which refer to our redemption from Egypt, the chapters six and eleven of Deuteronomy, and several others of similar import. If now these portions contain universal principles, which can easily be carried into practical life, they may, as a matter of convenience, irrespective of the duty of employing them, be incorporated with our daily exercises. And we shall find that this has been done. For after we have, in the verse Shemang Yisrael, adopted for our– selves the perfect acknowledgment of God's universal power, and after uttering the praise, "Blessed be the glorious name of his kingdom, forever and ever," which, by–the–by, is said to have originated with our father Jacob, when on his death–bed he felt convinced that all his sons were true and faithful to the Most Holy One : we subjoin the verses immediately follow– ing the Shemang, which enjoin, first, love to God; secondly, the duty of ever remembering his blessed words; and thirdly, the duty of imparting them to our children, and to speak of them constantly in all possible relations of life, to make them ornaments for our arm and head, and to aflix them to the door– posts of our houses and our gates, so that the com– mands of God may be always remembered. It would lead us too far, at present, to comment on all these points as fully as we have on the first; but we may say, as a general observation, that after we have ac– [Page 76] 76 ON PRAYER. knowledged the power of God and our subjection to Him, it is well that we understand how we are to serve Him; in respect to which we are then informed, that it must be a perfect love which we are to offer to his acceptance, not one which calculates costs, dif– ficulties, or dangers, but such a one as will enable us to yield up everything, health, life, the dearest we possess, if so only we can maintain our allegiance to Him. He does not measure his bounties by our actual wants; He does not send his blessing only at the moment of our actual need ; but before we call He has answered our entreaty, and long before we frame our thoughts to prayer, his light and his rain have been sent to clothe the earth with verdure, and to prepare food for the children of man. No exertion on our part can ripen the products of the fields, can cause a single flower to bud and bloom : and yet all nature is robed in gladness, and field and flood, and bill and valley, and mountain and plain, and earth and sky, and all that live, and all that breathe, pro– claim that a Bounty unlimited has supplied all they need for support, for joy, for ornament, and that but one Spirit of goodness pervades all. Therefore should our devotion, our love, be also unlimited, except by our ability, and nothing that we can do, no matter how great the exertion, or how great soever the sac– rifice, should be deemed too much in the service of God. For what do we oft'er Him but that which is his own ? Is it wealth, did He not enable us to acquire it? Is it intelligence, whence is wisdom derived but from Him, the Source of all knowledge? Is it life, is not He the Author of our being, — does He not wound and heal — slay and bring again to the Hght [Page 77] ON PRAYER. 77 of day? Besides this, He can increase our happiness manifold, far more than our imagination can con– ceive : and even if we have then to go out of this existence, what prevents Him from giving us joys far exceeding the pleasures of this life, which is, at best, never free from care, never unmingled with sorrow ? The next duty inculcated in this passage, is that of laying to heart whatever words the Lord has taught us. This means that we should carefully study the Scriptures, that we may be familiar therewith, so as to be able to apply them in practice at every mo– ment, when this becomes requisite. This study, more– over, is to perfect what the preceding command asks of us; since without knowledge of our duties, their execution becomes an impossibility ; and as our love to God can only be displayed in the practice of duties, for the reason already stated, that we have no means to increase his happiness, it is evidently of the first necessity that we should endeavour to learn what He wishes us to perform, if this information be within our reach. But that it is, the existence of the Bible amply proves ; wherefore a constant study of it is an obligation incumbent on us, from which nothing can absolve us ; and the more deeply we enter into it, the more easy will it become, and the more readily will we be able to prove that we love the Lord with all our heart and with all our soul. But not alone the adults, those who have grown up in the practice of the faith, are to be acquainted with the Divine Word, but the children likewise. ]S"ot once telling is suflicient, not a mere casual conversa– tion on the subject of religious truths will be viewed 7* [Page 78] 78 ON PRAYER. as a full discharge of this duty; on the contrary, the precepts must be repeated again and again, till they be indelibly engraven on the memory, that the younger Israelites, too, may step abroad and enter the busy walks of life without any danger, that their trust in the true God should be weakened in the least. As the steel is not sharpened by once passing it over an– other, and as this has to be done frequently, in order to render the edge thin and smooth, that it may enter quickly and deeply into the substance which it is to sever : so should instruction be repeated in every pos– sible way, and renewed again, if the first impression should have faded, till the youth of our people shall be quick in the knowledge of the Lord, and they again be able to propagate the blessed plant of righteous– ness in the future soil, which will be ready for them in their turn to labour in. But instruction should not be confined to children only ; for it should extend farther, and become mu– tual teaching, mutual reminding, when we meet each other in our houses and on the road; not as we do, that every other topic is discussed save religion ; but it should be spoken of more than the common affairs of life, that those who have knowledge may impart it, and be themselves animated with new zeal, when they see the fire of piety kindled in hitherto dormant minds. Therefore, also, when we lie down, when we rise up, should the law be read and thought over; so that its precepts may always be fresh in our memory, not lie there buried and be unthought of, as a useless knowledge which we had to acquire as a school–exer– cise in our younger years, but of which we can make no practicable application as we advance in life. For [Page 79] ON PRAYER. 79 this reason, also, are we to make memorials of relig– ion, to bind them literally, not lignratively, as signs on our hand and as frontlets between our eyes, and fix them on our houses and gates, as mementos to all comers to remember the God who instituted us as his people, when He brought us forth from Egypt. It must strike you, that however long I have de– tained you in explaining the object of the first sec– tions of the Shemang being among our prayers, I merely glanced at the important ideas, doctrines, and duties it conveys ; one, however, who has ceased from her labours, the late Grace Aguilar, has beautifully commented on it in a separate work which she wrote to illustrate the " Spirit of Judaism." I refer you to this production, although I cannot say that you will find the same train of reasoning pursued by her which I have exhibited before you. Still, as all are permit– ted to enter modestly the field of inquiry, and candidly to state the fruits of their study, I trust that what I have advanced may not be considered either useless or wrong in principle. The subject is, however, so multifarious in its bearing, and so influeiitial on the afiairs of life, that it may be often discussed without losing anything of its value or sacredness. All I meant to prove was, that Scriptural passages are eminently useful to excite in us the spirit which should accom– pany prayer, — that is, a thorough devotion and yield– ing in all things to God. This is all which words can eft'ect in us, and this is again all which the Merciful One requires. It is true that we repeat the Shemang so often, that we forget the important lessons which we have sketched as being conveyed in it. This is undoubtedly an evil ; still each one can rectify this [Page 80] 80 ON PRAYER. within himself, by always recalling his thoughts, should they be wandering during prayer, and causing them to dwell with proper edification on these verses. Is it not recommended to us to close our eyes to out– ward things whilst saying the first verse, Shemang Yisrael, and to place our hand over them and to dwell on the last word Echad One, whilst we reflect that He is alone Sovereign on earth and in heaven, and that there is none beside Him? — are we not told to say to ourselves in a low tone, inaudible to all but ourselves, with the sole exception of the Day of Atonement, when it is to be said aloud, " Blessed be the glorious name of his kingdom forever and ever?" — are we not farther required to read the remaining portion slowly, solemnly, with the proper intonation, as indicated by the musical accents which the words bear ? What is all this for but to induce us to dwell carefully on each word, on each syllable, so that the whole may make, each time it is read, a new and powerful impression on the heart ? And say not that it is in vain, that we recite the words without feeling, without reflection, without benefit. Yes, let this happen a thousand times, let it ever so often be a reciting by rote of so many verses from Scripture without a response from the heart, without an emotion in the soul : there will still be moments when either joys or sorrows draw us to God, when a great deed happily consummated, or a grievous sin sorely repented for, recalls us to our– selves ; when we will feel anew that it is no idle thing to acknowledge the Unity of God, to praise his holy Name, and hope for the extending of his kingdom over the universal world; when we feel strong in faith, in trust, in fear, in love to our Father; when [Page 81] ON PRAYER. 81 we could go forth willingly and joyously to sacrifice our life as martyrs for the truth ; when we feel ani– mated with a holy ardour to speak of his might and goodness to all sons of Adam, to entreat them, to ex– hort them to join with us in rendering homage to Him who alone is great and holy ; when we would gladly spend whatever remnant of days is left us to teach to all comers that there is mercy to be obtained in our Father's mansion, peace and glory in his holy temple. These are soothing moments, and they em– belUsh the life of all men, and they open to us a fore– taste of that felicity, of that pure, unalloyed delight which, if anything can be, must be the portion of the souls of the blessed. And if prayer has done this, if the word of God has endowed us with such life, who will say that we have prayed in vain, that our reading has not had the happiest result ? To those who esti– mate the value of life by the wealth they have amassed, who honour man only according to the measure of glory he has acquired, there can be but little attrac– tion in a wealth of the soul which is not appreciable by any material test which we can apply. But if this were all we have worth living for, how few would have obtained from the Creator a boom deserving thanks, when He sent them hither to toil for a mere pittance, to labour incessantly for their mere daily bread, to live obscurely, and to die forgotten. no; there is something higher in life, for which it was given, for which all can strive, and it consists in that mental elevation, that rising above trials, above temp– tation, above poverty, above distress, unto regions which no wealth can purchase, no hand of violence can invade. And here, too, the whole progeny of [Page 82] 82 LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. Adam stand on the same level ; and he who has de– served the most will be best rewarded, though the way to perfection led through dangers and difficulties which appal the weak son of earth. I intended to touch upon many more topics with regard to prayer; but I have dwelt so long on one point, the Shemang, that I must now conclude, in the hope of resuming the subject hereafter.* Tishry 27. | 5612. Oct'br 23. LECTURE IV. LIFE AND ITS ISSUES.† Israelites and Friends ! We are assembled here this day to dedicate this field as a burying–place for the deceased of the house of Israel, where they are to repose awaiting the sum– mons unto life of their God and Creator. On an oc– casion like this it is well to pause and casta reflecting look on life and its issues. All who are born must die; there is a dark portal which looms in the dis– tance, from the moment we enter into this existence, * I regret that the opportunity has never been oflored nie thus to complete tlie task, as oilier labours intervened and demanded tho time and attention which the topic of Prayer so richly deserves. † An address delivered at Wilmington, North Carolina, at the opening of the Jewish burying–grouud, March 6th, 5616. [Page 83] LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. 83 through which we must pass, whether we meet our fate rolling on our bed of sickness or tossed about on the wild, stormy billows of the ocean ; and, however unwelcome the thought may be, we cannot shake it off, that all this beauty of outward nature, the bril– liant sky, the teeming earth, the pleasant valleys, the limpid streams, all must pass away from our eyes, and that we must be brought hither to sleep the sleep of death. Well may the flesh creep on our bones when we reflect on what we are and what must be– come of us ; the stoutest heart may well be appalled when it brings home to it the conviction that but a brief period will elapse when its tumultuous heavings must cease and it become cold and still, and that then all its dreams of aggrandizement, enjoyment, and worldly greatness will come to an end. What can console us when we thus are induced to reflect on our being? that we are here merely to pass away? Nothing but the consciousness that we are prepared to meet the change which awaits us, that we have fit– tingly consumed the time which elapses between our entering life and our leaving it, through the dismal portal which meets our view in the gayest, happiest moments of our existence. To those who with me believe in the revelation of God, who are of the house of Israel, I may freely say, Search in the law of your Creator for the guide which is to instruct you ; for it will point out to you the way of eternal life, and clear up for you all doubts and misgivings of your future destiny. It will tell you that at God's right hand there are eternal pleasures, and delights which fade not away, which are not destroyed by the canker– worm of time ; but they remain fresh and uudimin– [Page 84] 84 LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. ished and undying through all existence, as that ever– lasting Fountain from which they spring. They are not like the pleasures here helow, which are mixed with bitterness and sin ; but they are pure, springing from a consciousness that we have discharged our duty, in the conviction that we have obtained the grace of our Father. And this happiness we can ac– quire, it is within our power to obtain it; but we must listen to God's instruction, and yield to Him our will and inclination when they militate against what He has taught us to regard as the path of right– eousness. If we have at the time of our leaving earth the feeling within us that we have violated the precepts we have received from God; if we know that we have been unkind to our fellow–beings, that our life has not been a blessing, bat a burden to ourselves and others : with how much horror must we then look back upon the dreary course we have pursued, with what dread must we look upon the gloomy future be– fore us; on the one hand, misspent time rises against us; on the other, we have an offended Justice, against which all human appeals are in vain. But if Ave can look back and see tliat our days were spent in piety, virtue, and philanthropic deeds, if we are conscious that we have endeavoured to fulfil our behests and to pour the balm of consohition and mercy into the bleeding wounds of our fellow–beings : what need we fear ? for our life here has prepared us for the change which was of necessity to terminate it, and we can depart hence with the divine strength of hope and faith illuminating our last moments ; for we can meet our kind Father with tranquil joy, and be convinced [Page 85] LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. 85 that Pie will receive in favour the child that returriK ' again to his blissful mansion. What then should your conduct be as Israelites, you who belong with me to the same faith? Pre– cisely that which the contemplation laid before you should counsel you strictly to adhere to ; be circum– spect in all things, that you never violate the precepts which we have to obey as the children of Abraham ; endeavour to acquire a thorough knowledge of the duties which are obligatory on you, that you may be able to practise, in consequence of knowing, them; and let your honourable course of life always mark you as children of a true religion, who place their greatest happiness in becoming worthy of the divine favour. It is possible enough that you may not acquire large possessions in so doing; for the main business of religion is not the obtaining of great riches, but the spiritual wealth which is not of the earth : still, if you should be less in the scale of human greatness because of your piety, you will be all the happier for having resisted the evil inclination which advises you to gratify your sinful desires. And you can then come hither and tarry near the graves of those dear to you, who will have to repose here according to the unalterable will of God, and think of tlie common fate which awaits you, too, in calm resignation and blissful hope; because to those who have acquired a home elsewhere than here, the leaving of this exis– tence for another is merely the exchanging of the perishable for the immortal, of time for eternity. Permit me now, Christian citizens of this city and state, to address a few observations to you. You have for the first time witnessed among you the as– VOL. X. 8 [Page 86] 86 LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. sembling of Israelites as a body for religious pur– poses. There has been done nothing strange or sur– prising on the present occasion, and with noiseless simplicity a few of the ancient house of Jacob resid– ing among you have dedicated this spot as the place where their fathers, mothers, wives, and children are to repose when death has closed their eyes. They have thus given you an assurance that they intend to be permanent residents among you, that they wish to share whatever calamity may befall you as well as your prosperity. For, believe me, that where the dead of the Jew repose, there will not alone his spirit hover, but his body will be present to protect the precious dust from being desecrated by the hand of violence. They give you thus the most solemn pledge that they mean to cast their lot with you ; to form with you one people in the land. And here in the same iield where the gentile is to bury his dead, there the Jew means to inter his; and side by side, though in different enclosures, the ancient inheritors of the Scriptures and those who newly adopted them will sleep quietly, when the tumult of life is ended. Yet when living, there is a distinction in the eye of the laws of your state between the Jew and his Christian fellow–citizens ; he is excluded from all offices of honor and trust, simply because he is a Jew. In death all are alike ; but while the burden of earthly existence is on us, the son of Israel is excluded from equal rights by the constitution which governs you as the supreme law. This is not well ; it is a dis– grace to a state, in this age of the world, to exclude any one for the sake of the opinions he entertains, regarding his idea of the Godhead and the religious [Page 87] LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. 87 duties which he thinks himself bound to observe. We will be kind to you in your distress; we will ex– tend to you the rites of hospitality; we will deal honourably and honestly with you in business–inter– course ; we will share with you the burdens of taxa– tion for the support of the government; we will de– fend with our life and blood in common, and side by side, the soil, and liberty, and laws of this land of freedom ; but you must excuse us, if our conviction does not permit us to worship with you ; in all else command our services, and we shall be ready to yield them uncomplainingly and cheerfully; but in mat– ters of religion we dare not, we cannot surrender our conviction to you or any other power on earth. The Almighty, who has given me intellect, who has en– dowed me with a sentient soul, has also given me the power to judge for myself in matters of faith. If I cannot comprehend what appears to you so clear and evident, you must not blame me, that my spirit is differently constituted from yours. For my conduct as a man I am responsible to you, and I ought not to shrink from a full compliance with the demands of my fellow–men to respect their rights and interests. But as regards my speculative ideas, which are founded in my soul, I owe allegiance to no man, but to the God who has constituted me as I am. You cannot, therefore, have any rational right to inquire into the state of my belief, before you think it proper to admit me to an equal participation of the rights of man ; my conduct you must judge, not my opin– ions ; these are too sacred for a mortal to arrogate to himself any control over them. Indeed, educated as we Israelites are, we cannot think otherwise of God, [Page 88] 88 LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. except as tlie purest, the best, simplest Essence, in whom there are no divisions of parts, no associates, no persons, no abatement of power and happiness; but who is ONE, ever–being, ever–present, all–powerful, unchanging, eternal. We hold Him capable to exe– cute his will in all the illimitable extent of creation, requiring no mediatorial agency to reconcile Him to erring man. Yon, indeed, think differently ; you be– lieve in the existence of different persons in the God– head; you think that an atonement was needed to re– move the guilt of fallen mortals. But excuse me, have 3'ou a different moral law from ours ? have you any social regulations which we do not acknowledge as binding on us as sacred, as coming from the Source of all good? How then can our belief, our simple re– garding the nature of God, affect our natural rights as members of the same community with yourselves? I will, therefore, appeal to all who now hear me, to all who have any weight or influence among their fellow–citizens, to exert their power to aid in wiping out this blot, this disgrace from the escutcheon of North Carolina;* 3'es, labour faithfully and unwea– riedly until the constitution of your state be freed from that stain of the anomalous clause which throws the mantle of equal protection on all the citizens, ex– cepting only those who adhere to the faith of Israel. It is not well for the commonwealth to make an arbi– * Since then the constitution of the state has been virtually so amended that Lsraelites arc now citizens in full standing in North Carolina. Many of my Christian hearers did not know actually that their laws were so illiberal, but being convinced afterwards of the truth of my remarks, manyof thera aided the Israelites in their endeavours to repeal the obnoxious clause. [Page 89] LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. 89 trary distinctiou between the various classes of its children, who are alike interested in its welfare, and ready to serve it faithfully; least of all should this wrong be inflicted on the Jews, whose religion is emi– nently one of universal philanthropy. But you, brother Israelites ! owe it pre–eminently to yourselves and the faith which is yours, to exhibit in the clearest possible light the excellence of your moral system. You are not known as you ought to be; the prejudice of centuries still rests upon your name; you have been for ages represented as base, cautious, unscrupulous in the pursuit of wealth, and as having no sympathies with your fellow–men of other creeds. We may admit that when we had to dread to meet with an enemy in all who differed from us, it could not be otherwise than that we should re– sort to the only weapon left us to secure ourselves against the wrongs of a whole world; we had to ob– tain means to satisfy the exaction of our tyrants; and hence it was rational that where resistance was not attainable by us, ignoble pursuits and concealment should have been resorted to, first to obtain what all required of us, — gold, and then to hide it. Never– theless, even under these baleful influences, the Jew never lost the kindness of his heart; the sight of others' suifering animated him with the desire to re– lieve it, and he never forgot he was a being depend– ing on and responsible to God. You, however, who are so far more happily situated, who live under the protection of laws, not of arbitrary rule, let it be your sincere endeavour to fulfil in every respect the requirements of your heaven–born religion. You have the guardianship of that legislation on which all civ– [Page 90] 90 LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. ilized laws are founded; you are the custodians of that which has conquered and obtained the erapire over the hearts of men. It woukl therefore be treason in you to dishonour it by any misconduct of yours, by being unfaithful to the sacred trust which has been conlided to you. You should in– deed be kind, in the first instance, to your fellows in the worship of the one God ; but permit your– selves on no account whatever to injure in the least those who difter from you in religion. On every occasion be merciful to all ; whoever appeals to you, wherever distress calls on you for aid, be it yours to assist to the extent of your means; see the hungry only to feed him, the naked to clothe him, and ask not first whether he be an Israelite or a stranger. Let the rights of all men be sacred in your eyes; respect the property, honour, and life of all without distinc– tion or limit; it is not your business to inquire who the man is–; for it is enough that around all the shield of God's commandments has been thrown. For how does the law which we have received express its in– junction? Is it in special terms? No; it says, on the contrary, " Thou shalt not kill ; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal;" the suft'erer by our wrong–doing is not specified; it matters not, therefore, whether he be Jew, Christian, or heathen ; whether he come from the east or the west, he is sa– cred in the eye of God against our malice ; he is a creature of the universal Parent, and should there– fore be untouched by our hate, uninjured by our pas– sion, guarded against our covetousness; he should go unharmed, whether we are stronger or weaker than he; because God knows no distinction among his [Page 91] LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. 91 children, no matter what their condition or belief may be. You, indeed, are bound to remain stead– fast to the doctrines you have received; you are not permitted to forsake the standard which you were created to defend ; but, though Jews, you are men ; and take heed that no tear of the sufferer, no sigh of the oppressed appeal against you before the tribunal of high Heaven, You, Christian friends! have here a brief outline of the principles of the religion which we profess, and you can hence decide whether its true followers are entitled to your regard and sympathy. You will see that its aims are the highest, to spread love and good–will among all classes of men, to love justice, and to obey to the fullest extent the beneficent laws of the Most Merciful. True it is that we have been misunderstood, maligned, and misrepresented ; but it is time that useless and baseless prejudices should pass away ; at least do you show that, as citizens of America and ISTorth Carolina, you understand to re– pair a wrong done your fellow–men, and to accord to them the inalienable rights from which they should never have been deprived. Let tyrants of the ancient world still entertain the idle dream of subserving the cause of their religion by excluding and oppressing those who honestly difi:er from them and think for themselves ; but do you show that you have correctly learned to appreciate that for matters of conscience we are answerable alike to but one tribunal, that of the Most High, and that no human being can allow another to decide the grave question of religion for himself without sinking into the most abject slavery. We can see outward objects with our own eyes only; [Page 92] 92 LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. we can judge of their shape and appearance solely by our natural vision : equally requisite must it be that we decide metaphysical truths by what our ex– perience and education teach us concerning them ; if we even should err, we oftend thereby no human fel– low–being; we cannot satisfy our conscience by ob– taining his approval, nor can we think ourselves in the wrong by finding that he ditFers from us. All we have to do is, to inquire whether such a system of faith as we profess is injurious to society, whether our moral views can become hurtful to others; and having ascertained that our belief is the purest which ever dawned on the world, since you have received the Holy Scriptures from us, since you base your re– ligion on our sacred records, since in all arguments you refer to us for verifications of your opinions; and being assured that those who shape their course of life by the divine code cannot be far wrong in prac– tice, even admitting that they are not altogether right in their speculative ideas (but which alternative we do not concede): your course of duty is evident, that you ought not to rest till you have conceded to us that which should have never been withheld, and amend the constitution of your state in such a man– ner that all the inhabitants within the limits of this conmionwcalth shall be equal in rights as they are equal in duty. Not for the sake of holding office, not to promote a few of our people to posts of trust and profit, do we desire this; but merely to remove a bar– rier which, should it longer exist, will act as a bar to a uniformity of franchises, which is equally unjust in morals as it is inadmissible on the score of republican principles. And you may be assured that this act of [Page 93] LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. 93 justice will never be repented by you after it is con– summated ; and you will always find the Jews obe– dient to the laws and attached to the soil of their birth, or the land where the protection of equal rights is awarded to them, and where they live as freemen, bound by the ties of kindness alone to the land and its institutions. But it is time that we pass to the object that has brought us hither to assemble on the field to be de– voted to the repose of the dead, though the afiairs of active life are not foreign even on such an occasion as this. This field is to be hereafter the place of sepulchre of those who were dear to you in life, brother Israelites ! Remember, therefore, that in coming hither this day to dedicate this spot for so sacred a purpose, you declare that you have an object in view of the highest moment. You say, in fact, that you wish to live as Jews, as you desire to have a Jewish sepulchre when your race is run. Do not forget what you thus declare, for the remainder of your days. For what avails the mere burial of the lifeless clay, sacred though the duty is for the survivor, if your whole existence has been spent in forgetful– ness of the demands of your faith ? And do you im– agine that you will have length of days to amend your sinful course at any indefinite future time which you may fix in your imagination as the period of your repentance? Do not thus trifle away the precious hours; 3'ou know not when the summons may reach you, to be taken away with all your faults on your head, with all your wrongs unrepaired, with all your sins unatoned for. You wish all to be numbered among the righteous. Why do you not then set [Page 94] 94 LIFE AND ITS ISSUES. earnestly about a thorough reformation, and remove the evil of your ways, and become devoted and faith– ful servants of your Father in heaven ? Consider, moreover, that the longer you delay, the more con– firmed will become your sinful habits, the more invet– erate will be the practice of what our law interdicts. And tlien day will follow on day, till your sun sets in darkness, and you appear before God void of good deeds and laden with iniquity. As yet the Lord's mercy is extended over you, and you have the means of grace freely offered to you, and it is in your power to seize on it, in order that you may live. But do not trust to your strength, to your youthful and manly vigour; for against the arrows of death no age nor youth can guard you. Every day may be your last; be then ready to meet your God, if He call you to Him at any moment. Follow the injunction of the wise teacher, who said, " Return one day before thy death;" but as we know not which day that is, it means that we should prepare ourselves all our days, as though the morrow would close our earthly exist– ence. In this wise will you in the best manner prove your appreciation of your duties to God, by constantly thinking of His favour, and shaping your conduct solely by His will. "Whatever He has commanded is the best for us under all circumstances; it is accord– ingly the business of our life daily to grow more per– fect in obedience, and to become hourly more habi– tuated in the performance of all the duties which are to distinguish us as children of Israel. There is a charm in piety which renders her daily more lovely, the more she is pursued; and if you diligently strive against the evil inherent in you, you will find the [Page 95] THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. 95 task of contending against sin growing constantly more easy and successful. You will thus become that for which you were created to be, men in cove– nant with God, and be bound to your Father by the ties of love and reverence ; and by this means can you look with calm resignation on the ills which be– set your pilgrimage here below, and await with faith and hope the closing of your days on earth, when all that is material and perishable will pass away from before your eyes, and you will be received where neither death nor decay mar the everlasting delights which are the heritage of those who have merited the approval of their Maker in a life without end. Amen. LECTURE V. THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL.* Ladies and Gentlemen ! This is the first time since I commenced public speaking, that I have any direct interest in the mat– ter; and it maj' therefore happen that on the present occasion, more may be expected of me than will be in my power to accomplish : I therefore must crave your indulgence, should your expectations exceed my abilities. The subject which I have chosen is one which may * A lecture delivered at Sansom Street Hall, Wednesday even– ing, May 12th, 5618, when, by the request of friends, I consented to have tickets of admission sold. [Page 96] 96 THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. be expected of a Jewish divine ; still, I have endeav– oured to treat it as free from bias and prejudice, as was possible to me. It has, however, an interest, not alone to the Israelite, but also to all persons of intel– ligence ; since the existence of the Hebrew people is well calculated to arrest the attention of all who are inclined to trace great effects to some well–defined causes. Perhaps not any people have ever been more spoken about than the Israelites; the religionist has con– stantly to refer to them when expounding his own peculiar views, and one is not far wrong to assert, that scarcely a public religious meeting takes place in which the Jews are not either mentioned dby name, or at least alluded to in some manner. Those, how– ever, who do not pay any deference to the popular ideas in religion, are also not indifferent spectators on the presence of the Hebrew race, and either praise them for their sturdy common sense, when it suits them to denounce or revile other persuasions, or, if their object be to reject all positive religion, they not rarely cast ridicule on Israelites, for what they fanci– fully style their superstition. And with all this con– stant attention directed towards our people, we are, on the other hand, fully warranted in asserting, that no class of men is so much misunderstood, or possi– bly, so unknown, as are these self–same Jews. Per– haps they are a mystery to themselves; they are at once yielding and obstinate; submissive and unbend– ing ; shrewd, yet simple; covetous, yet generous; living in every land, yet peculiar in all ; assuming the manners and languages of all nations, and yet distin– [Page 97] THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. 97 guisliable at first sight as a separate people ; and all this not because tliey desire to be singular, but be– cause they cannot help it; for they are as they are from, what may be termed, a natural conformation, from an indelible, unalterable impression which they received in their very origin, and which they have carried with them down the path of the world's his– tory, until this very moment. The matter is surely worth an inquiry; it is a phenomenon certainly de– serving the serious consideration of every sou of Israel, and of those, too, who feel an interest in that people from which they have derived their chief sources of religion, or, in other words, the knowl– edge of how to live in purity, and how to die in honour. Far down in the valley of time we see a little stream making its way between shelving rocks and thickly overhanging branches; we behold a little rill just escaped from its flinty birth–place, gradually urging its way to reach the broad plain where other and broader streams pursue their course. But ever and anon its progress is checked by obstacles which the nature of its bed presents to it at every turn ; yet the very narrowness and depth of the channel which it has to follow, preserve its waters from being wasted and dried up by summer's heat; and, constantly re– filled from the icy source whence it springs, it rushes onward, though at times unseen, till it emerges with irrepressible power, a mighty river in the presence of the Lord, before its waters finally mingle with the vast ocean to which it furnishes an unmistakable ac– cession of strength far away in its briny floods. Such a stream is, in the history of the human race, [Page 98] 98 THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. the family of Israel, which, never very numerous, is still one of the weakest of mankind, if importance is to be considered as attachable only to millions and material power. It was in Chaldea, the ancient seat of learning and early civilization, that one man, rising above the superstitions of his friends, neighbours, and relatives, rejected the idols, the works of human hands, and proclaimed aloud his belief and trust in One, eternal, and invisible God, whom he designated and adored as the Possessor of heaven and earth (Gen. xiv. 22), comprehending, under the last term, the globe on which we live, and by the other, the whole structure of the universe, in comparison with which our earth is but like an atom that dances before our eyes in the bright sunbeams of a glorious sum– mer's day. It is not our province now to investigate whether Abram, for that was this Chaldean's name, had any conception of the great extent of the uni– verse, which modern discoveries have taught us to ascribe to the same, though there are traces enough in old Jewish writings which evidently betoken a knowledge of the vastness of the creation, and it is also clear, that in very early times already the great– ness of God was measurably described by a reference to the magnitude of the works of his hands. Eut this much is certain, and it is all which we need to illustrate as belonging to our subject, that the father of the Hebrew nation had acquired, either by instruc– tion or from his own unaided research, the conviction that the idols and objects of worship, which received the homage of his countrymen, had no power to con– fer any gift on man which he had not obtained from the Highest Source, or, in other words, that there [Page 99] THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. 99 existed but one, universal, controlling Power, which we, for want of a better name, call God. It was just stated, that it is not impossible that Abrara had received instruction from his progeni– tors, though not his immediate father, concerning the powerlessness of the divinities which were adored around him ; but even if this was actually the case, it does not in the least detract from his merits, nor lessen, in the smallest degree, the value of his great work in becoming boldly the professor of a truth which was evidently not in favour with his country– men. We have the authority of no less an historian than Joshua for asserting, that our forefathers, resid– ing on the other side of the Euphrates, worshipped strange gods; and however, therefore, there may have been here and there some few who revered the One who had displayed his omnipotence through the de– struction of the generation of evil–doers by means of the flood, and scattered a rebellious assemblage through the confusion of tongues, at the building of the tower of Babel : there can be no doubt that the vast majority of mankind had, either by their own impulse or by the cunning devices of priests and kings, learned to adopt a multitude of worshipful beings, instead of the One great Supreme. We have accordingly every reason to believe the truth of the ancient tradition, which asserts that Abram was per– secuted for his bold profession of faith, and for his daring denunciation of the folly of his contemporaries. It is said in this connexion, that he was summoned before King Nimrod, who threatened him with death by being thiTJwn into a biiruiJjg tuii–nace,!!! case he did not conform to the riianiiers ot the country, and [Page 100] 100 THE PAST AND FUTURE OP ISRAEL. sacrifice to idols; and that Abram underwent the trial, and escaped by the interposition of Providence, as did, in a later period, his descendants, when they were doomed to a similar punishment for a like oftence, in the same vicinity, by another mighty mon– arch of Chaldea, Nebuchadnezzar, the destroyer of Jerusalem. Whether we place implicit credence in this legend or not, this much is certain, that tradition which, after all, is the evidence of popular opinion and belief on a certain point, ascribed to Abram an unflinching constancy in the profession of his views on God and the creation, for which he must have been exposed to great risks, as it is very natural that one or many always acquire from the masses, from whom they differ, ill–will, and not rarely absolute hatred, as the recompense of their dissent. It would have been singular, if the ancient Plebrew should have escaped this fate common to all independent thinkers, and if he should have been left unmolested to pursue the result of his own convictions. But notwithstanding the risk which he had run in his native land, and that of his temporary sojourn at Ilaran in Mesopotamia,* we find him pursuing a similar course of life, after he had attained his seventy–fifth year, at a time when surely the enthusiastic excitement of youthful con– viction had long since passed away, when he had reached the land of Canaan, whither he had repaired, as the Bible tells us, by divine appointment. This * Lately, it has been asserted that Haran is a district of country not far from Damascus, and that it was called Naharayim, Two Rivers, from being between the two streams, probably Amanah and Pharpar. But wherever this Haran was, it matters not, as far as the truth of the Bible–history is concerned. [Page 101] THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. 101 land was then in the occupancy of the Canaanites and Perizzites, tribes addicted to the bloody rites of Mo– lech, sacrificing their children to a senseless idol. But the Hebrew, though a stranger here, erected altars to the God of heaven and earth, and taught the benighted people to adore the Name which to him was the source of joy, of hope, of trust, and of con– solation. Thus arose our nation, far away in the early records of authentic history, like a speck in the distant ho– rizon, owing its origin, as also its mental character, to the daring reformer who, regardless of danger and personal consequences, boldly defied public opinion, and sought to gain for the truth, as he conceived it, a few ardent adherents, who, like him, might have the courage to avow it at all times, and under all circumstances. We must not be surprised, however, to find that Abram, at his first appearance, or Abra– ham, as he was called at a later period of his life, had but few followers, to such a degree that we meet with none but the descendants of Isaac his younger son, and of this one's younger son, Jacob, who adhered to the doctrines of the founder of the family. For it was a severe trial to sever the ties of consanguinity, to separate oneself from the associates of youth, to adopt a new and strict mode of living, which the new theory required; and those therefore who, as servants and friends of the Patriarch, had in whole or part adopted his speculative ideas, did not transmit them to their descendants, because they had, in all likeli– hood, not at the same time submitted to all the duties which Abraham imposed on his own family. The early teacher of the truth which we have preserved [Page 102] 102 THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. was thus, at his death, nearly alone in his profession, and the light which he endeavoured to kindle, during what we may freely call a ministry of an entire cen– tury, for he quitted this earth just a hundred years after his entry into Palestine, burned yet with a feeble glimmer, which to all human probability must have appeared nigh its extinction again, from the little strength it had acquired under one so eminently cal– culated to nourish it. For to picture Abraham, as he is represented to us in the authentic pages of Genesis, we should judge that he was practical and earnest, equally removed from enthusiastic excitability and frivolous haste ; we see him not unmindful of per– sonal advantages, a prudent husbandman, and a care– ful shepherd ; peaceable, even submitting to personal wrong, though a powerful chief in the land, yet ready to take up arms when it concerned the righting of another's injuries, notwithstanding that this person had at one time disturbed the peace of his household; generous and liberal without forcing others to be as disinterested as himself. But more than all, we shall have to admire his unshaken constancy, his unswerv– ing confidence in the correctness of bis inward con– viction, inasmuch as he never yielded but once to despondency, although he saw so little to cheer him on in that which was so dear to him, the spread of his own persuasion ; when perhaps every other man but he would have given up the struggle, and ceased to teach where there was nothing gained. Perhaps some person, glad to discover blemishes in the most perfect picture, may point out to us that Abraham was guilty of duplicity in his intercourse with Pharaoh of Egypt and Abimelech of Philistia; but let us not for– [Page 103] THE PAST AND FUTURE OP ISRAEL. 103 get tliat the morals of both these countries must have been exceedingly corrupt from the recorded fact that Abraham was exposed to lose his life owing to the charms of Sarah; and our harsh judgment will be surely softened, so as not to condemn too severely what we cannot altogether approve of. But we should reflect, at the same time, that we are presented with the character of a man, sufhciently human to be ap– preciated, not a monster of perfection such as the earth has never looked upon. Besides this, we are nowhere told to follow Abraham's private conduct, but only in what he taught of the ways of the Lord, to exercise righteousness and justice. For this the record praises him, and in this regard we may chal– lenge the world to produce his equal. The materials, indeed, are too scanty to permit us to compile a full biography of the father of the Hebrews ; but the few hints preserved for us are enough to convince us that he was precisely such a one as is calculated to leave an impression strong and ineifaceable, by his talents, his probity, and undeviating love of justice. In thus connecting the character of Israel with that of their iirst special parent, you have been presented with a key to the nature of the Jewish mind, which has preserved its identity so strikingly amidst all the vicissitudes that have passed over it. You may say, that I assume for it, in thus stating it, too high a posi– tion, and that much that is ignoble is easily discovered in it. This will not be disputed ; for neither an indi– vidual nor a people is faultless, only he is the best who has the fewest shadows to contrast with his brighter side, and this test may fairly be applied to the Jewish nation. But though we may be honestly proud of [Page 104] 104 THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. our progenitor, there have been other causes to mould our history and give us a permanent hope for the fu– ture. The life of Abraham's immediate successor presents us but few features which can throw light on the subject. lie lived in peaceful retirement at He– bron, where the remains of his mother and father had been interred; but seldom was he far away from that spot, sacred to his feeling heart, and he appears more like the link between the prosperous father and the suiiering son, yet a trusty guardian of the truth, wliich he lived to find embraced by the hopeful progeny of Jacob, who himself had remained uncor– rupted by the long residence among worshippers of idols, and these his own kindred, and the near relatives of both his parents. Truth had again a trial to encounter in the person of the hardy shepherd, who, through his mother's persuasion, had been in– duced to incur his brother's hate by obtaining his father's blessing, and fleeing from his early home, was compelled, from his love of independence and the narrowness of his means, to become the servant of his own uncle, and to merit by honest toil the woman whom he loved. But though exposed to the scorching heat by day and the damp chills hy night, so fatal to health in the plains of Southern Asia; though solitary in his vigils over his wearisome task, while the stars alone were keeping watch with him when feeding Laban's flock; though there was no one near with whom he could converse about the great deeds which the Lord hiul Avrought for his fathers, and whose promise cheered him under his afllictions, in the hopes of 3'et again seeing his fatherland, and of again embracing his parents before they died : he [Page 105] THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. 105 remained erect amidst all these dangers to his con– stancy, upheld by the undying words which he had heard when sleeping on the flinty rock under the open canopy of heaven, and he forgot not once from whose lineage he had sprung, and that in him and his progeny centred the hopes of a world's salvation. O those bright visions enlivened his nightly vigils ; those glorious prospects sweetened every toil ; those blissful yearnings solaced his days of sadness, and gave him strength and power to transmit the legacy of divine truth to all who were called by his name; so that when at length Jacob, who was surnamed Is– rael, or he who had obtained dominion with God and men, was summoned away from earth, there stood around his bedside, not one child, as was the case with Abraham, not one son, as was the fate of Isaac, but twelve children, all strong and faithful, and their children's children, all true and loyal, to respond with one voice to the invocation which their dying sire breathed forth before he expired. It may appear to be a slight thing to have obtained this much as the fruit of an entire life, and to regard it as the crown– ing glory of an existence spent in constant struggle, incessant sorrow, in hopes deferred, with darkness dwelling in the soul for a supposed irreparable loss during more than twenty years; but not so must the lover of truth regard it, when he contrasts Laban and Jacob, the one swearing to the truth of the treaty they had made by the idols of Nachor, the other by the God of Abraham, and the One whom Isaac re– vered. For behold ! the gods of Nachor are now for– gotten ; multitudes then worshipped those idols and those Teraphim, whatever these may have been, while [Page 106] 106 THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. but Isaac and his son and their own household knew of the One whom they revered and adored. But the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob is invoked from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, and everywhere there ascend prayers and thanksgiv– ings to his JSTame from the multitudes of Israel and those who follow them. And surely to have been the father of such a race, the parent of such a mode of thought, is a glory outweighing all earthly wealth and all carnal triumphs, where blood flows beneath the tread of the conqueror, and where the wheels of his chariots are made red by the gore of thousands of slain. Through a strange concatenation of events, one.of Israel's sons had been raised to the rank of regent of Egypt, and second only to Pharaoh, the ruler of the most civilized nation of ancient times, who, notwith– standing their progress in arts and sciences, of which their mighty structures, as yet undestroyed by all– devouring time, furnish the clearest proof, entertained ideas of religion differing no less from what Joseph had acquired from his father, than they are contrary to modern opinions even of non–Israelites. Jacob, having long mourned his son as lost to him forever, no sooner heard the joyful tidings that he yet lived, and was ruler over all the land of Egypt, whither his other eleven sons had gone to buy provisions in a sea– son of famine, which had been predicted and pro– vided against by the youthful Hebrews heaven–in– spired wisdom, than he resolved to accept Joseph's invitation to come and sojourn with his whole house– hold in the fruitful plains of Goshen. But mark a peculiar feature in our early history, the natives of [Page 107] THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. 107 the land and the new–comers could not mingle on equal terms, because the latter being shepherds caused them to be looked upon with disgust by the aborig– ines, who held animals as sacred. Though, there– fore, received hospitably by royal command, there was no cordiality entertained towards them by the people of Egypt; they were accordingly guests, noth– ing more, strangers, just as they had been in Canaan. Their manners rendered them distinct, and their re– ligious opinions made them, to a greater or less de– gree, obnoxious to their neighbours, who, no doubt, looked with a jealous eye on the evident royal favour bestowed upon them out of gratitude to the regent Zophnath Pa'aneach, whose wisdom and prudence, indeed, had saved them from starvation during the years of famine which had come over the land, but who had at the same time rendered them tributary to the regal power by exacting, as a tax, a fifth part of the annual product which had to be sent to the public treasury. It accordingly happened, that although the stream of Israel was gradually expanding, and this in peace and security for at least seventy years after their arrival, or upwards of fifty years after Jacob's death, it was checked in its course by the natural an– tagonism ofl'ered to it by those who might otherwise have been benefitted by it. It was therefore kept within narrow banks, overshadowed by the gloomy branches of that crushing idolatry which flourished near it, and was upheld and protected on the part of the state, as its priests were exempt from the tribute which was exacted from the people at large. The cau– tion, therefore, and the prudent reserve, which were nevertheless the reverse of cowardice, always dis [Page 108] 108 THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. played by the early fathers of our people, became, we may assume, a characteristic of their early de– scendants when they first expanded into a nation ; since their numerical strength, or rather weakness, would have exposed them to extermination if they had drawn upon themselves the hatred and persecut– ing spirit of their envious neiglibours. But another fate, not extermination, was reserved for Israel. The Egj'ptians had experienced their strong good sense ; they indeed detested their being addicted to the raising of flocks, their eating the flesh of the emblem of their gods, their denial of the power of the idols adored by the multitude; but they could not conceal from themselves that, aliens as they Avere to their blood and manners, they were nevertheless valuable as producers in that portion of the state as– signed to them for their residence, at a distance from the metropolis. It is rendered probable, from the rec– ords which have come down to us, that some foreign power was dreaded as about to invade Egypt, or that at least such a result was apprehended as within the range of possibilitj', and that then the Israelites might seize on the opportunity thus presented to quit the nar– row limits where they had to dwell, surrounded by the uncongenial descendants of Ham. It is, indeed, mere conjecture, but for all that not unreasonable, to as– sume, that as shepherds and agriculturists, who have no need for arms except to protect themselves against the attacks of savage beasts, they were not prepared to ofl:er any serious resistance to the well–trained mil– itary castes of Egypt, who probably permitted no one, not even the Hebrews, to be received among the de– fenders of the country, thus centring in themselves [Page 109] THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. 109 tlie power of warding off" a foreign foe, and ruling with unrelenting and irresistible tyranny over their own countrymen. Besides this, it is not probable that, although the increase of the Hebrews had been exceedingly great, they could have amounted to any formidable number soon after the death of Joseph ; and it is, on the other hand, reasonable to assume, that not long after his demise the jealousy of the na– tive Egyptians threw oft' the restraints, which grati– tude for their country's greatest benefactor had at first imposed on them. It was then resolved to make the Israelites harmless, and at the same time useful to the country, by compelling them to perform invol– untary labour to the state, and to individuals to whom they might be assigned. The precise steps resorted to in order to enforce obedience, are not recorded; but we may freely assume, that a large body of the warriors and a sufficient number of taskmasters were distributed through Goshen, who, by means of per– sonal violence and other efficacious measures, com– pelled them, singly and in masses, to perform such labour as was demanded of them. Resistance was impossible; no concert of action could take place, where every act was watched, where no one knew Avhom to trust, where it was unknown whether the person confided in might not betray the fatal secret the next moment to a minion of power, in order to obtain for himself a diminution of that severe tyranny which bore down with equal weight on all. And a refinement of cruelty was at last resorted to in addi– tion, by appointing overseers of their own people over them, and holding these to a rigorous responsibility, to have the daily tasks finished to the utmost extent, VOL. X. XO [Page 110] 110 THE PAST AND FUTURE OP ISRAEL. It is not to be doubted, that this constant toil, these increasing hardships, which saw their culminating point in the destruction of the male children, so that the race might be gradually rooted out, had a ten– dency to weaken the attachment of the Israelites to– wards their traditional faith and its practices, and to induce many to adopt tacitly the opinions and man– ners of their oppressors, notwithstanding that there were among them also men and women of a higher stamp of mind, who revolted at the idea of sharing the pollution of morals and the imparity of thought of caste–ridden Egypt. But that a vast many had not these high aspirations, is evident from the words of the prophet Ezekiel, who, in his twentieth chapter, pointedly speaks of teachers who, in the name of God, exliorted the Israelites to cast away the abominations of their eyes, and not to defile themselves on tiie idols of Egypt; independent of the consideration that the race reijarded as inferior and treated as such with all the scorn and the contumely which the ruling classes ever assume, is very apt to imitate those from whom it receives its directions respecting its daily employ– ment. Here was, therefore, another and a very im– minent danger, that the labours of Abraham might at length be entirely obliterated, if the residence of his descendants should have continued for an indef– inite period in the land where they then sojourned. In the course of probability, a dim tradition of the national God, so different in all respects from the be– ings, or fanciful inventions rather, adored all around them, might have been perhaps retained by a few who had mind enough to think independently of out– ward circumstances, despite of the heavy yoke which [Page 111] THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. 111 rested on their necks. But how much would this have naturally been mingled with error, with mythol– ogy, or doctrine of fictions, which everybody about them implicitly confided in. Perhaps, also, some of the aged, who had heard their grandfathers speak of a free people invited to Egypt out of gratitude to en– joy the king's hospitality, may have related in the bitterness of despondence to their toiling children, how they remembered something of a blessing bestow– ed by Israel, that the God of Abraham woukl at some future day think of them, and that Joseph, too, had repeated the same hopeful words, which had led them all to expect a joyful residence in a country not many days' journey removed to the northward, famous for its beauty, fertility, and variety of climate ; where the rains of heaven descend to moisten the earth ; where there is winter at times, and fleecy snows are seen to place a wreath of winter–flowers on the denuded branches of the deciduous trees, which flourish the more vigorously for their temporary rest ; where there are streams issuing out of vale and hill; where there are mountains to break the constant unvarying level which fatigues tlie eye by its sameness. And now, where was the fulfilment of this blessing? was it not the result of an excited imagination, reverting, in the last hours of life, to scenes of infancy, to im– pressions dwelling in the memory, without any other foundation for the words uttered than a simple wish that it might be so? Thus reasoning, thus despond– ing, there was danger that the last firm hope might at length have vanished from the minds of Israelites, and that they would have degenerated into a Pariah caste, distinguished in features as of a distinct origin, [Page 112] 112 THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. but debased in morals, slavish in mind, morose in temper, and superstitious to the lowest degree, look– ing on their taskmasters in the light of superior beings, and imitating them in all things which their low condition permitted them, even granting that the decree to destroy their male children, and thus the future fathers of the nation, had either been revoked or not rigidly enforced. Thus deplorably were the Hebrews situated in Egypt, when that wonderful event, which is known as the Exodus, or the going forth of Israel's descend– ants, took place, four hundred and thirty years after Abraham had begun his pilgrimage. The God who had aided the first patriarch when he proclaimed his Name, would not let the truth perish so hopelessly so ingloriously, as it was then in danger of doing. But He wanted no proud nation to proclaim his word; He would not permit the fire and sword to be the in– struments in proyagating his Law ; He rather chose those who had been humbled, who had no affiliated tribe among all mankind, to become the recipients of the highest elements of civilization, and to constitute these ideas the very means of their existence as a people, whether residing in one country or scattered, as they now are, over all the earth. It may be ob– jected to me for introducing this topic, that it is not philosophical in an historical inquiry to speak of a matter which, in its very nature, is preternatural; but to this it may be replied, that the best solution which can be given of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and the subsequent promulgation of the Ten Commandments, is to assume the correctness of the Mosaic record, and this teaches us to regard the whole [Page 113] THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. 113 process as an evident act of divine interposition, and I feel no hesitation in saying, that I accept it as such with the full assurance of conviction, and so ought every correct thinker to do, until others can furnish a more reasonable explanation. We will assume, therefore, as a tact that, when the doctrines of Abra– ham were the nearest to extinction through the hor– rors of a relentless slavery, they were suddenly placed on such a foundation that they should never more be forgotten. A people was unbound from the fetters which held it fastened to falsehood and bondasre, and rendered free both in mind and in body, and made capable of existing only by means of a peculiar code then conlided to its keeping. If you ask me, then, What constitutes the true character of the Israelites? I will tell you, that it is not their shrewdness, not their cunning, not their love of money, not their poetry, not their aptness for music and language, not their old military prowess, not their present timidity, not their ancient agricultural skill, not their present apathy for field–labour, nothing in fact which the out– ward world calls great and little in the character of a nation or individuals, but the possession of a set of ideas, which took their rise with the first parent of their race, and which they have carried with them in all their varied fortunes, as shepherds in the per– sons of Isaac and Jacob and their household when living as a single family in Canaan, as sojourners and as slaves in Egypt, as wanderers in the desert of Arabia, as invaders and conquerors of Palestine, as a prosperous commonwealth, as a powerful kingdom; again, as exiles, and when rebuilding their wasted cities and ruined sanctuaries, or struggling for their 10* [Page 114] 114 THE PAST AND FUTL'RIi OF ISRAEL. mental independence against tlieir Syrian Greeks, and striving for the remnant of a free state against the world–subduing Romans, — but more than all, when enduring hardships which would have crushed any other people, throughout a weary, soul–corroding, perpetual wandering of eighteen centuries, down to the moment in Avhich we are here assembled. Call it not obstinacy that we have remained a people; call it not superstition that we cling to our laws, our cus– toms, our opinions, if you will, our prejudices: we have felt the weight of the world's wrath, we have borne the burden of ages of sorrows, such as no hu– man being, save the Hebrews themselves, can con– ceive, and yet we have seen always the most weighty reasons for upholding our characteristics as Israelites. If we had but spoken a few unmeaning words, un– meaning at least to our understanding, if we had only consented to live as others live, if we had only re– nounced what the world called errors, we might have enjoyed all that others enjoyed, and we might have ruled among rulers. Many, indeed, did falter, they could not bear contempt, and they professed to de– spise Israel; they could not endure exile, and adopted a faith in which they believed not, in order not to quit wealth or home; others had not the courage to meet death, and they accepted life as a boon for tlieir desertion; while some few have left our communion in order to receive the bribes in outward things, money, wedlock, office, which, as Jews, were denied them. Yet, — have our numbers been thereby dimin– ished? The experience of all countries tells a differ– ent talc; without seeking for accessions from abroad, which nevertheless are not rare, and while losing al– [Page 115] THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. 115 ways some whose retention would give ns no addi– tional strength, we have of late increased in every land where it is not the policy of the government to diminish us by vexatious police–laws and burdensome military servitude, with superadded bounties for de– serting our belief; but even thus, the decrease of our numbers has not been marked, and the Pharaohnic counsels have been rendered nugatory thus far; and even in Portugal and Brazil, whence we were once banished, and where to be detected as a secret Jew was a sure sentence to what was called an Act–of–foith, or death by burning, Israelites have found once more a home, and they worship there again the One, al– though few in number, and not distinguished for those great traits of learning which formerly graced the Lusitanian Hebrews. In some of the former col– onies of Spain, also, Israelites are now domiciled; and in old Iberia itself the exiles will, without doubt, be soon admitted again. Thus far have we been re– warded for our perseverance, in retaining that for which we fought and suffered ; and it was for this we toiled, and cringed, and traded, and resorted to small ignoble pursuits ; for as Jews every noble avenue of life was shut to us ; and whatever else we have lost, we have at least maintained our identity and our presence in history. Our unsociability is, therefore, not a dislike of our fellow–men, but a guarding of what might be lost, if we approximated closer those customs and opinions which would be hurtful to our national creed, which alone gives us life. We are friends to mankind; our disposition, indeed, teaches us caution towards strangers; but our religion ad– monishes us to aid all who suffer, to console all who [Page 116] 116 THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ISRAEL. mourn. The smiles, however, which many now lavish on us, shall not render us careless of the treasure we are guarding ; we watched over it when it brought us contumely, imprisonment, robbery, death ; and we will not, cannot relinquish it now, when we are called brothers, friends, favourites of the Most High in the persons of our fathers, often in order to induce us to listen to the overtures which are made to us, to yield what no longer brings us political exclusion and per– sonal harm. Whether we shall, in us and our descend– ants, succeed in preserving, uncontaminated, the stock of Israel, the future alone can teach. But to judge from analogy, from the joys and tribulations which alternately have passed over us for forty centuries in all parts of the world, to judge, too, from the con– stant progress the Law, which we have every reason to call ours, is making towards universal dominion, we must conclude that political equality will not en– danger the separate existence of the Abrahamic race, but that they and their Law, with the opinions and hopes which issue thence, will be as indestructible as the Highest Source whence all have sprung, and that at length we shall be like the mighty –river–flood, which is marked even in the vast ocean, after having completed its weary, glorious, and varied course. [Page 117] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 117 LECTURE VI. A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION.* Ladies and Gentlemen ! It is with heartfelt pleasure that I present myself this day before you as the delegate of the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia, at the formal open– ing of our new school–house in which we are assem– bled. In the outset, let me thank you for your kind participation in the solemnities which have called us hither, and for the interest you display in the proo–– ress of the cause in which we are embarked; and we trust that you may never fail in supporting our eiForts to diffuse a Jewish education among the youth of our ancient people residing within the limits of this beau– tiful city, second only in size and importance at this day to but one other in this country of freedom, the future of which no human eye can penetrate. Scarcely more than three years have elapsed when we commenced the task for which we are united, Avith about fifteen scholars entered on our lists, and with two teachers to take charge of them. It was truly a sowing in tears; we then promised what we meant to do in our cause, and held up to your view the necessity there exists for teaching the word of * Opening address for the dedication of the Hebrew Education Society School–house, on Sunday, November 12th, Heshvan 21 5616. ' [Page 118] 118 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. God; but the prospect before us was dim and dis– heartening: our means were limited, and, unless the blessing of Heaven had smiled on our efforts, scarcely a year would have elapsed without leaving our treas– ury bankrupt, bereft of the means of farther useful– ness; the difficulty also was not small of influencing the people with confidence in our ability, so as to in– trust their children to our charge; we ourselves were inexperienced in the manner of conducting such an institution as ours; the machinery of our association was yet new and untried ; and to have failed would have jeopardized the cause so dear to our heart for years to come. It is therefore easily conceivable with how many misgivings the founders of the Education Society and its scliool looked to the practical results of the working of the new enterprise, and with how much solicitude they watched, fearing that some un– foreseen event, some discontent among the many who would have to work together, would bring ruin on our infant institute. But we are happy to meet you to–day with the practical demonstration of our success, in having at the present moment five teachers engaged under our charge, with upwards of one hundred scholars on our lists, and with an accumulated capital three times in amount to what we started with, and in possession of this house in which we have met to dedicate it to the service of the God of Israel, for a purpose deemed even holier than the house of prayer can claim, for a seminary where are to be taught In' faithful and zealous persons the law of God and the language of Israel, to the children of Jacob who may resort hither in search of light and truth. And whilst doing this let us not forget the benevolent Israelite, [Page 119] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 119 Jndah Tonro, who, before he quitted the earth, let us hope for a better life, thought of our eftbrts when he distributed his worldly possessions, and left us a me– mento of his appreciation of the necessity of training Jewish children iji Jewish schools; thus enabling us to acquire this building as a permanent home of edu– cation on a Jewish basis, carried on for Jewish pur– poses, calculated to make our children better men, while enabling them to become familiar with their duties and privileges as sons and daughters of Abra– ham, Isaac, and Jacob. And let me here briefly ob– serve that, however we might have wished Mr. Touro to have lived to enjoy the fruits of his benevolence in the good it is calculated to diffuse, the merit is not less great in him that he did not, as others would have done, squander away his wealth on some im– practicable scheme which, while it promises much, leaves yet more undone. And let us hope that, as Mr. Touro has led the way, others will not be want– ing to carry forward the good merely begun by him, until we shall be enabled to educate, in this country, all the children of Israelites in the highest branches of science, without compelling the rich or the poor to place himself under non–Jewish guidance to acquire a knowledge of the every–day branches of education. But it is not our business to–day to praise the dead, thougli it would have been ungrateful to have with– held the tribute due to the memory of our benefactor, when formally enjoying the fruits of his bounty. Let us therefore proceed with the sketch of our operations with which I commenced. 'It was indeed with some fear that we resolved to open our school on the sev– enth of April, 5611; and had we listened to the coun– [Page 120] 120 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. sels of the timid who predicted an inglorious failure, we would assuredly have desisted from making the attempt. But the progress of our work has proved that we were in the right to judge the matter hoth practicable and useful, and that it would have been wrong not to have commenced at the precise moment when the public mind had apparently become ripe for the enterprise. For see, go where you will now, in Boston, New York, Albany, Baltimore, Richmond, Charleston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Louisville, St. Louis, ISTcw Orleans, Savannah, Montreal, and even San Francisco, where Jews a few years ago were un– known, eflbrts have been made, or are making at this moment, to impart religious instruction, either sep– arately, at stated times, or daily, in connexion with the usual elementary branches, in the manner we are doing; thus proving that Israelites have at length been awakened to the paramount necessity devolving on them to rescue our3'oung members from the curse of iuditference, which rests like a deadly pall on the sick spirit of so many Avho are of Israel. I have not the statistics at hand of the various schools enumer– ated, nor can I at present designate the classes even to which they respectively belong, nor even yet have I prepared myself with a tabular statement of our own doings, deeming this particular matter more appro– priate for exhibition at another time and in another form ; but I have shown enough to convince you that the members of the Education Society, however sol– itary they may have stood three years ago, have now found many imitators, and, wliat is more to be rejoiced at, successful competitors. It is this especially which has cheered us on, to persevere in the dithcult enter– [Page 121] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 121 prise, every step of which requires care, and not un fre– quently much self–denial, more than you, kind friends, would be apt to imagine. Only consider how we began, with means totally inadequate to the end in. view; a capital of about two thousand dollars, col– lected with much difficulty in various ways and after years of preparation, was all we had to start with. From this we had to defray the expense of house– rent, furniture, books, teachers, and other incidental outlays, and all this before we had secured a sufficient number of pupils to pay even a moiety of the out– goings. It is foreign to my plan to enter into elab– orate calculations; but you can readily judge that, even with the most niggardly economy, nearly all our funds would have been consumed within two years, had not a brave public spirit came to our aid, especially as we soon found that our number of teach– ers would have to be doubled, if we intended to do justice to the numerous pupils who sought admittance into our school. And let it be staled here once for all, that not an applicant has ever been refused ad– mittance, whether Jew or gentile, whether he came with the fees which we usually charge, or without means to satisfy the regular demands. We have strictly followed the object of our foundation, to let all participate in such advantages as we could otter, and that none should be refused, let his situation in life be what it may. By a vote of the Portuguese Congregation, for three successive years the sum of two hundred dollars was appropriated for our use, which, together with the members' dues of three dol– lars per annum, the school–fees for pay–scholars, and the interest on our investments, was the sum total VOL. X. 11 [Page 122] 122 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. from which we had to defray all demands on our treasury. At one of the meetings of the Board of Managers, in the middle of the tirst scholastic year, it was resolved to call for subscriptions to make up the deficit; the appeal was cheerfully responded to, and the necessary sum was realized. But what had been stated by those who opposed the collection, among whom I must include myself, that it would be proved by experience that such a collection could not be repeated for another season, became soon evident to the collecting committee, who found the task, self– imposed as it was, exceedingly unpleasant. When, therefore, the second year of our operations again threatened a deficit, which would have had to be made good by a sale of the certificates in which our capital was invested, it was, after many consultations, resolved to give a public dinner, and to ofi:er such attractions to the whole community as to induce many to join us at the festive board in the hopes of working on their liberality. But, in order not to depend entirely on the impulse of the moment, a col– lepting committee was appointed, who made it their business to canvass among those they knew, to ascer– tain the amounts they would bestow to our charity– fund, which was to be shared with another benevolent society of our city. This committee was eminently successful ; and when we assembled with our invited guests, on the evening of the 23d of February, 5613, we were sure of a surplus sufficient for our purposes above the outlay which the entertainment had en– tailed on our funds. But so well were our guests satisfied with the intellectual entertainment presented to them, in addition to au abundant banquet, that [Page 123] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 123 many additional donations were handed in, so that the result far exceeded our expectation. Last yonv, a similar dinner was gotten up, but held on the 2d of February, and, though the surplus was not quite as large as on the first occasion, it was sufficient for our need, and it proved that we had calculated rightly in the supposition that there was sufficient public kindness not to let ow enterprise fall to the ground, if the bestowal of money could prevent it. And let it not be supposed that Israelites alone contributed; far from it : a very large proportion was obtained from those who are not of our persuasion ; and it is but consonant with truth to assert, that they gave to all appearance as cheerfully as did our own brother Israelites. It is gratifying to testify publicly to such liberality, which gives ample demonstration that many regard not the creed of him who asks, but only look to the object, whether by fostering it the sum total of human happiness will and can be augmented. I could say much on this topic; but I am admonished to be brief on it, as so much more remains to be ofltered to your consideration. Enough that the man– agers were gratified at the noble response their appeal for public aid had met with, and they went on ful– iilling the object of their union with the bounty thus placed at their disposal. But not alone the financial condition of our society was a subject of anxiety, but the government of the school also, and the means to be cmploj–ed to give satisfaction to the parents and guardians of the pupils intrusted to our care. Perhaps nothing could be more difficult than to reconcile the contiictiuo opin– ions entertained as to what ought to be done with [Page 124] 124 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. regard to insuring proper discipline to our school, and as yet the ditficulty is not entirely overcome ; but where men meet for the purpose of acting in harmony for the general welfare, as has been nearly always the case in our deliberations, the path becomes generally easy to traverse, and obstacles yield before a calm survey and a determination to surmount them. Hence we are grateful to be able to state that, notwithstand– ing the usual withdrawal of the children of the poor and the middle classes from school after a brief trial, which is experienced in every locality where attend– ance at school is not made obligatory as a police–law, and the frequent removals from the city, which is a phenomenon also often witnessed among us every– where, the number of our scholars has gradually in– creased, till it is, as I have stated already, above one hundred, with every prospect of a yet farther aug– mentation, the moment parents become aware that we are able to do them justice, and to fulfil truly the duties we have assumed in establishing this first school under the Education Society's control. Do not forget, ladies and gentlemen, that it is not yet four years since we opened our doors; and that we have scarcely yet acquired confidence enough to rely on our inherent strength; and that there are many little ditficulties to overcome, which many may think too small to cause any trouble : and if you have then yet some fault to find, we would thank you to inform us of your opin– ion at your earliest convenience, and the Board of Managers pledge themselves that they will carefully weigh your suggestions, and endeavour to profit by the hints 3'ou may have the kindness to ofi'er to their consideration. Only do not lightly imagine that the [Page 125] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 125 errors in judgment you may see at a glance ought not to have escaped tbe eyes of the managers; for tliey are but human, like yourselves, and their fallibility ouglit, therefore, to be no matter for astonishment, though they are engaged in a holy cause. You must not forget, at the same time, that the materials at our command have not been the most manageable ; much has been expected, perhaps too much demanded, of a Jewish school, which would not have been looked for in any other; parents probably thought that, having undertaken the management of an educational insti– tute, we could at once mould teachers, scholars and circumstances to suit our purpose; and, when the result was not such as they had imagined attainable, they may have blamed us for not answering their an– ticipations. If so, we would merely remark, that the short period, for so it is at last, has not been sufficient to mature a system, nor has it enabled us to prepare parents and children for such an institution as no doubt will grow up in the process of time, when pupils have been long under our training, and learned to appreciate the advantages they will derive from being educated under Jewish auspices. This brings us naturally to the principles on which we acted when we formed our Education Society, when we opened this first school under our charter, and which are to guide us still farther, when we shall be enabled to open other schools, to be followed ul– timately by a college, whence the pupils are to issue armed with science, and prepared with religious knowledge to act their part properly in the battle of life in which they will have to engage as men and Israelites. — Let us therefore exhibit to you the neces– 11* [Page 126] 126 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. sity of proper Jewish schools. The objection has been made in my presence, even by a minister of our religion, that we are doing wrong to establish sec– tional schools for Jewish children ; that the general institutions, both those maintained for the benefit of the teachers for their own emolument, and those en– dowed by the state for the gratuitous instruction of all comers, are fully sufficient for us also ; that we cannot expect to teach as well as is done there; and that even if otherwise, it is wrong to prevent Jewish children from mino–jiuo; with their fellows of other creeds in their school–years, when friendships and attachments are so naturally formed between con– genial and susceptible spirits, which will endure for life to the advantage of all the parties ; that the family– circle is the place where religion is to be taught ; and that hence there is neither necessity nor propriety in erecting Jewish schools, especially as we cannot hope for years to come to make them free ; and that there– fore the exaction of pay for tuition, naturally required by us, is an addition to the already heavy taxation we have to bear, in common with our fellow–citizens, for the maintenance of the public school system, the benefits of which Ave are free to enjoy, if we desire to do so. I believe that I have in the above embraced all the objections to the tendency of our union, and they resolve themselves into three heads : frst, the evil it is calculated to engender; secondly, its useless– ness; and ihirdh/, the expense attending it. It is, to commence at the beginning, a melancholy picture of the times, that Israelites alone should have learned to disregard their religion as the highest object of their life; since the very infidel, the one who denies the [Page 127] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 127 existence of a divine revelation, is imbued with a spirit of propagandism, winch impels him to do some– thing for the advancement of what he alleges to be his honest opinions. Men of all the various religious beliefs erect churches and school–houses, and endeav– our to draw every one they can reach within the circle of their influence; the pulpit thunders forth weekly and daily earnest and well–directed appeals to the in– telligence, the interests, the hopes, and the fears of the community ; colleges are erected, whence issue periodically well–trained teachers of their peculiar tenets; vast sums are spent to subsidize the press, and thousands, nay millions of books, tracts, maga– zines, and newspapers are sent out on their silent mission to impress the minds of children and adults; and men and women are constantly enlisted as the humble colporteurs, who offer their books, with re– ligious exhortation at the same time, and part with their wares whether the receiver pays or not, the cost having been long since secured, and additional pro– ceeds being only needed to extend the publication– business still farther; as the tract distributors who go from door to door; as the collectors of funds for various purposes; as Sunday–schoolteachers; as ex– horters, as nurses, at last, at the bed of sickness — and all to make their religion attractive, in order to im– press it on the minds of its followers and to obtain the utmost number of converts from those not yet be– longing to it. Now what have Jews done in England, America, and the West Indies? can you tell me? How did it look thirty years ago? do you recollect? "Where are our preachers? at least where were they? where our Hebrew masters ? where our Sunday–school [Page 128] 128 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION, teachers? our tract distributors? our presses groan– ing under the weight of their literary burden? our associations for the extension of our faith ? — Except the infant establishments which are struggling into existence ; except here and there a solitary sermon izer who breathes out some instruction once a month, with but few exceptions of weekly pulpit instructors; except the few Sunday–schools, which, too, languish for want of general sympathy; except a few books, issued not at the public expense, but as the enterprise of a few hardy pioneers, to whom the dread of failure oiFers no terrors, everything is left to chance, so to say, to a moral crystallization, in which the elements of religious life among us may assume such shapes as their inherent tendency will force them to; every– thing is suflrered to go its own course as it pleases. If good result, no doubt the system of doing nothing will be praised as the worthy parent of the chance eftect; and if evil, a consolation will be administered to the spirit that it was impossible to have averted it. I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, if this is not a cry– ing evil, one which demands a remedy, if there be any within the range of povssibility ? To me it ap– pears that there can be no doubt that the training of children to make them susceptible for the suiierings of their religion, is at least one of the means to make tliem anxious to co–operate hereafter with those avIio may labour in its behalf, if even the parents may not see the necessity of their moving in the same direc– tion : and all this probable good is to be sacrificed for fear of our raising our children in exclusion, by sepa– rating them in their tender years from their fellow– beings of other beliefs. But, worthy friends, can you [Page 129] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 129 tell me what early friendships are worth ? with how many of your gentile school–companions are you this day on terms of familiarity? with how many do you correspond by letter? from how many do you ever hear a word? for the welfare of how many do you care ? When the brief season of school–attendance is past, each child follows his own occupation ; the boy enters on his pursuits of business, toil, or pleas– ure; the girl has to succumb to the drudgery of her daily occupation, or at best follows the calls of gayety and amusement, to sink down into the domestic habits of the wife and mother, lost sight of by her early companions; and what is then left of those romantic, childish, eternal friendships, which the flow of rivers, the height of mountains, the breadth of deserts and the depths of oceans were not to sever? They are passed away with the balmy season of ar– dent youth ; they have evaporated with its freshness, never more to return. The tumult of life is the best antidote against tliis sentimentality ; and you seldom see these early friends heeding each other's interests. And can you imagine that associations thus formed at school, at the tender age we speak of, can be of any practical benefit to your children in advancing their interests or procuring them friends for life ? — Pause and answer, and I will leave the question to the advocate for truth in your own bosom — I ask for none other — to plead with us not to let such a chimera prevent you from joining our cause, or to hinder you from placing your children under our guardianship. I will be candid with you, and acknowledge that early associations have a powerful tendency to influ– ence the character, and to operate with indelible ef– [Page 130] 130 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. feet in the forming of the tender mind for weal or for wo. You will argue hence, that it is necessary to let our children mingle early with the world abroad, that they may not imbibe contracted notions or acquire higot–like views of those who believe in other re– ligions. But does it not strike you that your argument has also a reverse side ? If it be important to make them think kindly of other religions, is it not equally necessary to induce them to esteem their own faith also, and to love those who profess it ? A Jewish child soon observes, when mixing with others, that even in America his religion is ridiculed and, let us speak out the mortifying confession, heartily despised by the great majority around him. May not this op– erate to make him esteem lightly his birthright, and anxious to conceal his being a Jew from those with whom he associates, and act as much like them as possible, in order not to be noticed for his religious singularity? If this should have happened but once, it would be proof strong enough for the cause I ad– vocate, to place your children where they will not be slighted for being Jews ; where they will have no temptation to conceal a single one of their religious ob– servances to escape sneers and ridicule; where their keeping the Sabbaths and festivals of the Lord will not expose them to being deprived of their equal right to progress with their class, not for the number of days their religion allowed them to attend school, but for the proliciency they have displayed in their respective branches of education and for good moral conduct* But when our children attend gentile * It actually occurred that several of our young men obtained u lower ttverage for scholarship in the Philadelphia lligh School [Page 131] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 131 schools there are constantly insinuations held out, which are at least unpleasant to them, which they have nevertheless to submit to, if they wish not to incur the ill–will of their teachers: and all students know how injuriously such a circumstance does op– erate in the attainment of those little, yet grateful distinctions which lend so much zest to college–life; they not rarely have cause to believe that their re– ligion exposes them to unkindness, both by their teachers and their fellow–scholars; and they have fre– quently to listen how the character of their own na– tion and their faith is viliiied, without their having the opportunity of rebutting the foul charge. Do I exaggerate? then inquire of your own children whether the name of Jew has not been made a term of reproach ; whether they have not shrunk within themselves when boisterous rudeness from a crowd compelled them to submit to insult, or to withdraw, with suppressed rage convulsing every fibre of their heart. And now, I ask of you, is it not of import– ance that Jewish children should not have their feel– ings wounded in their infancy for the sake of their religion ? that they should never hear it reviled, nor sneered at, while their souls are yet tender and shrink from rudeness, like the modest mimosa folds its leaves when touched by the hand of man ? Spare then the honourable sentiment of the Jewish child, let him not learn when too young to know mankind, that contumely is the lot of our race from the domi– than they were justly entitled to, because of their non–attendance on our holy days, and, on my remonstrating with the principal, he insisted on the justness of his iniquitous proceeding. It has since then been made otherwise. [Page 132] 132 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION naut majority, that be has a warfare to wage for the sake of liis faitli with the bigotry of those differing from him : until snob a time that he feels himself strong enough to be proud of his blessed religion, and to follow its injunctions despite the ridicule of those who are not owing it allegiance. I could en– large much farther, but I forbear, and would only beg you to observe one other circumstance in this connexion : this is, that the religious sentiment which is now so sadly wanting, may be, and doubtless is, owing to the absence of the wholesome public opin– ion which formerly prevailed among Israelites. Our adhesion in this country is very loose; we are com– posed of so many small parties, owing to the variation in the places of our nativity; and that, if we ever mean to cause an amalgamation of these at present discordant elements, we must bring our children in contact with each other, that they may learn to esteem each other mutually, though their parents may never meet. Let Jews thus learn that they are all of the same people, children of the same descent, having all the wsame intellectual capacities and all the same spir– itual aspirations, though they derive their descent from ditiereut quarters of the globe. Let the poor see that the rich are only human beings, possessed indeed of liner clothes and more creature–comforts, but not elevated in mental endowment, nor dilfering in natural inclinations from them ; and let the rich learn that their poorer Jewish brothers are of the same flesh and blood with themselves, and that it will not contaminate their good manners, nor injure them in the enjoyment of their superior comforts, if they obtain the knowledge of common things from the [Page 133] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 133 same teachers, and drink together the waters of sal– vation from the same fountain. Believe me, parents and guardians, that I do not utter the words of an en– tiiusiast, when I thus pray you to encourage a Jewish sympathy in your charges, and to produce, by all means in your power, a Jewish fellow–feeling in those who look up to you for counsel and guidance. The poor will not always remain poor, nor, — hear it and tremble, if you do not know this already, — will Avealth be forever perpetuated in your families ; and then the boys reared in the alleys at the back of 3'our elegant mansions, and the humble maidens who now issue forth daily from a narrow room in a dingy, sickly court, may have it in their power to become the pro– tectors of your offspring, and with a tear in their eyes they may hasten to their relief, fondly remembering the days they imbibed sacred knowledge at the feet of the same instructors, when their suiferings were perchance cheered by your bounty. Hence I say that, if it be at all important to cultivate friendship at school with those of other creeds, and I am the last to deny it, provided it be done at a proper age, it is of the utmost importance that Jewish children should associate with each other and learn to form early friendships, which may ripen into mutual esteem in later years, and induce them to co–operate for the general welfare of Israel, in which they are interested alike. But imagine not that I counsel exclusiveness : no, my friends; our religion knows no hatred of our species; it only wishes to preserve its own members faithful to their trust; and when our teachers iiave done their duty, and instilled into their scholars the pure faith which animated Abraham, you need not VOL. X. 12 [Page 134] 134 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. fear that their spirit will be contracted, that they will be the slaves of bigotry, or that they will hate their neighbours for not worshipping at the same shrine; but they will then love man created in the image of God, because he is their brother, although he has not been taught to worship the Lord after the manner of Israel, while they will, from principle and afiection, cling to their faith as the ark of their safety. Let us now elucidate the second objection, that it is needless to erect sectional seminaries, since we can teach religion in the family circle, or at least in Sab– bath– and Sunday–schools. To hear the complacent tone with which this is urged, one would suppose that the Jewish family–circle was replete with religious conversation, and that no transgression against the principles of religion takes place in such a pious at– mosphere ; tliat every Sabbath there is an assembly where all unitedly, parents and children, are instruct– ed in the word of God, and that the lirst day of the week is sacredly devoted to collect all young Israel– ites, who are engaged during the other working days in learning secular matters, to instruct them fully in the language of Israel and their religious doctrines and precepts. I again will admit that, at a time when it appeared that the people were not yet ripe for an extensive system of general education, I hailed the pious eftbrts of a lady, whom we all esteem, and on whose head may the Almighty shower many bless– ings for the good she has accomplished, as a step in advance, and contributed my humble eftbrts, and so did others theirs, to supply suitable books of instruc– tion for the many who came to learn. Years have elapsed, I think near fourteen changes of the seasons, [Page 135] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 135 and tbe Sunday–school still exists; but I hazard little in saying that its honoured founder will be the first to acknowledge that it has never been universally re– sorted to, and that, moreover, the amount of instruc– tion imparted has been far from adequate. The same may be said of private instruction in Hebrew, during hours of leisure from other studies, that but little knowledge of the sacred language has been received, notwithstanding the considerable tuition–fees charged for the services so imperfectly rendered. I use very plain language, ray friends, no figures of speech, re– sort to no flights of eloquence; as I wish to argue the case with 3'ou on principles of common sense, and I want your judgment, a cool calm verdict, in favour of what I defend, not a hasty assent won from your excited sympathy by means of fine–sounding phrases. I appeal to you all to tell me what has been the re– sult of depending on spontaneous knowledge, or that sort of information in religion which is jjicked up no one knows how ? of piety acquired in the small talk which is usually heard in an evening–assembly of young men and women? of the good impression made by parents diftering on the vital topics of faith and practice in the presence of their sons and daugh– ters? of the great amount of knowledge of, great I say ! — may I be forgiven for using this word even ironically, — no, I will say of the total unacquaintance with Hebrew language and Hebrew literature, until the prayers in our ancient tongue have become a tire– some jargon to persons who are, notwithstanding their ignorance, still Israelites at heart? and then as– sert, if you can, that there is no need for improve– ment, that Jewish schools are not required, that re– [Page 136] 136 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. ligious instruction ought not to be brought home to every one, to supply the defective conversation of tlie famil3'–circle, the little influence a father or mother can have, where both are not in earnest in the service of the Lord; to counteract the ignorance of parental instructors in the merest elements of a religious life, and to rescue, if possible, the sacred language of Is– rael from the total neglect with which it has been treated in this country, until it has become the height of ambition to be able to read a section of the law or an liaphtorah at the age of thirteen ; while whole communities are satisfied that no more need be asked of their minister, not to speak of children, than that he should read the Hebrew either after the German or Portuguese style,* without troubling themselves whether he understands what he reads or not ; cer– * It is, indeed, no easy thing to be a good Hazan, or Readier; it requires years of study to become properly qualified for the office ; but it surely ought to be the province of all congregations, having the ability, to engage a suitable person as teacher of religion and Hebrew, in addition to their Hazan, who will have enough of min– isterial duties, including visiting the people, as this seems lately to be viewed, though with doubtful propriety, as a part of the Hazan 's functions, to perform, without the superadded labour of preaching and giving instruction. If any one had been present in a large synagogue in a certain city on the last Day of Atonement he could easily have satisfied himself that the minister was taxed enough to read the Kol Nidre, Shacharith, Moosaph, half INIinchah, Nc'ila, and the concluding evening–service, besides making an almost end– less number of offerings and Uashcaboth, without expecting a ser– mon of him in addition. Human nature cannot bear so awful a strain very long, and it is cruel to tax any man beyond his strength. I am for a good Hazan, therefore, as he is, I do not underrate his services, which few indeed can ever duly render; but I think the public teacher is also of some value, and no congregation should bo without one. [Page 137] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 137 tain it is, that if the minister does understand any– tliing boyond mere reading, it is more than he was questioned about, or more than is really needed of him. All this which I have advanced is true; igno– rance and consequent sinning are visible wherever 3'ou turn your eyes; and the little reaction, which you have witnessed of late, has been brought about not by the efforts of many congregations, but by a few devoted persons in various towns, who felt that "it was time to do something for the Lord's sake, be– cause men liave made void his law." As yet the re– sults have been very small, because the means at the command of these zealous persons have been totally inadequate; natural and unnatural obstacles have been thrown in their way, and the worst opposition has come from the stubbornness of those whom they meant to benetit. But the seed has been sown, and we trust in the mercy of our heavenly Father, that He will strengthen and prosper his servants, that they may not stumble in their onward path, nor labour in vain. Only by making religious education general, will its absence be felt by those who enjoy it not; by giv– ing every one an opportunity of acquiring a knowl– edge of the Hebrew will you be able to make its ac– quisition a necessary branch of education; and you can easily convince yourselves by a little reflection that, if but a small portion of time devoted to acquir– ing French and music were bestowed by 3'our chil– dren on learning the Scriptures in the original lan– guage, there would be none among them who could not take up his Hebrew Bible and enjoy the blessings of the word of God with but little assistance from a translation. Then also would that gross ignorance 12* [Page 138] 138 A PLEA FOR KELIGIOUS EDUCATION. which does not practise religion, because it does not know it, not bo found among us; and in short (you can supply what I omit) no one could have cause for exer– cising absolute impiety on the plea, that his parents had not taught him the contrary, seeing that he will lind everywhere capable teachers to guide him aright, and many companions of an e(pial rank in life with him who have acquired an abundant store of divine wisdom. But, to etiect this, instruction must be con– stant, not casual; it must be energetic, not slothful; it must be a primary, not a secondary consideration ; it must be the service of God first, and at an humble distance should follow mere sciences and accomplish– ments; Yet do not believe that your dhildren need be any the less learned and accomplished for their re– ligious training: not so; everything can be taught in good time and good order ; and the only difference need and should be, that those educated under Jew– ish auspices should have a superadded advantage, that of being well trained in the holy language and familiar with the religion and literature of their peo– ple. If you think this an object worth accomplish– ing, unite with us in supporting our institution ; give us your means, your time, your children, to forward our cause: and you will, with God's good favour, have no reason to regret that your money went to se– cure religion a home, your time to labour personally in helping onward the cause of all Israel, and never repine that your children, in addition to the good ex– ample you set them at home, have been privileged to acijuire of what circumstances in your early life de– prived you, to your own detriment. Now it is time that we turn to the last objection, [Page 139] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 139 that we cannot expect to raise better schools than are existing elsewhere, and that, as we are taxed for their support, it would be hard if we had to tax ourselves to support our own sectional institutes in addition. But if we view the question calmly, this specious counter–plea will not appear very formidable. It strikes a man who looks at the matter without being too much prepossessed in favour of public schools, that it is after all not so very difficult to engage a number of teachers who are to give instruction in the elementary branches, such as grammar, history, arith– metic and geography, under the superintendence of Israelites, selected from among those in whom the people have most confidence, to as full an extent as this is practicable where the directors are chosen from the community at large ; since it is yet to be proved that Jews are not as well fitted for this task as any other sect or people. Hence, it is not averring too much, that we may safely promise to do all that is done elsewhere in the business of education, provided only parents will assist us to discipline their children, so that they will be obedient at school, and study their tasks the same as they would have to do were they to attend any private or public school conducted by non–Israelites. It must not be imagined that lack of discipline, or want of parental co–operation, a rude disregard of authority and stubborn idleness, will ac– complish any more in our establishment than these defects will elsewhere. Yet, all other things being equal, it is but reasonable to expect that Jewish schools, both here and in other cities, will be able to secure for our children more advantages than they can have elsewhere, for the reason that the number [Page 140] 140 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. of our pupils, in proportion to the teachers will in all likelihood be always smaller than in public estab– lishments, where the largest possible amount of schol– ars will necessarily be placed under the smallest number of instructors. Public affairs must be con– ducted with much economy, or else those who pay the taxes will soon make their complaints be heard by their delegates, if these, by their administration of affairs, increase inordinately the burdens which weigh on the people. But, admitting that we could not reach a higher point of excellence in education than is attainable generally, though this may well be doubted, I would still think it necessary that we should tax ourselves in order to have schools of our own, which we can control ourselves, and into which we can introduce a system of religious instruction, for which the community at large does not–and should not provide. Public schools, as republican institu– tions, should of right be accessible to all on equal terms; and consequently no one religion should have the preference over another ; and I deem it even of doubtful expediency to have the reading of the Bible, out of what many call a sectarian version, enforced, though the book used should be without note or com– ment; for, as soon as a particular Bible–version is chosen, the favoured society using this translation in their churches have the advantage over all others who reject it, and the persons who make the selection at once designate, by virtue of the power vested in them for other purposes, a question in which the consciences of many are concerned, a prerogative not granted by any lawful authority existing in the state, which professes not to have any right to prescribe what re– [Page 141] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 141 ligion is to be adopted by the citizens, and, conse– quently, what rehgious books are to be regarded by all as authentic. I will not enter into a comparison of the value of the various versions, since as Israelites we have not the slightest interest which way soever this superiority be accorded; for to us there can exist no authorized translation, though all the Rabbins and scholars had been engaged in perfecting it; because at best a version can only be a guide, no decisive au– thority to decide any matter of doubt or collision. But the question of using the Bible, or what people are pleased to call so, may at no distant day become one of great public excitement, and Jews may be ap– pealed to as to what they think on the subject, and to what section they will give in their adhesion. It is evident enough to you, that it would be exceedingly impolitic in us to become the arbiters between the parties J since our small numbers in comparison with either, not to say both, would expose us to much ill– will, let our decision be what it may. But even to leave this disagreeable probability out of view, it may be demanded of our children, and probably has been, to read, or hear read, the books called gospels, acts and epistles, commonly bound up with the Scriptures, improperly called the Old Testament, as of equal weight and authority with Genesis and Isaiah ; and it is exceedingly doubtful whether any attention would be paid to the request of Jewish parents to de– sist from such a practice. For why should not the teachers read what they, and nearly all their scholars, consider the Bible ? for the sake of a few Jews ? surely not ; for they are the minority, and have there– fore to yield at discretion to the interest of the larger [Page 142] 142 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. number. Moreover, the Bible is to be read without note or comment ; but who warrants us that this will be strictly enforced? who will assure us that a con– scientious teacher, and I would not blame him if he carried out his religious convictions, since to an hon– est man his faith is the highest principle, may not drop a hint as to what he considers the meaning of some particular passage to be? Could the children complain ? or would they have the necessary knowl– edge to detect the effort to make an impression on their mind ? and if they were to complain, who would heed them ? and the parents in all likelihood would not deem it worth while, and it would come with a bad grace from strangers to interest themselves in the welfare of other people's children. And do you not know any instances where such impressions have been made on the mind of your young friends, that it was difficult to remove them? Think a minute, ransack your memory, and I imagine you will find something to give confirmation to what you have just heard; and it Avill result hence that some of you, ladies and gentlemen, will agree with me, that even in public schools where no religion is taught, and in private seminaries where the principals are all persons of the greatest liherality, some infiuence may be brought to bear, even unconsciously to the teachers, which will be anything but wholesome to their charges. But let us concede even that no religion of any kind should be impressed on childron, still wc come back to onr first assertion, that it will leave their edu– cation imperfect; for we Israelites need and should have means of obtaining a full knowledge of what is demanded of us in acts, and what we should adopt as [Page 143] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 143 belief. "We cannot, however, ask of the people to let us have the privilege of appointing religious teachers to visit the various public schools to instruct Jewish children in their faith; and if the privilege could be granted, it would conflict so much with the course of study, that it would be only very imperfectly carried out. But do you believe that such a proposition to admit sectarian teachers into public schools would be listened to ? You know the general public sentiment as well as myself, not to be convinced that it would be the death–knell of any party to breathe such a thought even ; and though it were carried, there would be such a conflict between the endless number of persuasions, that years would elapse before any preliminaries could be settled, much less before oper– ations could be commenced with any hope of success. But granted even that we should succeed at length to have Jewish teachers rewarded for their labour by the state, I for one would oppose our accepting the boon. It may do in France, Holland, and Belgium, where, constitutional states though they are, and en– tire freedom of worsliipis conceded in name at least, the government takes charge of all churches and schools, and has a ministry of ecclesiastical aftairs, to which all such matters are referred, for Jewish reli– gious teachers to take their stipend from the state– treasury equally with those of other persuasions. But it would be a woful day for the liberties of this land, if ever the state were to charge itself with the remu– neration of ministers and clergymen, or what else they may style themselves, or permit them to have a direct influence on or to participate in public educa– tion; their intolerance even now, without state–pa– [Page 144] 144 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. tronage being conferred on them, is so bold, so ener– getic, that one not acquainted with the subject might suppose that they had some constitutional preference which otViers have to forego : how much greater would this be, how much more hateful and repulsive would their arrogance grow, could they come to the state– treasury with warrants for their annual stipend, espe– cially if the example of France should be followed, where Catholic churches and preachers receive so dis– proportionably large a share, if compared with Jew– ish institutions. No, friends, it will not do to let the state meddle with religious instruction ; for then it would have a right to prescribe what religion should be taught, and what particular branches should be embraced in the sum total of what is termed theo– logy ; and at last some societies would find themselves excluded from all participation in the benefit, which should either be conferred on all, or refused to all. The only remedy we have is to do what we have done in our instance, to erect schools of our own, where we can engage teachers of religion at our own good pleasure, prescribe to them what, how, and when they should teach, without subjecting ourselves to state– control, or allowing ourselves to be excluded from sharing in the distribution of the fnnds to which we contribute in common with the otlier citizens, and have therefore an equal claim thereto by right and fairness. The tax we impose on ourselves for the support of our schools is only a tribute we pay to our conviction of the necessity of a Jewish training; and, if we feel its importance, we will not complain that a liigh sense of duty compels us to forego participating in the benefits of the public school system, which is [Page 145] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 145 supported by taxes derived in part out of our purses. I would tliink little of that Jew who could hesitate bringing this sacrifice to his religion. Look at our fathers, what did they not suffer to be allowed to re– tain their faith ! what persecutions and exclusions had they not to submit to, because they were Israelites ! And here we shall complain of paying a small annual contribution to endow religious schools from which we derive all the benefits! See again, how much even comparatively poor people pay for the acquisi– tion of mere accomplishments, for music, dancing, French and the like, in which, after all, so very few make any noticeable progress, after practising for years, and compare it with what we demand of those who wish to come to us; and then again cast a view on the large school–fees charged by what are termed private institutions, where no more is tauo–ht than here : and I am sure you will confess that the tax on knowledge which accrues to our funds is not to be weighed in the balance, when compared Avith the ad– vantages which can be derived from our system, if it be faithfully carried out. Let it be recollected that Judaism demands sacrifices of its professors, and in proportion as these are cheerfully offered on its altars, are the sincerity and devotion necessary for its pres– ervation by its followers, in the tumults, and cares, and vexations and sorrows of life. Away with a de– votion which is afraid to incur a little extra expense, which calculates the value of every penny demanded for the public good ; for it is this parsimony which stands in the way of our advancement, which deprives us of books for the people, of tracts for children, of a centre of union of action, bold and energetic preach– VOL. X. 13 [Page 146] 146 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. ers, of missionaries who are to carry the message of salvation to the most distant settlements; whicli in short has made us what we are, scattered members of a vast community floating on the ocean of time, without a chief, without any cohesion, were it not that the inherent life of our blessed reliiicion will knit together the hearts of Israelites to beat in unison and love, notwithstanding the many outward disturbing causes which we have abundant reasons to deplore. If so much is now springing from a source to which we have not contributed the least: how beautifully, how bountifully would our faith flourish, if we la– boured for it by sacrificing whatever little each one could conveniently spare without feeling the amount (and this is all which is needed) for its advancement, by using those means employed by others for the promotion of their religious interests, the school, the press, and the pulpit, until all who belong to us should be familiar with their duties, and able to defend the faith which is in them. What, compared to such a happy state of mental excellence, is the little that is required to keep up this school, and to extend its usefulness by erecting branches at proper distances from this central position ? and why should not Amer– ican Israelites, who are blessed by God's provideuce with the enjoyment of a perfect liberty of conscience under the laws of the land, with an unlimited right to extend their settlements all over the counti'y, from the shores of the Atlantic to the confines of the Pa– cific, with ample means to carry out successfully any useful enterprise they may wish to engage in, prove practically that they have a love for their religion not surpassed by the attachment of any people for their [Page 147] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 147 peculiar faith, and that " though all the nations walk each in the name of its god, we will walk in the name of the living God and the everlasting King?" Talk of expense ! can an3'thing be accomplished without employing the means? can you decorate your houses without engaging the workmen who can do it for you ? and will you offer as an excuse that you are taxed for the public schools, and will therefore not encourage an institution which is needed, because you aver that it ought to be free for you without any farther expense ? Indeed, it might have been so, had our predecessors done what was in their power, and devoted some small legacies for the advancement of religious education. But they did not act so, except in a few instances, and these to a very limited extent; hence it is our duty, at the present day, to make good the deficiency and to labour in that direction, that those who come after us may find institutions of learning which are open for all. For the present, therefore, the system we have adopted must be per– severed in, to admit only those without charge who profess inability to pay, while we expect those who are able to aid us to the extent of the moderate school– fees required, so moderate, indeed, that they may challenge comparison with those ruling elsewhere, in order that their children, and those of the poor also, may be able to enjoy, under the same roof, the bless– ings of a sound religious, Hebrew, and scientific edu– cation. I have merely sketched the outline of an argument, in reply to the objections you have all, no doubt, heard frequently made against an attempt to establish what men wrongfully call a sectarian school; and I [Page 148] 148 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. trust that, much as has been omitted for perhaps an– other occasion, when I hope to meet jou again in this house to witness the progress of our schohirs, I have convinced you that there is a necessity, paramount and urgent, not alone to preserve tliis institution, but to extend it yet farther, and to increase its efficacy, by establishing branch–schools, with the least possible delay, if we really wish to restore the empire of re– ligion, which has of late years rather decreased than otherwise, amidst the clashing of interests and the hot eager haste to become rich, which has grown to be the moral epidemic of our times. This wild rage for useless wealth should be checked; and it will be, when it has run its course, like all other mental dis– eases which have had their day, and then yielded to another madness. But, to eiiect this, education is the main lever; give people enjoyments which are not based on the possession of riches onlj', let them have a taste for study, contemplation, reading, and a diffus– ing of thoughts, and you increase their mental wealth, and render even poverty, or rather a moderate com– petency, a state of perfect content. If you, however, have brought this about, the sins committed for the 8ake of gain will naturally diminish, and you will therefore promote the welfare of Judaism, the mo– ment you have given Jews a taste for higher pleasures than those that flow from the possession of gold and silver and tlieir equivalents. Perhaps it may be said that those who are learned are seldom fitted to suc– ceed in business; but, granting this to be true, you declare only that men of this kind do not iiud satis– faction in what gives you happiness. It is therefore assuming nothing but the truth to [Page 149] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 149 assert, that the objects and principles of the Educa– tion Society are the welfare, mental and religions, of the Israelites of America, by first operating on 'the limited field before us, and then extending it by pre– cept and example in every direction. For we confess that we have become tinctured with the spirit of prop–' agandism, we wish others to imitate our conduct, and desire to see the Jewish school–house rise up al'ono–. side of every synagogue; we wish to proceed on the plan of our ancient teachers, who were not called " our wise men " without cause, and who taught " that the study of the law of God outweighs all otTier good acts;" we wish to draw many spirits into the more than magic circle of a holy, puritying influence; we desire to win souls for heaven, by making them in reality fit to live on earth. The boisterous, ignorant, brutal clown cannot shun sin, so says truly the great Hillel; he knows not when his passions rise above his control, and violates right and justice, because his cupidity is not restrained by a stronger inward in– fluence. But look at the man who has implanted in him a religion of peace and good–will, and he will walk humbly with God, and be unfelt by his fellow– men, except in doing good unto them and promoting their peace and welfare. This is the reason why the life of the good presents so few striking incidents, so few remarkable events: they live free from the tur– moil of life, and the good they accomplish is done in secret, and not for renown and self–glorification.— Is it not now your will, fellow–Israelites, that our school shall prosper? will you join us, will you be ambitious like us to educate Israelites to be Israelites indeed? Then let your acts speak; show a proper zeal, to 13* [Page 150] 150 A PLEA FOR KELIGIOUS EDUCATION. demonstrate that it is your earnest desire to advance, by all the means in your power, the efforts now mak– ing to introduce a system of religious training among tlie Jews of America, so that they may speedily com– pare favorably, as intelligent God–fearing men, with their brothers of the old world. O, here is the land where we can boldly unfurl our banner; here Juda– ism can securely pitch her tent ; here she can invite all lier children to take shelter under her protecting wings; and here should Jews rise up in their might to will to be good and faitliful, and to show before the eyes of admiring millions of other creeds, "how beautiful is the daughter of the patriarch" Abraham, how glorious the nation sprung from him, how lovely the faithful virgin of Israel, when she is famed for those brilliant jewels, righteousness and truth, which once decked her in the glorious days of her youth, when she followed the guidance of the Lord her God into the trackless wilderness, coniiding in her Father, who had redeemed her from bondage to be his, and his alone, unto time without end. And now, in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, do we dedicate this building in which Ave are assembled to his service, that herein the children of our people may assemble to be in– structed in his ways and to learn his ordinances, in order that it may be well with them, in this life and that which is to come, that they may be a blessing to themselves and a joy to their parents on earth, and a comfort to their spirit when they are removed to that home whither we are all travelling. But Thou, Almighty Father! we pray Tliee to let [Page 151] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 151 thy eyes be attentive to this house ; shed thereon thy abundant blessing, that peace may dwell within its walls, and that thy spirit may enlighten those that are to guide the children of thy people Israel who are to receive here instruction in thy blessed faith, which Thou didst impart to our fathers amidst the terrors of thy majesty, then made visible before their enraptured vision. Not unto us, O Lord! not unto us, but to thy own name give the glory; for behold! we have gone astray after the idols of our heart, and have done what is evil in thy eyes; we have pol– luted our souls with what Thou hast prohibited unto us, and forgotten to obey the words of thy law. O cleanse us from our iniquity, because Thou art good and merciful, and abundant in pardon and forgive– ness. Yea, according to thy wonted kindness deal Thou with us; infuse into us a new spirit, removing from our bosom the heart of stone, that Ave may be– come alive to our sinfulness, and seek to regain thy favour by a sincere repentance and a forsaking of our evil ways. Remember that we are but dust, and our days are as shadows before Thee ; and look on our fallen condition, scattered among the nations, few only compared to the many we were in our ancient state. Yet are thy judgments righteous; for it was thy chastisement which has arrested our sinning, and the outpouring of thy wrath made us feel that we were wandering far from thy protection. And we feel that thy undeserved grace has protected us, and brought us thus far on our earthly pilgrimage, enjoy– ing many blessings which flow from none but Thee, O God ! and which prove unto us abundantly that Thou slumberest not, that Thou sleepest not, O Guar– [Page 152] 152 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. dian of Israel ! that thy covenant, which Thou madest with our fathers, is still unforgotten, standing as a shield and a wall of defence, so that we are not con– sumed. And in the blessing of thy law we also see thy power extended over us; and we thank Thee that Thou hast kept us alive, and preserved us, and brought us to enjoy this day, when we devote to thy service this house, among the places of assembly of the people Thou hast chosen as the messengers of thy truth and power. O be with us in our coming in; let thy wisdom counsel us, that we may not falter in our duty, and that we may only attempt that which will best conduce to the spread of thy kingdom. Bless, O bless with the spirit of wisdom and under– standing the scions of thy household who are to be gathered here in thy Name; make them quick to un– derstand instruction, and ready to obey thy will ; so that they may travel from strength to strength, ad– vancing from obedience to righteousness, and from righteousness to holiness, till they appear before Thee in Zion, purified from iniquity, justified in thy judg– ment, to receive the reward which is treasured up with Thee for those who are holy, who are Thine unto eternity. Amen. Eev. Messrs. Pape, Frankcl, and Naumburg then recited, cliant– ing verse and verse, Mr. Pap6 leading, Psalms xxx. i. and Ixxviii. ; when Mr. N. finished this portion of the service bj' singing, with the aid of the other two ministers, Psalm cl. as a hallolujah–chorus in beautiful style. The Hebrew service being concluded, Mr. Dropsie delivered the following address, which concluded the cere– monies of the day, which we trust will be long remembered by all present. Ladies and Gentlemen ! The occasion on which we have assembled is deeply [Page 153] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 153 interesting to every one who feels for the welfare of our nation; these ceremonies may contribute to the formation of an epoch from which a new era may spring, that will impress its characte–r on the age, and control and shape the influence of our people. We have met to dedicate this edifice, reared by those who worshipped and taught a plurality of gods, to the service and teachings of the only Eternal One; we have come to consecrate this as a temple of learn– ing, wherein shall be taught those immortal truths that have survived the wreck of time: and this, though bigots, misguided by false zeal, have at times obscured their brilliancy; though visionaries with re– forms and deforms have lured the tickle and wavering by their false lights — but all in vain; as well might they attempt to hurl the orb of light from its sphere into the unfathomable sea and quench its fire. Our faith again shines on high, cheering and inspiring our fond hopes, and guiding our footsteps toward the promised land, like that cloud by day and pillar of fire by night that guided and cheered our ancestors in their wanderings through the wilderness. Having glanced at the object of our assembling, let us turn to the subject. At this time and place I need not plead for education when school–houses and halls of learning are scattered over the land; when every village can boast of its seminary — even in the far "West, where the hardy yeoman scarce has felled the forests and upturned the virgin soil ere the school– master appears to plant the seed of knowledge. But, my friends, I appeal to you as Jews, for a re– ligious education. If education be important, how immeasurably important to us is a religious education, [Page 154] 154 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDTJCATION. whose faitli is so intimately blended with our exist– ence — the guardians of his holy word, we stand here the living links that bind the past, with the present and the future. How can a Jew otherwise have a rightful apprecia– tion of the duties imposed by his faith, that not only sets forth the obligations he owes to his Creator and to his fellows, but even prescribes a complete code of kiws, political, dietetic and sanitary, for his govern– ment, founded in a wisdom that time the true test of all things, proves has never been surpassed, if equalled, many of which have formed the basis of all human jurisprudence from their promulgation to the present time ? Few are the Americans learned in this, and the knowledge that we possess is held by those who were educated in other lands. Hitherto there have been no systematic efforts to impart religious instruction, owing to the sparseness of our numbers ; our fathers, many of whom, groan– ing under oppressions fearful to contemplate, and de– spoiled of their bitter earnings at the whim of tyrants, who smote them for no other offence than the worship of one eternal God, severed the fond ties that bind man to his birth–place, and the endearing attachments that cluster around his fireside and home, whose sweet recollections linger in the mind to the last moments of existence, and came hither to a new country, a far– off land among strangers, to enjoy the sweets of liberty and the fruits of industry, and to worship in the faith that was hallowed by their fathers, and to stand erect in the dignity of freemen. Our numbers have increased by immigration pro– digiously; synagogues are springing up everywhere; [Page 155] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 155 even on the shores of the Pacific, where only seven years since were heard the whoop of the wild Indian and the growl of the bear, stately edifices have been reared in which praises are sung to the God of Israel; and school–houses should follow in rapid succession, where should be taught the principles that are in the synagogue enforced. Providence has lavished his blessings with a bountiful hand, and no cause now ex– ists to prevent us from the performance of our duty to the rising generation. Impressed with this, a number of gentlemen at length formed the Hebrew Education Society, under whose auspices this building was purchased and the school that assembles in it was formed. Long and anxious were the eflbrts for its establishment; its foun– ders did not receive that encouragement from those for whose progeny they laboured, and which their well– directed and well–meaning efforts richly merited; funds had to be gathered, suitable teachers obtained, and even pupils solicited — no difficult task when we remember the many excellent public and private schools with which our city abounds. At length the parents grudgingly sent them as a favour to the gentle– men who were labouring to promote their and their children's welfare, for no other reward than the con– sciousness of having performed their duty. Great were the difficulties and many the obstacles surmount– ed, with a determination and energy worthy the noble cause. The Society's feeble resources were well hus– bantled ; at last its merits slowly began to be appre– ciated, it was no longer a mere experiment, and chari– table individuals contributed to its support, when, by the noble munificence of a gentleman, who to us in [Page 156] 156 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. person was well–nigh a stranger, yet whose name was not unknown to benevolence, the late Judah Touro, our treasury was enriched by a princely sum. This school is now established on a permanent basis, and an opportunity is now for the first time presented of receiving the rudiments of a systematic and thorough rehgious education, without compensation and with– out price to those whose pecuniary means will not permit them to pay ; the poor and the rich are treated alike, and none are debarred who desire to avail them– selves of its advantages. I have already touched on the importance of re– ligious instruction ; permit me to present in relation to it other considerations. We live in an active and stirring age ; events suc– ceed events with kaleidoscopic rapidity, and change, if not progress, marks the daily action of the busy world ; and religion, too, is infected with the spirit of the times; and that which was regarded as perfect is changing with the transitions of the world ; new creeds are springing up like rank weeds, and like them wither and die, and new ones again spring up from their dust; their advocates are engaged in pro– mulgating their doctrines, with all the adjuncts of magnificent churches, colleges and schools, mission– ary– and tract–societies, whose ramifications extend to the uttermost parts of the globe, combined together with that mightiest engine of modern times, the press, directed by the ablest minds with vigorous energy; the whole at a cost which, when summed up, appears nigh fabulous, gathered from the purses of their cred– ulous followers. In view of this it becomes doubly important to re– [Page 157] A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 157 ligionsly educate your children, that they may not be lured by sweet sounds and honeyed words, but be steadfast in tlieir faith, so that they may better under– stand its holy precepts and give a reason for the faith that is in them, and not like the infidel, who doubts their wisdom, which to his ignorance is incomprehen– sible ; point out to them the ancient landmarks of our unchanging creed, which is the same now as it was 3'esterday and thousands of 3'ears since, and they will not go astray ; clad in the armour of eternal truth they will pass through the battles of life unscathed. The training of youth is the highest duty of the pa– rent : the father, occupied in the active and bustling scenes of life, can rarely give it the proper attention ; the rearing and early culture of children becomes the mother's duty; from her their infantile lips learn to lisp their first prayers; from her tliey receive their first impressions; ehe watches over their tender years with a love and aftection so warm and endearing, that only a mother can feel for her offspring. It is to the women of Israel that the honour is mostly due, of imparting that little knowledge of our faith that the American Jew possesses; they have always held a high position in the annals of history; their purity, fidelity', and devotion have been the poet's theme, and the writers of fiction have por– trayed their beauty, graces, and loveliness in glowing language : the American Jewess has nobly main– tained her ancient reputation. It is the design of the founders of this school not only to impart religious instruction, but to give a complete and thorough education ; keeping pace with all the improvements that time and experience shall VOL. X. 14 [Page 158] 158 A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. suggest, that will fit our youth for the varied Avalks of life. But think not that on its mere establishment that your labours are finished; but little progress can be made if the teachers are not properly assisted by your efforts at home. By precept and example direct your offspring's attention to high and noble objects, and the plastic mind of youth will be impressed with a nobleness of character that time shall never efface. The efforts that have been made for centuries, by the tyrants of Europe, to debase and extinguish the Jewish intellect by debarring them from the exercise of any avocation or employment other than that of traffic, has caused us to become a nation of traffick– ers, either as bankers, merchants, or the more hum– ble peddler; but even there a glimmer of light is seen, and the absurd prejudices tliat oppress us are slowly vanishing before the light of reason, and Jewish in– tellect is no laggard in the race of mental greatness. Where so fitting a place to drink in precious knowl– edge as our own happy land? where civil and relig– ious liberty is the birthright of every man ; where he can pursue that for which his Creator has best formed him ; where every avenue to fixme, every path to dis– tinction and honour, is open alike to all; where man can climb the highest eminence of science and fathom the deepest mysteries of nature unrestrained, save only by his own powers ? May we not indulge in the ibnd hope that the spirit of liberty will exalt and en– noble our understandings, and that the Jewish mind will assume its native vigour and strength, and that there shall arise among us Americans who, like the sai!:es, philosophers, and statesmen of old, shall adorn and dignify the human race. [Page 159] THE HOSPITAL. 159 My friends, when you shall have passed away, the rising generations will be actors on the world's stage, and the support of Jewish honour and reputation will depend on them ; they will be the future guardians of God's holy word. How important then is it that they shall know and understand their duties ! Teach them that the highest earthly honour is to be a Jew, — a dignity conferred by the Creator himself; inspire them with a due appreciation of their high trust, and in the evening of your days your efforts in this be– half will be a pleasing reflection, a continual feast, to which the mind will return again and again unsatia– ted; and when your spirit departs you will leave to them a most precious inheritance, an inexhaustible treasury, that neither the ravages of time nor the mutations of the world can affect, and will endure as long as reason is enthroned. LECTURE VII. THE HOSPITAL. Ladies and Gentlemen ! It is no secret to 3'ou that misfortunes and sore trials are the common lot of mankind; but the great– est trial to which man can be exposed is to be left * Delivered as the dcdieution address at the public dedication of the hospital and grounds of the Jewish Hospital Association of Philadelphia, on Tuesday, May 28th, 5627 (1867). [Page 160] 160 THE HOSPITAL. solitary and suffering in a large city where he is nn known and a stranger. In small communities the distress of any one of their members is soon known, and will probably meet with ready relief But it is in large cities where one feels his loneliness most keenly. To wander up and down the magnificent avenues of commerce, or where fortune has taken up her dwelling, and to be conscious that in not one house of all around him he has a sympathizing heart to feel for him, renders his position the most painful, as he is conscious that he is alone in a crowd, solitary amidst mighty throngs. Despair is then apt to seize on the unfortunate, who is ill, sore of foot, and bereft of means to purchase the necessities which his suffer– ings claim, and he may well wonder where he is to obtain relief amid the callous votaries of gain and pleasure. It is therefore well that the benevolent as– sociate together in large communities to provide asy– lums for all who need the aid of their fellows, and to supply the means of relief before they are actually needed, that the sufferers may not gaze around them in despair on the magnificence which meets their eye, with a consciousness that of all they see there is noth– ing but misery as their share of life. And accord– ingly having acquired this property for the purpose of benevolence we are assembled here to–day to com– plete a good work, which has been commenced in the name of" religion and humanity, and the realization of which has been enjoyed for some time past already by those whose sufferings appealed for aid and relief" at the hands of their fell()W–beings. You are all aware that it is not long since when we had not in this city, in fact, not in all America, any public charitable in– [Page 161] THE HOSPITAL. 161 stitntion worthy to be so called. We had indeed be– neficent societies, the members of which were associ– ated together to bestow aid on the poor; to provide them with small sums to help them on their way ; to portion out to them garments and fuel in the winter season ; to supply them with physicians and medi– cines during sickness, and to inter the deceased in Jewish cemeteries in the manner prescribed by our laws and customs. We did not allow any one to suf– fer, the moment his case of distress became known to us. But still, when more was needed than the granting of temporary relief, our hands were tied, and the best we could do was to send the applicants to some institutions over which we had no control, and where our religion is not the presiding genius of the place. We will not deny that kindness is to be found, and attentive nursing met with in the hos– pitals, both general and special, all over the country; in many of these devoted women, who have forsworn the world and its enjoyment, and who dedicate their whole time to relieve the distresses of suffering hu– manity, are ready at every moment to assist all the sick who may be placed under their care, without re– gard to what faith they may belong. But still our brothers and our sisters meet not with any religious sj'mpathy in any of these various places of refuge; their food they must receive from the common table, what is prohibited to Israelites is not excluded from their diet, and the bread of afiiiction, the memorial of our deliverance from Egyptian bondage, is not ten– dered to them on the feast of our redemption. And when the blessed Sabbath comes, its advent is not no– ticed in the public hospitals, nor are the seasons of 14* [Page 162] 162 THE HOSPITAL. rejoicing and penitence known within their precincts. The religious teachers, who make it their business to visit the wards where the many afflicted are found, speak to all of the hopes through a faith in which Is– raelites have no share nor portion, and they bid the dying spirit to look for salvation from a being of whom we know nothing, and to reject at that awful moment, when the soul is about being severed from the aching body, that blessed law and that trust in the Eternal God, through which Israel alone can live and be saved with an everlasting salvation. It is for this, therefore, that we considered it our duty, as have done our pious brotlners in all parts of the world, to procure this house and these grounds as a temporary home for the afflicted, whither they may resort to receive, under the supervision of their own brothers and sisters, that soothing care and kindness which are so grateful when the once vigorous limbs refuse to do their accustomed duty; when the aching head cannot think; when the surcharged breast can breathe with difficulty only; when the burning fever palsies the arm and foot, and makes rest compulsory. Here, then, our sufferers may come and claim it as a right to be under Jewish supervision ; to pray with– out molestation and annoyance, without the malign surveillance of hostile priests and female devotees, according to the practice of our ancestors ; to enjoy the quiet of the Sabbath, and the joy of the festivals, as they were accustomed to do in the days of their iiiiancy and youth, far away on the banks of the Dan– ube, or the Vistula, or the Khino, or the Don, or Vol– ga, or Seine, or Tiber, or Thames, or wherever else their early days were passed ; and to have their re– [Page 163] THE HOSPITAL. 163 ligious scruples carefully regarded, so that tliose whose conscience is tender, and these are, properly speak– ing, the sole objects of our solicitude, may have ev– erything they use provided for them, in accordance with the requirements of our laws and usages. I trust that I shall not be met with the scoffing remark, that we ought to be beyond all such prejudices, that the present age must pull down all the barriers which have been erected between men of all creeds, and that we ought to be the iirst, as we have suft'ered most from the effects of prejudices, to cast away all our peculiarities, and lay them as an acceptable offer– ing on the altar of a common humanity. For by this same reasoning we need not erect synagogues; for we might only sacriiice a little more than a strict life according to our law, and yield up for the use of a com– mon humanity our belief in the sole Creator; for is not this, our belief, the chief characteristic and the true barrier which distinguish and mark off Israel from the rest of the world ? or have we any more right to surrender the poor and the stranger into hands un– friendly to our faith, than we would do for ourselves and those dear to us at home? This miijht have been excusable while we had not the means to endow ex– tensive charities of our own; but since we have in– creased in numbers and wealth, since we have ac– quired the means to have for our domestic use all the appliances of elegance and luxury Avhich riches can procure: we would be derelict to duty, false to our obligation which one Israelite owes to his brothers all over the world, had we hesitated to procure for our own proper use a home like this, to be governed by Hebrews in descent and faith, supervised by the [Page 164] 164 THE HOSPITAL. benevolent daughters of Israel, whose heart is ever open to the appeals of the distressed, bj whom the voice of agony is never heard without its exciting deep and sympathetic emotions. No, friends, we are not permitted by our conscience to leave our poor and strangers to be cared for and nursed by those aliens to our house; they have a primary claim on us, and we are not acting the part of a religious community, if we heed not this demand on our means and time, and satisfy the same to the utmost extent of our power, honestly, generously, and with the fear of God before our eyes, — He being the judge whether we have fulfilled our duty according to our ability, or merely done something for the sake of appearance. And herein, too, we should follow the Bible–direction j'? \iM ityN ynHx 'n n^–i^D, " according to the blessing of the Lord thy God, which He hath given thee," and we should bestow what we can freely say is according to our means, in correspondence with the bounty of our good Father, who has been so lib– eral and kind to us ; and if this be done, not alone this, but all other religious and benevolent enterprises among us, will not fail of meeting with full success, because our means are ample to endow them all, if only true devotion and filial gratitude will counsel us. — We owe it to the poor to help them adequately, and it appears to me on the whole superfluous to offer an apology for the efibrts we have made to establish this Institution ; on the contrary, it is almost a reproach to our community that the effort had not been made long ago, and that thus what is now but an experi– ment, had not been firmly established on a permanent footing years belbre this. The idea indeed had not [Page 165] THE HOSPITAL. 165 beeu strange among us before the present attempt was made; it had been spoken of occasionally as something very desirable to be realized. But, what was a general want, found no one to be its special ad– vocate ; and it was reserved to that powerful organi– zation, the Bnai Berith, to become the sponsors of this benevolent thought, and to labour for its being carried out practically. One of the former presidents of the first lodge or branch society in this city, Abra– ham Sulzberger of Har Sinai Lodge, No. 8, offered, not three years ago, a series of resolutions at the meet– ing of the executive board of the order in this city, known as District Grand Lodge, No. IIL, setting forth that there existed here as elsewhere the neces– sity for a Jewish Hospital, where the dying Hebrew might have the privilege of having Sxity' ;?Dty said to him, which cannot be expected in institutions where oui' religion is not professed, and that the Grand Lodge would take immediate steps to secure the co–operation of societies and individuals to found a hospital of the kind contemplated. I will, with your permission, read to you the whole proceedings as apart of the his– tory of this Institution. " Whereas, A Jewish Hospital has beeu foimd to be a necessity in the cities of New York and Cincinnati, and in the large cities of Europe ; and " Whereas, All the causes that make such an institu– tion a necessity there, are in full operation here; and " Whereas, Within the last six months three Israelites of this city have died in Christian hospitals, without having enjoyed the privilege of hearing the hin^ff" i'Oiy the watchword of their faith and nation; and " Whereas, It reflects the greatest discredit on so large [Page 166] 166 THE HOSPITAL. a Jewish population, as that of Philadelphia, to force friendless brothers to seek, in sickness and the prospcet of death, the shelter of iin–Jewish hospitals, to eat for– bidden food, to be dissected after death, and sometimes even to be buried with the stranger; therefore be it " Resolved That the District Grand Lodge, No. III., of the Independent Order of the Bnai Berith, acting on that Benevolence and Brotherly Love, which are the motto of the Order, take immediate steps to secure the co–operation of all Jewish societies and individuals for the purjDOse of founding a JcAvish hospital ; and be it farther " Mesolved, That the whole subject be and is hereby referred to a special committee of seven, to be called the Hospital Committee." The Committee having been organized, sent out the above with the subjoined note : "In consequence of our appointment as a Provisional Committee to promote the foundingof a Jewish hospital in or near the city of Philadelphia, at a meeting of the Grand Lodge of the Bnai Berith, held on Sunday, the 14th of August, we now appeal to you for your active sympathy and co–operation, to carry out the idea em– braced in the above proceedings. "M. Thaiheimer, Chairman ; Isaac Leeser, Vice–Chair– mun 5 A. Sulzberger, Secretary; S. Hofheimer, E. Teller, L. Ellinger, S. Weil, Provisional Hospital Committee. " PHILADELPHIA, August 18th, 1854, Menachem 16th, 5624." And to illustrate the uncertainty of liunian life, to which Mr. Jones* alluded in his address, I would call * Alfred T. Jones, the president of the hospital, who had preceded mc. [Page 167] THE HOSPITAL. 167 your attention to the fact that of the seven members of the tii–st Hospital Committee, one, Mr. Lewis EI– linger, who took a deep interest in the early proceed– ings, and worked zealously for the accomplishment ot the task, was summoned to eternal life about a year ago, and left his work to be completed by others. Mr Sulzberger was impelled to bring the subject before his colleagues, because, when he was visiting one of the hospitals in our city for the purpose of makino– inquiries concerning a Jewish patient, a member of his lodge, as was his duty to do, he was one day told that the sufferer was dead, and on going to inspect the remains he found that the dissecting–knife had already been used to allow the curious physicians to make a post–mortem examination. Without stopping to inquire into the permissibility of such a step, ao–ainsl which most of us naturally revolt, as an outrage on the body of the dead, there can be no doubt that it is a shocking practice in public institutions to degrade the remains of the poor into mere sidjjcds, to teach young physicians the structure of the human frame and the diseases to which it is subject. It is in vain to talk about the claims of science; enough, it seems a profanation of the helpless dead, to treat them in the manner indicated; and if there were no other reason for our present undertaking, we must applaud Mr. Sulzberger's honest zeal, that moved him to uro–e the establishment of an asylum for the sick amono– ourselves where, when sutfering, they will have food against which the tenderest conscience will not revolt where, when dying, persons of their own faitli will repeat m their hearing the sacred watchword of our religion, and where, when their spirit has fled, their [Page 168] 168 THE HOSPITAL. remains will not be disfigured, but be committed to Ktber Ylsracl like those of any of their brothers or sisters who die surrounded by their kindred in their houses, and be followed by a few sympathizing friends at least, and committed to the earth amidst the pray– ers required by our ancient customs. The proposal was not made in vain ; the meeting– accepted it without any dissent, and a committee was appointed, as stated already, to carry out the resolu– tions, and this promptly and without delay. Through this means a convention of nearly all the societies and congregations of our city was convened, and after a number of meetings a constitution was adopted, and the present Hospital Association organized, during the winter of 1865 (5625). As may be expected, large numbers of the sons of the covenant at once became members of the new society, thus showing that they fully appreciated the actions of their managers, and meant to second it honestly and truly, and to prove that " brotherly love and benevolence" are not alone a motto, but a reality of their Order. After the So– ciety was thus constituted, the Board being substan– tially the same as at present, though many changes have been made since the first election, went earnestly to work to carry into effect the object for which they had been chosen, and they purchased, after a careful comparing of different properties, the one where we are now assembled, but were not able to obtain at once possession of it, and did not until April, 1866. In the meanwhile, in addition to many donations recorded in the printed list accessible to you all, the Grand Lodge, I. O. 13. 13., No. HI., gave a ball which realized above one thousand dollars, and the ladies, [Page 169] THE HOSPITAL. 169 chiefly of the Franklin Street Synagogue, though they were aided by many of other congregations, got up a fancy fair or bazaar in the month of January, 5626, which netted upwards of live thousand dollars.' You will hardly expect of me to give you a precise finan– cial statement ; but enough, if I assure you that, when we took possession of the property, the whole of the purchase–money had been paid, and we had yet enough left to put it in the good order for our purposes which you now see before you. Afterwards we purchased, at a liberal credit, pay– ment to be made in four annual instalments, the prop– erty adjoining to the east and west, so that we have now a front on a public street longer, probably, than any Jewish Institution in the country, on which here– after our successors will be able to erect a structure which shall be a credit to the Israelites of Philadel– phia. We are fully aware that the present one is very simple and plain, it strikes you not with its large and elegant proportions; but it has every requisite for the purpose we had in view, and we trust that it may be the means of ditfusing much comfort to those who may be compelled to seek shelter here. The house was opened on the 6th of August last for the reception of patients, before it was dedicated solemnly as a hospital for Israelites. It was in the hot season of the year when so many are usually ab– sent from the city, and though it was intended at first to fulfil the omitted duty soon after the holy days, various causes prevented our accomplishing this wish! But the idea was not abandoned, and though delayed It IS not yet too late to dedicate this house, its furniture and appurtenances, with the land to the east and west of it, VOL. X. 15 [Page 170] 170 THE HOSPITAL. now owned by our Society, for the purpose of sheltering the sick, and as an Asylum for the Aged and Infirm, of whom our Society also desires to take charge, in addition to its first object, the care of the sick. And now we surrender all that has been described for the use to this sacred object, trusting that the blessing of Heaven may rest on it and our hibours, and that healing, sustenance and con– solation ma J thence proceed to cheer the heart of many afflicted, and to make easy the path to– the grave to those whom the Lord's summons may here call away to a better life. To one feature of our By–laws 1 want to call your attention before closing. Though the whole arrange– ments are strictly Jewish, and though no one can be a member of our Society who is not a brother or sis– ter of Israel : still are our doors open to the afflicted of every creed, and several non–Israelites have re– ceived already the benefits which this hospital confers. It is in this connexion also pleasant to state, that a benevolent member of the Society of Friends, who is strictly catholic in her charities, has made a present of five hundred dollars to our treasury, after con– vincing: herself that our Home deserves to be so en– dowed; and I think that it is but right that mention should be made, that this truly charitable lady, Mary He Benneville Brown, is the same, who before this had already sent an equal sum to the Jewish Foster Home Society, a kindred charity which strives to do for the helpless young what is here endeavoured to be aceompliished for the sick and the aged. It is by an interchange of acts of good–will and benevolence that inveterate prejudices may be ultimately over– come, and that the wrongs of ages may at length be [Page 171] THE HOSPITAL. 171 covered over by deeds which elevate the human char– acter, and prove man to be but little less than angels. "We can contribute, as in this case, to hasten this hoped for result, not by yielding up our identity, but by a course of conduct, which, while it is strictly con– servative and Jewish, proves that Israelites have a heart for all who sufler, and an open hand for all that need. I could readily occupy hours to speak properly ou the momentous subject which has brought us hither. But it is time that I make way for others who are to follow me. Still, I must advert to a pleasing circum– stance, namely, the celebration of the Seder, the ser– vice, as you know, for the tirst and second evenings of the Passover, which was duly celebrated by the inmates of this house on the last festival of redemp– tion. They met here, where the distressed and suf– fering dwell, to celebrate the great event of our his– tory, in a new farnily–circle of which they are tem– porary members, and no doubt their hearts were gladdened that they could thus keep the glorious feast, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, just as the greatest and happiest household in Israel. If no other result were to spring from our work, except that annually the afflicted could here observe the Passover of the Lord : it would be enough to compen– sate those who have been active in this work for all they have done; as such a privilege could not be en– joyed in any other house except where presides the blessed genius of Judaism, the spirit of peace, the spirit of charity, the spirit of good–will to all man– kind. Let us pray. [Page 172] 172 THE HOSPITAL. O Eternal God ! be with us tins day and sanctify the work of our hands which we humbly offer up to thy service, and bless this house which we dedicate now to the sacred object of succouring the sick and protecting the aged and infirm. It is thy holy word which enjoins on us to walk in thy ways; and we re– joice that we have been enabled to follow Thee, our Father ! in thy ways of mercy, and to shield under this roof a portion of those who are afflicted, and to bestow on them that care which they need. With grateful hearts we present ourselves before Thee, because Thou hast until this hour prospered our un– dertaking, and enabled us with inadequate means to progress thus far with the work of benevolence for which we are associated ; for we herein discover thy ever–watchful providence, through which alone success attends on the works of man. We confess before Thee that it was with many misgivings and sore trials of spirit, that we first proposed to acquire this house and these lands for the shelter of the sons and daughters of sorrow ; for our means were few and the demands for the undertaking unduly great. It was then that the young daughters of our household were inspired by the spirit of benevolence, and through their active charity, and that of other friends of our enterprise whom Thou didst raise up, it went on and prospered, so that now we are permit– ted to dedicate it to thy service in forwarding the work of humanity and brotherly love. Be Thou farther with us, O God of our life! cause harmony and loving brotlierhood to dwell in our councils, so that we may unitedly labour in the task we have assumed to promote thy glory, and to make [Page 173] THE HOSPITAL. 173 the lips of the sufFeniig ones bless thy holy Kame. Shed over the inmates of this house now and at all times the spirit of submission and prayer, that in their sore distress they may call on Thee in truth and hu– mility, and submit to Thee, their sole Saviour, in life and death, swayed by thy fear and subdued by thy loving–kindness. Cause, also, this Institution to be– come a bond of union among all those who sustain it, that they may thereby be drawn and bound to thy ser– vice, and be encouraged by mutual zeal to worship Thee in sincerity, and practise in faith the other pre– cepts of thy law, of which charity and truth are the exponents. For Thou art kind to all, and thy truth endures forever. And herein shall we discover that thy spirit is with us, and that we have been accepted by Thee in favour, when we behold thy worship ex– tending among us, and thy religion taught and loved among the children of thy early adorers, when they turn not to vanities and deceitful thoughts, but delight themselves in the study of thy law, and glory in being servants in thy house. Aid us in this, O God of our fathers ! make us intelligent in knowing Thee, and in comprehending the word which Thou hast de– livered unto us as the indication of thy will and pleas– ure ; so that it may be well with us in this life of trfal and sorrow, and we may live in thy presence forever, in the life everlasting, a life of rest and holiness, where the tear is wiped from every face, and where death does not enter the home to break asunder the ties of kindred and the bonds of friendship ; but where Thou art the eternal light, thy presence the pleasure unend– ing unto those who have done thy will. Amen. 15* [Page 174] 174 OUR CHARITIES. LECTURE VIII. our charities.* Ladies and Gentlemen ! It is a matter of great regret, than when any thing is to be undertaken by Israelites in Philadelphia, tlie existence of a feeling of apathy strikes the most care– less observer. Our people here seem to have lost sight of the fact, that in union there is strength, while in division there is weakness. The few who are here this evening to respond to the call of charity are enough to chill my ardour; and if any one had told me that the attendance this night would be so small, I would not have believed it. But it is one proof more of the well–known truth, that the very persons who are the loudest in talking out of doors, are the last to contribute with their countenance and presence in the support and raising up of any good measure. It is not, however, my business to count an audience : I will therefore proceed without farther– introduction. It may have seemed strange to many, that having written for my magazine a few hasty remarks, which were, as some have supposed, derogatory of this new * A lecture delivered before the Hebrew Literary Association, in aid of the Foster Home Association of Philadelphia, on Thurs– day evening, February 22d, 5615, at Juft'orson Hall, and reported phonographically by Dr. Jacob Solis Cohen. [Page 175] OUR CHARITIES. 175 Society, I should, nevertheless, be the first to lend it my aid to increase its pecuniary means. The reason, however, of my apparent opposition was not that I would not desire the prosperous existence of this in– stitution, but that I do not like half–measures; I love to see a thing commenced rightly, and carried out rightly. But I have always doubted, and yet have my doubts, whether there be sufficient energy of character here to follow up any project for a sufficient length of time, so that it may come to maturity. The Jews, indeed, are not chary of their pecuniary means when charity calls; for then they will cheerfully give plenty of money; but in carrying out any particular measure strictly, and with a single eye to the object in view, I fear we are behindhand when compared with many other societies. Look at all the institu– tions that have been started here for the past twenty– five years— every one has languished for the want of sufficient support; and at Avhatever meetings we have held, there have always been absent those who are the loudest talkers out of doors, including among them those who speak against us as inferior in intel– ligence to other sects, and less liberal than other portions of mankind; while, notwithstanding their depreciating the character of other Israelites, you cannot call upon these very persons for aid in any scheme calculated for the difiFusion of enlightenment or the promotion of charity. Let us take the following instance. It is now about SIX years ago, when some of us first started The He– brew Education Society of Philadelphia. Of all the Jewish institutions in the United States (and I think that I am acquainted with them alb, there is not one [Page 176] 176 OUR CHARITIES. which claims of right so much the countenance and good–will of every true Israelite, as this Society for the diffusion of useful and religious knowledge. Yet, at every step which its founders and managers have taken, they have met with the strongest opposition, as though they were engaged in an enterprise which would necessarily bring disunion into the bosom of every family. There are not wanting persons who have endeavoured to cry down the seminary we have commenced, and have said that they do not desire the existence of any sectarian school, as though ours were such a one, and therefore to be discountenanced. And when they were asked for subscriptions, they refused them flatly, in some cases even with rude– ness. That we are now flourishing and in a prosper– ous condition is not their fault, but it is owing to the kindness of Providence which watched over us, and aided us with the means to carry out the design we had in view. It is, therefore, that I dreaded the ill– success of the Foster Home pi'oject when it was first started; for I thought it would in all probability be strangled by the very persons who should watch over its birth. And I have seen too often the want of active sympathy in all our undertakings, so as not to wish to have added another to the number of hapless societies, which may struggle a little while against diiiicnlties and then fall into decay. But as the Foster Home Society has been actually called into being, and whereas the ladies, who always feel more than Ihe sterner sex for the wants of their fellow–creatures, have commenced operations, it would be cruel and unjust in every Israelite to refuse giving his support, however slight, and to aid it with his [Page 177] OUR CHARITIES. 177 voice, however feeble that may be. That every little helps, is no less true in charity than in every other thing. However small, therefore, any contribution may be, it is of advantage to help forward the cause by as much as it is worth ; and however inetiectually one may plead, still may this pleading be of some benelit, and become, ultimately, the means to pro– mote the object in view by its influence, when the gift itself is exhausted, and the feeble voice is ren– dered silent by death. The many Jewish charitable societies, in this and other cities, established for every variety of objects, demonstrate that it is needless to ask of the Jew to give, and to prove to him the necessity of alms–be– stowing. No sooner does he see distress than his heart yearns to relieve it; he must give; he cannot rest while a fellow–being is in want of the necessaries of life; and hence the Jew is pre–eminent for the be– stowal of charity. The very word, by which alms– giving is designated, shows what the Jew holds charity to be: he calls it r^p^^i (Zedakah), "righteousness;" he esteems it a part of the duties by which he can alone merit divine tavour. The word is derived from the same root as the term pn^f (Zaddik) "the righteous," an epithet applied even to God himself, the Omnipo– tent, the Creator, the Benefactor of all that exists. The English term is derived from the Greek word , benevolence, or kindness, signifying the princi– ple of love which moves a man's hand to give for the relief of another, and that which diffuses joy and pleasure. It is then by these words that we signify the temper of our mind which prompts us to give and to hasten to the relief of the distressed. And so [Page 178] 178 OUR CHARITIES. proverbial is this benevolence among us, that even the boasted Irish charity sinks into insignificance when compared with the Jewish. Hence, in every part of the world, wherever the Jews happen to form a settlement, their first organization is for the pur– pose of distributing charity with a liberal hand; to bestow gifts to make the mind of the poor man easy when he looks despondingly on his sufi'ering chil– dren, or on his helpless wife whose limbs have been rendered useless by disease, so that she is unable to labour for the support of her olfspring. Yes, noth– ing is easier than to make the Jews purse, so to say, jump out of his pocket and to pour out its contents into the lap of the needy. But the mere giving away what we need not for our support is not all that is required; for charity should be cliieily bestowed in order to raise the character of the poor, no less than to relieve their pressing wants. To the true philan– thropist there is no spectacle so humiliating, as to see the poor who appear to have no other prospect in life, who care to do nothing else, than to be fed by the hand of charity ; who can live in indolence, stretch out their idle hands and be content to withdraw them, so that they arc but filled with that which, for the moment, will drive away the pinching of poverty. And it is precisely such as these, who fancy that all tlie righteousness of charity, and all the benevolent lore which prompts it are there, merely, that they may be supplied with what they require to satisfy their urgent demands; and they sink gradually into a state of proud beggary, rather demanding than supplicating relief; and– they eat the bread of idleness without feeling the shame which attaches itself to their being [Page 179] OUR CHARITIES. 179 fed from the bounty of their more highly favoured, because more thrifty fellow–men. And such as these are, as I have said, a humiliating spectacle to the lover of his species; because he beholds here men stripped of the highest attributes of humanity; inasmuch as by so acting they lose by degrees, if not at once, their spirit of independence. If now you aid and even entirely relieve the poor who are thus callous to the state in which they are plunged, you may say with justice, even while reliev– ing them, that you feel that they are unworthy of your regard and bounty. For if you have given them money as they desired; if their thirst is quenched; if their hunger is stilled; if they have garments to keep their bodies warm : they are content till want compels them again to beg; and you may spare your– selves the trouble to give them advice how to better their condition ; for, when they have obtained your aid, they have no farther wish nor desire to be inter– fered with by you or your counsel. They see the rich and envy them ; they behold the intelligent and are jealous of their higher station ; but to endeavour to raise themselves, they will not; for their feelings are deadened to everything save to satisfy their own bodily wants, and to envy those who are above them. Now this teaching the needy to look to you as their almoners on every occasion, is one of the worst con– sequences resulting from the system of giving indis– criminate charity to the poor who are constantly im– migrating to this country, and of being content when they do not trouble us any more for some time with their piteous tales of distress. And the consequence is what might have been expected ; for when I first [Page 180] 180 OUR CHARITIES. came to this city, there was certainly much more in– dependence of feeling among the humbler Jews than there is at the present day. And though we had at that time in all our societies not so many sources of revenue as there are now, we had still enough to relieve all who applied; and notwithstanding this, we had almost every year a surplus in our treasury; seldom indeed were we called upon to add voluntary con– tributions to our income, as it was amply sufficient for all our purposes. Look at the case now. No matter how much you have increased the number of your societies, and however often your treasuries have been made to overflow, not enough can be raised to satisfy the demands of the constantly increasing poor. It is a melancholy fjict, but one which cannot be doubted, nor gainsaid, nor argued away. I see one gentleman before me who has often acted with me as a fellow–manager in a beneficent associa– tion, and there is also here the president of the Fuel Society, both men of experience in these matters, and they will bear me out in saying, that with the increase of your charities, the dependence of the poor has also been increased; and we have seen that men, who, a little while ago, were ashamed to receive what they had not earned by their own industry, did not hesi– tate to go into the country on a trading expedition and leave their families unprovided for, casting them as dependents on public charity. It is sureh' an evil, a growing evil, and it ought to be stopped if possible; for it is but right that our charity should ennoble, not debase our fellow–men. Now what is to be done to increase the independence of the poor? I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, will the multiplication of chari– [Page 181] OUR CHARITIES. 181 table institutions do this? Assuredly not; but by merely erecting an orphan asylum and a poor–house, it will be yet more augmented; for the more you tell the thriftless poor that there are charities, asylums, and treasuries of benevolence for them, accessible without any merit or industry on their part, the more helpless will they become. Do not misunderstand me as saying, God forbid ! that you should not give money in charity to those who need immediate relief. God forbid ! that I should utter such a thousrht ! But I leave it to your own good sense, ladies and gentle– men, to determine whether it be always right to give; whether it be proper at all times to put money in the hand of every one who asks for it, and not to inquire into the character of those who are to receive it from you. To me it appears that you would do far better, and subserve the cause of humanity much more ef– fectually by endeavouring to infuse into the humble higher aspirations, and aiding them to dispense at length with your assistance, however ample it might be. For, recollect, the needy can be lifted up to af– fluence by the same means you or your predecessors have risen to your present prosperous condition ; and it is really doing greater charity to point out the road to advancement to those who have not entered it, than to block it against them forever by inducements to loiter in the path of indolence, the surest bar to all progress. Look liow many noble characters, famous in the history of the United States, have sprung from the humbler classes of society; and they were those who were not rocked in mahogany cradles, nor fed in in– fancy with a silver spoon. Clay, Webster, Franklin, VOL. X. 16 [Page 182] 182 OUR CHARITIES. nay, Washington even, were not born in the lap of afHuence, nor reared in the arms of luxury. Still they raised themselves from the ranks by dint of the inherent spirit of self–dependence. And Franklin, when he left his paternal roof to seek a home in Philadelphia, felt within himself this reliance on his native intellect and strength of character, wlien he walked along the streets with a loaf of bread under each arm. I call your attention to these men and these facts, not to Hatter your pride as Americans, but to bring to your mind persons that are well known to all. Washington, Franklin, Webster, and Clay, are names familiar to every native of this country. Had they had engrafted in them the spirit of depen– dence, would the first have been "first in peace, first in war, first in the hearts of his countrymen ?" Would the second have been he "who snatched the lightning from heaven and took the sceptre from tyrants?" Or would the third have been distin– guished for that eloquence to which senators listened in breathless silence, or the fourth have become the honoured statesman who in a great measure saved his country from ruin ? If they had been reared in a poor–house, would Clay have rescued his country from the danger of internal strife, or would Daniel Webster have been enabled to accomplish the many triumphs as an orator and statesman, which have ren– dered him famous in the world? By no means; in a state of dependence men of such power of reason– ing and strength of character could not have been produced. If you therefore wish to raise the condition of the poor, teach them the love of independence, self–reli– [Page 183] OUR CHARITIES. 183 ance, and to look only to God for help, and not to man for charity. What do our praj–ers say? " Suffer us not, Lord our God! to stand in need of tlie gifts of flesh and blood, nor of their loans; for their gift is small, and their shame is great." And this all experience will amply demonstrate. Let me in my distress go to my own brother, if I have one, who was born and nursed by the same mother, and say, "Brother, give me gifts;" and granted that he even bestows freely on me what I need : I at once become his slave, who dare not repine at, nor refuse to do his will; and if I do so, I am called ungrateful. This is the case where the ties of blood bind the givers and receivers to– gether; how much more must this then be the case where I ask an utter stranger ? He may be moved by my tale of sorrow and give me money once, he may help me twice; but the third time I am called impor– tunate, and I am looked upon as a beggar, who re– ceives without labouring the property of another, and who takes without giving anything in return. The more we increase, therefore, our charitable in– stitutions, merely for the sake of granting temporary relief, the more we make the rich the tyrants and the poor the humble slaves. The sequel of this is that, while the former give with an air of arrogance and patronizing mien, speaking harshly and brutally at times ere they bestow what they can well aftbrd, and the absence of which can in nowise inconvenience them, — the latter use art and cunning to extract the ungracious gifts by all the means at their command. And it is distressing to find those, who before would have been ashamed to beg, now proclaim unblush– [Page 184] 184 OUR CHARITIES. ingly, that they are needy, and say, " Give, give ! " and who do not, and will not, thon£!;h thoy could, rely upon themselves to earn tlieir own livino;. Yon may say, " What shall we do ? There are the hungry, there are the naked, there are the needy : we must feed them, we must clothe them, we must help them." Yes, aid them ; for we must admit the right of every one who is poor to ask in order to be relieved. The Almighty has scattered his bounty everywhere; and those who have themselves no means, are at lib– erty to ask aid of you who have; nay, to demand a piece of bread, while there is any remaining in the basket; a stick of wood to burn, while there is some left in the cellar; a garment to wear, while some re– main in the press. The needy should not perish, so long as means exist anywhere to appease his hunger; he has a claim on the score of humanity and religion which you cannot by any excuse disown. And hence, in the minor matters just now indicated, charity shonld be bestowed indiscriminately on all who need, and this without any other inducement than that a fellow–being is in distress. But it is an absolute cruelty to place the respecta– ble poor, without any distinction, on the same footing, with the undeserving and improvident. It is a shame that the man who, without any fault on his part, has been unfortunate in business, should be put on the same level with the sturdy beggar, who will not work though abundantly able to labour. But at the same time there is no discrimination in our present mode of distributing charity–funds, and, as things are con– ducted, there can be none. Hence, the respectable, industrious, and honest, are treated just like the idle, [Page 185] OUR CHARITIES. 185 the vicious and the lazy ; and perhaps the latter, by sheer dint of impudence and persevering obtrusive– ness, may fare better than those to whom poverty yet appears as something which they would rather hide from, than reveal to the eyes of a prying, unsympa– thizing world. I would, therefore, appeal to you to consider whether a system could not be devised, under which the re– spectable should not be so much humbled when re– quiring and obtaining relief, and the idle should be compelled to contribute something to their own sup– port. It may be difficult at lirst to accomplish this; but it strikes me that there is a way to reach it, and to do it judiciously, which I will lay before you by and by. Holding myself the highest opinion of the efficacy of education, let me come back to the school of the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia, which we founded four 3'ears ago, and which is an institution which proclaims that it is ready to take the rich and the poor under the same roof, to educate them in the same manner by the same teachers, and to treat in the same kind way those Avho dwell in a palace and those who live in a hovel. AVhen we started the en– terprise, we well knew that we should have difficulties to encounter of no ordinary kind, and as various as the ingenuity of man can devise. But the present is not a proper place to dwell at length on this topic; I will therefore merely refer to the unwillingness in the minds of those who are endowed with wealth to allow their children to associate with those of the poor. They say, they will become contaminated; acquire low habits, low language, low manners, by 16* [Page 186] 186 OUR CHARITIES. coming in contact with those who are not so well gifted by fortune. It may indeed be admitted that poor children are not so graceful, cannot enter a room as prettily as those who have learned dancing, nor make so polite a bow as those who have been used to polished society all their life; but it strikes me, that all the rich, and all the wealthy, are not al– wa3's the most refined, and are not necessarily wise and intelligent. I have seen rich men addicted to drunk– enness and other low vices, and those who might have been well educated, if they had taken advantage of their opportunities, far below the level of the poor who had toiled under difficulties to improve them– selves in knowledge and science. To .say that those who associate with the rich must become wise, is ut– tering a fallacy; and to say that those who keep com– pany with the poor must become idle and vicious, is also stating something equally destitute of founda– tion. Refinement rests in the mind, and does not depend on the position of the man. Perhaps a poor person may be unable to conduct himself as politely as one brought up in the wealthier classes of society : this is true, and how should it be otherwise? but "a man's a man for a' that, and a' that." The humble often possess an intensity of feeling which those brought up in the lap of luxury can hardly appre– ciate; to these life is a perpetual, lovely spring, w–here the skies are always serene, with an ever–bright sun, with breezes fanning their brow as they siidc into pleasant slumbers; whereas the first was cradled, when howling storms whistled through the crevices of the frail cottage, and furious, driving January gales de– formed the face of nature; an unceasing winter's blast [Page 187] OUR CHARITIES. 187 may have accompanied him in his pilgrimage through this world, and no sunshine may have lit up the dark path of his wanderings. Still, he may bear that within him which no wealth nor luxury can purchase, which stamps on his soul the impress of high intellect and noble aspirations. The only remedy, therefore, by which you can cure the idea of dependence in the poor, and to teach them not to look to you for sup– port, is to educate them among yourselves. Let your children, in this mingling together, teach the poor how to live, how to behave with propriety. By this your children will not become contaminated, while they will see the deprivations to which the lowly are sub– jected under the best circumstances, and learn to feel for them. There may, too, spring up a lasting friend– ship between them, though the one be clothed in fus– tian and the other in satin and velvet; and the simply clad will look back with gratification after he has left school, that he has been the playmate of the favoured child of fortune; and the latter may with pleasure recall his childhood's bosom friend, who helped him with his lessons when he was unable to master them, or to whom he had confided his sorrows when he had got into some little trouble, from which the happy school–years are not exempt. Thus friend– ships may be formed, which will be cherished in after–life between various classes of Israelites, though their pursuits may be very widely difi:erent. Indeed, indeed, the system pursued in my native land, where all schools are both free and pay–schools, where the rich and the poor are taught in the same colleges, where those who have the means pay the moderate dues demanded, and where the poor scholar [Page 188] 188 OUR CHARITIES. enters upon the merit conferred on him by his intellect and not upon the weight of his purse, is after all the best. Prussia, though she may well be called in many respects a tyranny, has, after all, noble institutions, wherein the advantages of education are equally free for all. In its universities the poor janitor, who gains a few pennies by attending to the wants of the richer pupils, is equal in every respect, provided only he has the talents and industry, to the nobleman's son. Yes, the duke's son, the count's son, the baron's son, has no more prerogatives than the indigent doorkeeper who earns a small pittance by waiting in leisure hours on the rich scholars. And it may be assumed as an undeniable tratli that, wherever education is freely diflused, people will assuredly rise from their lowly estate. Thus, there were formerly serfs, at least in fact, though not in name, in Prussia, who had to work for their landlords so many days, as were specified in their leases, with their servants, carts, and horses, for the retainance of the small patch of ground on which they lived, and this servitude could not be commuted for any price whatever. When knowledge began to be more general among the agricultural population, the feudal system fell into disuse by its own weight. No bloody revolutions were witnessed in Prussia as elsewhere, where the serf rose in rebellion to assas– sinate his master, and where the tenants strove with deadly weapons against the landlords; but the land– lords, by the decree of the enlightened minister llard– enberg, became themselves the emancipators; and by degrees the poor man has grown to be of equal im– portance in the state with the nobleman. Education, however, is at the bottom of this peaceful revolution; [Page 189] OUR CHARITIES. 189 it would have been useless to give freedom where the capacity for enjoying it was absent; for the people could not feel that they had the same rights as the rich, without having an equality of mental cultiva– tion to appreciate this, although they might have been conscious that they were created by the same Almighty Power. If, therefore, we wish to make the poor independ– ent of charity, to abhor the idea of receiving without working, we must educate them. At the same time we must not look back at the past, when almost nothing was done ; but we should cast our views into the future, in order to arrange our plans for the days which are coming. For we are yet in the infancy of our being in America. Some present now here to– night can recall the time when the Jews all over the country could be counted by tens; when the syna– gogue of which I took charge twenty–live years ago had only about eighty male seat–holders; and now let the president of the congregation, whom I see present, answer whether there is room enough for those who resort thither. This, however, is not the case only with the synagogue Mikvah Israel, but like– wise with all others, four in number in this city. On the holy days there is hardly room to stand in the synagogue Rodef Sholem, much less to sit down ; but even the new ones are just as crowded as the older meeting–houses in Philadelphia. The same, however, may be said of every village temporary synagogue all over the country; they are all over–crowded at the high festivals. This shows that we are on the eve of an important era of progress, not at the end of our career. To say then that the Jew has seen his highest [Page 190] 190 OUR CHARITIES. state of development in America, is absolute folly. The Israelite has only commenced to be in tliis coun– try. If now we lay the foundation of our societies wisely and honestly, the small beginnings may grow into a blissful and great ending; hence, if we have commenced our institutions in the right spirit and in the proper direction, we should not despise the small and unsightly beginning; and only by fostering what is noble among us can we arrive ultimately at the proper result. Let us apply this to the case of the Education Society. You may say that you have not yet seen the good it has done; but reflect that the educational system which we have commenced is only four years old within one month. Thus far it has striven, just as a settler in a new country has to do with the diseases to which he becomes subject by the change of residence, such as the yellow–fever or any similar malady incident to the climate, who, though he may still be weak and feeble after his recovery, will feel sure that he is exempt in future from a similar danger; the climate had at first not suited him ; and by the attack of the disease which he has undergone, a change has taken place within him, permitting him a lonsrer residence in his new home without dan from local causes of sickness. Precisely this is the case with religious education among the Jews in America. It has survived the danger of acclimating, and it has shown signs of vitality which its friends had scarcely hoped for and its enemies did not be– lieve it to possess. Or you may compare this ncwly– awakencd desire for information to the infantile state of man, which is incident to many afflictions pecu– liarly its own, which it has, nevertheless, to eucoun– [Page 191] OUR CHARITIES. 191 ter. We may say then of our infant that, though it has barely cut its teeth, and has scarcely learned to walk, it has already withstood some of the diseases which all infants have to encounter, and we have well–ibunded hopes that it will survive later attacks of other disorders, as it has triumphantly combatted those which it has already overcome. The practicability of uniting scientific and religious education has been already proved; but there exists yet much disinclination in some parents to send their children to schools where the trainincr of the head and heart is confided to the same persons; we must leave it to time to vindicate the propriety of the course we have adopted; and then the means, which are now neglected for the improvement of the moral state of the Israelites of America, will to a surety be as eagerly seized as they are now left unheeded. In the mean– while we must rest satisfied with the experimental schools which we have started here and there, and not expect too much at once, by looking for results which cannot flow legitimately from the materials at our command ; still, we may maintain, that we are in the right road of ameliorating, to a high degree, the misery of the humbler classes. Now, as regards the giving of charity, I have al– ready remarked that we are pursuing a planless sys– tem, which is, in consequence, fraught with more or less injury. IsTon–labouring and dependence I hold to be the most useless state to which man can be re– duced ; I have accordingly spoken with several gen– tlemen to ascertain if some strong eftbrt cannot be made to see whether the poor could not be compelled to improve their condition. Perhaps a practicable [Page 192] 192 OUR CHARITIES. plan might be devised. — I care not how many socie– ties you institute for the collection of charity–funds, provided they are managed by one distributing board ; it matters not whether the societies are for sewing garments for the poor, for giving away money, cloth– ing, groceries, for paying house–rent, or for educating indigent children. Let ever so much money be col– lected, it is of no consequence, if even it be more than is needed; but the distribution should be intrusted to a single committee, say from ten to a hundred, ac– cording to the size of the place and the exigencies of the times; the more numerous the better, provided only that the members act in concert. At least two thousand dollars,* or their equivalent, are collected every year in Philadelphia, and notwithstanding a certain degree of vigilance, 3'ou find that the un– worthy sometimes obtain relief; and, as things are now conducted, it is impossible to discriminate be– tween the really poor and needy, and the impostors. A person who as president of a society has, say, four hundred dollars to distribute, has not the time to walk about town to investigate wlio is worthy, and who is * Since the date of this the Relief Society was started. Annual collections are made to provide more amply than before the neces– sities for the poor, espccially indigent widows, the number of whom has largely increased ; still the leak cannot be tilled even thus, not– withstanding many mutual assistance societies have been formed, from the treasuries of which the members are relieved during sick– ness, and on the occasion when death invades their homes. The Relief–system started here has been followed in Baltimore, Cincin– nati, Chicago, and perhaps elsewhere, and it finds its counterpart in the Board of Guardians in London ; but, as said, poverty is yet on the increase, simply because the increase of luxuries makes it hard for the poor to procure sufficient food and clothing. [Page 193] OUR CHARITIES. 193 iiiiwortby; he cannot afford to leave his business, perhaps every day, to find out who is undeserving of the public bounty of which he is the almoner. This is the case with every benevolent institution, both here and in New York, with the exception of the ladies' benevolent and sewing societies, where a visit– ing committee sees after the wants of the poor by personal inspection, before granting temporary relief. But this dealing out of charity, no matter whether given to the deserving or unworthy, is, after all, only prolonging the state of poverty, without permanently removing it. If you give a man on any day in Janu– ary some groceries, a few loaves of bread, half a ton of coal, a few garments, and so forth, he will in a very few days be in no better condition than before; he cannot earn anything with what you have given him ; and, when want pinches him again in February, he is compelled to come again to you and ask for relief; you may indeed refuse, thinking he has had enough; but he is compelled to beg, because, having nothing profitable to do, he has no other resource. But there are a great number of men in Philadel– phia, and elsewhere, who are truly beneficent, who are ever glad to extend real relief to the needy, if they knew that they were honest and trustworthy, and if the whole matter could be systematized. The benevolent feelings of all of you are constantly ap– pealed to ; and I would be glad to know whether all the sums thus constantly given away could not be better placed in the hands of a committee? How many dollars, half dollars and quarter dollars are not taken from every one of you, every winter, by the immediate applications of the needy; since the least VOL. X. 17 [Page 194] 194 OUR CHARITIES. you can do for them, is to give to any one who asks. If a man now appeals to me, and keeps me half au hour standing to listen to his tale of distress, I lose half an hour's time, which I cannot aflbrd to do; I would rather at any time give him half a dollar and so be rid of him at once, than be detained by the re– hearsal of his story. The cheapest thing I can do is to give him something and to let him go his way. But this is one of the most ill–advised modes of aiding the distressed. If a man has succeeded so well with me in getting what he asked for, or perhaps more than he expected, it has encouraged him to go to all who are known to give,* where he will be relieved, in all probability, in the same thoughtless manner; he has thus obtained what he needs, but it has engen– dered the very spirit of dependence, which is so hurt– ful, and he has received an encouragement for beg– gary, or increased it if it existed before, because he has obtained charity in this easy manner. If we, how– ever, create a charity–fund of two or three thousand dollars at the commencement of every winter–season, by throwing together all the various collections of the different societies, and such sums as individuals might deem proper to devote annually to objects of benefac– tion : we might have a regular bureau, to be presided over by a president, a gentleman of leisure and benevo– lence, to be aided by a secretary, to whom a salary might be allowed for his services. The president should be at the office at certain times, and the secre– * There is a perfect understanding among beggars as regards those whom they may appeal to in order to get money, while they instinctively avoid the houses the occupants of which are known as those who turn the poor away from their doors. [Page 195] OUR CHARITIES. 195 tary during every afternoon in the inclement season, and at stated periods of the summer and autumn, in order to write down in a proper book the names and residences of all applicants for relief. It then should be the duty of the visiting committees, divided into proper subdivisions, to visit the poor in their domi– cils,* or, when they are transient strangers, to make –proper inquiries into their character; and only when all things are found right, should relief be granted by an order of the president, to the extent the committee might recommend, and in accordance with the amount of funds on hand. If temporary relief only is needed, it can be, under this arrangement, as well bestowed as now; but with the existence of such a committee, and a bureau† of charity, it would be very easy to give to a worthy poor man a small amount of money to start some little business by which he might be enabled to support himself The sum of twenty dollars, which he needs not for immediate use, is a small fortune to a poor man ; but how is he to get it under the present system of arrangement? He, per– haps, is a stranger in our midst; nobody knows him ; hence no one will lend him, for fear of being de– ceived. But if we had such a charity–fund, with such an administration as I have just sketched, those who could prove a respectable character would find a pa– tient hearing, and could be assisted with from twdnty to fifty dollars, either to pursue the handicraft trade to which "they had been trained, or such a small busi– * This is now done by the Relief Association, † This is yet a desideratum, as our societies have not formed the necessary union. [Page 196] 196 OUR CHARITIES. ness as they might prove themselves capable of man– aging. This would have the blessed result, that those who were once relieved would never, perhaps, have the necessity again to apply for assistance in future. But there are others who cannot earn a living under any circumstances ; these are now sent to the poor– house ; and now and then we hear that a poor Jew has died in such an asylum without any one ever knowing of his decease, or without any one being with him in the hour of his death. Or we hear of a Jewish brother or sister exposed to the contaminating influence of a charity–hospital, or a similar asylum of the insane. I will not enumerate instances within my knowledge, of persons belonging to respectable native families being so treated. But it is evident to you, ladies and gentlemen, that you would do a great deal of good, if you could find the ways and means by which you might succeed in establishing houses for the aged and unhappy. I would demand more than a Foster Home for Indigent Children ; I would also direct public notice to the aged and intirm, whose lot must otherwise be the resort to the poor–house. Some people have said in this connexion, that they would give their support to an asylum for the poor, though they do not like a mere foster home. For my part I am no enemy of the institution for which I am pleading. If I am opposed to some who may by chance be called to become its managers, whom I do not think fit for the office, I am not for this reason opposed to the object in view. But I am in earnest when saying that I would not place a child of mine in charge of a person who ridicules the customs of our religion ; nor would I vote for a man or woman to direct a public [Page 197] OUR CHARITIES. 197 charity in whose conduct I could have no confidence. If there was such a one, I would never permit him or her, with my suftrage, to preside over your new in– stitution. I do not assert that such a thing exists, but express merely my sentiments with regard to the moral qualification of the persons who should, of right, be intrusted with the important charge you have just created. I expressed the same sentiments to some of the persons elected managers of the Foster Home, even before the society had been formed. The home should be Jewish in all respects. Let there be union in the counsels of the lady–managers with regard to the religious training of the children ; nothing that is forbidden by our laws should ever enter the walls of the asylum ; nothing like profanation of the Sabbath and holy–days must be permitted on any account. And to insure this, the president should be a religious person; for, if a bad example be set by those in au– thority, the children will follow it, not thinking it wrong; hence, the irreligious president is not fit to train the nurslings of your benevolence, because she cannot, by precept and example, teach them to respect God and his commands, seeing that she herself holds them in light esteem. I am honest, and I go for charity in its utmost and real sense; not for mere giving what I do not need myself, but for "love," "benevolence," and "right– eousness;" these noble traits I want to preside over all our institutions; and where these are not, there is no Judaism ; and where there is no Judaism I want no asylum, or rather, I want no asylum without Judaism. But in addition to the Foster Home, we must en– 17* [Page 198] 198 OUK CHARITIES. deavour to find help for the suffering poor, who from their infirmities require the care of others. If Phila– delphia herself is not rich enough, we can call on yew York and Baltimore, and let us thus have an asylum in common with our sister cities for those who suffer the greatest of all deprivations, helplessness and com– pulsory inaction. During occasional visits to New York, I have heard such tales of distress as are calcu– lated to make the human heart weep. I have, for in– stance, been told by a gentleman connected with one of the benevolent societies of that city, that he once entered, during a cold winter day, a room, where a woman, who had just given birth to a child, was lying on a bundle of straw. There was not a bed, not a fire, no furniture, where that poor woman was endur– ing the pains of maternity. There is no need of any art to heighten this picture of real sorrow; it is a tale which in its simplicity must harrow up your feelings, much more so than that of suffering infancj–. How much distress is there wherever we turn ! let us there– fore strive to aid all to the best of our ability; but let us not foster one thing alone to the neglect of all others. We have many benevolent persons among us; yet those whose heart beats in the right place have not their hands full of silver. But let those who can afford it say, "We will," and the thing must succeed. Let us have a union of the Israelites of Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore, and call upon the Jews in the various cities to contribute together a fund to es– tablish a home for the helpless needy. In New York alone, there is a degree of suffering such as no pen can describe. Emigrants arrive there, every day al– [Page 199] OUR CHARITIES. 199 most, from Europe, in such numbers as though they expected gold was to be found in the streets. But when they have come, instead of gold, the picture is changed, and they find distress of every kind meeting them at every step. Where are they to go to? The poor–house ! It is not fit for the reception of honest Is– raelites. But could we not have ourselves an asylum, where the Jew could find protection ? A poor–house, such as where the vicious and the vagrant are admitted with the good and worthy, I do not want to see estab– lished among Israelites. A Jewish lazar–house, a Jewish beggar–house, I do not wish to behold. Such a thing would be a cancer which would eat up our vitals. I detest the idea of an institution where all who are poor, let the cause be what it may, are housed together, and treated alike, like paupers. The word pauper grates on my ear. I cannot bear to hear it. E"one of our brothers and sisters should ever be clothed with the peculiar poor–house garb, which points them out to all as being the recipients of public charity. A house for the able–bodied poor I never wish to see. In large cities like New York, Philadelphia, and the like, there may be occasion for general poor–houses, where those who have not the immediate means of support are received, for longer or shorter periods; for these men, without visible means of earning a livelihood, cannot be allowed to prowl about, houseless and foodless, to become mid– night plunderers and assassins; it is wise, therefore, to remove them to a place where they are at least watched at night and their egress barred. But for Israelites I want something far above the poor–house ; we should have an asylum for the unfor– [Page 200] 200 OUR CHARITIES. tunate; for those whose hair is blanched, whose strength is exhausted; for those who can work no longer. Let us have an association to eflect this good measure, and the Foster Home could at the same time be fitly connected with it. Among the aged poor there are many who would be good superinten– dents of youth; and they would thus contribute in a happy way for their own support by doing good to others, if they were only fed, clothed, and housed, so that they need not to dread for their bare subsistence. We must not entertain a suspicion of all the poor be– cause they lack wealth, to regard them as criminals, or worthless, and consequently not fit to take chafge of children; on the contrary, let them in their decay find kindness and sympathy ; be protected by the same roof which shields helpless infancy, and they will be able to teach much that is useful to the chil– dren, and take care of those whom you have under your charge and protection. While the worthy poor see that, if they labour honestly while their strength lasts, they will not be cast off by their Jewish brothers and sisters when their ability to toil has failed, nor be allowed to de– pend on beggary for a support, nor be sent at last to the poor–house, among unfriendly strangers, when they are become old, but have the prospect of a nice comfortable room, with a pleasant fire during the winter, and a cheerful light in the evening–hours, in which they may spend the reinnant of their days when they can work no longer : they will feel an in– centive to labour, for they will behold before them a substantial reward for lionest exertions; since they will see that they will not be forsaken in the hour of [Page 201] OUR CHARITIES. 201 need, and will therefore pursue their avocation witli assiduity and hopefulness. And though they are poor themselves, and have never felt the genial smiles of fortune, they will readily discover that the Almighty has provided them kind and generous friends ; and therefore they will exert all their energies with a cheerful mind, and feel the most powerful induce– ment to be honest, upright, self–reliant, and frugal ; because there is hope smiling at them from a dis– tance ; because there is a home, a refuge for them at the last, where they can compose their weary limbs, and die in peace, surrounded by persons of their own faim, friends in words and deeds. All of you have met with some vicissitudes in life, and then when you had hope of better things and happier days, your spirits were raised above your then condition; but you must have experienced a corresponding depression from the want of hope. When you toil and labour, and labour and toil, and see that it is all of no use, and that your efforts are fruitless : everything will naturally seem to go wrong with you, and your courage will sink in consequence. The next step perhaps is, that you seize the poisonous dram–cup, and you drink to drown your sorrows; and you tall lower and lower, until you are a drag on society, because you are without hope, and you will become degraded, because there is nothing to cheer you on. But, be you ever so humble, ever so poor, ever so far sunk beneath the level of fashionable so– ciety, and see only a faint gUmmer of hope: you will seize upon it, and feel there is yet something to toil for, something yet to labour for; and if the humble have this incentive, and they feel that the end of [Page 202] 202 OUR CHARITIES. their life shall not be passed among the pauper popu– lation of the poor–house, they can toil, though the present remuneration be but small. The poor do work to a degree of which joa who have plenty can form no idea; and the women of this class especially, will stitch, and stitch, and stitch, night and day, to earn daily a miserable pittance of twenty–iive cents. Hence it is to be presumed, that a poor woman will strain every nerve to earn a good reputation for hon– esty and industry, if she feel that thereby she entitles herself to be taken to that home in which she can rest peacefully in the evening of her days. I am sorry that the number of my hearers is so small this evening, as I should be glad if the view offered to you might attract the attention and co–op– eration of many ; but you that are here can carry farther the plan I have laid before you from the in– most sincerity of my heart. I do feci that the Jew is a noble creature, and hence his love of equality, and his self–respect. You may think at times that he is obtrusive, not polite enough when he addresses you, or not obsequious to a sufficient degree when soliciting your kindness. But the nature of the Jew is such, that he docs not feel that degradation in his mind, nor the great distance of position which sepa– rates him from those higher than himself, as men of other nations do. He is conscious that he dares to speak to his brother, as a matter of right, and to ask liim for assistance, though he may be above him in life, both as regards wealth and standing. For my own part, I must confess that I do not feel myself in the least degraded by taking the poor man by the liand, nor honoured by shaking hands with a rich [Page 203] OUR CHARITIES. 203 man. The conviction which the Jew has, that we are all children of the same God, will preserve him walking erect in positions where others are apt to fall. The Jew cannot be made to believe that every person is so far above him, as not to be a creature of God like himself; and I say, that instead of blaming him for this proud consciousness of equality, we ought to praise him for entertaining it, and regret deeply if he were to exchange it for that cringing and whining so often observed in the mendicants of foreign lands. We should therefore encourage, by all means, the Jew in maintaining his individual independence; and to do this eftectually we should educate his children, that they may be also imbued with the ancient high– born self–esteem as the chosen people of God. And if we mean to carry out this elevated system of train– ing in the persons of Jewish children, if we wish to render future generations of our brothers an orna– ment to our name in America : we must make it a rule that parents shall not be entitled to relief from our charities, unless they give their children the ad– vantages of a religious and at least an ordinary gram– mar–school education. And if we had an association which could say authoritatively that no one should be aided from its funds unless he is deserving, we would at once remove from all that feeling of dependence which teaches many to beg, to ask, to receive ; since a judicious and adequate charity would only be the reward of industry and integrity. The duty of every man in life is to labour for his support; it is the des– tiny of Adam's progeny, a blessing no less than a curse pronounced against our first parents for sin– ning. Hence it is nothing wrong to demand of every [Page 204] 204 OUR CHARITIES. man to work, while he is able, for his support; since idleness is not excusable in rich or poor. Therefore we may maintain that the idea that charity is a duty, is perfectly just; it is the essence of benevolence founded on religion. The one who has the means should give freely to him that needs his aid. But the idea that it is his duty to receive charity is false ; it is an irreligious notion that one is bound to support the able–bodied in idleness. The Bible teaches us (Le– viticus XXV. 26), "that we should aid our fellow–man who hath become reduced, so that he may live with us," meaning by his own exertion, as we live by in– dustry in a state of independence. Not locked up in a poor–house should our brother be, but dwelling freely in his own home, surrounded by his blooming children, with his happy wife smiling upon him. We should therefore strive to render the poor man's home pleasant and holy; to give him opportunity to rise from his humble condition, and to educate his chil– dren to become industrious citizens and God–fearing men. But in addition to this, we should provide a place of refuge, a home for the unfortunate who have not the means to support themselves, nor the ability to labour any Ibnger with their own hands. Only those, however, who can justly claim our charity should be received there; for those, who as idlers and vicious are duly lit for a common poor–house, will have no right to a place in a Jewish asylum. If a person does not belong there by his own merits, we need him not, we want him not. If he is a criminal, if he is vicious, if he is idle, let him be taken to the common resort where his equals are received; we are taxed for the support of all such, [Page 205] OUR CHARITIES. 205 and those who despise our religion, who dishonour our name, have no right to demand or to expect our special protection, which should, as said, be granted only to those whose greatest fault is their poverty, but who in all other respects are the equals of the noblest and best. Yes, let it be the practice of every Jewish man who has plenty, to give on all occasions to those who need; but let him bestow his means freely, amply, gener– ously, that in the words of Scripture, " Our brother may live with us;" so that all may be encouraged to rely on God for his blessing, and not be made de– pendent on the bitter gifts of flesh and blood. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for the attention you have bestowed on my extemporaneous remarks, which I have addressed to you this evening; and I trust that the lapse of time will induce you to think much more seriously yet on what has been thus so crudely offered for your consideration. In the mean– while, strive to make the Foster Home which you have commenced a permanent and well–known insti– tution among us, in which Jewish children can learn to fear and love their God, and issue thence useful and noble members of society; but reflect, that your object should solely be to alleviate the suffering of the poor, not to teach them dependence. Therefore, endeavour to place your charges under such proper guidance, that they may become a blessing and hap– piness to all around them. And if this be done, the favour of the Most High will fall on those who were the first to do the good deed, who called such a benev– olent society into existence. But let there be a thor– ough union among managers and contributors, a union VOL. X. 13 [Page 206] 206 OUR CHARITIES. in which no evil feelings shall be engendered ; where no jealousy, as to who shall be greatest, whose advice is to be taken, shall mar the happy result of united and peaceful counsels. Let the children also see that the visiting committees are their friends, in whom they may confide all their infantile sorrows, as though the ladies were their mothers, of whom many of them have been bereft by the hand of death. A mother! O, sacred word ! I can barely call back the time when I had a mother — that dear parent who, early called from earth, has left an unfilled void in her child's heart. — And O ! what a blessing it will be to those who have lost their mother, to feel that in your man– agers they have found those benevolent, true–hearted Israelites, who will supply to thera, as far as strangers can, the place of that gentle, kind, benignant, loving parent, — the Mother ! [Page 207] THE END OF LIFE. 207 ADDRESS I. the end of life.* My Friends! We are assembled here this day to dedicate and set apart this inclosure as a burial–place for Israelites, as a spot where they who are returned to the dust may repose side by side with those who have been dear to them in life. We dedicate it as a family burial– ground, wherein they who desire it may purchase the right of being interred near their friends and rela– tives, where their mortal remains may mingle with each other to await together the summons of the Most High to call them back to life. And, though what is to be interred here is only the lifeless clay, there is still a melancholy satisfaction in the thought that, when our soul is fled, we shall still be surrounded by those who were the near of kin of us, though they, like us, sleep the slumber of death. Hence we have met to dedicate this ground for this purpose, and we are assembled on this spot to devote it by prayer and word for the melancholy purpose for M'hich it is destined. And we must not shrink from the contemplation which it forces on our mind ; for the doom of all is to pass away from this earth into its bosom, and to quit, sooner or later, the scenes of * Being the substance of an address delivered at the dedication of the burying–ground of the JVIount Sinai Cemetery Association of Philadelphia, December 25th (Kislev 24th), 5614, [Page 208] 208 THE END OF LIFE. busy life. And so sajs the preacher (Ecclesiastes vii. 2) : " It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting ; inasmuch as death is the end of all men ; and let he that llveth lay this to his heart." It is indeed well to turn aside occasionally from the merry scenes which attract us, — from mirth, the dance, the sumptuous table, the pleasant gathering, and go where men lament the departure of some valued friend; since if we live a short or long time, whether we be cut off at our birth, or our days be prolonged to the verge of extreme old age, our end must come, and death will gather us into his garners. "It is the end of all men," let us therefore prepare for its coming, by leading such a life that we shall be prepared to exchange the mortal for the immortal, the temporal for the eternal. And so also continues the same sacred authority (ix. 5), "For the living know that they will die; but the dead know not the least, nor have they longer any reward; for their memory is forgotten. Also their love, and their ha– tred, and their envy, are now already lost; and they will have nevermore a portion in all that is done under the sun." Yes, even if we put aside all thought of our ap\iroaching end, the unwelcome conviction will force itself upon us in our most joyous moments, that we nmst die; that the rewards of our toil on earth, the profits of commerce and the glory of our deeds will perish with us when we are borne to the [Page 209] THE END OF LIFE. 209 grave; that our friendships, our aversions, our envi– ous heart–burnings at the success of others will not survive our activity; and that even the memory of us will soon die away from the children of man. It is truly an unpleasant reflection that after all our striv– ing, our pushing, our ceaseless labour, we shall not long survive in the recollection of those who are left after our going home to the earth whence we sprung; but the fact is, nevertheless, so, that few indeed of our acts will be remembered, even if we are the ex– alted of the earth, and that the vast majority of men pass away, and leave no trace behind. Were it now that this were all of life, who would desire to live? how many pains, how many suflferings, have we not to endure from the day of our entrance on the stage of existence till its close ! Indeed the afflictions which Providence sends us we can submit to; for in every trial there is a balm, there is a con– solation which sweetens every bitterness. We can stand by the bier of the early departed, by the grave of those with whose existence our own being was en– twined, and say, "The Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord." We feel that they are safe within his holy keeping, and we can resign them to the will of our and their eter– nal Father. But what can we say when the wicked tyrannize over us, when we feel the agony of oppres– sion without the means of resisting it? It is hard then to yield; it is difiicult then to tell our swelling heart, Be still. And yet there are men who delight in injuring their fellows, who cause the tear of the widow and the orphan to flow, who are known as those who are at enmity with their species, yielding 18* [Page 210] 210 THE END OF LIFE. obedience only to the evil implanted in their nature. Let nie admonish you, my hearers, not to belong to the class just described. You know you must die, you know that you must render an account of your actions before the unerring Judge. Be it, therefore, your effort to walk about among your fellow–men do ing good and seeking peace; to comfort those who mourn, and to aid those who need assistance; so that the blessings of the helpless may follow you, and your own sensations of good accomplished may sweeten the trials and afflictions which of necessity await j–ou. Permit me now to revert briefly to the object of your organization, in which I have taken part as a member of your society. It has been said that you meant to separate from the congregations already es– tablished here in order to organize a new and changed form of worship. So far as known to me, I can pro– nounce this charge unfounded; if I understand you aright, you merely have contemplated to have a family burial–place, removed from the busy scenes of com– merce and the centre of a large city, where the dead of your household may lie undisturbed by the march of improvement, as it is termed, and where you can purchase the privilege of interring all belonging to you in the same inclosure, and not have their graves scattered over a wide space, which privilege was hith– erto not attainable in the burying–grounds of the es– tablished congregations. In such a wish I see nothing unreasonable, nothing against our established cus– toms, nothing at which the most pious need feel any alarm : and if it had been otherwise, I would not have become a member of your body. But it may be said, that by organizing a cemetery–association [Page 211] THE END OF LIFE. 211 where every person can purchase a burial–lot for a moderate price, we may injure the finances of the congregations already in existence ; as many now be– long to them merely to have the privilege of burial in a Jewish burying–ground. I will not deny the force of this objection; but so far from deeming it of any weight against our enterprise, I would say em– phatically, that synagogues would be better oft" by being rid of such nominal Jews. They forsooth care not what they do all their life; whether they violate all the duties incumbent on them; whether they enter a place of worship all the year round : all they wish for is to be buried as Jews when they can sin no more, to be received into the place where the faithful rest, when their career is ended. If this, I say, be all which attaches them to the synagogue, they had bet– ter not visit it, or rather, hold nominally a seat there; since it is not worship, not devotion which impels them to it, but merely that when dead they may be interred as Jews. This is wrong, and only to be de– fended as a financial measure, which is, to say the least, a matter of doubtful propriety. But let me urge you not to be less attentive to the welfare of the congregations to which you belong than you have been hitherto; continue to contribute to the public treasury as though 3'ou had not the right of burial secured in a cemetery of your own ; separate your– selves not from the bodies to whom you were for– merly attached; and let it be seen that your belong– ing to a synagogue is owing to a nobler sentiment than merely to purchase thereby the right of inter– ment; since it is just that we should come to the house of God for the purpose of uttering thanks to [Page 212] 212 THE END OF LIFE. Him for his mercy, to ask Ilim for assistance in the hour of need, and to join with our brothers in invok– ing his holy and adorable Name. You have dedicated this land as a burial–place for Israelites; as a Jewish society you have united to de– vote it as a spot where the departed of Israel are to sleep in the dust. Be it then your endeavour to prove that the life of an Israelite is something holj', highly important to you. O do not Avaste away each hour as it speeds along, in worldliness and trifling; let not day by day flit past, and lind you the same reckless seekers after gain, the same devoted pursuers after pleasure. O speedily will the sand of life run low, and all that we cling to will fade more and more from our grasp. As Israelites 3'ou wish to be buried: seek to prepare yourselves for your inevitable end, by liv– ing as Israelites. You are sons of Jacob, who was surnaraed Israel, because he was considered a chief in favour with God, who bestowed his love and blessing on him, not from any favouritism, but because he ful– filled the duty which he owed to God, and to men as their fellow–mortal. This noble example ought to in– spire you with a sincere desire to imitate it to the ut– most of your ability ; and in every walk of life, on every occasion, forget not what may be justly de– manded of you as children of the great departed. And do not forget the words of the preacher, who says (xii. 1), "But remember also thy Creator in the days of thy youthful vigour, while the evil days are not yet come, nor those years draw nigh, of which thou wilt say, 'I have no pleasure in them.' " We are liere told not to wait till life's last days arc hast– ening along with our repentance and our eftbrt to do [Page 213] THE END OF LIFE. 213 good; that we shall not say, "I feel myself yet strong and vigorous; let me sin yet a little longer; I have not yet tasted enough of pleasure ; I have not yet had my till of excitement; it is time enough to cease en– ioving, when I can enjoy no more; it is –time enough to break off when my hair is as white as this one s, when my limbs totter like this other's." Ko, iny friends, this is not acting like Israelites; for who knows how few days may yet be ours, how soon the opportunity of doing better may be snatched from us! But let us remember that we are creatures, while we are youthfully viirorous, or robust in manly strength; let us dash from our lips the foaming bowl, while yet we can drink; let us abstain from vain enjoyment, before our strength has been wasted by excesses; let us employ the time which is given us for nobler aims than gratifying earthly desires, before the age of de– crepitude is upon us, those gloomy days of a joyless old ao–e, which is sure to follow on the indulgence of the passions, when the thoughts of past pleasures the more embitter the feeling of inability to participate in them any longer. How much more becoming in us is it to use the gifts of God in moderation, to taste of his bounties in the manner which his law permits ns– to eat and drink, and pursue the delights of life with reference to the good of our soul, no less than the gratification of the body; by which we shall ef– fect that the years of age, when they do come will not be a burden to us, and we shall then be ab e to await the termination of our days as those who have founded their strong support in the mercy of their Creator. , "Because," so continues the preacher, "man goeth [Page 214] 214 THE END OF LIFE. to his eternal home, and the mourners go about in the streets." Let us Uve ever so long, the fate de– creed over mankind is sure to overtake us; the rest appointed for all living is destined for us no less than them ; and we must away, whether we are prepared or not. A few tears may be shed for us; the mourn– ers may follow the bier on which we are borne to the grave through the streets ; a crowd may gaze on as our funeral procession passes; but all this is nothing to us, we must go to our eternal home : — earth claims back her portion, while God will take to himself what He hath delegated to our keeping, " When the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return unto God who gave it." God has given us the spirit to direct the house of clay in which it is placed; but we should endeavour to preserve it pure, that it may return, when the day of separation of matter and spirit comes, as holy, as innocent as on the day it was breathed into our nostrils. Thus only will the body rest in peace according to the decree of our Father in heaven; and the spirit will then enjoy that happiness for which it is destined for the future. So, then, we dedicate this ground as a resting–place for the departed of the children of Israel, who may be borne hither to find their sepulchre. As yet no tears have bedewed the soil on which we stand ; the earth here has not yet been opened to receive the cherished dust of those dear to our hearts. But how soon may it be that death will invade our domicils, and snatch away those who are precious and beloved ! The hand of death is ever busy; his chariot wheels revolve over the earth ceaselessly, unpityingly ; from tlie husband the wife is torn, and out of the mother's [Page 215] THE END OF LIFE. 215 embrace, the child. Be then admonished, ye who now hear me, be prepared for the coming of the de– stroyer, let it be when it may ; live so that you may always be at peace with God, at peace with man ; so that you can join in prayer when your last hour is come, and say, in the sincerity of faith and hope, " Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is alone Eternal," with a full assurance that his deeds are all mercy, his chastisements, the road to salvation. There is no evil in his government; everything He dispenses is a means of our happiness; nay, death itself is but a transition from one state of life to another, and it is the passage through the portals which open for us the mansions of eternity. God is too good to delight in the suiferings of those He has created; there is no malevolence in his presence, no pleasure when those on earth endure pain. Only when through the purifi– cation by suffering man's happiness can be secured, does the Almighty permit what we call evil, to befall us ; and in the same measure as we bear with resig– nation what He dispenses, will be the purifying effects of the chastisement we meet with. They are to teach us to reflect on our past deeds; they are to recall us to ourselves: and if they do this, we can freely thank our Father who has brought us back to himself by the rod which He sent, when prosperity failed to chain us to his religion which He gave us for our happiness. O, our God is good ; and we are his in health and in sickness, in life and in death ; and let us invoke his blessing on our undertaking, and pray to Him that it may yet be very long before the tears of an– guish are shed in this place, which we have to–day dedicated as a Jewish sepulchre. [Page 216] 216 LIFE AND ETERNITY. ADDRESS n. life and eternity.* Brethren and Friends ! When we are assembled, as at this day, over the remains of departed worth, near the last resting– place of a man well known and esteemed in the com– munity of which he was for 3'ears an honoured mem– ber, thoughts will involuntarily crowd upon the mind, and we will, in the consciousness of human frailty, exclaim with the Psalmist : " "Who is the man that can live and not see death, and cause his Boul to escape from the power of the grave, Selah?" Psalm Ixxxix. 49. From the moment of our birth, our soul will tell us, we are travelling onward to the consummation appointed for us, and everything around us is a pledge that we must return to the dust as we were in the flesh, whilst the spirit will return to God who gave it. Days dawn and they close, they break upon us in health and in sickness, prosperity may be in our dwell– ing, or we may be oppressed by the weight of adverse * An address delivered at the funeral of Mr. John Moss, who de– parted this life on Monday, the 5th of April, 5607, and was buried on Thursday the 8tht [Page 217] LIFE AND ETERNITY. 217 fortune ; but be they days of joy or sorrow, they can– not be recalled; and with each does the sand of life ebb in the hour–glass of our earthly existence, and nothing in our power can bring back the moments that are past, and we hasten on toward the end of our days, and we speed hence before we are almost aware that we have lived. And j'et we toil as though our labour would be ours forever; we build as though we imagined our structures would stand unmoved from generation to generation ; we heap up as though we fancied that our liold would never relax. And still we see others labour for strangers; we behold their structures fall into rapid decay, and their heaps of treasure given over to the custody of those who came into existence after them. We are amazed at the folly of others for toiling so constantly in vain ; but are we wiser? do we ourselves realize our own mor– tality with the same intensity of feeling which we apply to that of others ? I fear not; but that we are so hurried onward by our peculiar avocations, that we lose imperceptibly the knowledge that we are like all other men, mere sojourners on earth like all our fathers have been. Indeed, the earth, and its pleas– ures and its glories alone seem to attract us; each one fancies that his neighbour is engaged in the pur– suit of vanities : whilst he himself follows in the same career, though perhaps in a different manner. Each one asks for the share of the earth which he claims as his due; but where are they who labour for eternity? who seek to enrich their spirit with the treasures which never decay, with the delights which are never ending? Alas, that we cannot assure ourselves that the number of such wise ones is large, that we can– VOL. X. 19 [Page 218] 218 LIFE AND ETERNITY. not meet with many who are thus travelling upward. Ay, it is true that we are in the hands of a merciful Father, who will not reject utterly the child of his own creation, who forgives abundantly, because his mercies are great; but where are they who seek to deserve his favour? where arc they who strive to be his ministering angels on earth, to dispense blessings around them, for the reason that they have been blessed themselves? who strive to cause many to de– part from sin, because they themselves have received light from above, and knowledge has entered their souls? On the contrary, how apt are we to fancy in our vain conceit of self–righteousness, that we have done sufficient in every relation of life, that we have given enough away in charity to the poor, that we have conscientiously discharged our duty in spread– ing the religion of our God among his creatures, that in short we have fulfilled our duty entirely and truly. Hence we cast not a searching look into our conduct; perhaps we are admonished by various accidents, by a casual word of admonition which reaches our ears, that we are defective, radically sinful in our thoughts and deeds ; but we speedily apply the soporific of self– deception to our awakened conscience, we succeed in lulling it again to sleep, and fancy that daj'S, weeks, months, and years will still be ours, that at a future period we shall have more leisure and better oppor– tunities, when we will faithfully labour for heaven, after the demands of the earth are satisfied. But the years we imagine to be in store for us may never be dispensed; our thread of life may be destined to be cut short; and we are then borne hence witli all our imperfections unamended, all our sins uuatoned [Page 219] LIFE AND ETERNITY. 219 for. We fancy tbat we shall be favoured with the same opportunities, with the same or more extended means to be a blessing to others; but who warrants us that this will be so ? Do we not see that health decays in others, so that they are deprived of the power to labour? do we not often witness that the faculties of the wise depart, so that they are not able to aiford instruction ? do we not often behold riches escaping from the grasp of their possessor, so that they themselves have to depend on the bounty of others? If in pleasures of a carnal nature we are anxious to enjoy the moment, because a worldly philosophy teaches us that to–morrow we may die; if in business– matters it is the part of prudence not to let the oppor– tunity slip, which favourable circumstances place at our disposal : how much more intent ought we not then to be where it concerns the affairs of eternity ? why should I wait to exert myself in the cause of hu– manity when I have abundant health to–day, whereas this may not be to–raorrow? why shall I omit teaching the law of my God, whilst my faculties are unclouded, when I know not how soon my soul may be dark? why should I close my hand to the needy one, my brother, when I am not assured of a continuance of my days of prosperity? — These are all momentous questions, which I cannot force away from the pres– ence of ray soul, without incurring the charge of an unwise slothfulness, and an unwillingness to acknowl– edge my accountability to a higher Power, a Power which is constantly at work in all my concerns, a Power, the watchfulness of which is not withdrawn, no matter where I may be placed, and that I am super– vised by an Intelligence which takes cognizance of all [Page 220] 220 LIFE AND ETERNITY. my deeds and knows my words and thoughts. And is it not for all that so often witnessed among the sons of man, that their conduct betokens a perfect reckless– ness of their perishable state ? do they heed the admo– nition which disease, which reverses, which death in– culcate, to turn away from the path of worldly vani– ties to seek refuge in heaven? do they value eternity ? do they believe that their soul is to be judged? O it is a fearful thing, that we have to confess, that there are many who if they even do not say in their heart, " There is no God," still act as though to them there was no Supreme, that they themselves alone of all mankind had received a perfect freedom of action, an exemption from visitation for their transgression. But is it well to trust to this security, Avhich nothing in our whole experience permits us to assume as ours? Yea, our house has stood unmoved for many summers; the snows of a hundred winters shall have descended on our fields, and their fruitfulness not have been di– minished ; but is this eternity ? are we therefore re– moved from judgment? established in the possession of what we covet beyond the reach of contingencies? Let it have been well with us ever so long ; let us have enjoyed without interruption : the days of evil will to a certainty overtake us in common with other men, and perhaps when too late we will discover that we have clung to a shadow, grasped with unappeasable eagerness at vanity, which flitted away and away from our sicrht, the nearer we imagined we were about securing it unto ourselves forever. Especially is such worldlijicss reprehensible in a child of Israel, in the descendants of those men who were selected as a people of God from amidst other [Page 221] LIFE AND ETERNITY. 221 nations, with signs and with mighty wonders. Un– belief must stand rebuked before a perusal of the his– tory of Israel; there is too legibly impressed the tinger of Providence, the guidance of our God, who has con– ducted ns through tribulations without number, to bear witness to his divine rule in the world which He created in his superabundant goodness. And for what was this selection made ? was it that we should live at ease? in the enjoyment of all earthly things unre– strained and unrestricted ? The very reverse is the case; we received the laws that we might live by doing them, and we were promised blessing if we would abstain from what God had declared unto us to be unclean; our pleasures were circumscribed, and our days of labour were diminished, in order that we might obtain the approbation of the Lord by yielding obedience to his voice. To judge therefore from the evident tenor of Judaism, it was to be a religion for exalting the standard of humanity, to teach an erring world to seek for happiness in things not pertaining to earth, since in all matters of this nature we were hemmed round with prohibitions which attach not to the followers of other systems; and accordingly we find that the holy men of the Bible always regarded the favour of their God, to be obtained through obe– dience, as their highest good ; they could and did arise superior to the trials of life, and contemplated their end as an approach to their Creator, as a return of a child, after a long journey, to the hospitable home of its parent. And in truth is it not our Father's house to which we are journeying? and whilst thus on our road, are we not also in his dominion, shone on by his sun, warmed by his heat, refreshed by his light, 19* [Page 222] 222 LIFE AND ETERNITY. fed from his abniidant store–house ? Yes, labour and toil, think and reflect, and what are you without Ilim? Can you cause a single blade of grass to grow with– out his helping hand? And yet how very often do you brave his wrath, by refusing to walk in the way He bids you to go ! you will strive incessantly to make yourselves great on the earth, without heeding whether you labour within the circle set unto you by the gracious permission of your God ; He in his good– ness points out the road to salvation, whereas so many hurry away in their waywardness, and heed not the blessed voice which resounds to them in so many ways to return to the safe inclosure whilst life is spared, and they are permitted to earn beatitude through their own acts of obedience. Yes, again and again is this call renewed; as we read in Job xxxiii., "If he prayeth to God, He will be gracious to him, and he will see his face in joy, and render unto man his righteousness. If he hath acted harshly against men, and he saith, I have sinned and perverted righteous– ness, and it hath not profitted me : He redeemeth his soul from going into the pit, and his life will see the light. Behold, all these things God worketh twice, thrice with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to shine in the light of life." The light of the land of life, the bond in which the spirit of the righteous is bound up with the Creator, is the ultimate aim of the religion which He imparted to us from the be– ginning; for that we are bidden to be obedient, for that we are told to return if we liave sinned. No earthly prosperity, you will easily observe, is promised if we amend our course; but that our soul may be re– deemed from corruption to shine iu the light of true [Page 223] LIFE AND ETERNITY. 223 life, a life where the canker–worm destroys not the fruits, where no mildew nor rot destroys the harvest. And what is all earthly greatness to this glorious end, where the righteous who induced many to seek their God will shine, according to the prophecy of Daniel, like the stars for evermore ? where, though all will be blessed, those will be most exalted who have spread according to the gifts imparted to them the kingdom of God ! And who is incapable of acting in the prem– ises ? where is the humble brother who cannot lead the humble to prostrate themselves at the footstool of Grace? The field is indeed ample, the harvest promises the utmost abundance, and the reward is equally certain, even to the extent of the power of Ilim who asks of us to follow Him in his ways, to be merciful as He is merciful, to be gracious as He is gracious, to extend truth and righteousness even as He acts towards all his creatures, none of whom are too high to be reached by his power, none of whom are too humble to receive his paternal regard. These are some of the reflections which have forced themselves upon my mind whilst I was requested to accompany, with a few words, the remains of the de– parted Israelite which we have just borne to the grave. He had through his conduct obtained the esteem of the citizens of our community, who frequently sought for his advice in public emergencies, and claimed liis participation in deeds of charity in the many cases when distress fell upon those who could not help themselves. In our own congregation he always took an active part, and without saying of the dead a single word of praise beyond the strictest truth, or flattering the living by ascribing to him a merit not justly due, [Page 224] 224 LIFE AND ETERNITY. I must say that he was ever proud of being a Jew, and his hist wish was that he niisrht be interred as a son of Israel. Let us hope that liis descendants, who are numerous in our midst, may be animated by a true spirit of godliness to imitate their parent's vir– tues, and to extend the blessings wliich ample wealth places in their power. Let us hope that they will feel the sacred obligation which rests upon them as Is– raelites; the duty which is theirs to honour the mem– ory of their departed progenitor, by a firm adherence to that faith in which they are born, in which he died a firm believer. And upon us all, who are here at this mournful occasion, let it make a lasting impres– sion, that the end of life is death, and that death will bring life if we have lived as becomes servants of the Most High. Thus will this dispensation, which over– took our brother, at the ripe age of more than seventy years, redound to the advantage of all, and we shall be made wiser and better hy assembling here upon the field where sleep so many of our nearest and dearest friends, who repose in peace, in life everlast ins:, accordins: to the will of the Lord of heaven and earth. — And thou, departed spirit, go thou on thy way and arise to unending life amidst the servants of thy God on the day when lie will open the graves of his people and banish death forever, and wipe away the tear from every face, as He has spoken. Amen. O Lord our God, the Author of Life ! we pray thee to remember in mercy the spirit of thy departed ser– vant, and grant him heavenly rest in thy presence, with a forgiveness of sins and a pardon of all his trans– gressions; and let his memorial ascend before thy [Page 225] LIFE AND ETERNITY. 225 judgment–seat, and say that Thou hast found a ran– som ; for it is in thy power to save the living and the dead, inasmuch as all the world is Thine, and the graves are open before Thee, and naught can oppose thy will, or say unto Thee, " What dost Thou ?" And teach those who now mourn in the bereavement which thy justice has inflicted, to bow with meek submis– sion to thy all–wise decree, and cause them to look up unto Thee for consolation ; for Thou alone art our God who comfortest those who are grieved, and rais– est up those who are bowed down ; and let the event which humbles them be the means to cause them to seek thy favour by an adherence to thy law, that they may be cleansed from iniquity, and become worthy of thy favour, which is life everlasting. May also our prayer ascend unto Thee for the mourners of all thy people Israel, and let it be thy will to cause thy spirit to breathe a hope of better things into their souls, that they may be strengthened in Thee, and bear with meek submission the ills which have been imposed upon them ; so that, purified through the fire of trib– ulation, they may be cleansed from sin, and appear before Thee on the day of their separation from this life among those whose transgressions are pardoned, whose delinquencies are forever blotted out from the book of remembrance. Do this not for our sakes, but for the sake of thy covenant with our fathers, and for the sake of thy holy Name by which we are called. Amen. Nissan 20th. | 5607. April 6th. [Page 226] 226 FUNERAL OF MR. TOURO. ADDRESS III. FUNERAL OF MR. TOURO.* My Friends ! What is the motive which has brought us together from so many places, situated at a great distance from each other, to this spot, devoted to the repose of those who have departed this life ? What is the cause that on this field of death the unusual assembly of so many Israelites is witnessed, in this city, where none of their brothers in faith have their dwelling? It is not, as you well know, to do homage to the remains of a brave warrior who has fallen gloriously in the defence of his country, nor to honour the memory of one wlio has won for himself an imperishable renown in the world of letters ; but simply to commit to the bosom * The late Mr. Touro departed this life at New Orleans on Tebcth 10th (January), 5G14, and by his request, as expressed long before his decease, his body was conveyed to Newport, Khode Island, and interred in the Jewish cemetery there, on Tuesday, June 6th (Sivan 10th), following. Sixteen congregations and societies were assem– bled, and eight ministers. The Rev. Mr. Guthcinv, of New Orleans, delivered an affecting speech at the synagogue, which had not been ojK–ned for many years, and was found in oxcellent preservation, and the writer of this had been selected by the executors as the per– sonal friend of the deceased, to officiate at the funeral and to deliver a speech at the grave. The address itself will toll its own story, and requires no comment. It simply paints Mr. Touro as he was, and as I knew him. The full account of the funeral can be found in the Occident, vol. xii., p. 209–226. [Page 227] FUNERAL OF MR. TOURO. 227 of the eartli what is mortal of our friend, Jiiclah ToLiro, — a phiin man, an unassuming merchant, who breathed his last in the quiet of his chamber, far away in the metropolis of the sunny South, not surrounded by his own flesh and blood, but those who watched over him from motives of duty and aftection — an af– fection enkindled in their hearts by his kindness and uniform charity with which he treated all who ap– proached him. Eighty years have elapsed since the minister of the Jewish congregation which then flour– ished in this isle of the sea was greeted by the birth of a son ; and, after four scores of summer and win– ter have chased each other over our globe, the wan– derings of this son are brought to a close, and he is to be interred here where his kindred sleep, mourned for by many who knew him not when living, hon– oured by those to whom his person was unknown. And ask we " Why ?" The answer will present itself at once, if you regard those who surround his bier. He amassed wealth by honest frugality; treasures flowed into his coffers in the pursuit of his mercantile enterprises; he had no one near him who was bound to him by the ties of blood and kindred; yet he squandered not his acquisitions in extravagance and intemperance, in boisterous wassail or secret de– bauchery; but he relieved distress when it presented itself to his benevolent eye; when he saw the naked, he clothed them, and those that needed food obtained it at his hands, whether they belonged to his faith and country, or whether they worshipped at other shrines, and had first seen the light of day in foreign lands. And if 3'ou had seen him in his daily walks, you would not have suspected him to be the man of [Page 228] 228 FUNERAL OF MR. TOURO. "wealth, and the honoured protector of the poor, as he was ; the exterior of our brother betrayed not the man witliin. But when he gave you his hand, when he expressed in his simple manner that you were wel– come, you could not doubt his sincerity : you felt convinced that he was emphatically a man of truth, of sincere benevolence. And thus he lived for many years, unknown to the masses, but felt within the circle where his character could display itself without ostentation and obtrusiveness, at a period when but few of his faitli were residents of the same city with him. But when they began to multiply around him, his love for the people of his belief was awakened anew within him, and he looked about himself for the means of supplying a permanent home for his religion in the vicinity where he resided. And if you have ever been in New Orleans, where Mr. Touro lived for full half a century, you will have seen an elegant structure, with the necessary out–buildings attached, which he presented, somewhat more than four years ago, to the congregation, the " Dispersed of Judah," the Minister* and President of which are now present to join Avith us in entombing the benefactor of their institutions. And if you have ever been present dur– ing the hours of worship in the house bestowed as a free gift, without solicitation, on his fellow–Israelites, you may have observed a plainly–dressed old man, seated in a corner in the upper portion of the S3'na– gogue, devoutly engaged in prayers, not throwing about his eyes to the right or to the left, but feeling, so far as a man might judge from the manner he ex– * Bevd. J. K. Gutheim and tlie late Gershom Kuscheedt. [Page 229] FUNERAL OF MR. TOURO. 229 hibited, as an humble mortal in the presence of" his Creator; and all the honour he ever received was the office of opening the ark where the testimony is de– posited before the reading of the law. And if you had been privileged to witness the depositing of the stone commemorating his noble gift beneath the en– trance of the synagogue, on the day it was dedicated with song and thanksgiving to the Eternal One, the God of Israel, you would have seen the picture of heartfelt pleasure illuminating his placid countenance, as he, with his own hand, applied the mortar to the tablet which witnesses that he voluntarily parted with a property which others would have regarded as securing them an independence for life. But when his hour came to be summoned away to the place destined for all the living, was witnessed the greatest triumph of his abode on earth. While permitted to look forward to additional years of life, in comparative good health, his natural timidity pre– vented him from consummatino; various benevolent endowments which he had contemplated. But when he saw that his time approached to die, he dictated, with an unclouded mind, the manner in which his wealth was to be appropriated after his decease. And let me call your attention, my friends, to the noble manner in which our deceased brother–Israelite dis– tributed what still was his, and over wdiich both his religion and the law of the land permitted him to ex– ercise an unchecked control. He thought of the widow and orphan in his own city and where he had dwelt in his youth, and devoted a portion of his means to their relief; and those to whom he has contided this trust are not of his own faith and kindred, and VOL. X. 20 [Page 230] 230 FUNERAL OF MR. TOURO. probably no Israelite will ever claim any benefit from these lunds. He thought of the poor in his own city, and endowed a home of refuge to receive them in the day of their distress. He thought of those of his own persuasion who suffer from the lieavy hand of disease, and supplied the means to afford them relief, in seve– ral cities. He thought of the new and weak congre– gations in various towns, and afforded them the means to carry on their holy mission in dispensing the bless– ings which our faith is so well calculated to bestow. He thought of the necessity of diffusing religious education to the children of Israel ; and with wise discrimination selected those institutions best calcu– lated to further this end, to make Jewish religion and Jewish literature accessible to the greatest numbers, lie thought of those heavenly societies whose mission it is to glide gently into the abodes of the poor, to leave there the traces of benevolence, to cheer spirits which, without this, would droop in despair and gloom. He thought of the afflicted iu the land of Israel, to provide for them assistance in their distress, and pro– tection against the arm of violence ; he, the merchant in the far West, who had lived for years separated from his people, almost a solitary worshipper of the One God, amidst those who acknowledged Him not alone, forgot not those who still linger on the soil con– secrated by so many wonderful events which marked our early history, to cheer them on in the depriva– tions to which they are subjected. And at last he forgot not cherished friendships, some of which wore formed late in life, and left them tokens of remoiu– brance, in terms of affection and endearment. But more than all, he clung, with an attachment which [Page 231] FUNERAL OF MR. TOURO. 231 nothing could sever, to the man* who had stood by him in the hour of trial, on the field where the demon of war made sad havoc among the assailants atid the assailed of the place of his residence, and bore him away to a place of safety beyond the reach of deadly missiles; and he felt a pleasure in be– stowing on him the residue of his earthly posses– sions, after satisfying the demands of benevolence — not because he needed this gift, but to show that the friendship which had endured so many years, which had been cemented amidst peace and war, se– curity and danger, deserved to be proved in a manner which few have the means to do. And let me say here, in praise of the living, that the gift has been well bestowed, if for no other cause, for the beautiful manner in which the residuary legatee has discharged all the trusts confided to him by his deceased friend; no delay which the law permits has been suftered to intervene in the bestowal of the benefactions; and what Mr. Touro had willed, his friend discharged tu the extent he was able to do it. This, therefore, is the cause of so many being here who knew Mr. Touro only by name; they come as delegates from various congregations and institutions to see the grave close over the mortal tenement cf so pure and benevolent a spirit; this is the motive which brings Israelites and Christians, the sons of Jacob and the gentile, to mingle their regrets, that one who was so kind, so gentle, so benevolent, is not any more among us to witness the fruits of his benevolence * The late Kezin D. Shepherd, who however did not imitate Mr. Touro, as he gave not a solitary penny to Jews and Jewish objects. This is a curious contrast. [Page 232] 232 FUNERAL OF MR. TOURO. which he lias planted, let us trust, in a not barren soil. And well is this a fitting moment to dwell on the beautiful spectacle which could be exhibited scarcely in any other land. We Israelites, strangers in this city, come hither with the body of a beloved brother, and leave him here to be watched over by those who are strangers to our creed; we ask of the citizens of Newport to guard inviolate the grave of our friend; not to sufter the rude arm of bigotry nor the grasp– ing hand of an avaricious march of improvement to invade the repose of the dead: and we are sure that our wishes will be gratified, and our request sacredly fulfilled. But after all, Jews and Christians are alike interested in the deposit we make here; and the city of Newport may well be proud that so rare a philan– thropist, who practically exhibited to all the most beautiful traits of a heartfelt religion, was a native of their city; — especially as it is by his own request, ex– pressed several years past already, that he has been carried to the place of his nativity, to sleep in the soil where his mother gave him birth. It is, therefore, to you, citizens of this beautiful gem of the ocean, that we confide the custody ; and when Israelites and strangers come hither in after–years, they will thank you for having guarded the dust made sacred by the blessings of so many helpless, whom his well–earned wealth was made to relieve. But it is time that we hasten to a close. "We come not hither to praise a mortal, but to consign him to the earth, the final home to which we all must return ; for " dust we arc," and " our days are only a shadow on the earth." Yet, ere we fill up the cavity which is called the grave, let us institute a few reflections [Page 233] FUNERAL OF MR. TOURO. 233 which the occasion so aptly calls forth. We are met here, at this solenm moment, from many parts of this vast republic, and never after to–day can we all meet again; every one of ua will quit this scene to return to his avocations, his business, and pleasures, and what has been witnessed to–day will barely survive as a dream in the memory. Therefore, let us utter some words of advice — peradventure they may have an in– fluence on our thoughts and actions, and induce us to be more faithful to our trust, find true to our duty to God and man. "Well says Job, "Man, born of wo– man, is short of days and full of vexation. Like a blossom he cometh forth, and is cut off; he flieth away like the shadow, and remaineth not." We realize this indeed in the residue of mankind, except ourselves; we wonder at the vanity of all earthly striving displayed by others, yet are ourselves as frivo– lous and vain as all of them. Every man has his foi– ble which he cherishes, — his idol to which he pays adoration. Yet, there are moments in the life of the most careless and worldly, when they realize their mortality, when they are sick and weary of the bur– den which their vanity has imposed on them. Ouly one thing we cannot tire of — and this is, the pursuit of what is truly good and beautiful, which is, in other words, the exercise of virtue as expounded in the re– vealed will of God and its concomitant charity. When our heart overflows with love to our Maker, when we have sacrificed to Ilim what we cherish of earth and its wealth, we feel that we have done something which dignifies our better self, which ennobles our spirit. When we have parted with our worldly means, to establish some good institution, or to deprive poverty 20* [Page 234] 234 FUNERAL OF MR. TOURO. and sorrow of their Bting, a glow of boly peace per– vades our heart, and we tell to ourselves " Tliis is well done;" for the spirit of God sanctifies our deeds and throws a foretaste of felicity over our soul. Length of years, however, the greatest power, the utmost pleasure, the largest wealth, the highest wisdom can– not afford this : they are all the means of happiness, not happiness itself. Therefore, let us feel that we are mortal, that our path is beset with thorns and briers, but that death itself leads on to everlasting life ; and that trials, overcome successfully, confer immor– tal bliss. Let us be true to our trust, faithful to our God, and we shall obtain, even in a worldly view, more surely the fruits of a laudable ambition, than by following the bent of avarice, hatred, and selfishness, which sooner or later lead to our downfall. But if we love justice, exercise benevolence, and walk hum– bly with God, we shall secure the good–will of man here, and be children of salvation hereafter. And now, departed brother, rest in peace! It was not thine to have eons and daughters to weep over thy inanimate clay; but more was given thee — thou wilt have in the house of God an imperishable name which shall not be soon forgotten. And when after– generations drink in the knowledge of the faith which was thine, they will rise up and bless thy memory; inasmuch as thou wast made the chosen instrument to endow with thy labour the schools of learning where they arc instructed. And the widow and the oiphan and the suffering stranger will breathe thy name, and ask of God to give thee heavenly rest in the abode of the blessed. And may lie who is all– merciful forgive thee thy sins and iniqiTities which [Page 235] MR. LINCOLN'S DEATH. 235 thou hast committed; for thou, too, like all of us, wast siuful aud defective in his eyes: and may He, in reward of what thou hast accomplished, accept thy death as an atonement for thy transgressions, and receive thee in his presence as one whose sins are pardoned, whose iniquity is atoned for; and let thee there enjoy the happiness which is in store for the riofhteous who have done his will. Amen. ADDRESS IV. MR. LINCOLN'S DEATH.* My Friends! Since we assembled last, yesterday afternoon, in this house for worship of the Almighty God, a fright– ful and unlooked–for crime has startled the whole land. This morning, when I left my residence, the papers announced that a murderous assault had been made, late in the evening, on the President of the United States, but that at last accounts he was still living, though without hope of recovery; but since the commencement of the morning–service, the pres– ident of this congregation has communicated to me that death has closed the scene, and that Mr. Lincoln * Substance of remarks made at the synagogue Beth–el–Emeth, Franklin Street above Green, on Sabbath (Saturday), April 15, 5625. [Page 236] 236 MR. LINCOLN'S DEATH. has been numbered with the dead. The man who was only yesterday, perliaps, the most powerful on earth, who had nearly closed with marked success a war of vast dimensions, which had raged full four years, has been suddenly struck, in the moment of his triumph, by the fatal bullet of the murderer, in the midst of a crowded assembly, by the side of his wife, and has been thus unconsciously hurried into eternity. A week had scarcely elapsed since he en– tered, as conqueror, the capital of his enemy, where he sat in the chair erst occupied by the chief of the opponents of the government of the Union, and he had returned in safety to the chief city of the country, and tlie seat of its central power: when the mighty ruler of the republic, to whom the people had con. fided the government for another term, who had an– ticipated so much that he had not yet accomplished, was stricken down unawares, unprepared, and now lies low, with none to fear him, with none to do him reverence. For all that will be done hereafter will not affect him ; he rests from his toils in the arms of cold death. The history of the world gives us several instances of the murder of kings and other important persons, and the Bible also has furnished us with similar occur– rences, but especially the case of Abner, the sou of Ner, who was slain by Joab, the son of Zeruyah, the general of David. And let us take the words of this king, as found in 2 Sam. iii. 33, 34, for the subject of our contemplation : " And the king lamented over Abner, and said, O that Abner had to die as the worthless dieth ! Thj– hands were not bound, and thy feet were not put into fetters: as one falleth be– [Page 237] MR. LINCOLN'S DEATH. 237 fore men of wickedness art thou fallen." David had hoped that, by the union of the principal leader of Saul's adherents with the house of Judah, peace and harmony would be produced in Israel; he had re– ceived him kindly and dismissed him with marks of good–will, when his benevolent purpose was rudely interfered with by the jealousy of Joab, and the foul deed of Abner's murder sullied the reputation which his bravery had elsewhere achieved. In our instance, too, has the head of the United States been snatched away in the moment of security, in the moment of triumph, not by a hostile hand on the field of battle, but by one who lay in wait to commit a deed of violence, when his victim was surrounded by many friends in the full security of the absence of all danger. How bright must every thing have looked before him! The leaders of the opposing hosts one by one had to retire before the armies of the Union, their strong– holds had been captured one by one, and it was im– agined that the noise of battle would soon cease ev– erywhere. And to celebrate this triumph, a general demonstration of joy was to take place all over the land, and this city was to be brilliantly illuminated, and bells were to be rung merrily, and the loud can– non was to thunder forth hi notes of triumph the victory achieved. But all this is changed now: dark– ness will replace the light; if the bells are rung, they will utter only the funeral knell, and the cannon will send forth only the measured minute–sounds as the token of general mourning over the land's bereave– ment. So fades human glory ! Respecting Mr. Lincoln's political career and char– acter it does not become me to speak ; politics is not [Page 238] 238 MR. LINCOLN'S DEATH. the province into which a minister of religion should enter. You are all familiar with the history of the conflict in which the deceased was engaged as the President of the United States, and it would he use– less to enlarge on it at the present moment. But I may fittingly speak of the traits of the goodness of heart he displayed and his sense of justice, of which I have become personally cognizant. I refer to the appointment of a chaplain to the hospitals in this city, about which I wrote to him more than two years ago, as it was deemed a hardship that Jewish soldiers, when sick and wounded, should not have the care and supervision of a minister of their own persuasion, as those of other creeds have. Mr. Lincoln promptly acknowledged the justice of the application, and soon thereafter appointed the Reverend Mr. Frankel to the office of hospital chaplain. And when the Senate of the United States had neglected to act on the nomination, by which means Mr. Frankel's office terminated with the adjournment of the Senate, Mr. Lincoln at once reappointed our worthy colleague as soon as his attention had been called to the case. He thus proved that he recognized in full our claims to an equality before the law, and that he was not guided by sectarian prejudices. So, also, when General Grant banished the Israelites from the military district over which he commanded, it was Mr. Lincoln who at once ordered him to revoke the unjust order, and restored our brothers to their homes and pursuits. These in– stances have severally come under my own obser– vation, and they speak loudly for the natural kind– ness of the late President, which all can cheerfully acknowledge, whatever their political opinions may [Page 239] MR. LINCOLN'S DEATH. 239 be; and let us hope that all in authority in America maybe animated by the same spirit of justice and liberality. But if we cast a scrutinizing view on the deplorable act of murder which has been committed on the chief magistrate of the republic, we shall discover in it an evidence of the fearful moral deterioration which the desolating civil war has produced. It appears as though the recklessness of strife had loosened the bonds of society, and that men have lost the appreci– ation of riglit and wrong. The rights of property have been in many cases not recognized with the nice distinction customary in the times of peace, and also personal security seems to have declined with the habitual scenes of violence which have devastated the land. Formerly the President of the republic needed no armed men to guard him from personal harm, the humblest could freely enter and speak with the head of the executive department, who dreaded no danger from any one. But now, notwithstanding the precaution taken to guard his life, Mr. Lincoln has fallen a victim to the pistol tired by the concealed murderer. O, it is terrible to contrast the two con– ditions of the republic, the one of safety to all, with the present, when secret danger threatens even those high in authority ! It behoves us all to contribute our share to alter this state of things. Every man for himself should endeavour to review his moral char– acter, and apply the corrective of the divine law to cleanse himself from evil, and to counteract the tend– ency to wrong–doing which is now so universally prevalent. We Israelites, too, have much to answer for; I acknowledge that we are not addicted to slay– [Page 240] 240 MR. LINCOLN'S DEATH. ing a fellow–being, nor to the commission of deeds of violence against the property of others; but for all that, we have awfully transgressed, and swerved in many respects from the path of ancient conformity. We have, in many instances, set the laws of God at defiance, and done deeds which ought to call the mantle of shame over our countenance. \Here the speaker referred to an especial occurrence which had lately transpired, and which he thought it his duty to condemn pointedly, though, as far as known to him, none of his hearers had participated therein. The matter relates strictly to a ceremonial Jewish law, and has no interest for the general public] Such things (he then continued) ought not to happen among faithful Israelites, who should be distinguished not more for their philanthropic action towards all men, than by a strict conformity to the divine precepts which they have received as the rule for shaping their life. We can at the same time best promote the welfare of the republic by a close observance of all the moral restrictions which religion imposes on us, and by en– deavouring, singly, to stem the torrent of moral de– linquency which now is so generally prevalent. We have no separate interest from our fellow–citizens; their weal and their wo are ours likewise. Israelites should therefore labour to identify themselves with all the other inhabitants of the country, and prove the justice of their claims to an equality of rights, by cheerfully sharing all the burdens, and conforming faitbrully to the laws enacted for the government of all. When evil bd'alls the land, let us also share in the grief which afiiicts all others; but above all let us [Page 241] MR. LINCOLN'S DEATH. 241 cultivate good–will and peace towards our fellow–men of all creeds. You must excuse me for speaking somewhat in a disconnected manner, more so than is customary with me. The dreadful news and its suddenness have in a great measure overcome my usual composure, and my thoughts refuse to arrange themselves in their wonted order. The crime which has just been con– summated is well calculated to appal even the stoutest of hearts. In the midst of a great military success, the director of the national aifairs is struck down in a moment; and with the removal of the controlling mind, dark clouds seem to lower over the future of the land. Who will guide safely the ship of state? who will handle the government with a firm yet mer– ciful hand? Will those who will be intrusted with the settlement of the difficulties, which meet our view everywhere, have the capacity to comprehend the duties which devolve on them, and to fulfil them for the benefit of all ? Only by a firm reliance on Providence can they succeed, and not by trusting to their own strength and wisdom. Let us hope that they will choose the right path, and be the means of restoring peace and prosperity to the land so lately heaving under the tumult of civil strife. — As to your– selves, let me exhort you to reflect on the uncertainty of your life. You in general are not exposed to in– dividual acts of violence, for the exalted are more threatened with danger than the humble; the storm will uproot the lofty and branching oak, and leave the lowly herb undisturbed, though torrents of rain have flooded the place where it grows. Still all have to meet their end, and they should be ever ready to VOL. X. 21 [Page 242] 242 WEDDING ADDRESS. obey the dread summons when it is issued by the Lord of our life. Prepare yourselves by obedience to the divine will, that you may be received in favour. And for him who has so untimely fallen, let us ask the divine mercy which we all need to purify us from iniquity: may his spirit be received amidst the blest, and repose in peace after its earthly toils. And as regards the people of the land, let them bow with submission to the evil that has befallen them, and let us all say in the sincerity of devotion : " The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken; blessed be the name of the Lord!" ADDRESS V. WEDDING ADDRESS. Beloved Friends ! You are about to enter into the state of marriage, in which each of you assumes new relations, both to each other and society, which are to endure during all your life, as long as the Lord of all spirits permits you to dwell on earth. Hitherto both of you were free to choose another mate from the rest of the world ; but you vow to be henceforth to each other iVicnds in joy and in sorrow, and to travel the round of earthly existence liand in hand, and heart linked to heart. Think, therefore, well of the nature of the engagement whith you are going to assume, and do not esteem lightly the weight of the obligation which [Page 243] WEDDING ADDRESS. 243 will rest upon you from this moment. I will not ad– monish you to love one another; since it is for this very reason, because you cherish the kindest mutual affection, that you have invoked the aid of our holy religion to bless your union in the assembly of Israel– ites, who like yourselves acknowledge love and fealty to the sole God who rules all in heaven and earth. Reflect, then, that it is before the Searcher of hearts you avow fidelity to each other, to be true and faith– ful on all occasions, and to bear together the trials which will in the course of nature assail even the happiest. Imagine not that the joy of this hour will last forever; think not that the vigour of youth will always impart strength to your limbs; or that sick– ness and sorrow will never reach you. To expect this, would be to suppose that the common lot of mankind is not to be yours; and sure I am, that you have told this already to yourselves in the recesses of your souls, though perhaps your lips have not given utterance to your apprehensions. But, even in the ordinary calm and in the highest prosperity which our existence is capable of, there are constant occasions for the exercise of domestic vir– tues, which, when observed, will render the married state one of happiness, but which, when neglected, will envelop it with the clouds of sorrow. The husband must consult his wife's wishes, she must obey his di– rections in the government of the family; he must be indulgent, she yielding; he should counsel with mild– ness and moderation, she acquiesce in all his opinions, even if she occasionally fancies that her views are the best; and she should look upon him in all things as the one she ought to obey, excepting only when [Page 244] 244 WEDDING ADDRESS. it regards the higher obligation which she owes to her God, in which no husband's injunctions can be an excuse for transgressing the requirements of re– ligion. In short, husband and wife must not only be loving and affectionate when strangers are there to observe them ; but in the retirement also of their domestic fireside, when no eye save that of the All– seeing is upon them, should they be like one soul dwelling in two bodies. God created our first mother that she should be a help suitable to her spouse, wiiose existence preceded hers in the order of crea– tion; and thus her daughters should seek their high– est happiness in the marriage–state by helping their husbands in all things; by assisting them with advice; by assuaging them with a pleasant reception on their return home from the cares which business or harass– ing occupations so often inflict, and to be to them unwavering friends, though all the rest of mankind should forsake them. Reflect, also, that it is not merely to gratify the feelings of love which now animate you both, that you have a right to invoke the name of the Lord to hallow your union. For if this were all, the civil law of the land could declare you man and wife, no less than the servant of your faith. But such a marriage, you Justly think, would lack the sanction of religion, — religion, the soother of our sorrows, and the only source whence the pleasures of life derive their high– est value. You, then, wish to be united not as mere citizens of the commonwealth, but as followers of the law of Moses; and you, bridegroom, are going to espouse this your bride after the ancestral manner, by means of a golden ring, in the presence of Jewish [Page 245] WEDDING ADDRESS. 245 witnesses, according to the law of Moses and Israel, not alone the written word of the Bible, but also the institutions of our people, under which Ave have al– ways administered the precepts which the Scriptures contain. As a son, therefore, of Israel, you claim this daughter of Jacob as your chosen wife, and as such she accepts from your hands the token of union, by which she pledges herself to be yours, and yours only, in feeling no less than in person, till death severs the link which now is to make you one. Do 3'ou understand, both of you, the importance of this public declaration? Perhaps you do; still bear with me a little while, whilst I endeavour to illustrate it in your presence, and I trust that you will respond to it inwardly with a sincere affirmation. You stand, then, now in the presence of God to make a covenant with one another, to love and cherish each other mutually, to bear together whatever mishaps or pleasures may be decreed to you, and to contribute all that is possible to promote each other's happiness. But you avow this as Israelites in the name of God, whose aid you hope for, to guide you aright and securely in the perilous and slippery path of life, and without whose blessing all your striving would be in vain. Know, then, that to obtain this last, you must deserve his love and approbation by a thorough religious con– duct. Our wise men teach us " that three obtain a forgiveness of their sins : a gentile who embraces our religion, a person who is raised to a high dignity, and a man who espouses a wife." Hence has sprung the good old custom for the parties to fast on their nup– tial day, in order to make it a day of atonement and serious reflection and repentance for themselves. But 21* [Page 246] 246 WEDDING ADDRESS. a day of forgiveness of sin it only can be when, as at the annual period of atonement, the wrong is sin– cerely repented of, and a resolution is adopted to sin no more. No man passes through the active turmoil of life without transgression ; the best, therefore, has a necessity of being forgiven, and must humble him– self before God to entreat a remission of iniquity. If, however, a new life is commenced with the day of marriage ; if it is really the beginning of a renewed love of God in our hearts : we may justly regard it as a means of reconciliation with our heavenly Father, whom, in the wantonness of youthful feeling, we may have often forgotten in the hours of our joys, or neglected in not seeking his aid when darkness rested on our souls. Resolve, then, to let your future days be distinguished by an active love of the Creator and a sincere endeavour to observe his precepts. Should your union be blessed with children, regard them not as exclusively your own; but as pledges intrusted to you by the Supreme for you to watch over, to see that they grow up in his fear and his service. Instil early into their minds, that as Israel– ites you were born, that as Israelites jow were mar– ried, and that as such you devote them to the same faith for which our nation has laboured so long, has suffered so much. Speak yourselves of the pleasant concerns of everlasting life in their presence; and show them, by a careful heeding of all your duties, that the religion of God is the highest good in your estimation. In this manner alone can your future offspring " rise up and call you happy," to use the beautiful words of the philosopher–king of Israel, and thus only can you accomplish the obligation you as– [Page 247] WEDDING ADDRESS. 247 Slime in being united according to the law of Moses and Israel. In whatever situation you may be, remember that you are of the children of Jacob: wherever your future walk may be, honour your religion by a uni– form holy life, and a bold avowal of its principles. It has all the sources of consolation which man requires in his earthly existence; it refers all to God, who is ever near us to aid and assist us in all times of trouble and affliction ; and never for a moment think to hide your faith, as something to be ashamed of, from the eyes of strangers. Should your brothers in hope be assailed, defend them; should they be ill–used, pro– tect them; should they require assistance, aid them; should they be misguided, instruct them ; and do in your own persons whatever is required to magnify the name of God, and increase the respect which the world at large will ultimately feel for our heaven–born law. As regards your conduct towards each other, I need say but little; for this has, without question, been long since impressed on your mind. But I may still ex– hort you, bridegroom, to cherish an unbroken attach– ment for your chosen companion, in the words of the Bible, yiU'J ni^ND nntyi ina pipo 'H' " Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth." (Prov. V. 18.) Her honour should be your honour, and never in thought even be for a moment unfaith– lul to her, who should be the joy and ornament of your house. There may be dark moments which may overshadow the peace of yonr domestic circle ; but if this should ever unfortunately be, fly to your God for aid to assist you in the trial, and light will [Page 248] 248 WEDDING ADDRESS. again chase away the darkness, and the brilliance of renewed aflection will asjain illumine vour dwellino'. And you, beloved bride, reflect well that inn "ipi2? SSnnn x–n 'n nxr rMva –srn S^ni " Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain ; the woman only that feareth the Lord will be praised." (Prov. xxxi. 30.) The heyday of youth will surely pass away ere many years will have elapsed, and approaching age will rob your cheek of its bloom, and your eye of its lustre. What will then chain to you the husband who is no longer the ardent lover? Nothing but the cheerfulness of the mature matron, the God–fearing wife, who labours in all " the walks of the house" to make his life happy, and to render easy for him the toils and hardships insepa– rable from our mortal state. If you both act thus towards God, your fellow–men, and yourselves, you may joyously look forward to the future, — all is well, all will be well ; this earth may then fade away from your sight, but reunited will you stand before the mercy–seat of the Lord to receive your reward ; and in the meantime your days will glide along in tranquillity, whether you are wealthy or of narrow means; for peace will dwell in your hearts, and God's blessing will surround you. That this may be your lot is my sincere prayer ; and now let us pronounce the blessings before this congrega– tion, by which you may be united in that bond which God has ordained for his children as the happiest lot on earth. April 2, 5611. [Page 249] BAR MITZVAH ADDRESS. 249 ADDRESS VI. bar mitzvah address.* My dear Parents and Friends! To–day I am numbered among the responsible sons of Israel ; till this day I was an innocent child, pro– tected by the kind hand of parental authority, watched over by its care, and restrained by the fear of giving offence and pain to those who laboured for my wel– fare. Even the eye of the Almighty looked mildly down on my doings, not exacting from me punish– ment for transgression ; as I was still under the guar– dianship of those appointed by Him to watch over my dawning life. But from this hour I am a man in re– sponsibility, though yet a child in years ; I stand here on the entrance of manhood, and I shall have to pur– sue the road which all mortals tread, to the end of my earthly existence. Joy and sorrow stand ready to accompany me on this pilgrimage, and good and evil will ever be there to claim my choice. O, how deeply do I feel the new responsibility ! God bids me to listen to his command, in order that it may be well with me : while pleasure and sin invite me to * Written by request of a very intelligent youth, and delivered by him at the residence of his parents. Though I have composed several similar addresses for different places, this is the only one now accessible. It seemed to me that simplicity should be the pre– vailing characteristic of such a speech, not that elaborate work which is so often offered as the effort of young scholars. [Page 250] 250 BAR MITZVAH ADDRESS. partake largely of the enjoymeuts of the earth, which so many arouiicl me will choose as their portion. "Well may I tremble in view of the fearful struggle, which awaits me like all others, and of the danger which threatens me, that through haste, passion, or ignorance I might lay hold of the evil and its sorrows, neglecting religion, its trials and its ultimate reward. Could I make the years of my childhood last for– ever, could I hope to go down to the grave without tasting of the trials to which mankind are destined : I might wish myself again into the midst of infancy, so that my innocence and unconsciousness of evil might still continue. But this cannot be; every one must go onward to meet his destiny, while he has the means placed before him, by God's mercj–, to enable him to distinguish between good and evil. Knowing this, let me entreat our Father in heaven that He will give me a knowledge of his law, that as I am now a Bar Mitzvah, a child of Israel through the capacity of a religious majority to be one of the chosen people, entitled like them to participate in the privileges and burdens of our brothers, I may also have the mental enlightenment to understand my duty, and the will and the power to observe it all the days of my life. This day shall not be the only one of rejoicing to me, but one also to be remembered always, to remind me, when I shall be tempted to transgress, that to–day I have thanked God, amidst the assembly of his ser– vants, the house of Israel, that He has given us the law of truth, and planted everlasting life in our hearts; and that I would commit an offence against truth, if I permitted myself to forget the parents who gave me earthly existence, the glorious ancestors from whom [Page 251] BAR MITZVAH ADDRESS. 251 the Israelites have sprung, and the beautiful religion which we have received from the Creator of the world. Yes, I will endeavour to live so that my faith shall have a true follower in me, and that those, who feel in my welfare the interest of blood–kindred, shall re– joice to call me their relative. Much is not in the power of a child, such as I am as yet, to accomplish ; but this I can do, I can resolve to be good and dutiful, and I will trust firmly in the mercy of the God who chose us as his heritage to be with me in my pilgrim– age, to strengthen my resolve for good, so that I may acquire the dominion over the desire for transgres– sion, to which our natural inclination might otherwise lead me. The future is truly before me like a sealed book, which I shall only be able to read slowly with advanc– ing years, and a greater knowledge of things than I possess now. But I will learn daily from those who are wiser and better than myself; I will listen to the voice of religion which admonishes me to depend on God and not on human aid, and not to follow the ex– ample of sinners ; and, in short, I will labour hard to obtain the approval of the Lord our God, and the good–will of those who are mortal like me. You, however, kind guardians of my infancy ! do not aban– don me at once in this period of my transition from childhood to manhood ; guide me yet longer ; ad– monish me when I am in danger of going astray, and encourage me to do what is right, when doubt and indecision might otherwise prevent my advancement in goodness. But believe me, that it is my earnest desire to testify to you and all others, that it is my full determination to remain always a faithful son of [Page 252] 252 EDUCATION. Israel, and that, as I entered to–day into the congre– gation of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, I will prove that the ancient faith of our fathers has at least one true disciple in him who now claims fellowship with the house of Israel. And may God bless you all and myself with his spirit of benevolence and wisdom, and consider us worthy to be accepted servants in his temple. Amen. ADDRESS VII. EDUCATION.* It has been frequently observed, that the best safe– guard for liberal institutioiis is a correct moral and intellectual education. Where the public mind is enlightened, there can be security and freedom; but where the passions arc not restrained by the force of mental culture, freedom is but a mockery. Well has Schiller said: " 'Tis dangerous to awake the lion; terrible is the tiger's teeth; but the fiercest of all ter– rors is man in his madness." Look back a few years past, when the banner of rebellion and resistance was unfurled in France; when the people burst asunder * The Education Society of Philadelphia gave a dinner for charitable purposes on the evening of Februarj' 28d, 5(jl3 (1853), when the sentiment, " Education — maj' the seeds of this precious fruit be wafted by the winds of heaven to the ends of the earth," was assigned to mo. The proceedings were phonographically re– ported, and among them my remarks. [Page 253] EDUCATION. 253 the shackles of the tyranny of the house of Bourbon. The tocsin sounded to call the people to arms and the deadly struggle, and the once peaceful citizens, and even the women of the fish–market, seized the mur– derous knife; and in the streets of Paris blood flowed in streams, and all the land was lurid with the flames of the burning castles of the nobles. E'ow turn we to the American Revolution, which also commenced in a resistance to the powers of ag– gressors. America was a new country, with three millions of people, when they threw oif the yoke ; but the tocsin did not sound to awaken the citizens from their sleep; they had learned the peaceful art of self–government, and by constitutional measures they resisted their foes, and with the laws in their hands, like freemen fighting for their rights, they raised the standard of the thirteen colonies, united upon principles of justice, and resolved, by the force of arms, to acquire the blessings of peace. Here is the difterence : in the one case the people had been trained, through a knowledge of the arts of peace, and self–government, and a religion founded on the Scriptures, to respect ihe rights of all; while the other had never been restrained, except by the force of tyranny and war. As soon as America could gather up her strength to establish schools in every village, hamlet, and dis– trict, she did so; and the spirit of public education is spreading from one end of the country to the other, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Lawrence. And, in our own com– monwealth, there are schools where each child, no matter if his parents are rich or poor, can claim to be VOL. X. 22 [Page 254] 254 EDUCATION. educated, and receive, gratuitously, the seeds of in– telligence, of knowledge, and fit liiniself to exercise the duties of a free citizen, and to become, in turn, a men ber of an independent commonwealth. We have always felt that education is a blessing to all ; and early in the mighty dawn of our history were we taught to rely, as Israelites, upon education, to carry down to posterity that blessed law wiiich God gave to us as the highest good. Moses, himself, wrote dovvn the law which he had received from heaven, by which he obtained the greatest treasure which God ever bestowed upon us; and we were made the guard– ians to preserve it, not alone for ourselves, but for all men ; and, though we never went abroad as mission– aries, to scatter our religion among those differing from us, we have done more, Ave have preserved for mankind that standard undefiled, unmixed, and pure in all its elements, in words, syllables, and letters; and mankind rejoices in 'the possession of the Bible, the undefiled and pure Word of God. The Bible, the Sacred Will of God, is made known, if not directly and through Israelites, at least through the means of Israel. We have preserved what God gave us, through trials which tried men's souls, amidst troubles which crushed other people, and amidst sor– rows well calculated to test that characteristic which Moses spoke of, whether we were that stiff–necked people and that unbending race, which we proved ourselves in disobedience to him soon after we had stood at Sinai to receive from heaven the law and the testimony. Hence, we of the Hebrew Education Society now appeal to our friends, both those of Israel and the [Page 255] EDUCATION. 255 Christian community present, to aid "us to teacli to the children of Israel that law which we have re– ceived. We are not of that illiberal spirit to suppose that out of Israel there is no salvation. No; we maintain " that the righteous of all nations are entitled to ever– lasting happiness;" but for the Israelites themselves there is no happiness beyond the pale of the law. It is for this reason that the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia banded together, some years past, to found an institution where our children can obtain a knowledge of our religion, together with a scientific education. We acknowledge, with heartfelt gratitude, that the public schools are open to us, and that there is no dis– tinction made between Israelites and gentiles. But we need something which the public schools, founded for a common purpose, cannot aftbrd us. But to ac– complish our end we went not to work to irritate the public mind, to bring men of our own mode of think– ing into the legislature. We desired no such agita– tion. We came together to promote amongst us a religious education by our own efforts. In conse– quence of this, two public balls were given and a private subscription taken up, by which a consider– able sum was raised; but we waited awhile before we commenced making use of the means thus ob– tained. When we found, however, that our children were increasing in numbers, we hesitated no longer, but established a school under a charter obtained from the legislature of the State, permitting us to open district–schools in the city of Philadelphia, and a college for the higher branches within the limits [Page 256] 256 EDUCATION. of the commonwealth. This privilege, cheerfully granted us, shows that the principle of equality is not only a name hut a reality and that when an appeal is made for what is right and proper, Jew and Chris– tian are alike before the law. Upon this foundation we started; and we have progressed for the last two years in advancing a knowledge of our literature and religion, connected with a scientific education. But, as I have just hinted, our funds were well–nigh exhausted, and we are re– solved to make a public appeal; and it is not for a sectarian purpose, but to give us an equality of rights, with other persuasions who arc more numerous and wealthy than we are. Look around. It is but lately since the Jews were a mere handful in America. It was long before the Israelites of Europe appreciated the benelits of the liberty they could enjoy here, and it is only during the last ten or twelve 3'ears that they have emigrated in large numbers to these shores. Hence, the means of our people are yet small; we have not yet had time to consolidate our strength, as we are still in our infancy as a religious community in this land. We have, therefore, appealed to our friends to enable us to place our school on a better foundation than it hitherto has been, and we promise that, whenever we are called upon, we will be ready to act as good citizens, and return the kindness which we have received. We wish to do something for the community in which we live. We wish to educate good and intelligent citizens, who may be willing and able to contribute all in their power to the safety of the state — with their purse, with their deeds, with their body, and, if need be, with their life. We wish [Page 267] UNION IN ISRAEL. 267 to base this on a knowledge of religion, that faith which we call our own. We wish to teach them that, as Israelites, it is our duty to aid in the defence of our country — to identify ourselves with the followers of other religions in the upholding of its principles — to form one brotherhood — to be inclosed in the same bond of union, and to be faithful and true to the constitution and the laws by which we are sustained. ADDRESS VII. UNION IN ISRAEL.* Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen ! "Were I to follow my own inclination, and have re– gard to the lateness of the hour, it being near the time when this assembly is to adjourn, I would thank you for the compliment bestowed on me by you, and resume my seat. But the subject you have assigned to me to descant upon, "Union in Israel," is of that character as always to claim a response from every one whose heart is sincere in our cause, and hence it * At a dinner given for the benefit of the Jews' Hospital in New York, on the evening of January 2Gth, 5G14 (1854), the late Samp– son Simpson, Esq., presiding, I was asked to respond to the last toast, "Union in Israel; may the Hebrew Congregations in this free land, by zealous co–operation in works of charity, and by un– swerving adherence to our ancient faith, strengthen the cords which bind us together as a nation;" which was done in substance as above. 22* [Page 258] 258 UNION IN ISRAEL. would be wrono; in me were I to refuse floinsr honour to so noble u sentiment. If any class of men need union, it is surely we of Israel. We are scattered all over the earth ; and it is requisite for us that we as such should have a bond that will unite us in one common embrace. It is by union alone that all our enterprises can grow, and by it alone can they be sustained. And this assembly here to–night, the so– ciety over which you preside, Mr. President, prove conclusively how much can be done, if we once will to act in unison to promote any good object. It is not long since the "Jews' Hospital Society" was started with many misgivings; and now behold tlie result. The building is slowly rising above the sur– face of the ground, through the generous contribu– tions which willing hands have cheerfully given; and the noble liberality displayed here to–night will en– able the directors soon to place the roof on the sup– porting–walls, and finish the chambers for the recep– tion of those who suffer from disease or wounds, to be there attended by those who are Israelites like themselves, and who will pour consolation into their spirit in the moments of bodily anguish. But, as regards the support of the Hospital after its completion, it seems there is no longer any appre– hension to be felt; the public charity will not have to be invoked soon to supply what is needful for the requirements of the sufferers. We have been in– formed this day by telegraph, as is known to 3"0U, that a liberal bequest has been left by Mr. Judah Touro, who has been summoned hence a week ago, for the endowment of the ffews' Hospital in the city of New York, which bequest, if judiciously applied, [Page 269] UNION IN ISRAEL. 269 will, there can be but little doubt, bo for the present amply sufficient to relieve all those who may be com– pelled to resort thither in their hour of need ; and many an aching bosom will have full cause to return thanks to our Creator for having inclined the heart of Mr. Touro to signalize his last days by so noble a benefaction. Permit me now, Mr. President, to say a few words of the generous deceased. It was my good fortune to meet him on two occasions ; and I may say freely, that perhaps no man was ever more modest and humble with so much wealth, united with such rare liberality. He constantly performed acts of kind– ness ; but he did this almost by stealth, as though he feared his good deeds should become known; he dreaded publicity, and was ashamed almost to be dis– covered as the bestower of charity. This simplicity of character was unaffected, his modesty was unas– sumed ; and this is the man to whom many a sufferer will be indebted for the relief he obtains when once the roof of j'our institution is firmly placed on the walls; and so was Mr. Touro an example worthy of the imitation of those who think rightly, and who feel for the sorrows of their fellow–men. But, my friends, though the Hospital is approach– ing to completion, and its endowment is secured, there are yet other objects for which union is neces– sary ; our religion demands of us that we should la– bour unitedly in its behalf, and to exert our strength for its promotion. We are indeed Israelites by birth ; but this will not preserve us from learning ways and customs unknown to our fathers. We need instruc– tion, we need zealous teachers, and it is demanded [Page 260] 260 UNION IN ISRAEL. of US that we take heed that we may enjoy the first, and have many of the hitter. Let me appeal to your own good sense, and let me ask you to look around 3'ou, and then answer me, whether 3'ou discover such a religious conformity as there might, as there ought to exist, if there were a closer union for the support of the fahric of our faith than there is discoverable among us. And still it strikes me that a remedy is within our reach, which remedy will not fail of pro– ducing the happiest result. We need a union for scliools, we require popular educational establish– ments for the training of our children, and a higher seminary likewise, whence shall issue those who are to become hereafter the teachers of the people, the expounders of our sacred religion. It is disgraceful to American Israelites, that whenever they want a minister, or one to explain the law, they must look over the ocean to find a suitable person ; at home, they have none ; and as things are, there is no proba– bility of their finding men among themselves quali– fied to assume the sacred charge. It would be im– proper to speak of my own history ; of the bitter ex– perience I have had to encounter; but I may say that let one born abroad, who is here without connexions or relatives, labour ever so hard and faithfully, it is almost impossible for him to secure fully the public confidence; and still without this, his means of doing good are necessarily circumscribed within very nar– row limits. The only remedy for this evil is, to edu– cate your own kindred for the oflice of public teach– ers, that, when they are called upon to stand before the people to expound to them the word of God, they may have the amplest confidence placed in their [Page 261] UNION IN ISRAEL. 261 integrity and sincerity by those of their own kindred, by those who have known them from their infancy to their years of manhood. It must not be supposed, Mr. President, that our numbers will always be as limited in this country as they are now. For let us look back at what we were when we two first met, and you will acknowledge that twenty years have made wonderful changes in our condition in this country. Every where new congre– gations spring up; the land is becoming full of us; and the grinding oppression which the tyrants of Europe make us feel, will cause many, many more to resort hither for safety and freedom of action. In European lands, in Asia, in Africa, we are greatly circumscribed in our rights and privileges, with but few exceptions, which only render the weight of the yoke of Israelites more galling, because of the par– tial freedom enjoyed by others of their faith else– where. But here there is no tyrant to tell us what we are to do, what we are to think, what we are to speak. While the constitution of this land, emanat– ing from some of the wisest men whom God has ever permitted to frame laws for the government of man– kind lasts, — while this lasts, we need not dread to advance in the career which our religion points out to us. "VVe can increase here, we can teach here our taith, and bear aloft the sacred standard which was intrusted to our fathers. Here we can prepare our– selves for our mission to become the teachers of man– kind, the messengers of an enlightened civilization. Accuse me not of doing what is called " playing Yankee Doodle;" imagine not that I basely descend to flatter the national vanity of my hearers ; no, my [Page 262] 262 UNION IN ISRAEL. friends, I stand before you as a freeman, as an Israel– ite, free in body, free in spirit, and I address those equal with myself, free, unchained, untrammelled, because God has made us so. And while this glo– rious flag \pointing to the national standard which was drawn across the lower part of the hall] waves untouched by the hand of the oppressor over a land where freedom dwells, we have nought to fear; we can go on increasing in numbers and prosperity, and we may invite hither those who linger in the Roman Ghettos, who groan under the sway of the Russian Czar, who feel the burden of Austria's misrule ; and they will come, and spread out in the land; and they will form new communities, rear families under the shadow of equal rights and equal laws; and when all this has taken place, when our spiritual wants have also increased, when there will be an awakened desire to hear the word of our God, who has done for us such great things : then will there be also re– quired a numerous well–trained ministry to go before the people with precept and example. The world does not stand still, though we fear to advance: and therefore, Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, I urge you to be active, to prepare for the altered state of things in our Jewish aftairs, the dawning of which has come already, the end of which no human eye can foresee. It is not necessary for me to enlarge on the great importance of general education ; the theme has been ably treated by so many eminent for knowledge and wisdom. My present object is to invoke your aid for a union to diffuse religious trainina; of a higher de– gree than is at present within our reach iu this coun– [Page 263] UNION IN ISRAEL. 263 try. Elementary schools will no doubt multiply; hence there will be before long many who have been well–grounded in preliminary religious knowledge, and be thus eager and capable to acquire the higher branches of Jewish learning. I ask of you, are their wishes to meet with no favourable response from you, who hear me to–night? is the deplorable destitution to last forever, without willing hands to scatter abroad the seeds of a noble enlightenment? Your religion appeals to 3'ou, brother Israelites; and are you deaf to her appeals? And even the Christians who may be here must all feel interested in this matter ; it is no ill–will towards mankind we mean to foster by fix– ing the principles of Judaism firmly in the hearts of Jewish men and Jewish women ; it is only that we wish to train them to be true to their God, whose law is goodness ; to be true to their fellow–men who like them were made in the image of their common Creator. By training them in this manner we give them the best opportunity of becoming benefactors of their species ; and hence our religious progress is of importance to all who feel for the welfare and the moral improvement of mankind, irrespective of creed and nationality. By endowing mere charitable institutions, ladies and gentlemen, you only contribute to the relief of the temporal wants of the poor, you relieve them from some bodily ailment, you administer to their physical necessities. But the wealthy also require in this junc– ture 3–our care and aid; they also are in a measure destitute of what all men stand in need of more than mere bodily enjoyment. The mind demands care; the spirit calls for light; and herein all are on the [Page 264] 264 UNION IN ISRAEL. same level, the poor and the rich, the young and the old ; and hence we may freely appeal to all, to remem– ber that all is not accomplished when they have he– stowed liberal alms on the needy, while there is one spirit dwelling in darkness, while there is one soul on which religion has not beamed. There is no ne– cessity for any ignorance of religion to prevail among us; there is ample wealth to accomplish whatever enterprise we may resolve on ; and I trust, there is intelligence enough among us not merely to perceive what is needed, but to labour also for the removal of the evil. The eyes of the world are upon us ; man– kind expects of us to do our duty; and only by elevating our moral character, only by standing forth as the children of light, can we occupy that position after which we ought to strive with honest and well– directed efforts. It is with pleasure, Mr. President, that I have learned that you have generously bestowed a valuable piece of land for the erection of a Jewish College with suit– able grounds. But this is not enough ; the land alone will not eftect the good we require. We need the union of all to make your noble gift productive, to erect suitable buildings, and to bring thither the teachers who are to perpetuate the good knowledge which they possess. Rest not, Mr. President, till the good work be commenced; urge on your friends and associates to the necessity of union in this cause for the sake of the faith which is ours. Ministers of re– ligion \turning to Rev. Messrs. Isaacs and Lyons, who were still at the table], be sedulous in your endeav– ours to bring this all–important business home to those for whom you officiate before the throne of our heav– [Page 265] UNION IN ISRAEL. 265 enly Father ; it is a theme than which uothing is more sacred, uothiug more important; plead, if need be for the sacred gift of the Lord which is in our hands,' plead for it, that it may not lack defenders, never want for teachers. Men of Israel ! the matter is for you to labour in ; act in unison; lay aside all partv– strite, all petty jealousies, and bring willing hearts and ready hands to the service of your Maker in this particular, and his blessing will be with you to speed the good work. Ladies, daughters of Jacob, to whom every virtue is dear, let not your head touch your pil– low, permit no slumber to fall on your eyelids, till you have resolved to lend your all–important influence to help in this emergency. Persuade your husbands, plead with your parents, urge your sons and brothers' that they may be active in the cause of your religion to lift her up from her flillen state. See how she suf– fers; how many wounds she has to bear; see how great IS the neglect with which she is treated; and she appeals to you to hasten to her rescue. Vho knows, but some of those dear and near to you may become qualified to teach the law of the Lord ? who can tell how many of your own kith and kindred may be those on whose words the people will hang with eagerness, as they lead many in the path they should go? and thus would your labour be rewarded by the noblest fruits which you could hope for, to become the restorers of righteousness through those who are so dear to you by the ties of kindred. And O delay not! the time which you are permitted to be here speeds hastily along; and who can tell but that few years only will yet be yours, my friends, to accom– phsh the good that is expected from you; and suffer VOL. X. 23 [Page 266] 266 UNION IN ISRAEL. not 3'our deathbed to be disturbed by the agonizing reflection, that you have been unfaithful to your cause, deaf to the pleading of your faith; that you have idled away in mere worldly trifling the days that had been given to 3'ou to accomplish your duty. But I will not harrow up your feelings, I will not draw before your imagination a melancholy picture to sadden your spirits; most of you are awaiting only the lapse of a few more minutes to mingle in the merry dance, with bounding hearts and cheerful smiles. There is always sadness creeping over us when we contemplate the end of our life; so, then, let me con– clude as I have begun, by urging you all, my friends, to be mindful of what your duty claims at your bauds, of the sacred trust which has been assigned to you; and to labour wdth a union which knows no sever– ance, with a yielding to each other's opinion, which is the best promoter of peace, so that only the good cause of Israel may prosper. And it cannot then be otherwise, but that friendship and good–will must pre– vail among you all, and that the duties of religion will be practised with a cheerful readiness by a peo– ple enlightened in the ways of God, proud of being Israelites, rejoicing in the portion they have received from their Maker; and then can you look for that satisfaction and that glorious reward from above which always are the prize of devotion to the cause of truth and religion. [Page 267] THE FATHERS AND TEACHERS OF ISRAEL. 267 ADDRESS IX. the fathers and teachers op israel.* Mr. President! It is a gratifying fact, indeed, that besides " Cha– rity" there are other " common altars," at which man– kind can worship ; for the fathers and teachers of Israel are trulj' both the lights of their successors, and the guides of the enlightened portions of all mankind. We Israelites claim our descent from those ancient Patriarchs whose glorious names enrich the pages of the Bible, and who flourished in the earliest records of authentic history. Their blood courses through the veins of some who are here to–night, of those who are the lineal descendants of the family of Abraham. But, though the lineaments of these ancestors are alone ours, who are their descendants, their memory is dear alike to all lovers of science, liberty, and en– lightened religion ; for it is owing to them that a pure worship of God has been maintained on earth. Who that has a knowledge of history but must dwell with peculiar pleasure upon the simple, though striking narrative of the early teaching of the fathers of the Jewish race in their wanderings through the lands of the East, when they were yet few in number and iso– * At the second and last annual dinner given by Ed. Soc, February 2d, 5614, the toast, " The memory of the Fathers and teachers of Israel, the guides of our race, and the light and admiration of man– kind," the response was as above phonographically reported. [Page 268] 268 THE FATHERS AND TEACHERS OF ISRAEL. lated among the rest of men? There stands Abra– ham, prominent as one who first unfurled the banner of truth among benighted nations. There is Isaac, who transmitted the inheritance of wisdom he had received from his father to his own offspring. And there is Jacob, who, amidst his severe trials, forgot not what had been confided to his care, and delivered it, pure and undefiled, to a numerous progeny, capa– ble and willing to be the bearers of the sacred truth which was to distinguish them in their words and actions. Now it is these men whom we claim as our fore– fathers ; but Christians and Mahomedans claim them as their models, to conduct them through the dark path of life, as those brilliant meteors in the moral heavens which are to guide the voyager on the sea of existence into a harbour where he may anchor in safety and security. Equally great with the fathers of Israel were their teachers. Who that knows anything of legislation, but must admire the laws which Moses was the means of imparting to our people? Who that knows anything of poetry, but must admire David ? Who that knows anything of eloquence and prophecy, but must dwell with admiration upon the remains of inspired poetry yet found in the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and their contempo– raries. Thus, then, my friends, we have a legacy in com– mon, whether Jews or Christians, in the great men whose names adorn the Bible, and the works which have come down to us through alone; line of faithful ancestors, who carefully preserved and handed dowji to us the treasure they had received. Ages have [Page 269] THE FATHERS AND TEACHERS OF ISRAEL. 269 passed away since Abraham first forsook the plains of Mesopotamia, to seek a new home in Palestine ; and ages have elapsed since Moses brought the Is– raelites, who had been redeemed out of Egypt, to receive, at the foot of Sinai, the law of Heaven, which was to be their national code and individual guide. But ages have shown us no brighter character than Abraham, and these passing ages have shown us no truer law than that which Moses gave. Mighty changes have been witnessed since that time on the face of the earth; but the truth then made known remains unimpeached to this day. Well, therefore, may Jews and Christians assemble at a charity–ban– quet, to return thanks to the Giver of all good; thanks to Him who favours us with health, vigour and intellect to labour for our advancement in all that ennobles human nature ; in all that tends to alleviate the sufterings which beset us here below ; in all that scatters blessings on the path of our existence. Were it not for this gift of God, in vain would be the search of the philosopher to discover what is the truth ; in vain would be the toil to find what is the best calcu– lated for the happiness of mankind. As Israelites, therefore, we honour our ancestors, and revere the teachers of Israel ; and Christians, who hear me to– night, they also must revere the bright lights which, after all, are those whom they follow safely, and whom they admire as the guides whom Providence has as– signed them to point out the way they should go. This is no sectarian triumph which we celebrate — no idle boast which we utter; it is not vain conceit which holds up the great characters of our people to the admiration of mankind; but it is the sober con– 23* [Page 270] 270 THE FATHERS AND TEACHERS OF ISRAEL. viction of all who feel an interest in an enlightened religion. We have our Plymouth Rock; but it is in the Scriptures. We have our glorious pages of his– tory ; but they are in our Bible ; and they have be– come the property of all who, with us, seek there for instruction and guidance. That is common ground for all ; that is the spring at which all mankind may unite in drinking deep from the fountain of inspira– tion, without dread of being intoxicated by the pure, celestial draught. None can look at our history, whatever they may think of the individuals, without feeling how noble were our fathers, how high–souled the teachers of whom we are justly proud ; and they must feel grate– ful to us that we have preserved for all sons of men a legacy so true in its nature, so beneficial in its eflects. And whenever Jew and Christian meet with the intention of doing good, they may freely give each other the hand of fellowship, as was done a little while ago in your presence by my venerable friend, Dr. Raphall,* and the learned District Attorney of this County, and labour with hand and heart for the advancement of mankind ; and they may rest assured that in the progress of pure religion there is no foot– hold for bigotry ; no resting–place for the hatred of our species ; no cause why we should persecute each other because we differ in opinion. No, where relig– ion is the foundation, there must be freedom ; there * Whilif Dr. Kaphall was speaking on charity, ho at the spur of tho moment while oxphuning, " who is our neighbour ?"' extended his hand to the Hon. William B. Reed, who sat next him, as an evidence that according to the Jews' interpretation, all men are neighbours. [Page 271] DANGERS AND REMEDY. 271 must be union; there must be brotherly love; there flourish the arts of peace; there all are solicitous to labour for the promotion of what is good and true. The hand is then not armed with the dagger, to plunge it into the heart of a brother, nor does an in– furiated priesthood hold the empoisoned cup to com– pel a downtrodden people to drain it to its very dregs. Where the Bible rules, and the example of the ances– tors and fathers of Israel prevails, there only can be joy, and peace, and freedom ! ADDRESS X. DANGERS AND REMEDY.* Brethren and Friends ! It is this day fifty–two weeks when you were assem– bled in this house, and were gratified by the evidence of the improvement which the younger branches of your families had made in the best of wisdom, the knowledge of the laws and the ways of God. On that day your feelings were appealed to by the eloquent stranger† who had come among us from a distant island in the sunny south, and you responded cheer– fully to his warm address, and from sentiments gush– ing forth from a pure benevolence, you cheerfully * Delivered at the third anniversary of the Hebrew Sunday– school of Philadelphia. † Rev. Mr. N. Nathan, now of St. Thomas. [Page 272] 272 DANGERS AND REMEDY. contributed the means, which enabled the blessed undertaking to go on prosperously, and to shed ita happy effects over many a young mind during the third year of its existence which lias just elapsed. It is but three years, do not forget this, since our be– loved sisters, headed by one whom we all prize and esteem, voluntarily stepped forward to remedy in a measure the lamentable ignorance of our youths in religious matters. It is but three years ago, when there was no establishment on a large scale which could receive all the Jewish children of this city, to hold up to them the law of God for their instruction, and its commandments for their guidance. It is but three years ago, when our children imbibed daily the poison of heterodoxy without any assistance to set them right, by their constant hearing doctrines taught, which are subversive of a Jewish life, and inimical to a faithful observance of the precepts of the Lord. There was danger in those days, that the natives of this city and of this land might gradually be weaned from the fellowship of Israel, and induced to embrace the tenets, erroneous though they are, of the majority of our fellow–citizens. Ay, the danger was pressing; the churches of the gentiles are filled with eloquent preachers, who can make tlieir wrong views to appear the better side, to the uninformed at least, by the gloss of fine words, and the web of ingeniousness, which long researches and plausible arguments have thrown round their system. Our constant intercourse with our neighbours makes it almost a matter of course to have frequent invitations extended to us to hear some one or the other of their highly gifted and highly ed– ucated public teachers; it is not to be supposed, that [Page 273] DANGERS AND REMEDY. 273 they ai*e insincere, although we have every reason to suppose that their views are aHke unsound in correct reasoning no less than biblical deductions; for their education has rendered them early familiar with no other, and our ideas when lirst presented to them seem perhaps to their mind absurd and monstrous ; hence their evident sincerity, their splendid flow of words, their dwelling with apparent delight upon the blessedness of their religious hopes ; their professions of inward changes by what they term the free gifts of grace ; their assertions that the literal fulfilment of the precepts is no longer demanded; their terrible denunciation of divine vengeance upon all who may not freely adopt their mode of thinking; their glow– ing imagery of a redemption by an atonement for sinful humanity, which, they allege, the believers af– ter their manner are alone to enjoy ; their appeals to our rejection from divine favour evidenced by our expulsion, and banishment, and captivity, and dis– persion : — all these circumstances, I say, are highly calculated to weaken the attachment which we should feel for our holy, blessed faith, unless we are pre– pared to withstand the attack thus levelled against our constancy by a thorough religious training after the manner of ancient Israelites ; for if even apostasy should not succeed an attendance on such teaching, it might have the effect of weakening altogether everything like acquiescence in religious conviction, since from ignorance of the premises we might be in– duced to reject everything we hear as alike false and unessential. — Tlie more even the gentiles approach our mode of thinking and interpretation, the greater would naturally become the danger of a falling off [Page 274] 274 DANGERS AND REMEDY. from our ranks; for then the eloquence expended upon an illustration of their peculiar tenets would leave the line of demarcation so narrow, that to a su– perficial thinker the difference would not be worth the trouble of maintaining at the great sacrifice which our religion demands ; and still as far as our religious interests are concerned it matters not whether we be– come apostates to the doctrines of Popery, of Luther, of Fox, of Arian, of Mahomed, or of the school of the infidel disbelievers in all positive religions ; for in all instances the connexion with the Israelitish commu– nity would necessarily be severed, and if the fidling off' should unfortunately become general, the name of Jacob would gradually die away from the list of nations. And yet this was the danger to wdiich we were exposed in this country without almost any countervailing means; since the simplicity of our worship and the small number of the properly trained teachers could not, with the worldly–minded, compete with the magnificent exhibition in the churches of the gentiles, the grand and solemn peal of the swell– ing music, the rich and elegant psalmody, and the multitude of expounders attracting large audiences by the charm of flowing words and suasive diction. Can we wonder that a laxity of religious conviction became by degrees too evident for concealment? what should induce Israelites to remain faithful when everything called them away to adopt hostile views? And yet, such is the strength of our heaven–born sys– tem, that few only entirely forsook it, very few families only in this city, and fewer yet in other places denied their portion in the hope of Israel ; for the conviction wrought in early youth by a contemplation of the [Page 275] DANGERS AND REMEDY. 275 observances dear to our people stood, together with parental instruction, imperfect though it might be, as the defence between apostasy and adherence; and the true cause remained triumphant, though sadly shorn of a strict conformity, and though many minds were lukewarm in the pursuit of the truth, and al– most ready to cast off the last link that bound them to us. There is no exaggeration in this sketch, it is the simple truth, mortifying though it may be; and we cannot deny that several sought for religious in– formation from gentile–teachers, failing to obtain the wholesome access to the true water of life among their own brethren. In this melancholy state were our people here and elsewhere only three years ago, when, as I observed, our sisters, worthy daughters of a worthy race, aroused themselves to the noble effort to scatter profusely among all who might come a knowledge of the prin– ciples it behooves them to know, and of the duties they are to accomplish in obedience to the will of our God. Many then came who, though past the age of infancy, had scarcely any knowledge of their faith and of the principles on which it is founded, and several of them are this day among us, not as scholars, but as teachers, in their turn to assist in blessing others with the light that has thus been permitted to dawn on them. Is not this alone a subject of felicitation? does it not warm your hearts to look upon these immediate fruits of the good work ? But this is not all ; nearly two hundred Israelites, from the ages of four to six– teen years, have at different times during the period I have mentioned received instruction in this estab– lishment, and been taught biblical history and the [Page 276] 276 DANGERS AND REMEDY. principles of our religion from books written chiefly for the use of the school ; others not yet familiar with reading have been taught this necessary element of education; and the exhibition which you have wit– nessed this day must have convinced you, that the labour has not been bestowed in vain. Another gratifying fact which I wish you to notice is, that to the best of my knowledge, not one of the teachers and children has died, from the commencement of the school up to this day, which evidences a remarkable degree of health, almost beyond precedent in other cases. Are we saying too much when we assert, that this evidences that God has thus shown his approba– tion of the work ? I will admit, that it savours more of presumption than meekness to look upon every success attending our daily conduct as an approval of Providence ; for wickedness might thus not rarely claim an attestation from on High ; but still we are warranted by Scripture to say, that in things of mag– nitude we have the undoubted right to aver, that the srreat Creator who watches over all the aflairs of man approves of our deeds, when we see that life, health and a moderate share of success attend on our under– takings. We are, therefore, in the present instances authorized in asserting that the enterprise is one truly meritorious, and emineutly calculated to produce much good in the household of Israel ; and that im– perfect as it is yet, it is the proper remedy which can be opposed to the advances of the gentiles to embrace their ideas and conduct, and to the taunts of the un– godly, who say positive religion is not requisite for salvation. — For in this school the children are taught the unity of God ; how that the Creator, from whom [Page 277] DANGERS AND REMEDY. 277 proceed all things that exist, is one and alone, and that there is no associate in his greatness, and that no being shares with Him the government of the world. They are also informed, that this unending One gave his law to his servant Moses, and that this law is yet in our possession, and must ever remain the rule of conduct of all descendants of Israel. — They are taught to know that God will reward the good, if even un– seen by man ; and that the most secret sin will be sure to meet with due visitation. — They have it im– pressed on their mind, that the present state of the moral world is not destined to remain unaltered, that a time will come, be this sooner or later, when the Lord will raise up to himself a shepherd over his people Israel, a shoot from the stem of Jesse the Bethlehemite, in whose days truth and freedom shall establish their reign on earth ; when the idols will be forsaken, when the fear of war and desolation shall no more terrify the children of men, and when the Lord alone shall be worshipped, when to all sons of Adam, He, our God, shall be One and his name One. — They are also told in the words of the Scrip– tures, that the death of the body is not everlasting, that with this life all our hopes are not ended, all our days not cut off; but that the dead will live again, that the departed will arise, and that in the Lord's own good time those who sleep in the dust will awaken to chaunt unto everlasting their Creator's praise. Think you, that it is possible that these doc– trines and these truths spread among all our children, impressed on their mind in early infancy, will not be an excellent bulwark against amalgamation, a strong defence against utter apostasy ? Is not thus each one VOL. X. 24 [Page 278] 278 DANGERS AND REMEDY. armed with weapons of proof against the most flowery speech which upholds a division in the godhead, a. redemption through a dying divinity, and a condem– natioii to everlasting torment of those who believe that they cannot be condemned for the sin of the first man? Can one properly instructed be deceived with the assertion that the reign of peace has commenced on earth, when wars, and dissensions, and tyranny, and slavery yet disfigure the page of life? Can an Israelite who is cognizant of divine truths believe that truth is triumphant, that the unity of the Lord is universally acknowledged, when we see that, though the house of Jacob walk in the name of the living God, the gentiles yet walk each in the name of his own ideal worship? In this manner will the instruction in the principles of our faith confute the ideas of our neighbours in re– gard to the objections made to us because of our dis– persion, which to the uninformed might argue a re– jection from grace; but to us, when acquainted with the spirit of our laws, it will be apparent that our punishment is a state of probation, decreed over us, because in our prosperity we rejected the truth, and sought the vain desires of our own wicked heart, fol– lowed the customs of the gentiles, and broke the cove– nant of the Most Iligli. But now tlie influence of the Pentateuch is constantly seen and felt ; the more we are brought into contact with the systems of the na– tions of the earth, the more we are induced to insti– tute comparisons with the views others entertain of the world, its Author, his laws, our morality, and our hopes of salvation : the more will the superiority of our blessed code be established in the miuds of the [Page 279] DANGERS AND REMEDY. 279 remnant of Israel, I mean the faithful few, from whom at hist is to spring that holy people, of Avhom the pro– phet says (Zephaniah iii. 12, 13): "And I will leave in the midst of thee an humble and poor people, and they will seek shelter in the name of the Lord. This remnant of Israel will not do iniquity, nor speak lies, nor will there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue ; therefore shall they feed and lie down and none shall make them afraid." And, whilst the king– dom of peace was not yet established, our residence in Palestine could not be otherwise than it has proved itself in our history — a constant striving to imitate foreign manners. Now, in a national existence, this must have subverted, as it did subvert, the organiza– tion of our state; but in the dispersion, if even thou– sands forsake the law, our existence is not endan– gered, because the nation lives and thrives in the individual will, in each meri;ber of the house of Ja– cob. And these individuals will ever be on earth; it is impossible to judge from history and analogy on one side, and from scriptural promises on the other, but that some will always be willing to bear testimony to the truth of Revelation ; and it is these few, of even an humble and poor people, on whom our hopes must be placed, and who are ultimately to be that remnant whose mouth shall not utter deceit, and whose hand shall be free from iniquity. And it is they who, when asked to rely upon a mediator for salvation, seeing that those who so believe are prosperous whilst our Jerusalem is desolate and our temple burnt with fire, will say that, when the time of our purification is past, when the twofold wrath for all our sins has been all poured out, the desolate places will be rebuilt, and [Page 280] 280 DANGERS AND REMEDY. the palace be reared again and rise unto everlasting from its ruins; that again shall there be heard, in the streets of" Jerusalem which are now desolate, the voice of the bridegroom and the bride, and the aged shall yet lean there upon their staffs, whilst youths and maidens are plajung in the exuberance of joy ; and all this shall be the work of regeneration, when the spirit of God shall fill every heart, when the love of the Lord shall be the true characteristic of every son of Israel. But the idea of a mediator will then be forgotten ; no one will then believe that the Lord could possibly be the implacable enemy to his own creation ; no one will then credit that the deity is di– vided against himself, and that one part is filled with love whilst the other is urged by inexorable justice; no one will then admit that salvation was purchased by a dying god, shedding his blood for the sin of Adam ; but all then will believe that a law was given for our salvation; that the Lord is merciful and of unending kindness; that He forgives iniquity and will not destroy; and that He is able and willing to save all those who seek his forgiveness and grace. Yes, this is the knowledge which is to be univer– sal — to acknowledge God alone, and to view Him alone as the Saviour, the Ruler, the Legislator of his creatures ; and this is the science, to be prized above all other wisdom, which it has been the endeavour of our beloved sisters to infuse into the minds of their charges, to fit them to become Israelites in thoughts, in deeds, no less than they are in name by the in– heritance from their fathers. — If now the infidel, and he who has no hope in the spiritual world, and in the promises of the prophets who have spoken of the good [Page 281] DANGERS AND REMEDY. 281 that is to arise for Israel, ask of the instructed Hebrew, " Wiiy dost thou observe the law? dost thou believe that the great Creator cares about thy doings ? believ– est thou in truth that the Unseen One spoke audibly to any mortal man?" he will answer: I observe the law because I do believe that the great Creator does truly care about my doings ; that He watches my con– duct, and will reward the good I do and punish the evil; and because I do sincerely put faith in the his– torically–established fact of the promulgation of the law in an audible manner by the unseen God ; for this fact is not merely one of record, but it is likewise established by our daily experience ; since all the evil effects of disobedience to the statutes which are re– corded in its pages are daily fultilled before our eyes, and consequently the Author of so much wisdom, He who foretold so many things before they could have become matters of history, must be far wiser than man, consequently the Author of man himself. And as regards the objection that ceremonies are of neces– sity no matters of importance to the Deity, the Israel– ite will answer, that in themselves there is doubtless no service rendered to God by observing them ; but since it was of importance to the Lord, for his own wise purposes, to sanctify Israel to be to Him a priestly people, to become ultimately the messengers of the truth to all other nations : it was necessary to hedge round the people so chosen by observances and duties which should form around them a wall of de– fence and separation, within which the divine truths should be safely preserved from being cast off amidst the mass of error prevailing all over the world. The ceremonies, to use the ideas of the great Mendelssohn, 24* [Page 282] 282 DANGERS AND REMEDY. slioiild be the occasions for constant referring to the trntli.s which we had received, and adverting back to historical tacts, and unceasing] j cause an explanation, or rather living instruction, to be given whenever the uninformed saw them practised, that they might ask of those who already knew of God's power and wis– dom for light and instruction, to be in themselves again enabled to hand these ceremonies and these explanations down to future ages. — "We may say, farther, that mere ideas unconnected with acts might be forgotten in the lapse of time; error might be preached, backed by sophistry and a seltisli philoso– phy, which would seek its greatest happiness in mere animal enjoyment; but since our truths are bound up with actions, the truths themselves cannot be forgot– ten whilst those acts are the daily practice of our peo– ple. — So, for instance, we are taught that whatever is, happens, and is through the agency of God alone. !Now, we have the ceremony of prayer, we are taught that to ask what we need is acceptable service to God: and see you not that the observance of this duty brings home to our feelings that there is One who is able to help? that there is One who hears us, who watches us, who is nigh unto us in all our attlictions? and that by obedience we may render ourselves worthy of his favour? — And when the blessed Sabbath is ushered in, when the newly–arranged household and the quiet rest proclaim that that day is holy to the Lord, are we not reminded of the great work of the Creation, by the One who is the tirst and Avho is the last and without whom there is no god? — The Passover, too, in its annual visit, the bitter herbs, the unleavened bread, the proclamation of the festival, do they not [Page 283] DANGERS AND REMEDY. 283 tell that with a mighty hand the Lord brought us forth from Egypt ? — and that it was then proved how weak is man when contending against God, and that there exists no being but the One Supreme who can wound and heal, who can cast down to the grave and bring again to life? — The same may be said of every ceremonial action, for all tend to the same great end, to unite by outward acts the inward spirit to the truths which were handed down to us, and to per– petuate the work of divine legislation which took place on Sinai, by constituting all Israel living wit– nesses and living agents in the deeds they do as fol– lowers of that great law which we then received. These briefly, namely, the resistance to an amal– gamation with the erroneously believing gentile– world, and the refusal to yield the law to the false reasoning of unbelievers, are the fruits which we maj'" justly expect from the progress of instruction; and the means presented by the school before us, we have every reason to believe, will go a great way towards scattering the light and guidance of which our youths stand so much in need. The earnestness with which the enterprise thus far has been encouraged by the liberal brethren in this city, the eagerness with which parents have availed themselves of the opportunity to have their children taught, and the cheering emu– lation of the example set here in other cities, besides the general wish expressed in every town almost of this land where Israelites dwell, to obtain a more ex– tended knowledge of the ways of life : are all tokens that the spirit of the law is not extinct in Israel, and that we have well–founded hopes that we are at last about to shake ofl" the long sleep, and to do some– [Page 284] 284 DANGERS AND REMEDY. thing in earnest to redeem our name from the charge of slothfiihiess in religious matters. And indeed, brethren and friends! it is not enough that you send your children to be taught their duties theoretically ; but 3'ou are bound to show them the practical appli– cation to life of whatever they may learn, and to make lovely to them the doctrines which are held up to them for their guidance. In short, your children should not learn one thing from their teachers, and another from their parents and guardians ; the Sab– bath held up as a sign between God and Israel should not be profaned by those whom they love and should obey, in obedience to the Decalogue; they should not be asked to eat forbidden food at home, which is told them here to be in contravention of the will of God. No, beloved friends ! be consistent, but be consistent in the path of righteousness; teach your children whatever they should do, and be careful that the practice coincide strictly with the precept. And since this school has done so much already to elicit the desire for information and to furnish the means for gratifying this newly awakened longing, it is to be confidently expected, that you will not let the means be wanting to carry out the beneficent design for many years to come. It is needless to dwell long on this point; the benefits to be derived have been placed before you, and, Israelites as you are, I am confident that the accustomed bounty will not be withheld this time, and that there will not be any occasion to stint henceforward the amount of good which ought to be derived by all Jewish children of this place, without distinction to station or wealth. But all should be made welcome by the ampleuess of [Page 285] DANGERS AND REMEDY. 285 the endowment, and all should receive the instruc– tion which was of old given alike to all children of Israel. Before concluding, I again deem it my duty to call your attention to the necessity there exists of not contining education to one day in the week only. There is always more or less danger in an indiscrimi– nate intercourse with persons differing from us; this is the case in riper years when the judgment has already become matured : how much more must this then be in childhood, or early youth, before princi– ples are fixed and a sufficient fund of correct knowl– edge has been acquired. I therefore would urge upon your consideration the propriety, I may say the neces– sity demanded by the wants of the times, to estab– lish a general school under your own superintend– ence, where all the elementary and higher branches of a good education can be obtained in connexion with a thorough knowledge of Jewish things, history, customs, and ceremonies, and a familiar acquaintance with the Hebrew language and Hterature. The large number of pupils before us proves that scholars would not be wanting for such a seminary of righteousness ; and the success of similar undertakings in other coun– tries admonishes us, that all which is wanted is a united eflbrt and a pious reliance on the blessing of Providence. With these, the enterprise cannot fail; and the success hitherto attending the attempt in this city at diffusion of religious knowledge admonishes us, in a language not to be misunderstood, that we would not be doing our duty if this weighty matter should not speedily engage our attention and be car– ried into efiect. It is to be hoped, therefore, that [Page 286] 286 DANGERS AND REMEDY. you, my friends ! who glory in the name of Israel, will hasten to forward the good work which has been commenced in this city and elsewhere; and not rest till you see our own children guided by our own teachers, and so taught that every branch of knowl– edge they acquire may tend to improve their morals, and make them more willing servants of the Most High, imbued with the true spirit of righteousness, to be lirm and faithful to the law of the Lord, all the days they live upon the earth ! And you, beloved young friends! upon whom in a measure hang the future hopes of Israel, forget not the instruction which you have received, and may yet receive after this, in the doctrines of your religion. I3e careful to observe all the duties which are de– manded of you, and think no act trifling and unim– portant which the law of God makes it the duty of every Israelite to observe. Be obedient to your pa– rents, and do not grieve them by misconduct or the exhibition of bad passions. Be kind to one another, and ever strive to obtain the good–will of all your fellow–men. But above all, be Urm in maintaining the truth of the religion which you have learned from your parents; do nothing to disgrace the name of Jew in the estimation of those who hold opinions differ– ent from ours; and never listen to any one who would persuade you by any offer, be it ever so tempting, to forsake the religion of your fathers. If you act so always, yon will earn for yourselves an enviable name, and you will be beloved by men, and have the con– soling satisfaction of having earned the favour of your Father who is in heaven ; and in this manner will you live an ornament to yourselves and a joy to your [Page 287] PLANTING THE SEED. 287 parents; and you will have the assurance, that when your days are ended you will be received into im– mortal happiness by your God and Saviour, as were the pious Israelites who lived before you. Amen. March 28th, 5601. ADDRESS XI. PLANTING THE SEED.* O God ! whose words are the truth everlasting, Thou hast said in the records of thy wisdom, con– cerning the blissful knowledge derived from the pre– cepts of thy ordaining, " They are life to those that find them, and a healing to all their flesh." And, in very truth, we have discovered this consolation in all our many and long wanderings, to which we have been impelled by the disasters which have met us through our manifold transgressions. "What would have we been Avithout thy revelation ? how could Is– rael have existed without the faith which sprung from Thee? Lost would our name have been, swallowed up in the vortex of forgetfulness, and we would have been irretrievably mingled with the nations of the earth. And thus would thy IN'ame have been pro– faned, with none to uphold the glory of the exalted * At the Philadelphia Sunday–school examination, March 80th, 5606. [Page 288] 288 PLANTING THE SEED. praise which is Thine from the beojinniucr. But Thou didst call thy son from Egypt, and place in his mouth thy word and thy wisdom, that he should go forth and be a light to many nations that walk in dark– ness, that they at length might be impressed with the conviction that all the earth is thine alone, O Father ! and that in all creation there is no one to share the attributes of thy goodness, benevolence, wisdom, power, and eternity. And therefore, whenever thj' law called out for vengeance against us for our sins, when thy justice demanded victims from among those who, having the light, refused to abide by thy teach– ing, its permanence became our cure, and life was ac– corded to us, because there were always tljose among us wdio loved thy jirecepts and stroved to iind salva– tion in the road which Thou hadst marked out in which we should travel unto thy presence. How happy is then our lot, that we are in posses– sion of the law which is the prop of our nation, the refuge of all the earth ! how happy would we be were we but sensible of having in our grasp this great bless– ing, 3'ea, the greatest which man ever received ! Peace would then reign within our walls, prosperity within our dwellings, and we would be marked as a people wise above all tongues, happy because the Lord, God Everlasting, is our God. It is, therefore, that we in– voke Thee, O our Father! to look down from thy high abode in heaven, and bless thy people Israel with the light of thy countenance, and to impart wis– dom to our souls; and especially to be present this day in our assembly in the midst of the congregation of the youthful scions of thy heritage, the house of Israel, who are assembled in thy house, to deliver a [Page 289] PLANTING THE SEED. 289 token and a, testimony that since their last annual assemblage they have not been indolent in the pur– suit of wisdom, and that their soul has drunk a por– tion of the waters of life which are a cure to the dis– eased spirit that leans upon Thee for support. Bless them, asThou hast ever blessed those who seek Thee, and let the instruction they have received be unto them a satistying of the thirsting soul and the long– ing spirit, yea, the soul that thirsteth to know thy ways, and the spirit that yearns for thy salvation. We humbly acknowledge that it is but a small thing which has been attempted ; surrounded by dif– ficulties which try our constancy, we have made a feeble essay to difluse the knowledge of thy word. But Thou, O Lord! art mighty to save; it is not to the strong that victory belongeth, nor doth the race appertain to the swift of foot. And thy word does teach us that Thou hast often granted assistance to the weak and feeble, and in the days of tribulation Thou didst save Israel through the hands of a woman whose arm could not wield the sword nor hold the shield in the day of strife. Let us, then, invoke thy aid in the work in which we are engaged, cause thy blessing to increase the humble seed which is planted amidst difficulties and dangers, and let it grow till it shoot up in a mighty tree, in whose branches the birds of heaven may find shelter, and whose shade may re– fresh the weary traveller that seeks rest under its far– spreading boughs. And let each child that receives instruction in this institution be enabled to see the beautiful wonders of thy statutes, that its spirit may love to contemplate the path of the true faith, and it be led all its life to urge daily more forward in the VOL. X. 25 [Page 290] 290 PLANTING THE SEED. pursuit of righteousness, in the attainment of whioh there is length of days in a world without end, in a life without a cloud to darken its sunshine, without a pang to mar the pleasantness of existence. But upon those also who are engaged in the blessed task of teaching, we invoke thy blessing. They, too, need thy guidance, that their instruction may be free from error, and that they may not weary in their self– assumed task, and become slothful in Thy service. Be with them in the hours when they are actively engaged with their charges, and let them at all other times be made conscious that they have chosen to watch over a portion of thy flock, young children of the house of Israel, and that it behoves them to be circumspect in their conduct and conversation, that they may do nothing to discredit the hopeful task for which they have devoted themselves, in order that they may be enabled to lead aright those whom they instruct, and that both teachers and scholars may spread to others the holy influence of a righteous ex– ample, and draw many to obey thy precepts and to seek for a cure of the soul in thy law. And let us also pray Thee to bless with abundance of peace and prosperity all the sons of Israel in all their dwellings, and especially those of thy household who are personally interested in the progress and happiness of the children who are here this day. Let us be made strong and steadfast in thy service, and aid us, O God! in our struggle with sin, and in our seeking for light and truth : in order that we nuiy all be preserved uprigiit and undiminished, and that, when Thou comest in thy mnjesty to judge the living and the dead, there may not one be wanting in the [Page 291] PLANTING THE SEED. 291 band of servants, that not a soul be bidden in the darkness of thy displeasure, of all those who are here standing before Thee this day, in this house dedicated to thy worship. And may all mankind be taught thy ways, in the speedy coming of thy anointed, and may soon be ascribed to Thee, alone, power, majesty, glory, and unity from all the sons of Adam, O God! who art one, indivisible, eternal, good, holy, and all–just; for Thine is the glory and the kingdom forever, and Thou alone art God and Saviour. Amen. Ladies and Gentlemen ! I have been requested by the superintendent and teachers of the Sunday–school to lay before you briefly the merits and claims of the institution under their charge. This is the seventh anniversary since its foundation, and ever since the day it was first opened to receive those in whom you have so much interest, it has gone on dispensing light and knowledge to all who have sought its benefits. Rich and poor, the na– tive and the foreigner, and in one or two instances even the non–Israelite, have alike been welcome here, and the result before you shows that it has not been in vain that the teachers have laboured. It does not need my admonition to prove to you that it is your duty to bestow a religious education on your children, or else there would not be so many here to–daj– to wit– ness the annual examination. I am sure that it must be a pleasing task to the teachers to give instruction, and a much greater pleasure to the parents and friends of the pupils to bestow the means to enable the highly meritorious labourers in the cause to progress with [Page 292] 292 PLANTING THE SEED. their work without thought or care about the ex– penses wMiich they must necessarily incur. Ever since the first commencement of the Sunday–school it has had nothing to rely upon but your kindness; a fund, no doubt, could have been established which would have insured its permanency; but it appears best after a seven–years experience, that it was left in a measure unprotected, and compelled to rely upon the kindness of those themselves interested for its sup– port. It has given you every year an eligible oppor– tunity to demonstrate that 3'our wishes have been grat– ified in the progress of the children, and that you ar3 in earnest in your desire to see it continue in active operation and flourish under your kind approbation. I am sure that I express nothing but the real feeling of the superintendent and teachers when I return in their name my heartfelt thanks for the benevolent in– dividuals who have so generously always aided them, and to the members of the congregation for having supplied them with a proper school–room wherein to pursue weekly their exercises. Perhaps many among you may have expected a great deal more than you have witnessed this day; no doubt yon think that the holy tongue of Israel ought not to be neglected, and that it should be taught to the pupils of the Sunday–school. There can be no doubt that the realization of this idea would confer the greatest benefit on our young brothers and sisters, and that it is a thing which ought to be accomplisiied. But, permit me to say, that one day's instruction in the week would hardly accomplish it, and then we would And it extremely difficult to obtain competent teachers to do this amount of labour to their own sat– [Page 293] PLANTING THE SEED. 293 isfaction and the benefit of their charges. Hebrew should be taught to all Jewish children ; but it re– quires honest and God–fearing teachers specially quali– fied for the task, and it is for you, who are here this day, to take care that, if you have such among you, their services shall be not left unsought for. It is not so difiicult as some imagine to acquire a proper de– gree of knowledge in the elementary steps of the holy language; a little study and some instruction are all that is required; and whilst instruction can be had from competent persons, there is no reason why ig– norance in this important particular should be longer tolerated. The Sunday–school was commenced to give instruction in the dogmas and duties of religion; this must be done in the vernacular language of the coun– try, and this end it has admirably responded to, of which the prompt answers of the scholars are an am– ple testimony. Not alone this has been accomplished, but books, the real means of instruction, not before existing, have been written expressly througli the en– couragement which this and other similar institutions have afforded; and you, who can recollect back no farther than fifteen years ago, must acknowledge that a lamentable deficiency then existing has been in a great measure supplied. It becomes me not to speak of the share I had in this work ; but I may speak of the labours of others, and herein then I will say, that the Israelites, who have contributed their share, have proved themselves fully equal to the writers of other beliefs in this important particular. No doubt, if these institutions are continued and they meet with proper appreciation, but that they will give rise to many other manuals of instruction, so that before 25* [Page 294] 294 PLANTING THE SEED. many years arc over there will not be chargeable to us the great neglect to which our brothers are ex– posed by the want of means to aflbrd them instruc– tion. Even the Sunday–school itself has during the course of the year printed two little books which it employs, and fully half the expense has been defrayed by distant congregations, who also required them for the rearing of their children. You have thus a brief outline of what has been done, and a view of what is yet to be achieved ; and let me assure you, that by fostering this institution, and by giving the proper bent to the mind of our youth, you secure the best means of accomplishing a far greater good hereafter. Through " concord small things grow," whilst discord destroys great em– pires. Be thig then your aim, that our small school shall ultimately expand into a real nursery of Ju– daism, whence light and knowledge may be scattered abundantly abroad; and be not disheartened at the smallness of the present results, but look upon them as an earnest of better things to come. The impulse to a national Jewish education in America was given in this city, by ladies belonging to this congregation. Let me then express the hope, that you will long cherish so well conceived an undertaking, and rely upon divine aid, that your aspirations may not be disappointed, and that the seed which you help to sow may before long produce an abundant harvest of righteousness and piety, not alone in this city, but over the leuirth and breadth of this land. And may the unbouglit grace of God, that blessing above all others unlimited and glorious, be granted to [Page 295] INSTRUCTION FOR ALL. 295 US from Above to prosper our work and to establish firmly what we have uudertakeu. Amen. Veadar 21st. | 5605. March 30th. ADDRESS XII. INSTRUCTION FOR ALL.* Father of man, whose providence is ever watchful over the works of thy creatures ! be with us this clay in our assembling for the glorification of thy blessed Name. Behold ! with insufficient strength, and few in number, we present ourselves in thy presence, not relying on our might and our wisdom, but on thy goodness and on thy aid to perfect what we so feebly begin. We feel deeply our unworthiness to assume the task of becoming the teachers of thy word ; we are penetrated with the painful consciousness that the best among us needs correction; that the wisest requires yet more instruction. Still be Thou with us in the hours we devote to the diffusion of thy faith ; teach the ignorant how to expound thy law, and render the feeble tongue eloquent, that we may see blissful fruits ripening from our exertions, and * Substance of remarks at the opening of the Baltimore Hebrew Sunday–school, on a similar plan as that existing before in Phila– delphia, which took place on Sunday, December 7th, 5617 (1856), at which I attended by special invitation. After reading Jer. xxxi. 23–38, the above prayer was delivered, and afler a hymn had been sung, I made the address which follows. [Page 296] 296 INSTRUCTION FOR ALL. thy kingdom taking deep root in hearts now the seat of ignorance and vanity. Make us and our scholars alive to the cousolations which flow from thy revealed word, the unsearchable streams of knowledge wdiich are diffused over the world through thy spirit, which Thou didst spread over thy people when they stood trembling before thy glory, which was made manifest before their eyes on j–on Sinai, when thy power had humbled their oppressors, and broken the chains of their servitude. Fill us wdth gratitude for the many benefits wdiich Israel has ever obtained at thy hands, for the many redemptions which have snatched us from destruction, when strangers to thy law rose up to blot out our name from the face of the earth; and O lend enchantment and persuasion to our words, that we may succeed in impressing the j'oung scions of thy household, who come to us for instruction, with a firm resolution to abide true and faithful to Thee, O God! who hast been so beneficent towards their fathers, who have preserved for them up to this day the treasures wdiich no gold nor pearls can purchase, which no earthlj' possessions can equal in value! Yes, grant, Almighty Father ! that we and our pupils may have a full appreciation of what thy teaching has been to us; that it alone shielded us when the arrows of misfortune flew thick around us, when the burning sun in midday seemed to us shorn of his rays and warmth, when the skies appeared to us clothed in blackness, when all joy was fled, and destruction tlireateued to engulf us forever. Let us understand it fully, that it was not our perseverance, our obdu– racy of character, against which the waves of misfor– tune exhausted their rage in vain ; but that it was the [Page 297] INSTRUCTION FOR ALL. 297 strength of thy word, and the panoply of thy cove– nant which dwells within ns, which made us strong and unconquerable, which imbued us with the resist– ance to the world's assaults, which strangers have be– held with astonishment, which our opponents have failed to explain, not regarding it, as we do, in the light of a manifestation of thy miraculous power. Do this for the sake of thy holiness, for the sake of thy glory which dwells in Israel ; so that our sons and daughters may be drawn to thy worship, lirmly clinging to thy law, as their tree of life, under the branches of which alone they can find shelter and safety; and vouchsafe that what we commence this day in fear and trembling, may branch out into a nursery of righteousness and knowledge, whence many may issue to labour for the spread of thy king– dom, as messengers of blessed tidings to many yet unborn. By this, O Father ! shall we recognize that we have not toiled for nought, and that our service, offered in humility, has been received in favour be– fore thy mercy's throne. And let us beseech Thee also, that Thou mayest plant in our hearts brotherly love and mutual forbearance, that we may support each other's pious counsels, and travel unitedly on that road which leads to thy happy mansions, where they are to dwell who have here on earth fulfilled thy will. Strengthen our virtuous inclination, that we may subdue the evil which is within us, above all, the spirit of domination, arrogance, and self–sufH– ciency, which misleads mortals to exalt themselves above their fellows, who like them are the objects of thy care, like them the children of thy household. And thus let us in humility approach thy presence, [Page 298] 298 INSTRUCTION FOR ALL. ready to labour for thy glory in whatever station Thou wilt assign us, and thus shall wo know that wo have found favour in thy eyes, and that our prayer has been accepted in mercy. Yea, bless our undertaking, not for our sake, but for the sake of the covenant Thou madest with our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that Thou Avouldst be a God unto them and their seed forever. Amen. Ladies and Gentlemen! In the last book of Moses (Deut. xxxi. 10–13), we read : " And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, ut the fixed time of the year of release, on the feast of taber– nacles, when all Israel come to appear before the Lord thy God, in the place which Ho will choose, shalt thou road this law in the pres– ence of all Israel, in their hearing. Assemble the people together, the men, and the women, and the children, and the stranger that is within thy gates ; in order that they may learn how they are to fear the Lord your God, and to observe and do all the words of this law ; and that their children, who have not yet any knowledge, may hear, and learn to fear the Lord jour God, all the days which yo live in the land whither ye go over the Jordan to possess it." You will readily discover, from the wording of our text, that the religion of Israel was not to be the ex– clusive property of any one, or of a class of the peo– ple ; none was to be excluded from instruction, not even the stranger who was not of Israel, although he was not bound to observe the precepts, notwithstand– ins: he was familiar with them. If, on hearing the law and knowing the benefits arising from its prac– tice, he wished to annex himself to the house of Jacob, he was welcome, and he became then like one [Page 299] INSTRUCTION FOR ALL. 299 born in the land, with the same statutes and ordi– nances governing and protecting him as those reared from infancy in the faith. In order, therefore, to add solemnity to the dignified labour of instructing all in religion, the chief of the nation was ordered to as– semble, at a iixed time, that is, every seventh or re– lease year, at the feast of tabernacles, when the annual pilgrimage took place as usual, not alone the men, who were accustomed to come to this feast, but the women, children, and strangers likewise, who on other occasions were absent, in order that he miorht read to them the laAv in person. Probably he stood on a raised platform in the temple–court, as we lind the case with Ezra, and had assistants scattered among the assembly, who recited and expounded the same words which the chief spoke to those who imme– diately surrounded him. At all events, the public proclamation, so to say, of the renewed adherence of Israel every seven years to the law, amidst the im– mense throng who came then to Jerusalem in the most lovely season, the autumn, when their field–la– bours had been finished, must have impressed on the conviction of all, that not one of them but had an in– dividual interest in the inheritance of Jacob, of which he neither could divest himself, nor of which could any one else by force deprive him. He was a son of Israel, the law proclaimed him a child of the Most High, but only through the law ; and while he was conscious of this, that be was one of the people, though many might be of a higher position in society, pofssess more wealth, and be endowed with more knowledge, he could, after the festival was over, re– turn to his cottage on the hills of Judah, or the plains [Page 300] 300 INSTRUCTION FOR ALL. of Jisreel, by the margin of the sea, or the confines of the desert, and plough his field, dress his vineyard, launch his boat on the unsteady ocean or lake, or feed his flocks and herds in the quiet pasture, proud of being a member of a state the constitution of which protected all alike, glorying in being a portion of a commonwealth whose God is the Lord. The incen– tive given to general instruction by the solemn re– proclamation of the Law, from time to time, cannot be overrated ; and those who did not have as yet the treasures of their religion must have felt abashed at their want of understanding of what had been read in their presence: whereas their better–informed neigh– bours comprehended easily and readily the message of everlasting life, which their political chief deliv– ered to them before the whole people, by the com– mand of their God and Legislator; and thus all must have felt the necessity' of seeking for more extended education from those who were familiar with the his– tory and law of the land. Religious education among us has never been con– fined to classes; and though no doubt the priests and Levites were the best educated in this branch among us, there is no doubt on the other hand, that they employed the leisure left them when they were not required at the temple, which was indeed but a trifle more than two weeks in every year, to be the teachers of the people.* All Israel were to be taught, as all had an equal share in their religion. But in modern times the study of religion has fallen sadly into * See Kiishi to Gen. xlix. 7, whore he includes the tribes of Simeon among the teachers of children. [Page 301] INSTRUCTION FOR ALL. 301 decay; worldly knowledge is professedly so highly prized, that no time is left for an acquisition which is to direct our course of life. The consequence of this is the state of irreligion in which so many of our people are now found, not so much from any hostility to the faith, as from their ignorance of its doctrines and details. You have done well, therefore, ladies of Baltimore, to unite for the purpose of employing the first day of the week, when the laws of your state in– Lcidict secular lahour, and when the other schools are closed, to teach in this school, which you have just founded, the principles and practices of Judaism. I need not say that we do not attach any sanctity to the first day of the week, nor that the words Sunday– school are synonymous with Sabbath–school, as some of our neighbours might be led to suppose, because we teach a religious school on Sunday; for it is only selected as being a leisure day, comparatively speak– ing, with both teachers and children, more than any other day of the week, and therefore best suited for the purpose you have in view. In teaching, however, ladies, you must understand well that all sects around us found their religion no less than we do on the holy Scriptures, and they rely on its text for a support of their views, however they dili'er from those which are characteristic of the Jewish religion. Yes, all be– lievers in revealed religion regard the Bible as the foundation of their faith. If, therefore, Israelites were to take their religious views merely from the various translations which the various sects hold up as authority, — for instance, the English version, made by order of King James I, the German, by Luther, the Latin Vulgate, declared authentic by authority VOL. X. 26 [Page 302] 302 INSTRUCTION FOR ALL. of the Pope, and the Douay Bible, also a Catholic work, made for the use of this sect, omitting the Scp– tuagiiit, or whatever other versions there may be, — they Avould be utterly unable to know what their du– ties are, bewildered as they would necessarily be by the diversity of explanations engrafted, often arbitra– rily, on the word of God. But they require with the reading of the Bible a Jewish exposition of the same, that they may readily detect therein the principles which are peculiarly theirs, and to defend them by means of the deductions and reasonings handed down to them by their forefathers. The main principles of our faith, or that we should believe as Jews, are comprised in what is commonly called the Maimonidean creed. I will not stop to inquire whether or not our second Moses was really the author, or compiler rather, of our credo, as many assert, or not, as others maintain; for it matters not to whom we are indebted for this short comprehen– sive view of Judaism, as its truth is indisputable, and every separate article could be proved from Scripture, if time permitted me to–day to enter on the discussion. Let us, however, briefly recite the principles which are thus held up to our adoption. The first is the exist– ence of God, who alone created and governs all that has been made. The second is, that the Creator is one and alone, our God, who was, is, and will be. The third is, that the Creator is not corporeal, and not subject to any bodilj' infirmity, and cannot be rep– resented by any form. The fourth is, that He is the first and the last. The fifth is, that He is alone worthy to be praj'cd to, but that we cannot address our prayers to any one beside Him. The sixth is, [Page 303] INSTRUCTION FOR ALL. 303 that all the words of the prophets are true. The sev– enth is, that the prophecy of Moses is the standard of the truth, and that he was the greatest of all the prophets that have preceded him, and will come after him. The eighth is, that the Law now in our posses– sion is the same that was given to our teacher Moses. The ninth is, that this Law will not he exchanged, nor will there be any other law from the blessed Crea– tor. The tenth is, that God knows all the deeds and thoughts of the sons of man. The eleventh is, that God will reward those who keep his commandments, and punish those who transgress them. The twelfth is, that there will be a redeemer or Messiah sent by God, to accomplish what has been proinised by the prophets. The thirteenth is, that we believe in the resurrection of the dead at the time it may be the will of the Creator to open the graves to everlasting life. This is a brief view of what according to our cele– brated Mainiuni is the creed of Israel, and I may leave it to you, in passing, to decide on the justice of some of our modern teachers, who claim him as being a reformer of their own kind, or in other words, a de– nier of the truth of prophecy. But to leave this point as hardly belonging to our theme of to–day, I must however call your attention to the evident fact, how utterly subversive the features of our creed are of all dogmas and beliefs held by other persuasions, although they profess to be based on the revelation of God. Still if we are properly instructed, we shall readily acknowledge that this, the religion of Israel, is true, and is confirmed by the course of history, in which it has played so conspicuous a part, and that its princi– ples are based pre–eminently on common sense; as do [Page 304] 304 INSTRUCTION F.OR ALL. not tax the power of believing, since they require not the assumption of any mystery which our reason must reject or accept in blind faith ; and what is more yet, that if we allow these principles to guide us in our conduct, they will conduce to our happiness in the highest possible manner. Nevertheless we see so much ignorance, so much indifference prevailing among us, whereas other per– suasions, which we justly deem to be in error, use so many and powerful efforts to spread their doctrines by means of missions, book, tract, education, Bible, publication, and other societies, while their churches are crowded to suffocation, and a spirit of emulation pervades them all, as to which shall contribute the most for religious purposes, and as to which is to at– tract the largest crowd of converts. At the same time we, who have the undeliled truth in our hands, do so little to propagate it even among ourselves, not to speak of offering it to others. It is owing to this circumstance, already many 3–ears in operation all over this country, that so many families who had been left uninstructed, have by degrees forsaken the household of Israel, and been silently mixed up and imperceptibly lost amid other sects. Arouse your– selves, therefore, you ladies who have volunteered to teach the children of this city! to be active in the ser– vice of our Maker; be not slothful in the discharge of your self–assumed duty, and see to it, that those who look up to you for guidance and instruction shall receive amply what they require justly from you ; do not let trilling obstacles prevent you from being punc– tual in your attendance when your classes meet; for thus only can you expect from them that they shall [Page 305] INSTRUCTION FOR ALL. 305 be punctual themselves and be prepared with the les– sons, which you have given them to study during the week. But take also especial heed that your pupils be correctly instructed and fortified in our principles and peculiar tenets, such as the Unity of God and the permanence of the Law, that they may be here– after able to mingle with the world, and remain still faithful as the followers of the God of Israel. And should you discover that your own knowledge is not yet sufficient to enable you to accomplish this sacred obligation, then apply yourselves to a close study of our religion, and seek likewise the counsel and aid of those who have acquired a just reputation as the " elders who may tell you what is the true way." I must call your attention also to the necessity of not learning our religion alone from books composed in the vernacular, no matter who their authors may be, though this may be a good thing for a commence– ment. You ought to devise the means, by which all should be able to obtain so good a knowledge of the Hebrew language, that they may be at least able to read the Scriptures in the original, and not need to depend on any version, whether King James's or any other, to know what God has taught us all as his will. With the Hebrew text in our hands we can meet and overcome all the erroneous interpretations attempted to be engrafted on the word of God; without it, we are in danger of accepting, like our neighbours do, the most absurd errors as based on Scripture. In conclusion, let me admonish the children here present to open their hearts to instruction, and to be obedient to their teachers, who have so generously come forward to revive the spirit of religion among 26* [Page 306] 306 A RETROSPECT. them ; and let us hope that those who are engaged in this good work may be blessed with success in their eftbrts, that through them the Name of God may be made familiar to many to whom his faith is now un– known, and that by this means the Law of our heav– enly Father may be made lovely in the eyes of those who come hither to learn, so that they may follow strictly the road which is pointed out to them as the way of life everlasting. Amen. ADDRESS XIII. A RETROSPECT.* Eeverend Sir ! As a committee on behalf of your friends, it becomes our pleasing duty to present for your * After my connexion with the Mikv6 Israel had terminated, a number of gentlemen belonging to that body resolved to present me a token of their regard consisting of various pieces of silver. The presentation took place on the 11th of March, 5021, when the ad– dross of the committee, as given above, was delivered by Mr. Hart, president of the congregation, to which, as a matter of course, I was bound to reply. The address was the work of the late Solomon Solis, between whom and myself a friendship of many years' con– tinuance prevailed. Perhaps, I should have omitted this and the two next papers out of this collection, as they are apparently self– laudatory ; but my readers will see that I have avoided, on my part, anything ofl'ensive to others, or boastful regarding myself; besides they are portions of my public addresses, and as such it is hoped not altogether unworthy of preservation. The addresses of the committees are in smaller type than my replies. [Page 307] A RETROSPECT. 307 acceptance this testimonial of their high appreciation of the zeal and devotion displayed by you in the cause of Judaism in America. As the pioneer of Jewish literature in this country, the self–imposed task of manifesting the ennobling prin– ciples which our holy faith inculcates, and of Avhich the following of its precepts cannot fail to engender, your task has been one which could derive its support only in the firm conviction, that in the endeavour to elevate the standard of moral excellence you were but fulfilling to the utmost of your power your duty towards God, and pursuing that course which was best calculated to render your brethren worthy of his mercies. 'Tis true, the field before you was an ample one. And that in this proud and happy land civil and religious lib– erty dwell together in peace and unity. Here were no obstacles placed in the way of our intellectual advance– ment. We might approach the fountain of wisdom, and quaff of its delicious waters to our heart's content. But there was a danger to this new delight. The maxims of a worldly philosophy were mixed in the crystal draught ; and in imbibing them, a distaste was created within us for some of the ordinances of that revered faith which God had revealed, and time has sanctified. 'Tis true, our religion did not demand of us a crusade against those who diff'cred from us in faith and worship — on the contrary, it commanded us to love our neighbour as ourselves, and whilst repelling the attacks of those who would sap the foundation of our religious edifice, it im– pelled upon us the duty of showing our own strength, not the weakness of our adversaries; and although it pointed out the race of Israel as the chosen ones of God, it also made known that all mankind were his children. When but entering on the confines of manhood, you [Page 308] 308 A RETROSPECT. ushered into existence your work of " The Jews and the Mosaic Law," both America and Europe hailed it as a harbinger of your future devotion to the cause of "Juda– ism and its Principles," and your brethren abroad no less tViiin we who have been bound to you by the ties of love and friendship, and who have benefitted by your ministry and instruction for the last twenty–one years, cannot but admit that the promise, then held out, has been fully re– deemed. Your published works, and the discourses to which Ave have had the gratification of listening, whilst they have warned us of the danger of innovations, and demanded of us a firm support and adherence to the Law of Sinai, have never been imbued with that spirit of big– otry which views every discrepancy of opinion between others and one's–self as worthy of proscription. You have justly considered that a subject, which would not admit of a free discussion, deserves our suspicion, and not our support. That the cultivation of the understanding, whilst the heart is neglected, would never bring to ma– turity the fruit of morality, and that did we wish our people to occupy once more their proud position among the nations of the earth, virtue must place the laurel on the brow of wisdom, and the love of God and duty to– wards mankind bo our aim and end. In the age wherein we live, few there arc who possess sufficient strength of character and energy of purpose, to turn aside from the struggle after wealth and power, to devote themselves to the cause of truth ; lor mankind delight the most in those undertakings whose fruit they can see bloom and mature. But whilst earthly grandeur is fleeting, the knowledge of having laboured for the moral and intellectual advancement of our foUow–lieings, must be a source of joy over which time has no power; and we feel, IJcvcrend Sir, that whatever may be j'oui future lot (and may the Most High grant that its meri– [Page 309] A RETROSPECT. 309 dian and close may be as full of fruition, as its morning has been of hope !) this consciousness cannot fail of af– fording 3'ou a foretaste of that happiness, before which all earth's delights are but as "the shadow of a dream that is past." Joseph Newhouse, Chairman, Hyman Gratz, Wm. Florance, I. Binswanger, S. SOLIS, Committee. Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee! It is a trite observation with many persons who, like me, have become recipients of a public demon– stration of regard and afiection, on behalf of their friends and admirers, that the compliment was both unexpected and undeserved by them. The world is just in regarding all such disclaimers as a mere shal– low pretext, to hide emotions of inward pride that at length an otherwise ungrateful public has duly ap– preciated their merit, and acknowledged the services they had rendered to their species. JSTevertheless, I trust you will do me the justice to believe me, that though the reception of the beautiful present you have just tendered me was not altogether unexpected, from the known attachment of you, my friends, it was not needed to reward me for the services, what– ever they be, which I have been permitted to render to the cause of our faith and people, which is the cause of all mankind. Nay, the very aftecting man– ner in which you have worded your presentation– address outweighs the value of your gift; and I shall [Page 310] 310 A RETROSPECT. never forget the words you have employed, should even the time ever come when the present itself might lose its intrinsic worth. In all my public career I have not laboured for gain, if I am at all a judge of my feelings, and I trust I do not deceive myself, conscious as I am that we are all too apt to overrate the purity of our own intentions, and to un– dervalue that of others; and hence I required not, at the close of my ministry among you, to receive a gift so valuable as a recompense of my services. You have been pleased to allude to my literary labours, both as a writer and preacher, and to the value you place on them. I assure you, however, gentlemen, that in thus incidentally serving our peo– ple, I also laboured in my own behalf, and this I ex– pressed some months ago in a social assembly, at the southern capital of the Union, when allusion was made by a fellow–hibourer to my services in– the cause of Judaism. Believe me, that from early youth a vague image of literary activity floated before my mind, and however I pictured to myself the pleasant– ness of the task to labour in the field of Jewish liter– ature, I had almost lost sight of all these aspirations, when circumstances had induced me to look to the pursuit of commerce as the employment of my life. But it is now rather more than twenty–two years ago, when a vile slander against the fair fame of our race and our religion, first propagated on the other side of the Atlantic, forced me to enter the lists as the champion of our cause. It is true, I was unknown and very young; there were abler, older, and more experienced men, who could doubtless have done battle for the good cause, if not better, at least fully [Page 311] A RETROSPECT. 3ll as well as myself; but my own honour and my own faith were assaulted no less than the dearest rights of my fellow–Israelites. Could I then stand idle, whilst I felt the power to strike, without dishonour? Could I remain silent, whilst I had the consciousness of being able to overthrow the calumny ? No, I could not; and I wrote my defence of ourselves be– cause I could not help myself, and hence became unconsciously a champion for a cause, when I only meant to maintain the purity of my own character among others. To this simple circumstance is owing the development of my subsequent life ; the vague image took a shape and form, and by degrees was composed, on detached sheets of paper, my first work, "The Jews and the Mosaic Law," written after the toils of the day were over, in the quiet hours of the night, when slumber rested on the eyelids of most of my other townsmen. It is the simple truth, that I had not the remotest idea of writing a book; and I almost felt ashamed to acknowledge the fact to my intimate friends, when it became known that I had composed a volume of moderate dimensions. The kind and indulgent judgment of the friends of Israel, which is also exemplified in your Address, has since almost convinced me that my fears and hesitation were needless: still I feel too deeply that that per– formance, like my later productions, leaves me far short of the point of excellence which I would gladly have attained. I fear that I am trespassing on your patience, and that I am becoming egotistical, much as I would de– sire to avoid this fault. But you will still, I trust, pardon me, for glancing at my course subsequently [Page 312] 312 A RETROSPECT. to my composing my first work. The Essays, which induced me by enlarging them to indite a book, at– tracted the attention of some of your congregation ; and tlie oflice of minister having become vacant here by the decease of my predecessor, who had so emi– nently acquired the love and respect of the people, I was summoned from Virginia hither, against my own conviction of the propriety of the step I was taking, to assume the office of Hazan in a community where I was not only personally unknown, but where I had also not a single relative even in a remote degree. It was indeed a fearful position for a young man, inex– perienced in the ways of the world, to find himself suddenly an object of marked attention, and often of close scrutiny, among those who bore to liim the relation of a flock to their pastor. My hands were weak; the understanding of my duty perhaps not definite enough : what wonder then that I should have failed at times, not wilfully, but accidental]y, in pursuing the exact course wliich could have secured me in the best manner the confidence and love of my constituents? It is possible, too, that I have given offence to one, to all of you, by an unbecom– ing heat of temperament, by not conciliating, when this may have been possible, by insisting on points when perhaps it would have been prudent and wise to yield. But, I assure you, that never did I wilfully ofiend the least among you ; never did I from malice excite to anger the humblest individual who sought me for aid and counsel. I do not claim to be better than my neighbours; do not imagine tliiit I deem myself free from the faults of humanity; still I trust that no one can say, with justice, that during a long [Page 313] A RETROSPECT. 313 career of public services, I have made myself obnox– ious to the charge of being unfaithful to my trust. But I need not say this little, even, in the presence of you, gentlemen, to–day; since you have met here to bestow on me a testimonial of your appreciation of my character and services; and it would therefore be out of place to enlarge on the topic. Permit me, however, to add, that if I have unwittingly otfended you or any one absent from this assembly, I hope to receive a forgiveness, as from the bottom of my heart I am ready to forgive any injury 1 may have received. Excuse me for saying this, for alluding to past griev– ances; but it is true that my career has been beset with difficulties, with dangers, and that I have been judged at times with a harshness which ought not to have been exhibited towards one, who, if not other– wise entitled to indulgence, had a claim, because he came among you a stranger, by your own invitation, and suifering, as he frequently did, from severe at– tacks of ill health. It is time, however, that I close my remarks, al– ready, perhaps, too long. You have spoken of my sermons; and indeed, if I have any merit, it is to these that I may point. The chair of instruction among us had long been vacant, when the summons was addressed to me to arise and teach the people. I need not tell you how gladly, yet with how much fear, I responded to the call. It is not in the spirit of boasting that this is said; but it is a satisfaction to reliect, that a course commenced with trembling, gradually obtained the approbation of many judicious persons in several countries, and that since then others have been summoned to spread farther and farther VOL. X. 27 [Page 314] 314 A RETROSPECT. the message of peace, which was delivered to us at Sinai. In thus responding to the demands of the times, I but fulfilled a pleasing duty, and no one can appreciate the delight I have felt at observing the close attention indulgent audiences have given to my instruction, not alone here, but on the banks of the St. Lawrence, on the shores of the Hudson, by the waters of the Susquehanna, on the confines of the Chesapeake, on the margin of the Ashley, Savannah, and Mobile rivers, and in the city which stands near the mouth of the mighty Mississippi — wherever, in brief, it has been my privilege to proclaim the word of our God. You are right, that I have endeavoured to teach it without bigotry, without intolerance; and as an editor of a Magazine, established for the ditiu– sion of the truths which we treasure, I have allowed persons of a variety of opinions to address my readers, fully convinced that the good cause could never suffer by a free and candid discussion. Error only shuns the light; but the torch of reason may freely illumin– ate the holiest gift of God without in the least dim– ming its lustre. AVhat my future course may be, is only known to Him who measures all our steps; into his hands I commit my ways, and I trust in his mercy, that his light will not be wanting to guide me right; but whatever may betide me, be it weal or wo, his past mercies shall not be forgotten, and his goodness manifested in so many ways shall not fade from my mind. And as regards you, gentlemen, your fi–iend– ship, which I hope always to enjoy, shall ever be highly prized by me. The gratification of this hour shall long remain a bright period in my recollection, [Page 315] SOME WORK OF THE MINISTRY. 315 and I trust that you, too, will not forget him who came at your call to officiate in the sanctuary which you had consecrated to the God of Israel, wiiere he has been permitted to earn that reputation which your kindness has so handsomely acknowledged this day. — And if this be the last time we shall ever officially meet again, I bid you all, Farewell. ADDRESS XIV. SOME WORK OF THE MINISTRY.* Reverend and Bear Sir ! It aflfords me great and infinite pleasure to have been selected as the organ of the religious body over which I have the honour to preside, to request your acceptance of this goblet, which I hold in my hand, and, in doing so, I must ask your kind indulgence, if you find that I am not able to do justice to the subject, not being accustomed to public speaking. The silver cup is not given to you for the value of the precious metal it contains, nor is it given as a remunera– tion for the very eflScient and able services 3'ou so volun– tarily rendered us on Sabbath morning ; but. Reverend * While on a winter's journey, in 5612, I stopped a few days at Louisville, Kentucky, early in December, where the people pre– sented me a silver cup as a token of their esteem. There is a deep regret connected with this, however, that the congregation has since sought new counsels and new men. The address was spoken by Mr. Mark Straus. [Page 316] 316 SOME WORK OF THE MINISTRY. Sir, it is presented to you as a small token of the high respect we entertain towards one whose best years have been spent in the unswerving, unwavering, and unflinch– ing duty of defending the rights and privileges of our co– religionists, — whose daily task has been to spread, abroad and at home, a true knowledge of our Holy Faith, and of the duties incumbent on us as a nation, to which such glorious promises are held out. When we reflect, Reverend Sir, on all that jou have done to maintain the true dignity of Israel, — to implant in our youth the "fear of the Lord, the beginning of Avis– dom," to instil among our fellow–citizens a correct appre– ciafion of the Jewish character, — the numerous works that have emanated from your pen, — we cannot but ad– mire the versatility of your talents, and to hail with sen– timents of profound pleasure the opportunity you have so kindly afforded us of becoming personal]y acquainted with one whose well–earned fame is widely spread over the four corners of the globe ; and I speak but the united sentiments of this Congregation, Avhcn I assure 3'ou that we will always look up to you as our guide, as our teacher. May He, in Avhose holy service you have so faithfully ministered, and for whose glory you still labour, retain you ever in his holy keeping ; may He strengthen you to complete your task ; may health, long life, and pros– perity, be long accorded to you ; and may a crown of glory await you in the realms above ! Mr. President and Gentlemen ! It is always a high gratification for any one to find that he has received the approbation of his fellow– men ; how much more must this be felt in my ease, who but a few days ago came among you an entire stranger, personally known to no more than half a [Page 317] SOME WORK OF THE MINISTRY. 317 dozen individuals in your entire community. Yet your kindness has not permitted nie to remain long unknown among you, and jou may credit me that I embraced with pleasure your invitation to address the assembled faithful in your house of prayer. But, be– lieve me, that it needed no gift of silver to remuner– ate me for this service, as I conceive it to be the duty of every one, who has the capacity, to teach, on all oc– casions when he may be summoned, the doctrines of the pure word of God wdiich is in our possession. Nevertheless, I accept your gift with gratitude, not, as you have well said, Mr. President, for its intrinsic value as precious metal, but as a token that Israelites sympathize with each other, and that services rendered to our cause, no matter where performed, are received kindly, and acknowledged everywhere by the rightly thinking. This thought shall urge me on to farther ex– ertions, and I shall rely on the promise you have made me in behalf of those you represent, that the congre– gation Adath Israel would support me in the works I may be engaged in at any time for the promotion of Judaism. I thank you all for this kind sentiment, and it will cheer me in the hour of trial and labours, that the good wishes and kind sympathy of your body are with me, and this is reward enough in itself to recompense me for what I have done. For, in serving the interests of our people, I also served my own ; and, hence, in taking up my pen in defence of the Jewish religion, I at the same time vindicated my own right to the respect of those who differ from us in religious principles. Still it is a pleasing reflection, that this service, incidentally rendered to others, has obtained the approbation of so numerous an assembly as this, 27* [Page 318] 318 SOME WORK OF THE MINISTRY. and for giving voice to this feeling, accept my heartfelt thanks. Bat as I have acquired the greater portion of the in– fluence I have whilst acting as the minister of our faith, permit me that I dilate a little upon the necessity of placing the officer who is to administer in the holy house of God on a footing of true respectability and usefulness. Much of the evil under which we labour is owing to the want of a proper ministry, who can, independently, and fearless of temporal consequences, reprove their flocks on all occasions when they behold anything deserving of animadversion and censure. But how can any one so situated reprove the evil he beholds around him, when he casts a look on wife and children, and reflects that by his imprudence he may render them breadlcss and homeless, before an– other year comes round ? Do you expect, can any one expect, a man to discharge his full duty, whilst the earthly happiness of those dear to him depends on his discretion, his silence, his yielding to the author– ities of the synagogues, who are either by custom or law his superiors? And still you require, every con– gregation requires, a man to be ready at all times to admonish fearlessly and boldly, in the manner of the ancient prophets, to spare no evil which he discovers, to yield to no authority, when it concerns the service of our Father in heaven. Let me, therefore, entreat you to render the situation of your minister one of independence, by electing him for such a period that the fear from without may not rest on him, that he may feel the full responsibility he incurs to God for the discharge of his duty, faithfully as a man of Israel ; and do you denumd of him that he shall reprove you [Page 319] SOME WORK OF THE MINISTRY. 319 mildly on all occasions, and teach yon the way 3'ou should go, and see that the heavenly work suiter 110 injury in his hands. In this manner alone can the connexion of minister and flock be one of mutual satisfaction to both, and then will our ministers be able to discharge their duty, and righteousness and the fear of God will abun– dantly increase in our midst. You have been pleased to allude to my literary works; permit me, therefore, to say a few words concerning the enterprise, for which I have come,' brethren, to solicit your aid, and in which I acknowl– edge with gratitude, you have given me more sup– port in comparison with numbers, than I have received elsewhere. I allude to the purposed new version of the Holy Scriptures. It has often struck me as very surprising, that we have been so long satisfied with a translation which has sprung from men who, in their ideas, at least, were hostile to our religion — if even otherwise they may have been friendly to Israelites themselves. It was to have been expected of such as these, that they would carry into the Scriptures any peculiar views they might entertain as regards doc– trines and practice, and this without any intention of being dishonest. But is this any reason for our adopt– ing such a version as our guide? and, it must be re– membered that, to many of those who are unacquainted with the Hebrew, the English Bible forms almost the only source of religious impressions. Time, indeed, was, wlien our population was too small to support such an enterprise as I have laid before you; but all this is changed ; and the numerous congregations now every, where existing, or springing up in places where the [Page 320] 320 SOME WORK OF THE MINISTRY. God of Israel was formerly, and until lately, not in– voked, renders it a duty obligatory on us to wipe off this disgrace, and to make, at least, the effort to furnish a transcript of the Bible more in accordance with the original text. The task to execute this has been ren– dered much easier of late years. First arose tlie great Mendelssohn, who commenced the work by translat– ing anew the five Books of Moses, the Psalms, and the five Bolls as they "are technically called; he was soon followed by such men as Friedlander, Ottensosser, Hochstadter, Heineman, Shalom Cohen, Zunz, Salo– mon, Ileidenheim, Sachs, Philippson, Arnheim, Herx– heimer, Fiirst, and many others, and now the ma– terials are ready for the labourer; and all that is demanded of him is to use faithfully the means which others have prepared ready for his hands ; and should I obtain sufficient encouragement in the other cities, which I hope soon to visit, you may rely on my hon– estly endeavouring to do full justice to the work as far as my capacity extends. In conclusion, I will not tell you to remember me ; for your unsolicited kindness assures me that you will not forget the one who came among you a stranger, and leaves you surrounded by so many friendly faces. But, on my side, I assure you that the pleasure of this evening's meeting shall be long engraven on my mem– ory, and be often recalled when I shall float on the face of mighty waters, and when travelling over land in pursuit of my journey. I bid you all a iiearty fare– well, and wish you many blessings for yourselves and those who are dear to you. [Page 321] AN ANTICIPATION. 321 ADDRESS XV. AN ANTICIPATION.* Esteemed Sir ! I regret that the pleasing duty assigned to me by this congregation has not been confided to some other mem– ber, who might bave brought to the accomplishment of his task the treasures of learning and the power of elo– quence. The occasion is one well suited to call for the wisdom of the sage, and the lofty language of oratory. Could I catch one ray of that golden flood of light, which your mind has so recently beamed upon us, — did I possess your facility in pouring forth those " breathing thoughts and burning words," to which we have all listened with rapture and delight : then might I be enabled to express to you in suitable terms the warm and enduring friend– ship of your brethren in Charleston. It is both profitable and pleasant to dwell upon the past, and I trust that you will pardon me for reverting to circumstances over which nearly twenty–two years have passed. In the year 1831,"y a poor, uneducated * "When on my return homeward, during the journey noticed above, the people of Charleston insisted on my accepting a present from them, not deeming myself at liberty to decline ; for though I had refused money–compensation for the various addresses I had made them, a simple token of respect was sometbing diflbrent. Mr. Nathaniel Levin, at a meeting held at the synagogue, February 17th, 5612, made the remarks given above, on the part of the people, to which I replied extemporaneously, nearly as printed here. I The speaker was, in this remark, somewhat in error. Mr. L. arrived in this country in 1824. He left the Gymnasium, at Miin– [Page 322] 322 AN ANTICIPATION. youth was toiling in the rugged path of mercantile life, and earning a scanty subsistence by the sweat of his brow. Not adapted, either by the peculiar character of his mind or temperament, to this pursuit, he devoted the few leisure moments snatched from labour to the culture of his mental faculties. While yet a tyro in learning and in science, he was called, by a large Jewish congregation, from the counting–room to the sacred desk, to minister ster, answerini? to the usual colleges in America, to obey the sum– mons of the late Zalma Kehine, of Eichmond, Virginia, his maternal uncle, who desired to have a child of his deceased sister with him. Mr. L. finding no good opportunity to continue his studies in the capital of Virginia, and, after being at a private school for only ten weeks, when the teacher left to study medicine in Philadelphia, he resolved to learn business under his uncle's direction ; wherefore, he entered definitively into his employ, and continued with him in that capacity for nearly five years. Mr. L. had onco an opportunity, before 1828, to appear in the papers in defence of our religion ; but it was finally, in 1829, that he wrote several essays to rebut the calumnies, which had been spread abroad through an English Ke– vicw against the character of the Jewish faith and people. These essays were the means of his being sent for, to become Hazan of the congregation Mikv6 Israel, of Philadeliihia, in whicn capacity he officiated for upwards of twenty–one years. He has never been endowed with riches; but his position in Eichmond was, certainly, one of entire independence, and might have ultimately led to wealth and distinction, had lie continued to pursue it with industry and prudence. But the acquisition of mere gain was not much to his taste, and he was not unwilling at some time to exchange a mercan– tile life for other pursuits ; but he hesitated long before he could be induced to accept the invitation tendered to him from Philadelphia, and only consented, at length, in obedience to the urgent advice of elderly gentlemen, his uncle among others, who insisted on liis doing so. As respects his education, it was as carefully attended to, and he had made as nnuh progress as can be expected of a youth of seventeen, when he quitted school. He had to labour, it is true, persevcringly, to accomplish what he has done; but the foundation he owes to his many teachers, both Jewish and Christian, whose memory shall ever be sacred to him. [Page 323] AN ANTICIPATION. 323 in a liigh, holy, and responsible situation. Though young in years, by dint of severe application and untiring in– dustry, ho soon made himself competent for all the duties of his sacred office. Not content with the mere minis– trations of our Ritual, he infused new life and vigour into the torpid frame of his congregation, by the introduction of prayers and addresses in the vernacular. A short time after his induction into office, a vile and slanderous attack upon our religion and the character of our people, called forth the latent talents of the youthful minister, who stood forth the learned exponent of Israel's faith, the fearless champion of Israel's wrongs. We next observe him advancing the cause of his religion, by the introduction of schools for the instruction of Jewish youth, and the publication of books adapted to the re– ligious, moral, and mental improvement of the young and old of our faith. The laborious task of arrano–inc. printing, and publishing our form of prayers and the Pentateuch, afterwards engaged the time and energies of his more mature years, and have imposed upon the Jews of the United States a debt of gratitude which future generations will acknowledge. The next step in the development of Jewish literature, by our learned friend, was the establishment of a Jewish yeriodical (the first in this country), and its pages have teemed with articles from the powerful and polished pen of the Editor, calculated to advance the true interests of Israel, — their temporal and eternal happiness. The youth to whom I have adverted, now stands before me in the pride and vigour of manhood. In the language of the Prophet to Israel's king, " Thou art the man." With the mantle of literature as your panoply, piety and virtue as your shield, and a profound knowledge of God's sacred oracles as your sword, thus " armed in proof" you have, throughout a series of years, waged an [Page 324] 324 AN ANTICIPATION. interminable warfare against irreligion and infidelity, in the varied duties which I have enumerated. You have laboured assiduously to keep alive among your brethren that sacred fire which the atmosphere of this world is constantly threatening to extinguish. That you have been prompted to undertake this mission from the gush– ings of that pure philanthropy which overflows in the bosom of piety and virtue, we all know and fully appre– ciate. It is a sacred emotion, and does honour to your heart. With an enlarged philanthropy, you have deemed it a duty of the highest and most solemn character, to advance the religious and moral culture of Israel. You feel that a more important subject could not engross your time or tax your talents. You have truly called it " a weighty and solemn responsibility." It is the high– est and holiest man can exercise ; for on its faithful dis– charge depends the eternal happiness of Israel. Fear not the results of your mission; for piety and virtue, like angels of light, illumine 3–our path ; religion is the beacon that guides, philanthropy the spirit that prompts and animates in your career. God grant that it may be long and prosperous. Not our faithful ancestors, restoring the Temple of God, with arms in their hands, Avere en– gaged in a more hallowed cause than you are ; for you are upholding the temple of the Jewish heart and Jewish mind, and giving perpetuity to that faith which illumined the inspired pen of Moses, which threw the majesty of Heaven from the harp of David, and wrapt Isaiah's hal– lowed soul in fire. Continue, then, your efforts in the sacred cause in Avhich you have embarked. Falter not in your holy mission, but advance still farther on the path you have chosen, and may immeasurable success crown your exertions. May peace, happiness, and length of years be your reward here, and the smiles of an ap– proving God your recompense hereafter, [Page 325] AN ANTICIPATION. 325 I thank you, in the name of this congregation, for those learned teachings and eloquent discourses intended for our eternal benefit, which, if preserved in our hearts, will prove the surest guides to virtue and happiness. You have proved to us, that in the Bible is found the injunc– tions that constitute the foundation of religion, laws, and morals. You have recommended it to us as the Book of infancy and the Book of age ; because in its divine pages may be found lessons of wisdom, applicable to each event– ful period of life : our wos, our joys, our frailties, our hopes, our prayers to God, and our dependence on one another. You have shown that every page is redolent of love, affection, duty, and pleasure; the sentiment that exalts, the emotion that refines, the resolution that gives strength to virtue, and imparts firmness to courage; the determination that can sacrifice the fleeting joys of earth for the moi'e certain and abiding beatitudes of heaven. For these lessons of religious knowledu'e and practical wisdom, accept our warmest expressions of gratitude. Although your labours have been unceasing and yonr efforts untiring, in the cause of our religion and the ad– vancement of the true interests of our people : yet I re– gret to state that your pathway of life has not been strewn with flowers. Instead of gratitude and friend– ship, you have received injustice and hostility. You have merited the full measure of the regard and esteem of 3'our brethren, but have received in its stead vials of wrath, calumny, and detraction, from a congregation whom you have faithfully served nearly one–fourth of a century It affords us pleasure to know that the Parthian arrows hurled byyour enemies, though tipped with gall and wormwood, have fallen innocuous on your shield, and you yet stand unmoved amid the impotent peltings of their fury; like the hardy mountaineer on the hill–side, VOL. X. 28 [Page 326] 326 AN ANTICIPATION. who grasps more tightly the heather the fiercer the storm rages. In conckision, sir, I present you, in the name of the congregation Shearith Israel, with this testimonial of their regard and disinterested friendship, not only for your zealous efforts in the cause of Judaism, hut for your spotless character, your rectitude of conduct, and your consistent course throughout life. This ingenious insti'u– ment* teaches, in powerful yet voiceless eloquence, wise, useful, and yrofitable lessons. It tells of time, the prop– erty of man, the measure of his pulsations. It speaks audibly of our lifetime, which is but a dot in the page of that Book which records the fate of nations. Your past life evidences that you have and will profit by its teachings. To all of us time is everything. Brief is the space that divides the cradle from the grave. We should, therefore, heed the lessons taught us by this sim– yle monitor, and use, and not abuse, the precious mo– ments as they fly. Accept, sir, this memorial, this free– will offering of friendshiiJ and brotherly love, and with it the ardent prayer for j'our future happiness and pros– perity, in which every heart present will respond. "The Lord bless you and preserve you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." Mr. Levin, Ladies and Gentlemen ! It is with sincere CTnotions of heartfelt gratitude, that I thank you for this public approbation of my– self and my labours, which you have just tendered me, and more yet for the very kind words in which you were pleased to convey the same; and believe * A watch. [Page 327] AN ANTICIPATION. 327 me, that to be thus received and honoured, repays one for years of labour, and anxiety, and devotion to a cause as sacred as ours. I fear, however, that you over–estimate my services, which I would be but too happy to believe had been so effectual in doing good, as you, Mr. Levin, have represented them. All I can claim is an honesty of purpose, in which I will yield to none, to do all that was in my powder. Had my health, indeed, been good, so that I could have de– voted all the energies of my mind to the pursuit of literature, I might, perhaps, have achieved a degree of eminence to become truly useful; but it pleased Heaven to afflict me frequently with dreadful attacks of sickness, which have stamped on my frame and face, I fear, premature marks of age; and I cannot dwell on the agonies, which I have had to endure at these intervals, without shuddering. Yet such as I am, imperfectly educated and inferior to many, whose health has enabled them to advance much farther, it will ever be my pleasure, no less than duty, to devote myself to Israel's interests and Israel's cause. For it is no small thing for which we contend, — it is the highest, the holiest which can occupy man's thoughts; it is the most sublime achievement of the intellect which engages our mind in the pursuit of our re– ligion, which has stood so well the assaults of ages; and hence every sou and daughter of Israel should, of right, contribute whatever they can to advance its knowledge and the observance of its precepts. It is possible that this is the last time that it will be my privilege to address an audience in this place ; soon, in a few hours, I must leave to return to my place of residence, and whether we shall ever meet [Page 328] 328 AN ANTICIPATION. again, and when, are questions to be decided by the God whose creatures we are. Permit me, therefore, to give 3'ou a few parting words of advice, since it is as a teacher in Israel that you have met to testify your attachment towards me. Let me entreat you all to be faithful to our faith, in every walk and rehxtion of life, and to omit nothing to honour our religion, by word and deed, and to induce others to follow in the path you are yourselves pursuing. Powerless must be the public teachers, if they are not aided by the people themselves. To–day the most gifted may make an appeal, and to–morrow he may be gone, and his words reach no more the attentive ear of the audi– ence. But they have heard the message, they have been instructed : why, then, should they not each en– deavour to carry farther the message of truth and salvation which they have received? And let me ad– dress, especially the ladies, who are in a majority in our assembly to–day, to use their holy intiuence to effect much good among those with whom they are connected by the ties of love and friendship. Many a one is deaf to the words of admonition, wlien ad– dressed to him from the chair of instruction ; he hears the word of God proclaimed in his ears, but he heeds it not; he is immersed in worldly pursuits, and takes not the time to attend to the concerns of his soul. But, for all this, he is not beyond the reach of holy intiuence, and his heart may be touched by the soft eloquence of woman, and he may be awakened by tiie power of a female voice, breathing in his ears, ' Remember, thou art mortal." Yes, in the hours of friendly intercourse, in the familiar conversation of the domestic circle, the soul may be open to holy im– [Page 329] AN ANTICIPATION. 329 pressions : let it be your endeavour, then, to useyour power to advance the kingdom of God over the hearts of tliose you love. And wherever you are, my friends, let your station be what it may, endeavour faithfully to prove 3'our– selves children of Israel, in every sense of the word. Let it not grieve you that you have to abstain, in obedience to your faith, when others enjoy; and hesi– tate not to be different in your conduct and speech from all others around you. But show yourselves true to the duties which your God requires of you, and let all who see you, at once perceive by your deeds that you are faithful followers of the law of Israel. Yes, let it be your endeavour to teach practically the religion of our fathers to all who surround you, and see that many may be brought back through your in– strumentality to a true adherence to our law. And if it ever be your fortune to go whither the faith of Israel is not yet planted, where the name of God is not yet invoked in the simplicity of hope with which we call on the blessed Unity : stand firm to your charge, falter not, swerve not, and proclaim aloud your attachment to your heavenly legacy, and strive to assemble around you all the scattered remnants of Jacob's descendants, till unitedly, and as one man, you be enabled to call on the name of God in the assembly of the faithful. Permit me, also, to call your attention to one cir– cumstance connected with this city. Twelve years ago there was here but one congregation, all worship– ping God after the same ancestral custom. But since then division has crept in among you, and you present the spectacle of a Jewish community divided into 28* [Page 330] 330 AN ANTICIPATION. three sects: the orthodox, tlie moderate reformers, and the nltra–heterodox. All this should not be, and is the result of false teaching. Men have arisen who have propounded to the people doctrines not in uni– son with our ancient system, and have invented fan– cies of their own, which thej cherish as something sacred. This has produced the natural results, which have been predicted, that disunion and heart–burning would spring from a course where the will of man was regarded superior to the doctrines of religion ; and you have experienced estrangement in families, no less than division in religious sentiments, and par– ties have arisen where formerly there were friend– ship and union. Are not the deplorable effects of erroneous teaching evident enough in all this? Surely it is time that a reunion should take the place of the state of isolation now existing; and you, my hearers, can do much towards elfecting this. The ladies, es– pecially, can be successfully active in this matter. Let them exhort each other to reunite the bonds which have been severed, not in the spirit of fault– finding, not with harsh words, but by mild persuasion, in meekness and forbearance ; and surely it must be discovered by all, that in truth all have but one ob– ject, one single aim, the advancement of our common faith. And O ! what a happy day it will be for me, should I return once more among you, and see you all assembled under one shepherd, in one house de– voted to God, and all worshipping again in the same manner, acknowledging again the same faith as in former years. The evil effects of false teaching must have long since become apparent; and I trust that a wise forbearance and yielding may still tend one day [Page 331] AN ANTICIPATION. 331 to reuDite those where disunion should never have lifted up its baleful head. As regards myself, to reply to the remarks which you addressed me personally, I can honestly assure you that I am deeply moved. For many years I have laboured hard and faithfully to discharge my duty, in the office which was bestowed on me without my solicitation. My labours were also not unblessed; and now I have been driven forth an exile from my home, banished from the very congregation which I have built up, under the aid of God. I will not trust myself to speak on the subject, I cannot do it; not one of you can feel the emotions which agitate me when I revert to the subject in my mind. I might say much, but I cannot, will not venture to do so. But let me tell you this, that it is true that I set forth this winter, to advance the interest of my publications, by a personal intercourse with my fellow–Israelites throughout the land, in which object I have also, in a measure, succeeded. J3ut I had another object also, to appeal from the judgment of my late congregation to the verdict of the Israelites elsewhere ; and I am truly happy that it has been in my favour. Wher– ever I tarried any time, I was requested to address the people, and their undivided attention, their kind reception of my remarks, their friendly expression of sympathy, have all tended to soothe my lacerated feelings, and to convince me that I have not alto– gether laboured in vain, and that mankind are not all unjust. Some such a thing was necessary, to tran– quillize my mind, to subdue my rebellious heart; and hence I am thankful that I ventured abroad in the late severe winter, and braved dangers inseparable [Page 332] 332 AN ANTICIPATION. from so long a journey, to enjoy the intercourse of my friends everywhere, who proved to me that all are not ungrateful, although I have cause to complain of those on whom I had the greatest chiims. You have alluded, Mr. Levin, to the tongue of calumny, which has been busy with my character. I thank you, with all my heart, for your expression in regard to this, that in your estimation, and in the eyes of you all, my friends, I stand clear and un– spotted. And permit me to say, that in so thinking, you do me no more than justice; for if I were un– worthy, I would not now stand before you, not now be the recipient of a token of your regard. I shall therefore receive this as a testimony that you believe me worthy of the calling of a teacher in Israel, and one justified to assume the character of a public in– structor. At three various visits have I been called on to address you in the place you had destined to worship the name of the Lord. For this frequent attention, accept my thanks, and be assured that I shall with pleasure present myself before j'ou again, should I ever revisit your city. But, in the mean– time, let me recommend myself to your good memory; think of the absent with kindness and indulgence, and do not condemn me, should calumny ever dare to assail my reputation — should slander even charge me with one or the other wrong. It is, alas! the mis– fortune of all who hold the least station which places them in any prominence, to be the mark for the shafts of slander. Were they as pure as an angel of mercy, as spotless as the innocent new–born babe, slander would detect in them cause for censure — would detect stains where all is innocence. The very brilliance of [Page 333] AN ANTICIPATION. 333 the sun will not escape detraction, and the brighter tlie light, the more will an evil tongue find something to blame, something to which it can point the tinger of scorn. But slander is like the night–owl, which 011I3' ventures out from its concealment, where it has spent the day, after the sun has set, when darkness covers, with its dusky mantle, the face of the earth. It is then that the night–bird goes forth to seek its prey, to do its work of destruction of life, under the protection of the gloom. Just so is slander; in the presence of its victim, it is all smiles and friendship; but no sooner is his back turned, no sooner has, so to say, his sun set by his absence, than it pours forth its vile poison, and fearlessly does the work of detraction, because the slandered is not present to counteract it promptly in person. It is possible that this may happen to me also. I leave you, therefore, my friends, to guard my reputa– tion, in which you all have shown a deep interest by your friendly presence this day. Believe no evil of me, of which you have no absolute certainty that it is true ; and if it be necessary for you to condemn me, if the conviction be brought home to 3'our mind that I have done wrong, then let me entreat you to judge of me indulgently, and to pronounce no judg– ment which is to banish me from 3'our good–will. There is only One pure, only One free from all wrong, and this is our Father in heaven ; but it is man's to err, it is human to transgress; the best have their faults, the most virtuous need forgiveness. In a few brief hours I shall be afloat on the broad bosom of the deep, on my return to my place of resi– dence. Think of me when far away; forget me not [Page 334] 334 AN ANTICIPATION. when distance intervenes between us ; and whether it be the will of God that I meet you again hereafter, and whether I shall speak to you again in the name of our common Master, concerning the way of life or not, I trust that you will think well of the absent, and retain me always in your good memory. [Page 335] OCCASIONAL PRAYERS. PRAYER I.* O Lord our God, who art the Shield of Abraham and the Protector of his seed ! we have entered thy sanctuary to crave thy blessing and gracious assist– ance, and to grant us thy aid in our endeavour to instil piety and devotion into the minds of these young branches of the house of Israel. And make them and us all assembled in thy presence feel truly our entire dependence on thy bounty, and that –without Thee we are feeble and unwise ; for it is always thy strength which is undeservedly bestowed on us that enables us to labour during our appointment on earth; and it is thy wisdom which fits us to work understand– ingly and to be useful alike to others and to ourselves. Let then thy wisdom assist us in our teaching, and let these objects of our care be made sensible of their entire dependence on Thee. Cause the words of in– struction which they receive to sink deeply into their souls, and purify them by a willing faith to devote * This and the next five prayers were composed for the annual examination of the Philadelphia Sunday–school. The dates of the first two cannot be readily ascertained, as I omitted to write them out at the time. (335) [Page 336] 336 PRAYER I. themselves to thy service. Let them be made con– scious that nothing is more uncertain tlian liuman strength, nothing more unsteady than human great– ness, nothing more fallible than human wisdom, in order that they may early apply themselves to be true and faithful in thy worship, so that in all their actions they may be strengthened by thy salvation, rely firmly on thy greatness, and draw" light from thy wisdom, even the words of that law which Thou gavest to our forefathers. — Remove from their souls all mere worldly pride and the fatal ideas of self– dependence, — which presumptuous feelings are those which are hateful to Thee, inasmuch as they draw us aside from the path of righteousness, and cause us to look upon the semblance of truth as truth, and lead us unto evil and perdition. — Give them likewise grace to understand properly the unsubstantial nature of , ease, wealth, and power, so that if blessed with these favours they may not value them unduly, and grow proud and presumptuous because of the mercies which thy liberal bounty has bestowed on them, and of which their own actions cannot have rendered them de– serving, for the sinfulness of man cannot stand justi– fied in thy presence. May they then know that earthly gifts are bestowed for others' good no less than their own, that they may be like Thee bountiful and benev– olent, and like Thee merciful and kind to thy crea– tures. — And teach those, wiose portion is one of toil and labour, to feel that industry and activity are the most befitting ornaments of our perishable life, and that every station is honourable, if man only fixes his eye upon thy law, regulates his actions by thy pre– cepts, and in all his employments turns his heart and [Page 337] PRAYER I. 337 his thoughts to Thee, to ask with prayer and sincerity thy aid and assistance, which are never withheld from those who sincerely seek thy presence. Cause us to feel truly, O our Father! that we have sinned and done the evil in thy sight; for we have for– saken thy commandments which are just, and have gone astray each after the vaiu desires of his heart. We have turned away our eyes from the light which should have guided us, and sought the path of dark– ness, where perdition awaits our souls. We have hated our brothers, and caused strife and contention. Be it therefore thy will to prosper the good work which we have now undertaken, and to cause it to bring forth plentiful fruit of righteousness and holi– ness; in order that thy commandments may be again pleasant ways to us, and we be fortilied to resist the evil desires, whose end is sin and thy just indigna– tion. Give us grace to understand thy law, that we may be able to walk in thy light, guided by the bright– ness of the wisdom which dwells in the words which we have received from Thee. Make us conscious of our helpless state, and that we always stand in need of thy assistance and the aid of our fellow–men; so that we may be brought to that happy state of look– ing upon every man as a brother, and as a fellow– creature emanating from the same source, and a child of the same immortality which we hope ourselves to attain through thy unbounded mercy. — And O ! give understanding to those who desire not to know thy worship, that they may discover speedily the errone– ousness of their thoughts, and that, by subduing their pride and the sellishness of their worldly wisdom, they may be moved to search into thy revealed law for in– voL. X. 29 [Page 338] 338 PRAYER II. struetion and guidance, and be thus brought to wor– ship in humility and truth with those whose heart is ah–eady alive to the consoling conviction that Thou alone art God ; that thy law alone is a sure guide to happiness; that without thy salvation we are groping in darkness and death ; and that without thy wisdom we are uninformed and going astray. Be it farther thy will to restore harmony and broth– erly love among the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; cause them to live securely in all their dwellings, and perpetuate among them the good which the promulgation of thy law eifected so many years ago. Kemember also the covenant and the oath which Thou sworest unto our fathers, to be a God unto them and their seed after them ; and cause the redeemer to come unto Zion, whence the law is to go out unto all mankind, and salvation to spread forth over all the children of thy creation. Amen. PRAYER II. O Sovereign of the Universe ! we beseech Thee for the bestowal of thy grace and mercy, the unde– served kindness, the light of thy countenance, which Thou art pleased to shed so abundantly over the world, the footstool of thy glory. What are we of our ownsclves? but worms of the earth that crawl in powerlessness in the dust, unable as we are to raise ourselves, by all our endeavours, from the bonds which chain us down to the trials, the vicissitudes, [Page 339] PRAYER II. 339 and the bitterness of our sublunary existence ; and were it not that thy spirit supported us, that thy hand would guide us securely, how long since would all of us have perished in our misery! And still we lay plans for our future greatness, and name not Thee when we iix the end of our labour, as though we could dispense with thy blessing and be certain of the dark, unknown future. But how shortsighted are we! how little can we see at the rising of the sun what that one day may bring forth ! At the first blush of morning we may revel in riches, and in the vigour of health, and the pride of beauty; but ere the shadows are cliauged on the sides of the hill which overhangs our dwelling, our riches may have been snatched from us by the hand of violence, our body may be racked by insufferable pain, and our beauty may have lied away by the power of loath– some disease. O Father! that we could only see our– . selves always as we tind ourselves in the hour oil" evil, that we could always feel that Thou art our stay in prosperity and our lirm support in the day of tribu– lation ; so that we might look up to Thee, and bask in the light of thy law, and do only that which Thou comraandest, and shun that as death which Thou hast interdicted to us. How smoothly would then glide along our days ! and neither would joy lift us above our level, nor would grief cast us down into the pit of despondence, and we would be humble in the midst of wealth, and pomp, and power, and cheer– ful and resigned amidst distress, and poverty, and oppression. Let us then entreat Thee, O divine Lawgiver of Israel ! that Thou wilt be with us in our teaching ; to [Page 340] 340 PRAYER II. lend enchantment to our words and persuasive force to our ideas, that they may sink deeply into the souls of those who come to learn of thy ways; so that, though they come hither in ignorance of thy will, and steeped in sin, they may quit the precincts where thy word is proclaimed alive unto eternity by the holy knowledge they have imbibed, and renewed, born again, as it were, by the vivifying power of holi– ness, based on the observance of thy faith and law, and rendered fit for the life everlasting, and those blessed joj's which Thou hast garnered up for those who fear Thee, which no human eye has seen, and the extent of which escaped the enlightened vision of thy prophets, who could not, being yet flesh, com– prehend fully Avhat Thou art, and what is the spirit which Thou hast bestowed on man. Grant, O Gtuir– diau of Israel ! that all who come to be taught may obtain an ample knowledge of their duty, and that when thus fitted for the true path of life, they may not meet with many obstacles which would prevent them to follow on the way which Thou bidst them go, allured on the one side by the temptation to sinful indulgence, and on the other by the slothful indolence which will not contend, and which drops insensibly in the open jaws of iniquity, without the power of escaping from the fascination of the out– wardly pleasant, but death–bringing object of attrac– tion. Yea, lead us not into the way of temptation, and open our eyes that we may behold sin in its true, naked deformity, without the cloak of tinsel and fic– titious allurements which the world and its votaries love to throw around that which brings death to our soul. And thus alone will it be seen that Thou, Holy [Page 341] PRAYER II. 341 One! art in the midst of Israel, when gentiles behold thy kingdom established in our hearts, and they see the blessed inflnence which thy precepts have over us, in purifying our thoughts, in directing our deeds, and rendering us a blessing to ourselves and to all those who are around us. May it also be acceptable in thy presence, O Lord our God, and God of our fathers! to receive in fa– vour our humble endeavours to spread the knowl– edge of thy law. We know that our beginning is but small, unworthy as an accomplishment of the grand task which Thou hast imposed on us to be the messengers of thy word. But it requires no great deeds on our part to invoke thy blessing; the utmost we could do would not be suificient in comparison with thy greatness, and our slightest endeavours will grow into importance and usefulness, so Thou but smilest on our work, and sendest down thy blessed aid, which is the only source of success in all our undertakings. Have also mercy, we beseech Thee ! on thy people wherever they are; Avatch over them in all their dis– persions, and shield them amidst the turmoil and conflict incident to their life, and let not tyrants rule over them with rigour ; but be it thy will to cause them to find grace in the eyes of the authorities in whose lands they sojourn, that they may be enabled to pursue the dictates of their conscience, to adore Thee, the God of their forefathers, in the manner which Thou hast ordained; since Thou art the Lord our God and Redeemer, beside whom there is no god, and who alone art the Ruler, Saviour, and Re– deemer of the world; and art the One whom we have 29* [Page 342] 342 PRAYER III. followed, though so often sinning, and to whom we will cling unto everlasting, and in whom we will hope, though Thou shouldst slay us. Yea, bless us as Thou didst bless our fathers, with light and abun– dance, strength and peace. Amen. PRAYER III. O Thou ! whose name is Truth, and who in truth and mercy governest all creation, be with us this day, when we have assembled to declare our adhesion to thy law of truth, by the instruction which we have afforded to the young descendants of thy adorers in the doctrines and duties which Thou hast written down for our instruction. But vain would be our words, if thy spirit were not here to bless what we have commenced. Let us therefore ipvay Thee, O Father ! to dwell by thy wisdom in the hearts of the young Israelites who are at this hour with us in thy house; cause them to be quick in the understanding of thy blissful ordinances, and let them find a delight in the perusal of the words of the holy inspiration, which have descended down to us from the prophets of truth, whom Thou of yore didst send to aftbrd re– proof and instruction to thy erring children. Cause tiiese whom we have now brought to thy footstool, and on whom rest in part the future hopes of our people, to feel with sincere and ardent conviction the true value of being.educated in the principles of thy pure revelation, and fill them with courage and au [Page 343] PRAYER III. 343 unshrinking power of endurance, that they may at all times be able to resist successfully every allure– ment which may be placed in their way to withdraw them from thy service; inspire them with a confident reliance on thy protection, so that no terror of the persecution of man will be able to induce them to hesitate which road to follow; and imbue their heart with lowly submission to thy will, and with humility in prosperity, so that they may never be lifted up above their fellow–mortals and seek, misled thereby, the path of sin and destruction, because they would falsely deem religion to be the iield of the poor only. And O! teach them and us all, that thy judgments are true, that Thou never woundest without mercy; so that when afflicted they and we may never deem our cause prejudged, and ourselves wronged when thy messengers of sorrow enter our dwellings, or the arrows of disease are fastened from thy full quiver in our mortal frame. But let them and us be made sen– sible, that in every position in which we may be placed during our whole earthly life, it is the same Provi– dence which governs all; that in joy Thou art the Dispenser of our happiness ; that, anndst oppression from without, thy power can arrest the tyrant's might; that in the days of sorrow thy spirit of consolation will bring us enlargement; and that in the hour of disease thy breath, if so it be thy will, will be sent to chase away the fever from our flesh and the ache from our bones, so that healing and life may be anew dis– pensed, when mortal skill has been exhausted in vain, and hopelessly looks on awaiting the stroke of death. Yea, do Thou so fill us with a knowledge of Thee, that we may never be lifted up amidst the smiles of [Page 344] 344 PRAYER III. prosperity, nor be needlessly cast down in the hour of distress; but cause that the knowledge of thy pre– cepts may animate us with a calm devotion to thy precepts all the days of our existence, and that the wisdom which is from Thee may bear its healthful fruit in infancy, in the years of maturity, and the days of decay. Let us also entreat Thee to endue the children who are here with a full sense of the beauty of thy law, that they may daily meditate therein, when they arise in the morning and when they seek their bed at night; and lead them on the pleasant paths of in– struction, so that they also may arise when their time of action has come, when we, who are now active, have yielded to the infirmity of age, or sped away at the summons of thy angel of dissolution, and teach thy precepts and the knowledge of thy ways which we have received, to those who may come after them to maintain the lineage of Jacob, so that the law of Sinai may never want faithful followers and intelli– gent teachers, and the ranks of devoted Israelites re– main unbroken and undiminished in numbers to the end of days. We confidently. Father! look up to Thee to grant this our request; not because of our merits, but because Thou hast promised through thy servants the proplicts, that Thou wouldst ever main– tain the seed of Jacob undestroyed before Thee, and that though they should sin, Thou wouldst still reign over them with an outstretched arm and anger poured forth. Do then come into the midst of us when we obey thy will, and be the Sovereign of our affection, protecting us as the faithful subjects of thy dominion by thy outstretched arm against the attacks of our ad– [Page 345] PRAYER IV. 345 versaries. But if we go astray after the vanities of the world, then come and rule over us in thy anger poured forth, and bring us back to thy fold by the chastisement which thy justice requires, which our iniquity may have demanded from thy mercy. And thus will thy Name be glorified in all ages, and in every clime, and we be gradually prepared for the establishment of thy kingdom on earth, when peace and righteousness shall everywhere bless thy adorers, when all mankind shall know but one God and one Faith, and when all in whom dwells the soul of life shall hasten to the residence of thy glory, even Zion the city of our sanctuary, to seek for light under the instruction of thy anointed, the blessed son of David, whom Thou wilt send with Elijah the prophet to bring salvation to Israel and to all the ends of the earth. Amen. Nissan 28th. | 5606. April 24th. PRAYER IV. O Thou ! who art the Creator and Sovereign of the heavens and the earth, and who numbered all the beings that inhabit them, we ask thy blessing and thy aid in the work in which we are engaged, so that the fruit thereof may be an abundant harvest of right– eousness and salvation to those tender minds whom thy servants have gathered in the school before us, to imbue them with a knowledge of thy precepts, and [Page 346] 346 PRAYER IV. to make them iutelligent in the eternal concerns of life everlasting. In years yast, which have long since mingled with eternity, onr fathers heard thy words from amidst the darkness and glory which enveloped the summit of the holy Sinai, on which Thou hadst descended to impart to a world unacquainted with thy ways of mercy a perfect knowledge of truth and justice ; and we were thus elevated to the highest point which human frailty can attain to, by being chosen as thy witnesses, the heralds of thy existence as the Ruler of all that exists. We were stubborn and rebellious, and often refused to be led by thy in– struction, and we hewed ourselves images which we worshipped, and walked in the vain conceits of the erring heathens, and the falsehoods which presump– tuous mortals had set up as their gods, whereas they are unable to stand up before Thee, powerless as those who make them. And yet thy goodness, thy undeserved grace wdiich governs the world, forsook us not; and although our sins threatened to place us far from Thee, thy merciful arm was nevertheless ex– tended to draw us again nnto thy service. And when the waves of tribulation rose up in their might ; when the billows of adversity roared in their fury to over– whelm the handful of those who revered thy Name; when all around was darkness and all within fear and terror : it was then that we experienced how great is thy power, how irresistible thy outstretched arm, how sure the bulwark of strength which thy mercy build– eth us around those who are blessed with thy favour. And the world witnesses this very hour the hopeful presence of the people of Israel, who stand alone and separate from the nations of the earth, distinct iu their [Page 347] PRAYER IV. 347 race, marked in the lineaments of their face, and peculiar in their thoughts and belief in Thee, O Fa– ther ! who, though the Creator and Possessor of all that is, deignest to call thyself through the mouths of thy prophets the God of Israel, the One who chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and established their de– scendants as the inheritors of his law and statutes. Behold us then in thy presence, stepping in the path of our fathers, endeavouring to perpetuate thy light and thy knowledge, in those who are to con– tinue our race after us. We are here with many a young child of Israel, with those who just are able to leave their parents' house to seek instruction, and those who are verging on youth, whom thy servants have striven to make familiar with thy law and to call on thy Name in simple faith and sincerity. And O ! how sweet it is to hear them all join in the joyful acclamation which accompanies us through life, that blessed expression of faith which has ever been our watchword, the attestation that Thou art one and alone, and that there is no god beside Thee in heav– en from one end of creation to the other, and that there exists on earth no saviour besides Thee, who alone art powerful to redeem from perdition, and whose favour is life, yea life everlasting to those who place in Thee their trust and hope. We call on Thee therefore, O Fountain of light and life ! to look down from thy everlasting throne, to be with us in our la– bour, and to bless us with the evidence of thy pres– ence in the increase of knowledge in the children who are here this day with us in thy house, and we pray Thee that Thou mayest vouchsafe to make the words of thy law sweet to their souls ; so that they [Page 348] 348 PRAYER IV. may be always wise in the best of wisdom, and be ready to follow thy guidance, whether it lead them through the pleasant path of earthly prosperity, or the gloomy avenues of adverse circumstances. Be with them in every hour of life; be on their right hand at all times, that their steps may be firm, and their look be invariably directed to that blessed abode, where the righteous dwell who have done thy will. On us also, who have passed–the age of childhood, we pray Thee! to pour out thy blessing; shield us from the cankering pangs of care incident on strait– ened circumstances, so that we may not be led by the temptation of necessity to transgress thy law. And also when prosperity is ours, infuse in us the spirit of humility, that we may recognize the instability of earthly things, and thereby learn to value our bless– ings only as the eftect of thy undeserved bounty which increased our store and extended our substance, so that our heart may not be lifted up with pride and say in its presumption, that our own strength had ob– tained for us enlargement. Yea, let us be taught by Thee, and feel truly in all phases of our existence that Thou art with us, by which knowledge our feet will be rendered firm in the path of duty, and not be suftered to swerve into the devious ways of iniquity. Be it also thy will, to cause peace and harmony to spread on earth, that man may not lift up the sword against his brothers, and war be banished from the world. O shield us at our going out and our coming in ; watch over us when we lie down, and protect us when we rise up; be our strong defence against danger, and may thy messengers guard us and all maidcind from the pestilence that stalketh abroad in the dark [Page 349] PRAYER V. 349 of niglit, and from the disease which wasteth in the noon of day. But especially, we entreat Thee ! to let thy providence watch over the sons of Israel, thy chosen servants, guard them as the apple of thy eye that no evil may reach them, bear them aloft above all danger, as Thou borest them forth from Egyjit upon eagles' wings, safe from the attacks of the ma– lignant, protected against the assaults of evil counsel. So shall they exist as thy own chosen people, even until that day when thy messenger shall come to re– deem the captives, and to establish over them thy kingdom in the laud of Israel, and in the city of Zion. Amen. Adar 26th. | 5607. March 14th. PRAYER V. We beseech Thee, O most merciful Father ! to lis– ten to our prayer, and to hearken to the voice of our entreaty, and to bless our aged and our youthful members with the abundance of thy grace and mercy, to fulfil all our good desires, and to bring to a happy issue all the endeavours which are commenced in thy Name, and for the promotion of thy kingdom on earth. O Father ! the highest heavens obey thy voice, and thy almighty finger is displayed in all the extent of nature. Thine are the walks of life, and even death is within thy grasp, and from the midst of corruption VOL. X. 30 [Page 350] 350 PRAYER V. Thoii callest forth an imraortal renewed existence. All nations are Thine, and every family of men is subject to thy control. Yet didst Thou will to choose unto thyself a peculiar jicople to be especially devoted to thy service, to be the bondmen of thy law, the upholders of thy beneficent revelation, even us, the sons of Jacob, though we be few among numerous nations, and weak amid the powerful. But what hindereth Tliee from enforcing thy will ? who can stay thy arm, and who can assert that thy wisdom has not organized things wisely? So then let us feel the importance of our selection; and cause us to ex– perience deeply the high mission which Thou hast assigned unto us as our sphere of action, to be will– ingly, as we were designed to be by thy selection, the upholders of a pure belief, the defenders of an un– spotted morality, in obedience to the word which Thou didst surrender to our keeping in yon dim, dis– tant age, when men worshipped not Thee but the works of their hands or the host of heaven, and would not distinguish Thee, the Author of all, in the works of thy creation. — Grant us therefore, O Omnipotent One ! the power to submit to the ills of life, to the contumely and trials which we have to encounter in the fulfilment of our destiny on earth ; teach us to feel the vanity of earthly things, the emptiness con– sequent on carnal pleasures ; in order that we may remain firm amidst the assaults of dangers, and never forget our obligation to thy will ; inasmuch as Thou art our Creator and Benefactor, by whose word we were called into being, and by whose providence we exist. Strengthen us also in our sincere desire to main– [Page 351] PRAYER V. 351 tain iincoutaminated the law and faith which Thou hast imparted to us ; guard us from vain conceit, that we may not be misled by pride to value a worldly wisdom above thy religion ; but cause our heart to be filled with humility, that we may remain meek though learned, and trustful as children though wisdom has been accorded to us as the fruit of our labour; so that we may employ all our acquirements for a more thorough understanding of thy precepts, and endeav– our to discover the precious wisdom which springs from thy law, which is the fountain of true intelli– gence; because it renders us wise in knowing Thee, in pointing out to us the way we are to walk and the deeds which we are to do. Let us farther entreat Thee, O most Merciful God ! to till with thy spirit all the hearers of instruction, especially the children of thy people whom those who teach thy word endeavour to educate as becomes the descendants of thy servants. Imbue their minds with a quick intelligence that they may readily grasp the information which it is endeavoured to convey to them, and give them a retentive memory that the la– bour bestowed on them may not be in vain, so that they may daily grow in wisdom and knowledge, and stand forward as those on whom the future hope of Israel will depend, to teach in their turn 3'et other generations, in order that there never may be want– ing those who grasp the lawgiver's staff among thy people, and that thy law may always have its valiant defenders. Even as Thou hast promised through thy servant Isaiah saying: "As for me this is my cove– nant with them, saith the Lord, My spirit is upon thee, and my word which I have put in thy mouth, [Page 352] 352 PRAYER V. shall not depart out of thy month, nor the mouth of thy children, nor out of the mouth of thy children's children, saith the Lord, from now and forever." We therefore rely on thy promises, knowing that Thou, O Everlasting One ! art the God of truth, and thy word is true and abiding to eternity ; and we ask of Thee to confirm in us thy gracious promises, that we may feel, and that the gentiles may know, that our hope has not been in vain, and that our confi– dence in thy word has not been misplaced ; inasmuch as we have been and are still to be preserved separate and distinct among the families of the earth, chosen to uphold thy law, and to testify of thy wondrous power, which is visible in all space, and felt to the utmost boundaries of existence. Let us then pray unto Thee ! to regard with mercy the remnants of thy flock which are scattered all over the earth, separated by seas and deserts, by plains and mountains, speaking the languages of many na– tions, and only united by the bond of the law, by the ties of hope and faith, which knit them all unto Thee, our Father and God. — Save, O save us ! from the fowler's snare, spare and protect us from the devices of the wicked, and from the evil inclinations which incite us to become like the nations of the earth, for– getful of thy word, and rebellious against thy blessed revelation. Rule over us, despite our sinning, and be our Sovereign, though we be stitfnecked and hardened of heart. Yea, hear us, in this our strait, in a time when new dangers threaten our peace and union; remove the stumbling–block from our way, and guard espe– cially the youthful \tortious of thy tlock that they may remain faithful to thy fold, not swerving to the right [Page 353] PRAYER VI. 353 or to the left on dangerous pastures which, though al– hiring to the eye, are fraught with danger and death; in order that they may grow up in the fear and under the care of Thee, their Shepherd, until the time of the conversion of the world to thy sole rule and sov– ereignty, when false gods shall be unknown, and their names be banished from the earth, even at the coming of David our king, thy anointed and our re– deemer. Amen. Adar 17th. | 5609. March 18th. PRAYER VI. O Almighty God ! with faces covered with shame we come to call on Thee. Have mercy on us for the sake of the attributes of thy greatness which Thou didst reveal to the meek prophet of old, when he stood in the cleft of the rock, whilst thy majesty passed before him, and he covered with thy hand, heard Thee proclaim that Thou art the Lord Ever– lasting, Immutable, the Omnipotent God, merciful and gracious, long–suffering and abundant in kind– ness and truth, keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, and acquitting, though not letting the guilty escape without requital. And notwithstanding that we have thus been instructed by thyself, though thy own es– sence thus revealed itself to us through thy faithful messenger, we have not heeded thy voice, and have 30* [Page 354] 354 PRAYER VI. strayed far from thy righteousness; we have forsaken Thee, O Fountain of living waters ! and hewn for ourselves broken cisterns, which hold no water, cis– terns of selfishness, wells of sensuality and Avorldly desires, and now our souls are faint, and we behold around us the forgetfulness of thy word, and the craving for the flesh–pots of the gentiles, as though thy law were a burden, and thy precepts a load too heavy to be borne. And even our teachers have be– come treacherous, and they who should simply speak in thy Name, who should instruct their flocks only as Thou hast taught them through thy word, hold up to the people the imaginings of a vain and worldly phi– losophy, and vaunt themselves of their wisdom, and rely on their own understanding, and imitate thus the false prophets of old, on whose account and through whose seductions our holy temple was trodden under foot by the enemy, and who spoke in the name of false gods which have no being. Father! deliver thy children from these false guides. O Shepherd of Is– rael ! preserve thy flocks from these worthless keep– ers, who feed not the hungry, who bind not up the bruises of the wounded, who heed not the diseased, and who deliver up the weak to be devoured and car– ried away by the ravenous animals which lie in wait for them. Yea, save us all from these false pastors, who wish to instil their imaginings instead of thy precepts, and the inventions of worldly men instead of thy holy inspiration. But we pray Thee also to let thy spirit be with us when we expound thy law, when we endeavour to propagate thy instruction ; that those who hear us may become instinct with the life of the soul, and [Page 355] PRAYER VI. 355 distinguish quickly between the good and the evil, the false and the true. For well we know the dangers that surround us, and we also feel that, unless Thou supportest us, Ave must stumble on the road, and sink beneath the troubles that threaten to overwhelm us. But full often has the danger to thy people been im– minent ; many a time have our enemies predicted the speedy downfall of thy people; but whenever the clouds rested dark and dreary on us, thy light was suddenly enkindled, and the gloom was dispersed, and the sun of righteousness rose unto us with heal– ing in his wings. We entreat Thee, therefore, O Father! to have again mercy on us; silence those who counsel evil ; frustrate their devices, and arm with persuasive knowledge and irresistible eloquence those who truly speak in thy Name, who endeavour to teach faithfully and truly the word which Thou hast imparted to Israel as the declaration of thy will and pleasure. Lo ! all human inventions are vain ; and those systems which have been built up by hu– man ingenuity, sink constantly into oblivion, and dis– grace and confusion cover those who invented them : whereas, thy law has not passed away; thy word is still unfalsified and uncorrupted in our hands, and Thou art to this hour the glory and blessing of Israel. Aid us, then, O Lord! that we may understand truly our appointment on earth, that we may follow only that which is the truth, rejecting all appeals which inter– est and the ungodly may address unto us to draw us aside unto sin and iniquity. But especially let us pray Thee, Most Merciful God! to shield the youths of our nation against error and self–delusion; grant that those who are called [Page 356] 356 PRAYER VI. on to guide them may be full of correct knowledge, that they may be able to lead them aright, and im– press their youthful minds to that degree that they will always be faithful, always true, always obedient, and fail not in their duty up to the time when Thou demandest back their spirit, until a glorious death seals with a holy light a life full of devotion, of obe– dience. In this wise shall we know that we have found grace in thy eyes, and that we are truly thy people, whom Thou lovest, over whom Thou watchest; and thus shall we all be cheered on to persevere in our line of duty, and make our front bold and daring against all Avho would allure us to sin, or endeavour to make us relinquish upholding thy law, and dissuade us from teaching it to those of whose welfare Thou hast ap– pointed us the guardians. O hear us, our Father and King! and let our words not pass unheeded by thy mercy; but grant our prayer, in order that it may be well with us, and that we may live to glorify thy Name, which is profaned among the gentiles, who call not on Thee in truth and faith, as do thy people Israel, who know none but Thee in all their dispersions, scattered as they arc in all the quarters of thy world, obeying as they do all governments, speaking as they do all lan– guajjcs. Do this because Thou art merciful, because Thou art good, and wishest only to bless "and to ren– der happy thy creatures. So shall we live uncon– sumed among the nations, till Thou gathercst the cap– tives under the guidance of thy anointed, the son of Jesse thy servant. Amen. Adar 26th. | 5610. March 10th. [Page 357] PRAYER VII. 357 PRAYER VII. O Lord God of our fathers! Thou hast announced thyself through thy prophet as the God of mercy and forgiveness, inasmuch as we are taught: "Who is omnipotent like unto Thee, pardoning iniquity and forgiving transgression, to the residue of his herit– age ? He retain eth not his anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will again have compassion on us; He will suppress our iniquities, yea Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." Thou hast instructed us in this way, our Father in heaven ! to look up to Thee alone for mercy and forgiveness, inasmuch as Thou art the Sovereign Lord of all crea– tion ; and who can stay thy power? Let us there– fore beseech Thee, O God of truth ! to have graciously compassion on the spirit of this deceased, who has departed from this world according to thy just de– cree, and who is soon to rest in the grave ready to await thy call at the awakening of the dead to ever– lasting life. " There is no one on earth who is right– eous that sinneth not." Have regard, then, to mercy, and let thy goodness plead for the transgressions of our sister, who now lives in Thee, though dead unto us, and ordain her portion to be with those who have iiiltilled thy commandments. Look to her suiicrings which she bore in the flesh, and let these be an ex– piation for all her sins; since all thy decrees are just, uiid Thou chastisest only to sanctify the children of thy creation, that they may be purified from guilt, [Page 358] 358 PRAYER VII. and stand before Thee in the light of regenerated nature, wherein man is restored to be the bearer of thy image, whereas in a state of sin he is far from Thee ! And a–rant us a willins: heart and an under– standing soul, that we may learn our appointment on earth, that we are all travelling the way to eternity, here to–day, to–morrow in the grave; in order that we may subdue the evil of our inclination, to serve Thee in truth, O Thou ! who art good and beneficent to all thy works, and without whose will not a hair from our head can fall. And as our deceased sister has departed in thy faith, fully relying on thy mercy, be– lieving in thy unity, give us also strength to persevere to the last; and let our latest moments be only directed to thy worship, and give us strength and fortitude to behold in Thee a benignant Father, though our body be racked with pain, and let our death–bed be over– shadowed by thy glory, and our departure from this world be like our entrance into the same, free from guilt and blessed with thy favour. And may the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be acceptable in thy presence, O our Rock and Re– deemer! Eternal One, sole God and King, to whom be praise forever. Amen. Note. — A lady of Philadelphia, who had suffered fearfully dur– ing a protracted sickness, in which she at length recognized her God as one of mercy, and ready to forgive all our transgressions, requested me to compose an English prayer, and recite it in ad– dition to the usual funeral–service. In order to tranquillize her mind I promised to comply with her wish, and the above is the re– sult. It was the only time that I ever added a voluntary praj'cr to the form contained in our ritual [Page 359] PRAYER VIII. 359 PRAYER VIII.* From the depth of affliction, we call on Thee, Lord ! God of our fathers, to aid us with thy benefi– cent spirit in this hour of national sorrow. Lo ! the shepherd, whom the people had selected to guide them, has been suddenly snatched from his post, and new and untried hands will seize the reins of government over this extensive land, where so many children of thy covenant have found refuge, and where they are left unmolested to call on thy holy Name. O ! how vain are our endeavours, how feeble is our greatest strength ! we imagine ourselves firmly fixed in prosperity, but ere a night has passed, our glory is ended, and we sleep in the embrace of death. Only Thou, O Lord! endurest forever, and thy kingdom is established to all generations. Thine alone is the power, and thy hand gives greatness and firmness to all. When Thou speakest the creative word, worlds spring into being, and when Thou hidest thy face, all creatures are af– frighted, and return to their dust. It is in our afflic– tion, therefore, that we recognize thy power, though in prosperity we may have trusted awhile to our right hand and our fallible wisdom. Be it thy will, O Father of mercy ! to sanctify unto us and all the inhabitants of the country the bereavement which is felt from sea * Delivered at the Synagogue Beth El Emeth on "Wednesday, April 18th, 5025, the day appointed by public proclamation to be ob– served in memory of President liincoln. [Page 360] 360 PRAYER VIII. to sea, 80 that we may be made conscious of our sin– fulness and the iniquities which we have committed in thy presence. Cause the spirit of humility and trust to pervade the rulers of the land, that they may gov– ern in mercy, relying on thy providence to accomplish what they have left unfinished. Guard them against presumption, induced by which they might rely on the strength of carnal weapons and their own wisdom, by which nations have stumbled and fallen into decay. But grant them rather to regard themselves as stew– ards, intrusted by thy permission with the weighty concerns of government, to rule over the people for the benefit of all, to the injury of no one, to protect the innocent, and to decide with equity and forbear– ance. Enable them likewise to heal the breaches which a desolating war has inflicted on the land during four years of severe conflict. Teach them how to stanch the bleeding hearts in all the vast realms of the repub– lic, so that the sorrow and anguish which lacerate mil– lions of grieving spirits may be speedily alleviated, and that they may turn from the past spectacle of wast– ing and carnage to cultivate the arts of peace, and re– kindle the flame of brotherly love instead of the tierce fire of fnutual hatred. Let the people feel that it was thy wrath which permitted them to be abandoned awhile to the evil counsels of their own hearts, and that only in the true spirit of love can peace and pros– perity smile again over the fields and cities of this re– public, which has hitherto been a refuge for the op– pressed of mankind. But him, whose death the inhabitants of the country deplore, accept in thy goodness among the righteous [Page 361] PRAYER IX. 361 who have done thy will. Forgive his iniquities and pardon his transgressions, and let the agonj of disso– lution which heiias felt be an atonement for his sins. Comfort his widow and orphans, and may they be strengthened truly in Thee in their deep affliction. ' Let us farther entreat Thee to cause righteousaess and truth to prevail over all the earth, that violence may be no more, and all nations may speedily be brought under the kingdom of peace, when war shall cease from the earth, and when Thou alone shalt be adored, and all sons of the earth shall follow thy law alone under the guidance of the sou of David thy servant. Amen. PRAYER IX.* dSiy bii; M^2^ Sovereign of the universe ! Lord of all spirits ! We come before Thee, because we have felt thy power in the dispensation we deplore. Only a few weeks ago we beheld the now deceased, in honour of whose memory this meeting has assembled, active and busy in this hall among those who are yet spared, not heeding the speedy summons, which even then awaited him, to appear before thy awful throne in judgment. Who, among his associates, imagined that the strong man would so soon have to re° t in * At a meeting of the Dis. Grand Lodge No. 3, I.O.B.B., at Philadelphia, September 17th, 5627, in memory of Dr. Maurice Mayer, the secretary of the chief council of the order VOL. X. 31 [Page 362] 362 PRAYER IX. his grave, and leave unto us who survive life and its cares? But notwithstanding the almost sure prospect of a long and usefully active existence, the sudden– ness of his death startled us, and all that is left for us is to accompany his memory with our regrets, and to entreat Thee, O Father ! for the repose of his soul. May it be, then, thy will to look not to his transgres– sions, but to his good deeds, that these may outweigh all the evil effects of the others, so that he may be ad– judged to thy forgiveness and mercy, and be shielded under the shadow of thy wings from the power of destruction. Yea, wash him clean by thy unbought grace, and may the pangs of dissolution be accepted by Thee as an atonement for all his sins, and cause them to be forgotten in the abundance of thy loving kindness, with which Thou governest the world. Upon us, also, who are yet left here to struggle with adversity, to toil in our avocations, and to suffer the ills and hardships of bodily pain and mental an– guish, cause this event to have its due influence; teach us our nothingness, that our days are only a shadow on earth : so that we may not turn our hearts to vanity, and pursue the phantoms of self–aggrandize– ment and useless gain, by which we would be diverted from the study of thy law and the practice of the pre– cepts which Thou hast ordained. Be with our spirit and give it true enlightenment, that we may discern the difference between good and evil, and follow only what is right, guided by thy instruction which beams forth from thy revelation. O, teach us wisdom, God of Israel! that we may worthily fnltil our appoint– ment, and walk humbly before Thee, and lead many others to the footstool of thy mercy, to fall down and [Page 363] PRAYER IX. 363 adore Thee, who art ready to accept the humble hom– age of the children of the dust, and to bless their en– deavours with thy favour, and to cause prosperity to attend on their labours which are undertaken in thy Name. Yea, open our eyes to our foolishness, that we may not rely on our own reason, and be thereby misled to place our own conceptions above the word which Thou hast written ; and implant in our heart a well–founded distrust of our own understanding, so that we may be willing to listen to thy instruction and follow Thee, be it unto life or unto death, on the path which Thou didst command our fathers to walk therein all the days that they should live on earth, in order that it might be well with them and their chil– dren forever. May it be thus thy will to cause the affliction which has caused us to gather together this evening, to be– come to us all a source of true penitence ; that it may admonish us, in words of truth and seriousness, that our abiding is not here, and that we are only strangers in this terrestrial world, pilgrims like all our fathers, whose breath is in their nostrils, and who live only by thy sufferance, till the hour of our change also comes, when our days are cut short, and we must fly away and be at rest. Be it likewise thy gracious pleasure to let those who mourn for this bereavement apply this consideration to their wounded spirit, that they may rely on Thee to comfort them, even as a mother comforts her child, and acknowledge the justice of thy decree, and that in mercy Thou hast atflicted them, so that they may turn unto Thee to be healed of their wound, and obtain enlargement and eternal life. Upon all of us, we beseech Thee, send thy blessing, [Page 364] 364 PRAYER X. grant us our daily bread without relying on the aid of man ; give us knowledge to comprehend thy law, and enter not into judgment with us when Thou com– est to judge the world; for who could be justified in thy tribunal? But let thy mercy prevail where our sins plead for chastisement, and forgive the iniquity of thy children of the house of Israel, because of the righteousness of our fathers, and because Thou art good, and beneficent, and delighting in mercy. Yea, grant us life, bestow us thy favour, in order that we may rise up and declare thy glory and mercy, now and unto all eternity. Amen. PRAYER X.* O Lord God of our fathers ! we beseech Thee to listen to our prayers in behalf of these States. Grant, if it be Thy will, that their union may be preserved entire, and that nothing may disrupt the bonds which unite this Republic. Give wisdom to those charged with the administra– tion of the Government that they may be animated with the spirit of conciliation and truth, so that by their moderation and counsels the evil which now ap– pears to impend over this land may be speedily dis– * Spoken on Sabbath Vayesheb, December 8th, 5621, after the usual sermon in the Synagogue Beth El Emeth, in view of the then impending war between the Northern and Southern sections of tho Union. [Page 365] PRAYER X. 365 eipated, and peace and brotherly love resume their sway over the minds of the people. Let us also entreat Thee to be with the national council now assembled in the capital of the land; that their deliberations may be conducted with a sin– cere desire to do justice to all; that they may be en– abled to heal the discord which has lately been mani– fested, and save the Republic from ruin. But if it has been decreed from before Thee that the cup of confusion shall not pass away from our lips, and that we are doomed to drain its bitter contents: then do thou, Father of Mercy ! stay the hand of violence, and suffer not that the opposing factions shall enkindle the torch of war, and dip their hands in brother's blood. Permit not death–dealing armed ships to carry de– struction on the coasts of the Atlantic or Pacific, and avert the calamity of hostile armies sweeping with violence, rapine and murder, over the fields and cities of this country. Do this for the sake of thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our fathers ; do it for the sake of thy attributes of mercy, which Thou didst reveal to thy prophet Moses, when he stood before Thee on the rock at Horeb, and saw thy goodness pass before Him. And let thy indignation be removed from us, according to thy promise then made, inasmuch as Thou art the all–powerful One, merciful, gracious and long–suftering, who art abundant in forgiving iniqui– ty; and it' ice be deemed unworthy of this favour, do it for the sake of thy holy Name, by which we are called. Amen. 31* [Page 366] 366 PRAYER XI. PRAYER XI. PRAYER AT RISING.* Father and God ! guided by thy grace, I am again permitted to open my eyes to the beauties of thy creation, and the hours of sleep have passed away, and imparted to me new strength to stand in thy pres– ence. I feel that all I am, I am through Thee, and it is thy wondrous power which has ordered things so, that the apparent death of sleep gives fresh vigour to the weary limbs, and a renewed power to the ex– hausted spirit, to toil, and to labour, and to enjoy. O let me be conscious of this during the hours of waking, that I may not fill my soul with the impurity of sin, and sink unawares into the pitfalls of iniquity. Stand by me, O omnipresent Goodness! to teach me to distrust my deceitful heart, that I may not be mis– led by the advice of the ungodly to seize on the evil instead of the good, and to choose thus death instead of life; for in thy Law alone can we live, through obedience to thy voice solely can we enter the portals of happiness. Yet it is difficult for an humble mortal * Persons have very often expressed a wish to have prayers adapted for private recitation. I, therefore, communicate the above, composed in tlie spirit of the Prayers of Israel, to my read– ers, in the hope that it may not be found unworthy to be recited occasionally, as a preparative to the daily devotions which our sages have prescribed for us to address to the Lord of our life and spirit. [Page 367] PRAYER XI. 367 to be faithfal, without ever erring; for lo ! in thy inscru– table wisdom, Thou hast decreed that the righteous shall not be always prosperous, and that occasionally the wicked should triumph, while they dare to rebel against thy decree. It is in such moments of doubt that men will falter, and will not value enough thy holy will. Therefore, I beseech Thee ! to open my e3'es to the truth of thy word, that I may see the wonders of thy law ; that I may be enabled to battle firmly against the pride which dwells within me, and which would fain cause me to measure my wisdom against thine, to wander in the deceitful dream of my own imagination, far from the bounds set to us by the religion which Thou didst reveal to our fathers. Yes, bless thy servant with thy spirit, that thy wis– dom may enlighten me, to distinguish mercy in pun– ishment, and kindness in sore disappointment. For lo ! our days are but shadows on the earth, and soon thy decree will summon us away, and darken to our breaking eyes the earth and all its glory. Bless me, therefore, with understanding to distinguish thy pa– ternal care in all that may happen to me during my earthly pilgrimage, that my path may be open before me, and I become worthy of thy love and mercy, by the deeds which I shall be permitted to acquire as my own inheritance of earthly life. Bless those who are dear to me, that they may not toil in vain, nor need this day and forever the bounty of flesh and blood ; but give us all our daily bread in honour and peace; so that, fed from thy ever–full hand, we may have time and means to exert ourselves in thy service, to scatter blessings among the afflicted whom Thou hast left with us ; that we may imitate Thee in thy work of [Page 368] 368 PRAYER XII. goodness, to be messengers of mercy, to dispense charity and kindness on the path of our journey to thy mansions. If it be thy will, let this day pass without tribula– tion, and grant me bodily health and cheerfulness of mind to a high and contented age. But, if it be de– creed from Thee that pain should rack my bones, and disease invade my heart and limbs: then let me find in Thee a prop in my sorrows, that I may be resigned and hopeful, though all around me be shrouded in gloom and darkness. Be my support in all positions which may be as– signed unto me, and let me recognize Thee at all times as the Almighty, Eternal One, the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, who art the same in life and in death, in our joys and our sorrows, who wiliest to bless, because Thou art good and merciful. Amen. PRAYER XII.* O Lord ! God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we adore Thee, because of thy greatness, and the many mercies we have received at thy hands, ever since we have been a people. In all times and * On the evening of Nissan 17th (April 22d), 6627, The District Grand Lodge, No. III., I. O. B. B. formally opened the new hall which had just been fitted up for the meeting of the members of the Order in Philadclpliia. The dedication was opened with prayer as above. [Page 369] PRAYER XII. 369 seasons we have found Thee to be the God of truth. in whom there is no wrong, the all–just Ruler, before whom no falsehood can stand. Look down now, we beseech Thee! on us thy servants, who are assembled here this evening, for the first time, in this hall wherein we contemplate meeting, from time to time, to pro– mote the objects dear to the heart of every true son of the covenant, benevolence, brotherly love and a harmony of feeling and action, so that the good thoughts which may spring up in the minds of any one of us, may be supported by the labours of many, and be thus rendered fruitful to the common interest of multitudes of thy adorers. "We know that all human efforts are vain, if they do not obtain thy blessing and the approval of thy gracious favour. We therefore take our refuge to Thee in this hour of joyful anticipation, to sanctify the work we are about to commence. Be with us now and always, that our assembling here may re– dound to thy glory and the satisfaction, peace and happiness of those who have formed this covenant of union among a portion of thy servants. Teach us our appointment on earth, and inspire us with true wisdom, that we may attain the full object of our as– sociation, and become the messengers of true benev– olence to many a suffering one, and teachers of har– mony and peace to all who come under our supervi– sion. But, O Heavenly Father ! remove from us that false pride which often inspires mortals with undue self–esteem, and would convert benevolence into vain ostentation, brotherly love into a desire to control others, and harmony into a strife for superiority; for thus would our union become the source of multi– [Page 370] 370 PRAYER XI. farious evils, and a curse instead of a blessing to us and those who may succeed us. Rather let us feel deeply our mortality, experience in the innermost recesses of our soul that we are responsible to Thee for our stewardship, for the manner in which we dis– charge the heavy responsibility we have assumed in or– ganizing and fostering the Order of " The Covenant," a name sacred in the history of thy revelation, and which reminds us of the covenant between the pieces of Abram's sacrifice when Thou madest thyself manifest to thy first adorer, the man whom Thou lovedst, and didst promise him that Thoil wouldst be the stay of his children in the stranger's land where men would make them toil and labour, and whence Thou wouldst redeem them at the fourth generation from the patriarch. And Thou hast fulfilled thy word; and when their cry ascended to Thee from their oppression. Thou didst send thy messenger, and by his intervention eftect the liberation of thy redeemed. — It also recalls to us the time when Thou didst appear again to the sage of Ur of the Chaldees, then residing in the land of Canaan, and make with him the covenant of circumcision, that he and his descendants should boar in their fiesh the sign of their being thy chosen servants, while Thou wouldst be forever a God unto them, and their descendants after them. And Thou, O Father ! hast hitherto preserved thy promise; and though other niTtions have waliced every man in the name of his god, we, thy redeemed, who are in covenant with Thee, have ever walked in thy light, though often sinning against thy precepts. It brings before our memory, also, the solemn mo– ment when the chosen teacher of thy people brought [Page 371] PRAYER XII. 371 them within the bonds of the third covenant, when he was about to transfer the leader's staff to his trusty disciple, when he bound them and our descendants for– ever to remain faithful to the law which had been proclaimed by thy voice from the summit of Sinai as the unalterable announcement of thy will to the chil– dren of the dust. This gracious promise has also never been abseni: from thy memorial, and we this day yet celebrate the feast of redemption which thy law has instituted, and thus it has not been forgotten, though nations have risen, flourished, decayed and fallen, since we have entered the land of Palestine. Yea, it was thy gracious promises, the spirit of thy covenants, which have sustained us, but not our strength nor our wisdom. We therefore invoke Thee at this stage of our progress to hallow the work of our hands, and to accept in mercy our striving to in– fuse a love of union for general purposes among us. Aid us to render easy the bonds of poverty and suf– fering which afflict us in our mortal existence here on earth ; make our charity fruitful, so that those once assisted may be relieved from farther appeals to hu– man support, and render our services at the bedside of sickness productive in alleviating the distress of the sufferers, that these may speedily be healed, and enjoy again, in restored health, thy abundant bounty which is spread over all nature. Be with us in our struggle against the evil passions implanted in our heart, that we may subdue all causeless hatred, con– tention, and strife, and follow thy holy command " to love our neighbour like ourselves." — And forsake us not in our endeavour to promote peace and harmony among thy children, to implant in the minds of the [Page 372] 372 PRAYER XII. ignorant a knowledge of thy law, all the paths of which are peace. Yea, let us obtain thy heavenly countenance, that we and those who come after us may carry forward the object of our association, to make Judaism respected and its tenets obeyed by those who are born to its service. In this we shall discover that our labour has been accepted, and that we have found grace in thy sight, when we see the blessed principles of the words of thy covenant spreading far and wide over the earth, and the sons of Israel remaining true to the mission which thy all–wise providence has assigned to them. Do this for the sake of thy holy Name by which we are called ; do this for the sake of thy memorial which is profaned among the nations, and oh ! do it for the sake of thy servants with whom Thou didst make a covenant to endure while the mountains stand, and the hills are unmoved. — May this be thy will. Amen. [Page 373] APPENDIX. VOL. X. 32 ( 373 ) [Page 375] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. No. I. MOSES AND JETHRO. A SERMON ON EXODUS XVIII. BY DR. GOTTHOLT SALOMON, LATE PREACHER AT THE TEMPLE AT HAMBURG. DELIVERED IN 5602. " When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father–in–law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt: then Jethro, Moses' father–in–law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back. And her two sons, of which the name of the one was Ger– shom (for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land) ; and the name of the other was Eliezer (for the God of my father, said he, was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh). And Jethro, Moses' father–in–law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses, into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God : and he said unto Moses, I thy father–in–law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her. And Moses went out to meet his father–in–law, and did obeisance, and kissed him : and they asked each other of their welfare ; and they came into the tent. And Moses told his father–in–law all that the Lord had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the good– ness which the Lord had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. And Jethro said. Blessed be the Lord, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the (376) [Page 376] 376 APPENDIX. Lord is greater than all gods ; for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly, He was above them. And Jethro, Moses' father–in–law, took a burnt–offering and sacrifices for God ; and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father–in–law be– fore God. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. And when Moses' father–in–law saw all that he did to the people, he said. What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even ? And Moses said unto his father– in–law, Because the people come unto me to inquire of God : when they have a matter, they come unto me, and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God and his laws. And Moses' father–in–law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee ; for this thing is too heavy for thee ; thou art not able to perform it by thyself alone. Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee, Be thou for the people to God–ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God. And thou shalt teach them the ordinances and the laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover, thou shalt provide out of all the people, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetous– ness ; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all seasons ; and it shall be that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then shalt thou be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace. So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father–in– law, and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thou– sands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And they judged the people at all seasons ; the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves. And Moses let his father–in–law depart: and he went his way into his own land." Exodus xviii. This narration, beloved brothers, is as simple as it is instructive; it appertains to human life from several [Page 377] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 377 points of view, and it teaches man, and it teaches the Israelite that which is good, and which God demands of him. It directs the attention of our spirit to two great men : to one who was a messenger of God in Israel, and to a priest who served in a pagan wor– ship, — to Moses and Jethro. And we are taught four things, the observance of which Scripture in our to– day's Parashah is to impress upon our heart.* And let us pray that the divine word may become to us a light and guide. Amen ! I. " Suffer yourselves to be led from the pleasant hours in your life, which strike you from their re– markable nature, unto God and things divine." To this we mnstjirst direct our attention. Moses and Jethro celebrate in our text just such a festive hour. After a long separation, they see each other again: and what a meeting! a most joyful, a most gratifying one ! Moses has overcome innumer– able dangers, and his name, in connexion with the wonderful deeds wrought by him, in the face of day, with the aid of God, has penetrated to all nations ; his greatness and his fame have become immortal. Jethro brings back to him the beloved wife from whom he has been long separated, the children from whose society he has been long severed, and with them he recalls to him the dearest, the holiest recol– lections. (Exod. xviii. 3, 4.) How full is the heart of both ! and how does the * The weekly portion of the law read in the synagogue is so called; that of the prophets is called Haphtorah. 32* [Page 378] 378 APPENDIX. mouth overjflow with that of which the heart is full ! What have they not to tell, to communicate to each other ! (lb. 8.) What do they not feel, what do they not think and speak of all in this hour! And how do all these feelings, and thoughts, and words disclose themselves ? in a looking up to God ! They sink down before the Lord — to the Lord is ascribed the praise and the glory ; to the Lord they consecrate burnt and peace–offerings; before the Lord they pour forth the prayer of their overflowing hearts, (lb. 9–12.) We also, dearly beloved, have no lack of festive hours in our lives. When you (we must not lose sight of our text in the least) when you return, after a long separation, to your home, for which you have painfully longed, when after a fatiguing and perilous journey you come back to your kindred, ami find again the wife, the husband, the father, the mother, the sister, the brother, the friend, and tears become the interpreters of your sensations and thoughts; or when your children return from amidst strangers, among whom they have prepared themselves for their calling, well in body and soul, in the possession of a childlike heart and the ancestral faith, these most precious of treasures, which they have preserved in– violate; or when you, hovering between fear and hope, watch at the sick–bed of a beloved being, ob– serving his features, attentive to his oppressed breath– ing — and when then suddenly the skilful physician pronounces the decisive words, " The danger is past, the loved sufl'erer is given to you anew, you may again rejoice at possessing him ! " or when you press to your loud beating heart a first child, or a first grandchild, [Page 379] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 379 and you possess in the little stranger one bond the more which binds you to life; or when you have finally overcome the last diflBculty which stood in the way of an important undertaking, or a great and favourite scheme of your life, and your eye turns upon a friendly and less shrouded future : then are these your remarkable festive hours, such as Moses and Jethro experienced them ; they fill your eyes, too, with tears of joy, and your hearts with pleasing sen– sations. Be they many or few, frequently or spar– ingly scattered through our life, they ought to guide us, as Moses and Jethro were guided, unto God and things divine. They ought to attune our hearts to return thanks to God. God sends them into the fa– tiguing, exhausting every–day life, that they maj" shine therein like luminous points, and that life may not become too uniform in scenery and colouring, and be thus rendered a burden to ourselves. Joy, however, shall by its appearing not merely belong to the dust, not alone to a fleeting enjoyment; but it shall be a holy rejoicing, a rejoicing in God, through which the sensual man is spiritualized; and the table becomes an altar, the meal a sacrificial repast before God, dtiVn ':sh as our text expresses it. Moreover we shall employ these hours, like Moses and Jethro, for open communication and the pouring forth of the heart. And whereas at such periods the heart feels deeper, and the mind sees clearer, and the powers of the soul and the sentiments are brightened and more elevated : we shall also, like Moses and Jethro, apply and use the hours as they did, for sage reflection and consultation on important affairs, for instance, how domestic life may be ennobled; how the [Page 380] 380 APPENDIX. education of the children can be improved ; how the affairs of the congregation may be placed on a better footing; for then have these remarkable festive hours guided us to a higher elevation, and made us better and wiser; they have led us to God, and we have been rendered more familiar with divine things. II. " Live true to thy calling, but so that thou mayest live long for its furtherance." Each of us knows that by the word " calling " is meant a fixed state of action, in which we employ our powers for the benefit and use of human and civil society, no less for the welfare of others than of the individual himself. But how we are to labour in our calling, how we shall best employ our powers, this is indicated to us in Scripture, in the narrative of Moses and Jethro. Look upon Moses ! On yesterday he beholds again, after a separation of many years, after laborious ex– ertions, his dear father, his wife, his children ; to–day already, you find him in the midst of the business of his calling; "on the following day," say the Scrip– tures, "he sat to judge the people." However full his spirit might be from the joyful meeting, however loudly his heart might beat for the loved souls just restored to him, it is fuller yet, it beats louder yet for his calling. And how does Moses labour in his calling ? Un– interruptedly " from morning till evening." The call– ing does not alone fill the whole heart, but fills up also the whole time. He permits himself no empty [Page 381] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 381 intervals from labour. Each hour is filled up with another duty; perseveringly he pursues the labours of his calling, he devotes to them his entire soul. This is one thing we have to learn. Whatever call– ing, brethren, we may have chosen, as soon as we have made a selection, and declared ourselves for the same, it is obligatory on us to labour for it entirely, and to live for it alone; the sweetest pleasures, the highest enjoyments, must not seduce us to rob our calling of this or that hour, or to condense the labours and duties incident thereto, that is, to abridge, to lessen them ; because we ought to find the sweetest pleasures, the highest enjoyment in our calling itself, which is a direct command of God to man, a daily worship, just in the light as Moses viewed it. And if we reflect, beloved brethren, that a consid– erable portion of life must have passed away, when we have fairly entered on our calling; and if we re– flect farther how much time of our already so limited existence is moreover consumed by the necessary re– quirements for the sustaining of life, which cannot remain unattended to; and if we finally reflect how often sickness, natural weakness, the infirmities of old age, prevent us from accomplishing the duties of our calling: we shall surely, unless our conscience is too much blunted, not have the disposition to squan– der the time which is remaining to us after these con– siderable deductions; but we shall deem it no more than right and reasonable to devote ourselves entirely to our calling, in wherever God has placed us, and wherever lie has assigned to us a sphere of actioii ; be this in the troubled world or in the quietness of home; be it in a palace or in a hut; be it upon the [Page 382] 382 APPENDIX. chair of instruction or of judgment; as artisan or mechanic ; as a man of erudition or of business ; as husband or wife, — our calling should be to us the most important thing, and as such we ought to devote to it our whole life. Nevertheless, live in such a manner in the pursuit of your vocation that you may be able to live long for it; and this we learn from Jethro. " The thing thou doest is not good ; thou wilt surely wear away, both thou and this people that is with thee ; for this thing is too heavy for thee, thou art not able to per– form it by thyself alone;" thus spoke Jethro to Moses, and you know the advice which he gave him, which he closes with these words, " If thou wilt do this thing, and God command it thee, then wilt thou be able to endure, and also all this people will go to their place in peace." For just as God has set a limit to our life and the duration of our days, so also has He limited our powers; and no one has ever yet transcended these limits with impunity. A short and eventful life is certainly preferable to a long and un– eventful one, and the wise and pious eflects more in ten years, nay, more in one year, and labours more blissfully, than the fool and godless in a long series of years. Nevertheless, a truly wise, a truly pious man, has never yet unduly strained his powers, and purposely endeavoured to consume himself. If one knows how to economize with the energies of life wliich his time allows him, he can to a surety do much in a few years, nay, effect great things, and he will have no cause whatever to complain of the shortness of life. But we ought constantly to think of the words of Jethro, iopa ^y nin oyrt S3 oai iD;r rhy) [Page 383] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 383 01^1^3 xn" " Then wilt thou be able to endure, and also all this people will go to their place in peace." Thou, my hearer, must live in such a manner in the pursuit of thy calling, that thou mayest be able to endure, that thou mayest not, in contradiction to the will of God, consume and exhaust thyself before the proper time the powers vouchsafed to thee, that thou mayest not be lost before the proper time to thy calling, and fade away unto the grave. no;^ hSd'i, " thou must endure," thou must remain, thou must remain in thy position, thou must with– stand the most untoward occurrences! "And the people also will be benefitted thereby," adds Jethro ; according to the method and manner in which thou pursuest thy calling, the people, for whom thou art called to labour, must likewise be able to prosper, and feel themselves happy; thou must endure for them, remain a long time. O, brethren ! |n ddh '3 nm, the above word of wis– dom has Jethro addressed to all of us. For do we but live for ourselves alone ? should we live for our– selves only ? "JN no ^oy'S 'jNtyJi, "When I am for my– self, what am I?" For how many souls dost thou provide, thou honest teacher of youth, or teacher of the people, through thy industry and thy striving ! For how many families provides the busy hand, the ever–active spirit of the careful merchant ! Unto how many children and grandchildren art thou provider, prop, friend, and counsellor, thou worthy father or grandfather; thou mother or grandmother! how * The double sense of the future in Hebrew, meaning both the simple future and the imperative. [Page 384] 384 APPENDIX. greatly would the home, which thou guidest, fall into decay, how forsaken and bereaved would the little ones be, for whom to live is thy calling, if thou wert to consume thyself before thy time has come, and labour more assiduously than thy powers will permit thee ! No, in the pursuit of your calling you are bound to think especially of those for whom you live; and, guided by the hand of piety and wisdom, live in such a manner, that you may be able to live a long time for the benefit of your calling. III. " Greatness and humility are always united in the truly wise." Jethro imparts his counsel to his son–in–law, as to how he should live for himself and the people, and Moses follows the advice. Moses, the man of God, the trusted by God, the mediator between God and Israel (Dent. v. 5), the prophet, the proclaimer of the one and only God, accepts the advice imparted to him by a non–Israelite, a heathenish priest. But for this very reason do our illustrious ancients apply to Moses the name of the wise, and refer to him the proverb of Solomon, ddh nyj'^^'niyi "But the wise listeueth to advice." What humility ! and with what greatness is it united. Indeed, I know not which is the mother, which the daughter, whether humility brings forth o;reatncss, or greatness humility ; but this much I do know, that, in order to possess and to exercise true humility, one must be truly great, — morally great ; since little souls know absolutely nothing of the ex– alted virtue of humility. [Page 385] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 385 Whoever possesses moral greatness thinks, in the performance of important acts, nowise on his own self, does not in any manner feel disturbed whether perchance his own self might not be placed in the shade, if but one voice, but one merit be accorded to others. Therefore also does he consult with and listen to others. Whoever possesses moral greatness cares for the good cause which it behoves him to promote, not for his own fame, not for his own honour ; God's praise, God's glory, these are objects which he lays to heart. He therefore also asks and follows the counsel of those by whose means the praise and glory of God may be extended. " If thou doest this, and God command it thee," were the words of Jethro. Whoever possesses moral greatness, is sedulous for the truth, not for appearance ; righteousness and the fear of God are to become more at home among man– kind; through whom this takes place is of no im– portance, provided only it does take place. There– fore does he call to his counsel the good and the noble– minded, and he appreciates duly their advice; there– fore was the noble–minded Moses so much moved by the words of Jethro, " Choose able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness;" because how much that is good and useful cannot men effect, in whom all such exalted virtues are united ! Where, however, moral greatness is wanting, there egotism will show itself openly, an egotism which desiros only what is advantageous to one's self, and seeks only one's own interest; where moral greatness is absent, there pride will puff itself into importance, a pride which seems to understand every thing better VOL. X. 33 [Page 386] 386 APPENDIX. than any other; where moral greatness is wanting, there the soul is full of ambition, which longs ior high–sounding praise and flattery : how could and would such a one share his incense and his laurels with another? Every thing, therefore, is conducted according to his own will, even if houses of God, and schools, and congregations should be ruined thereby ! Jethro is a heathenish priest, and the greatest prophet in Israel follows his advice, preserves the words as though they were gold and precious metal, preserves them — in the holy Scriptures.* This is a humility which belongs only to great souls. We may therefore assume that we have above all in our Pa– rashah† of to–day a measure of true greatness, and we are certified that we are bound to listen to wisdom, whether it come out of the mouth of the Israelite or non–Israelite. The truth belongs to God, and who– ever teaches us the same, even if he be a heathenish priest, is a servant of the living God. (Compare Maimonides on '^}2V^ ho'dk' chapter xiii. § 3.) But we learn also a second and more important doctrine : If you require men, be it for the foundation of schools or the support of our houses of God, or the promotion of other concerns of the congregation or of mankind, you should look after them, learn to know them well. If they believe that they alone are in possession of wisdom and learning, if they look down in their van– ity upon others, and refuse to accept reasonable ad– * According to the saying mir\3 nnx T\w\2 "^D'ti/ "\n' "Jethro was called Jother (the one who adds), because he was the means of adding one section to the law." † Section. [Page 387] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 387 vice, let them pass on, you lose notliing by not having them ; choose for 3'ourselves persons with a modest mind, persons who walk in humility before the Lord, who regard more the will of God than their own; choose such as these, for they work beneficially, they devote their powers and capacities, their days and years, to their calling, and desire no other acknowl– edgment than that of their own conscience, and know of no other approbation than the approbation of God, and their being pleasing in the eyes of God. IV. " Coming and parting border very closely on one another." Only a short time had Moses been in the society of his father–in–law, when fate, which bid one go to the right, the other to the left, separated them anew. (Exodus xviii. 27.) Just so is it in our own life ; coming and parting border very closely upon one another. And it is not merely the all–separating death that steps in between the loving and the loved, but innumerable circum– stances and duties demand in an imperious tone that those who have scarcely met and seen one another, should soon separate again. But this arrangement also is derived from a higher Hand; it is intended to eflect in part that our love for our friends should ever become more sincere and heartfelt. Let us endeavour to enjoy and to detain the hours — they are only hours — which we arc permitted to spend in the circle of love and friendship. Let us strive to enchain them, I may say, to perpetuate them, by thinking, working, living, while they last, for one [Page 388] 388 APPENDIX. another, and then work and live thus that, when we dismiss the object of our aiiection, as Moses did Jethro, and he returns to his land, to his home, or if we be the dismissed, they who return, no reproaches of any kind for neglected, delayed duties, may disturb the tranquillity of our soul. No ! we ought to be able to say unto ourselves at parting, whilst bidding farewell : "We have completely tasted and enjoyed the short, but eventful, festive hours which Heaven had vouchsafed to us ; our being and living together were of a holy and divine nature, and we have thereby been rendered happy and blessed. O how benefi– cently must the effect of this doctrine, the truth that our coming and parting border so closely on each other, act upon our narrow, our narrowest circle ! What a blessing must the love of parents for their children, and of children for their parents become, if they mutually place it as manifest before their mind, that they have received but fleeting hours for the ex– ercise of love. How must this thought spur on the parents to labour for the welfare of their children with the utmost solicitude, and to establish it as firmly as possible; for in this alone can genuine and true love be displayed. How must this thought stimulate the children, even the giddy and the most unreflect– ing, to sweeten the short pilgrimage of the guides of their life, to become their pride and their joy. What a blessing will the thought that " coming and parting border so closely on one another" be, if it admonishes brothers and relatives to live with and near each other, not to live far apart and indifterent to each other's fate, and to remove everything whicli may have placed enmity between them, or what the [Page 389] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 389 loveless world may have placed between them, envy, jealousy, calumny, or what othCr names the serpents may bear which are in the habit of forcing themselves into the paradise of love. O how greatly must the thought of coming and parting incite you all, brothers and sisters, to lay to heart the word of Scripture, which is a word of the truest love : " How good and lovely is it when brethren dwell together in unity ; for there the Lord hath commanded the blessing, life unto everlasting," there will be understood what is life unto everlasting. And may such a blessing and such a happy life be your portion, beloved brethren. May our to–day's lecture help to contribute to this result. It will, it MUST happen, if the festive hours in your life guide you unto God ; if you live wholly and fully in the pursuit of your calling in such a manner that you may be able to live long for the same ; if you walk humbly before God, and, as it accords with wisdom and true greatness, you do not despise the counsel of tried souls ; if you finally take it to heart that coming and parting border very closely on one another; and you employ, for this reason, the hours which God permits you to spend in the circle of loved friends, wisely and conscientiously for your own happiness and blessing, and the happiness and blessing of others. Amen. 33* [Page 390] 390 APPENDIX. No. n. ON EDUCATION. A SERMON FOR SHABUOTH, BY DR. LUDWIO PHILIPPSON, LATE RABBI OP MAGDEBURG. Beneficent Father of the sons of man ! thy servant has taught us, " Behold, children are a heritage of the Lord, offspring a glorious reward." (Ps. cxxvii. 3.) Truly, as Thou hast placed our children in our arms, on our heart, as pledges, as intrusted, invaluable pos– sessions, as a sweet weight, a dear burden, difficult to be borne, yet so gladly borne, not willingly yielded for any price, so dreadfully painful to lose : — do Thou, Father, help us, teach us how to guide them in the right path, that they may walk in the light of thy countenance, that they may become an ornament to our neck, a crown to our head, to honour Thee, to be a blessing to man, and to us, their fathers and mothers, a pride, a happiness, that we may constantly take them joyfully to our arms, and they may close our eyes in sincere love at the end of our days. Amen. Beloved Bkothers and Sisters in Israel! As often as we unite on this day for worship, on the festival of the revealed God, our view is of itself directed to the terrors of yon desert, where our fa– thers were assembled at the foot of Sinai, to listen to the word, the commands of the Lord. The thought is too great ever to be forgotten. Above — the thun– der–cloud of the Lord, below — millions of awestruck [Page 391] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 391 men, between — the smoking, quaking mountain, and above all the Lord's voice, which caused the doctrines of right and virtue to sink unto everlasting into the hearts of mankind. Yea, the very idea is divine ! And what did the Lord desire? To educate a great people to a knowledge of divine things, to justice, to religion. Therefore did He draw them forth out of the dark country of superstition and slavery, to ren– der them free from the bonds of error and depend– ence, as a child is drawn out of the dark domain of unconsciousness, out of the region of sleepiness to the light of day and freedom. Therefore did He lead them forth into the wilderness, that they might be alone, separate during their time of instruction from a contact with the vicious, sunken nations, just as we shieldingly guard our children from the evils and vices of the world. He fed them there with a pecu– liar species of food, as we do to our children as long as they arc infants. He led them through the wil– derness for forty years, till they acquired the power to enter into an independent life, just as we keep our children with us till they reach manhood's years; in the wilderness He taught them doctrines and justice, truth and virtue, knowledge of divine things and piety, just as we would gladly impress them upon our children, and lay them, if we could, in their open heart. And after they had become grown up and strong. He caused them to enter the land of contest, to become manly in the battles for their country, and assisted them in the struggles for that land, till they could live and act as an independent people. So also do we parents let our youth and maidens enter into life, to meet its struggles and fatigues, and we sur– [Page 392] 392 APPENDIX. render to them our wealth and possessions, that theu' tasks may be less than ours has been, till they become men and women in their own position, at their own fireside. But even in this also the parallel holds true : often did Israel fall off from the only God, often did Israel go astray from oft" the road which had been taught to them, and did not always fulfil the hopes which they had awakened : — and how often do not parents behold the same thing, with a torn heart, in their grown up children ? for they too fall ofl' from the right path, and the father's eye and the mother's heart see the danger and the destruction and can– not help ; — o;^3"i p–iky |dk;^i " Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked;" "we hoped for grapes and find wild grapes." But I have already, beloved friends, touched upon the very subject to which I meant to lead you. The education of the people of Israel, the principal day and centre of which we celebrate this day, I intended, should lead me to speak of the education of the Is– raelitish child. But why should I speak to you of thia subject to–day? Is not to–day the feast of the first fruits ? But where can we find more precious first fruits which we could bring to the altar of the Lord than our children, his blessing and our joy? Is not to–day the feast of our confession of faith ? and how can we better lay our confession before the only God than in our children ? And is not this a period when all nature is rearing and educating its oftspring ? And do I not stand now under a. canopy* of boughs and flowers ? And what are the evergreen boughs of our * It is the custom to decorate the synagogues on the Feast of Weeks with greens and flowers, as alluded to above. — I. L. [Page 393] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 393 life, and what are our most fragrant flowers, if not our children ? Let me therefore speak to–day concerning the edu– cation of the Israelitish children, and earnestly sup– ply answers to the following three questions: How ought they to be educated ? For what end ought they to be educated ? In what spirit ought they to be educated ? And behold, the truest aim of education is expressed by the prophet in the Haphtorah of to–day : ' They went every one straight forward ; whither the spirit was to go, they went, and they turned not when they went." Ezekiel i. 12. L My friends ! how should education be conducted ? — nay, is education at all requisite ? — If we take coun– sel of past experience, the effect of education may at times appear very questionable. We behold children educated in the most excellent manner deviate from the road marked out to thera which they had already entered upon ; in other words, that a good education produces bad fruits. We on the contrary behold children greatly neglected become excellent and dis– tinguished men ; or, that a bad education produces good fruits. But this is not the way of considering the subject, brethren. The prophet says : " Whither the spirit was to go they went, and they turned not when they went." This is a word of deep import. The direction which a man has once received he never forsakes again, or it never leaves him. Let us rather ask, What would have become of the first mentioned, if in addition they bad received withal a bad educa– [Page 394] 394 APPENDIX. tiou V May not the good impressions which they re– ceived in their youth withhold them from the worst deeds ? may not often with all their wickedness ap– pear unto them the shadows of their noble–spirited parents counselling better things? — Or how might not the others have been advanced if they, in addition, had withal received a good education ? How much easier mis–ht it not have been for them to take their upward flight, and how much higher might they not have risen ? Yes, the traces of a good education will ever remain visible in the degenerate, and preserve him from sinking entirely ; the traces of a rude edu– cation will ever adhere to the one who has risen be– yond it, and can never be entirely obliterated ! Yes, parents, there exists no more valuable gift, no nobler possession, no richer and more useful present which you can bestow upon your children than a good edu– cation ! The spirit of man in childhood is like wax, which receives every impression, but like iron retain– ing for after–life and forever fast all impressions it has received. But how should education be constituted in order to be good ? It must, in the first instance, be an education of carefulness, of constant watching; the parental eye must be continually awake over the child ; and if it is said from God towards us, his chil– dren — (Ps. cxxi. 4) : " Behold He slumbereth not, He sleepeth not," it ought to be the same from pa– rents towards their children. Is it sufiicient if you leave your children to strangers, or send them even among strangers to grow up among strangers? If so, they will renuiin strangers to you and paternal care. No, neither business, nor avocation can serve as an excuse ; the first work of parents must be to [Page 395] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 395 educate their children, and they themselves must edu– cate them. For to a stranger's heart the child appeals but negligently; the stranger labours for pay, and he cannot confer on him what is the second requisite of a good education, an education of love and affection. O ! how soft is the touch of the hand of the father or mother to the heart of the child, how gratefully is the child penetrated by the exertions of the parents, how readily do all the blossoms of the young soul open themselves under the loving rays of the paternal eyes, to which it turns as the sunflower does to the day– star of our planet. Who protects the child from every rude blast ? The mother's love. Who guards the child against the worm that secretly gnaws at the root ? The father's love. But this love must at the same time be the true love ; education must therefore be thirdly — an education wherein mildness and sever– ity are united. Whoever in educating his child in– dulges him in everything, and yields to his whims and caprices, renders him effeminate and self–willed. Whoever educates his child with rigorous and love– less severity and coldness renders him unsociable and headstrong. Whoever makes a plaything of his child at one moment and then breaks out in fits of fury like a thunder–storm, renders him uncertain and waver– ing. On the contrary, love and severity must go hand in hand, at the right time and according to a judicious plan; out of the midst of mildness severity must ever be discernible, and in severity the child should perceive the traits of mildness. The good ac– tions must be rewarded, faults must be punished; but the punishment must appear to the child as a nec– essary result, and the reward as an immediate con– [Page 396] 396 APPENDIX. sequence of his actions. Education tlierefore must proceed from the father and motlier at the same time, that the earnestness of the one may be intimately united with the mildness of the other, that the educa– tion should neither be feminine nor morose. Finally, and fourthly education should be an education of a good example. For a good example is the soul of education. There are, ye parents, no more attentive observers of 3'our conduct than your children, there are no severer judges, but at the same time no more ready imitators than they Take especial care ; and if ye sin, do not show it to the children ; if you com– mit an act of injustice, let them not see it; if disunion is between you, let them not become aware of it. Only go before them with an example of mercj–, and righteousness, and piety, and they will follow. For they go whither the spirit is directed to go, and they depart not therefrom. And was not this the educa– tion which the Lord vouchsafed to Israel with so much care, since the pillar of cloud did not depart during the day nor the pillar of fire by night, — so lovingly, since lie bore them on eagles' wings, — 80 mildly yet so severely, since He punished them for their misdeeds, and favoured them when they re– pented, with an example unto us so fully in accord– ance with his divine goodness, for i3V vjs " his coun– tenance went before them ?" Let your countenance then go before your children, that they may follow on the right path. Behold, then will, as the Psalmist says, " thy children be as olive–plants around thy table.' [Page 397] SPECIMENS OP GERMAN PREACHERS. 397 11. With love, care, mildness, and severity therefore should we educate our children. But for what end? in reference to what object shall we educate them? what direction shall we give them that they may fol– low it? When the Lord educated the people of Israel He gave them the divine code of justice and mercy, and the law of sanctification. He first instructed Israel concerning their acts towards their fellow–men, and then concerning their conduct towards the Lord. And thus is man given to two directions, and has to build up for himself two worlds, the one the existing human world, the other the inward and higher world of the spirit. And for both must our children be educated. First for the earth. To whom is it more necessary that the growing generation should become a sterling class of men, than Israel ? Scarcely as yet acknowledged, scarcely yet somewhat tolerated,* and yet much restricted in society our children ought to be able to maintain an honourable position throuo–h the power of mind, firmness, worth, pre–eminence, and to obtain constantly more esteem, — a more en– larged field from our opponents. Yes! a man who is laborious, active, productive among mankind is a glorious phenomenon. But how can education con– duce to this result? When it is in the first place an education of order, of the severest, strictest order. Order is a divine attribute, for only through means of it can God's world exist. Order stamps the char– * The learned divine of course alludes to tho then situation of the Jews in Germany and many other European countries. VOL. X. 34 [Page 398] 398 APPENDIX. acter of health and usefuhiess upon body and soul. Order is the foundation of temperance, and conquers the passions. Cliildren must be accustomed from their earliest infancy to a careful order in time and space, in their person and possessions ; and in this very point there is witnessed the most frequently a lamentable neglect. To form, however, a useful character there is necessary, as a second requisite, an education of perfection. From early infancy the child should be made to do nothing by halves, but to do everything fully and completely. Whatever has been commenced ought to be finished, he must not be permitted to remain standing still half–ways. Only in this manner can unskilfulness in any craft be avoided, and thus only can one become master in any pursuit, whatever it may be. Let the boy choose, or be compelled to choose, whatever branch it may be; but let it be his endeavour to perfect himself therein and become master thereof as of his proper province. And thirdly, education must be also one of earnest– ness. Away with every frivolity, with every species of trifling in education, — an education which cannot initiate and force the child too early into the vanities of the world, there where light enjoyments and dan– cing play the first part of life ! Away with that efteminacy of education which would prepare for the child nothing but a succession of pleasures, as though he entered the circle of the human fiimily for no other purpose; an education which cannot make the child acquainted at too early an age with all the en– joyments of life, and which calls forth nothing but degeneracy and the desire to enjoy. The child should be early taught by experience, that life is something [Page 399] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 399 earnest and difficult; he must early learn how to govern himself, how to dispense with many things, how to conquer his desires. Leave to himself the task of pursuing his plays and amusements; for he is a child, and understands these matters better than you, and will be most pleased with things of his own invention. Finally, and fourthly, education should be one of relinement and nobleness of mind; for in every situation one can be refined and noble–minded, and thus ennoble himself and be a joy to others. But not in mere bowing and in graceful words con– sists the refinement and nobleness recommended to you, but in disposition and behaviour, in demeanour and conduct. This therefore renders man what he should be, and ripe for intercourse with mankind at large : — when he observes order and perfection, earn– estness and refinement. But is this enough? No, farther yet does the province of education extend itself before our view: it should rear man also for the inner, the spiritual world. In the first place the mind should be awakened to a free, living activity ; superstition | and terror should be avoided, that the spiritual eye may be en– abled to survey everything with a clear vision, that man –may demand an account and obtain the reason of all that takes place. Next, however, the feelings of the child must be awakened and formed, for these at last are the noblest part of n^an ; his sensations should be directed towards the good and noble, that he may learn early to love the good and to abominate the evil. Next conscience, this guardian of the para– dise of the human heart, must be awakened to pro– nounce a loud, independent sentence over himself, [Page 400] 400 APPENDIX. that the child may betimes be made aware of the judge inherent in hia own heart, to listen to his voice, to attend to his reproof and his approbation, and to mark his warning and his inciting. In this manner ought you to habituate your children betimes, not merely to live uithout, but also to live witliin them– selves, and to yield themselves to a contemplation of their inward man. Only through an equal cultiva– tion of the mind, the feelings, and conscience, does man in reality become an entire man, who governs himself and the world, who is a king in his own kingdom. And if you have succeeded in this through your mode of education, then will your children fol– low in this direction, not depart therefrom, but pursue their onward course. III. Yes, education, beloved friends, is a difficult, a great work, and nevertheless I have not yet led you to its highest pinnacle, — to religion, to religious education. But if you were to ask me for the third requisition, "In what spirit shall our children be educated?" what else could I answer you, except in the spirit of the Israelitish religion, in Israelitish piety? Religion must be the basis of education, or else it is valueless and a useless fragment. Kcligion must be the spir– itual influence which covers, the spiritual bond which unites the whole system of education, or else the whole will one day fall to pieces and vanish into noth– ing. For, since in religion alone all the virtues, what– ever is beautiful and immortal, have their root, how could these be transplanted into the soul of youth [Page 401] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 401 without religion ? And if Israel has been educated by God himself to be a people of religion, as the bearer of religion, of religious knowledge, how could our youth solve this problem, this divine task, with– out the aid of religion ? But in truth, in nothing is our age so vacillating, so careless, so uncertain, as precisely in religious education. Most parents are only careful that their children be instructed in the arts and sciences of the world, but religious knowl– edge they postpone to the last. The frequenting of the school where religion is taught is a burden to the parents, which they put away as far as possible, and then abridge it as soon as possible. How often do I hear children say in the name of their parents, " I have too many things to learn for my general school, I cannot find time to get the religious lesson;" and this from children of such parents as profess to ob– serve the true religion of Israel ! And then, what can the school alone accomplish ? The home must effect the principal thing in the department of re– ligion. It may be left to the teacher alone to incul– cate worldly knowledge ; but religion must be visibly displayed at home before the children ; love and re– spect for religion must be made daily and hourly manifest at home to the children, and be in word and deeds the evident traits of parents, if they are to take root in the minds of the j'ounger portions of the household. How then ought the Israelitish religious education to be constituted ? First, how ought it 7iot to be ? In the first place, it must not be an educa– tion to produce a mere religious lip–worship. Juda– ism requires not the like, and our times are not suited in anywise for the same. So long as children stand 34* [Page 402] 402 APPENDIX. ill fear of the father's rod, they may follow it np ; but then they seize the first opportunity to rid theni– selyes from it ; religion has taken no root in them. But much more injurious is that altogether irreligious education which imparts to the child nothing of re– ligion, of prayer, of worship, and of the law ; or that species which lets children grow up in such ignorance that they learn, perhaps for the first time, from the opprobrious epithets of other children, that they are Jews. How confounded must then such children be! They feel no bond which unites them to our religion, and they are neyertheless bound to the name. — There are also many parents who let their children be in– structed as much in Christianity as in Judaism, and let them attend at school during those hours when instruction in the Christian religion is imparted. Against such a course, all religion, all reason ex– claims. What shall the children look upon as right? What shall theybelieye? With how much laxity, with how much leyity, bow speedily, will the children cast olf all religion ? In all this lies hidden a deep religious corruption. The child must be early penetrated by the breath of religion, early, at the first dawning of his con– sciousness already, must he obtain an experienc'e of God, must learn to loye, to be grateful to Him ; and this loye and gratitude must be strengthened through regular hours of prayer, which first should be short, and then constantly increase in length; but it should never be omitted, as being the most important busi– ness of the day. He must learn to obey this God as the Supreme Wisdom, and to follow his law he must be taught to consider as the highest aim of life. He [Page 403] SPECIMENS OF GERMAN PREACHERS. 403 must live in constant connexion with this omnipresent God, and regard Him as the attentive Observer, as an indulgent Judge of error, as the strict Judge of sin, and as the merciful Father of his creatures. And with the increase of years he must learn to acknowl– edge the only one God, and be instructed in his holy revealed word, and regard religion as a positive re– ality, whether it be in divine worship, the law, or the practice of piety. And as he has been educated as a man, he must now be educated to become a Jew. He must be informed of Israel's eventful history, learn to understand IsraePs high destiny, to comprehend Israel's exalted possession in the word and law of the Lord, and how and in what Israel's religion differs from the systems of others, and how highly exalted it is above all human knowledge, and how it animates the true Israelite, strengthens, renders him firm, and conducts him to everlasting felicity. In this atmos– phere should the Israelitish child be educated, be animated by this spirit, and then will he follow it to whithersoever it is turned, and not depart therefrom. I turn myself now to you, you elder fathers and mothers: have you thus educated your children? and should they not have become all you could wish, are you free from all blame ? Can you perhaps retrieve something yet of the work left undone ? Of you, younger fathers and mothers, I ask, do you educate your children in the manner indicated? do you give them such a direction that they can freely pursue it ? I testify against you to–day that you are responsible for your acts to God, the religion of Israel, nay to your own children, thit none of these may one day say over your graves " Tiiey have corrupted me, [Page 404] 404 APPENDIX. on them is the guilt of my faulty life." And you also who one day hope to be fathers and mothers, if you desire to be worthy of this high calling, prepare your– selves for it, and Ijearn to fulfil its duties in the best manner possible. Parents! it is an immortal soul, a divine breath –which is surrendered to your keeping in every child: take the utmost care of the heavenly scion; the joy and sorrow of your child, nay the joy and sorrow of distant generations depend upon your proper appre– ciation of your duty, — fulfil it, and ascribe to the Lord the glory due for his mercy. Amen. THE END.