Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the borrower, becomes a sharer in his profits. This is the opinion of all Jewish doctors.

It is evident, that opinions, teeming with absurdities, and contrary to all rules of social morality, although advanced by a Rabbi, can no more be imputed to the general doctrine of the Jews, than similar notions, if advanc ed by Catholic theologians, could be attributed to the evangelical doctrine. The same may be said of the general charge made against the Hebrews, that they are naturally inclined to usury. It cannot be denied that some are to be found, though not so many as is generally supposed, who follow that nefarious traffic condemned by their religion.

But if there are some not over-nice in this particular, is it just to accuse one hundred thousand individuals of this vice? Would it not be deemed an injustice to lay the same imputation on all Christians, because some of them are guilty of usury? pp.197–207.

The Sermons, Odes, and the Hymns, composed in Hebrew, form by no means the least interesting part of the volume.

The following verses will serve as specimens of the modest and delicate praises lavished on NAPOLEON THE GREAT!

slavery, felt the strength of his arm. Ulm, Marengo, Austerlitz witnessed his prowess, nor weak was there the strife of death.

Distant hills shook with his warlike thunder: by his strong arm his enemies were humbled. The mighty of the earth have bent before him. He has said to nations, "Let there be peace," and the universe is at rest.

Firmly on wisdom is his throne fixed on high; justice and truth uphold his crown, He pours the balmy oil of grace into the wounds of inno. cence; he heals the galling sores of oppression. The proud and the haughty he heeds not; they stand silent and abashed before him.

He has placed in justice the delight of his heart: unborn races shall hail him Father of his people. By him the happiness of nations rests on the tables of the law as on a rock. The wreaths of victory adorn his brow, the gracious seat of law-inspiring wisdom. pp. 231, 232.

Extract from the Ode composed by M. J. Mayer.

No mortal eye can look on the Father of light, when, in mid career,

Extract from the Ode composed by A. M. bursting from clouds and mists, dark

Collogna.

On the deeds of the mighty will I raise a song; on the deeds of the hero, chief of men, unmatched in battles. Near him the glory of kings fades and vanishes: they hide before him their diminished heads. Their greatness is a thing of nought.

Which of his deeds shall first inspire the bard? Wonders upon wonders are engraved on glory's adamantine tablet! Numberless are his victories and countless his triumphs. Who to each bright orb in the starry heaven can assign a name, or fix a stedfast eye on the Father of light, blazing forth in his meridian glory?

Early were his deeds in arms. The hills of Montenotte beheld him victorious: Egypt, that ancient land of

rolling on each side, he pursues the brightness of his steps. The green hills lift their dewy heads, the flowers glitter in the valley, the soft gale wafts fragrancy around.

Such is NAPOLEON in his career of glory! Weak are the bards of present days to raise the song of his fame: too high for them are his mighty deeds. In wonder their voice is lost; the untuned lyre drops from their uplifted hands. Thus the sun of wisdom and strength gladdens the world, rising above mortal praise.

How great thy destiny, O NAPOLEON! Who can be compared with thee among the glory of nations? Who among renowned warriors, among sage lawgivers, ever raised his fame near to thine, O first of mortal men?-Bright in days of old was

the glory of Athens and of Rome: dim is their light now before thee. On thee the eyes of nations are fixed; they wonder, and bless thy name.

Who is like unto thee, O NAPOLEON, in the days of thy glory, when thou graspest the death-dealing steel, that thy allies might rest behind its lightning! Like the eagle of the rock was thy flight over Germany's plains. Thy heroes innumerable crowded around thee; the thunder of war was in their hands, carrying destruction among the foe. Thus the cloud, rising from the abyss, borne along by the western wind, dark, vast, terrible, overspreads the blackened field.

The earth trembled, but now rests in peace. Far distant nations bent before the majesty of thy brow. Ulm, Marengo, Austerlitz, the plains of Egypt, beheld the feats of Napoleon. "Raise altars to the God of battles," he said, and altars arose from their ruins; bitterness fled from our hearts at the dawn of his grace. Happy, happy are the children of France. Nations had but a glimpse of the star of our pride, swiftly gliding through the mist tinged with its glory.

Bards of Israel, let your harmonious songs thrill in my soul, that, amidst the voice of nations, the fame of the hero may be raised in the ancient words of Jacob, the words of the youth of our people. The great NAPOLEON looked down on the children of wo, sport of the proud and of the oppressor: he gathered them round him like a tender father: from the dust he raised them to stand as a mark of his might. Just are Mis judgments; great and big with gladness is the propitious light of his wisdom. Before it the darkening cloud of shame retires, rolling back on the foes of our people. pp. 233-238.

Extract from the Hymn-composed by M. S. Wittersheim.

Eminent in war is the hero among chiefs. The Nile and the Jordan have beheld his deeds, terrible in battles. The lightning of his steel gleams on the proud in arms; but he exulteth

not over the fallen foe: his mighty hand raiseth the fallen in the strife.

In vain the nations of the earth united against him; weak was their arm, and powerless their blows. In Marengo's and Austerlitz's bloody plains he broke the bow of the strong; the thickened phalanxes of his enemies were scattered before him. Grateful to humbled kings was the olive branch of peace, mildly shining in the magnanimous hand of the conqueror.

To imperial France he bent bis victorious steps; his faithful subjects. greeted his return. Thus a father beholds his children, the pride of his heart, dutiful and affectionate: they rejoice in the firmness of his throne: it rests on victory, clemency, virtue, humanity, justice.

May his fame, like his goodness, fill the universe! May our august Emperor live forever. May our august Empress live forever. This is our constant prayer, the dearest wish of our hearts and may the Eternal pour his holy blessings on the Imperial Family. Amen. pp. 239-242.

Among other acts of this assembly, is a letter addressed to all the Synagogues of Europe, requesting them to send deputies to the Grand Sanhe drim.

The following Regulations for the religious worship and the internal police of the nation are worthy of atten tive consideration, as partly developing the intentions of the French ruler.

PLAN.

Art. I. A Synagogue and a Consistory shall be established in every department which contains two thousand individuals professing the relig ion of Moses.

II. In case a department should not contain two thousand Israelites, the jurisdiction of the Consistorial Synagogue shall extend over as many of the adjoining departments as shall make up the said number. The seat of the Synagogue shall always be in the most populous city.

III. In no case can there be more than one Consistorial Synagogue for each department.

IV. No particular Synagogue can be established, but after being propos ed by the Consistorial Synagogue to the competent authority. Each particular Synagogue shall be superintended by a Rabbi and two elders, who shall be named by the competent authorities.

V. There shall be a Grand Rabbi in each Consistorial Synagogue.

VI. The Consistories shall be composed, as much as possible, of a Grand Rabbi, and three other Israelites, two of whom shall be chosen among the inhabitants of the town which the seat of the Consistory.

VII. The oldest member shall be President of the Consistory. He shall take the title of Elder of the Consistory.

VIII. In each Consistorial district the competent authority shall name twenty-five Notables among the Israelites who pay the largest contributions.

IX. These Notables shall name the members of the Consistory, who must be approved by the competent authority.

X. No one can be a member of the Consistory if he is not thirty years of age, if he has been a bankrupt, unless he honourably paid afterwards, or if he is known to be an usurer.

XI. Every Israelite, wishing to settle in France, or in the kingdom of Italy, shall give notice of his intention, within three months after his arrival, to the Consistory nearest his place of residence.

XII. The functions of the Consistory shall be,

1st. To see that the Rabbies do not, either in public or in private, give any instructions or explanations of the law, in contradiction to the answers of the assembly, confirmed by the decisions of the GREAT SANHEDRIM.

2nd. To maintain order in the inte

rior of Synagogues, to inspect the administration of particular Synagogues, to settle the assessment, and to regulate the use of the sums necessary for the maintenance of the Mosaic worship, and to see

that for cause or under the pre. tence of religion, no praying as sembly be formed without being expressly authorised.

3d. To encourage, by all possible means, the Israelites of the Con sistorial district to follow useful professions, and to report to gov ernment the names of those who cannot render a satisfactory ac count of their means of subsist

ence.

5th. To give annually to government

the number of Jewish conscripts within the district.

XIII. There shall be formed in Paris a General Consistory, compos. ed of three Rabbies and two other Israelites.

XIV. The Rabbies of the Central Consistory shall be selected from the Grand Rabbies, and the rules contained in the tenth article shall apply to all others.

XV. A member of the Central Consistory shall go out every year, but he may always be re-elected.

XVI. The vacant places shall be filled by the remaining members. The member elect shall not take his place till his election is approved by govern

ment.

XVII. The functions of the Central Consistory are,

1st. To correspond with the Consistories.

2nd. To watch over the execution of every article of the present regu. lations.

3d. To denounce to the competent authority all infractions of these said regulations, either through negligence or through design. 4th. To confirm the nomination of Rabbies, and to propose to the competent authority, when necessary, the removal of Rabbies and of members of Consistories. XVIII. The Grand Rabbi shall be named by the twenty five Notables, mentioned in the eighth article.

XIX. The new Grand Rabbi elect shall not enter into his functions till he has been approved by the Central Consistory.

XX. No Rabbi'can be elected, 1st. If he is not a native of France

or of Italy, or if he has not been naturalized.

2nd. If he does not produce a certificate of his abilities, signed by three Frenchmen, if he is a Frenchman, and by three Italians, if he is an Italian; and from the year 1820, if he does not understand the French language in France, and the Italian in the kingdom of Italy. The candidate who joins some proficiency in Greek or Latin to the knowledge of the Hebrew language, will be preferred, all things besides being equal.

XXI. The functions of the Rabbies are,

1st. To teach religion. 2d. To inculcate the doctrines contained in the decisions of the Great Sanhedrim.

3d. To preach obedience to the laws, and more particularly to those which relate to the defence of the country; to dwell especially on this point every year, at the epoch of the conscription, from the mo ment government shall first call upon the people till the law is fully executed.

4th. To represent military service to the Israelites as a sacred duty, and to declare to them, that, while they are engaged in it, the law exempts them from the practices which might be found incompati

ble with it.

5th. To preach in the Synagogues, and to recite the prayers which are publicly made for the Emperor and the Imperial Family. 6th. To celebrate marriages and to pronounce divorces, without, on any pretence, acting in either case, till the parties who require their ministry have produced due proofs of the act having been sanctioned by the civil authority.

XXII. The salary of the Rabbies, members of the Central Consistory, is fixed at six thousand livres; that of the Grand Rabbies of Consistorial Synagogues at three thousand livres; that of the Rabbies of particular Syn2gogues shall be fixed by the community of Israelites which shall have required the establishment of such a Synagogue; it cannot be less than a thousand livres. The Israelites of the several districts may vote an augmentation of these salaries.

XXIII. Each consistory shall pre

sent to the competent authority a plan of assessment among the Israelites of the district for the sums necessary to pay the stipends of the Rabbies. The other expenses of worship shall be fixed and assessed by the competent authority, on the demands of the Consistories. The salary of the central Rabbies shall be proportionally paid out of the sums levied on the several districts.

XXIV. Each Consistory shall name an Israelite, not a Rabbi, nor member of the Consistory, to receive the sums which shall be levied in the district.

XXV. This Treasurer shall pay quarterly the salary of the Rabbies, and the other expenses of worship, upon orders, signed by at least three members of the Consistory. He shall give his account every year, on a fixed day, in a full Assembly of the Consistory.

XXVI. Every Rabbi who, after the promulgation of the present regulations, shall be unemployed, and will choose, nevertheless, to remain in France or in Italy, shall be bound to adhere formally, and to sign a decla ration of his adherence to the decis ions of the Great Sanhedrim. The copy of this declaration shall be sent to the Central Consistory, by the Consistory which shall have receiv ed it.

XXVII. The Rabbies who are members of the Great Sanhedrim shall be, as much as possible, preferred to all others, to fill the places of Grand Rabbies.

The work also contains an address from the Israelites of Frankfort on the Maine, and the answer sent by the assembly, and concludes by a speech of M. Avigdor, one of the secretaries, relative to the persecutions sustained by the Jews, the causes of these persecutions, the protection afforded to them by the clergy at different times, and a series of resolutions thanking the Christian clergy in various parts of Europe for the manifold favours confirmed by them in former centuries on the Israelites.

Many of the speeches of the deputies evince very great talents; and the whole work is equally valuable for its curiosity and interest.

BRIEF. ACCOUNT OF

THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.

THIS Society was instituted in the year 1804. Its exclusive object is to promote and assist the circulation of the scriptures both at home and abroad. The only copies to be circulated in the languages of the United Kingdom are those of the authorized version without note or comment.

The object of this Society being so simple, and the sphere of its proposed employment so extensive, it has been judged expedient to engage in its support all denominations of Christians who profess to regard the Holy Scriptures as the proper standard of relig ion.

Such a constitution of the Society, while it secures an adherence to the authorized version by the mutual jealousies of its members on all matters of construction and comment, provides at the same time for employing in its behalf more zeal and resources than could be expected from its appropriation to any particular description of Christians.

Within the short space of three years the Society has succeeded in accomplishing many important parts of its comprehensive design. This will appear from the following facts.

It has produced by its aid and encouragement societies similar to its own, in Germany and Prussia. By the former of these, 5000 copies of a German Protestant New Testament have been printed; and types have been lately set up for the purpose of printing successively a supply of German Bibles for many generations: by the latter, an edition of the Bohemian Bible is in a course of printing for the use of the Protestants in Bohemia, Berlin, and elsewhere.

2000 copies of St. John, in the Mohawk language, have been printed in London at the Society's expense; 500 of which have already been distributed, with great acceptance, among the Mohawks settled on the Grand River; and 500 more are about to be sent, for the use of the Roman Catholic and other Mohawks lower down the St. Lawrence, in consequence of an application to that effect.

3000 copies of the Icelandic New Testament have been printed in Copenhagen at the Society's expense, 2000 of which have been bound and forwarded to Iceland; and very recently the sum of 3001. has been granted by the Society in aid of a fund now raising in Denmark, for printing the whole Bible in the Icelandic language.

Two separate sums of 10001. each have been granted towards the translations of the scriptures now going on in Bengal, into ten Oriental languages, among which are the Shanscrit and the Chinese. Specimens of these translations have been received: they are in different degrees of for wardness, and some are actually completed.

Arabic types and paper have been granted by the Society for the purpose of printing 5000 copies of the New Testament in the Turkish language at Karass on the borders of the Caspian Sea; a favourable opportunity having offered for introducing the scriptures among a people amounting to nearly 30 millions who speak that language, and who inhabit from the banks of the Wolga to the shores of the Euxine.

5000 copies of the Spanish Testament have been printed by the Society; 7000 of the French have been ordered at different times; and preparations are now making for procuring a stereotype edition of the latter.

Several thousand Welsh Testaments have been furnished to Wales; larger supplies are in a course of preparation, besides 20,000 copies of a Welsh Bible, which will be completed with all dispatch.

English New Testaments have also been supplied to Ireland; and 20,000 copies of a neat Gaelic Bible, for the Highlands of Scotland, are now pass. ing through the press.

The English and Welsh Bibles and New Testaments are all printed by stereotype, under the direction of the University of Cambridge.

To the above series of facts it may be added, that the Society has furnished copies of the New Testament, and occasionally of the whole Bible, AT HOME to the convicts at Woolwich; the prisoners in Newgate, and other jails; the German soldiers and

« AnteriorContinuar »