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ship, instead of God, the creatures of human invention, but because it begins to dwindle into a mere set of forms and observances, and thereby to lose its influence. Protestantism-not because its dogmas are untrue, its belief too much or too littlebut because it is " froidement stationnaire.” The new attempt to reform Catholicism in France, or the church of the Abbé Chatelnot because its doctrines and sentiments are as lukewarm as those of Laodicea, but because it is a “ Catholic quasi-legitimacy,” an effort to bring the church to the support of the state with somewhat more of decent reserve in the connection. Whoever has read the works of Chateaubriand will recognize this habit of looking at Christianity as a painter looks at his canvass—not as a real and living principle, but as a means of producing effect.
We know of no authority to which we can refer our readers with more satisfaction, in confirmation of our views on this subject, than to an excellent sermon lately published by the Rev. Hugh Rose, Christian Advocate in the University of Cambridge, with some introductory observations respecting the state of religion in France, and more especially regarding the sect of the Saint-Simonians. We have found no notice of the opinions of this clique of politico-economical fanatics so accurate, in so short a compass, and at the same time so impartially just in its estimate of the great talent shown by their writers, not so much in constructing their own theory, as in pointing out the defects of the present state of society, and reducing its past history to a bold and comprehensive system. There is a fantastic tale of Hoffmann, of which the hero is a musical virtuoso. He is thoroughly acquainted with the theory of his art; criticizes all the peculiarities of the modern school with wonderful justice ; points out the latent causes of its deficiencies; and astonishes his hearers by the accurate analysis which he gives them of their own sensations of pleasure and pain arising from peculiar tones. He hints, moreover, that he is in possession of the true secrets of some famous deceased performers, as well as of the actual instruments with which they had wrought such miracles. The curiosity of bis hearers is strongly excited, and one of them is at last favoured with a separate interview, in order to be initiated into these abstruse mysteries. The virtuoso takes down from his study wall a genuine Cremona of ancient date-the very instrument, as he declares, to which Tartini had once given life-takes it in hand with reverence, and produces nothing but a most horrible compound of dissonant extravagances, without the least approach to any kind of harmony-while he questions his astonished pupil, with much solemnity, as to the effect produced on him by these wonderful tones, the quintessence of all music. Is there not something in the madness of this “ Fanatico" which reminds us, not of the Saint Simonians only, but of many other soi-disant reformers of society, who raise our expectations by eloquently demonstrating its vices, and destroy them again by the glaring defects of the systems which they propose to substitute for it.
As for this renowned association, its extravagances, and the gross impurities with which its youthful leaders have lately soiled the moral character which its doctrines had previously borne, have sunk it for the present low enough in public estimation. But we are much mistaken, if many of its economical dogmas are not deeply rooted in the popular mind, both of France and England; and if its invocations to the human sense of religion, however misapplied, do not find an echo in the breasts of thousands whose fathers have reared them in ignorant contempt of all faith, and who are now vaguely endeavouring to seek it out for themselves. Both will probably bear fruit; the first, in fomenting revolts against the rights of property, which may produce evil for a time, but must prove ultimately inefficacious, being directed against the common habits and instincts of mankind; the last, let us hope, in preparing the way for the gradual readmission of Christianity into the heart of a society which has rather outwardly rejected it from mistaken pride, than from being dead inwardly to its preserving influence. But of this, as of the other tendencies of the busy Spirit of the age, we can but say in the words of the old German rhyme
“ Ist's Gottes Werk, so wird's bestebn,
Ist's Menschen Werk, wird's untergebn!"
ART. VIII.-1. Du Rabbinisme, et des Traditions Juives. Par
Michel Berr (de Turique). Paris. 1832. . 8vo. 2. Résumé de l'Histoire des Juifs Modernes. Par Léon Halevy.
Paris. 1928. 18mo. The days have gone past, we hope for ever, when no Christian writer dared to speak of a creed differing from his own in any terms but those of contemptuous reprobation and horror; when theologians seemed to attribute such weakness to their holy religion that they feared it would be injured if the claims of any other were fairly investigated; and when to hint that belief in the Koran or the Talmud did not afford primâ facie evidence of obstinacy and perversity, was a crime little if at all inferior to Atheism. No better system could have been devised for strengthening the incredulity of the infidel, increasing the doubts of the sceptic, and weakening the confidence of the true believer; but it was naturally patronized by that large majority of men who find it easier to dog
matize than to reason, and who apply odious nick-names to save themselves the trouble of refutation, We have not so learned Christ." Far from searching the different religions spread over the globe with an anxiety to discover nothing but abominations and absurdities, we feel more anxious to search out their latent truths and their concealed merits ; the aberrations of the human intellect gratify not our pride, fill us with no unholy triumph; when we read of superstitions, we exclaim not “Thank God! we are not as other men;" such feelings we leave to the Pharisees of Christianity, and sighing over the frailty of our nature, try to find under the clouds of error and the veil of superstition some principle of good. There be those that would limit the dominion of truth to Christendom, to the Protestant nations, to a favourite sect, or even to a single chapel; we assign no limits to its empire: we find it to be sure frequently corrupted, defiled, hidden beneath a crowd of human inventions, and we acknowledge revelation to be necessary to its full development; but we still find it wherever we search; for, with Victor Cousin, we believe that a no privileges, no castes exist in human nature.”
It would be an easy matter, after the good old fashion, to present our readers with a portraiture of Judaism at once ridiculous and revolting. The Talmud would suffice to supply a score of volumes substantiating all the charges that the enemies of the Jews have urged against them since the first foundation of Christianity. It gives false and degrading notions of the Supreme Being; it inculcates auti-social principles; it prohibits the free exercise of reason ; it invests the Rabbins with a plenitude of power, such as no priesthood ever possessed; " it makes void the commandments of God by its traditions.” Hence some of the ancient polemics would at once conclude, that the Jews, who profess to believe the Talmud, must of course be liable to all these imputations. But belief is not quite so logical a process as such
easoners try to prove it; there is what Paley well calls an otiose assent to artieles of belief-an assent somewhat like that given to the history of Nadir Shah, or the descriptions of Pekin, which produces no practical effect on life or conduct. But persecution and disqualificatiou frequently change this dead letter into a living spirit; the dogma which was nearly lost in the dust of ages comes to light when unwisely assailed by violence or by obloquy; the article which had sunk into oblivion is raised by its enemies into a principle of action. There never was a people in whose history this truth was more fully manifested than the Jewish; but unfortunately, the seasons of persecution that brought out all that was pernicious in their creed were much more numerous than those in which they were permitted to display its better qualities.
“ In tracing," says Berr, " the doctrines of Judaism during the later ages of the first Temple, the entire duration of the second, and subsequently after the dispersion of the Jews amongst the nations of the earth, we shall see them successively become elevated and degenerate, noble and degraded, with light and darkness, justice and oppression, civilization and barbarity, and generally according to the progression of society and the march of the human intellect.”
On the confession of the most enlightened Jews themselves, and on the assertion of all who have investigated the subject, it may fairly be assumed that Judaism is now a system very different from that which Moses established for the chosen people. We deem, however, that, even in its present low estate, we can discern the elements of regeneration; and in the world around us we see manifest signs of an approaching period when these elements shall operate for improvement. Two of these cheering symptoms are before us: one, the tract on Rabbinism by a French Jew, the title of which is prefixed; and the other, a little work called “ The Genius of Judaism," written, we believe, by an enlightened English Jew,* which has just made its appearance here. From both of these we shall endeavour to collect a statement of those circunstances which induce us to believe that a great and beneficial change in the moral and social condition of the Jews is in rapid progress, and, unless checked by something external, will at no distant day be completed.
Before we can thoroughly appreciate the importance of a reformation, we must know something of the system which is to undergo the process of change. There have been many portraitures of Judaism from the days of the Buxtorfs to those of Chiarini :t they all, and especially that of Eisenmenger, merit the praise of learniug, research and accuracy; but they were all designed for controversial purposes, and consequently dwell more on the evil than on the good. A rapid historical sketch of the rise
Report attributes this work to the elder D’Israeli: we regret that it is only in a burried note we can notice a different portraiture of Judaism, in its bigb and palmy state, by D'Israeli the younger. We allude to that singular emanation of creative genius, “ the wild and wondrous tale of Alroy.” The subject is one which in earlier days fired our own literary ambition, and we feel therefore sincere delight in seeing the visions that fitted before our youthful fancy more than realized. It is, however, a work utterly at variance with the cold rules of western criticism, for it is truly the very beau idéal of orientalism. Massive grandeur, luxuriant magnificence, fancy absolutely prodigal of its wealth, are the most characteristic features in this singular production; but to these eastern qualities it adds a deep and intimate knowledge of the human heart, both in its greatness and its littleness, which bas been derived from the purest philosophy of the west.
Objections have been made to the style of the work, which, we think, must be attributed to the ignorance of the critics ; like the subject it is purely oriental: the best Arabic writers, and among them the author of the Koran, introduce metrical forms, and even the ornament of rhyme, when they have to treat of passionate, that is, of poetic subjects.
+ " Theorie de Judaisme." See Foreign Quarterly Review, vol. vi. p. 527.
and progress of Judaisın, as contradistinguished from Mosaism, will enable the reader to form some accurate notions both of the evils to be remedied,
and of the means that may be made available for their cure. The professors of Judaism acknowledge a traditional law equally binding with the laws recorded in the Pentateuch, and they trace the origin of this “ ler non scripta" back to the days of Moses. Such a claim to antiquity has been ridiculed by most Christian writers, and yet we have no hesitation in acknowledging its probability. Many of the regulations contained in the Mosaic code were applicable only to the peculiar modes of life adopted by the Israelites in the desert, and were therefore virtually repealed when the conquest of Canaan was completed; many circumstances, apparently as important as those for which regulations were provided, had not been noticed by the inspired legislator. It was natural for a people whose laws formed an essential part of their religion to consult the sacerdotal caste, the authorized depositaries of their faith, respecting these omitted cases. The decisions of the priests thus gradually formed a code of traditions supplemental to the written law, just as the Sonna has
grown up round the Koran. The age of the Babylonish captivity produced a great and striking change both in the political and religious condition of the Jews; it was a period when revolutions convulsed the entire of central Asia, revolutions which we hold to have been essentially connected with some great struggle between rival creeds. This is not the place to enter on a comparison between the age of Cyrus and that of the Sassanides; or to show that in both instances the change of the Persian dynasty was attended by a still greater change in the national faith. It is enough to remark that to this period the preaching of Zerdusht or Zoroaster is ascribed by all the historians of the west, while the traditions of the east connect that reformer with the prophet Daniel. Living in the midst of these terrible convulsions, the Jews acquired a new stock of ideas and feelings, which may be clearly traced in the writings of the later prophets. To name one out of many, we find the immortality of the soul forming for the first time a prominent article in the Jewish creed. A new series of traditions was manifestly necessary to connect the new modes of thought and action with the ancient legislation of Moses. Two powerful causes operated against the purity of this adaptation; the love of power on the part of the Rabbis or doctors of the law, which led them to multiply cases of conscience for the purpose of extending their own authority; and the bitter persecutions to which the Jews were subjected by the monarchs of Syria and Egypt, which led to the adoption of anti-social principles and made hatred of