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Title: Menasseh ben Israel's Mission to Oliver Cromwell
       Being a reprint of the Pamphlets published by MENASSEH BEN
              ISRAEL to promote the Re-admission of the Jews to England

Author: Manasseh ben Israel

Editor: Lucien  Wolf

Release Date: July 5, 2020 [EBook #62562]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Richard Tonsing, Richard Hulse, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)

Transcriber’s Note:

The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.


Menasseh ben Israel

from an Etching by Rembrandt


Being a reprint of the Pamphlets published by MENASSEH BEN ISRAEL to promote the Re-admission of the Jews to England 1649–1656

Edited with an Introduction and Notes
By Lucien Wolf
Past-President and Vice-President of the Jewish Historical Society of England Co-Editor of the “Bibliotheca Anglo-Judaica,” &c. &c.
Published for the
Jewish Historical Society of England



The Jewish Historical Society of England, soon after its establishment, resolved on the publication of the present volume as a memorial of Menasseh ben Israel, whose name must always hold the chief place on the first page of the history of the present Anglo-Jewish community. The Society did me the honour of entrusting me with the preparation of the work.

Menasseh’s tracts have been printed in facsimile. They have not been reproduced by any photographic process, but have been entirely reset in types similar to those employed in the original. Thanks to the resources of the printing establishment of Messrs. Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. of Edinburgh, and the taste and care they have devoted to the work, a much finer effect has been produced than would have been possible had photography been employed, while exact fidelity to the originals has not been sacrificed.

To me the preparation of this volume has been a labour of love. Nothing in the whole course of a very varied literary career, extending over nearly thirty years, has fascinated me so much as the story of the Return of the Jews to England. Its mysteries belong to the highest regions of historical romance, and it forms a page of history which is a real acquisition both to the annals of the British Empire and to that wider and more thrilling panorama of human activities which depicts the fortunes of my viiiown co-religionists. I have not, however, spoken the last word on this subject in the present volume, which is chiefly concerned with the transaction with Oliver Cromwell in 1655–56 and its proximate causes. I hope to tell the whole story in detail in another volume, which I have long had in preparation for the “Jewish Library.”

The preliminary essay on the Return of the Jews to England is in no sense a réchauffé of the papers on the same subject contributed by me to various periodicals during the last fifteen years. Those papers were written at successive stages of an uncompleted investigation. The present essay is a re-study in the light of all the facts, and it will be found that some of my former judgments have been modified, and a few even reversed.

I have to thank many friends for their assistance. Mr. Israel Abrahams very kindly relieved me of the labour of reading the proofs of the tracts, and made many valuable suggestions which have added to the completeness and beauty of the volume. Mr. B. L. Abrahams was good enough to revise my introduction, and thus saved me from not a few slips of style and memory. The Rev. S. Levy has given me useful assistance in preparing the annotations, and Dr. S. R. Gardiner was good enough to place at my disposal his unrivalled knowledge of the politics of the Commonwealth in solving some of the difficulties in the negotiations of 1655. My acknowledgments are also due to Miss S. R. Hirsch for the excellent index she has compiled. Finally, Mme. de Novikoff kindly obtained for me from the Hermitage Collection at St. Petersburg an excellent photograph of the alleged portrait of Menasseh ben Israel by Rembrandt, which I have reproduced, together with two other better known and more authentic portraits.

L. W.
London, December 1900.


PORTRAITS Frontispiece and facing pages 1 and 105



I. Days of Exile

Shrouded in the fogs of the North Sea, the British Isles were, for two centuries after the Great Expulsion by Edward I., little more than a bitter memory to the Jewish people. In other lands they came and went, but England was as securely closed against them as was the Egypt of Danaus to the Greeks. With the exception of a few adventurous pilgrims who trickled into the country to enjoy the hospitality of the Domus Conversorum, they ceased gradually to think of the land which had been so signal a scene of their mediæval prosperity and sufferings. The Jewish chroniclers of this period, while dealing with the politics of other European countries, have scarcely a word to say of England.

Towards the beginning of the sixteenth century the fogs began to lift, and England once again appeared as a possible haven to the “tribe of the wandering foot and weary breast.” The gigantic expulsions from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella had created a new Jewish Diaspora under conditions of the most thrilling romance. The Jewish martyrs “trekked” in their thousands to all the points of the compass, fringing the coasts of the Mediterranean with a new industrious population, founding colonies all over the xiiLevant as far as the Mesopotamian cradle of their race, penetrating even to Hindostan in the East, and throwing outposts on the track of Columbus towards the fabled west. But this was only the beginning of a more remarkable dispersion. The men and women who took up the pilgrim’s staff at the bidding of Torquemada could only go where Jews were tolerated, for they refused to bear false witness to their ancient religion. They left behind them in Spain and Portugal a less scrupulous contingent of their race—wealthy Jews who were disinclined to make sacrifices for the faith of their fathers, and who accepted the conditions of the Inquisition rather than abandon their rich plantations in Andalusia and their palaces in Saragossa, Toledo, and Seville. They embraced Christianity, but their conversion was only simulated, and for two centuries they preserved in secret their allegiance to Judaism. These Crypto-Jews, in their turn, gradually spread all over Europe, penetrating in their disguise into countries and towns and even guilds which the Church had jealously guarded against all heretical intrusion. It was chiefly through them that the modern Anglo-Jewish community was founded.[1]

The Iberian Crypto-Jews, or Marranos,[2] as they were called, represented one of the strangest and most romantic movements in the religious history of Europe. Marranism was an attempt by the Jews to outwit the Jesuits with their own weapons. Both sides acted on the principle that the end justified the means, and each employed the most unscrupulous guile to defend itself against the other. The Inquisition was ruthless in its methods to stamp out Judaism, xiiithe Marranos were equally unprincipled in preserving their allegiance to their proscribed religion. Abandoning their ceremonial, abandoning even the racial limitation on marriage, the Jewish tradition was maintained by secret conventicles chiefly composed of males, and thus Jewish blood and the Jewish heresy became distributed all over the peninsula, and crept into the highest ranks of the nation. The Court, the Church, the army, even the dread tribunals of the Holy Office itself were not free from the taint.[3] A secretary to the Spanish king, a vice-chancellor of Aragon, nearly related to the Royal House, a Lord High Treasurer, a Court Chamberlain, and an Archdeacon of Coimbra figure in the lists of discovered Marranos preserved by the Inquisition.[4] At Rome the Crypto-Jews commissioned a secret agent supplied with ample funds, who bribed the Cardinals, intrigued against the Holy Office, and frequently obtained the ear of the Pontiff.[5] Some idea of the social ramifications of the Marranos is afforded by the careers of the early members of the Amsterdam Jewish community. Many of them were men of high distinction who had escaped from Spain and Portugal in order to throw off the burden of their imposture. Such were the ex-monk Vicente de Rocamora, who had been confessor to the Empress of Germany when she was the Infanta Maria; the ex-Jesuit father, Tomas de Pinedo, one of the leading philologists of his day; Enriquez de Paz, a captain in the army, a Knight of San Miguel, and a famous dramatist; Colonel Nicolas de Oliver y Fullana, poet, strategist, and royal cartographer; Don Francesco de Silva, Marquis of Montfort, who had fought against Marshal de Créqui under the Emperor Leopold; and Balthasar Orobio de Castro, physician to the Spanish Court, professor at the University xivof Salamanca, and a Privy Councillor.[6] It was by Jews of this class that the congregations of Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Antwerp were founded, and it was largely through them that those towns in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were enabled to wrest from Spain her primacy in the colonial trade.

At a very early epoch Marranos reached England. We hear of them, almost immediately after the expulsion from Spain, figuring in a lawsuit in London.[7] In 1550 a Marrano physician was discovered living in London. Another, Roderigo Lopes, was court physician to Queen Elizabeth, and the original of Shakespeare’s Shylock.[8] When the Earl of Essex, after the sacking of Cadiz in 1596, brought the Spanish Resident, Alonzo de Herrera, a prisoner to England, he turned out to be a Marrano. After his liberation, this descendant of the great Captain Gonsalvo de Cordova proceeded to Amsterdam, entered the synagogue, and spent his old age in the compilation of cabalistical treatises.[9] Amador de los Rios states that the Marranos founded secret settlements in London, Dover, and York;[10] and it has been shown that they possessed a secret synagogue in London early in the seventeenth century, if not before.[11] As in Amsterdam and Antwerp, they were largely concerned in the development of the Spanish trade, in the importation of bullion, and in the promotion of commercial relations with the Levant and the New World.

While the people of England were unconscious of this immigration, it could not have been altogether unknown in the continental Jewries. That no trace of this knowledge xvis to be found in printed Hebrew literature is not strange, since the keeping of the secret was a common Jewish interest. It no doubt helped to stimulate Jewish hopes of a return to England, which more public circumstances had already founded. The Reformation in England first turned Jewish eyes towards the land from which they had been so long excluded. They were especially interested by Henry VIII.’s appeal to Jewish scholars during his conflict with the Papacy in regard to his divorce from Catherine of Aragon.[12] Still more deeply must their feelings have been stirred by Elizabeth’s struggle with Spain. All over Europe, indeed, Jewish sympathies were with Elizabeth. The secret negotiations carried on by Roderigo Lopes, through his influential Marrano relatives, with the Grand Turk and with the Hebrew bankers of Antwerp and Leghorn, have yet to be made public; but it is certain that they played an important part in the story which culminated in the confusion of the Great Armada. But it was the increasing Hebraism of English religious thought, as represented by the Puritan movement, which chiefly attracted the Jews. This movement sent not a few Englishmen and Englishwomen to the continental ghettos to seek instruction at the feet of Hebrew Rabbis, and even to obtain entrance to the synagogue as proselytes.[13] When the Commonwealth, with its pronounced Judaical tendencies, emerged from this movement, the Jews could not fail to be impressed. The more mystical among them began to dream of the Golden Age. Indeed the doctrines of the Fifth Monarchy Men, carried to Smyrna by Puritan merchants, paved the way for the rise of the pseudo-Messiah, Sabbethai Zevi.[14] The more practical saw that the time had arrived when it might be reasonably hoped to obtain the revocation of Edward I.’s edict of banishment.

xviTowards the end of 1655, the question of the readmission of the Jews to England was brought to a climax by Menasseh ben Israel’s famous mission to Oliver Cromwell. The story of this mission has been briefly narrated by Menasseh himself in the Vindiciæ Judæorum, one of the tracts printed in the present volume.[15] As my object in this preliminary essay is to set forth the story more fully, and to endeavour to elucidate its obscurities, I cannot do better than take as my text this authoritative, though somewhat vague, statement by the chief actor in the events with which I am dealing. Here is what Menasseh wrote under date of April 10, 1656:—

“The communication and correspondence I have held for some years since, with some eminent persons of England, was the first originall of my undertaking this design. For I alwayes found by them, a great probability of obtaining what I now request, whilst they affirmed that at this time the minds of men stood very well affected towards us, and that our entrance into this Island would be very acceptable and well pleasing unto them. And from this beginning sprang up in me a semblable affection, and desire of obtaining this purpose. For, for seven yeares on this behalf, I have endeavoured and sollicited it, by letters and other means, without any intervall. For I conceived that our universall dispersion was a necessary circumstance, to be fulfilled before all that shall be accomplished which the Lord hath promised to the people of the Jewes, concerning their restauration, and their returning again into their own land, according to those words, Dan. 12,7: When we shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. As also, that this our scattering, by little, and little, should be amongst all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other, as it is written Deut. 28,64: I conceived that by the end of the earth might be understood this Island. And I knew not, but that the Lord who often works by naturall meanes, might have design’d and made choice of me for the bringing about this work. With these proposals therefore, I applyed my self, in all zealous affection to the English Nation, congratulating their glorious liberty which at this day they enjoy; together with their prosperous peace. xviiAnd I entituled my book named The Hope of Israel, to the first Parliament, and the Council of State. And withall declared my intentions. In order to which they sent me a very favorable passe-port. Afterwards I directed my self to the second, and they also sent me another. But at that juncture of time my coming was not presently performed, for that my kindred and friends, considering the checquered, and interwoven vicissitudes, and turns of things here below, embracing me, with pressing importunity, earnestly requested me not to part from them, and would not give over, till their love constrained me to promise, that I would yet awhile stay with them. But notwithstanding all this, I could not be at quiet in my mind (I know not but that it might be through some particular divine providence) till I had anew made my humble addresses to his Highnesse the Lord Protector (whom God preserve), and finding that my coming over would not be altogether unwelcome to him, with those great hopes which I conceived, I joyfully took my leave of my house, my friends, my kindred, all my advantages there, and the country wherein I have lived all my lifetime, under the benign protection, and favour of the Lords, the States Generall, and Magistrates of Amsterdam; in fine (I say) I parted with them all, and took my voyage for England. Where, after my arrivall, being very courteously received, and treated with much respect, I presented to his most Serene Highnesse a petition, and some desires, which for the most part, were written to me by my brethren the Jewes, from severall parts of Europe, as your worship may better understand by former relations. Whereupon it pleased His Highnesse to convene an Assembly at Whitehall, of Divines, Lawyers, and Merchants, of different persuasions, and opinions. Whereby men’s judgements, and sentences were different. Insomuch, that as yet, we have had no finall determination from his most Serene Highnesse. Wherefore those few Jewes that were here, despairing of our expected successe, departed hence. And others who desired to come hither, have quitted their hopes, and betaken themselves some to Italy, some to Geneva, where that Commonwealth hath at this time, most freely granted them many, and great privileges.”


II. The Hope of Israel

The first point in Menasseh’s story which needs elucidation is his statement that he was originally induced to move in the question of the resettlement of the Jews by the assurances of “some eminent persons of England,” that “the minds of men stood very well affected towards us.” How had this philo-Semitic sentiment arisen, and who were the men who had communicated it to the Amsterdam Rabbi?

The evolution of English thought which rendered Menasseh ben Israel’s enterprise possible is of considerable complexity, but its main features are easily distinguishable. The idea of Religious Liberty in England was due, in its broader aspects, to the struggle between the Baptists and the Calvinists. The Reformation established only a restricted form of Religious Liberty, and it was not until the Baptists found themselves persecuted as the Reformers had been before them, that the cry arose for a liberty of conscience which would embrace all religions. In the Separatist Churches, founded by English refugees in Amsterdam and Geneva, the idea grew and strengthened. The earliest noteworthy tract on the subject—Leonard Busher’s “Religious Peace, or a Plea for Liberty of Conscience,” published in 1614—was written under the influence of these exiles, and it is noteworthy that already in that work the extension of religious liberty to Jews was specifically demanded.[16] Amsterdam was at that time the seat of a flourishing Jewish community, some of whose members came into contact with the philo-Jewish refugees. In this way they probably learnt to understand the political significance of the successive rise of the Puritans and Independents, for at the very beginning of the Civil War the Royalist spies in Holland noted that the Jews sympathised xixwith the Republicans, and even alleged that they had offered them “considerable sums of money to carry on their designs.”[17]

The progress of Religious Liberty in the seventeenth century reached its highest point, when in 1645 the Independents captured the Army under the scheme known as the “New Model.” Meanwhile Roger Williams, the famous Baptist, who had already founded in America a community based on unrestricted liberty of conscience, had published his “Bloudy Tenent of Persecution,” in which he generously pleaded for the Jews.[18] In 1646 a reprint of Leonard Busher’s pamphlet was published in London, much to the joy of the Separatists in Amsterdam,[19] and a year later Hugh Peters, one of Cromwell’s Army Chaplains, wrote his “Word for the Army and Two Words for the Kingdom,” in which he proposed that “strangers, even Jews [be] admitted to trade and live with us.”[20] The question of the readmission of the Jews was, however, still far from taking practical shape. Although frequently referred to, it had only been raised incidentally as an illustration of the advanced tendencies of the advocates of Religious Liberty.

In December 1648, the Independents contrived the famous “Pride’s Purge,” which put an end to the Presbyterian domination of Parliament. The hopes of the advocates of Religious Liberty ran high, and the Jewish question at once came to the front. The Council of Mechanics, meeting at Whitehall, marked their sense of the meaning of the coup d’état by immediately voting “a toleration of all religions whatsoever, not excepting Turkes, nor Papists, xxnor Jewes.”[21] To this the Council of Army Officers responded with a resolution, the text of which has, unfortunately, not been preserved, in which they favoured the widest scheme of Religious Liberty. It was, indeed, rumoured at the time that the Jews were specifically mentioned in the resolution.[22] However that may be, it is certain that in the following month two Baptists of Amsterdam, Johanna Cartwright and her son Ebenezer, were encouraged to present a petition to Lord Fairfax and the General Council of Officers, in which they asked that “the statute of banishment” against the Jews might be repealed. The petition, we are told, was “favourably received, with a promise to take it into speedy consideration when the present more public affairs are dispatched.”[23]

Unfortunately, the “more public affairs” obstructed the triumph of Religious Liberty, and with it the Jewish cause, for a good many years. In the same month that Mrs. Cartwright’s petition was considered, Charles I. was beheaded, and the chiefs of the Revolution, with a great work of reconstruction before them, felt that they must proceed cautiously. Toleration of the Jews meant unrestricted liberty of conscience, and this was held by the extreme Independents to imply not only the abolition of an Established Church, but a licence to the multitude of sects—many of them of the maddest and most blasphemous tendencies—which had been hatched by Laudian persecution and the reaction of the Civil War. Cromwell and his advisers were resolved to pursue a more conservative policy, and the toleration plans of the Independents were accordingly shelved. For a hundred years—until, indeed, Pelham’s “Jew Bill” in 1753—they were not heard of in this purely secular shape again.

xxiThe cause of Religious Liberty was, however, not the only force which was working in the country for the readmission of the Jews. The religious fervour of the nation had been stirred to a high pitch, and there were few men whose minds had not become influenced by Messianic and other mystical beliefs. It is curious indeed to note that this current of thought ran parallel with the evolution of the secular idea of Toleration. Seven years after the first publication of Leonard Busher’s famous Toleration pamphlet, Mr. Sergeant Finch wrote anonymously a book entitled “The Calling of the Jewes” (1621), with a prefatory epistle in Hebrew, in which he invited the children of Israel to realise the prophecies by asserting their national existence in Palestine. At the same time he called upon all Christian princes to do homage to the Jewish nation. This early manifestation of Zionism did not meet with much sympathy in high places, for James I. was so incensed at it that he clapped its publisher into jail.[24] The book, however, was a symptom, and the movement it represented only derived strength from persecution. The gloomier the lot of the sectaries, the more intense became their reliance on the Messianic prophecies. Even after the triumph of the Puritan cause, the sanest Independents held to them firmly side by side with their belief in Religious Liberty; and in the Cartwright petition we find both views expounded. Extremists like the Fifth Monarchy Men made them the pivots for fresh outbursts of Sectarianism. Judaical sects arose, the members of which endeavoured to live according to the Levitical Law, even practising circumcision. Prosecutions for such practices may be traced back to 1624.[25] Some of the saints, like Everard the Leveller, publicly called themselves Jews;[26] others went to Amsterdam, and were formally received into the synagogue.[27] Colchester was the xxiiheadquarters of one of these Judaical sects, but there were others in London and in Wales.[28] The practical effect of this movement was not only the production of a very widespread philo-Semitism, but a strong conviction that, inasmuch as the conversion of the Jews was an indispensable preliminary of the Millennium, their admission to England, where they might meet the godliest people in the world, was urgently necessary.

It was this feeling which, on the collapse of the Toleration movement in 1649, began to make itself most loudly heard. Edward Nicholas, John Sadler, John Dury, Henry Jessey, Roger Williams, and even Thomas Fuller, who was far from being a mystic, urged this view on the public, and an agitation for the Readmission of the Jews, as a religious duty outside the problem of Religious Liberty, was set on foot. This mystical agitation found a response in what to us must at first sight appear a strangely inappropriate quarter. It brought forth from Amsterdam a Latin pamphlet, entitled “Spes Israelis,” with a prefatory address “To the Parliament, the Supreme Court of England,” the author of which was Menasseh ben Israel, one of the Rabbis of the congregation. This pamphlet illustrates the inception of the enterprise for the Resettlement of the Jews in England, which its author endeavoured to carry out six years later.

Menasseh ben Israel was the son of a Marrano of Lisbon, who had suffered at the hands of the Inquisition, and had, as a result, taken up his abode in Amsterdam. Menasseh was educated under the care of Rabbi Isaac Uziel, and, at the age of eighteen, was ordained a Rabbi. He was an indefatigable student, became a mine of learning, an accomplished linguist, a fluent writer, and a voluble preacher. His attainments made considerable noise in the world, at a time when public attention was riveted on Biblical prophecy, xxiiiand the question of its fulfilment through the Jews. His voluminous writings obtained for him a high reputation as a scholar, and the readiness with which he afforded information to all who corresponded with him made him many influential friends, who spread his fame far and wide. The secret of the distinction Menasseh secured for himself, in spite of the weaknesses of his character and the eccentricity of his mental tendency, lies in the fact that the world in which he lived was very largely given over to philo-Semitism, and to the special form of mysticism to which he had yielded himself. His alliance with a scion of the Abarbanel family, in whose tradition of Davidic descent he was a firm believer, inspired him with the idea that he was destined to promote the coming of the Messiah; and hence the wild dreams of the English Millenarians appealed to him with something of a personal force. It was not, however, until the triumph of the Republican cause in England that he resolved to throw in his lot with the Puritan mystics, and even then he had some difficulty, as we may readily believe, in adopting an attitude which would at once conciliate the English Conversionists, and harmonise with his allegiance to the synagogue.[29]

At first his sympathies, like those of most of the leading members of the Amsterdam community, seem to have been Royalist, for in 1642 we find him extolling the queen of Charles I. in an oration.[30] In 1647 he was still far from recognising in the Puritan revolt a movement calling for his Messianic sympathy; for, writing to an English friend in that year, he described the Civil War, not, as he afterwards believed it to be, as a struggle of the godly against the xxivungodly, but as a Divine punishment for the expulsion of his co-religionists from Britain in the thirteenth century.[31] This letter is interesting as showing that his mind was then already beginning to be exercised by the Resettlement question; but he evidently had as yet no definite idea of taking any practical action. In the autumn of 1649 a method of action was suggested to him by a letter he received from the well-known English Puritan, John Dury, whose acquaintance he had made in Amsterdam five years previously.

A friend of John Dury, one Thomas Thorowgood, was deeply interested in the missionary labours of the famous evangelist, John Eliot, among the American Indians; and in order to prevail upon the philo-Jewish public to provide money for the support of the mission, had compiled a treatise showing that the American Indians were the Lost Tribes. This work was largely founded on the conjectures of the early Spanish missionaries, who had up to that time a monopoly of this solution of the Ten Tribes problem. It was written in 1648, and dedicated to the King, but the renewal of the Civil War in that year prevented its publication.[32] Thorowgood thereupon sent the proofs of the first part of the work to John Dury to read. It happened that Dury, while at the Hague in 1644, had heard some stories about the Ten Tribes which had very much interested him. One was to the effect that a Jew, named Antonio de Montezinos, or Aaron Levy, had, while travelling in South America, met a race of savages in the Cordilleras, who recited the Shema,[33] practised Jewish ceremonies, and were, in short, Israelites of the Tribe of Reuben. Montezinos had related his story to Menasseh ben Israel, xxvand had even embodied it in an affidavit executed under oath before the chiefs of the Amsterdam Synagogue. As soon as Dury received Thorowgood’s treatise, he remembered this story, and at once wrote to Menasseh ben Israel for a copy of the affidavit. The courteous Rabbi sent it to him by return of post,[34] and it was printed for the first time as an appendix to an instalment of Thorowgood’s treatise, which, at Dury’s instance, was published in January 1650.[35]

This incident, coupled with some letters he received from the notorious Millenarian, Nathaniel Holmes, came as a ray of light to Menasseh. For five years he had had Montezinos’s narrative by him, and had not regarded it as of sufficient importance to publish. He had, perhaps, doubted the wisdom of publishing it, seeing that it tended to substantiate a theory of purely Jesuitical origin, for which no sanction could be found in Jewish records or legend. Moreover, he had no strong views on the prophetical bearing of the question, as we may see by a letter he addressed to Holmes as late as the previous summer, in which he stated that he had grave doubts as to the time and manner of the coming of the Messiah.[36] Now, however, the question began to grow clear to him, and it dawned upon him that the long-neglected narrative of Montezinos might be used for a better purpose than the support of Christian missions in New England. The story was, if true, a proof of the increasing dispersion of Israel. Daniel had foretold that the scattering of the Holy People would be the forerunner of their Restoration, and a verse in Deuteronomy had explained that the scattering would be “from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth.” It was clear from Montezinos and other travellers that they had already reached one end of the earth. Let them enter England xxviand the other end would be attained. Thus the promises of the Almighty would be fulfilled, and the Golden Age would dawn. “I knew not,” he wrote later on, “but that the Lord who often works by naturall meanes, might have design’d, and made choice of me, for bringing about this work.”[37] In this hope he wrote the famous מקוה ישראל which in 1650 burst on the British public under the title of the “Hope of Israel.”

The central idea of this booklet did not occur to Menasseh immediately on receiving John Dury’s letter. His first intention, as he explained in a letter dated November 25, 1649, was to write a treatise on the Dispersion of the Ten Tribes for the information of Dury and his friends. The volume, however, grew under his pen, and a week later he announced to Dury his larger plan. His letter gives a complete synopsis of the work, and he finishes up by informing Dury that “I prove at large that the day of the promised Messiah unto us doth draw near.”[38] Thus he had already made up his mind on a question which, only a few months before, he had assured Holmes was “uncertain,” and was intended to be uncertain. Holmes was at the time unaware of his conversion, for, on December 24, he wrote to him an expostulatory letter, in which, curiously enough, he advised him to study the Danielic Prophecies.[39] Still, Menasseh does not seem to have fully grasped the application of his treatise to the Resettlement question, for neither in the body of the work nor in the Spanish edition does he refer to it. It was only when he composed the Latin edition that his scheme reached maturity. To that edition he prefixed a dedication to the English Parliament, eulogising its stupendous achievements, and supplicating “your favour and good-will to our nation now scattered almost all over the earth.”

xxviiThe tract produced a profound impression throughout England. That an eminent Jewish Rabbi should bless the new Republican Government, and should bear testimony to its having “done great things valiantly,” was peculiarly gratifying to the whole body of Puritans. To the Millenarians and other sectaries it was a source of still deeper satisfaction, for their wild faith now received the sanction of one of the Chosen People, a sage of Israel, of the Seed of the Messiah. Besides the Latin edition which Dury distributed among all the leading Puritans, and which was probably read in Parliament, two English editions issued anonymously by Moses Wall were rapidly sold. Nevertheless, its effect proved transitory. Sober politicians, who still recognised that the new-fledged Republic had, as Fairfax said, “more public affairs” to despatch than the Jewish question, had begun to fear lest their hands might be forced by Menasseh’s coup. This feeling was strikingly reflected in a tract by Sir Edward Spencer, one of the members of Parliament for Middlesex. Addressing himself with feline affection “to my deare brother, Menasseh ben Israel, the Hebrewe Philosopher,” he expressed his readiness to agree to the admission of the Jews on twelve conditions artfully designed to strengthen the hands of the sectaries who believed that, besides the dispersion of the Jews, their conversion was also a necessary condition of the Millennium.[40] Spencer’s tract was the signal for a revulsion of feeling. Sadler, afterwards one of Menasseh’s firmest friends, threw doubts on the authenticity of Montezinos’s story,[41] and Fuller xxviiidid not scruple to criticise the Zionist theory on practical grounds.[42] Even the faithful Jessey held his peace in tacit sympathy with Spencer’s scheme. As for Menasseh, he showed no disposition to acquiesce in Spencer’s proposals. The result was that the sensation gradually died away, though a few stalwart Tolerationists like Hugh Peters still clamoured for unconditional Readmission.[43]

Thus both the Toleration and Messianic movements proved unavailing for the purposes of the Jewish Restoration. There remained a third view of the question which made less noise in the world, but which was destined to bring about gradually and silently a real and lasting solution—the view of Political Expediency.

III. Cromwell’s Policy

The statesmen of the Commonwealth, who knew so well how to conjure with human enthusiasm, were essentially practical men. To imagine that they were the slaves of the great religious revival which had enabled them to overcome the loyalist inspiration of the cavaliers is entirely to misconceive their character and aims. The logical outcome of that revival, and of the triumph of the Puritan arms, would have been the Kingdom of Saints, but Cromwell’s ambition aimed at something much more conventional. Imperial expansion and trade ascendency filled a larger place in his mind than the Other-worldly inspirations which had carried him to power.

With the unrestricted Toleration principles of the Baptists he had no sympathy, and still less with the Messianic phantasies of the Fifth Monarchy Men which Menasseh ben Israel had virtually embraced. His ideas on Religious Liberty were certainly large and far in advance of his xxixtimes,[44] but they were essentially the ideas of a churchman. Their limits are illustrated by his ostentatious patronage in 1652 of Owens’ scheme of a Toleration confined to Christians.[45] Still he was not the slave of these limits. The ingenious distinction he drew between the Papistry of France and that of Spain, when it became necessary for him to choose between them, and his complete disregard of the same principles in the case of the Portuguese alliance, show how readily he subordinated his strongest religious prejudices to political exigencies. As for the mystics and ultra-democrats, his views were set forth very clearly in his speech to the new Parliament in September 1651, when he opposed the Millenarians, the Judaisers, and the Levellers by name.[46] It is impossible for any one reading this speech side by side with Menasseh ben Israel’s tracts to believe that the author of it had any sympathy with the wilder motives actuating the Jewish Rabbi.

What was it, then, that brought these two different characters so closely together? That the Readmission of the Jews to England was one of Cromwell’s own schemes—part and parcel of that dream of Imperial expansion which filled his latter days with its stupendous adumbration and vanished so tragically with his early death—it is impossible to doubt. We have no record of his views on the subject, beyond a short and ambiguous abstract of his speech at the Whitehall Conferences, but there is ample evidence that he was the mainspring of the whole movement, and that Menasseh was but a puppet in his hands. His main motives are not difficult to guess. Cromwell’s statecraft was, as I have said, not entirely or even essentially governed by religious policy. He desired to make England xxxgreat and prosperous, as well as pious and free, and for these purposes he had to consider the utility of his subjects even before he weighed their orthodoxy. Now the Jews could not but appeal to him as very desirable instruments of his colonial and commercial policy. They controlled the Spanish and Portuguese trade; they had the Levant trade largely in their hands; they had helped to found the Hamburg Bank, and they were deeply interested in the Dutch East and West Indian companies. Their command of bullion, too, was enormous, and their interest in shipping was considerable.[47] Moreover, he knew something personally of the Jews, for he was acquainted with some of the members of the community of Marranos then established in London, and they had proved exceedingly useful to him as contractors and intelligencers.[48] There is, indeed, reason to believe that some of these Marranos had been brought into the country by the Parliamentary Government as early as 1643 with the specific object of supplying the pecuniary necessities of the new administration.[49]

Until the end of 1651 the Readmission question presented no elements of urgency, because there was a chance of its favourable solution without its being made the object of a special effort on the part of the Government or the legislature. By the treaty of coalition proposed to the Netherlands by the St. John mission early in 1651, the Jewish question would have solved itself, for the Hebrew merchants of Amsterdam would have ipso facto acquired in England the same rights as they enjoyed in Holland. That proposal, however, broke down, and as a result the famous Navigation Act was passed. The object of that measure was to exclude foreign nations from the colonial trade, and to dethrone the Dutch from their supremacy in the carrying xxxiand distributing traffic of Europe. Consequently it supplied a strong inducement to Jewish merchants—especially those of Amsterdam who were then trading with Jamaica and Barbados—to transfer their counting-houses to London. As such an immigration would have well served the policy embodied in the Navigation Act, it became desirable that some means of legalising Jewish residence in England should be found, and hence the question of Readmission was brought within the field of practical politics. This was the new form in which it presented itself. It was no longer a question of Religious Toleration or of the hastening of the Millennium, but purely a question of political expediency.

It appears that the St. John mission, when its failure became probable, was instructed to study the Jewish question, and probably to enter into negotiations with leading Jews in Amsterdam. Certain it is that its members saw a great deal of Menasseh ben Israel during their sojourn in Holland, and that Cromwell’s benevolent intentions were conveyed to him. Thurloe, who was secretary to the mission, had several conferences with the Rabbi, and the Synagogue entertained the members of the mission, notwithstanding that public opinion ran high against them.[50] Strickland, the colleague of St. John, and formerly ambassador at the Hague, was ever afterwards regarded as an authority on the Jewish question, for he served on most of the Committees appointed to consider Menasseh’s petitions. Still more significant is the fact that within a few weeks of the return of the Embassy a letter, the text of which has not been preserved, was received from Menasseh by the Council of State, and an influential committee, on which Cromwell himself served, was at once appointed to peruse and answer it.[51] Towards the end of the following year two passes couched xxxiiin flattering terms were issued to the Rabbi to enable him to come to England.[52]

Meanwhile, the long-feared war broke out, and negotiations were perforce suspended. From 1652 to 1654 the popular agitation for the Readmission of the Jews spluttered weakly in pamphlets and broadsheets. In 1653 there was a debate in Parliament on the subject, but no conclusion was arrived at.[53] In the following year, shortly after the conclusion of peace, a new element was introduced into the question by the appearance on the scene of a fresh petitioner from Holland, one Manuel Martinez Dormido, a brother-in-law of Menasseh ben Israel, and afterwards well known in England as David Abarbanel Dormido.

The mission of Dormido was clearly a continuation of Menasseh’s enterprise, and it was probably undertaken on the direct invitation of the Protector. With the restoration of peace on terms which rendered persistence in the policy of the Navigation Act indispensable, Cromwell must have been anxious to take the Jewish question seriously in hand. The negotiations opened by Thurloe with Menasseh in 1651 were probably resumed, and an intimation was conveyed to the Jewish Rabbi that the time was ripe for him to come to England and lay his long-contemplated prayer before the Government of the Commonwealth. Menasseh’s reasons for not accepting the invitation in person are not difficult to understand. He doubtless refers to them in the passage from the Vindiciæ I have already quoted, where he says he was entreated by his kindred and friends, “considering the chequered and interwoven vicissitudes and turns of things here below, not to part from them.”[54] His kindred and friends were wise. Owing to his quarrels with his colleagues in the Amsterdam Rabbinate his situation had become precarious, and it might have xxxiiibecome hopelessly and disastrously compromised had he, in the then incensed state of Dutch feeling against England—a feeling in which the leading Jews of the Netherlands participated—undertaken a mission to the Protector. Hence the delegation of the work to his brother-in-law. An indication of Menasseh’s interest in the new mission is afforded by the fact that his only surviving son, Samuel ben Israel, was associated with Dormido, and accompanied him to London.

Unlike his distinguished relative, Dormido had nothing to lose by approaching Cromwell. A Marrano by birth, a native of Andalusia, where he had enjoyed great wealth and held high public office, he had been persecuted by the Inquisition, and compelled to fly to Holland. There he had made a fortune in the Brazil trade, and had become a leading merchant of Amsterdam, and one of the chiefs of the Synagogue. The conquest of Pernambuco by the Portuguese early in 1654 had ruined him, and he found himself compelled to begin life afresh.[55] He saw his opportunity in the mission confided to him by Menasseh. It opened to him the chance of a new career under the powerful protection of the greatest personality in Christendom. Unlike his brother-in-law, he had no Millenarian delusions. The Jewish question appealed to him in something of the same practical fashion that it appealed to Cromwell. While the Protector was seeking the commercial interests of the Commonwealth, Dormido was anxious to repair his own shattered fortunes.

On the 1st September he arrived in London, and at once set about drafting two petitions to Cromwell.[56] In the first of these documents he recited his personal history, the story of his sufferings at the hands of the Inquisition, and of the confiscation of his property by the Portuguese in Pernambuco. He expressed his desire to become a resident xxxivin England and a subject of the Commonwealth, and wound up by praying the Protector to use his good offices with the King of Portugal for the restitution of his fortune. The second petition was a prayer for the Readmission of the Jewish people to England, “graunting them libertie to come with theire famillies and estates, to bee dwellers here with the same eaquallnese and conveniences wch yr inland borne subjects doe enjoy.” The petition, after a violent tirade against the Inquisition and the intolerance of the Apostolical Roman Church, pointed out that the Readmission of the Jews would be to the advantage of trade and industry, and would vastly increase the public revenues. These adroit appeals to the chief motives of the Protector’s statecraft were followed by a suggestion that in the event of the prayer being granted the petitioner might be appointed to the control and management of the new community, with, of course, appropriate compensation for his services.

Despite their obviously selfish motives, Cromwell received these petitions with significant graciousness. They were at once sent to the Council, with an endorsement, stating that “His Highnes is pleased in an especiall manner to recommend these two annexed papers to the speedy consideracion of the Councell, that the Peticion may receive all due satisfacion and withall convenient speed.” It is impossible not to be struck by the pressing nature of this recommendation, when it is considered that the chief petition dealt with a very large and important political question, and that its signatory was a man wholly unknown in England. Cromwell’s action can only be explained by the theory that he was, as I have suggested, the instigator of the whole movement. Whether the Council were aware of this or not is impossible to say. They had as yet no decided opinions on the subject, but they saw that it was a large and difficult question, that its bearings were imperfectly known, and that its decision, either one way or the other, involved a very serious responsibility at a time when xxxvthe religious element wielded so much power in the country, and withal so capriciously. At the personal instigation of the Protector, however, they consented to appoint a committee to consider the petitions. A month later, taking advantage of a meeting at which Cromwell was not present, the committee verbally reported, and the Council resolved, that it “saw no excuse to make any order.”[57]

That Cromwell was disappointed by this result he speedily made clear. In regard to the Resettlement petition, he did not care to take the responsibility of giving a decision; but on the other petition he took immediate steps to afford satisfaction to Dormido, in spite of the refusal of the Council to have anything to do with it. He addressed an autograph letter to the King of Portugal, asking him as a personal favour to restore Dormido’s property, or to make him full compensation for his losses.[58] Seeing that Dormido was an alien, and had absolutely no claim on the British Government, this personal intervention by Cromwell on his behalf affords a further strong presumption of his privity to the Jewish mission. It is also not a little significant that a few months later the Protector granted a patent of denization to Antonio Fernandez Carvajal, the chief of the little Marrano community in London, and his two sons.[59]

The question was, however, not allowed to rest here. Cromwell wanted an authoritative decision, which would enable him to do more than merely protect individual Jews, and it was clear that this could not be obtained unless a more important person than Dormido were induced to take the matter in hand. The question had to be raised to a higher level, and for this purpose it was necessary that it should make some noise in the country. Only one European Jew had sufficient influence in England to stimulate the popular xxxviimagination, and to justify the Government in taking serious steps for the solution of the question. That man was the author of the “Hope of Israel.” In May 1655 it was decided to send Samuel ben Israel back to Amsterdam to lay the case before his father, and persuade him to come to London.[60] There is no mystery as to who suggested this step. Menasseh in his diplomatic way merely tells us he was informed that his “coming over would not be altogether unwelcome to His Highness the Lord Protector.”[61] There is, however, a letter extant from John Sadler to Richard Cromwell, written shortly after Oliver’s death, in which it is definitely stated that Menasseh was invited “by some letters of your late royall father.”[62] Sadler no doubt spoke from personal knowledge, for in 1654 he was acting as private secretary to the Protector, and the endorsement on Dormido’s petitions recommending them to the Council bears his signature.[63] Under these circumstances we can well understand that Menasseh was induced, as he says, to “conceive great hopes,” and that he resolved to undertake the journey. In October he arrived in London with the MS. of his famous “Humble Addresses” in his pocket.

During the five months that Menasseh was preparing for his journey, Cromwell was not idle. Colonial questions were occupying his mind very largely, and on these questions he was in the habit of receiving advice from one at least of the London Marranos, Simon de Caceres, a relative of Spinoza, and an eminent merchant who had large interests in the West Indies, and had enjoyed the special favour of the King of Denmark and the Queen of Sweden.[64] It was no doubt at the instigation of De Caceres that in April 1655 Cromwell sent a Jewish physician, Abraham de xxxviiMercado, with his son Raphael to Barbados.[65] Later in the year he was deep in consultation with De Caceres in regard to the defences of the newly acquired island of Jamaica, and a plan for the conquest of Chili.[66] The most important result of these confabulations was a scheme for colonising Surinam (which since 1650 had been a British colony) with the Jewish fugitives from Brazil, who had been obliged to leave Pernambuco and Recife through the Portuguese reoccupation of those towns. The idea was, no doubt, suggested by Dormido, himself one of the victims of the Portuguese conquest. In order to attract the Jews, they were granted a charter in which full liberty of conscience was secured to them, together with civil rights, a large measure of communal autonomy, and important land grants.[67]

Thus a beginning was made in the solution of the Jewish question by their admission as citizens to one of the colonial dependencies of Great Britain. This was the first important step achieved by Cromwell, and it illustrates at once his deep interest in the Jewish question, and the practical considerations which actuated him in seeking its solution.

IV. The Appeal to the Nation

On his arrival in London, Menasseh, with his retinue of three Rabbis,[68] was lodged with much ceremony in one of the houses opposite the New Exchange, in the then xxxviiifashionable Strand, the Piccadilly of its day. These houses were frequented by distinguished strangers who desired to be near the centre of official life at Whitehall, and the fact that Menasseh with his slender purse took up his abode in one of them, instead of seeking hospitality with his brother-in-law or his Marrano co-religionists in the city, shows at once the importance with which his mission was invested.[69] He was the guest of the Protector, bidden to London to discuss high affairs of state, and as such it was obviously inadmissible that he should be hidden away in some obscure address in an East-End Alsatia.

His first task after he had settled down in his “study” in the Strand was to print his “Humble Addresses,” in which he appealed to the Protector and the Commonwealth to readmit the Jews, and stated the grounds of his petition. This tract was written and translated into English long before he left Amsterdam. It had probably been prepared three years before, when he first received his passes for England. That it was in existence at a time when his final mission was uncontemplated is proved by its mention in a list of his works he sent to Felgenhauer in February 1655 (N.S.).[70] The title is there given as De Fidelitate et Utilitate Judaicæ Gentis, and it is described as Libellus Anglicus. This was nine months before he arrived in London, and three and a half months before his brother-in-law sent for him. My impression is that the tract was prepared at the time of the St. John mission in 1651, and that Menasseh had drafted it in accordance with the advice of Thurloe, who had pointed out that the faithfulness and profitableness of the Jewish people were likely to weigh more with Cromwell than the relation of their dispersion to the Messianic Age.

At any rate, the style and matter of the pamphlet xxxixare in welcome contrast to the fantastical theories of the “Hope of Israel,” resembling more the matter-of-fact petition of Dormido. The Danielic prophecy is, it is true, still asserted, but only as an aside, the case for the Readmission being argued almost exclusively on grounds of political expediency. Incidentally certain floating calumnies against the Jews—such as their alleged usury, the slaying of infants for the Passover, and their conversion of Christians—are discussed and refuted. In regard to the conversion of Christians, Menasseh had completely changed his attitude since writing the “Hope of Israel,” for in that work he had boasted of the conversions made by the Jews in Spain.[71] The prudent restraints Menasseh had imposed upon himself in the composition of this pamphlet are the more marked, since we know that he had in no way modified his original views as expounded in the “Hope of Israel.” This is shown by a letter he wrote to Felgenhauer early in the year, thanking him for dedicating to him the Bonum Nuncium Israeli, one of the maddest rhapsodies ever written.[72] In this letter he reiterated all his former views, with the exception of his belief in the imminence of the Millennium. Nor had he adopted any idea of compromising the question of the Readmission to meet the prejudices or fears of the various political and religious factions in England. His demand was for absolute freedom of ingress and settlement for all Jews and the unfettered exercise of their religion, “whiles we expect with you the Hope of Israel to be revealed.” The necessity of such a privilege had been the more impressed upon him by the renewal of the persecutions of his co-religionists in Poland, which had sent a great wave of destitute Jews westward. It was primarily for them and for the Marranos of Spain and Portugal that he hoped to find an unrestricted asylum in England.[73]

xlUntil the publication of the “Humble Addresses,” there are but scanty clues in the printed literature of the time to the frame of mind in which Menasseh’s mission found the English public. It would seem, from the silence of the printing-presses, that the nearer the people approached the Readmission question as a problem of practical politics, the less enthusiastic they became for its solution. This is not difficult to understand. The secular Tolerationists were unable to make headway against the dangers of unlimited sectarianism, to which their doctrines seemed calculated to open the door. Of their chief exponents, Roger Williams was in America, John Sadler was muzzled by the responsibilities of office, and Hugh Peters was without an influential following. Moreover, the prosecutions of James Naylor and Biddle were then prominently before the public as a lesson that Toleration had yet to triumph within the Christian pale. The Conversionists and Millenarians, who formed the great majority of the Judeophils, and who included all Menasseh’s own friends except Sadler, attached no importance to the terms on which the Jews might be admitted, and were quite willing to acquiesce in legislative restrictions provided only they were admitted. The Economists and Political Opportunists, represented by Cromwell, Thurloe, Blake, and Monk,[74] did not dare to confess their true motives, since their worldly aims would on the one hand have been condemned by all the religious partisans of the Readmission, and on the other, would have alarmed the merchants of London, who had no desire for the commercial competition of a privileged colony of Hebrew traders.

This discouraging state of affairs was aggravated by foreign and Royalist intrigues. From the moment Menasseh’s mission was thought of, the Embassies in London and the Royalist agents set to work to defeat it. The Embassies, especially that of Holland, opposed it on its true grounds, xlias a development of the policy of the Navigation Act.[75] The Royalists were anxious to defeat it because, as Whitelock says, “it was a business of much importance to the Commonwealth, and the Protector was earnestly set upon it.”[76] Moreover, they had hoped to attract the Jews to their own cause, and they had been encouraged in this hope by the substantial assistance already rendered to them by wealthy Hebrews, like the Da Costas and Coronels.[77] An intercepted letter from Sir Edward Nicholas, Secretary to the exiled King, shows that the highest Royalist circles took a profound interest in the Jewish question, and made it their business to be well informed as to its progress. Nicholas, indeed, seems to have known all about the negotiations which preceded Menasseh’s journey to England.[78]

As soon as Menasseh reached London, he found himself the object of a host of calumnious legends, clearly designed by the Royalists and foreign agents to disturb the public mind. The story that the Jews had offered to buy St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Bodleian Library, which had been circulated unheeded in 1649, was revived.[79] One of Menasseh’s retinue was accused of wishing to identify Cromwell as the Jewish Messiah, and it was circumstantially stated that he had investigated the Protector’s pedigree in order to prove his Davidic descent.[80] It was declared that Cromwell harboured a design to hand over to the Jews the xliifarming of the customs.[81] At the same time their character was painted in the darkest colours.[82] One of the most insidious forms that this campaign took was an attempt to show that the hope of converting the Jews, by which the larger number of the friends of the Readmission were actuated, was illusory, and that so far from becoming Christians, the Jews would “stone Christ to death.” For this purpose the pen of a converted Jew, named Paul Isaiah, who had served as a trooper in Rupert’s Horse, was requisitioned.[83] It was a hazardous experiment to employ Isaiah, for he might easily have been hailed by the Conversionists as a proof of the convertibility of the Jews. It was, however, notorious that he had learnt the ethics of the wilder Cavalier swashbucklers only too well,[84] and he was consequently regarded rather as an “awful example” of the sort of Jew who might be expected to listen to the Gospel than as an encouragement to hope for the salvation of the whole people.

The publication of the “Humble Addresses” only aggravated these popular misgivings. While the clerical and commercial Anti-Semites disputed all the propositions of Menasseh’s pamphlet, the visionaries and friends of Israel strongly resented the “sinfulness” of its insistence on the profitableness of the Jews. The bias of public feeling, as revealed by the tracts to which the “Humble Addresses” gave rise, was distinctly less favourable than in 1649, and was overwhelmingly hostile to an unreserved acquiescence in the terms of the Jewish petition. In 1649 an honest attempt to understand Judaism was made, as we may see by the publication of Chilmead’s translation of Leo de Modena’s Historia dei riti ebraici. There is no trace of an appeal to this or any similarly xliiiauthoritative work in 1655–56, except in a stray passage of an isolated protest against the calumnies heaped on the Jews.[85] On the contrary, the efforts of the new students of Judaism, like Alexander Ross, were devoted to proving that the Jews had nothing in common with Christians, and that their religion “is not founded on Moses and the Law, but on idle and foolish traditions of the Rabbins”—that it was, in fact, a sort of Paganism.[86] The historical attacks on the Jews were the most powerful that had yet been made, while the replies to them were few and by obscure writers.[87] What is most significant, however, is that the chief friends of the Jews—the men who had encouraged Menasseh six years before—were now either silent or openly in favour of restrictions which would have rendered the Readmission a barren privilege. Sadler did not reiterate the Judeophil teachings of his “Rights of the Kingdom”; there was no echo of Hugh Peters’s “Good Work for a Good Magistrate,” with its uncompromising demand for liberty of conscience; and the pseudonymous author of “An Apology for the Honourable Nation of Jews,” which had so strongly impressed the public in 1648, was dumb. John Dury, who had practically started the first agitation in favour of the Jews, was now studying Jewish disabilities at Cassel, with a view to their introduction into England;[88] and Henry Jessey, the author of “The Glory of Judah and Israel,” to the testimonies of which Menasseh confidently appealed in the closing paragraph of his “Humble Addresses,” had been won over to the necessity of restrictions.[89] Not a single influential voice was raised in England in support of Menasseh’s proposals, either on the ground of xlivlove for the Jews or religious liberty. The temper of the unlettered people, especially the mercantile classes, is sufficiently illustrated by the fact that only a few months before a Jewish beggar had been mobbed in the city, owing to the inflammatory conduct of a merchant, who had followed the poor stranger about the Poultry shouting, “Give him nothing; he is a cursed Jew.”[90]

Undeterred by the inhospitable attitude of the public, Menasseh formally opened his negotiations with the Government of the Commonwealth. His first step was to pay a visit to Whitehall, and present copies of his “Humble Addresses” to the Council of State. He was unfortunate in the day he selected for this visit, for it happened to be one of the rare occasions when Cromwell was not present at the Council’s deliberations. The result was that, as on the similar occasion of the consideration of the report on Dormido’s petition, the Council felt itself free to take no action. It contented itself with instructing its clerk, Mr. Jessop, “to go forth and receive the said books,” and then proceeded with other business.[91]

That the Council had no desire to assume the responsibility of deciding the thorny Jewish question soon became manifest. A fortnight after Menasseh’s abortive visit to Whitehall, Cromwell brought down to the Council a petition which had been handed to him by the Jewish Rabbi, in which were set forth categorically the several “graces and favours” by which it was proposed that the Readmission of the Jews should be effected.[92] The Protector evidently felt none of the misgivings of his advisers. It is probable, indeed, that in his masterful way he misunderstood the trend of public feeling. He had convinced himself that, as an act of policy, some concession to the Jews was desirable. His strong instinct for religious liberty xlvinclined him favourably to the more academic aspects of the question, and his profound sympathy with persecuted peoples had been stirred by the accounts Menasseh had personally given him of the dire straits of the Jews in Poland, Sweden, and the Holy Land, and of the cruelties inflicted on them in Spain and Portugal.[93] Moreover, his patriotism revolted at the idea that Protestant England should be particeps criminis in a policy of oppression which was so peculiarly identified with Papistical error. Thus impressed, he cared little for the outcries of the pamphleteers or the nervous scruples of his councillors, and he set himself to force on a prompt solution. At his instance a motion was made “That the Jews deserving it may be admitted into this nation to trade and traffic and dwell amongst us as Providence shall give occasion,”[94] and this, together with the petition of Menasseh and his “Humble Addresses,” was at once referred to a Committee. At the same time it was made clear to that body that the Protector expected an early report.[95]

So much is evident from the fact that the Committee met the same afternoon and reported the next morning. Its task was not an easy one. The feeling of the Council was by no means hostile to the Jews, but it had no enthusiasm for their cause, and it probably felt that an extension of official toleration beyond the limits of Christianity was a hazardous experiment. On the other hand, it was no longer possible for it to express this feeling in the same unceremonious fashion as had been done in the case of Dormido. The Jewish question had become the question of the day owing to Menasseh’s visit. Public feeling had been deeply stirred by it, and Cromwell had placed it in the forefront of his personal solicitude. Some action was necessary. The Committee seems to have discreetly resolved that the wisest course to pursue was one xlviwhich would absolve it of responsibility, and leave Cromwell and the outside public to fight it out between them. Accordingly it reported that it felt itself incompetent to offer any advice to the Council, and it suggested that the views of the nation should be ascertained by the summoning of a Conference of representative Englishmen who might assist it in framing a report.

This resolution was duly reported to the Council on the following day, when Cromwell was again present. How little the Protector estimated the difficulties in his path is shown by the fact that the Committee’s recommendation was at once acted upon. John Lisle, Sir Charles Wolseley, and Sir Gilbert Pickering, three members of the Committee notoriously devoted to Cromwell, were instructed to meet the Lord President the same afternoon, and draw up a list of the personages to be summoned to the proposed Conference.[96] The list was duly presented to the Council on the following morning, and, under the vigilant eye of the Protector, approved. At the same time the terms of a circular convening the Conference were agreed upon, and the 4th December was fixed for the meeting.[97]

Nothing is more significant than the rapidity with which these steps were taken. On Tuesday the 13th November Menasseh’s petition was sprung on the reluctant Council. On the following Thursday summonses to a National Conference were being sent out from Whitehall, the Council having meanwhile held three meetings, at all of which the Jewish question was discussed, and a Committee specially charged with the question having held two further meetings. In all this we may clearly trace the personal insistence of the Protector.

Bruited abroad through the congregations of the divines and the constituents of the politicians and merchants to whom the summonses to the Conference had been addressed, the question of the Readmission of the Jews now came to xlviithe forefront of national politics. Amid considerable popular excitement, the Conference met in the Council Chamber at Whitehall[98] on the first Tuesday in December.

It was a notable gathering—one of the most notable in the whole history of the Commonwealth. The statesmen present were the most eminent on the active list of the moment. There was Henry Lawrence, the Lord President, with four of his civilian colleagues on the Council, Sir Gilbert Pickering, Sir Charles Wolseley, Lisle the regicide, and Francis Rous. Close by was Walter Strickland, the diplomatist, who had represented the Commonwealth at the Hague, and had shared with Oliver St. John the honours and mortifications of the famous mission of 1651. In the same inner circle were John Lambert, “the army’s darling,” and one of the most brilliant of Cromwell’s veterans, and William Sydenham, one of the founders of the Protectorate. The law was represented by Sir John Glynne, Chief Justice of the Upper Bench, and William Steele, Chief Baron of the Exchequer. Lord Chief Justice St. John had also been invited, but he astutely stayed away. Those who knew St. John must have regarded his absence as ominous. On behalf of the mercantile community there appeared Alderman Dethick, the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Cressett of the Charterhouse, Alderman Riccards, and Sheriff Thompson. These men were official nonentities, for the real representatives of Commerce were Sir Christopher Pack, the late Lord Mayor and the leading mercantile authority in the country, William Kiffen, the wealthy merchant-parson, and the regicide Owen Rowe, now deputy-governor of the Bermuda Company.

It was, however, on the religious side that the Conference was strongest. Sixteen theologians and divines, the flower of Puritan piety and learning, responded to Cromwell’s invitation. There was Dr. Cudworth, Regius Professor of Hebrew, the philosophic opponent of atheism, whose xlviii“Intellectual System” is an English classic. There, too, were Dr. Owen, most famous of Independent divines and most fearless of the champions of religious liberty, and John Caryll, the great Puritan Bible commentator. Oxford University sent Dr. Goodwin, President of Magdalen College, and Henry Wilkinson, Canon of Christ Church. Cambridge appeared in the person of the learned Dr. Whitchcote, Provost of King’s. Among the preachers were William Bridge of Yarmouth; Daniel Dyke, one of Cromwell’s chaplains in ordinary; Henry Jessey, the Baptist Judeophil and friend of Menasseh; Thomas Manton, mildest and most genial of Presbyterians, “the prelate of the Commonwealth,” as Wood calls him; Dr. Newcomen, one of the authors of “Smectymnuus”; Philip Nye, the sturdy Independent and champion of toleration; Anthony Tuckney, one of the most prominent divines of the Westminster Assembly, and three lesser lights, William Benn of Dorchester, Walter Craddock of All Hallows the Great, London, and Samuel Fairclough. John Carter, the vehement enemy of Presbyterianism and monarchy, could not attend, for he was on his deathbed at Norwich when the invitation reached him.[99]

It is not difficult to see that the Conference had been carefully organised with a view to a decision favourable to the Jews. The great majority of the members were conspicuous for their attachment to the cause of religious toleration, while not a few of the laymen were equally notorious for their devotion—some for their subservience—to Cromwell. And yet its upshot proved very different from what the Protector anticipated.[100]

The first meeting was chiefly concerned with the legal problem. After the proposals of Menasseh ben Israel had been read, Cromwell himself laid down the programme of the proceedings in two questions.

xlix(1) Whether it be lawful to receive the Jews?

(2) If it be lawful, then upon what terms is it meet to receive them?[101]

The first question was purely technical, and only the lawyers were competent to pronounce an opinion on it. Accordingly, the two Judges present, Glynne and Steele, were called upon to speak. After an elaborate review of the status of the Jews in the pre-expulsion period, and the circumstances under which they were banished in 1290, both expressed the opinion that “there was no law which forbad the Jews’ return into England.”[102] The grounds of this decision are nowhere stated. It was probably based on the fact that the banishment in 1290 was an exercise of the royal prerogative in regard to the personal “chattels” of the King and not an Act of Parliament, and that the force of the decree expired with the death of Edward I. At any rate, Cromwell had gained his first point,[103] and he joyfully adjourned the Conference to the following Friday, adjuring the divines meanwhile to ponder well the second question.[104]

What happened at the two following meetings, which were held on the 7th and 12th December,[105] we do not know in detail. The records of the time only afford us scanty glimpses of the opinions expressed, without any indication of the days on which they were respectively uttered. It is clear, however, that the feeling of the clergy turned out to be on the whole unfavourable to Menasseh’s petition. The calumnies of the pamphleteers had done their work. The idea of public religious services at which Christ might be blasphemed stayed the hands of the most tolerant. Others lfeared that unrestricted liberty of Jewish worship would create in the Synagogue a nucleus round which the Judaical sectaries would rally. Dr. Newcomen drew a harrowing picture of English converts to Judaism joining the immigrants in offering children to Moloch.[106] The moderate majority, impressed, probably, by a weighty and elaborate opinion drawn up by Dr. Barlow, librarian of the Bodleian, and presented to the Conference by Dr. Goodwin,[107] were strongly in favour of an admission under severe restrictions. Even the level-headed Nye, who was ready to tolerate all religious follies so long as they were peaceable, asked for “due cautions warranted by Holy Scripture.”[108] It was in vain that Lawrence and Lambert, supported by the learned commentator Caryll, combated these opinions.[109]

On the eve of the third meeting Cromwell sought to strengthen the Judeophils by adding to the Conference Hugh Peters, the oldest of the advocates of unrestricted Readmission, together with his favourite chaplain, Peter Sterry, and Mr. Bulkeley, the Provost of Eton.[110] This, however, did not improve matters, for Peters had meanwhile heard something of the Marranos in London and their papistical dissimulation of their religion, and he vigorously denounced the Jews as “a self-seeking generation” who “made but little conscience of their own principles.”[111] This discourse seems to have produced a considerable liimpression on the Conference, for Thurloe, writing to Henry Cromwell on the 17th, expressed the shrewd opinion that “nothing will be done.”[112]

So far, however, the essential point for which Cromwell had been striving had not been jeopardised. He was desirous of securing the admission of the Jews on liberal terms, but at a pinch he would no doubt have agreed to religious and civil restrictions, provided the commercial activity of the immigrants was not unduly fettered. Hence the terms favoured by the majority of the clergy did not trouble him very seriously.

At the final meeting, which was held on the 18th December,[113] the commercial question was broached. On this occasion the doors of the Council Chamber were, for some sinister reason, thrown open to the public,[114] and an excited crowd, armed with copies of Prynne’s newly published tract on the Jewish question,[115] collected to hear the debate. The proceedings were tempestuous from the beginning, and gradually they took the form of a vehement demonstration against the Jews. Merchant after merchant rose and violently protested against any concessions, declaring that the Hebrews were a mean and vicious people, and that their admission would enrich foreigners and impoverish the natives.[116] Even strangers took part in these tirades, and a Mr. Lloyd, who was not a member of the Conference, distinguished himself by a “fierce” harangue.[117] The climax was reached when Sir Christopher Pack, the most eminent citizen of his day, and a devoted adherent of the Protector, ranged himself with the opponents of Menasseh, in an liiaddress which is said to have been the most impressive delivered during the whole course of the Conference.[118]

The advocates of out-and-out exclusion were, however, as little likely to carry the day as the champions of unrestricted admission, for the majority of the members of the Conference were divines who were anxious that the Jews should be converted, and for that reason desired that they should be somehow or other brought into the country. Moreover, since the decision of the Judges, the question was no longer whether exclusion should be persisted in, but only on what terms admission should be sanctioned. This was probably pointed out to the merchants, and an attempt to arrive at a compromise was made. After some private confabulations, Henry Jessey rose to announce the terms that had been agreed upon. The appearance of Jessey, the profound Rabbinical student, the friend of Menasseh, and one of the veterans of the Readmission cause, seemed to betoken a Jewish victory. What must have been the astonishment of his friends when he stated, with naïve satisfaction, that the basis of the compromise was that the Jews should only be admitted to decayed ports and towns, and that they should pay double customs duties on their imports and exports![119]

Cromwell now saw his whole scheme crumbling to pieces. That, if put to the vote, Jessey’s compromise would be adopted by an overwhelming majority was patent to everybody. In that case not only would the commercial design which Cromwell had at heart be defeated, but the Marranos in London, who had served him so well, would be practically banished. At all hazards a vote had to be prevented.[120] Cromwell acted with characteristic promptness and audacity. Rising from the chair of state, he addressed liiithe Assembly. Ingeniously ignoring the proposed compromise, he began his speech with a review of the differences of opinion revealed by the various speakers. They were, he scornfully declared, a babel of discordances. He had hoped that the Preachers would have given him some clear and practical advice, but they had only multiplied his doubts. Protesting that he had no engagements to the Jews but what the Scriptures held forth, he insisted that “since there was a promise of their conversion, means must be used to that end, which was the preaching of the Gospel, and that could not be done unless they were permitted to dwell where the Gospel was preached.” Then, turning to the merchants, he harped sarcastically on the accusations they had brought against the Jews. “You say they are the meanest and most despised of all people. So be it. But in that case what becomes of your fears? Can you really be afraid that this contemptible and despised people should be able to prevail in trade and credit over the merchants of England, the noblest and most esteemed merchants of the whole world?” It was clear, he added sharply, that no help was to be expected from the Conference, and that he and the Council would have to take their own course. He hoped he should do nothing foolishly or rashly, and he asked now only that the Conference would give him the benefit of their prayers, so that he might be directed to act for the glory of God and the good of the nation.[121] So saying, he vacated the chair in token that the proceedings were at an end.

The speech was a fighting speech, delivered with great animation, and is said to have been one of the best Cromwell ever made.[122] It achieved its object, for the Conference broke up without a word of protest, and the crowds dispersed livin cowed silence. Cromwell left the Council Chamber in a towering passion, and it was some days before he recovered his equanimity.[123]

The battle was, however, not yet over. Cromwell had dismissed the Conference, but the Committee of the Council of State had yet to report. It could not well, in sober writing, take the view of the Protector’s strategic speech, nor could it ignore the instruction of the Council to which it owed its existence. Accordingly it set itself to the drafting of a report which should express the obvious views of the Conference without conflicting too violently with Cromwell’s equally obvious design. The report accepted the view of the Judges that there was no law against the Readmission, and then proceeded to set forth under six heads the views urged by the Conference, including the view of the merchants, that “great prejudice is likely to arise to the natives of this Commonwealth in matters of trade.” Finally, it laid down seven conditions, apparently borrowed from Barlow’s opinion,[124] by which the Readmission should be governed. The Jews should have no autonomous jurisdiction; they should be forbidden from blaspheming Christ; they should not profane the Christian Sabbath; they should have no Christian servants; they should be ineligible for public office; they should print nothing against Christianity, and they should not discourage those who might attempt to convert them, while the making of converts by them should be prohibited. No restriction on their trading was suggested.[125]

What became of this document is not clear. A clean copy of it, undated and unendorsed, is preserved in the lvState Papers, but there is no reference to it in the Order Book of the Council of State.[126] And yet it is certain that the Committee presented it to the Council, for the Conference was only a means of enlightening the Committee, and the Council still looked to it for advice. It is probable that it was never formally accepted by the Council. When it was in due course brought up, Cromwell most likely objected to its presentation. After his experience of the Conference, it was clear to him that whatever was done would have to be done more or less unofficially. The acceptance of the report would have involved legislation, in which case the proceedings of the Conference would have been repeated in a form far more difficult to control, and perhaps impossible to defeat. Gratified by the omission of trade restrictions from the report, and feeling the necessity of retaining the support of the Council in the further steps he might take, the Protector probably assured them that he was in agreement with them on most points, and that he would do nothing unwarranted by the views they had expressed. At the same time he doubtless pointed out that many other important questions claimed the attention of Parliament, and that it would be well if men’s minds were not further disturbed by the Jewish question. Accordingly he advised that the report should be ignored and the matter allowed to drop.[127]

Here the question rested at the end of 1655. The result was not encouraging, but at any rate one important point had been gained. The prevailing idea that the incoming of Jews and their sojourn in the land were illegal lvihad been completely and finally shattered. This was the thin end of the wedge, and it had been so securely driven in, that John Evelyn entered in his Diary under date of December 14th: “Now were the Jews admitted.”[128]

V. Cromwell’s Action

Had the Diarist waited until the close of the Whitehall Conferences he would probably have modified his opinion. Although the technical question of the right of incoming had been decided, the cause of the Readmission had not been materially advanced. The universal demand for restrictions rendered it impossible for the Jews to avail themselves of their legal right without an assurance of protection from the Government. As late as the following April no complete settlement on this point had been reached, for in the passage from the Vindiciæ already quoted, Menasseh wrote on the 10th of that month, “As yet we have had no finall determination from his most Serene Highnesse.”[129]

What happened after the Conferences is somewhat obscure, owing to the reticence of the public records on the Jewish question. It is certain, however, that before Cromwell’s death a favourable decision was arrived at, and that an organised Jewish community came into the light of day in London, protected by definite rights of residence, worship, and trade. This is proved by the petitions for the re-expulsion of the Jews presented to Charles II. on his arrival in London in 1660, and especially by a statement in a petition of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, that “in that grand Complicacon of mischeifs brought on yor Maties good subjects by ye corrupt interest of the late usurper ye admission of Jews to a free cohabition and trade in these dominions was found to be a most heavy pressure on yor Peticonrs.[130]

lviiHow had this free settlement been brought about? It is not altogether impossible to reconstruct the story, although the materials are scanty and vague.

Cromwell’s parting speech to the Whitehall Assembly, and the continued residence of Menasseh in London, must have excited apprehension among the extreme Judeophobes. The decision of the Judges and the Protector’s threat that he and the Council would take their own course rendered a formal proclamation of Readmission by no means improbable. On the other hand, the great bulk of the nation had shown itself unfavourable to the scheme, and there was just a chance that this might stay Cromwell’s hand. This popular ill-feeling the anti-Semitic pamphleteers now set themselves to inflame. It was probably hoped by this means, if not to intimidate the Protector, at any rate to strengthen the Council in their resistance to his original programme.

The new year had scarcely dawned when the indefatigable pen of Prynne was again at work on an enlarged edition of his “Demurrer.” In this work he especially devoted himself to the legal question, amplifying by some twenty pages his argument that the expulsion by Edward I. remained valid, and could only be reversed by an Act of Parliament. In February he published Part II. of the “Demurrer,” containing a further instalment of documents relating to the history of the Jews in England in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The object of this work, which is a monument of research, and which until a generation ago was the chief printed source of our knowledge of the mediæval history of the English Jews, was to show that the Jews had never lived in England except under severe disabilities, and that they were a people of phenomenal viciousness, clippers of coin, crucifiers of children, and the blaspheming devotees of a ghastly blood cultus. Less learned, but not less virulent, was Alexander Ross, whose calumnious “View of the Jewish Religion” was published lviiiabout the same time. Several anonymous pamphleteers followed suit. The campaign does not seem to have excited much agitation, but it probably had the effect of deciding Cromwell not to attempt a public solution of the question in the sense of his own private wishes and of Menasseh’s petition.

All that was urgent he had, indeed, already done. Shortly after the termination of the Whitehall Conferences he had verbally assured the London Marranos of his personal protection, and had given them permission to celebrate divine worship after the Jewish fashion, on condition that the services were held in private houses.[131] These favours were conveyed through John Sadler, no doubt in order to avoid any further apprehensions of a reopening of the Jewish question that might be aroused by granting an audience to Menasseh. The restriction in regard to the privacy of the services shows that Cromwell had definitely resolved to adhere to his compromise with the Council and to respect the spirit of their report. Legally the Jews were entitled to celebrate divine worship in public, for, by the repeal of the Recusancy Acts by the Long Parliament in 1650, the practice of every kind of religious duty, “either of prayer, preaching, reading or expounding the Scriptures,” had been legalised, the celebration of mass being alone excepted.[132] It would, however, have been dangerous for the Jews to claim this right, and Cromwell no doubt pointed out to them that, in that case, it would be necessary to apply to Parliament for legislation, which could only have taken the form of enacting the oppressive recommendations of the Whitehall Conferences. Under these circumstances the Marranos could not but acquiesce. That their desire for synagogue services was entirely due to their Jewish piety, or was animated by a craving for martyrdom, is, lixmoreover, very unlikely. The outbreak of war with Spain had rendered it impossible for them to continue, in their guise of Nuevos Cristianos, to attend the services in the Spanish Ambassador’s chapel, and as they were bound by the Act of 1650 to resort to some place “where the service or worship of God is exercised,” they were confronted by the necessity of either posing as pseudo-Protestants or frankly practising Judaism. The former course was out of the question, especially after Hugh Peters’s condemnation of their hypocrisy at Whitehall. Hence their request to be permitted to worship as Jews. By Cromwell’s acquiescence in this request and his promise of protection a secret beginning in the way of Readmission had been informally accomplished.

This arrangement was, however, not destined to endure. It was an evasion of the will of the Whitehall Conferences—an attempt, as Graetz has well said, to readmit the Jews “nicht durch das grosse Portal sondern durch eine Hinterthür.”[133] It was condemned to failure, too, because its secret could not be kept. Even before the end of 1655 Cromwell’s intentions were known. In a scrap of a Royalist letter of intelligence, dated December 31, and preserved in the State Papers, the writer says, “The Jews, we hear, will be admitted by way of connivancy, though the generality oppose.”[134] The secret arrangement with regard to divine worship was also soon bruited abroad. In a despatch dated January 28, 1656, Salvetti, the diplomatic agent of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, informed his master that “the affair of the Jews continues in the state I have already described; meanwhile they may meet privately in their houses, but they have not yet established a synagogue.”[135] In a later despatch (February 4) he confirms lxthis information and amplifies it. “It is thought,” he writes, “that the Protector will not make any declaration in their favour, but tacitly he will connive at their holding private conventicles, which they already do, in their houses in order to avoid public scandal.”[136]

From the Royalist spies and the diplomatists the news was quickly conveyed to the anti-Semites in the City. Although the dangers of a Jewish immigration en masse and the scandal of a public synagogue had been averted, the enemies of the Jews—especially their competitors in trade—were not inclined to acquiesce without a struggle in the tacit toleration of even a small community of Hebrew merchants. But what could be done? As Jews the position of the intruders was legal, and any attempt to persecute them in that capacity would probably be resented in a disagreeable fashion by the masterful Protector. Moreover, as the most serious evils of the Jewish problem had been provided against, and the public mind was preoccupied with the war with Spain, it might be difficult to enlist a large measure of support in an agitation against the strangers. An opportunity for showing their teeth soon presented itself to the City merchants, and they were not slow to avail themselves of it.

Early in March 1656 a proclamation was issued by the Privy Council declaring all Spanish monies, merchandise, and shipping to be lawful prize. The ink of this document was scarcely dry—indeed it had not been formally published—when, on the denunciation of an informer, the house of Don Antonio Rodrigues Robles, a wealthy Spanish merchant and Marrano of Duke’s Place, City, was entered by bailiffs armed with a Privy Council warrant instructing them to “seize, secure, and keep under safe lxicustody all the goods and papers therein found.” On the same day the Commissioners of Customs, acting under a similar warrant, took possession of two ships in the Thames, the Two Brothers and the Tobias, which were believed to be Robles’s property.[137] On the face of it, this action seemed to have no connection with the Jewish question. The fact that the information on which the warrants were based was presented to the Council by so staunch a friend of the Jews as Thurloe suffices to show that its Jewish bearing was at first quite unsuspected. It was apparently the private enterprise of a perfidious scrivener named Francis Knevett, who, after obtaining the confidence of several members of the Marrano community in his professional capacity, had discovered that under the new proclamation he might betray them with advantage to himself.[138] This seems also to have been the view of Robles, for in a petition he immediately addressed to the Protector he disputed the validity of the seizures on the purely legal ground that he was a Portuguese and not a Spaniard, and that his rights as a Merchant Stranger, which were consequently unaffected by the war with Spain, had been unjustly invaded.[139] On this point the Council, to whom the petition was referred, ordered an inquiry, and one of its members, Colonel Jones, was deputed to take evidence.

Meanwhile some suspicion that the case was aimed at the newly acquired privileges of the Marranos seems to have got abroad. Many of the Jews in London were of Spanish birth, and others, though natives of Portugal, were probably endenizened Spaniards, since in their guise of Nuevos Cristianos they had held high office under the King of Spain.[140] It was clear, then, that if the case against Robles was established other prosecutions would follow, and in that way the lxiismall Jewish community would be broken up. The danger was all the greater since the protection and privileges so recently acquired by the Jews had only been granted verbally, and might easily be repudiated if public opinion proved too strong for the Protector. There was, however, no immediate reason why the leading Marranos, who had hitherto been in negotiation with Cromwell, should take up Robles’s cudgels, for he belonged to a party in the Synagogue which had imbibed strong Royalist sympathies in Holland and France, and which, consequently, had kept itself aloof from Menasseh’s Readmission campaign. They accordingly confined themselves to the presentation of a petition to the Protector, in which they asked that the “favours and protection” accorded to them, including the right of worship, might be confirmed in writing. At the same time they prayed for a license to acquire ground for a Jewish cemetery. This document was signed by Menasseh ben Israel, Antonio Fernandez Carvajal, and five other Marranos, but Robles was not among its signatories.[141]

Cromwell at once referred this petition to the Council, but the Lord President, apparently recognising that the Jewish question was coming up in a new form, held it back until the Robles case had been dealt with.[142] The fact that Robles was a Jew had, indeed, already been ascertained, and the belief that the prosecution was aimed at all his co-religionists was gaining ground owing to a new outburst of activity on the part of the anti-Semites. The anxiety of the Marranos at the shelving of their petition became accentuated by this agitation, and especially by the doubts which it seemed to be producing in the minds of some of their best friends. The wavering feeling in high places was made disagreeably manifest to them by a letter addressed to Menasseh ben Israel by John Sadler, in which that friend of the Jews lxiiipointed out that the charges of ritual murder and quasi idolatry preferred by Prynne and Ross were being widely discussed, and that a public answer to them was urgently necessary.[143] Before Menasseh’s reply was written Colonel Jones presented an interim report to the Council, from which it appeared inter alia that Knevett had filed a further information denouncing other Marranos as Spanish subjects.[144]

It was now no longer possible to ignore the existence of an anti-Jewish conspiracy. The first action of the Jews was to hurry forward the publication of Menasseh’s reply to Prynne and Ross. This took the form of the famous Vindiciæ Judæorum—the third tract printed in the present volume. It was described merely as “A Letter in Answer to certain Questions propounded by a Noble and Learned Gentleman touching the reproaches cast on the Nation of the Jewes.” The date of its appearance, however, fixes its relation to the Robles crisis, for it was published ten days after Colonel Jones’s report, while the seriousness of that crisis is strikingly illustrated by the urgent and earnest tone of the pamphlet. Menasseh evidently felt that not only his own grandiose idea of a new asylum for Israel was at stake, but that even the small progress that had been achieved towards that end was threatened by a more rigid exclusion of the Hebrew nation. He threw his whole soul into this fresh vindication of his people and their claims. Nothing, indeed, that had come from his facile pen had been more dignified, more impressive, more convincing. The vanity, the superficiality, the pretentious mysticism of his former works had gone. He was no longer playing a part even to himself. He was merely lxivthe champion of his people in a moment of their sore trial, writing from a heart whose every throb was for their welfare and their honour. The simple eloquence of this essay, its naïve garrulousness, the glimpses it yields of a pious, gentle, self-denying character, made it one of the most effective vindications of the Jews ever written. The best tribute to its value is afforded by the fact that it has since been frequently reprinted in all parts of Europe when the calumnies it denounced have been revived.

The Vindiciæ Judæorum was a fitting prelude to the dénouement that followed. With this certificate in their hands the Marranos felt that they might risk claiming their legal rights as Jews, and thus at once repudiate their Spanish nationality and challenge a settlement of their status in the country. The decision was a bold one, but there was shrewd method in its apparent rashness. If the Marranos were technically Spanish subjects, they were in reality testimonies to the intolerance of Spain which made that country, in Cromwell’s words, “the natural, the providential enemy of England,”[145] and which was one of the grounds of the war. Like the Protestant traders whose liberty of conscience had been trampled on in Spain they also had been persecuted, though in a worse form. They were fugitives from the Inquisition, and consequently had a peculiar claim on the indulgence and consistency of the English people, who at that moment were filled with righteous horror at the religious policy of the “Popish enemy.”

In pursuance of this idea Robles now addressed a fresh petition to the Protector, which reached the Council of State on the 15th April,[146] five days after the publication of the Vindiciæ. In this document the purely legal question of nationality was dropped, and Robles confined himself to reciting how he and his kindred had been persecuted by the Inquisition in Portugal and Spain, how his father had died lxvunder torture, how his mother had been crippled for life, and other members of his family burnt or sent to the galleys because they were Jews. He related that he had sought refuge in England, “intending therein to shelter himselfe from those tiranicall Proceedings and injoy those Beneffitts and Kindnesse which this Com̄onwth ever aforded to aflicted strangers.” He appealed to Cromwell’s notorious sympathy for “afflicted ones,” and especially “owr nation the Jews,” and skilfully suggested that a continuance of his prosecution would be tantamount to the introduction of the Inquisition into England. A week later affidavits confirming the statements in this petition were signed by all the leading Marranos and handed to Colonel Jones.[147] Thus the Crypto-Jews threw off their disguise. In the investigations which followed, the existence of over twenty Jewish families in London was revealed, and it was given in evidence that many of them had resided for years in the country.

These tactics produced dismay in the ranks of the anti-Semites. Knevett made a last despairing effort to construct a fresh case against the Jews by trying to bribe Robles’s servants to assist him in framing a new information. In this he failed.[148] The case was now quickly disposed of. On April 25th the Council of State, still anxious to avoid responsibility for a decision, sent all the papers to the Admiralty Commissioners, with a request for a prompt report. On May 11th the Commissioners summoned the witnesses before them, but extracted little else from them than that Robles was believed to be Portuguese, and that they were all victims of the Inquisition. On May 14th the Commissioners reported that they were unable to give a definite opinion on the question of nationality. Two days later the Council screwed up their courage to a decision, lxviand, without giving any reasons, ordered all the warrants to be discharged, and reinstated Robles in the possession of his goods, premises, and ships.[149]

The Jewish battle was won, and nothing now remained but to secure the fruits of victory in an inexpugnable form. What followed is, in detail, a matter of conjecture, but the broad lines of the settlement we know from the petition of the Corporation of the City of London, already quoted. Rights of “cohabitation and trade in these dominions” were formally accorded to the Jews in writing.[150] That this happened before the end of 1656 we may gather from a statement of Cromwell’s intimate friend, Samuel Richardson, who, in his “Plain Dealing,” published in that year, says of the Protector, “He hath owned the poor despised people of God, and advanced many of them to a better way and means of living.”[151] The first steps were probably taken on the 26th June, when the longdeferred petition of the Marranos for a license to acquire a burial-ground and for a confirmation in writing of their rights of residence and worship came up for consideration.[152] The Council, still reluctant to engage their responsibility, made no entry of the discussion in their Order Book, and it was probably arranged that Cromwell should personally confirm the Jewish right of residence, subject to an understanding that the spirit of the recommendations presented to the Council after the Whitehall Conferences should be lxviiobserved. The right to acquire a cemetery was certainly granted. Cromwell probably further engaged himself to instruct the London city authorities to place no impediments in the way of the Jews trading on an equality with other citizens.[153] On their side, the Marranos must have agreed not to assist in an indiscriminate immigration of their co-religionists, not to obtrude their worship and ceremonies on the public, not to engage in religious controversy, and not to make converts.[154] The restriction with regard to worshipping in private houses was also probably revised, and the maintenance of a synagogue, subject to the other conditions, sanctioned.[155] In February 1657 Antonio de Carvajal and another leading Marrano, Simon de Caceres, signed the lease for a Jewish cemetery in Mile End.[156] Shortly afterwards another result of the settlement was made public. Solomon Dormido, a son of David Abarbanel Dormido and nephew of Menasseh ben Israel, was admitted to the Royal Exchange as a duly licensed broker of the City of London, the authorities waiving in his favour the Christological oath essential to the induction of all brokers.[157] As wholesale trading in the City was lxviiitransacted exclusively through brokers, the admission of a Jew to that limited fraternity is a substantial proof of the acquisition of untrammelled trading rights by the new community.

The victory, it will be observed, secured to the local Marranos all they required, and in a measure realised the aims of Cromwell’s own policy. To Menasseh ben Israel, however, it was no victory: it was a compromise of a purely selfish nature, which left his idea of a proclamation of a free asylum to the persecuted and scattered remnants of Israel as remote as ever. We may be certain that he did not hide his grief or his indignation. There is indeed abundant reason for believing that he quarrelled over it with the new Jewish community. His hopes of returning to his old position in Amsterdam were shattered, for the Dutch Jews, who had always shared the Stuart sympathies of their Christian compatriots, had formally abandoned him when they found they had nothing to gain from his mission, and had opened negotiations on their own behalf with the exiled king at Bruges.[158] He might, perhaps, have secured his future by becoming Rabbi of the London community had he been content to abide by the terms of the new settlement. This, however, he sturdily refused, and although he was deserted by all his friends, and his monetary resources were exhausted, he continued from his lodging in the Strand to urge on Cromwell the issue of the proclamation on which he had set his heart.

That he must have quarrelled with the London Marranos immediately after the settlement is shown by a letter he addressed to Cromwell towards the end of 1656, in which he asked for pecuniary help, and stated that he (the Protector) was “the alone succourer of my life in this land of strangers.”[159] Cromwell responded with a gift of £25, lxixand in the following March granted him a pension of £100 a year, dating from February, and payable quarterly.[160] Unfortunately this pension was never paid, and Menasseh became overwhelmed with cares.[161] Nevertheless, for six months longer he doggedly pursued his mission. In September 1657 his only surviving son, Samuel ben Israel, who had remained with him in England, died.[162] Then his spirit broke. Begging a few pounds from the Protector[163] he turned his steps homewards, carrying with him the corpse of his son.

A broken and beggared man he met his family at Middelburg, in Zeeland. He was now bent with premature age. The comely, good-tempered face, with its quizzing eyes and dandyish moustache, so familiar to us in Rembrandt’s etching, had become hollow-cheeked and hollow-eyed. From the crow’s-feet under the temples the whiskers had grown wildly until they formed a white patriarchal beard.[164] It was the wintering touch of the hand of death. Two months later Menasseh died of a broken heart at the house of his brother-in-law, Ephraim Abarbanel, in the fifty-third year of his age.[165]

VI. The Real “Vindiciæ”

One more question remains to be elucidated. How did the seemingly precarious settlement of the London Jews manage to survive the wreck of the Commonwealth?

Both Menasseh and Cromwell had builded more solidly than they knew. If the solution of the Jewish question arrived at towards the end of 1656 was not wholly satisfactory, lxxit was precisely in that fact that its real strength lay. Experimental compromise is the law of English political progress. From the strife of wills represented in its extremer forms by Cromwell’s lofty conception of religious liberty on the one hand, and by the intolerance of the sectaries on the other, had emerged a compromise which conformed to this law, and which consequently made the final solution of the question an integral part of English political evolution. The great merit of the settlement was that while it disturbed little, it gave the Jews a future in the country on the condition that they were fitted to possess it.

The fact that in its initial stage it disturbed so little rendered it easy for Charles II. to connive at it. Had Menasseh ben Israel’s idea been realised in its entirety, the task of the restored Monarchy would have been more difficult. London would have been overrun by destitute Polish and Bohemian Jews driven westward by persecution, some fanaticised by their sufferings, others plying the parasitic trades into which commercial and industrial disabilities had driven the denizens of the Central European Jewries.[166] Many of them would have become identified with the wild Judaical sectaries who were the bitterest enemies of the Stuarts, while the others would have given new life to the tradition of Jewish usury, which for nearly four hundred years had been only an historical reminiscence in the country. Under these circumstances, we can well conceive that a re-expulsion of the Jews might have been one of the first tasks of the Restoration.

From this calamity England and the Jews were saved by the restricted character of the compromise of 1656. When the Commonwealth fell to pieces the Jewish community of London consisted only of some forty or fifty families of wealthy and enterprising merchants, scarcely lxxidistinguishable in their bearing and mode of life from the best kinds of merchant-strangers hailing from Amsterdam, Bordeaux, Lisbon, Cadiz, and Leghorn.

Nevertheless, efforts to procure their expulsion were not wanting. Royalists who recognised in them a relic of the hated Commonwealth, merchants whose restricted economic science resented their activity and success, and informers who imagined that their toleration was a violation of English law, set to work early to denounce them. These manœuvres began, indeed, as soon as the breath was out of Cromwell’s body. Only a few weeks after the Protector’s death a petition was presented to Richard Cromwell demanding the expulsion of the Jews and the confiscation of their property.[167] At the same time, Thomas Violet, the notorious informer and pamphleteer, made a collection of documents bearing on the illegality of the Jewish settlement, which he submitted to Mr. Justice Tyril, together with an application that the law should be set in motion against the intrusive community. The worthy Justice shrewdly suggested to Mr. Violet that in the then confused political situation he would do well to take no action. It would, he opined, be only prudent to await the establishment of a stable Government before moving in so serious a matter.

A few months later Charles II. re-entered London, and the Commonwealth was at an end. Naturally, everybody looked to the new régime to redress the particular grievance or grievances he harboured against “the late execrable Usurper,” and the anti-Jewish party was particularly prompt in its representations under this head. Scarcely had Charles arrived in the Metropolis when the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London presented to him a humble petition, bitterly complaining of the action of Cromwell in permitting the Jews to re-enter the land, and asking the lxxiiKing “to cause the former laws made against the Jews to be put in execution, and to recommend to your two Houses of Parliament to enact such new ones for the expulsion of all professed Jews out of your Majesty’s dominions, and to bar the door after them with such provisions and penalties, as in your Majesty’s wisdom should be found most agreeable to the benefits of religion, the honour of your Majesty, and the good and welfare of your subjects.”[168] The long pent-up wrath of the City found full expression in this petition, which must be read in its entirety to be appreciated. Thomas Violet followed with another petition, which was equally violent.[169] He declared that by law it was a felony for any Jew to be found in England. He did not, however, propose their expulsion, as he did not think that would be the best way of turning them to profitable account. His suggestion was in the first place that all their estates and properties should be confiscated, and then that they should be cast into prison and kept there until ransomed by their wealthy brethren abroad. A third petition, dated November 30, 1660, is preserved among the Domestic State Papers, but the names of the authors are not given. It runs very much on the lines of the City petition, but it admits the hypothesis of Jews residing in England under license, provided they were heavily taxed.[170]

No direct reply to any of these petitions is recorded. The views of the new Government are, however, no mystery. In the first place, there was no real Jewish question in the country, inasmuch as the Jews were very few, their character was above reproach, and the practice of their religion was conducted with so much tact and prudence that it was impossible in sober truth to be moved by Violet’s impassioned complaint of “a great dishonour of Christianity and public scandal of the true Protestant religion.”[171] Consequently lxxiiithe Government were free to consider the question exclusively from the point of view of secular politics. Once regarded in this light the conclusion could not be long in doubt. Cromwell’s maritime and commercial policy had been adopted by the statesmen of the Restoration, and the success of this policy—represented by the re-enacted Navigation Act—depended to no inconsiderable extent on toleration of the Jews.

Moreover, Charles was under personal obligations to the Jews, and had assured them of his protection even before he came by his own. The Jews of Amsterdam, and some of the wealthier Jews in London, had assisted him during his exile, especially the great family of Mendez da Costa and Augustin Coronel, the agent for Portugal and a personal friend of Monk.[172] Shortly after the mission of Menasseh ben Israel to Cromwell these Jews had approached Charles II. at Bruges and had assured him that they had neither assisted nor approved the Rabbi’s negotiations. Thereupon General Middleton had been instructed to treat with them for their support to the Royalist cause, and Charles had promised that “they shall find when God shall restore his Majesty that he would extend that protection to them which they could reasonably expect, and abate that rigour of the law which was against them in his several dominions.”[173] That these negotiations were not without practical result is beyond question, for the Da Costas and Coronels, as well as several other Jewish families, were exceedingly active on Charles’s behalf during the last few years of the Commonwealth.

It must not be imagined that this Royalist activity represented any double-dealing on the part of the Jews. Those who, like Carvajal and De Caceres, had fled direct from the Inquisition to England, were faithful to Cromwell to the end. The Royalist Jews were men who had acquired their Cavalier sympathies in France and Holland, and shared lxxivthem with their Christian fellow-citizens in those countries. None of them were parties to the negotiations with Cromwell in 1655–56, and none had ever affected Puritan sympathies. They probably had conscientious objections to Republicanism, for they were of the aristocratic Sephardi branch of Israel, with some of the bluest blood of Spain in their veins and immense wealth in their strong-boxes. Their dissent from their Puritan brethren was an early illustration of the falsity of the hypothesis of Jewish political solidarity, which is to this day a cherished delusion of the anti-Semites.

Charles II. did not confine himself to ignoring the anti-Semitic petitions. Having made up his mind that the Jews should be protected, he sought, like Cromwell, to throw the responsibility for his decision on the Constitutional Government. Before the end of 1660 an Order of the Lords in Council was sent to the House of Commons, recommending that measures should be taken for the protection of the Jews.[174] There is no record of any such measures having been adopted. It was probably felt that the most convenient course to pursue was to continue the policy of personal connivance inaugurated by Cromwell, as by that means men’s minds would be least disturbed, and an experiment which was likely to produce good results would not be hampered. Moreover, should the experiment fail, it would be all the easier to deal with it if it had not received any legislative sanction.

Accordingly, the Jews passed from the personal protection of Cromwell to that of Charles. In 1664, when an attempt was made by the Earl of Berkshire and Mr. Ricaut to obtain their expulsion, the King in Council disavowed the scheme, and assured the Jews “that they may promise themselves the effects of the same favour as formerly they have had so long as they demean themselves peaceably and quietly with due obedience to his Majesty’s laws and without scandal to his Government.[175]” A similar course was lxxvtaken by the Privy Council in 1673 and 1685, when attempts were made by informers to prosecute the Jews for the exercise of their religion.[176] Finally the King marked his personal gratitude to the Jews by knighting Coronel soon after the Restoration, and by a generous distribution of patents of denization among the members of the Synagogue.[177]

Thus the Cromwellian settlement was confirmed, and the path was definitely opened by which the Jews might win their way to the citizenship of the United Kingdom.

How that path was successfully trodden is a story which cannot be told in detail here. Its main feature, however, must be briefly referred to, for it supplies the justification for the campaign which Menasseh ben Israel and Oliver Cromwell waged so gallantly on behalf of the Hebrew people in the first half of the seventeenth century.

The Jews won their way to English citizenship not because they remained the servi cameræ, which had been their status under the Norman and Angevin kings, and which they had practically resumed under the Protectorate and the Restoration, but because they literally realised the portraiture of the Hebrew citizen which Menasseh ben Israel vainly placed before the British nation in 1655 in his tract, De Fidelitate et utilitate Judaicæ Gentis. In this way they gradually substituted for the personal protection of the Crown the sympathy and confidence of the nation.

Their old enemies in the City of London were their first converts. The wealth they brought into the country, and their fruitful commercial activity, especially in the colonial trade, soon revealed them as an indispensable element of the prosperity of the City.[178] As early as 1668 Sir Josiah Child, the millionaire governor of the East lxxviIndia Company, pleaded for their naturalisation on the score of their commercial utility.[179] For the same reason the City found itself compelled at first to connive at their illegal representation on ’Change, and then to violate its own rules by permitting them to act as brokers without previously taking up the Freedom.[180] At this period they controlled more of the foreign and colonial trade than all the other alien merchants in London put together. The momentum of their commercial enterprise and stalwart patriotism proved irresistible. From the Exchange to the City Council Chamber, thence to the Aldermanic Court, and eventually to the Mayoralty itself, were inevitable stages of an emancipation to which their large interests in the City and their high character entitled them. Finally the City of London—not only as the converted champion of religious liberty but as the convinced apologist of the Jews—sent Baron Lionel de Rothschild to knock at the doors of the unconverted House of Commons as parliamentary representative of the first city in the world.

Jewish emancipation in England was, in short, the work of the English democracy—almost of the same democracy which in the thirteenth century had spued the Hebrews forth, when their kingly protectors had made their residence in the land conditional on their acting as the usurious instruments of the Royal Exchequer, and which in the seventeenth had resented their readmission under the influence of deeply rooted prejudices, inherited from that dark age. It was no mere homage to the abstract principle of Religious Liberty like the emancipations on the Continent which, in the name of the Rights of Man, suddenly called forth the oppressed Jews from their Ghettos and bade them take up a new life, from which they were sundered by centuries of mediæval seclusion. Religious Liberty in England broadened on more cautious lines. Dissenters, Roman Catholics, and lxxviiJews have each been taken into the bosom of the nation by separate legislative action, and as the result of practical demonstrations of the futility, nay, the disadvantage, of their exclusion. The gradual emancipation of the English Jews, first socially and then in the municipalities, enabled them to show that their civic qualities entitled them to the fullest rights of citizenship; and it was the realisation of this fact—not by statesmen or philosophers, but by their neighbours and fellow-citizens themselves—that eventually gave them the position they now enjoy.

The story of Jewish emancipation in England is the true Vindiciæ Judæorum—the avenging of Menasseh’s broken heart and the vindication of his touching trust in his people. It is something more. It is one of many justifications of that fine conception of statecraft, deeply rooted in infinite sympathy with human freedom, which is the secret of Britain’s greatness, and of which Oliver Cromwell must ever be regarded as the typical exponent in English history.

VII. Documents

The following is a selection of the documents referred to in the foregoing narrative. They have been selected chiefly on account of their personal bearing on Menasseh’s efforts:—

1. Fragment of a letter from Menasseh ben Israel to an unknown correspondent in London (Harl. Miscel., vol. vii. p. 623). The original was probably in French or Latin:—

Amsterdam, September 5407 [1647].

Senhor, no pueda enar! that is, sir, I cannot express the joy that I have when I read your letters, full of desires to see your country prosperous, which is heavily afflicted with civil wars, without doubt by the just judgment of God. And it should not be in vain to attribute it to the punishment of your predecessor’s faults, committed against ours; when ours being deprived of their liberty under deceitfulness, lxxviiiso many men were slain only because they kept close under the tenets of Moses, their legislator.”

2. Abstract of a letter relating to the “Hope of Israel” from Menasseh ben Israel to John Dury (Thorowgood, “Jews in America,” 1650, p. xvii). The original seems to have been in French:—

Amsterdam, November 25, [1649].

“By the occasion of the questions you propose unto me concerning this adjoyned Narrative of Mr. Antonio Montezinos, I, to give you satisfaction, have written instead of a Letter a Treatise, which I shortly will publish & whereof you shall receive so many copies as you desire. In this Treatise I handle of the first inhabitants of America which I believe were of the ten Tribes; moreover that they are scattered also in other Countries, & that they keep their true Religion, as hoping to returne againe into the Holy Land in due time.”

3. Portion of a letter on the same subject from Menasseh ben Israel to John Dury (Thorowgood, ibid.). Like the foregoing, the original was in French:—

Amsterdam, December 23, 1649.

“[In my Treatise] I declare how that our Israelites were the first finders out of America; not regarding the opinions of other men, which I thought good to refute in few words onely; and I thinke that the ten Tribes live not onely there, but also in other lands scattered every where; these never did come backe to the second Temple, & they keep till this day still the Jewish Religion, seeing all the Prophecies which speake of their bringing backe unto their native soile must be fulfilled: So then at their appointed time, all the Tribes shall meet from all the parts of the world into two provinces, namely Assyria and Egypt, nor shall their kingdome be any more divided, but they shall have one Prince the Messiah the Sonne of David. I do also set forth the Inquisition of Spaine, and rehearse diuers of our Nation, & also of Christians, Martyrs, who in our times have suffered seuerall sorts of torments, & then having shewed with what great honours our Jews have been graced also by severall Princes who professe Christianity. I proue at large, that the day of the promised Messiah unto us doth draw neer, upon which occasion I explaine many Prophecies.”

lxxix4. Letter from Menasseh ben Israel to Paul Felgenhauer (Bonum Nuncium Israeli, pp. 87 et seq.):—

D. Paulo Felgenhauer,
Salutem & Benedictionem, à
Deo Israelis reprecatur,
Menasseh Ben Israel.

Bonum istud, in novissimis & afflictissimis hisce temporibus populo Israeli à te, Vir spectatissime, allatum Nuncium, tanto fuit animo meo gratius, quo, post tot seculorum aerumnas & tam diu protractas spes nostras, flagrantius idipsum exoptare non desino; modò præ rei magnitudine verbis tuis fides constare possit. Siccine, Bonarum rerum Nuncie bone, in procinctune jam est, ut adveniat Deus noster, Miserator Nostrum, utque nobis Desiderium tot seculorum, Messiam caput nostrum, tam brevi sit missurus? Siccine tempus illud imminere ais, quo Deus; hactenus offensus & aversus à nobis, iterum Populum suum consolabitur, & redimet non solum â Captivitate hac plusquam Babylonicâ, à servitute plusquam Ægyptiacâ in qua jam elanguit præ morâ, sed & ab iniquitatibus suis, in quibus quasi consumptus est! Vtinam tam Verum esset, quam Bonum Nuncium tuum, tibique, tam Credere possem quàm vellem! Utcunque quæ ad gaudii nostri confirmationem ex scriptis Propheticis Signa adfers Adventus Messiæ (ut fatear quod res est) lubens amplector; & quo plus animo meo volvuntur ea, hoc magis spes mihi inde aliqua affulgere videtur.

Ad Primum quod attinet, apud nostros Rabbinos id signum in confesso est: quum enim necesse sit Imperia hujus mundi omnia corruere, antequam Regnum & Potestas & Magnitudo Regni detur Populo sanctorum Altissimi, cui omnes Reges servire & obedire oportet, inde non obscure sequitur, immediatè ante adventum illum Messiæ & Instaurationem Regni ipsius, magnas Conturbationes, Tumultus, seditiones, intestina & crudelissima Bella, Regnorum & Populorum hinc inde devastationes præcedere debere; Quæres quod brevi sit effectum sortitura, ex præsenti Imperiorum Mundi facie vero haud dissimile videtur.

De Elia, secundo Adventus Messiæ nostri signo, quod ais, non diffitemur, quin & gaudemus maxime, quod in eo nos Judæi cum selectissimis Christiani Nominis Viris, in unam eandemque sententiam concurrimus, fore illum ex nostrâ Gente oriundum. Verum enim vero Elias ille cum nondum comparuerit nobis, eo usque saltem suspendatur spes nostra necesse est: adeo ut, donec illum Deus nobis revelaverit, certi & indubitati quicquam de Messiæ Adventu statuere minus tuum videatur.

lxxxDe Tertio isto Adventus Messiæ signo quod ais, nempe de hac Regni Israelis per totum Terrarum orbem prædicatione, id mihi non solum verisimile videtur, sed & tale quid jam in lucem prorumpere & effectum sortiri haud obscurè videmus: quin & Prædicatorem istorum haud contemnendus numerus mihi ipsi per literas innotuit, qui ex diversis mundi partibus ad consolandum Sionem prodierunt; inter alios Viros Nobilitate & Doctrinâ insignes, qui ad manum jam sunt. En ex Silesia habemus Abrahamum à Frankenberg, ex Borussiâ Joh. Mochingerum, ex Galliâ Autorem Libelli Gallico idiomate editi, Du rappel des Juifs. Ex Angliâ quos non? Nuper auctoritate publicâ Nathanael Homerius, SS. Theol. Doctor, librum in folio edidit anglico idiomate, de hac ipsa materiâ; & D. Henricus Jesse, nobis librum Belgico idiomate de Gloriâ Jehudæ & Israelis; publicè dedicavit. Plures allegare possem, qui instar Nubeculæ istius 1 Reg. 18 (quam Elias ascendentem de mari vidit, & subito in tantam molem excrevit ut totum Cœli expansum contegeret) Indies numero & virtute accrescunt, donec tandem totum Terrarum ambitum prædicatione suâ sint completuri: Vt autē aliquod hajus rei specimen, ad testimonium tuum confirmandum tibi, mi Paule prebeam; selegi tibi aliquot Virorum istorum ad me literas, quæ jam præ manibus habebam, quas legere poteris, & mecum gaudere, de ijs qui dicunt nobis, Ibimus in domum Domini, stabunt adhuc pedes nostri in atriis tuis Ierusalem; qui ad cor Ierusalem loquuntur, prædicantes salutem & dicentes Sioni, Deus tuus Regnabit.

Sed præter hæc mitto quoque ad Te, Vir Doctissime, autographum Panegyrici cujusdam quem meo Nomini inscripsit D. Immanuel Bocarus Frances y Rosales alias Jacobus Rosales Hebræus, Mathematicus & Medicinæ Doctor eximius, quem Imperator Nobilitatis Insignibus & Comitis Palatini dignitate donavit; idque eâ potissimum intentione mitto, ut videat Dominus exstare adhuc & discerni ad hunc usque diem surculos ex stirpe Davidicâ ortum ducentes. Denique ut desiderio tuo faciam satis, en quoque Catalogum librorum, quos vel in lucem edidi jam, vel edendos penes me in parato habeo, sive Latino sive Hispanico idiomate. Hisce te Deo Patrum nostrorum ejusque gratiæ & benignitati animitus commendo, Datum Amsterodami An. 1655, die 1 Febr.

5. Enclosures in the foregoing, being a letter from Nathaniel Holmes, with a postscript by Henry Jessey (Bonum Nuncium Israeli, pp. 103–106):—

Nunc sequitur Clarissimi Viri, Nathanaelis Homesii SS. Theol. lxxxiDoctoris Anglici ad me Epistolium, datum 24 Decemb. An. 1649, cum Subscriptione Reverendi D. Henrici Jesse ei annexâ.

Decemb. 24, 1649.

Animus mihi fuit, citius adte scribendi, Vir egregie, otium non fuit, Nec hodie ita mihi vacat, ut menti meæ, tantisque tuis scriptis (quamvis expectatione paucioribus) satisfaciam. Nondum de loco decem Tribuum, ex tuis literis responsum accepi; quod in meis desideratum fuit; non astu, vel curiositate. Veritatem insequor, ne Impostores pro Ebræis nobis obstrudantur. Scripsit quidam nuperime, Innodos Novæ Angliæ decem Tribubus esse prognatos. Alii Tartyros esse contendunt. Alii alios. Discrucior animi, ne fallar, usque dum literas tuæ me fecerint certiorem. Delectari videris D. Nicolai Apologiâ. Spero (ne glorier) te plura (ne dicam majora) visurum, meo de Mille Annis prodeunte tractatu. Quod opus ita me tenet occupatum, ut meæ ad te ituræ morentur literæ. Martyres in tuis literis vox est; quæ, ni fallor, veteri Testamento haud innotuit. Verum sub Novo, viri celebres, Christum, ejusque Evangelium, ad mortem asserentes, primi illud nomen obtinuerunt. Facilè tamen concedo, quoslibet veritatis alicujus testes, Martyres Græce dictos fuisse. Sed (parcatur nostræ libertati Conscientiæ, quam lubentissimè tibi inter scribendum indulsero) nec pontificii jam post Concilium Tridentinum ullatenus habeantur propriè Christiani: nec Martyrium esse mihi videatur, pro hodiernâ Legis Mosaicæ observatione animam deponere. Quippe Lex illa quoad usum, ex plurimis veteris Testamenti suffragiis, ante hoc abolenda esset. Deut. 18, v. 18, 19. Psal. 50. v. 6–15, 23. Iesaiæ 66, v. 1–3. Vt olim multis jam annis transactis, Iudei ubi maxima indulgetur libertas non sacrificantes, vosmetipsos tamen vere Deum colere arbitramini, Libet tamen, non obstanti hâc dicendi libertate nos edoceri, dedocerique, quâ in re â veritate subsidimus, vel hallucinamur. Tractatum itaque quem nominas De debito Christianorum erga Ebræos affectu, mittas; ut quantum in me est, typis mandetur, & in publicum promoveamus. De tempore adventus Messiæ quod incertum pronuncias, idque incertum comprobares experientiâ; in promptu est responsio; Illud Danieli prius ignoranti, tandem revelatum est; idque ex libris illius, nobis. Et quamvis nonnulli (quos nominas) computando hallucinantes, in errorum gyris, & labyrintho sunt involuti; non tamen hâc ratione deponendæ sunt de eâ re (tanquam nullius usus) Prophetiæ. Quippe quod expectamus, Danielis more cap. 9. v. 2 & v. 21. ut jam Vesperi ætatem, quo propius accedunt lxxxiiliberationum periodi, eo clarius elucescant revelationes ad easdem spectantes. Ægyptii Ethnicorum barbariores (te teste Egregie Vir) nascendum Mosen præsentiscebant, nescientibus tunc Israelitis natum Liberatorem. Quidni etiam Christiani Scripturas amplexi, adventum vestræ Messiæ secundum præviderent? In cujus adventu, (pace eruditionis vestræ asserentis, quod stupens mirabar, Vestram salutem in ejus Adventu non esse sitam) fundatur nostra, præsertim vestra æterna salus. Si enim verum foret, eum nondum venisse, & posthæc illum venturum ambigitur, labitur omnis prophetiarum Compages, totumque veteris Testamenti Systema ruit. Et ita de Scripturarum veritate actum est; ut de salute tum nostrâ, tum vestrâ actum est. Quæ si quippiam asserere videantur, Christi Messiæ passionem (Psal. 22. Isa. 53) resurrectionem (Psal. 16) ascensionem (Psal. 68) sessionem ad dextram Patris (Psal. 110) potestatem super omnia regnantem, more Adami novissime creati (Psal. 2. Psal. 8) omnino asserunt. Quæ omnia acurate comparata, Messiæ Filii Davidis adventum, abitumque, reditumque, elenchicè satis demonstrant. Non novum urgeo Testamentum, quod æquis miraculorum portentis nobis commendatum fuit, ut vetus Israeli. Vobis tamen Hebræis libentissimè favemus, utinamque plus multò favere possemus; quamvis nec Meritum, nec pro merito (vox Bibliis ignota) quicquam expectamus. Merces ex gratiâ datur non merito. Malum possumus, qui perfecte peccamus, mereri; bonum in quo omnimodo deficimus. Malum itaque pro nostro, bonum pro Christi merito (si voce utar) nobis compensatur. Hominum (fateor) alter de altero mereri dicatur, ut egomet tibi (vir Candidissime) pro tuis literis me multum debere agnosco. Quin & universa vestræ Nationi, flexis genibus servire molior, ut sive Nos Vobis, Vosvè Nobis facti Proselytæ utrique juxta Isaiam, & Ezechielem, cæterosque Prophetas, in unam coeamus ecclesiam. Nec non (confido) dilectissimus noster Iesseus idem meditatur; cui literas communicavi tuas, ad me missas. Pudet multum me tamdiu siluisse, verum tibi rescribenti, duplâ quoad possim diligentiâ compensabitur.

A Tui Observantissimo,
Nathanaele Homesio.

Tuis hisce ex animo attestatur, assentitur, negociis à scribendo jam detentus, qui Sionis pulverem commiseratur, qui hæc propriâ manu subscripsi

H. Iesse.”

6. Original French text of Menasseh ben Israel’s demands lxxxiiion behalf of the Jews presented to Oliver Cromwell (S. P., Dom. Inter., ci. 115).

Ce sont icy les graces et les faveurs qu’au nom de ma nation hebreue moy, Menasseh ben Israel, requiers a vostre serenissime altesse que dieu fasse prosperer et donne heureux succez en toutes ses entreprises comme son humble serviteur lui souhaitte et desire.

I. La premiere chose que je demande a vostre Altesse est que nostre nation hebreue sont reçeue et admise en cestee puissant republique sous la protection et garde de vostre altesse comme les cittoiens mesmes et pour plus grande securité au temps advenir je supplie votre altesse de faire jurer (si elle l’a pour aggréable) à tous ses chefs et generaux d’armes de nous deffendre en toutes occasions.

II. Quil plaise a vostre altesse nous permettre synagogues publiques non seulement en Angleterre, mais aussi en touts austres lieux de conqueste qui sont sous la puissance de Vostre Altesse et d’observer en tout nostre religion comme nous devons.

III. Que nous puissions avoir un lieu ou cimetiere hors la ville pour enterrer nos morts sans estre molestes d’aucun.

IV. Qu’il nos soit permis de trafiquer librement en toute sorte de marchandise comme les autres.

V. Que (afin que ceux qui vendront soyent pour l’utilité des citoyens et viven san porter prejudice à aucun ni donner scandale) vostre serenissime Altesse elise un personne de qualité pour informer et recevoir passeport de ceux qui entreront, les quels estant arrivez le faira scavoir et les obligera de jurer et garder fidélité a vostre Altesse en ce peix.

VI. Et pour n’estre point à charge aux juges du peix touchaut les contestations et differents qui peuvent arriver entre ceux de nostre nation que vostre serenissime Altesse donne licence aux chef de la synagogue de prendre avec soy deux ausmoniers de sa nation pour accorder et juger tous les differents de procez conforme à la loy Mosayque avec liberté toutefois d’appeler de leur sentence aux juges civils déposant premierement la somme à laquelle la partye aurait esté condamnée.

VII. Que si paradventure il y avait quelques loix contraires à nostre nation juifve que premierement et avant toutes choses elles soient revoquées affin que par ce moien la nous puissons demeurer avec plus grande securité sous la sauvegarde et protection de vostre serenissime Altesse.

Lesquelles choses nous concedant vostre serenissime Altesse nous demeurerons toujours les très affectionnés et obligez à prier Dieu pour lxxxivla prospérité de vostre Altesse et de vostre illustre et très sage conseil. Qu’il luy plaise donner heureux succez à toutes lés enterprises de vostre Serenissime Altesse Amen.

7. Circular issued by Cromwell’s Council convening the Whitehall Conference (S.P. Dom. Inter., i. 76, 1655, pp. 378–79).

Sir,—His Highness the Lord Protector and the Council having determined of a certain number of persons (whereof yourself is one) to meet with a Committee of the Council on Tuesday the fourth of December next in ye afternoon neare the Council Chambers in Whitehall to the intent some proposalls made to his Highness in reference to the nation of the Jewes may be considered of you are therefore desired by his Highness & the Council to take notice thereof & so meet at the said time and place for the purpose aforesaid.

Signed in the name &
by order of the Council
He. Lawrence
16 Novem. 1655.”

8. Report of the Sub-Committee of the Council of State after the Conferences at Whitehall (S. P., Dom. Inter., ci. 118).

That the Jewes deservinge it may be admitted into this nation to trade and trafficke and dwel amongst us as providence shall give occasion.[181]

“That as to poynt of conscience we judge lawfull for the magistrate to admit in case such materiall and weighty considerations as hereafter follow be provided for, about which till we are satisfyed we cannot but in conscience suspend our resolution in this case.

“1. That the motives and grounds upon which Menasseh ben Israel in behalfe of the rest of his nation in his booke lately printed in this English tongue desireth their admission in this commonwealth are such as we conceave to be very sinfull for this or any Christian state to receave them upon.

lxxxv“2. That the danger of seducinge the people of this nation by their admission in matters of religion is very great.

“3. That their havinge of synagogues or any publicke meetings for the exercise of their worship or religion is not only evill in itselfe, but likewise very scandalous to other Christian churches.

“4. That their customes and practices concerninge marriage and divorce are unlawfull and will be of very evill exemple amongst us.

“5. That principles of not makinge concience of oathes made and injuryes done to Christians in life, chastity, goods or good name have bin very notoriously charged upon them by valuable testimony.

“6. That great prejudice is like to arise to the natives of this commonwealth in matter of trade, which besides other dangers here mentioned we find very commonly suggested by the inhabitants of the city of London.

“7. We humbly represent.

“I. That they be not admitted to have any publicke Judicatoryes, whether civill or ecclesiasticall, which were to grant them terms beyond the condition of strangers.

“II. That they be not admitted eyther to speake or doe anythinge to the defamation or dishonour of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ or of the Christian religion.

“III. That they be not permitted to doe any worke or anythinge to the prophanation of the Lord’s Day or Christian sabbath.

“IV. That they be not admitted to have Christians to dwell with them as their servants.

“V. That they bear no publicke office or trust in this commonwealth.

“VI. That they be not allowed to print anything which in the least opposeth the Christian religion in our language.

“VII. That so farre as may be not suffered to discourage any of their owne from usinge or applyinge themselves to any which may tend to convince them of their error and turn them to Christianity. And that some severe penalty be imposed upon them who shall apostatize from Christianity to Judaisme.”

9. Petition of the London Marranos to Oliver Cromwell (S. P., Dom. Inter., cxxv. 58):—

“To His Highnesse Oliver Lord Protector of the Com̄onwelth of England, Scotland & Ireland & the Dominions thereof.

“The Humble Petition of The Hebrews at Present Residing in this citty of London whose names ar vnderwritten

lxxxvi“Humbly sheweth

“That Acknolledging The manyfold favours and Protection yor Highnesse hath bin pleased to graunt vs in order that wee may with security meete priuatley in owr particular houses to our Deuosions, And being desirous to be favoured more by yor Highnesse wee pray with all Humblenesse yr by the best meanes which may be such Protection may be graunted vs in Writting as that wee may therewth meete at owr said priuate deuosions in owr Particular houses without feere of Molestation either to owr persons famillys or estates, owr desires Being to Liue Peacebly under yo Highnes Gouernement, And being wee ar all mortall wee allsoe Humbly pray yor Highnesse to graunt vs License that those which may dey of owr nation may be buryed in such place out of the cittye as wee shall thineke conuenient with the Proprietors Leaue in whose Land this place shall be, and soe wee shall as well in owr Lifetyme, as at owr death be highly fauoured by yor Highnesse for whose Long Lyfe and Prosperity wee shall continually pray To the allmighty God.”

Menasseh Ben Israel.
David Abrabanel.
Abraham Israel Caruajal.
Abraham Coen Gonzales.
Jahacob De Caceres.
Abraham Israel De Brito.
Isak Lopes Chillon.
Oliver P.
Wee doe referr this Peticon
to the Consideracon of yr Councill.
March ye 24th
ye 25 March 1656
dd by the Lord Presidt
Gentlemen ye 26
June 1656.”

10. Petition of Menasseh ben Israel to Oliver Cromwell, probably written at the end of 1656 (S. P., Dom. Inter., cliii. 122):—

“To his Highness the Lord Protector.

“May it please your Highnesse, what modestie forbidds necessitie (that ingens telum) compells; that having bene long time very lxxxviisickly (an expensive condition) I make my moan to your Highnesse, as the alone succourer of my life, in this land of strangers, to help in this present exigence. I shall not presume to prescribe to your Highnesse but havinge had great experience of your greatnesse in compassions as well as in majestie, I lay myselfe at your feet, that am your infinit obliged supplicant & servant

Menasseh Ben Israel.”

11. Further petition from Menasseh ben Israel to Oliver Cromwell. It is endorsed “17 Sep. 1657” (S. P., Dom. Inter., clvi. 89):—

“To his Highnesse, the Lord Protector, the humble petition of Menasseh Ben Israel.

“May it please your Highnesse, my only sonne, being now dead in my house, who before his departure, engaged me to accompany his corps to Holland, & I indebted here, I know not which way to turn mee but (under God) to your Highnesse for help in this condition, emploring your bowells of compassion (which I know are great & tender) to supply me with three hundred pounds, & I shall surrender my pension seal & never trouble or charge your Highnesse any more, I am very sensible considering your great past kindnesse (which with all thankfullnesse I acknowledge) how highly-bold this my petition is, but the necessitie of my present exigence & my experience of your admirable graciousnesse to mee have layd mee prostrat at your feet, crying, Help, most noble prince, for God’s sake, your most humble supplicant

Menasseh Ben Israel.”

12. Petition on behalf of the widow of Menasseh ben Israel, addressed to Richard Cromwell by John Sadler (S. P., Dom. Inter., cc. 8):—

“To his Highness the Lord Protector the humble petition of John Sadler.

“Sheweth that although your petitioner being often pressed to present petitions in behalf of the Jewes did rather dissuade their comming hither, yet by some letters of your late royall father & others of note in this nation some of their synagogs were encouraged to send hither one of their cheife rabbines, Menasseh Ben Israel, for admittance & some freedome of trade in some of these ilands. And when he had stayed heere so long, that he was allmost ashamed to lxxxviiireturne to those that sent him or to exact their maintenance heere where they found so little success after so many hopes, it pleased his Highnes & the councell to setle on the said Menasseh a pension of 100£ a yeare which ere long he offered to resigne for 300£ for present satisfaction of debts & other pressures which lay so heavy on him that at length he submitted to resigne his former pension for a new grant of 200£ to be presently paid as the councell ordered.

“But notwithstanding his stay & expense in procuring several seales, he never gott one penny of the said 200£ but at length with his heart ever broken with griefe on losing heer his only sonne and his presious time with all his hopes in this iland he got away with so much breath as lasted, till he came to Midleburg & then he dyed. Leaving a poore desolate widow (with other relations) who solemnly professed she had not money enough to lay him in the sepulchres of his fathers, but for the charity of some that lent or gave them money. It pleased allso your Highess late father to receive one or 2 of the same poore widowes letters to your petitioner (whom they both trusted in that business) & with his owne hands to commit them to the especiall care of Mr. secretary Thurloe who hath also divers times minded the same, but your Highness exchequer is so charged that there is little hope of obteining it there.

“May it please your Highnesse in compassion to the said poore widow & relations of a man so eminent & famous in his owne & meny other nations & for the honour of Christian religion with many other reasons, to order the said 200£ out of the contingencies for the councell or some other treasure where it may be speedily had and without fees allso if it may be according to former orders.

“And your petitioner shall desire to pray.”

 PEREGRINANDO QVÆRIMVS. MENASSEH BEN ISRAEL THEOLOGVS ET PHILOSOPHVS HEBRÆVS. ÆTATIS SVA ANNO XXXVIII ANNO MDCXLII Salom Doctrina hic volúit volúitg Modestia pingi.   An poterit vúltús charta referre dúos? Hos orúlos, hæc ora vide. Conucuit útrinque.   Illa fúos vúltús dixit, & illa fúos. D.I.
An Hebrew Divine, and
Newly extant, and Printed at Amsterdam,
and Dedicated by the Author, to
the High Court, the Parliament of England,
and to the Councell of State,
The second Edition corrected and amended.
Whereunto are added,
In this second Edition, some Discourses
upon the point of the Conversion of the
By Moses Wall.
Printed by R. I. for Livewell Chapman at the Crowne in Popes-Head Alley, 1652.

Parliament, The Supream Court of England,
And to the Right Honourable the Councell of State, Menasseh Ben Israel, prayes God to give Health, and all Happinesse:

It is not one cause alone (most renowned Fathers) which useth to move those, who desire by their Meditations to benefit Mankind, and to make them come forth in publique, to dedicate their Books to great Men; for some, and those the most, are incited by Covetousnesse, that they may get money by so doing, or some peece of Plate of gold, or Silver; sometimes also that they may obtaine their Votes, and suffrages to get some place for themselves, or their friends. But some are moved thereto by meere and pure friendship, that so they may publickly testifie that love and affection, which they bear them, whose names they prefixe to their Books; let the one, and the other, please themselves, according as they delight in the reason of the Dedication, whether it be good or bad; for my part, I best like them, who do it upon this ground, that they may not commend themselves, or theirs, but what is for publick good.

As for me (most renowned Fathers) in my dedicating 4this Discourse to you, I can truly affirm, that I am induced to it upon no other ground then this, that I may gain your favour and good will to our Nation, now scattered almost all over the earth; neither think that I do this, as if I were ignorant how much you have hitherto favored our Nation; for it is made known to me, and to others of our Nation, by them who are so happy as near at hand, to observe your apprehensions, that you do vouchsafe to help us, not onely by your prayers; yea, this hath compelled me to speak to you publickly, and to give you thanks for that your charitable affection towards us, and not such thanks which come only from the tongue, but as are conceived by a grateful mind.

Give me leave therefore (most renowned Fathers) to supplicate you, that you would stil favor our good, and farther love us. Truly, we men doe draw so much the nearer to Divine nature, when by how much we increase, by so much we cherish, and defend the small, and weak ones; and with how much diligence doe you performe this, most renowned Fathers? who though you seem to be arrived to the highest top of felicity, yet you do not only not despise inferior men, but you so wish well to them, that you seem sensible of their calamity; you knowing how acceptable to God you are by so doing, who loves to do good to them who doe good. And truly it is from hence, that of late you have done so great things valiantly, and by an unusuall attempt, and things much to be observed among the Nations. The whole world stands amazed at these things, and the eies of all are turned upon you, that they may see whither all these things do tend, which the great Governour of all things seems to bring upon the world by so great changes, so famously remarkable, of so many Nations; and so all those things which God is pleased to 5have fore-told by the Prophets, do, and shall obtain their accomplishment. All which things of necessity must bee fulfilled, that so Israel at last being brought back to his owne place; peace which is promised under the Messiah, may be restored to the world; and concord, which is the only Mother of al good things. These things I handle more largely in this Treatise, which I dedicate to you (most renowned Fathers) you cannot be ignorant, that it is not only not unprofitable, but very useful for States and Statesmen, to fore-see the issue (which yet is ever in Gods hand) of humaine Councells, that so they may observe, and understand from Divine truth, the events of things to come, which God hath determined by his Spirit in his holy Prophets. I know that this my labour will not be unacceptable to you, how mean soever it be, which I trust you will chearfully receive, because that you love our Nation, and as part of it, the Author of this Discourse. But I intreat you be certain, that I pour out continual prayers to God for your happinesse. Farewell, most renowned Fathers, and flourish most prosperously.

Menasseh Ben Israel.

Menasseh Ben Israel, To the Courteous Reader.

There are as many minds as men, about the originall of the people of America and of the first Inhabitants of the new World, and of the West Indyes; for how many men soever they were or are, they came of those two, Adam, and Eve; and consequently of Noah, after the Flood, but that new World doth seem wholly separated from the old, therefore it must be that some did passe thither out of one (at least) of the three parts of the world sc. Europe, Asia, and Africa; but the doubt is, what people were those, and out of what place they went. Truly, the truth of that must be gathered, partly out of the ancient Hystories, and partly from conjectures; as their Habit, their Language, their Manners, which yet doe vary according to mens dispositions; so that it is hard to finde out the certainty. Almost all who have viewed those Countryes, with great diligence, have been of different judgements: Some would have the praise of finding out America, to be due to the Carthaginians, others to the Phenicians, or the Canaanites; others to the Indians, or people of China; others to them of Norway, others to the Inhabitants of the Atlantick Islands, others to the Tartarians, others to the ten Tribes. Indeed, every one grounds his opinion not upon probable arguments, but high conjectures, as will appeare farther by this Booke. But I having curiously examined what ever hath hitherto been writ upon this subject doe finde no opinion more probable, nor agreeable to reason, then that of our Montezinus, who saith, that the first inhabitants of America, were the ten Tribes of the Israelites, whom the Tartarians conquered, and drove away; who after that (as God would have it) hid themselves behind the Mountaines Cordilleræ. I also shew, that as they were not driven out at once from their Country, so also they were scattered into divers Provinces, sc. into America, into Tartary, into China, into Media, to the Sabbaticall River, and into Æthiopia. I prove that the ten Tribes never returned to the second Temple, that they yet keepe the Law of Moses, and our sacred 7Rites; and at last shall return into their Land, with the two Tribes, Judah, and Benjamin; and shall be governed by one Prince, who is Messiah the Son of David; and without doubt that time is near, which I make appear by divers things; where, Reader, thou shalt finde divers Histories worthy of memory, and many Prophesies of the old Prophets opened with much study, and care. I willingly leave it to the judgement of the godly, and learned, what happy worth there is in this my Book, and what my own Nation owes me for my paines: It is called, The Hope of Israel; which name is taken from Jerem. 14.8. O the hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof. For the scope of this Discourse is, to show, that the hope in which we live, of the comming of the Messiah is of a future, difficult, but infallible good, because it is grounded upon the absolute Promise of the blessed God.

And because I intend a continuation of Josephus his History of the Jewes, our famous Historian; I intreat, and beseech all Learned men, in what part of the world soever they live (to whom I hope that shortly this Discourse will come) that if they have any thing worthy of posterity, that they would give me notice of it in time; for though I have collected many Acts of the Jewes, and many Hystories out of the Hebrewes, the Arabians, the Grecians, the Latines, and other Authors of other Nations; yet I want many things for this my enterprize, all which I am willing to performe, that I may please my Nation; but rather to the glory of the blessed God, whose Kingdome is everlasting, and his Word infallible.


The Translator to the Reader.

This discourse of a Jew comming to my hand, and having perused it, I thought it not inconvenient to make it speake English; for the benefit of my Country-men, who wait for the redemption of Israel; and at the same time of the Gentiles also. That the Author is a Jew, ought to be no scandall to us (though some of us Christian Gentiles are ignorant of, and scandalized at the notion of the conversion of the Jewes, as the Jewes of old were, concerning our being converted, and grafted into the true Stock, as in Acts 11.3.) for though God hath rejected them, yet not for ever: Rom. 11.25, 26. And also the many prophesies both in the Old, and New Testament, which concern their being received againe to grace, gathered from their dispersion, and settled in their own Land; and their flourishing estate under, now our, and then their and our Prince, Jesus Christ the Messiah, who will then triumph gloriously, and all his people with him; these and many more Promises would want a fulfilling (which the God of Truth wil never suffer) if there should not be the revolution of a time, in which they shall be converted, and grace and peace be poured out upon Jewes and Gentiles; though first upon the Jew, then the Gentile. But besides this, the Author expresseth so much learning that he deserveth honour of all; so much ingenuity, and (so far as his light reacheth) so great a measure of the knowledge and fear of God, that he may wel be set for a pattern to us Christians, who profess much better than he, but live much worse. One thing is very remarkable in him, that wheras many of us (like them who canot see Wood for Trees) though inviorned with mercies in these late revolutions, (I speake not to them who measure mercies only, or chiefly, by plentiful tables, ful purses, rich accoutrements, and the like; that wretched Generation is unworthy of the name of Men, much more of Christians) yet will unthankfully cry out, What have we got by all these troubles? and what hath been done? surely 9this Jew shall rise up in judgement against such unchristian Christians; for he in his Epistle Dedicatory says, The whole world stands amazed at what the Parliament hath done; besides he cordially and openly owns the Parliament, who as far as I know never did him nor his Nation any further good then to pray for them; (though we hope, and pray, that their favour may extend to realities, towards that people to whom certainly God hath made many, and great Promises, and shortly will give answerable performances:) but many among us who injoy peace under them, and many other blessings, (too many for an unthankfull Generation) doe refuse to acknowledge them, doe curse them whom God hath blessed, and even in their prayers to that God who cannot be deceived, or imposed upon; doe vent themselves against this present Government, in expressions so wilde and false, that such Language would be accounted most unworthy, in our addresse to any considerable person, much more then to the great God. I shall only adde this, sc. Do not think that I aime by this Translation, to propagate or commend Iudaisme (which its no wonder if the Author doth so much favour, especially in his thirtieth Section) no, through Grace I have better learned the truth, as it is in Jesus, but to give some discovery of what apprehensions, and workings there are at this day in the hearts of the Jewes; and to remove our sinfull hatred from off that people, whose are the Promises, and who are beloved for their Fathers sakes; and who of Jewes, we shall hear to be, ere long, reall Christians.


The Authors of other Nations, which are quoted in this Treatise.

The Hebrew Bookes, and Authors.


In the 18th. of the Month of Elul: the 5404 year from the Worlds creation, and according to common compute, in 1644. Aaron Levi, otherwise called Antonius Montezinus came into this City Amsterdam, and related to the Sieur Menasseh ben Israel, and other cheifetains of the Portugal Nation, Inhabitants of the same City, these things which follow.

That it was two years and a halfe, since that he going from the Port Honda in the West-Indies, to the Papian jurisdiction, he conducted some Mules of a certaine Indian, whose name was Franciscus Castellanus, into the Province of Quity, and that there was one in company with him and other Indians, whose name was Francis, who was called by all Cazicus. That it happened that as they went over the Mountaines Cordilleræ, a great tempest arose, which threw the loaden Mules to the ground. The Indians being afflicted by the sore tempest, every one began to count his losses; yet confessing that all that and more grievous punishments were but just, in regard of their many sins. But Francis bad them take it patiently, for that they should shortly injoy rest: the others answered, that they were unworthy of it; yea that the notorious cruelty used by the Spaniards towards them, was sent of God, because they had so ill treated his holy people, who wer of al others the most innocent: now then, they determined to stay all night upon the top of the Mountain. And Montezinus tooke out of a Box some Bread, and Cheese, and Jonkets, and gave them to Francis, upbraiding him, that he had spoken disgracefully of the Spaniards; who answered, that he had not told one halfe of the miseries and calamities inflicted by a 12cruell, and inhumane people; but they should not goe unrevenged, looking for helpe from an unknown people.

After this Conference, Montezinus went to Carthagenia, a City of the Indians, where he being examined, was put in Prison; and while he prayed to God, such words fell from him; Blessed be the name of the Lord, that hath not made me an Idolater, a Barbarian, a Black-a-Moore, or an Indian; but as he named Indian, he was angry with himselfe, and said, The Hebrewes are Indians; then he comming to himselfe againe; confessed that he doted, and added, Can the Hebrewes be Indians? which hee also repeated a second, and a third time; and he thought that it was not by chance that he had so much mistaken himselfe.

He thinking farther, of what he had heard from the Indian, and hoping that he should find out the whole truth; therefore as soon as he was let out of Prison, he sought out Franciscus beleeving that hee would repeat to him againe what he had spoken; he therefore being set at liberty, through Gods mercy went to the Port Honda, and according to his desire, found him, who said; He remembred all that he had spoken, when he was upon the Mountaine; whom Montezinus asked, that he would take a journy with him, offering him all courtesies, giving him three peeces of Eight, that he might buy himselfe necessaries.

Now when they were got out of the City, Montezinus confessed himselfe to be an Hebrew, of the Tribe of Levi, and that the Lord was his God; and he told the Indian, that all other gods were but mockeries; the Indian being amazed, asked him the name of his Parents; who answered Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; but said he, have you no other Father? who answered, yes, his Fathers name was Ludovicus Montezinus; but he not being yet satisfied, I am glad (saith he) to heare you tell this, for I was in doubt to beleeve you, while you seemed ignorant of your Parents: Montezinus swearing, that he spoke the truth, the Indian asked him, if he were not the Son of Israel, and thereupon began a long discourse; who when he knew that he was so, he desired him to prosecute what he had begun, and added, that he should more fully explaine himselfe, for that formerly he had left things so doubtfull, that he did not seem at all assured of any thing. After that both had sate downe together, and refreshed themselves, the Indian thus began: If you have a minde to follow me your Leader, you shall know what ever 13you desire to know, only let me tell you this, whatsoever the journey is, you must foot it, and you must eate nothing but parched Mayz, and you must omit nothing that I tell you; Montezinus answered that he would doe all.

The next day being Munday, Cazicus came againe, and bid him throw away what he had in his Knapsack to put on shooes made of linnen packthred, and to follow him, with his staffe; whereupon Montezinus leaving his Cloake, and his Sword, and other things which he had about him, they began the journey, the Indian carrying upon his back three measures of Mayz, two ropes, one of which was full of knots, to climbe up the Mountaine, with an hooked fork; the other was so loose, for to passe over Marshes, and Rivers, with a little Axe, and shooes made of linnen pack-thred. They being thus accoutred, travelled the whole weeke, unto the Sabbath Day; on which day they resting, the day after they went on, till Tuesday, on which day about eight a clock in the morning, they came to a River as bigge as Duerus; then the Indian said, Here you shall see your Brethren, and making a signe with the fine linnen of Xylus, which they had about them instead of a Girdle; thereupon on the other side of the River they saw a great smoke, and immediately after, such another signe made as they had made before; a little after that, three men, with a woman, in a little Boat came to them, which being come neare, the woman went ashore, the rest staying in the Boat; who talking a good while with the Indian, in a Language which Montezinus understood not; she returned to the Boat, and told to the three men what she had learned of the Indian; who alwayes eying him, came presently out of the Boat, and embraced Montezinus, the woman after their example doing the like; after which, one of them went back to the Boat, and when the Indian bowed downe to the feet of the other two, and of the woman, they embraced him courteously, and talked a good while with him. After that, the Indian bid Montezinus to be of good courage, and not to looke that they should come a second time to him, till he had fully learned the things which were told him at the first time.

Then those two men comming on each side of Montezinus, they spoke in Hebrew, the 4th. ver. of Deut. 6. Semah Israel, adonai Elohenu adonai ehad; that is, Heare O Israel, the Lord our God is one God.

Then the Indian Interpreter being asked, how it was in Spanish, they spoke what followes to Montezinus, making a short pause between every particular.

141 Our Fathers are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Israel, and they signified these foure by the three fingers lifted up; then they joyned Reuben, adding another finger to the former three.

2 We will bestow severall places on them who have a minde to live with us.

3 Joseph dwels in the midst of the Sea, they making a signe by two fingers put together, and then parted them.

4 They said (speaking fast) shortly some of us will goe forth to see, and to tread under foot; at which word they winked, and stamped with their feet.

5 One day we shall all of us talke together, they saying, Ba, ba, ba; and we shall come forth as issuing out of our Mother the earth.

6 A certaine Messenger shall goe forth.

7 Franciscus shall tell you somewhat more of these things, they making a signe with their finger, that much must not be spoken.

8 Suffer us that we may prepare ourselves; and they turning their hands and faces every way, thus prayed to God, DO NOT STAY LONG.

9 Send twelve men, they making a signe, that they would have men that had beards, and who are skilfull in writing.

The Conference being ended, which lasted a whole day, the same men returned on Wednesday, and Thursday, and spake the same things againe, without adding a word; at last Montezinus being weary that they did not answer what he asked them, nor would suffer him to goe over the river, he cast himselfe into their Boat; but he being forced out againe, fell into the River, and was in danger to be drowned, for he could not swim; but being got out of the water, the rest being angry, said to him; attempt not to passe the River, nor to enquire after more then we tel you; which the Indian interpreted to him, the rest declaring the same things both by signs, and words.

You must observe, that all those three dayes the Boat stayed not in the same place, but when those foure who came went away, other foure came, who all as with one mouth, repeated all the fore-mentioned nine particulars, there came and went about three hundred.

Those men are somewhat scorched by the Sun, some of them weare their haire long, downe to their knees, other of them shorter, and others of them much as we commonly cut it. They were comely of body, well accoutred, having ornaments on their feet, and 15leggs, and their heads were compassed about with a linnen cloath.

Montezinus saith, that when he was about to be gone, on Thursday evening, they shewed him very much courtesie, and brought him whatever they thought fit for him in his journey, and they said, that themselves were well provided with all such things, (sc. meats, garments, flocks, and other things) which the Spaniards in India call their owne.

The same day, when they came to the place where they had rested, the night before they came to the River, Montezinus said to the Indian; You remember Francis, that my Brethren told me, that you should tell me something, therefore I entreat you, that you would not thinke much to relate it. The Indian answered, I will tell you what I know, only doe not trouble me, and you shall know the truth, as I have received it from my fore-fathers; but if you presse me too much, as you seeme to doe, you will make me tell you lyes; attend therefore I pray, to what I shall tell you.

Thy Brethren are the Sons of Israel, and brought thither by the providence of God, who for their sake wrought many Miracles, which you will not beleeve, if I should tell you what I have learned from my Fathers; we Indians made war upon them in that place, and used them more hardly then we now are by the Spaniards; then by the instigation of our Magicians (whom we call Mohanes) we went armed to that place where you saw your Brethren, with an intent to destroy them; but not one of all those who went thither, came back againe; whereupon we raised a great Army, and set upon them, but with the same successe, for againe none escaped; which hapned also the third time, so that India was almost bereft of all inhabitants, but old men, and women, the old men therefore: and the rest who survived, beleeving that the Magicians used false dealing, consulted to destroy them all, and many of them being killed those who remained promised to discover somewhat that was not knowne; upon that they desisted from cruelty, and they declared such things as follow:

That the God of those Children of Israel is the true God, that all that which is engraven upon their stones is true; that about the end of the World they shall be Lords of the world; that some shall come who shall bring you much good, and after that they have enriched the earth with all good things, those Children of Israel going forth out of their Country, shall subdue the whole World to 16them, as it was subject to them formerly; you shall be happy if you make a League with them.

Then five of the chiefe Indians (whom they call Cazici) who were my Ancestors, having understood the Prophesie of the Magicians, which they had learned of the Wise men of the Hebrewes, went thither, and after much entreaty, obtained their desire, having first made knowne their minde to that woman, whom you saw to be for an Interpreter, (for your Brethren will have no commerce with our Indians) and whosoever of ours doth enter the Country of your Brethren, they presently kill him; and none of your Brethren doe passe into our Country. Now by the help of that Woman we made this agreement with them.

1 That our five Cazici should come to them, and that alone at every seventy moneths end.

2 That he to whom secrets should be imparted, should be above the age of three hundred Moones, or Months.

3 And that such things should be discovered to none in any place where people are, but only in a Desart, and in the presence of the Cazici; and so (said the Indian) we keep that secret among our selves, because that we promise our selves great favour from them, for the good offices which we have done to our Brethren, it is not lawfull for us to visite them, unlesse at the seventy months end: Or if there happens any thing new, and this fell out but thrice in my time; First, when the Spaniards came into this Land; also, when Ships came into the Southerne Sea; and thirdly, when you came, whom they long wished for, and expected. They did much rejoyce for those three new things, because that they said, the Prophesies were fulfilled.

And Montezinus also said, that three other Cazici were sent to him by Franciscus, to Honda, yet not telling their names, till he had said, you may speake to them freely, they are my fellowes in my Function of whom I have told you, the fifth could not come for age, but those three did heartily embrace him; and Montezinus being asked of what Nation he was, he answered, an Hebrew, of the Tribe of Levi, and that God was his God, &c. which when they had heard, they embraced him againe, and said: Upon a time you shall see us, and shall not know us; We are all your Brethren, by Gods singular favour; and againe, they both of them bidding farewell, departed, every one saying, I goe about my businesse; therefore 17none but Franciscus being left, who saluting Montezinus as a Brother, then bade him farewell, saying, farewell my Brother, I have other things to doe, and I goe to visite thy Brethren, with other Hebrew Cazici. As for the Country, be secure, for we rule all the Indians; after we have finished a businesse which we have with the wicked Spaniards, we will bring you out of your bondage, by Gods help; not doubting, but he who cannot lye, will help us; according to his Word; endeavour you in the meane while that those men may come.

The Hope of Israel.

SECT. 1.

It is hard to say what is certaine among the so many, and so uncertaine opinions concerning the originall of the Indians of the new World. If you aske, what is my opinion upon the relation of Montezinus, I must say, it is scarce possible to know it by any Art, since there is no demonstration, which can manifest the truth of it; much lesse can you gather it from Divine, or humane Writings; for the Scriptures doe not tell what people first inhabited those Countries; neither was there mention of them by any, til Christop. Columbus, Americus, Vespacius, Ferdinandus, Cortez, the Marquesse Del Valle, and Franciscus Pizarrus went thither; and though hitherto I have been of this minde, that I would speake only of solid, and infallible things, (as those things are which concerne our Law) and the obscurity of the matter, making me doubt, whether it would be worth a while for me to attempt it; yet at last I was content to be perswaded to it, not that I looke to get credit by it, but that my friends, and all who seeke for truth, that have put me upon this work, may see how very desirous I am to please them.

I shall speake somewhat in this Discourse, of the divers opinions which have been, and shall declare in what Countries it is thought 18the ten Tribes are; and I shall close, after that I have brought them into their owne Country, which I shall prove by good reasons, following the Revelations of the holy Prophets, who I beleeve cannot be expounded otherwise, whatever some thinke; yet I intend not to dispute these things, but according to my custome, shall lay down fairly, and faithfully, the opinions of the Jewes only.

SECT. 2.

You must know therefore, that Alexis Vanegas saith, that the first Colonies of the West-Indies were of the Carthaginians, who first of all inhabited New-Spaine, and as they encreased, spread to the Island Cuba; from thence to the continent of America; and after that towards Panama, New-Spaine, and the Isle of Peru. And he grounds himselfe on that reason, that as the Carthaginians (who of old did most use the Seas) so those of Peru, and the Inhabitants of New-Spaine, did make use of Pictures instead of Letters.

But this opinion doth not satisfie, because they anciently were white men, bearded, and civill in converse; but contrarily those of Panama, St. Martha, and the Isles in Cuba, and Barlovent, went naked. Further-more, who can thinke that the language which he saith, they first spoke, should be so soone changed, that it should be wholly another; and there is no agreement between the one and the other. The learned Arias Montanus thinkes, that the Indians of New-Spaine, and Peru, are the Off-spring of Ophir the sonne of Jokton, the nephew of Heber. And he backes his opinion, by the name Ophir, which by transposition of letters, is the same with Peru; and he adds, that the name Parvaim in the duall number, doth signifie the Istmus between New-Spaine and Peru, which first was called Ophir, then Peru; and that these Countries are that Peru, from whence King Solomon brought Gold, precious Stones, &c., as in 1 King. chap. 9. v. 10. & 2 Chron. 9.21. This opinion seems more probable than the other, and may be backed by another name of the River Piru, which according to Gomoras, lyes in the second degree from the Equinoctiall line, from Panama 222. miles; as also by the name of the Province Jucatan, which may be derived from Joktan the father of Ophir. But besides that this notation is somewhat farre fetcht, it crosses what Josephus Acosta affirmes in 1. Histor. of Jud. c. 13. who saith, that the name Peru was unknowne to the Indians themselves before those Spaniards gave that name. Add 19to this what Garcillasso de la Vega in the first part of his Commentary on Peru, c. 4. saith, that when a certaine Spanyard, Basco Nunnez de Balboa, lived in that Country, and asked a Fisher-man, what was the name of that Province, he answered Beru; (which was the Fisher-mans owne name, he thinking that was the question) and he farther said, that the name of the River where he fished, was called Pelu. Hence you may see, that Peru is made of both those words; which also many Spanyards besides him, we have mentioned, doe testifie. Besides, who can thinke that Solomon neglecting the East-Indies, a place so rich, and abounding with all things, should send a Fleet so farre off as to the West-Indies. Also we read in 1 King. 9. that Solomon made ships in Ezion-Geber on the shoare of the red Sea, which also Jehosaphat did, with Ahaziah, as Ezra saith, in 2 Chron. 20. and it is certaine that those of those Countries went that ordinary way to India. And it will not follow, that because the holy Scripture sometimes saith, that they went to Tarsis, and sometimes; that they went to Ophir, that therefore both those places are the same; since that Tarsis is not, as some thinke Carthage, or Tunes in Africa for that the Navie of Solomon did not set sayle from Joppa, a port of the Mediterranean, but from Ezion-Geber, a Port of the red Sea, from whence they could not sayle to Carthage, but to the East-Indies. The answer of Isaac Abarbanel to that argument, cannot be admitted, who saith, that an arme of Nilus did run into the red Sea, and another arme ran into the Mediterranean, by Alexandria in Ægypt; since it was never heard, that ships of great burden, did swim in those rivers; and would not he then have built his Navie in the Port of Alexandria? It is more true that Tarsis is the Ocean, or Indian Sea; and because they came into the Ocean, after that they had sayled over the red Sea, which is but narrow, therefore the Scripture saith, They Sayled to Tarsis. Rabbi Jonathan ben Uziel followes this opinion, who in his Paraphrase, for Tarsis, puts (the Sea.) The same saith Franciscus de Ribera, in his Comment. on Jonah, and also Rabbinus Josephus Coen, in his Chronology; who ascribe the word Tarsis, to the Indian Sea; because that Ophir is the same Country, which of old is called, The Golden Chersonesus; and by Josephus, The Golden Land; and at this day Malacca; from whence they brought Ivory, for the great number of Elephants which are there; none of which are in the West-Indies, and Solomons Navie stayed in those Ports of India three yeares, because they traded with the Inhabitants! 20I know that learned Grotius, and famous de Laet thinke differently; as also those quoted by them; but I shall not insist in confuting their opinions because I study brevity. I doe like of, in part, the opinion of the Spaniards who dwell in the Indies, who by common consent doe affirme that the Indians come of the ten Tribes. And truly they are not altogether mistaken, because in my opinion, they were the first planters of the Indies; as also other people of the East-Indies came by that Streight which is between India, and the Kingdome of Anian. But that people, according to our Montezinus, made warre upon those Inhabitants the Israelites, whom they forced up unto the mountaines, and the in-land Countries, as formerly the Brittaines were driven by the Saxons into Wales.

SECT. 3.

The first ground of that opinion is taken from 2 Esdra. 13. v. 40. &c. (which we quote as ancient, though it be Apocryphall) where it’s said, that the ten Tribes which Salmanaster carried captive in the reigne of Hoseas, beyond Euphrates, determined to goe into Countries farre remote, in which none dwelt, whereby they might the better observe their Law. And as they passed over some branches of Euphrates, God wrought Miracles, stopping the course of the Floud, till they had passed over; and that Country is called Arsareth. From whence we may gather, that the ten Tribes went to New-Spaine, and Peru, and possessed those two Kingdoms, till then without Inhabitants. Genebrardus, quoting Esdras concerning that wandring of the ten Tribes, saith, that Arsareth is Tartaria the greater, and from thence they went to Greenland, for that America is lately found to be on that side farther from Sea, than it is upon other sides, being almost an Island, and they might passe from Greenland by the streight of Davis into the Country Labrador, which is now called India, being fifty miles distant from thence, as Gomoras saith in his History. The same journying of the ten Tribes into India, is confirmed by that which P. Malvenda reports, That Arsareth is that Promontory which is neare to Scythia, or Tartary, neare the Sea, called by Pliny, Tabis, where America is parted from the Country of Anian by a narrow Sea; which also on that side parts China, or Tartary from America; so that there might be an easie passage for the ten Tribes through Arsareth, or Tartary into 21the Kingdomes of Anian, and Quivira; which in time might plant the new world, and firme land; which in bignesse equals Europe, Asia, and Africa put together; Alonsus Augustinianus counting from the shoare of the North Sea, from the Country of Labrador 3928 miles, and from Sur 3000. miles; but Gomaras counts from India by the South, and Sur, 9300. miles; which space is bigge enough for the ten Tribes, that they may there spread in places hitherto unknowne.

SECT. 4.

He strengthens this opinion, that in the Isle St. Michael, which belongs to the Azores, the Spaniards found Sepulchres under ground, with very ancient Hebrew letters, which Genebrardus hath Printed, in lib. 1. chro. p. 159. From whence we gather, that in that inscription there is a mistake of the letter (T.) so that the sense of it is, How perfect is God. Sehalbin is dead. Know God. Unlesse you will have them to be proper Names, and to signifie him that is dead, and his Father, in which sense for (M) you must read (B) and then the sense will be, Meetabel seal, the Son of Matadel; such names ending in (el) are common in Scripture, as Raphael, Immanuel, and the like. Let it suffice him who is pleased with neither of those conjectures, that Hebrew Letters were found there. And though that Island is remote from the West-Indies, yet it might be by accident that they might put in thither.

SECT. 5.

That seemes to be to the purpose which Garcillassos de la Voga saith in his Comment. on Peru, lib. 3. c. 1. That in Tiahuanacu a Province of Collai, among other Antiquities, this is worthy of memory, (being scituated at the Lake which the Spaniards call Chutuytu) That among the great buildings which are there, one was to be seene of a very great pile, which hath a Court 15. fathoms broad; a wall that compasseth it, 2 furlongs high; on one side of the Court is a Chamber 45 foot long, and 22 broad; and the Court, the Wall, the Pavement, the Chamber, the Roofe of it, the entrance, the posts of the 2 gates of the Chamber, and of the entrance, are made only of one stone; the three sides of the Wall are an ell thick; the Indians say, that that House is dedicated to the Maker of the World. I conjecture that building to be a Synagogue, 22built by the Israelites; for the Authors who writ about the Indies, tell us, that the Indians never use Iron, or Iron weapons. Also the Indians were Idolaters, and therefore it could not be that they should build an house to God. P. Acosta in lib. 6. Ind. histor. c. 14. mentions such buildings as are in that place; and he reports that he measured a stone which was 38. foot long, 18 foot broad, and sixe foot thick. Petrus Cieza in his first part of his Chronicles of Peru, c. 87. relates, That in the City Guamanga, which is scituated by the river Vinaque, there is a vast building, which because then it seemed almost ruined by time, it therefore had lasted many yeares. He asking the neighbouring Indians, Who built that great Pile? He learnt, that it was made by a people (who were bearded, and white as the Spaniards) who came thither a long time before (and staid some time after) the Indians raigned there; and the Indians said, that they had received it from their Fathers by Tradition. The same Cieza, cap. 10. 5. of the Antiquity of Tiguanac, saith, that what the Indians boast to be very ancient, can by no meanes be compared with that Ancient building, and other things. From all which you may well gather, that the first Inhabitants of that place were the Israelites of the ten Tribes, because they were white, and bearded.

SECT. 6.

To this opinion adde an argument taken from what Logicians call a simili; for he that will compare the Lawes and Customes of the Indians and Hebrewes together, shall finde them agree in many things; whence you may easily gather, That the Indians borrowed those of the Hebrewes (who lived among them) before, or after they went to the unknowne Mountaines. The Indians of Jucatan, and the Acuzainitenses doe circumcise themselves. The Totones of New Spaine, and Mexicans (as Roman and Gomaza in the generall History of the Indians testifie) rend their garments, if there happen any sudden misfortune or the death of any. Gregorius Gracias in Monarchia Ingasonum, an Isle of Peru, saith, that Guainacapacus hearing that his sonne Atagualpa fled for feare of the Army of his enemy, he rent his garments. The Mexicans, and Totones, or the Totonacazenses kept continually fire upon their Altars, as God commands in Leviticus. Those of Peru doe the same, in their Temples dedicated to the Sun. The Nicaraguazenses doe forbid their women who were lately brought a bed, to enter their 23Temples, till they are purified. The inhabitants of Hispaniola thinke those doe sin, who lye with a woman a little after her childe-birth. And the Indians of new Spaine doe severely punish Sodomie. Many of the Indians doe bury their dead on the Mountaines; which also is the Jewish custome; and Garcias saith, the name Chanan is found in those Countries. You may wonder at this, that the Indians doe every fifty yeares celebrate a Jubilee, with great pomp, in Mexico, the Metropolis of the whole Province. Also that on the Sabbath day all are bound to be present in the Temple, to performe their Sacrifices, and Ceremonies. They also were divorced from their wives, if they were not honest. The Indians of Peru, New-Spaine, and Guatemala did marry the Widdowes of their dead Brethren. May not you judge from these things, that the Jewes lived in those places, and that the Gentiles learned such things of them? Adde also to what hath been said, that the knowledge which the Indians had, of the Creation of the world, and of the universall Flood, they borrowed from the Israelites.

SECT. 7.

The fourth ground of this opinion is, that the Indians are of a browne colour, and without beards; but in the new world, white, and bearded men were found, who had never commerce with the Spaniards; and whom you cannot affirme to be any other than Israelites; because also as they could never be overcome, so shall they never be fully knowne, as appeares by what followes. Petrus Simon a Franciscan, in his History of finding out the firme Land, saith, that in the reigne of Charles the fifth, he commanded one called Philippus de Utre thither, to discover, and plant those Countries; that he found them unknowne toward the North of America about five degrees, in the Province of Omeguas, which is neare the Province of Venezuela, and now is called Garracas. And he having learned of their neighbours, the greatnesse of that people both in wealth, and in war, he determined to war upon them. Who when they had marched a good way, at last found a rich City, full of people, and faire buildings; and not farre off two Husband-men tilling the ground; whom they would have made Prisoners, that they might be their interpreters. But when they saw themselves set on, they fled apace towards the City; but Philippus d’Utre and his Souldiers followed them hard on Horse-back, and had almost taken them; 24whereupon the Husband-men stood still, and with their Speares wounded Philip in the breast, piercing through his Brest-plate made of wooll to keep off Arrowes. He wondering at the dexterity of that people, judged it a wiser course, not to make war upon that Province, and people so expert in warre, and who dared to resist armed men. Therefore he retreated with his Company. And to this day none goe to that people, neither is it knowne which way to goe to them. It is probable that they are Israelites whom God preserves in that place against the day of redemption. Alonsus de Erzilla testifies the same thing, in 2. part. Sua Araucaniæ. Cant. 27. where describing those places, he thus speakes in Spanish.

Some Countries there, so populous are seen,
As one continued City; which have been
Never as yet discovered; but unknowne
To other Nations; have laine hid alone;
Not found by forreigne sword, nor forreigne trade
Doe either seeke, nor suffer to be made,
But unacquainted live, till God shall please
To manifest his secrets: shew us these.

SECT. 8.

Ioannes Castilianus Vicarius living in the City Pampelona of Nova Granada in Peru, saith, that when Gonzalus Pisarrus had revolted from his people, he sent some to search out new Countries of the Indians who lived East-ward, whose number could never be knowne, because that (as some say) their Country is above two thousand miles in length, if you compute from the head of the river Maragnon, which runs neare Andes of Cusco, unto the place where it runs into the Sea, where therefore the River began to be navigable, Petrus d’Orsna being a Captaine, went by water, and his Souldiers with him, in Vessels called Canows; which when they were too small for the force of the streame, he built Brigandines, on the banke of the River Guariaga, which washing the Province Chachapoyas, runs into Maragnon. He was scarce gone aboard his Brigandines, when one of his own Souldiers named Aquirre, a stout man, killed him, who by common consent succeeded the slaine. When they had gone a little way, they found a plaine without a mountaine, where many houses stood on each side of the banke of Maragnon, being built by 25the Indians. They still went on for forty eight houres together, and saw nothing but tall, and white houses, which they feared to goe into, because the Inhabitants were numerous, and because they heard the noyse of Hammers; for which cause they thought the Inhabitants to be Gold-smiths. They went on still, and now sayled in the North Sea, but alwayes neare to the shoare of the Province of Margareta, where Aquirre was catcht by the Inhabitants and hanged; for they heard that he had killed his Captaine Petrus de Orsua.

SECT. 9.

Caspar Bergarensis (whom I have oft spoke with) went from the City Laxa, which is in the Province of Quiti in Peru, and accompanied the Colonell Don Diego Vaca de la Vega going to seeke a new Country.

In the yeare 1622. they came to the Province Jarguasongo, which had been discovered by Captaine Salines; and they passed the Mountaines Cordilleræ, where the River Maragnon is not above a stones cast over. In the Province of the Inde Mainenses they built a City, whose name was St. Franciscus de Borja, at Esquilache. In his company were one hundred Spaniards in Canows. Having conquered those Indians, and compelling them to sweare fealty to the King of Spaine; the Colonell being instructed by the Mainenses, went to other places, after he had put a Garrison into his new City. Having sailed fifty leagues in the River (he found some Cottages of the Indians which there hid themselves) by favour of many Rivers which there run into Maragnon. When they had sayled into the River Guariaga, where Petrus de Orsua had built his Brigandines, and was killed by Aquirre; they asked the Indians whom they had taken (who were called Guariaga, from the Rivers name) what people doe live on the Rivers side? they told the Colonell, that five dayes journey off, there live men of tall stature, comely in presence, and have as great beards as the Spaniards have, valiant, and warlike, who are not skilled in Canowes, though the rest of the Indians use no other; he presently returned the same way he came.

SECT. 10.

In Farnambuc about forty yeares since, eight Tabaiares had a minde to looke out new Countries, and to see whether the Land that was beyond, and unknowne, were inhabited. They having spent 26foure moneths in travelling Westward, they came to mountaines, to whose top they got with difficulty, and found a plaine which a pleasant river doth compasse, by whose banke side dwelt a people who loved commerce, they were white, and bearded; and this five of the Tabaires (for three perished by the way, and only five returned) told to the Brasilians after nine moneths.

SECT. 11.

In our time, under King Philip the third, Captaine Ferdinades de Queiros being returned out of India (where he had spent most of his life) to Rome, he shewed a Table of Lands yet undiscovered. From thence he went to Madrid, and five ships were given him by the Governour of Panama (to whom he was sent) to perfect his designe. He began his journey, and was scarcely entred the South Sea, but he found Land, which he called, The Isle of Solomon, and Hierusalem, for reasons which he told me. He in his course of sayling alwayes kept close to the shoare of those Islands; he saw those Islanders of a browne colour, and took many; others dwelt in greater Islands, and more fruitfull; these were white, and wore long garments of silk; and the Pilot being bid to bring his Ship neare the shoare, he split his Ship upon a Rock, (and the Islanders running greedily to the sight) which being sunke, the Captaine went thence, looking for the firme Land, which he found to be forty degrees beyond; and he went three hundred miles neare the shoare; and when he perceived the Country to be inhabited by the smoke which he saw, and would put into a Port on the side of the River, there ran to him many white men, of yellow haire, tall like Giants, richly cloathed, and of long beards. But one of the Vessels being wracked in the Havens mouth, he was forced to put out to Sea; whereupon the Islanders sent two Chaloffi of a browne colour, (as the inhabitants were of the first Island) with sheep, and other provisions, and fruits, but desiring, and threatning them, if they did not depart: The Captaine brought those Chaloffi into Spaine, from whom the Spaniards could learne nothing but by signes; and instead of answers, (when they were asked) would shew their beards, as if such those were, who were their Lords, and had sent them, and if they were asked about Religion, they would hold up their fingers to Heaven, implying, that they worshipped but one God. A little while after, they dyed in Spaine. The Captaine returned to Panama, having left his two Ships which were wracked; 27and when the Governour sued him, by meanes of the Senators, who are over the Indian affaires, he was dismissed, and returned with his Ships into Spaine, where he abode two yeares before his matters were dispatched. But the King created him Marquesse of the Countries found out by him, and commanded to give him a good Army, where-with to compasse his designes. But he scarce got to Panama, when he dyed, not without suspition of being poysoned by the Governour.

SECT. 12.

That which I am about to tell, shall serve for a proofe of that which I said of the West-Indians. A Dutch Mariner told me, that not long since he was with his ship in America, seven degrees towards the North between Maragnon, and great Para, and he put into an Harbour in a pleasant River, where he found some Indians who understood Spanish, of whom he bought Meats, and Dywood; after he had stayed there six moneths, he understood that that River extended eighteen leagues towards the Carybes Indians, as far as the ship could goe; and that the River is divided there into three branches, and they sayling two months on the left hand, there met them white men, and bearded, well bred, well cloathed, and abounding with gold and silver; they dwelt in Cities enclosed with wals, and full of people; and that some Indians of Oronoch went thither, and brought home much gold, silver, and many precious stones, Which he having understood, sent thither some Sea-men; but the Indian dyed by the way, who was their guide, and so they did not proceed, but stayed there two months, and trucked with the Indians who were sixty leagues from Sea. That Province is called Jisbia, and is subject to Zealand; they have no commerce with the Spaniards, and the inhabitants travell securely every way. I heard that story by accident from that Dutch Master of the Ship; whence some of us guessing them to be Israelites, had purposed to send him againe to enquire more fully. But he dyed suddenly the last yeare, whence it seemes that God doth not permit that those purposes should take any effect till the end of dayes.

SECT. 13.

Yet I give more credit to our Montezinus, being a Portingal, and a Jew of our Order; borne in a City of Portingal, called 28Villefleur, of honest and known Parents, a man about forty yeares old, honest, and not ambitious. He went to the Indies, where he was put into the Inquisition, as the successor of many who were borne in Portingal, and descended from them, whom the King of Portingal, Don Manuel forced to turne Christians: (O wicked, and unjust action, saith Osorius; and a little after, This was done neither according to Law, nor Religion,) and yet to this day they privately keep their Religion, which they had changed, being forced thereto. He being freed from the Inquisition, very diligently sought out these things, and oft spoke with those men, and then was not quiet till he came hither, and had told us that good newes. He endured much in that journey, and was driven to great want, so that no house would give him food, or give him money for his worke. I my selfe was well acquainted with him for six months together that he lived here; and sometimes I made him take an Oath in the presence of honest men, that what he had told, was true. Then he went to Farnambuc, where two yeares after he dyed, taking the same Oath at his death. Which if it be so, why should not I beleeve a man that was vertuous, and having all that which men call gaine. And who knowes but that shortly the truth of that Prognostick may appeare, which our Montezinus learned from the Mohanes; answerable to that which Jacobus Verus an Astrologer of Prague writ after the apparition of the Comet in Ann. 1618. and dedicated to his Highnesse the Prince Palatine, where he thus discourseth: The Comet going towards the South, doth intimate that the Cities and Provinces which God doth threaten, are those of the West-Indies, which shall revolt from the King of Spaine, who will finde that losse greater then he imagined, not that the Indians rebell against him of themselves, but that they are provoked to it being stirred up by others. Neither did the Comet only fore-tell that, but the eclipse of the Sun, which was in that Country the yeare before. Thus far the Astrologer. Our ancient Rabbins say, though we doe not beleeve the Astrologers in all things, yet we doe not wholly reject them, who sometimes tell truth.

SECT. 14.

Thus farre of the West-Indies, of which Isaiah may be understood (because it lyes in the midst of the Sea, and also hath many Islands) in Isa. 60.9. The isles shall waite for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring their Sons from far, their silver 29and their gold with them, Jer. 31.10. Heare the Word of the Lord O ye Nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattereth Israel will gather him, Psal. 97.1. The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoyce, and the multitude of isles be glad. Where part of the ten Tribes doe dwell unknown to this day.

SECT. 15.

You must know that all the ten Tribes were not carried away at the same time. Pul the King of Assyria (as I shew in the second part of my Reconciler) conquered, and carried away the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and halfe Manasseh, in the reigne of Peka, as you may see in 1 Chron. 5.26. and Josephus in li. 9. c. 11. Tiglahpileser eight yeares after took Ijon, Abel-beth-maachah, Hazor-Gilead, Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and he carryed away all the Captives into Assyria, in 2 King. 15.29. At last Shalmaneser King of Assyria, nine yeares after, in the reign of Hoshea the Son of Elah, besieged Samaria three yeares; which being taken, he carried away. Hoshea, with the rest of the Tribes, in 2 King. 17.6. Of those three times the Prophet Isaiah speakes, Isa. 9.1. saying, the first captivity was gentle, if you compare it with the last, which was grievous, and unsufferable, when the Kingdome and Monarchy of Israel ceased.

SECT. 16.

The ten Tribes being conquered at severall times, we must thinke they were carried into severall places. As we beleeve they went to the West-Indies by the strait of Anian, so we thinke that out of Tartary they went to China, by that famous wall in the confines of both. Our argument to prove it, is taken from the authority of two Jesuites, who erected their Colledges in those Countries. Nicholaus Trigantius a Dutch-man in his discourse of the Christian expedition under-taken by the Jesuites to Sina, saith, We finde that in former time the Jewes came into these Kingdomes. And when that society had for some yeares seated it selfe in the Court of the Pequinenses, a certaine Jew came to P. Matthæus Riccius; he was borne in Chamfamfu the metropolis of the Province Honan, and was surnamed Ogay; and now being licensed to the degree of a Doctor, he went to Pequin. But when he read in a certaine Booke writ by a Doctor of China, concerning the European affaires, That our 30fathers are not Sarazens, and know no God but the Lord of Heaven and Earth; and would perswade himselfe that ours did professe the Law of Moses, he went into the Church with P. Matthæas Riccius. On an Altar there was the effigies of the Virgin Mary, and the childe Jesus, whom St. John his fore-runner worshipped with bended knees; now that day was the Holy-day of John the Baptist. The Jew thinking it was the effigies of Rebecca, and her two Sons, Jacob and Esau, he bowed also to the Image, but with this Apology, that he worshipped no Images, but that he could not but honour these who were the Parents of our Nation. And he asking if the foure Evangelists on both sides of the Altar, were not foure of the twelve sons of Jacob; the Jesuite answered, Yes, thinking he had asked of the twelve Apostles. But afterward the Jew acknowledged to the Jesuite that he was an Israelite; and he found the Kings Bible, and acknowledged the Hebrew Letters, though he could not read them. By this occasion our people learnt, that ten or twelve families of Israelites were there, and had built a very neat Synagogue which cost ten thousand Crownes, in which they have kept the five Bookes of Moses with great veneration for six hundred yeares. He also affirmed, that in Hamcheu the Metropolis of the Province Chequiona, there are farre more Families, with a Synagogue; and else-where that many Families live without a Synagogue, because that by little and little they are extinguished. He relating many things out of the Old Testament, he differed but little in pronouncing those names. He said, that some among them were not ignorant of the Hebrew Tongue, but that himselfe had neglected it, having studied the China Tongue from a Childe. For which cause he was counted almost unworthy of their society, by the Ruler of the Synagogue. But he chiefly looked after this, that he might get to be Doctor. Three yeares after P. Matthæus Riccius sent one of our brethren to that Metropolis, who found all those things true. He compared the beginnings, and endings of the Bookes which the Jewes keep in their Synagogue, with our Pentateuch, and saw no difference, this only, that those had no pricks. The other Jesuite is Alfonsus Cimedro, who likewise saith, that there is a great number of Jewes in the Province of Oroensis, on the West part of China, who know nothing of the comming, and suffering of Jesus. And he from thence gathers, that they are of the ten Tribes, (which opinion I also am of) because those Chineses observe many Jewish Rites, which you may see in a manuscript, which 31the noble Jaochimus Wicofortius hath. And why might not some of them saile from China to New-Spaine, through the streight between China, and Anian, and Quivira, which doe border upon New-Spaine; and from thence they went to the Isles of Panama, Peru, and those thereabouts. These in my judgement are those Chineses of whom Isaiah speakes, Chap. 49. vers. 12. (treating about Israels returne to his Country.) Behold, these shall come from afarre, and these from the North, and from the West, and these from the Land of Sinim. And so Ptolomy in lib. 7. c. 3. tab. 11. cals it The country of Sinim, or Sina; and this is the true sense of the words; Aben Ezra therefore is mistaken, who derives it of Sene, a bush or wood, which he placeth in Ægypt.

SECT. 17.

I Could easily beleeve, that the ten Tribes as they increased in number, so they spread into more Provinces before-mentioned, and into Tartary. For Abraham Ortelius in his Geography of the World, and Map of Tartary, he notes the place of the Danites which he cals the Hord, which is the same which the Hebrew Jerida, signifying A descent. And lower, he mentions the Hord of Naphtali, possessed by Peroza in the yeare 476. Schikhardus in his Tarich or series of the Kings of Persia, amplifies the History of this War, where ex lib. 4. of Agathias, he thus saith, A little after, when they were eased of that Plague, (sc. 7. yeares drought) in the time of the Emperour Zeno, Firuz made a double warre with Naphtali, in which at last he was destroyed. For first of all he was brought to the streights of places unknowne; who then sought for peace upon this condition (and obtained it) that he should sweare that he would never after provoke them; and that he should doe reverence to this Conquerour in token of subjection: which afterward by the counsell of the Magicians he performed craftily, for he bowed towards the Eastern Sun, that his owne people might thinke that he bowed rather to the Sun (after his Country custom) then to honour his Enemy. But he did not truly performe that first agreement, though confirmed by Letters Patents; who because he could not digest the disgrace of bowing to his Enemy, he prepared a new Army and went against them; but a second time he being entrapped by the badnesse of the Country, he lost his life; and many with him, in a Gulf which the Naphthalites had prepared for him, having dressed 32it over with reeds, and some earth throwne a top; they having left in the middle some high grounds, and trees where their Scouts were, that their stratagem might not be found, and that the Persians might more confidently attempt the ditch. Thus a rash King paid for his perfidy, he excelling more in daring, then in counsell, as Agathias saith. The patent by which peace had been agreed, was hung upon a speare, and might be seene of him at distance, that he might remember his Oath, repent, and desist from his enterprise; but he cared little for that. But when by his unexpected fall he saw he should dye, it is said that he pulled off from his right eare a pearle of huge bignesse, and whitenesse, and least any after him should finde it (more likely that his corps should not be knowne) he threw it a great way off. The same Author askes, who those Naphthalites were, and by many arguments he proves that they are the relicks of the Jewes; saith he, I doe wholly thinke that they are the relicks of the Jewes of the Tribe of Naphtali, whom Triglath Pilesser the Assyrian carried into those places, in 2 King. 15.29. For 1. The name, in the best copies of Agathias, which Lewenclavius hath mended, is the same fully; in other Bookes it wants nothing but an (h) now it is scarce possible that in a word of many syllables that should fall out by chance. 2. Their countenance discovers it, for as Procopious I. C. saith, they are not blacke, or foule in their countenance, as the Auns are among whom they live, but the only white men of that Country; that it may evidently appeare that they came from some other place thither. 3. Their manners agree, for the same Author saith, that they are not Nomades, as the Huns who are unconstant in their dwelling, and eate up one place after another; but they inhabite one certaine place. Besides, they observe Law and equity, as the Romans; and have pollicy, being well governed by their Prince: both which is rare among their neighbour Nations. Also they doe not lay abroad their dead, as the Barbarians doe, but they decently cover them with earth. Lastly, their jornalls doe testifie that many Jewes live there, especially in the mountaines, who have searched to the mid-land countries of East-Asia, R. Benjamin, f. 23. From thence (the coast of Persia) is 28. dayes journey to the mountaines Nisebor, which are neare the river Gozan. The Israelites which come from thence into Persia, say, that there in the Cities of Nisebor, are four Tribes (sc. Dan, Zebulon, Asor, Naphtali,) of the first captivity, which Shalmaneser 33the Assyrian carried thither, as in 2 King. 17.6. he brought them to Habor, and Halah, the river Gozan and the Mountaines of Media. The compasse of that Country is twenty dayes journey; and they possesse Cities, and Castles upon the Mountaines, by one side of which, runs the river Gozan; neither are they subject to the Nations, but have a Governour over them, by name R. Joseph Amarkela a Levite, and there are among them some who study wisdome. They sow, and reap; yea they wage war to the Country of Cuth. In the same place Ortelius adds, in the Country Tabor, or Tibur (which Solinus commends, in c. 49.) they dwell a people, who though they have lost the holy writings, they obey one King, who came into France, in Ann. 1530. and spoke with Francis the first, was burnt at Mantua by the command of the Emperour Charles the fifth, because that he did privately teach Judaism to Christian Princes, and to the Emperour himselfe. Boterus saith the same in his relations of the farthest part of Tartary. But both these were deceived; for Rabbinus Josephus Cohon, a man worthy to be beleeved, relates this more truly in his Chronology, saying, that the Jew who came out of that Country, was the brother of the King of the Israelites, was called David the Reubenite; and having seene India in his passage, he came to Portugal, where he converted the Kings Secretary to Judaism, who fled from thence with him, taking the name of Selomoh Molho; he in short time was so well versed in the Law, yea in the Cabala it selfe, that he made all Italy admire him. The Secretary together with the Reubenite, endevoured to draw the Pope, Charles the fifth, and Francis the first to Judaism. Selomoh Molho was taken at Mantua, and burnt alive, in the yeare 1540. He yet was offered his life, if he would turne Christian. The Reubenite was by Charles the fifth carried prisoner into Spaine, where he shortly after dyed. Abraham Frisol Orchotolam remembers the Reubenite, saying, Forty five years agone David Reubenita, a Prince of the Israelites, came from Tabor, a Province of Tartary, into Europe, who said that two Tribes are there; and other Tribes a little farther, under their Kings, and Princes, and also an unspeakable number of people. Perhaps the Province Tabor is the same that Habor; which is mentioned in 2 King. 17.6. that the ten Tribes were brought by Salmaneser to Habor, and Halah; now the Hebrew letters (h) and (t) are neere in fashion. Eldad Danita of the Tribe of Dan, came out of those Countries 34five hundred yeares agone (a letter from whom, which we call Sephar Eldad Danita, is kept to this day) and being examined by the Rabbins, was found an approved man. The learned Rabbi David Kimhi, who lived 450. yeares since, in etymol. suo in the word Segiah, he saith, Rabbi Jonah writes of the name of Rabbi Juda Aben Karis, that he heard Eldad Danita say, &c. And so what I said is true, as appeares by the testimonies produced.

SECT. 18.

Part of the ten Tribes also live in Ethiopia, in the Habyssin Kingdome; as divers Habyssins reported at Rome. Boterus in his relations speakes the same thing, that two potent Nations doe live neare Nilus, and that one of them is that of the Israelites, who are governed by a mighty King. A Cosmographer who hath added notes to Ptolomyes tables, saith thus in his table of New Africa; that part of New Africk was unknowne of old, the head of Nilus not being knowne, which is in the Mountaines of the Moone, as the Ancients call them; where there dwels a great number of Israelites, paying tribute to Prester John. Rabbi Abraham Frisol in the Book already quoted, saith, that in his time some who had been in those Countries, reported the same to Hercules the Duke of Ferraria. And without question from hence the Habyssins learned Circumcision, the observation of the Sabbath, and many more Jewish rites. Of these Isaiah seemes to speake, in Isa. 18.1, 2. Woe to the Land which under the shadow of sails doth saile beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, by whom (the Prophet saith) are sent Ambassadors in ships of Bulrushes, (such as the Æthiopians use, commonly called Almadiæ.) Bring back a people driven out of their Country, and torn, and more miserable then any among us. Gifts shal be brought to the Lord of Sebaoth, in the place where the name of the Lord of Sebaoth is worshipped, in the mount Sion. The Prophet Zephany saith the same, in Zeph. 3.9, 10. Then will I give to the people that they speaking a pure language, may all call upon the name of God, whom they shall serve with reverence; from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia they shall bring to me for a gift, Hatray the daughter of my dispersed ones, (that is, the Nations of Æthiopia.) Which agrees with that of Isa. And your Brethren, (which are the ten Tribes) shall bring gifts to the Lord.


SECT. 19.

And without doubt they also dwell in Media; from thence they passed Euphrates, whither they were first brought, as in 2 King. 17.24 and in the book of Tobit. Josephus also speakes of them in the Preface of his Book of the War of the Jewes, that the Jewes did think that their brethren, who dwelt beyond Euphrates, and farther, would rebell against the Romans. Agrippa in his Oration to the people of Jerusalem, that they would not rebell against the Romans, speakes thus; What associates doe ye expect to joyne with you in your rebellion, and war? doth not all the knowne world pay tribute to the Romans? Perhaps some of ye hope to have help from them beyond Euphrates. And in lib. 2. Antiquit. c. 5. speaking of those who in the time of Ezra returned from Babylon to Jerusalem, he saith, All Israel dwelt in Media; for two Tribes only dwelt in Asia, and Europe, and lived subject to the Romans; as the other ten on the other side Euphrates, where they are so many, that they cannot be counted. It is not therefore to be doubted, the people encreasing after their first transportation, they sought out new places, which we have formerly mentioned.

SECT. 20.

Lastly, all thinke, that part of the ten Tribes dwell beyond the river Sabbathian, or sabbaticall. Rabbi Johanan the Author of the Jerusalem Talmud, who lived 160. yeares after the destruction of the second Temple, saith in his treatise of the Sanhedrim, cap. 17. That the ten Tribes were carryed into three places, sc. to the Sabbaticall river, to Daphne the suburbs of Antioch, and thither where a cloud comes downe and covers them: And that they shall be redeemed from those three places; for so he opens that place of Isa. Cha. 49.9. That they may say to the Captives, Goe forth, (sc. to them who are at the Sabbaticall river) to them that are in darknesse, shew your selves, (sc. to them who are compassed with the cloud) and to all, they shall be refreshed in the wayes, (sc. to them who live in Daphne of Antioch which is in Syria.) Whence you may observe, that the learned man l’ Empereur translated it ill, at the sides of Antioch, whereas Daphne is the proper name of a pleasant Grove near Antioch. Sedar olam makes mention of that cloud, and calls them mountaines of obscurity, And in Talmud tractat. Sanhedr. c. 11. 36R. Jonathan ben Uziel, who lived a hundred yeares before the destruction of the second Temple, in Exod. 34.10. where the Lord saith, I will doe wonders before all thy people, such as was never done in the whole earth, or in any Nation, &c. and he refers all those things to the transportation of the people. He shall draw them to the rivers of Babylon: and shall carry them to the Sabbaticall river, and shall teach them, that those miracles were never performed to any Nation of the known world.

Our ancient Rabins in Beresit Rabba (no mean book) in Perasach, do say that Tornunsus asking how it should appeare that the day which we keep, is the seventh day, on which God rested after the creation of the world; Rabbi Aquebah (who lived 52 yeares after the destruction of the second Temple) answered by an argument taken from the stones of the Sabbatical River, which in the six dayes are tossed up and down with a continuall motion, but do rest on the Sabbath day and move not. The same is said in the Babylonian Talmud, tractat. Sanhed. c. 7. & in Tanuh Perasach. c. 9. In eodem Beresit Raba, in Perasach 37. Rabbi Simon saith, The ten Tribes were carried to the Sabbaticall river but Juda and Benjamin are dispersed into all Countrys. In Asirim Raba, the last verse of the Song, its said, Our bed is flourishing; that it is meant the ten Tribes, which were carryed to the Sabbaticall river; and that river running all the week, doth cause the ten Tribes there remaining to be shut up; for though on the seventh day the river doth rest, yet it is forbidden by our Law to take a journey then; and for that reason they remained there miraculously, as lost, and concealed from us. So that of Isa. 49. That they say to the prisoners, go forth, is interpreted of them in Jalcut. R. Aquebah after the same manner explains that of Levit. 36.38. And ye shal perish among the heathen. And that of Isa. 27. ult. And they shall come, who were ready to perish in Assyria. Because they are remote from the rest, therefore another Rabbi in Bamibar Raba Parasa 16. applyes to them that of Isaiah 49.12. Behold them who come from farre: that so all those Authors mention that River.

The testimony of Josephus is famous, lib. 7. de Bel. Jud. cap. 24. saying, The Emperour Titus passing between Arca, and Raphanea, Cities of King Agrippa, he saw the wonderfull river, which though it be swift, yet it is dry on every seventh day; and that day being past, it resumes its ordinary course, as if it had no change; and it 37always observes this order. It is called Sabbaticall; from the solemne feast of the Jews, because it imitates their rest every seventh day. I know some do otherwise expound those words of Josephus, but they hit not his meaning, as appears by this, that he calls the River, Sabbathio, or sabbaticall: which word cannot be derived but from Sabbath; and who doth not see that it ceaseth to flow, or move, on the Sabbath day; and so Josephus must be understood according to my sense. Pliny also confirms this opinion, lib. 1. Nat. hist. c. 2. he saith, In Judea a River lies dry every Sabbath; yet I think Pliny is deceived and ill informed, when he saith it is a River in Judea; neither is to be found in Judea, but in another place, where many Jewes live. R. Selomoh Jarchi who lived 540. years since mentions that River in Comment. Talm. saying, The stones, and sand of that River do continually move all the six dayes of the week, until the seventh. R. Mardochus Japhe in his learned book Jephe Thoar saith, The Arabians derive Sabbathion from the Sabbath, who use to adde the particle (ion) to adjectives. The same saith, that it was told him of an hour-glasse filled with the sand of Sabbathion, which ranne all the weeke till the Sabbath. And I heard the same from my father; which testimony I account as good, as if I saw it my selfe; (for fathers do not use to impose upon their sons.) He told me that there was an Arabian at Lisborn, who had such an hour-glasse; and that every Friday at evening he would walk in the street called the new street, and shew this glasse to Jewes who counterfeited Christianity, and say, Ye Jewes, shut up your shops, for now the Sabbath comes. Another worthy of credit, told me of another hour-glasse, which he had some years before, before the Port Mysketa. The Cadi, or Judge of that place, saw him by chance passing that way, and asked him, what it was? he commanded it to be taken away; rebuking the Mahomitans, that by this, they did confirme the Jewish Sabbath. I should not speak of these glasses, if the authority of such a man whom I have alledged, did not move me; though I beleeve that God did not only work that miracle, that he might keep part of the ten Tribes there, but other also, as you may see in Esdras. R. Moses Gerundensis a learned Cabalist, and Interpreter of the Law in Parasa Aazinu, thinks the River Sabbathion to be the same with Gozan, of Guz, which signifies to snatch away, because except the seventh day, on all the other, it carryes with it, by its swiftnesse, the very stones. Of this there is mention in 2 King. whither the King of Assyria led his captives; 38and so relates Benjamin Tudelensis in his journall, that part of the ten Tribes dwelt at the bank of that River. But I know not where the River Gozan is. In the year 5394, that is, 15 years agon in the City Lubin, two Polonians after they had travelled long, they wrot in Dutch a book of the originiall of the Sabbaticall River, but the Senate commanded it to be burnt at the Mart of Breslaw, by the perswasion of the Jesuites. Abraham Frisal in his Orchot Olam. c. 26. will have this river to be in India, he saith, The head of the Sabbaticall river is in the country of Upper India, among the rivers of Ganges. And a little after, The Sabbaticall river hath its originall from the other side of Kalikout (which lyes far above the bound of Lamik, which he placeth beyond the sinus Barbaricus) and it parts the Indians from the Kingdome of the Jewes, which river you may certainly find there, Though he takes Gozan for Ganges, for some nearnesse of writing; yet its not to be doubted that in that place there are many Jewes, witnesse Johannes de Bairos in his Decads. Eldad Danita speaking of the four Tribes: which he placeth at Gozan saith, The Sabbaticall river is among them. Josephus saith, that Titus saw the Sabbathion between Arca and Raphanea. Which testimony seems the truer, because its not to be thought that Josephus would tel a lie of him, by whom he might be rebuked. I think that ye must look for it not far from the Caspian Sea: and I am not alone in this opinion. What ever it be it appeares that this river is somewhere, and that part of the ten Tribes are hid there; and I may say with Moses in Deut. 29.28, 29. And the Lord cast them out of their Land in anger, and in wrath; Secret things belong to the Lord our God. For it is not known when they shall return to their Countrey; neither can it perfectly be shewed where they are, God suffering it, as its said in Deut. 32.26. I determined to cast them forth unto the ends of the earth, and to make their remembrance cease from among men. As if he should say, I wil cast them unto the furthest places of the world that none may remember them; and therefore they are truly in Scripture called imprisoned, and lost.

SECT. 21.

Neither is there weight in the Argument which some have brought to me, if they be in the world, why doe we not know them better? There are many things which we know, and yet know not their original; are we not to this day ignorant of the heads of the four 39Rivers, Nilus, Ganges, Euphrates, and Tegris? also there are many unknown Countryes. Besides, though some live in knowne and neighbour Countrys, yet they are unknown by being behind Mountains; so it happened under the reign of Ferdinand, and Isabel, that some Spaniards were found out by accident, at Batueca, belonging to the Duke of Alva, which place is distant but ten miles from Salamanca, and near to Placentia, whither some Spaniards fled, when the Moors possessed Spaine, and dwelt there 800 years. If therefore a people could lie hid so long in the middle of Spaine, why may we not say that those are hid, whom God will not have any perfectly to know, before the end of days?

And these things we have gathered concerning the habitations of the ten Tribes, who, we beleeve, do still keep the Jewish Rites, as in 2 King. 17.26. when the Israelites were carryed captive by Salmaneser, and those of Cuthah came in their stead, an Israelitish Priest was sent by the King, to teach them, because Lyons infested them, for that they were ignorant that there was another worship used in the land: but when the Priest saw that it was impossible to take that people wholly off from Idolatry, he permitted them to worship divers gods, so that they would acknowledge one, to be the mover of all things. The same is also sufficiently proved out of all the Histories which we have alledged. And our brethren do keep the law more zealously out of their land, then in it, as being neither ambitious, nor contentious (which hath sometimes happened with the family of David) by which means they might easily erre in the true Religion, not acknowledge Jerusalem, and withdraw that obedience, which is due to the Lord, and to his Temple.

SECT. 22.

Wee learne out of the first of Ezra, that none of the ten Tribes entred the second Temple; for it is said that only some of the Tribe of Judah, and some of Benjamin did returne. Ezra also saith the same in the first of Chronicles, that Salmaneser carryed the ten Tribes to Hala, Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan to this day: so that you may gather that at that time they were there. So likewise Josephus in Antiq; Ind. lib. 11. c. 5.

Perhaps some will say, since Media and Persia, are near to Babylon, why did they not return to Jerusalem with the two Tribes? I answer, because so few of the two neighbouring Tribes did return from 40thence to Jerusalem, for that they were wel seated in Babylon; or else because they heard the Prophets say, that they must not look for any redemption but that which was to be at the end of dayes. How then can we thinke that they who were more remote, and also had learnt the same things of the Prophets, should leave their place, perhaps to suffer new miseries, and calamities? Besides, we doe not read that Cyrus gave leave to any to return, but only to the two Tribes of Juda and Benjamin. And also it is probable (as some Authors affirme) that they could not goe up from thence, because they had continually Wars with the neighbour people.

SECT. 23.

Hitherto we have shewed that the ten Tribes are in divers places, as in the West-Indies, in Sina; in the confines of Tartary, beyond the river Sabbathion, and Euphrates, in Media, in the Kingdome of the Habyssins; of all which the Prophet Isaiah is to be understood, in Isa. 11.11. It shall come to passe in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Ethiopia, from Elam, from Sinear, from Hamath, and from the Islands of the Sea. From whence you may gather, that it is meant of those places where the ten Tribes dwell. Syria and Ægypt shall be the two places of their generall meeting; as more fully hereafter.

Pathros, is not Pelusium, nor Petra, but Parthia, neare to the Caspian Sea, where I thinke, with many others, the Sabbaticall river is. Although there is a Pathros in Ægypt, as the learned Samuel Bochardus saith in his holy Geography.

Chus, according to common opinion, is Æthiopia, as is proved out of Jer. 13.23. and in this place of Jeremy are meant the Israelites, who live in the Country of the Abyssins.

Elam, is a Province in Persia, as it appeares in Dan. 8.2. where are desert places, in which, perhaps, the remnant of the ten Tribes is.

Shinar, is a Province about Babylon, as in Gen. 10.10. where Babel is said to be in Shinar; and Dan. 1.2. it is said, that Nebuchadnezzar carryed the holy Vessels to the Land of Shinar.

Hamath, there are many Hamaths mentioned in the Scripture, many understand it of Antioch; but because Geographers reckon up 12 41places named Antioch, therefore we can affirme nothing for certain; but I thinke, that that is meant, which is placed in Sythia. The seventy Interpreters by Hamath, understand the Sun, from Hamath the Sun; and they translate it, From the rising of the Sun; and I thinke it is no ill translation; for hereby all the Israelites who are in greater Asia, India, and Sina, may be understood.

The Islands of the Sea; so almost all translate it; but I thinke it is to be rendred The Islands of the West, for (jam) in holy Scripture signifies The West, as in Gen. 28.14. and in many other places; and upon this account those Israelites are implyed, who are Westward from the Holy Land, among whom the Americans are.

SECT. 24.

The Prophet adds in Isa. 11.12. And he shall set up a signe for the Nations, and he shall assemble the out-casts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the foure quarters of the earth. Where he notes two things; 1. That he cals the Israelites out-casts, but the Iewes scattered; and the reason is, because the ten Tribes are not only farre off from the Holy Land, but also they live in the extremities and ends of Countries; from whence the Prophet cals them cast-out. But he doth not say, that the Israelites are to be gathered from the foure quarters of the Earth, because they are not so dispersed through the World, as the Tribe of Iudah is, which now hath Synagogues, not only in three parts of the World, but also in America. The Prophet adds in ver. 13, The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off. For then there shall be no contention between Iudah, and the ten Tribes, which are comprehended under the name of Ephraim, because their first King Jeroboam was of that Tribe. And then, as it is in Ezek. 37.22. One King shall be King over them all, and they shall be no more two Nations, neither shall they be divided any more into two Kingdoms. There shall be one King to them both, of the family of David. Also the Lord at that redemption will dry up Nilus, and Euphrates, and will divide it into seven streames (answerable to his drying up the red Sea when they came out of Ægypt) perhaps that the seven Tribes, which are in those parts, may goe over it; as they passe into their Country, as Isaiah saith in ch. 27.12, 13. And it shall be in that day, and he shall shake off from the bank of the river, (some understand Euphrates) unto the river of Egypt (Nilus) and ye, O children of Israel, shall be gathered one by one. Which was never done in the captivity of Babylon.

42The Prophet Isaiah saith in chap. 11.11. that he will return them the second time, &c. Now the redemption from Babilon, cannot be called such an one, because all of them were not brought back to their Country. But the redemption shall be universall to all the Tribes, as it was when they went out of Ægypt, which redemption shall be like the first in many things, as I shewed in the third part of my Reconciler; and so it may be called the second, in reference to that first from Ægypt. Whence Jeremiah saith, Cha. 23.7, 8. That then it shall not be said, He that brought Israel out of Egypt, but from the North, and from all Countries, whither he had driven them. That they shall not mention their departure from Ægypt, for the cause fore-mentioned.

SECT. 25.

The same Prophet, sc. Isa. 43.5, 6. saith, I will bring thy seed from the East, and will gather thee from the West: I will say to the North, Give up; and to the South, Keep not back; bring my Sons from farre, and my Daughters from the ends of the earth. For Media, Persia, and China, lye on the East; Tartary and Scythia on the North; the Kingdome of the Abyssins on the South; Europe on the West, from the Holy Land. But when he saith, Bring ye my sons from farre, he understands America; so that in those verses he understands all those places, in which the Tribes are detained. Also in Chap. 49. from ver. 7. to the end of the Chapter, he saith, that that returne shall be most happy. And in ch. 56. vers. 8. God saith, He that gathers the out-casts of Israel. And the Prophet Jeremiah, in ch. 33. ver. 16. In those dayes shall Juda be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely. It is certaine, and Jerome assents to all our Authors, that when Judah is joyned with Israel, by Israel the ten Tribes are meant. The same adds in chap. 31. ver. 15. in the comforting of Rachel, who wept for the carrying away her sons, Joseph, and Benjamin, the first by Salmaneser into Assyria, the last by Nebuchadnezzar into Babilon, he saith, in vers. 16. Refraine thy voyce from weeping, and thine eyes from teares, for thy work shall be rewarded. And it followes in Chap. 33. ver. 7. And I will cause the captivity of Judah, and the captivity of Israel to returne, and I will build them up as at the first. Ezekiel saith the same in Chap. 34.13. and in Chap. 37.16. under the figure of two sticks, on which were written the names of Judah, and Ephraim, by which he proves the gathering together of the twelve Tribes to be subject to 43Messiah the Son of David, in ver. 22. he saith, And one King shall be King to them all; according as Hosea saith in Chap. 2. So also saith Amos, in chap. 9. vers. 14, 15. And I will bring againe the captivity of my people Israel, and they shall build the wast Cities, and inhabite them; and they shall plant vine-yards, and drink the wine thereof: they shall make gardens, and eate the fruit of them. And they shall be no more pulled up out of their Land, which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God. So also Mica. in cha. 2.12. I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee, I will gather the remnant of Israel, I will also place him as the flock in the sheep-fold. For that in the captivity of Babilon all were not gathered together. The Prophet Zechariah in chap. 8.7. and in chap. 10.6. and all the rest of the Prophets do witnesse the same thing.

SECT. 26.

But which way that redemption shall be, no man can tell; but only so farre as we may gather out of the Prophets. That at that time the ten Tribes shall come to Jerusalem under the leading of a Prince, whom some Rabbins in the Talmud, and in some places of the Chaldy Paraphrase, doe call Messiah the Son of Joseph; and elsewhere Messiah the Son of Ephraim; who being slaine in the last War of Gog and Magog, shall shew himselfe to be Messiah the sonne of David, who shall be, as Ezekiel, and Hosea say, The everlasting Prince of all the twelve Tribes. Our wise men doe, in many places, especially in the Babilonian Talmud, in tract. suca: c. 5. make mention of that Messiah the sonne of Ephraim; where they say, that he shall dye in the last war of Gog, and Magog; and they so expound that of Zach. 12.10. And they shall looke upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourne for him, as one mourneth for his only sonne. They adde also, that the foure Captaines, of whom the same Prophet speakes in chap. 11. are, Messiah the son of David, Messiah the son of Joseph, the Prophet Elias, and the high Priest; which foure are those dignities, which shall shew their power in that blessed age. Observe, that sometime they call Messiah the son of Ephraim, sometime of Joseph; for he shall come out of the Tribe of Ephraim, and shall be Captaine of all the ten Tribes, who gave their name to Ephraim, because that their first King Jeroboam was of that Tribe. Not without cause doe they call him the son of Joseph, for he was the true type of the house of Israel, in his imprisonment, 44and future happinesse. Adde to this, that he was so long hid from his brethren, that they did not know him: as in like manner the ten Tribes are at this day, who are led captive, but hereafter shall come to the top of felicity, in the same manner as Joseph did. That Messiah of Joseph shall dye in the battel of Gog, and Magog, and afterward shall rise againe, that he may enjoy the dignity, not of a Kingly Scepter, but the office only of a Vice-roy, as Joseph in Ægypt; for that the Empire of the house of Israel fell under the reigne of Hosea the son of Elah; as the Prophet Amos saith in chap. 5.2. Therefore the Kingdome of the ten Tribes shall not be restored, as Ezekiel saith in Chap. 37. under the reigne of Messiah the son of David, who shall be everlasting; and by the death of Messiah the son of Joseph, the ten Tribes shall see, that God will not that they should have more Kings then one. As its already spoken.

SECT. 27.

Those Tribes then shall be gathered from all quarters of the earth, into Countries neare to the Holy Land; namely, into Assyria, and Ægypt; and from thence they shall goe into their Country; of which Isaiah speakes, in chap. 27.13. And it shall be in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they who were lost, shall come into the Land of Assyria; and they who were cast out, into Egypt; and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem. As if he should say, as trumpets sound, to call any army together: so they shall come together, who were dead (that is, dispersed through all Asia) into Assyria; and the out-casts (that is, which are in America) shall come by the Mediterranean Sea to Alexandria of Ægypt; and in the like manner those who are in Africa, when Nilus shall be dried up, and Euphrates shall be divided; as we have already said. And because the gathering together of the captivity, shall begin at those who are in America, therefore Isaiah saith, The Islands shall trust in me, and the ships of Tarsis (that is of the Ocean) first of all, that they may bring thy sons from farre, and with them, their silver, and gold. They shall then come with speed from those Countries, prostrating themselves at the mountaine of the Lord in Jerusalem, as the Prophet Hosea saith of that redemption in chap. 11.11. They shall come as birds out of Egypt, and as Doves out of Assyria; so saith Isaiah in Chap. 60.8. Who are those that fly as a cloud, and as Doves to their nests? They which 45come first, shall also partake of this joy, to see others to come to them every moment; for which cause the same Prophet saith, Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold them who gather themselves to thee. And because the two Countrys of Assyria and Egypt, shall first of all kindly receive the people of Israel, and shall know the truth, first of all imbracing the Religion of the Jewes, sacrificing and praying to God, therefore the prophet Isaiah saith, in c. 19.25. Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the worke of my hands; but Israel is my inheritance. For so those words are to be understood.

SECT. 28.

All those are the sayings of the holy Prophets, from whence doth appeare the returne of Israel into their Country. It is given to none to know the time thereof, neither is it revealed to Rabby Simeon ben Johay, the Author of the Zoar; because that God hath reserved that mystery to himself, as Moses saith. It is hid with me. And Isaiah in ch. 63.4. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year in which the redemption shall come. Which the Rabbins thus interpret, I have reveiled it to my heart and not to Angells: and elsewhere, If any man tell you when Messiah shall come, beleeve him not. So also the Angel saith to Daniel ch. 12.9. All things are closed up and sealed to the time of the end. Therefore all those, who search after that time, as Rabbi Seadiah, Moses Egyptius, Moses Gerundensis, Selomoh Jarchi, Abraham bar Ribi Hijah, Abraham Zacculo, Mordehai Reato, and Isaac Abarbanel, have been mistaken; for that they would go beyond humane capacity, and reveale that, which God concealed. And even to Daniel himselfe (to whom was made knowne the secret of the change of the four Monarchies) it was so revealed to him, that hee confessed he did not understand it. Our Ancients did point at this from the Letter (m) in Isa. 9.7. where he saith, Of the increase of his government: which (m) in the Hebrew, being such an (m) which they write onely in the end of words, and a close letter, yet is put in the middle of the word, against common practise: because that the time of the fifth Monarchy shall be hid, till the time when it shall begin.


SECT. 29.

Yet this I can affirm, that it shall be about the end of this age; and so the Prophet speaks of that age about the end of dayes: and that after many labours, and a long captivity. So Balaam prophesies, Numb. 24.17. I see, but not now; I behold, but not near; a Star shall come out of Jacob. Isa. 24.22. They shall be cast into prison, and they shall be visited after many daies. And Isa. 49.14. And Sion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Hos. 3.4, 5. The children of Israel shall be many days without a King, and without a Prince: And after that they shall seek the Lord their God, and David their King. The King and Prophet complains of that delay, in Psa. 44. Psa. 69. Psa. 74. Psa. 77. Psal. 83. And after that in Psal. 89.50.51. he thus concludes, Remember, O God, the reproach of thy servants, who suffer so many injuries of so many people: wherewith they have reproached the steps of thy Messiah. As yet at this day it is said, that ALTHOUGH THE MESSIAH WERE LAME, HE MIGHT HAVE COME BY THIS TIME. Though we cannot exactly shew the time of our redemption, yet we judge it to be near. For,

1 We see many prophesies fulfilled, and others also which are subservient to a preparation for the same redemption; and it appears by this, that during that long and sore captivity, many calamities are fore-told us under the four Monarchies. David saith in Psal. 120.7. Lord when I speake of peace, they speake of war. And elsewhere, We are slaine all the day for thy name, and are accounted for sheep which are slain. In Isa. 53.7. He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before his shearers: he shall be dumb, and shall not open his mouth. O how have we seen these things in the banishments of England, France and Spaine! and how have they proved those crimes, which most false men have said that ours did commit! Behold they have slaine them, not for wickednesses, which they did not commit, but for their riches which they had. O how have we seen all those things done by divine providence, for that those misfortunes for the most part happened on the ninth day of the month Ab, an ominous, and unhappy day, on which the first, and second Temple were burnt, and the spies wept without a cause.


SECT. 30.

What shall we say of that horrible monster, the Spanish Inquisition, what cruelty hath not daily been used against a company of miserable ones, innocents, old men, and children, of every sex and age, who were slaine, because they could not divine who was their secret accuser? But let us see, why in al those places (in which that Spanish tyrannicall Empire rules,) they were slain, who would observe the law of Moses; and by how many, and how great miracles hath that law been confirmed; and what unrighteousnesse is there in it? We daily see examples of constancy in ours, worthy of all praise, who for the sanctifying of Gods name, have been burnt alive. Truly many who are still living, can witnesse all those things. In the year 1603. At Lisbone, Diogo d’Assumean, a Monk of 24. years, was burnt alive, who defended himselfe in the Inquisition against some, who would have reduced him to Christianity, who was born a Christian, and made a Jew; which all wonder at; the Inquisitors being grieved that they had published the reasons which he had alledged, would have recalled their sentence; but it was then too late; for it was divulged through the world, which I my selfe have by me. Also the Lord Lope de Veray Alacron deserves the praise of Martyrdome, who being born of a noble, and eminent Family, and very learned in the Hebrew, and Latine tongues, did imbrace our Religion; neither thought it sufficient to be such himselfe, but discovered himselfe to many others; thereupon in Ann. 1644 in the twentieth of this age, he being imprisoned at Valladolid, though he lived in the darke, yet he discovered light to many; neither could the great number of Doctors, nor the greater affliction of his parents, move him from his enterprise, either by tears or by promises. He circumcised himself in prison (O strange act, and worthy of all praise!) and named himselfe beleeving Judas; and at last, as a second Isaac, offered himselfe to the flames, contemning life, goods, and honours, that hee might obtain immortall life, and good things that cannot perish; in the 25th yeer of his age. Now though those were not of the family of Israel, yet they obtained an immortall glory, which is better then this life.

Also we have many examples of our own, which did equalize them, of which that is one, which is done in our time, and is worthy to be remembred; Isaac Castrensis Tartas (whom I knew, and spoke 48with) a learned young man, and versed in the Greek, and Latine; he being but newly come to Fernambuc, was taken by the Portugese, and carryed to Lisbone, and burnt alive; he was a young man of 24. years old; scorning riches, and honours, which were offered to him, if he would turne Christian. They who say he was a traytor, do lye egregiously; for he did defend that place where he was Governour, most valiantly; as ours do deport themselves in those fortified places which are committed to their charge. The same Martyrdom was undergone at Lima, by Eli Nazarenus, in Ann. 1639. Janu. 23. who after he had lived 14 whole years in prison, all which time hee eat no flesh, lest he should defile his mouth; he called himselfe by that name, after he had circumcised himselfe. Such a Martyr also, this year, was Thomas Terbinon in the City of Mexico.

SECT. 31.

If the Lord fulfilled his word in calamities, he will fulfill it also in felicities. Therefore Rabbi Aquibah laughed, when hee saw a Fox run out of the Temple being destroyed, though his companions wept; he saying, Now is fulfilled that prophecy of Jeremiah, Lament. 5.18. And the foxes shall run therein; and he added, and those blessings also shall follow, which the Lord hath promised. We see all the curses of God come to passe, which are mentioned in Leviticus and Deuteronomy; as well as those, which concerne our being scattered to the ends of the earth (which is Portugall) and those concerning the calamities of the Inquisition; and those of our banishments, as I have opened in my booke, De termino vitæ; from whence it appears, that all the happy prophesies shall be fulfilled. And as we have perished, so also shall Bozra (that is, Rome) perish. See Isa. 34.6.

SECT. 32.

Secondly; The argument which we bring from our Constancy under so many evills, cannot be eluded, that therefore God doth reserve us for better things. Moses in Levit. 26.44. saith, Though they be in the land of their enemies, yet I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them to destroy them utterly, and to breake my covenant with them, for I am the Lord their God. And truly these things are now fulfilled, for that in this captivity, and among the many reproaches which we Jewes suffer, yet many of ours are 49honourably entertained by Princes, with a singular affection. So D. Ishac Abarbanel, who comes of Davids line, is Counsellor to the King of Spaine, and Portugall. By this also he hath got a great name, for that he composed the differences, which arose beene the King of Portugall, and the Republique of Venice. And from that Family of Äbarbanel (which I note by the by) doe proceed my Children, by my wives side. And in the house of his sonne, D. Samuel Abarbanel, and of his wife Benuenida, the Lady Leonora de Toledo, was brought up at Naples, who is the Daughter of D. Peter de Toledo, the Vice-roy of Naples; who afterwards was married to the most eminent Duke Cosmus de Medicis, and having obtained the Dukedome of Toscani, she honoured Benuenida with as much honour, as if she were her mother.

That peace, which the Venetians made with the Emperour Sultan Selim, 75. yeares agone, was made, and ratified by a certaine Jew Don Selomo Rophe, who was sent Ambassadour to Venice, and received with great pomp, by the Venetians. At Constantinople D. Ben Jaese, Anaucas, and Sonsinos are of great authority with the Turk. In Ægypt the Jewes were alwayes Saraph baxas, and also at this day is D. Abraham Alholn. Who knowes not that D. Josephus Nassi, otherwise called Joannes Michesius, about the 66. yeare of the former age, was Duke of Naccia, Lord of Milum, and of the seven Islands, of whom see Famian. Strada in Histor. Belgic. part. 1. lib. 5. He was raised to these honours by Sultan Selim. As also by Sultan Amurat, Jacob Aben Jaes, otherwise called Alvoro Mendez, was made Governour of Tyberias; witnesse Boterus in Relation, part. 3. lib. 2. in Barbary, the Lords Rutes were always Governours of Sekes, Phes, and Taradanta. In Ann. 1609. D. Samuel Palaxe was sent Ambassadour to the States, by Mulai Zidan the King of Maracco. But he dyed at the Haghe in Anno. 1616. And the most eminent Prince Maurice, and the Nobles, were at his Funerall. In Persia who knowes not of what account they are? There, thirty years since, Elhazar was second to the King, and as it were Governour. Now David Jan succeeds him, to whom others also being joyned, they live in the Court. And that must not be forgot, that when the most eminent Duke of Holstein sent Otto Burchmannus Ambassadour to Persia, in Ann. 1635. he desired commendatory letters from our Jewes at Hamburgh, to them, who (as we have already told you) doe live there in the Court, that they would 50make way there, for him that was a stranger: that he might dispatch his affaires: Which was also performed. By which means ours, who are in Persia, dismissed Burchmannus, with rich gifts, and with Letters to the most eminent Duke of Holstein, which the twelve Chuzæ, or Princes, had subsigned. A copy of which Letters the most excellent D. Benjamin Mussapha, one familiar with the Prince helped me to. Also Claudius Duretu en son thresor des langues, fol. 302. saith, that there are almost an infinite number of Jewes in Asia, especially in India, and that King Cochini is their great favourer. Yea Linschotes saith (where he treats of Cochini) that they have Synagogues there, and that some of them are of the Kings Counsell. At Prague, Mordocheas Maisel had Armes given him by the Emperour Matthias, who also knighted him. Which honour Iacob Bathsebah also had, under the Reigne of Ferdinand; and many other Families are graced with other honours. And in this very captivity (who could thinke it) they are so wealthy, that (Gods providence favouring them) they may challenge to themselves a place among the most Noble.

SECT. 33.

Who can enumerate the number of ours, who are renowned by fame, and learning? The learned R. Moses bar Maimon was Phisician to Saladin the King of Ægypt. Moses Amon to the Emperour Sultan Bajaseth. Elias Montalto to the most eminent Queen of France, Loysia de Medicis; and was also her Counsellor. At Padua Elias Cretensis read Philosophy; and R. Abraham de Balmas, the Hebrew Grammer. And how much honour had Elias Grammaticus at Rome? And almost all the Princes of Italy honoured him with all kinde of honour, Abraham Kolorni; as appeares by a Letter writ to him by Thomas Garzoni nella sua piazza universale del mundo. Picus Mirandula (who useth to say, That he had but small understanding, who only looked after his owne things, and not after other mens) and others, had Hebrew teachers. David de Pomis dedicated his Book to Pope Sextus the fifth, who lovingly, and courteously received both the Author, and work. So at this day we see many desirous to learne the Hebrew tongue of our men. Hence may be seene that God hath not left us; for if one persecute us, another receives us civilly, and courteously; and if this Prince treats us ill, another treats us well; if one banisheth us out of his country, 51another invites us by a thousand priviledges; as divers Princes of Italy have done, the most eminent King of Denmarke, and the mighty Duke of Savoy in Nissa. And doe we not see, that those Republiques doe flourish, and much increase in Trade, which admit the Israelites?

SECT. 34.

Moses saith in his last song, that God would revenge the bloud of his people who are scattered. And Ieremiah saith, in chap. 2.3. Israel is the Lords holy thing, the first fruits of his increase; all who devoure him shall be found guilty; evill shall come upon them, saith the Lord. And that the Histories of divers times, even from Nebuchadnezzar to these very times, doe testifie. Have not the Monarchies of great Princes been destroyed? Consider with me the miserable ends of Antiochus, of Pompey, of Sisibuthus, of Philip the King of France, of Alonsus the sonne of Iohn the second. And we may remember, how King Sebastian with his fourth Generation, and with all his Nobles, was slaine in a battell of Africa, in that same place, in which he had caused the Iews to be banished. Ferdinand, and Isabel were the great Persecutors of our Nation, but how did both he, and she dye? as for him his Son-in-law, and his owne Subjects did persecute him; and his only sonne dyed (leaving no issue) on his Wedding-day, being seventeen yeares old. His daughter being Heire of the Kingdome, and of her Fathers hatred, would not marry to Emanuel King of Portugal, unlesse he would compell us to be banished, and change our Religion. But she dyed in Child-birth of her Sonne Saragoci, and also her Son, before he was halfe a yeare old; and the succession was devolved upon the Kingdome of Spaine. It is not long since, that the Spaniards exercised upon us at Mantua, what ever cruelties they could invent; what shall we say of that at Madrid in the yeare 1632, was done by the Inquisition, the King, and Princes of the Kingdome concurring; but in the very same month dyed the Infant Charles, and their Kingdome declined. What wonder is it if God hath chastised divers Kingdomes by sundry wayes: but of this I treat farther in my History of the Iewes. Let us conclude therefore, that that good, which God hath promised, will shortly come, since we see that we have suffered those evils, which he hath threatned us with, by the Prophets.


SECT. 35.


The shortnesse of time (when we beleeve our redemption shall appeare) is confirmed by this, that the Lord hath promised that he will gather the two Tribes, Iudah, and Benjamin, out of the foure quarters of the World, calling them Nephussim. From whence you may gather, that for the fulfilling of that, they must be scattered through all the corners of the World; as Daniel saith, Dan. 12.7. And when the scattering of the holy people shall have an end, all those things shall be fulfilled. And this appeares now to be done, when as our Synagogues are found in America.

SECT. 36.


To these, let us adde that, which the same Prophet speakes, in ch. 12. ver. 4. That knowledge shall be encreased; for then the prophecies shall better be understood, the meaning of which we can scarce attaine to, till they be fulfilled. So after the Otteman race began to flourish, we understood the prophesie of the two leggs of the Image of Nebuchadnezzar, which is to be overthrowne by the fifth Monarchy, which shall be in the World. So Jeremiah after he had handled in Chap. 30. the redemption of Israel, and Judah, and of the war of Gog, and Magog (of which Daniel also speakes in ch. 12.) when he treats of the Scepter of the Messiah the son of David, of the ruine of the Nations, of the restoration of Judah, of holy Jerusalem, and of the third Temple, he adds in ver. 24. The fierce anger of the Lord shall not returne, till he hath executed it, and till he hath performed the intents of his heart; in the latter dayes ye shall understand it. From whence followes what we have said, that the time of redemption is at hand. And because Jeremiah in that Chapter makes an abridgement of all things that shall be, therefore it is said in ver. 2. Write thee all the words which I have spoken to thee in a book. By this meane making the Prophecie clearer, by relating in a cleare style, whatever the Prophets had fore-told; imitating Moses, the last words of whose song are, Sing, O ye Nations, with his people, in Deut. 32.43. Also the last words which he spake, after that he had blessed the Tribes, are these, Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like to thee, O people? saved by the Lord, who is the sheild of thy help, and the sword of thy excellency; and 53thine enemies shall be found lyars to thee, and thou shalt tread upon their high places, in Deut. 33.29. From whence it appeares, that God will revenge the bloud of Israel, which had been shed. Joel confirmes the same in ch. 3.19. Ægypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a filthy desert, for the violence, and injury offered to the Jewes, and because they have shed innocent bloud in their Land. And as they shall be punished by the just judgement of God, who wish us evill: so also God will give blessings upon them who favour us. And those are the trees of the field which then shall rejoyce. So God saith to Abraham, in Gen. 12.3. I will blesse them who blesse thee, and curse them that curse thee.

SECT. 37.

These are the things which I could gather concerning this matter, which hath not been heretofore handled; from whence these consequences may be deduced.

1. That the West-Indies, were anciently inhabited by a part of the ten Tribes, which passed thither out of Tartary, by the Streight of Anian.

2. That the Tribes are not in any one place, but in many; because the Prophets have fore-told their return shall be into their Country, out of divers places; Isaiah especially saith it shall be out of eight.

3. That they did not returne to the second Temple.

4. That at this day they keep the Jewish Religion.

5. That the prophecies concerning their returne to their Country, are of necessity to be fulfilled.

6. That from all coasts of the World they shall meet in those two places, sc. Assyria, and Ægypt; God preparing an easie, pleasant way, and abounding with all things, as Isaiah saith, ch. 49. and from thence they shall flie to Jerusalem, as birds to their nests.

7. That their Kingdome shall be no more divided; but the twelve Tribes shall be joyned together under one Prince, that is under Messiah the Son of David; and that they shall never be driven out of their Land.

SECT. 38.

I returne to the relation of our Montezinus, which I prefer before the opinions of all others as most true for that Peru should be derived from the name Ophir, as Gulielmus Postellus, Goropius in Ortelius, 54Bozius de signis Eccles. lib. 2. c. 3. Marinus in arca Noah, P. Sa. in 3. Reg. Pomarius in his Lexicon, and Possevinus lib. 2. Biblith. c. 8. do think, cannot be proved; as Pineda hath wel observed, in Job, c. 28. p. 500. for we have said out of Garcilasso de la Vega, that that name was unknown to them of Peru. Ophir then is East-India, if we beleeve Josephus, lib. 8. Antiquit. Judaic. c. 6. & Acosta in lib. 1. Histor. Ind. from whence Solomon fetched gold, and precious stones. But what Gomara in part 1. hist. Ind. fol. 120. and Zarate in proæm. hist. Peru, would have, that ours did passe over that famous, and much praised Island (by Plato in Critia, and Timæus) of Atlantis, and so went into the neighbour Islands of Barlovent, and from thence to the firm land, and at last to the Kingdom of Peru, and New-Spain; it is deservedly exploded as fabulous; and Acosta laughs at it, in lib. 1. hist. Ind. c. 22. But Marcilius Ficinus in comment. in Timeum, c. 4. & Critia, that he might defend Plato, thinkes (and his Disciples, Porphiry, Origen, and Proclus doe follow him) that all that which is in Critia, and in Timæus, is to be understood allegorically. And who will beleeve Lescarbotus, who saith that they are the Canaanites, who fled thither for feare of Joshua? For I cannot be perswaded that they sought out Countries so far remote. They who will have them of Peru to have come out of Norwey, or Spain, may be confuted by their very form, manners and the unlikenesse of their Languages. But that is more false, that they are Israelites, who have forgot circumcision, and their rites. For they are of a comly body, and of a good wit, as saith Doct. Johannes Huarte, in his book which is called, Examen ingenior. c. 14. But contrarily all men know that the Indians are deformed, dul, and altogether rude. And we have abundantly shown, with how great study, and zeal, the Israelites have kept their Language, and Religion, out of their Country.

SECT. 39.

Montezinus then speaks most likely; that as other people forced the Israelites to betake them to the mountains: so America being first of all inhabited by the persecuting Tartars, they were driven to the mountains of Cordillere, where at last they were hid, as God would have it. Truly, comparing the Israelites themselves, or their Laws, with other people, I see not anything that comes nearer truth. Perhaps also America was not of old contiguous to Asia on the North side. It doth not seeme to me such an absurdity, to say, that the 55Israelites went out of Tartary into America by land; and afterward, that God, to preserve his, among other miracles, also wrought this, to make that a Sea, where now is the streight of Anian. Yea that might be don without a miracle, by accident, as we know that more than once, the Sea by a violent storm hath carryed away the Land, and made Islands. Xenophon in suis æquivoc. mentions the inundations of Ægypt, which happened in the days of Prometheus, and Hercules. Also Berosus in lib. 5. and Diodorus li. 6. mentions the inundation of Attica, in which Athens stands. Pliny in lib. 2. c. 85. & lib. 13. c. 11. Strabo in l. 1. & l. 12. and Plutarch in Alexandr. relate the drowning of the Isle Pharaonica; of which Luther speaks so elegantly in lib. ultimo. Besides, who knows not how many, and how great Cities have at divers times been almost wholly ruined by several earthquakes? Sueton, in Tiberio, c. 48. writes, that under Tiberius, twelve Cities in Asia have been by this means ruined. Orosius lib. 7. c. 4. and Dion Cassius lib. 57. do affirm the same, though they differ about the time. Tacitus in lib. 14, and Eusebius in Chron. relate the destruction of that famous and rich City of Laodicea. Origen tom. 28. in Joan and Baronius tom. 2. Annal. Ecclesiast, Ann. 340: do speak of other earthquakes, which have destroyed divers, and very many men, and Cities. And P. Alonsus in suo manual. tempor. relates, that the same hath happened in our dayes; saith he, In the year 1638. A great Earthquake happened in the Islands of the Terceræ, but especially in St. Michael, where the Governour dwells; for that unheard of shaking of the earth, and houses, struck so great terror into the Inhabitants, that al fled out of their houses & lived in the fields, a little after, two miles from thence, they saw the Sea vomit up abundance of fiery matter, which made a very thicke smoake, which covered the very clouds; and it cast up many great stones which seemed like rocks; part whereof falling downe againe, made an Island in the Sea which was halfe a mile over, and sixty fathom high, & an hundred & fifty fathom deep. That hot exhalation which that fiery mountain sent forth, pierced the very waters, and stifled so many fishes, that two Indian ships could not carry them. The same Island two years after, was swallowed up again of the Sea.

SECT. 40.

Hee that doth seriously weigh those things, may (I think) well gather, that the Sea of the Streight of Anian was an inundation. By affirming which, this doubt may be answered, sc. That after 56the universall Flood, man-kinde encreased againe, and all beasts, which had been preserved in the Arke. But how could so many kinds of beasts, (which come by propagation, and are not bred out of the earth) be found in those Countries? Some did swim thither, some were brought thither by some huntsmen, some were bred out of the earth, as Austin thinks it happened in the first Creation. But what Land-beast can swim over so great a Sea? And would Huntsmen carry Lyons thither, and other such kind of beasts, oftentimes to the great hazzard of their lives? And if God would have created those beasts out of the earth, he would not have commanded Noah to have kept them in the Ark. I am fully perswaded, that the beasts which are found there passed that way into America; unlesse any thinks that this new world is joyned to the old, on some other side, as Herrera beleeves Dec. 3. lib. 11. c. 10.

SECT. 41.

As for the other things in the relation of our Montezinus, they say nothing which savours of falshood. For their saying that the Semah, truly it is the custom of our people, in what part soever of the world they live; and it is the abridgement of the confession and religion of the Jewes. That revelation of the Magicians whom they call Mohanes, it agrees with those things which in 2 Esdras you may see, concerning the Miracles which God wrought for the Israelites, as they passed over Euphrates, concerning those conditions of not revealing secrets to any, but such an one who hath seen three hundred Moons, (which make twenty five years) it appeares to be true, by what the famous De Laet tells in many parts of America, that the Indians do compute their years by Moones. That a secret must be told in the Field, doth not that argue a Jewish custome, which the ancients have observed in Jacob? who being about to depart from Laban, he called his Wives into the field.

I now conclude this discourse, in which this only was in my intention, that I might briefly, and compendiously declare mine, and the Rabbies opinion, concerning those things which I have handled. I hope that this my indeavor will not be unacceptable, being desired by many men famous both for Birth, and for Learning; not unprofitable, having therein explained the relation of Montezinus, with what brevity I could. The Name of God be blessed for ever. Amen.


Upon the Point of the

God hath promised to doe great things in these last days, as namely, to subdue all his Enemies, to releive his people, to destroy all Tyranny and Oppression both civil and ecclesiasticall, and to ampliate the Bounds of Christs Kingdom, by a plentifull pouring forth of his spirit, and by converting the multitudes both of Jews and Gentiles. Herein he doth what the Ruler of the Feast said to the Bridegroome in John 2.10. he keepes the best wine till the last; he makes the last Act, the best part of the Comedy. Whereas the method of the Devill, and the World, is contrary; represented by Nebuchadnezzars image, whose head, or beginning, was of gold; but the feet, or ending, was of iron, and clay. And of these great good things (we being now upon the borders of the long-looked-for-Canaan) God hath given us some earnest (which is a small proportion, with the whole for kind) a bunch of grapes; Og, and the Amorites subdued. For he hath in our days arrested the Turks greatnesse; abated the formidablenesse of the German-Austrian Beast; revealed in good measure the hypocrisie and lies of the false Prophet, who hath his seat at Rome; and hath brought to light the subtilties of Satan, who had shifted himselfe into severall dresses of pretended Reformation. Hee is risen up like a mighty Gyant, against his enemies among 58us, and elsewhere, and hath pleaded his peoples cause so signally, that all but those whose judgement it is to be wilfully blind, will say, The Lord is on our side. He hath also scattered Light, and Truth in an unwonted measure, among all sorts of people; he hath given forth his owne good Spirit more plentifully than formerly (except in those extraordinary primitive times of Christianism;) and hath instated us into liberty for our spirits; which though too many abuse, and turne into licentiousnesse, or a liberty to sinne, yet that is no dispraise, but a commendation to the thing; for it is a signe that liberty is exceeding good in itselfe, seeing the corruption or abuse of it, is a thing so bad, but so hedged in by severall Fences, as it hath pleased God in much mercy to direct the wisdome of our State to, it is a choyse mercy, and such as is suitable to our Principles both Humane, and Christian; Thus we have a Day-star to tell us that day is at hand; something prodromous concerning almost all the great things promised, and looked for, as might be more largely showne, if that were my proper work. But yet nothing concerning the returning of the Shulamite, in Cant. 6. ult. which Mr. Brightman interprets to be the Jewes turning Christian, the clock of their conversion hath not yet given warning; it is as midnight with them still, as it was a thousand yeares agone. Upon which, some ground the hopelesnesse of their repentance, but I dare not owne that Logick, but rather conclude thus; That therefore their Conversion shall be the work of God (of which more anon) with whom all difficulties are no hinderance; and though Israel be bond-men in Ægypt, and sealed up to it by the darknesse of a midnight, yet let but God speake, and they are immediately at liberty, and sent away without waiting for the comming of the day.

Now we ought much to minde their Conversion, exercising thereupon our faith, our prayers, and also our enquiries, and that for these following reasons:

First, because they have the same Humane nature with us; from this ground we should wish well to all men, whether Jew, or Gentile; which is the precept of the Apostle, in 2 Pet. 1.7. To adde love to brotherly kindnesse; that is, not only to love Saints, but to love Men (though the Saints with a choyse, and peculiar love.) Yea it is Gods owne practise, in Mat. 5.45. There is a φιλανθρωπία in God (as Paul saith to Titus) a love to Man-kinde. Plutarch could observe that God is not called φίλιππος, he beares another manner 59of love to men, than to horses; so ought we to doe, and even upon this generall account, to love the Jewish Nation.

Secondly, because of their extraction; Their root is holy, though now the Branches be degenerate and wilde; so in Rom. 11. vers. 16, 17. Some good turnes are due to the bad children of good Parents for the Parents sake; and this Paul expresly urgeth, in Rom. 11.28. that they are beloved for the Fathers sake; yea the chief root, or head of their Nation, Abraham is mystically our substituted Father, as in Gal. 4 last; If ye be Christs, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heires according to the promise. The Jewes are children, and heires of the flesh of Abraham, but we of his faith; they by the Bond-woman, but we by the Free; but notwithstanding, Abraham is our common Father, and therefore we should love as brethren.

Thirdly, because Gods covenant with the Jewes is not nulled, or broken, but only suspended. It is with them as it was with Nebuchadnezzars tree, the leaves, fruit, and boughes were all scattered and broken, yet there was a chaine of brasse upon the root, to reserve that for future hopes; so though all true fruitfulnesse, beauty, and symptoms of life are long since gone, yet there is a root, a seed, which shall bring forth in Gods time; and this seemes a maine scope of Paul in Rom. 11. To this purpose may that be alledged of Mat. 24.22. Except those dayes should be shortned, no flesh should be saved, but for the Elects sake those dayes shall be shortned; that is, so great shall the slaughter of the Jewes be, at the destruction of Jerusalem, that if those destroying dayes should last a little longer, their whole Nation would faile, and be cut off; which shall not be, because God hath elect ones to be borne of that People in future times. Hence you see, that in their lowest ebbe, that is, in the midst of their greatest guilt, and sorest punishments, God hath still an eye upon a number of elect ones of that Nation; and Gods Covenant was never so with them, or with any People, as to take the whole of them for his inheritance. In Jer. 31.36, 37. Gods Covenant with Israel is surer than the Lawes of Nature (which we know, remaine unviolable to the Worlds end) and he saith, that must come to passe, before he will cast off the Seed of Israel, for all that they have done; yea in Isa. 54.9, 10. God confirmes it to Israel, not only by the firmenesse of the Lawes of Nature, but also by an Oath; now what God ratifies with an Oath, is his absolute and positive Wil, that which makes the conclusion immutable; as in Heb. 6.18. And in this case God is ever 60too strong for all hardnesse of heart, disobedience, unbeleefe, and any impediments that can be. See also that full place of Levit. 26.42. 44. and ver. 45. for I beleeve that place Propheticall, of times, and things not yet fulfilled.

Fourthly, We Gentiles were gainers by their casting away, the whirlwind of Gods wrath that threw them downe, brought us much profit, even salvation itselfe, Rom. 11.12. The fall of them becomes the riches of the World, ver. 15. The casting away of them is the reconciling of the World; implying, that we Gentiles were poore, and miserable, till made rich, and happy by the Jewes spoyles, who by this meanes are as wretched as we formerly had been. Which consideration must needs move an ingenuous spirit, to pitty those so undone. Our Lord saith to a Gentile, in Mark, 7.27. Let the Children first be filled, for it is not meet to take the Childrens bread and to cast it to the Doggs: They were Children, and we were Doggs, and we Doggs have got the Childrens meat before their bellies were full; which, as it should make us not to be high-minded; so also to pitty them, whose bread being taken away, and given to us, are brought to a starving condition.

Fifthly, We shall be gainers by their receiving againe; it should be motive sufficient to us, that God shall be gainer by it, and that not only by the accession of a whole Nation to him, and also of that Nation, which is as the lost Sheep, the finding of which is a matter of great joy, Luke 15. But also because as it is said in Psal. 102.16. When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appeare in his glory. Now glory is a manifestation of excellency, and at that time Gods excellency shall shine forth, which is now much hid, and vailed; the excellency of his mercy, of his truth and faithfulnesse, to remember an ancient Covenant made about foure thousand yeares since, and his old friend Abraham, and the Patriarks; all which have seemed to be asleep for many Generations together. So also in Isa. chap. 12. compared with chap. 11. But not only God (which might have been a distinct reason) but we also shall receive great advantages thereby; for then there shall be not only an enlargement of good to us Gentiles, as a concomitant and synchronism with the Jewes conversion (the mistake about which, hath, and doth cause black thoughts in some) as in Apoc. 7.9. after the sealing of the hundred, and forty, and foure thousand (which relates to the time of the forty two moneths) a great multitude, and innumerable, of all Nations, 61Kindred, Tongues, and people stood before the Lambe, and were cloathed with white Robes; now these numbers of all Gentile-Nations are to be converted at that time when the Jewes are to be brought home; for it is to be at the sounding of the seventh Trumpet. But beside, the Jewes conversion shall in some sort be the cause of it, else what meanes the Apostle in Rom. 11.12. How much more shall their fulnesse be the riches of the Gentiles? and in vers. 15. What shall the receiving of the Jewes be (to the Gentiles) but life from the dead? The Apostle heightens the expression of the benefit by their receiving, to an higher degree than what we got by their fall. It is observable, that the Gospel did in some sense, first goe out of Sion, for the Spirit who enabled the Disciples to preach and propagate it was there given; and Micah speaking of the times yet looked for, saith in Mic. 4.2. The Law shall goe forth out of Sion, and the Word of the Lord out of Jerusalem; that is, the fulnesse of the Spirit, and knowledge of Christ shall streame through the Jewes to the Gentiles. So that as it was in the first giving of the holy Spirit, he was first given to the Jewes, then to the Gentiles; yea by the Jewes to the Gentiles; so shall it be in the last dayes, fulfilling what Paul saith in Rom. 2. to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile, When God shall be reconciled to Israel, their condition wil be greatly changed; for they who are now actually the most accursed people, then as in Mic. 5.7. The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as dew from the Lord; as the showres upon the grasse, that tarry not for man, nor waite for the sons of men. Dew, and Showers in those hot Countries are Heavens bounty, a cornucopia of all good things; such shall the Jewes be to the places where they shall be, when they shall owne the Lord Jesus.

Sixthly, They were Gods first Wife (as I may say); for a considerable time they were a faithfull people; and many of them have been Martyrs for God. And these things God will thinke on, though we may sleight them.

They were Gods first Wife. Did God ever assay to take any Nation before them, to be his owne people? Yea, did he take any beside them, for two thousand yeares together? In Isa. 54.6. I have called thee as a woman forsaken, and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith the Lord; and what follows, vers. 7. For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. And in verse 8. With everlasting kindnesse 62will I have mercy upon thee. We see God forgets not, though men may, and doe.

They were a faithfull people. As great was their unfaithfulnesse; so there were times when great was their faithfulnesse. In Jer. 2.2. I remember thee, the kindnesse of thy youth, the love of thy espousals, when thou wentest after me in the Wildernesse, in a Land that was not sowne. It was something to follow God in such a Country forty years; and for so long a time to expose themselves, wives, and children daily to almost al sorts of deaths; and you see, God remembers it in after times; and if he did in Jeremiahs time, when those who in person had been so faithfull, had been long dead; and that race of the Jewes then were very provoking, and corrupt; why not also now, in this present succeeding generation of them:

They were Martyrs for God. To prove this, read the History of the Maccabees, and if we like not so farre to owne what is Apocryphall, turne to Heb. 11. which is a booke of the Jewish Martyrs, a Catalogue of them that suffered under Antiochus, and those Syrian Tyrants. And they were not few that suffered, but many; nor light punishments, but unspeakeable torments. Now God takes it so kindly that we give up our lives to torments, and to death for his Name, that commonly he owes that person a good turne in his posterity. And if upon these accounts God hath an eye upon them, we also should be like minded, and love them too.

Seventhly, It is a duty which we owe to Gods expresse command, for so I take that in the literall sence, in Isa. 62.6, 7. Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. This duty the Prophet himselfe performed in vers. 1. For Sions sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalems sake I will not rest, till the righteousnesse thereof goe forth as brightnesse, &c. And also the Church in her affliction, Psal. 137.5, 6. And now that Sion is in the dust, if we that beleeve among the Gentiles, did pitty her, and compassionate her in her ruines, it were an argument that God is about to arise, and have mercy upon her; as may be urged from Psalme 102.13, 14.

Lastly, They minded our conversion to God. This appeares in the writings of almost all their Prophets, especially in the Psalmes, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hoseah, Malachi. Now then for us to love the notion, and in what we may, help forward their returne, 63what is it but an honest and just retaliation?

Having dispatched the Reasons, two things yet remaine about their Conversion, which I must speake somewhat to, and those are the Time, and the Manner; as for the time when, the determining of that is hard, though not impossible. I beleeve that it is punctually set downe in Scripture, and God wil be as criticall in looking after times as things; but all the difficulty of knowing it is from the darknesse, and defects of our understanding, and not from a supposed uncertainty in the thing. So that I am equally adverse as to the common practise of the Jewes, who because they are unwilling to owne Gods accomplishments, doe therefore dis-allow his computations, and expressly hold that man accursed who busieth himselfe in that study. So to the too common opinion of those who say, That oft in such computations God puts a certaine number for an uncertaine. No, there is an infallibility in the set times of Scripture; only the Well is deep, and the cord to our Bucket is but short! yet this difficulty should not cause despondency, but quicken our industry. All that I shall now say to it is this, I judge the time not farre off; this present age will see those things fulfilled which we have waited and prayed for. R. Maimonides saith of Jesus Christ, That since Moses his time none so like to the Messiah as the Christ of the Christians; so I say, since Christ, no period of time so like to be that, in which the Jewes shall be called, as this in which we live. And perhaps it is nearer than we are aware of, being the more comfortably perswaded of it, by that excellent Treatise called, The Revelation revealed, newly published by a Gentleman of an indefatigable Spirit for God and publick good, Mr. S. Hartlib, in which Apocalypticall computations are explained the most harmoniously, and clearly, that I have read in any discourse of that nature. He saith positively, that at the ending of the last yeare of 1655. the seventh Trumpet shall sound; whose effect will be as much good to Gods elected ones, whether Jewes, or Gentiles, as our hearts can wish for. I shall adde this, The age in which we live, hath been eyed by many Generations past, for the time wherein the Iewes shall be received to mercy; many of their owne Writers, and also of Christian Authors have pitched upon it; And I beleeve that God will be as gracious to them in this their last, and greatest restauration, as he was to them in that of their returne out of Babylon; now concerning that there were three computations and epochaes of the beginning (and consequently of the ending) of the seventy yeares of 64captivity; and observe, that those seventy yeares ended, and the Iewes returned, not at the latest computation, but with the first, for there were but seventy yeares from Jechoniahs carrying to Babylon, (which was the first Captivity) to the release by the Proclamation of Cyrus. And as God ended that Captivity with the soonest, so I hope that he will doe this; especially considering, that speaking of these mercies to them, in Isa. 60. in verse last, he saith, I the Lord will hasten it in its time; which he should not doe, if he should stay the longest calculation, and utmost period of time. O let us be Gods Remembrancers to put him in minde of this his promise.

For the manner how, and meanes whereby their conversion shall be compassed; this also is a depth equall to the former. And as it is in things Propheticall, the event will best determine it; yet I shall say something to it, according to what I have attained. That of the ordinary way of Christianizing a person, or people, seemes to me not of use here; which hath been by Discourses, written or printed Books, Preachers, or the will and command of a Conquerour; for all these have had their efficacy in (at least a seeming and out-side) conversion of many Nations. But after the application of these to the Jewes, for many ages together, yet we must say as Gehazi did to Elisha, when he had laid his staffe on the Shunamite her Son, thereby to bring him to life; The childe is not awaked. I then conclude, that their conversion shall be in an extraordinary way, it shall be the worke of our Lord Jesus, and of his good Spirit. As Paul was turned by the appearing of Christ to him; so shall they. He will manifest himselfe to them eminently, powerfully, and graciously, to forme them to be a people to himselfe. Whether this his presence to them shall be personall, or only in the Spirit, I will not now say, but leave the Reader to make a judgement, as he sees most cause, out of the Scriptures which I bring. Consider that of Mat. 23.38, 39. Behold your house is left unto you desolate, for I say unto you, ye shall not see me hence-forth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. Here you have their doome fore-told, their house shall be desolate, the Temple and Jerusalem shall be destroyed; also their conversion, in those words, their saying, Blessed is he that comes, &c. the medium to compasse it, cf. their seeing Iesus Christ; ye shall not see me, &c. In the order of causes, Christs discovering himselfe to them shall be first, and shall produce their relenting towards him. And for a further proofe, let those two places be joyned 65together, as bearing the same sence; that of Mat. 24.30, 31. and of Apoc. 1.7. both which are taken out of Zechar. 12.10. And all three not to be understood of Christs appearing to Judgement; for here, saving repentance is the effect of his appearance; but repentance will be then too late when the Judge is come; that shall be a night to all sinners, in which no worke can be done. Againe, there are but three grand periods mentioned in Mat. 24. namely, the destruction of Jerusalem, Christs comming (when, and whereby the Jewes shall be converted, who though they have resisted him, when he came in the flesh, yet they shall not, they cannot, when he comes in the Spirit) and the end of the World. Now the signes of the first of these are in vers. 14, 15.21, 22. Of the second in vers. 29, 30, 31, &c. And of the last, in vers. 36, &c. So that this of ver. 30, 31. must concerne some other thing than the end of the World. And that the three fore-named Scriptures are properly to be understood of the Jews, the texts doe show; for that of Zechariah, (from whence the other two places are taken) expresly saith, I will poure upon the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, &c. and other passages to the same purpose in vers. 11, 12, 13. of Zechar. 12. And in the two places of Mat. 24. and Apoc. 1. it is expresly applyed to the Jewes; for in Mat. it is, All the Tribes of the earth shall mourn, and see him; that is, All the twelve Tribes scattered upon the face of the whole earth, and these shall be gathered by the Angels from the foure winds. And that of Apoc. 1.7. is clearly to be applyed also to them, for it is said, They that pierced him, shall see him; that is, the Jewes; and All the Tribes (for so the word φυλαὶ ought to be rendred) of the earth shall waile; that is, the twelve Tribes scattered throughout all places. Now the meane whereby these Jewes shall be converted, is, And they shall see him; that is, Jesus Christ, for those words are in all the three Scriptures. It shall be such a sight, as the Israelites had of the Brazen Serpent in the Wildernesse, it was healing to them. Such a sight as Paul had of Christ in Heaven, upon which he saith, that he had seene the Lord. For particularities about this sight. I shall leave them, knowing that secret things doe belong to God.

And because after that I had published in English, about last Autumne, the Booke of Menasseh Ben Israel, called, The Hope of Israel, I received a Letter from an Honourable Person, concerning that Booke, to which I wrote an Answer, and both containe 66some further discourse about the Jewes, and their Conversion; therefore I thought good to give you them, and they are these which follow.

To the Translator of Menasseh; Ben Israels spes Israelis.


I Desire to be acquainted with you, because we have both fallen upon one Booke, with the same intentions to convert the Jewes, though we take not one way; I desire therefore to conferre with you, to see who taketh the rightest way. You by your Translation seeme to me to prize the learned Jewes writing too much, which will beget pride, and not humility in him, without which he will not turne, repent, and be saved. Therefore for his good, and also for the Christians, and for the credit of us who are Parliamentarians, I would not see them too much yeelded unto. You justly perstringe him in his thirtieth Section, wherein he talkes so wildly of his goodly Martyrs, and truly if you marke him in his Discourse upon the Sabatticall River, which where it is he knownes not, you will finde him as faulty and dangerous, if we have any of the race of the Thraskytes left among us; but Sir, in that you thinke that the Jewes shall now be called as a Nation, and not only by particulars, and would have them have an earthly Kingdome againe; you doe more for the ten Tribes then he would have himselfe, Sect. 25. p. 79. 80. and for the other two, of Judah, and Benjamin, it is not so likely they should have a second Call, seeing that Christ and his Apostles preached to them, and all that were of the Election were then converted, as you may see by many texts, and after their rejection of the Gospell, their Country-men, Paul, and Peter turned to the Gentiles. Therefore those two Tribes who Crucified our Lord, and persecuted his Apostles, are not so likely to be called againe as the ten Tribes who did neither, except some few who returned into the holy Land; neither did many of them so much as heare of it, you might see your owne sentence fulfilled then. First, 67the Jew was called, and then the Gentile. But now looke not for it, but for their single conversions, though numbers may be called upon one day, one Sermon as they were heretofore; but they must not exalt themselves as a Nation, for they must be ingrafted againe upon that branch, or Vine, Christ Jesus, and we must have one Shepheard, and be one flock. See Rom. 11. ver. 31. which you cite. Through your mercy they may also obtain mercy; I had writ it (shall) but it is only (may:) see the place to which this relates, Isa. 59. v. 19, 20, 21. where you shall finde that all their hope is in eternalls, not in temporalls; and looke upon Rom. 11.24. concerning the engrafting, and clearly, (unlesse you be a Millenarian) you will finde no such Nationall glory of the Jewes; therefore I pray you take heed you fall not into the same snare wherein the Jewes are, to looke for a temporall reigne, which you seeme to intimate, and too many were, and are of that opinion. Assure your selfe that Christ will come to such as a theife in the night, though his comming will be very glorious, yet it will be suddaine; the learned Jew can finde no text punctuall in all his Booke, but whatsoever he citeth, the same Chapter makes against him, and speakes not of temporallity, but of eternity, and the new Jerusalem. I rest, desirous of your friendship.

Octob. 5. 1650. E. S.

I Have it from a good hand, that Master Jo. Dury is the Translator of that Booke, and I have some Arguments to beleeve it to be so, because he seemes to be of the same minde in his Epistolicall Discourse before Mr. Thorowgoods pious Booke, which I have gained since I wrote this Letter. But truly if it be so, I must move Mr. Dury both to amend his Translation from grosse faults, and to make some retractions upon that Epistle, which upon conference I shall most plainely shew him, and in the meane time I desire him, that he will read a Booke of a most reverend and pious man, called, The Revelation unrevealed; and thereby I beleeve he will be convinced, and not looke for a fifth generall Monarchy upon earth; for Christ reignes now, and hath so done ever since his Ascension, and so shall to the end of the World, untill he deliver the Kingdome to the Father.

Octob. 25. 1650.
68SIR: The answer to the Letter.

I Received a Letter directed, To the Translator of Spes Israelis, which worke thus corrected, as I here-with present to you, I confesse mine. I left it with a friend to see it printed, my selfe going into the Country; but his occasions called him from the City also, when it should have been reviewed; which is the reason that though there be many Errata’s in the Booke, that they are not gathered up at the end. At my owne reading of it, I found many, and mended those I found; and now I know that it hath farre fewer then it had, and may passe tollerably; though neither I, nor what I doe, can be said faultlesse. Concerning your desire of converting the Jewes, it is truly Christian, and a worke that shall not loose its reward. But you say, We disagree about the way, that is very possible, for apprehensions are various, and men must thinke, not as others doe, but as themselves can, taking what is truth to them, to be their guide. But the quære is, Who lights on the best way. For my part, I pretend not to any way to convert them, for I verily thinke that when it shall be done, it will be Gods worke, and not mans; as much as Pauls conversion was wholly of God; which himselfe makes the type, or patterne of the conversion of his Country-men; as Mr. Mede saith upon 1 Tim. 1.16. in his Fragmenta sacra, which I know not whether they be in print, or no. You say, I prize the learned Iewes writing too much, and that it will beget pride in them (Sir, pardon me, if I doe not recant till I see my errour; but then I shall freely doe it. I confesse, I doe prize the Learned, whether Iew, or Gentile, for though I am not σοφὸς, yet I am φιλόσοφος and I doe beleeve the Author of Spes Israelis to be a very learned man; and I have it from those who are acquainted with him, that he is a very ingenuous and civill man; and others there are, and have been among them, not wanting a name for good learning. As for the fomenting their pride) truly that vice is of evill, that I would not cherish it, neither in myself, nor in others. But Sir, whether is a more likely way to gaine upon men, to use them civilly, and with the spirit of meeknesse, or to be supercilious and tart towards them? What got Austine the Monke by using the Brittaines of Bangor so Lordly as he did? and (to come to latter dayes) did Mr. Broughton gaine upon a learned Rabbi, in a Conference at Dort, where Mr. Forbes was Moderator, by his high and peremptory language? This he reaped, to set the Iew at a greater distance from Christianisme, and an abating of his owne esteeme, in 69the judgement of wise men. As for Menasseh’s Sabbaticall river, I know many Authors have said it, but whether true, or false, that is nothing to the Translator; and I am as farre from beleeving that story, as I am from the wilde opinions of Mr. Thrask. But these are of lesse concernment; you fall upon the maine of your judgement which relates to them, and pardon me if I deale as roundly in my answer; for I desire to have respect to Truth, and not to man. I doe firmly beleeve, and feare not to professe it; That the Jewes shall be called as a Nation, both Judah and Israel, and shall returne to their owne Land, and have an earthly Kingdome againe. For the proofe of which, I could say much, but shall now but little; and if possibly I cite any thing which Menasseh Ben Israel brings for himselfe, beleeve me that I have it not from him, but from my owne observations out of Scripture, some yeares since. There is weight in that place of Mic. 4.8. The first dominion, the Kingdome shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem; and this is spoken of times after Christs incarnation, and not yet performed. See that of Zech. 10.6, 7, 8, 9, 10. there is Judah and Ephraim fore-told to be brought to Gilead, and Lebanon, and they shall so encrease, that they shall want room. Say not this was done in the returne of those now from the Captivity of Babylon; for those of the ten Tribes that then returned, were but some gleanings of them; and of Judah it selfe, there returned but about one halfe: now God doth not promise Mountaines, and performe but Mole-hils; yea in vers. 6. God will save and strengthen the house of Judah, and of Joseph, and they shall be as though I had not cast them off. Which, if since that Prophesie, it hath been made good of Judah, yet be sure not of Joseph. And in v. 7. They of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, but since the captivity of Salmanassar to this day, what might hath Ephraim shown? yea is he not poore, weak, scattered, and unknowne? And in ver. 8. I will gather them, and they shall encrease as they have encreased; hath this been fulfilled of Ephraim? Where is his fruitfulnesse, which his name imports? much lesse hath there been a time since their great captivity, in which they have encreased to their numbers and strength, mentioned in the dayes of Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, and under their owne Kings, after the defection from the house of David. See that noted place of Ezek. 37.16, 17. 22.24, 25. Sir, in good earnest, hath this Scripture been fulfilled? hath Judah and Ephraim been but one stick in Gods hand, but one Nation, so that they shall be no more two Nations, 70as in ver. 22. Surely to this day they have been from their last dispersion not only two, but many Nations. Neither will it be an answer to say, That now they are no Nation, therefore they are not two; yes, Historians report them many Nations; though perhaps scarce after the just rules of Nations. And that phrase hath not a negative, but a positive sence, not that they should be nothing, but that they should be one Nation. More-over, in ver. 24. Judah and Ephraim were so to be one Nation, that David (that is Jesus Christ) was to be King over them: And when did Judah and Israel ever to this day, as a Nation acknowledge the Soveraignty of Jesus Christ? and he to be their Prince for ever, as in ver. 25. But I must not too much enlarge. I shall only adde this; That as many places of the Old, so many in the New Testament agree thereto, as Rom. 11. ver. 12. 15. 25, 26. 28. Though this of the Romans, chiefly proves one point, sc. their generall or Nationall conversion. Give me leave briefly to answer your objections. You say, The call of Judah and Benjamin is not so likely, because Christ and the Apostles preached to them already. I answer; that by their preaching, all of those living, who were elected, were converted; but after-ages have a new race, and God hath his number among them too; yea the words run high, then All Israel shall be saved. You say, those two Tribes who crucified Christ, not so likely to be converted. I answer, by how much their sin is greater, by so much the greater will Gods mercy be; Et Dei novissima erunt optima, & maxima. You say, Their conversion shall be single, that is answered already; but I adde, that Isaiah is contrary to it, in Isa. 66.7, 8. which Chapter I doubt not but it points to times after our Saviour. As for their being engraffed upon the Vine Christ, or being brought to one sheep-fold, what doth that hinder but that they may be a Nation of Converts brought to their owne Land? You object that of Rom. 11.31. That through your mercy they may obtaine mercy. I answer, that I beleeve the maine of their conversion will be from Heaven, and extraordinary; though the Gentiles by provoking them to emulation, and also by their gifts and graces, may some way be auxiliary to them. After this you are pleased to put the term Millenarian upon me; which, though for what I have writ, I need not owne, yet I will not disclaime; they are not Names that affright me, but reall falsities. The term Chiliast, as it congregates the many odde, and false opinions of them of old, I explode; though to beleeve those thousand yeares in Apoc. 20. to be yet unfulfilled, that, I willingly owne. To 71put that sense upon them, as that they imply the thousand yeares of eternity, I can thinke little lesse of it then to be a contradiction. Againe, if the thousand yeares be the eternity in Heaven, what meanes that in ver. 3. Till the thousand yeares be fulfilled, and after that he must be loosed for a little season; I pray, what little season is that that is after eternity? neither doth Christs comming suddenly in the night as a theife, hinder, but that when he doth come, he may stay a thousand yeares. But whether that time be ante, in, or post diem judicii, is not my taske to determine, or maintaine. As for what you adde in the Post-script, not to looke for a fifth Monarchy, because Christ reignes now. I answer, that though he reignes de jure, yet not de facto; for expresly in Scripture the Devill is called κοσμοκράτωρ he is the grand Tyrant, and great Usurper, and the whole world κεῖται ἐν πὁ πονηρῶ yet I am farre from denying to Christ a Kingdome now in being, sc. Spirituall, and Invisible, but I looke for a visible one to come. In the close (as also at the beginning) you are pleased to desire my acquaintance; but Sir, I look not upon my self as a Star of so considerable a magnitude, as to present my selfe to your eyes; but if I might be so happy as to be capable to serve you really, none should be more desirous of it (both as you are a Gentleman of Learning, by which you have obliged the publick; and also a Member of that House which I so much honour) than Sir,

Novemb. 5. 1650.
Your most humble Servant
M. W.

I doe now very highly esteeme of my interest in your conversation, and thanke you very much for your kinde visitations, which I shal endeavour to repay, and desire by these you will tell me where, if you be in town; I shall continue in town till monday noone be passed, and will meet you at the Stationers, or any where else you shall appoint; very necessary, and too urgent occasions hindred my comming to —— untill last night. I have somewhat thought with my self of the faire proposition of re-printing what concernes Ben Israel, the conversion and generall call of the Jewish Nation, to which I now more perceive our serious endeavours and hopes doe encline. But I must needs say, that Ben Israels Booke gives very small hopes of his conversion; Of which notwithstanding neither you nor my selfe ought 72to despaire, for Saul the learned Jew from a severe Persecutor became a Paul, a holy and remarkable Saint; I shall not at present enlarge my selfe unto you, least I should prove troublesome, or impertinent till things be ripened between us by a conference, but if it be necessary you should print againe before I see you, I only desire this Letter of mine should be printed. For I embrace your candor and ingenuity as much as you doe mine, and I hope love and knowledge will still encrease between us, and I shall say with the Psalmist, Let the righteous smite me friendly, and reprove me, but let not their precious balme breake my head; I have no desire to gaine applause of those who are without, or hazard their censure in that which more learned men, but not so loving, may say, that I write slight things, but I had rather first shew them that I can write serious things as well as slight, by translation of some part of Peter Galatine & Reuchlin, which is now my travaile, as I in part shewed you; I remaine,

Febr. 21. 1650. Your friend in the truest interest of Christian love.


Errata maximi momenti.

In the second Epist. p. 2. l. 8. dele happy, in the 3 Epist. p. 1. l. 28. r. invironed, p. 2. l. 3. r. Carthagena, p. 3. l. 12. dele so, p. 6, l. 21. r. thy, p. 18. l. 19. r. hating, p. 19. l. 16. r. away Hoshea, p. 22. l. 23. r. Hunni, p. 23. l. 10. r. there, p. 26. l. 3. r. were, p. 40. l. 27. r. honoured Abraham Kolorni, with p. 44. l. 24. r. for these, p. 46. l. 16. dele the, p. 49. l. 34. & he saith, those must be nulled before.


England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Menasseh Ben Israel, a Divine, and Doctor of PHYSICK, in behalfe of the Jewish Nation.

75The Humble Addresses of Menasseh Ben Israel, a Divine and Doctor of Physick, in behalf of the Iewish Nation.

Give me leave, at such a juncture of time, to speak to your Highnesse, in a style and manner fitting to us Jewes and our condition. It is a thing most certaine, that the great God of Israel, Creator of Heaven and Earth, doth give and take away Dominions and Empires, according to his owne pleasure; exalting some, and overthrowing others: who, seeing he hath the hearts of Kings in his hand, he easily moves them whithersoever himselfe pleaseth, to put in execution his Divine Commands. This, my Lord, appeares most evidently out of those words of Daniel, where he, rendring thanks unto God, for revealing unto him that prodigious Dreame of Nebuchadnezar, doth say: Thou that removest Kings, and sets up Kings. And else-where, To the end the living might know, that the Highest hath dominion in Mans Kingdome, and giveth the same to whom he please. Of the very same-minde are the Thalmudists likewise, affirming that a good Government, or Governor, is a Heavenly Gift, and that there is no Governor, but is first called by God unto that dignity: and this they prove from that passage of Exodus: Behold I have called Bazale’l by name, &c. all things being governed by Divine Providence, God dispensing rewards unto Vertues, and punishment unto Vices, according to his owne 76good Will. This the Examples of great Monarchs make good; especially of such, who have afflicted the people of Israel: For none hath ever afflicted them, who hath not been by some ominous Exit, most heavily punished of God Almighty; as is manifest from the Histories of those Kings, Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezar, Antiochus, Epiphanius, Pompey, and others. And on the contrary, none ever was a Benefactor to that people, and cherished them in their Countries, who thereupon hath not presently begun very much to flourish. In so much that the Oracle to Abraham (I will blesse them that blesse thee, and curse them that curse thee) seemeth yet daily to have its accomplishment. Hence I, one of the least among the Hebrews, since by experience I have found, that through Gods great bounty toward us, many considerable and eminent persons both for Piety and Power, are moved with sincere and inward pitty and compassion towards us, and do comfort us concerning the approaching deliverance of Israel, could not but for my self, and in the behalf of my Countrey men, make this my humble addresse to your Highness, and beseech you for Gods sake, that ye would, according to that Piety and Power wherein you are eminent beyond others, vouchsafe to grant, that the Great and Glorious Name of the Lord our God may be extolled, and solemnly worshiped and praised by us through all the bounds of this Common-wealth; and to grant us place in your Countrey, that we may have our Synagogues, and free exercise of our Religion. I nothing doubting, but that your Clemency will easily grant this most equitable Petition of ours. Pagans have of old, out of reverence to the God of Israel; & the esteem they had to his people, granted most willingly free liberty, even to apostated Jewes; as Onias the High Priest, to build another Temple in their Countrey, like unto that at Jerusalem: how much more then may we, that are not Apostate or runagate Iewes, hope it from your 77Highnesse and your Christian Councill, since you have so great knowledge of, and adore the same one onely God of Israel, together with us. Besides, it increases our confidence of your bounty towards us, in that so soon as ever the rumour of that most wished-for liberty, that ye were a thinking to grant us, was made known unto our Countrey-men; I, in the name of my Nation, the Iewes, that live in Holland, did congratulate and entertaine their Excellencies, the Ambassadors of England; who were received in our Synagogue with as great pomp and applause, Hymns and cheerfulnesse of minde, as ever any Soveraigne Prince was. For our people did in their owne mindes presage, that the Kingly Government being now changed into that of a Common-wealth, the antient hatred towards them, would also be changed into good-will: that those rigorous Laws (if any there be yet extant, made under the Kings) against so innocent a people, would happily be repealed. So that we hope now for better from your gentleness, & goodness, since, from the beginning of your Government of this Common-wealth, your Highnesse hath professed much respect, and favour towards us. Wherefore I humbly entreat your Highnesse, that you would with a gracious eye have regard unto us, and our Petition, and grant unto us, as you have done unto others, free exercise of our Religion, that we may have our Synagogues, and keep our own publick worship, as our brethren doe in Italy, Germany, Poland, and many other places, and we shall pray for the happinesse and Peace of this your much renowned and puissant Common-wealth.


Common-wealth of England,

Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel, shewing the Motives of his coming into England.

Having some yeares since often perceived that in this Nation, God hath a People, that is very tender-hearted, and well-wishing to our sore-afflicted Nation; Yea, I my selfe having some Experience thereof, in divers Eminent persons, excelling both in Piety and Learning: I thought with my-self, I should do no small service to my owne Nation, as also to the People and Inhabitants of this Common-wealth, if by humble addresses to the late Honourable Parliament, I might obtaine a safe-Conduct once to transport my selfe thither. Which I having done, and according to my desire, received a most kinde and satisfactory Answer, I now am come. And to the end all Men may know the true Motives and Intent of this my coming, I shall briefly comprehend and deliver them in these particulars.

First and formost, my Intention is to try, is by Gods good hand over me, I may obtaine here for my Nation the Liberty of a free and publick Synagogue, wherein we may daily call upon the Lord our God, that once he may be pleased to remember his Mercies and Promises done to our Fore fathers, 79forgiving our trespasses, and restoring us once againe into our fathers Inheritance; and besides to sue also for a blessing upon this Nation, and People of England, for receiving us into their bosomes, and comforting Sion in her distresse.

My second Motive is, because the opinion of many Christians and mine doe concurre herein, that we both believe that the restoring time of our Nation into their Native Countrey, is very neer at hand; I believing more particularly, that this restauration cannot be, before these words of Daniel, Chap. 12. ver. 7. be first accomplished, when he saith, And when the dispersion of the Holy people shall be compleated in all places, then shall all these things be compleated: signifying therewith, that before all be fulfilled, the People of God must be first dispersed into all places & Countreyes of the World. Now we know, how our Nation at the present is spread all about, and hath its seat and dwelling in the most flourishing parts of all the Kingdomes, and Countreys of the World, as well in America, as in the other three parts thereof; except onely in this considerable and mighty Island. And therefore this remains onely in my judgement, before the Messia come and restore our Nation, that first we must have our seat here likewise.

My third Motive is grounded on the profit that I conceive this Common wealth is to reap, if it shall vouchsafe to receive us; for thence, I hope, there will follow a great blessing from God upon them, and a very abundant trading into, and from all parts of the World, not onely without prejudice to the English Nation, but for their profit, both in Importation, and Exportation of goods. Yet if any shall doubt hereof, I trust their Charity towards the people of God, will satisfie them, especially when they shall reade the ensuing Treatise.

The fourth Motive of my coming hither, is, my sincere affection to this Common wealth, by reason of so many Worthy, Learned, and Pious men in this Nation, whose loving kindnesse and Piety I have experience of: hoping to finde the like 80affection in all the People generally; the more, because I alwayes have, both by writing and deeds, professed much inclination to this Common-wealth; and that I perswade my selfe they will be mindfull of that Command of the Lord our God, who so highly recommends unto all men the love of strangers; much more to those that professe their good affection to them. For this I desire all may be confident of, that I am not come to make any disturbance, or to move any disputes about matters of Religion; but onely to live with my Nation in the feare of the Lord, under the shadow of your protection, whiles we expect with you the hope of Israel to be revealed.


How Profitable The Nation of the Iewes are.

Three things, if it please your Highnesse, there are that make a strange Nation wel-beloved amongst the Natives of a land where they dwell: (as the defect of those three things make them hatefull.) viz. Profit, they may receive from them; Fidelity they hold towards their Princes; and the Noblenes and purity of their blood. Now when I shall have made good, that all these three things are found in the Iewish Nation, I shall certainly persuade your Highnesse, that with a favorable eye, (Monarchy being changed into a Republicq) you shall be pleased to receive again the Nation of the Iews, who in time past lived in that Island: but, I know not by what false Informations, were cruelly handled and banished.

Profit is a most powerfull motive, and which all the World preferres before all other things: and therefore we shall handle that point first.

It is a thing confirmed, that merchandizing is, as it were, the proper profession of the Nation of the Iews. I attribute this in the first place, to the particular Providence and mercy of God towards his people: for having banished them from their own Country, yet not from his Protection, he hath given them, as it were, a naturall instinct, by which they might not onely gain what was necessary for their need, but that they should also thrive in Riches and possessions; whereby they should not onely become gracious to their Princes and Lords, but that they should be invited by others to come and dwell in their Lands.

Moreover, it cannot be denyed, but that necessity stirrs up a mans ability and industry; and that it gives him great incitement, by all means to trie the favour of Providence.

82Besides, seeing it is no wisedome for them to endeavour the gaining of Lands and other immovable goods, and so to imprison their possessions here, where their persons are subject to so many casualities, banishments and peregrinations; they are forced to use marchandizing untill that time, when they shall returne to their own Country, that then as God hath promised by the Prophet Zachary, Their shall be found no more any marchant amongst them in the House of the Lord.

From that very thing we have said, there riseth an infallible Profit, commodity and gain to all those Princes in whose Lands they dwell above all other strange Nations whatsoever, as experience by divers Reasons doth confirme.

I. The Iews, have no oportunity to live in their own Country, to till the Lands or other like employments, give themselves wholy unto merchandizing, and for contriving new Inventions, no Nation almost going beyond them. And so ’tis observed, that wheresoever they go to dwell, there presently the Traficq begins to florish. Which may be seen in divers places, especially in Ligorne, which having been but a very ignoble and inconsiderable City, is at this time, by the great concourse of people, one of the most famous places of Trafique of whole Italy.

Furthermore, the Inventor of the famous Scala de Spalatro (the most firme and solid Traficq of Venice) was a Iew, who by this his Invention transported the Negotiation from a great part of the Levant into that City.

Even that very same is seene likewise at this day in Nizza and in other innumerable places more, both in Europe and Asia.

II. The Nation of the Iews is dispersed throughout the whole World, it being a chastisement that God hath layd upon them for their Idolatries, Deut. 28,69. Ezech. 20,23. Nehem. 1,8. Ps. 107,27. and by other their sinnes their families suffer the same shipwrack.

Now in this dispersion our Fore-fathers flying from the Spanish Inquisition, some of them came in Holland, others got into Italy, and others betooke themselves into Asia; and so easily they credit 83one another; and by that meanes they draw the Negotiation where-ever they are, where with all of them marchandising and having perfect knowledge of all the kinds of Moneys, Diamants, Cochinil, Indigo, Wines, Oyle, and other Commodities, that serve from place to place; especially holding correspondence with their friends and kinds-folk, whose language they understand; they do abundantly enrich the Lands and Countrys of strangers, where they live, not onely with what is requisite and necessary for the life of man; but also what may serve for ornament to his civill condition. Of which Traficq, there ariseth ordinarily Five important benefits.

1. The augmentation of the Publiq Tolls and Customes, at their coming and going out of the place.

2. The transporting and bringing in of marchandises from remote Countries.

3. The affording of Materials in great plenty for all Mechaniqs; as Wooll, Leather, Wines; Jewels, as Diamants, Pearles, and such like Merchandize.

4. The venting and exportation of so many kinds of Manifactures.

5. The Commerce and reciprocall Negotiation at Sea, which is the ground of Peace between neighbour Nations, and of great profit to their own Fellow-cittizens.

III. This reason is the more strengthened, when we see, that not onely the Iewish Nation dwelling in Holland and Italy, trafficqs with their own stock, but also with the riches of many others of their own Nation, friends, kinds-men and acquaintance, which notwithstanding live in Spaine, and send unto them their moneys and goods, which they hold in their hands, and content themselves with a very small portion of their estate, to the end they may be secure and free from danger that might happen unto them, in case they should fall under the yoke of the Inquisition; whence not onely their goods, but oftentimes also their lives are endangered.

IV. The love that men ordinarily beare to their own Country 84and the desire they have to end their lives, where they had their begining, is the cause, that most strangers having gotten riches where they are in a forain land, are commonly taken in a desire to returne to their native soil, and there peaceably to enjoy their estate; so that as they were a help to the places where they lived, and negotiated while they remained there; so when they depart from thence, they carry all away, and spoile them of their wealth: transporting all into their own native Country: But with the Iews the case is farre different; for where the Iews are once kindly receaved, they make a firm resolution never to depart from thence, seeing they have no proper place of their own: and so they are alwayes with their goods in the Cities where they live, a perpetuall benefit to all payments. Which reasons do clearly proove, that it being the property of Cittizens in populous and rich countries, to seeke their rest and ease with buying lands and faire possession of which they live; many of them hating commerce, aspire to Titles and Dignities: therefore of all strangers, in whose hands ordinarily Trafique is found, there are none so profitable and beneficiall to the place where they trade and live, as is the Nation of the Iews. And seeing amongst the people of Europ, the chiefest riches they possesse, som from Spain, those neighbour Nations, where the Iews shall finde liberty to live according to their own Iudaicall Laws, they shall most easily draw that benefit to themselves by means of the industry of our Nation, and their mutuall correspondance.

From hence (if it please your Highnes) it results, that the Iewish Nation, though scattered through the whole World, are not therefore a despisable people, but as a Plant worthy to be planted in the whole world, and received into Populous Cities: who ought to plant them in those places, which are most secure from danger; being trees of most savory fruit and profit, to be alwayes most favoured with Laws and Priviledges, or Prerogatives, secured and defended by Armes. An Example of this we have in our times. His Majesty, the Illustrious King of Denmark, invited them with speciall Priviledges into Geluckstadt: the Duke of Savoy into Nisa of 85Provence; and the Duke of Modina in Retio, allowing them such conditions and benefices, as like never were presented unto them by any other Prince, as appeareth by the copy of those Priviledges, which I have in my hands. But supposing it would be a matter of too large extention, if I should make a relation of all the places under whose Princes the Iews live, I will onely speake briefly of the two Tribes Iudah and Benjamin. These in India in Cochin have 4 Synagogues, one part of these Iews being there of a white colour, and three of a tawny; these being most favoured by the King. In the year 1640. dyed Samuel Castoel, Governour of the City, and Agent for the King, and David Castoel his sonne succeeded in his place. In Persia there is a great number of Iews, and they live indifferent freely: there are also amongst them that are in favour and great respect by the King, and who live there very bravely. Some years past, there was Elhazar Huza, the Viceroy, and now there is David Ian; if yet he be living. In the year 1636. the Saltan Amarat took in Bagdad, and puting all to the sword, he commanded that they should not touch the Iews, nor their houses, and besides that, he freed them from one half of the tribuit they were wont to pay to the Persian.

But the chiefest place where the Iews life, is the Turkish Empire, where some of them live in great estate, even in the Court of the Grand Turke at Constantinople, by reason there is no Viceroy, or Governour, or Bassa, which hath not a Iew to manage his affaires, and to take care for his estate: Hence it cometh that in short time they grow up to be Lords of great revenues, and they most frequently bend the minds of Great ones to most weighty affaires in government.

The greatest Viceroy of whole Europe is the Bassa of Egypt; this Bassa always takes to him, by order of the Kingdome, a Iew with the title of Zaraf-Bassa (Thresurer) viz. of all the Revenues of that government, who receaves purses full of money, seals them, and then sends them to the King. This man in a short time grows very rich, for that by his hands as being next to the Bassa, the 24 Governments 86of that Empire are sould and given, and all other businesses managed. At present he that possesseth this place, is called Sr. Abraham Alhula. The number of the Iews living in this Kingdome of the Great Turke, is very great, and amounts to many Millions. In Constantinople alone there are 48 Synagogues, and in Salaminque 36, and more then fourescore thousand soules in these two Cities alone.

The first King gave them great priviledges which they enjoy untill this day: for besides the liberty, they have every-where, of trading with open shops, of bearing any Office and possessing of any goods, both mooveable and immooveable, he yet graunted them power to judge all Civill causes according to their own Laws amongst themselves. Moreover they are exempted from going to Warres, and that souldiers should be quartered in their houses, and that Justice should take no place upon the death of any one that left no heir to his Estate.

In all which they are preferred before the naturall Turks themselves. For which cause they pay in some Cittys to the King three Patacons, and in others two and a half by the pole.

In this estate some of the Iews have grown to great fortunes; as Joseph Nasino, unto whom Amatus Lusitanus dedicated his fifth and sixth Centuriæ, was by Sultan Solime made Duke of Maccia, Earle of Andro, Seignor of Millo, and the seaven Islands: And Jacob Ben-Iaes by Sultan Amurat, was made Governour of the Tiberiades: so likewise others were exalted to very great and Eminent Dignities: as was that Selomo Rose, that was sent for Ambassador at Venice, where he confirmed the last Peace with Amurat. In Germany, there lives also a great multitude of Jews, especially at Prague, Vienna and Franckfurt, very much favoured by the most mild and most gracious Emperours, but despised of the people, being a Nation not very finely garnished by reason of their vile cloathing: yet notwithstanding there is not wanting amongst them persons of great quality. The Emperour Matthias made Noble both Mardochai Mairel, and Ferdinando Jacob Bar Seba.

87But yet a greater number of Iews are found in the Kingdome of Poland, Prussia and Lethuania, under which Monarchy they have the Jurisdiction to judge amongst themselves all causes, both Criminal and Civil; and also great and famous Academies of their own. The chief Cities where the Nation liveth, are Lublin and Cracow, where there is a Iew, called Isaac Iecells, who built a Synagogue, which stood him in one hundred thousand Francs, and is worth many tons of gold. There is in this place such infinite number of Iews; that although the Cosaques in the late warres have killed of them above one hundred and fourescore thousand; yet it is sustained that they are yet at this day as innumerable as those were that came out of Egypt. In that Kingdome the whole Negotiation is in the hand of the Iews, the rest of the Christians are either all Noble-men, or Rustiques and kept as slaves.

In Italy they are generally protected by all the Princes: their principall residence is in the most famous City of Venice; so that in that same City alone they possesse about 1400 Houses; and are used there with much courtesy and clemency. Many also live in Padoa and Verona; others in Mantua, and also many in Rome it self. Finally they are scattered here and there in the chief places of Italy, and do live there with many speciall priviledges.

In the Government of the great Duke of Tuscany, they are by that Prince most graciously & bountifully dealt with, having power from him graunted, to have their Judicatory by themselves, and to judge in all matters, both Civill and Criminall; besides many other Priviledges, whereof I my self have the Copies in hand. The rich and illustrious families that flourished in these Countries are many, viz. The Thoraces, who being three Brethren, shared betwixt them above 700 thousand Crowns. In Ferrara were the Viles, whose stock was above 200 thousand Crowns. The Lord Joseph de Fano, Marquis de Villependi, was a man much respected of all the Princes in Italy, and was called by them, The Peace-maker and appeaser of all troubles; because he, by his authority and entremise, was used to appease all troubles and strife rising amongst them. 88Don Daniel Rodrigues, because of his prudency and other good qualities, was sent in the year 1589 from the most Excellent Senat of Venice into Dalmatia, to appease those tumults and scandals given by the Vsquoquibs in Clissa: which he most manly effected, and caused all the women and children, that were kept cloose prisoners, to be set at liberty, brought also to an happy issue many other things of great moment, for which he was sent. Alphonso II. the Duke of Ferrara, sent also for his Ambassador to the Imperiall Majesty, one Abraham de Bondi, to pay and discharge Investiture of the States of Modena and Reggio. The Prince of Sasol and the Marquis of Scandia likewise, had to their Factors men of our Nation.

In the Kingdome of Barbary, their lives also a great number of Iews, who-ever cruelly and basely used by that Barbarous Nation, except at Marrocco, the Court and Kings house, where they have their Naguid or Prince that governs them, and is their Iudge, and is called at this day, Seignor Moseh Palache: and before him was in the same Court, that Noble family Ruthes, that had power and Iurisdiction of all kinde of punishment, onely life and death excepted.

In the Low-Countries also, the Iews are received with great Charity and Benevolency, and especially in this most renowned City of Amsterdam, where there are no lesse then 400 Families; and how great a trading and Negotiation they draw to that City, experience doth sufficiently witness. They have there no lesse then three hundred houses of their own, enjoy a good part of the West and East-Indian Compagnies; and besides have yet to set forth their Trafiq such a stock, that for setting a side, onely one duit of every pound Flemish for all kind of commodities that enter, and again as much for all what goes out of this town, and what besides we pay yearly of the rents we get from the East-Indian Compagnie to the reliefe and sustenance of the poore of our Synagogue, that very money amounts ordinarily every year, unto the summe very neare of 12000 Franks; whereby you may easely conceive what a mighty 89stock it is they trade with, and what a profit they needs must bring into this City.

In Hambourg likewise, a most famous City of Holsace in Germany, there lives also a hundred families, protected by the Magistrat, though molested by the people. There resides Sir Duarte Nunes d’Acosta, Resident for his Majesty the King of Portugal: Gabriel Gomes, Agent for his Majesty the King of Danemarck: David de Lima, a Ieweller, for the same his Majesty; and Emanuel Boccaro Rosales, created by the Emperour a Noble-man and a Count Palatin.

In all these places the Iews live (in a manner) all of them Merchants, and that without any prejudice at all to the Natives: For the Natives, and those especially that are most rich, they build themselves houses and Palaces, buy Lands and firme goods, aime at Titles and Dignities, and so seek their rest and contentment that way: But as for the Iews, they aspire at nothing, but to preferre themselves in their way of Marchandize; and so employing their Capitals, they send forth the benefit of their labour amongst many and sundry of the Natives, which they, by the trafick of their Negotiation, do enrich. From whence it’s easy to judge of the profit that Princes and Common-wealths do reap, by giving liberty of Religion to the Iews, and gathering them by some speciall priviledges into their Countries: as Trees that bring forth such excellent fruits.

So that if one Prince, ill advised, driveth them out of his Land, yet another invites them to his; & shews them favour; Wherein we may see the prophecy of Iacob fulfilled in the letter: The staffe (to support him) shall not depart from Iacob, untill Messias shall come. And this shall suffice concerning the Profit of the Iewish Nation.


How Faithfull
The Nation of the Iewes are.

The Fidelity of Vassals and Subjects, is a thing that Princes most esteem off: for there-on, both in Peace and Warre, depends the preservation of their estates. And as for this point, in my opinion, they owe much to the Nation of the Iews, by reason of the faithfulnesse and loyalty they show to all Potentates that receive and protect them in their Countries. For setting aside the Histories of the Ptolomies, Kings of Egypt, who did not trust the Guard of their persons, nor the keeping of their Forts, nor the most important affairs of their Kingdome to any other Nation with greater satisfaction then to the Iews; the Wounds of Antipater shewed to Iulius Cæsar in token of his loyalty, and the brasen Tables of our Ancestours amongst the Romans, are evident witnesses enough of their fidelity shewed unto them.

In Spaine the Iews of Burgos; as the Chronicles do declare, most generously shewed the very same fidelity in the times of Don Henrique; who having killed his Brother, the King, Don Pedro de Cruel, made himself Lord of all his Kingdomes, and brought under his obedience all the Grandees and people of Spaine: Only the Iews of Burgos denyed to obey him, and fortified themselves within the City, saying, That God would never have it, that they should deny obedience to their Naturall Lord Don Pedro, or to his rightfull successours. A constancy that the prudent King, Don Henriques, very much esteemed of, saying, that such Vassals as those were, by Kings and great men, worthy of much account, seeing they held greater respect to the fidelity they ought to their King, although conquered and dead, than to the present fortune of the Conquerour: And a while after, receiving very honourable conditions, they gave themselves over.

In Spain also (as you may see in Mariana) many Iewes for the same fidelity were appointed Governours of the Kingdome, and Tutors 91of Noble-mens children, jointly to others of the Nobility upon the death of their Parents.

The Chronicles of the Xarifes, dedicated to King Philip the second, King of Spaine, alleagues for an example of great fidelity and vertue, how the rising of the Xarifes against the Morines, their killing and spoyling them of the Kingdome, was such a great grief unto Samuel Alvalensi, one of those banished out of Spaine, and much favoured by the King of Fez, descended from the house of the Morines; that joyning himself with other Magistrates, and subjects of the Morines, arming some ships and going himself Captain over all, he came suddenly with 400. men, and fell by night upon the Army of the Xarifes, that were more then 3000. men, besieging Copta, and without losing one man, killed of them above 500. and caused them to raise the siege.

Many the like Examples may be brought of times past; but for our present; and modern times there is no Exemple so evident, as in the besieging of Mantua for the Emperour in the year 1630, where the Iews fought most valiantly, and rescued it from the Natives. As likewise in the Seignory of Brasil, where the same thing was done: for one of the same Nation, a Dutchman, having delivered the Cape unto the Portugals, there was found in our Nation there not only loyalty, but also such discretion, that had they taken their advise, the business had not so proceeded.

This may be seen more clearly yet in their being banished out of Castile, in the dayes of Ferdinand & Isabella. Their number at that time was supposed to have been half a Milion of men, amongst whom were many of great valour, & courage (as Don Isaac Abarbanel, a Counsellor of State, doth relate) & yet amongst so great a number, there was not found any one man, that undertook to raise a party to free themselves from that most miserable banishment. An evident sign of the proper and naturall resolution of this Nation, and their constant obedience to their Princes.

The same affection is confirmed by the inviolable custome of all the Iews wheresoever they live: for on every Sabbath or festivall 92Day, they every where are used to pray for the safety of all Kings, Princes and Common-wealths, under whose jurisdiction they live, of what profession-soever: unto which duty they are bound by the Prophets and the Talmudists; from the Law, as by Ieremie chap. 29. vers. 7. Seek the peace of the City unto which I have made you to wander: and pray for her unto the Lord, for in her Peace you shall enjoy peace. He speaks of Babylon, where the Iews at that time were captives. From the Talmud ord. 4. tract. 4. Abodazara pereq. 1. Pray for the peace of the Kingdome, for unlesse there were feare of the Kingdome, men would swallow one the other alive, &c.

From the continuall and never broken Custome of the Iews wheresoever they are, on the Sabbath-Day, or other solemn Feasts; at which time all the Iews from all places come together to the Synagogue, after the benediction of the Holy Law, before the Minister of the Synagogue blesseth the people of the Iews; with a loud voice he blesseth the Prince of the Country under whom they live, that all the Iews may hear it, and say, Amen. The words he useth are these, as in the printed book of the Iews may be seen: He that giveth salvation unto Kings, and dominion unto Lords, he that delivered his servant David from the sword of the Enemy, he that made a way in the Sea, and a path in the strange waters, blesse and keep, preserve and rescue, exalt and magnify, and lift up higher and higher, our Lord. [And then he names, the Pope, the Emperour, King, Duke, or any other Prince under whom the Iews live, and add’s:] The King of kings defend him in his mercy, making him joyfull, & free him from all dangers and distresse. The King of kings, for his goodness sake, raise up and exalt his planetary star, & multiply his dayes over his Kingdome. The King of kings for his mercies sake, put into his heart, and into the heart of his Counsellers, & those that attend and administer to him, that he may shew mercy unto us, & unto all the people of Israel. In his dayes and in our dayes, let Iudah be safe, and Israel dwell securely, and let the Redeemer come to Israel, and so may it please God. Amen. These are the very formalities set down word for word, which the Iewes, by the command of God, received from the Talmud, do use in their prayers 93for Princes, under whose government they reside. And therefore wise Princes are wont to banish from their Courts false reports. And most wise R. Simon Ben-Iochai, in his excellent book called Zoar in Sarasa Pecudi, relates, that it is a Tradition received from Heaven, that the Kings of the Nations of the world, Princes, Governours, that protect the Iews in this world, or do them any good, that the same shall enjoy certain degrees of glory, or eternall reward; as on the other side, they that do to the Nation of the Iews any harm, that they shall be punished with some particular eternal punishment. As appeareth also out of Esa. the last chapter.

Thus you see the Fidelity of the Iews to wards their Governours clearly proved. Now, that no man may think that their banishment out of Spaign & Portugal, proceeded from any suspition or faults of theirs, I shall clearly rehearse the reason of so sudden a determination, and what the thoughts of many Christian Princes have been there-upon. The business was thus: Ferdinand and Isabella, Governours of Castile, having gained the Kingdome of Granada, of which they took possession on the fifth of Ianuary, they resolved to thrust out all the Iews that lived in their Kingdomes, and so on the last of March, they made an Edict in the same City, in which they expressed: That seeing the Iews in their Countries drew many Christians to turn Iews, and especially some Noble-men of their Kingdome of Andaluzia, that for this cause they banished them under most heavy penalties, &c. So that the cause of their banishment was not any disloyalty at all.

Now what amongst many others in all Christendom, one famous Lawyer in Rome, and Osorius an excellent and most eloquent Historian have thought, I shall here relate. In the year 1492 (saith the Lawyer) Ferdinand, called the Catholick, being King of Spain, drove out of his Country all the Iews that were living there from the time of the Babylonian and Roman Captivity, and were very rich in houses and goods: and that upon pain, if they went not away within the term of six moneths, that all their houses and goods should be confiscated unto the Exchequer, which as 94we have said, were very great. Whereupon they leaving the Kingdome of Castile, they went over many of them into Portugal, as being the nearest place. In the year 1497, there being an Alliance contracted between the Kings of Castile and Portugal; the Jews at the request of the said King Ferdinand, were banished out of Portugal; but it being against the will of Emanuel, King of Portugal, to have them banished out of his Country, he resolved to oblidge them to become Christians, promising never to molest them, neither in Criminall matters, nor in the losse of their goods; and exempted them from many burdens, and Tributs of the Kingdome. This Emanuel being dead, John III, succeeded in his place in the Kingdome of Portugal, who being excited by others, said, That what his Father Emanuel had done, concerning the not-troubling them, was of no valew, because they lived not as was convenient, & that without the authority of the Pope of Rome, his father could not graunt any such thing: for which cause he would that for those that lived amisse, they should be proceeded against, as against the Mores in Castile: And sending to Rome to disanull the said promises, it was not onely not graunted to him, but moreover they reprooved his appearance there, and praised and approoved the promises made by his Father Emanuel to the Jewes, publishing a generall pardon to all that were taken, which were about 1500, and they all were set free. Which Bull was graunted by Clement VII. by the intervention of all the Consistory of Cardinals. Afterwards the said king John sent once again to desire the former Licence with so many replications and triplications, that at length the Pope granted it: But a few daies after it was revoked again with a generall Pardon to all that were taken, which were 12000, with such a determination, that the same Licence should never be graunted, as being against all right and reason. This troubled Don John the King very much, and withall the Cardinal his brother, who came in these last dayes to be King of Portugal himself. Great Paul III. of the house of Farnesia, succeeding to Clement the VII. there was a request rendred to the Pope for power to bring in the Inquisition into this 95Kingdome. The Pope would not graunt it, saying: He could not, and that it was a thing against reason and Iustice, but on the contrary confirmed the promises made by the King Don Emanuel, his Father; and pardoned all the delinquents since the time of violence unto that day. Don Iohn seeing this, sent an Embassadour meerly for that businesse to the Pope, but could obtain nothing at all: for which cause King Iohn resolved to entreat the Emperour Charles the V. then passing for Rome, as Conquerour over the Turks, having wonn Tunis and Goleta, that in this his Triumph he would take occasion to desire this favour from the Pope, that the King of Portugal might set up the Inquisition in his Kingdome, it being an old custome that those that triumphed, should aske something of the Pope that they most desired. The Emperour than having desired this, the Pope answered him, that he could not do it by reason of the agreement made, and the promises of the King Don Emanuel; which he had found by an Apostolicall Nuntio in Portugal in the year 1497, at which time the Iewes were forced and compelled to become Christians. The Emperour replyed, Let that sinne fall on him, and the Prince his sonne, the Apostolicall seat shall be free from it. So the Pope graunted it; because the Emperour Charles the V. was brother in law to King Don Iohn of Portugal; and besides they treated at that time to enter further in affinity, and to marry their children, which since was effected. After Paul the III. graunted this, there was a new Pardon given in generall to all that were taken unto that time, amounting the Number unto 1800. But the King refusing to obey the Pardon, and to free the Prisonners, the Pope tooke it very ill, and sent for this onely businesse for his Nuntio, one Monsegnor Monte Paliciano, who since was Cardinal of the Church of Rome. And the King for all this not obeying, the Pope made the Nuntio to fix the Pardon upon the doores of the Cathedrall Churches, and the Nuntio caused the Prisons to be opened, and there were set free about 1800 prisoners. He that sollicited this businesse at Rome was one Seignor Duarte de Paz, a Cavallier of the Order 96of St. Iohn: whom to search out there were appointed at Rome ten men disguised; these having found him, gave him fifteen wounds, and left him for dead: thus wounded, he was carried to the house of Seignor Philip Estrozi: This being reported to the Pope, Paul the III. he caused him to be carried to the Castle of S. Angelo, where he gave order to have him nobly cured. That same Seignor was by the Pope, by all the Cardinals and the whole Court in great respect. At the same time that this man was hurt, the Emperour Charles the V. was at Rome with his Army. On the time when he began to treat of this businesse with Clement the VII. seeing the Kings importunity, he made a Bull and gave licence to all the Portugals of that Nation of the Iews; that they might go and live in the Church-Dominions, & whosoever will come in the said Dominions, that he shall have freedom to live, as at the first, in his Iewish profession, and that at no time they should be enquired into, but after the same manner as they were wont to live in Portugal, so they should live there. The said Bull passed all the Consistory; and being confirmed and received by the said Portugals, they began some of them to depart to live in Ancona, being a sea-port more commodious then others: which being known by the King and Cardinal of Portugal, they caused to be proclaimed in all the Kingdome, that upon paine of death, and losse of all their goods, no man should dare depart the Kingdome. Clement being dead, in his place succeeded (as we have said) Pope Paul the III. who confirmed the same Priviledges: Afterwards in the year 1550. Paul the III. died, and Julius the III. succeeded, who ratified the fore-mentioned Priviledges given by his Predecessours, and the whole Apostolike Seat inviolably. In those times there were many Doctors that wrote on this matter, amongst whom the chiefest were Alciat, and the Cardinal Parisius in 2 & 3 parte Consiliorum pro Christianis noviter conversis; shewing by reason and law, that considering they were forced and not converted willingly, that they had not fallen nor do fall under any Censure. These reasons being considered of by the Princes of Italy, they graunted likewise the same Priviledges: 97viz. Cosmo the Great, Duke of Florence, and Hercules, Duke of Ferrare, and within few years Emanuel Felibert, Duke of Savoye; and were by all his successours confirmed. In the year 1492, when they were banished from Castile, we read in the Chronicles of that Kingdome, that the Lords of that place did complain that their Cities and Towns were destroyed and dis-inhabitated; and had they believed any such thing, that they would have opposed the Kings decree, and would never have given their consent to it. That was the cause, that Don Emanuel of Portugal, seeing on the one side apparent dammage, should he let them depart his Kingdome; and on the otherside, not being able to break his promise made to the King of Castile, he caused them to be compelled to the Faith, upon paine of Death, that they should not depart out of his Dominions. The Catholiq King was blamed of all Christian Princes, and especially by the Senate of Venice, (as Marcus Antonius Sabellicus doth write) for having banished a Nation so profitable to the Publicq and Particular good, without any kind of pretence. And so the Parliament of Paris likewise did extreamly wonder at such a determination. And truely good reason there was to wonder; for we see since, what the Senat of Venice hath done, who never deliberats or puts into execution any thing, without great judgement: having the advantage of all Republicqs in their Government and leaving behind them the Romans, Carthagenians, Athenians, and most learned Lacedemonians, and that Parliament of Paris, which in the Government of affaires was alwayes most prudent. Most of those that were banished passed to the Levant, who were embraced by the Ottoman-family, all the succeeding Kings wondring at it, that the Spanjards, who make profession to be a politiq Nation, should drive out of their kingdomes such a people. Moreover Sultan Bajazet, and Sultan Soliman, received them exceeding well, the coming of the Iews to them being very acceptable: and so did likewise all their successours, considering of how great a profit and benefit their residing in their Dominions was. And in the year 1555. 98Paul the IV. being chosen Pope of Rome, who before was called Cardinal de Chiesi, an intimate to the Cardinal of Portugal, caused the Iewes to be held in Ancona, & other places of the Church, according to the Priviledges graunted to them by the Popes, his Predecessours in the name of the Apostolical Roman seat. Licurgus, Solon and Draco, and all Founders of Commonwealths, gave counsell that strangers ought to be loved and much made of, as in the Discourses of Se. in 7 de Legibus de Rep. is amply to be seen. And by the Divine Law (as Moses commanded us) we ought not to trouble a stranger, but he sayes, Remember you were strangers in the Land of Egypt.

In summe, to the same purpose might be brought many other and more powerfull reasons, but because they are out of our consideration, we passe them over. And here to declare some particulars, worthy to be known for advise and example, that befell our Nation in those bitter banishments; part whereof Hieronymus Osorius recites more at large, in the first of his elegant two Books de Rebus Emanuelis. The first title he giveth to those miserable successes, is this, which he puts for a Postil in the margent of his booke, Iudæorum Liberi pervim ad Christianismum pertracti: and than rehearses, how that in the year 1496 the King decreed, that all the Iewes and Mores, that dwelt in his Kingdome, and would not become Christians, should depart his Dominions in a short time; which being past, all that should be found in his Kingdome, should loose their liberty, and become slaves to the King. The time being now at hand (as Osorius proceeds) in which the Iewes, that would not turne Christians, were to depart the Kingdome, and all of them as many as they were, had with all their power provided, and taken a firme resolution to be gone: which the King seeing, and not able to endure it, thought upon a businesse (as he saith) facto quidem iniquam & injustam, which to do was really wicked and unjust, and that was to command that all the children of the Israelites, that were not above 14 years old, should be taken out of the power of their own Parents; & when they had them, they should force them 99to become Christians; a new thing that could not be done without a wonderfull alteration of their minds: for it was (as Osorius speaks) a horrid and miserable spectacle, to see the tender Infants wrestled out of the arms and brests of their lamenting mothers, to dragge along their poore fathers that held them fast, and to give them many wounds and blows to draw them out of their handes; to hear their cryes that ascend to heaven, their groanes, lamentations, and complaints every-where, so that this cruelty was the cause, that many of those distressed Fathers threw their children into wells, and others killed themselves with their own hands, that they might not see so bitter a thing with their eyes. The cruelty of Emanuel ended not here, but going on with compulsion and revilings, gave cause to his owne Chronographer to make the second title or postil, with these words; Vis & Dolus Iudæisillata: That is, The force and deceit used towards the Iewes. And so he goes on, declaring how he had promised in the condition they had made, that he would assigne them three Ports in his Kingdome to embarque at, viz. Lisbon, Setuval, and Puerto: and neverthelesse he forbad them afterwards to embarque themselves in any place but Lisbon: for which cause all the Iewes of the Kingdome came to that City, from whence besides a thousand molestations and extortions, he drove them (as Vasquo saith) as sheep in the stalls, and there forced their afflicted bodies to counterfeit, that which their soules and thoughts never meant nor approoved of. Works, of which his own Chronologer saith, Fuit hoc quidem neque ex Lege, neque ex religione factum. That is, This was done neither according to Law, nor Religion. Let men of clear mind, and free from passion consider for Gods sake, if such violences can work any good impression or character in men: or what Law, either Humain or Divine, National or Modern, can bear, that the souls of men (which the Most High hath created free) be forced to believe what they believe not, and to love what they hate? This cruelty was reproved and censure of many Princes of the world and learned men. And his own Chronologer reprehends it with a new postil, and speaks 100freely; Regis in Iudæos facinorum reprehensio. That is, A censure of the Kings wickednesse against the Iews. Truely with just reason doth Osorius call the works, which the King did unto us, Iniquities and injustices, deceitfull violences, and wicked attempts: and so goes on, reproving them with most elegant Reasons.

Further what happened to the Iews under other Princes in other Kingdomes and Countries, is notorious and enough known to all the world, and therefore not necessary here to relate. So farre concerning their Bannishment.

Now, I will not conceale to say, but that alwayes there have bene found some calumniators, that endeavouring to make the Nation infamous, laid upon them three most false reports, as if they were dangerous to the Goods, the Lives, and withall to the very Souls of the Natives. They urge against them their usuries, the slaying of infants to celebrate their Passe-over, and the inducing Christians to become Iews. To all which I shall answer briefly.

1. As for usury, such dealing is not the essential property of the Iews, for though in Germany there be some indeed that practise usury; yet the most part of them that live in Turky, Italy, Holland and Hamburg, being come out of Spaigne, they hold it infamous to use it; and so with a very small profit of 4. or 5. per Cent, as Christians themselves do, they put their money ordinarily in Banco: for to lay out their money without any profit, was commanded only toward their brethren of the same Nation of the Iews; but not to any other Nation. And however by this Charity is not hurt: for it stands in good reason, that every one should gain and get some advantage with his money, to sustaine his own life: and when any one to supply his own wants, doth take some course of Marchandise, by which he hopes to gaine by other mens moneys taken up on trust, ’tis no inhumanity to reckon and take from him use: For as no man is bound to give his goods to an other; so is he not bound to let it out, but for his own occasions and profit, and not to leave himself destitute of the profit he could make 101of the monyes. Onely this must be done with moderation, that the usury be not biting and exorbitant, which the Christians themselves use, amongst themselves; as even in the Mounts of Piety at Padua, Vicenza and Verona is to be seen, where they take 6 per Cent, and elsewhere yet much more. This in no manner can be called Robbery, but is with consent and will of the Contracter; and the same Sacred Scripture, which allows usury with him that is not of the same Religion, forbids absolutely the robbing of all men, whatsoever Religion they be of. In our Law it is a greater sinne to rob or defraud a stranger, than if I did it to one of my own profession: because a Jew is bound to shew his charity to all men: for he hath a precept, not to abhorre an Idumean, nor an Egyptian; and that he shall love and protect a stranger that comes to live in his land. If notwithstanding there be some that do contrary to this, they do it not as Iewes simply, but as wicked Iewes, as amongst all nations there are found generally some Usurers.

2. As for killing of the young children of Christians; it is an infallible truth what is reported of the Negros of Guinea and Brazil, that if they see any miserable man that hath escaped from the danger of the sea, or hath fallen or suffered any kind of ill-fortune, or Shipwrake, they persecute and vex him so much the more, saying, God curse thee. And wee that live not amongst the Blacke-moors and wild-men, but amongst the white and civilized people of the world, yet wee find this an ordinary course, that men are very prone to hate and despise him that hath ill fortune; and on the other side, to make much of those whom fortune doth favour. Hereof the Christians themselves have good experience; for during the times of their suppression and persecution under the Roman Empire, they were falsely slandred of divers Emperours and tyrannicall Princes. Nero accused them, that they had set Rome on fire; Others, that they were Witches and Conjurers; and others againe that they slew their children to celebrate their Ceremonies, as wee find in divers Authors. Even so likewise it is with the Jewish Nation, that now is dispersed and afflicted, though they have 102moneys: There is no slander nor calumny that is not cast upon them, even the very same ancient scandall that was cast of old upon the innocent Christians, is now laid upon the Jews. Whereas the whole world may easely perceive, it is but a meer slander, seeing it is known that at this day, out of Jerusalem, no sacrifice nor blood is in any use by them, even that blood which is found in an Egg is forbidden them, how much more mans blood? Moreover I could produce divers memorable examples which out in our own times in Araguza to a Jew: how he was accused of this same wickedness, and not confessing it, how they imprisoned him betwixt to walls, and being in that distresse, how he cited before God all the Judges to answer there for what they did; and how within a year after, many of the Iudges died, and those that lived, fearing the like might befall them, and loose their lives, set him free: But I must not be too prolix; it may suffice to say, that by the Pope himself it was defined in full Counsell the accusation to be false; and so likewise judged all the Princes of Italy; as also Alphonso the Wise, King of Spain, and that it was onely a meer invention to drink the blood, and to swallow up the goods of the harmlesse Iews.

3. As for the third Point, I say, that although Ferdinand & Isabell, giving colour to so indiscreet a determination, said, that they induced the Nobles to become Iews, yet truely this cannot be said, but by some false informations. For if so be, amongst those difficulties and impossibilities, it may happen, that some of the Sect of the Papists, of a better mind, embrace the Iewish Religion; it cannot therefore be presumed, that they were induced thereunto by the Iews; seeing the Iews do not entice any man to professe their Law: But if any man of his own free-will come to them, they by their rites & Ceremonies are obliged to make proof of them, whether they come for any temporall interest, and to persuade them to look well to themselves what they do: that the Law unto which they are to submit themselves, is of many precepts; and doth oblige the transgressor to many sore punishments. And so we follow the example of Nahomi, cited in the Sacred Scripture, who did 103not persuade Ruth to go along with her; but said first to her: Orpa thy sister returned to her Nation and her Gods; go thou and follow her. But Ruth continuing constant, then at length she received her.

Besides this, the Iews indeed have reason to take care for their own preservation; and therefore will not go about by such wayes to make themselves odious to Princes and Common-wealths, under whose Dominions they live.

Now, because I beleive, that with a good conscience I have discharged our Nation of the Iews of those three slanders or calumnies, as elsewhere I have more at large written about it; I conceive I may from those two qualities, of Profitablenesse and Fidelity conclude, that such a Nation ought to be well entertained, and also beloved and protected generally of all. The more, considering they are called in the Sacred Scriptures, the Sons of God; and ’tis said by all the Prophets, that they who shall wrong them, shall be most severely punished; and that he that toucheth them, toucheth the apple of Gods eye. And at least, it was alwayes the opinion of Augustine, as he made it appear in his works Libr. de Doctrina Christiana cap. 28. where he saith, Quod omnes homines æque diligendi sunt. That all men are equally to be beloved.

Now, having proved the two former Points. I could adde a third, viz. of the Nobility of the Iews: but because that Point is enough known amongst all Christians, as lately yet it hath been most worthily and excellently shewed and described in a certain Book, called, The Glory of Iehudah and Israel, dedicated to our Nation by that worthy Christian Minister Mr. Henry Iessey, (1653. in Duch) where this matter is set out at large: And by Mr. Edw. Nicholas Genleman, in his Book, called, An Apologie for the Honorable Nation of the Iews, and all the Sons of Israel (1648. in English.) Therefore I will here forbeare, and rest on their saying of our King Salomon, the wisest on earth, Let another mans mouth praise thee, and not thine own. Which is the close of Rabbi Menesse Ben-Israel, a Divine, and Doctor in Physick, in the Strand over against the New-Exchange in London.


Menasseh ben Israel.

from a portrait by Rembrandt, now in the Hermitage Collection, St. Petersburg


In Answer to certain Questions propounded by a Noble and Learned Gentleman, touching the reproaches cast on the Nation of the Jevves; wherein all objections are candidly, and yet fully cleared.

By Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel a Divine and a Physicyan.
Printed by R. D. in the year 1656.
Most Noble, and Learned Sir,

I have received a letter from your worship, which was welcome to me; and I read it, because yours, with great delight; if you will please to allow for the unpleasantnesse of the subject. For I do assure your worship, I never met with any thing in my life which I did more deeply resent, for that it reflecteth upon the credit of a nation, which amongst so many calumnies, so manifest, (and therefore shamefull) I dare to pronounce innocent. Yet I am afraid, that whilst I answer to them, I shall offend some, whose zeal will not permit them to consider, that self vindication, as defensive armes, is naturall to all; but to be wholly silent, were to acknowledge what is so falsly objected. Wherefore that I may justifie my self to my own conscience, I have obeyed your worships commands: for your request must not be accounted lesse, at least by me. I presume your worship cannot expect either prolix, or polite discourses upon so sad a subject; for who can be ambitious in his own calamity? I have therefore dispatcht onely some concise, and brief relations, barely exceeding the bounds of a letter; yet such as may suffice you, to inform the Rulers of the English nation, of a truth most reall, and sincere; which I hope they will accept in good part, according to their noble, and singular prudence and piety. For innocencie being alwayes most free from suspecting evil, I cannot be perswaded, that any one hath either spoken, or written against us, out of any particular hatred that they bare us, but that they rather supposed our coming might prove prejudiciall to their estates, and interests; charity alwayes beginning at home. Yet notwithstanding I propounded this matter under an argument of profit (for this hath made us welcome in other countries) and 108therefore I hope I may prove what I undertake. However, I have but small encouragement to expect the happy attainment of any other design, but onely that truth may be justified of her children. I shall answer in order to what your worship hath proposed.


And in the first place, I cannot but weep bitterly, and with much anguish of soul lament that strange and horrid accusation of some Christians against the dispersed, and afflicted Iewes that dwell among them, when they say (what I tremble to write) that the Iewes are wont to celebrate the feast of unleavened bread, fermenting it with the bloud of some Christians, whom they have for this purpose killed: when the calumniators themselves have most barbarously and cruelly butchered some of them. Or to speak more mildly, have found one dead, and cast the corps, as if it had been murdered by the Iewes, into their houses or yards, as lamentable experience hath proved in sundry places: and then with unbridled rage and tumult, they accuse the innocent Iews, as the committers of this most execrable fact. Which detestable wickednesse hath been sometimes perpetrated, that they might thereby take advantage to exercise their cruelty upon them; and sometimes to justifie, and patronize their massacres already executed. But how farre this accusation is from any semblable appearance of truth, your worship may judge by these following arguments.

1. It is utterly forbid the Iewes to eat any manner of bloud whatsoever, Levit. Chapter 7.26. and Deuter. 12. where it is expresly said וכל דם And ye shall eat no manner of bloud, and in obedience to this command the Iewes eat not the bloud of any animal. And more then this, if they find one drop of bloud in an egge, they cast it away as prohibited. And if in eating a piece of bread, it happens to touch any bloud drawn from the teeth, or gummes, it must be pared, and cleansed from the said bloud, as it evidenely appeares in Sulhan Haruch and our rituall book. Since then it is thus, how can it enter into any mans heart to believe 109that they should eat humane bloud, which is yet more detestable, there being scarce any nation now remaining upon earth so barbarous, as to commit such wickednesse?

2. The precept in the Decalogue Thou shalt not kill is of generall extent; it is a morall command. So that the Iewes are bound not onely, not to kill one of those nations where they live, but they are also oblig’d by the law of gratitude, to love them. They are the very words of R. Moses of Egypt in Iad a Razaka, in his treatise of Kings, the tenth Chapter, in the end, Concerning the nations, the ancients have commanded us to visit their sick and to bury their dead, as the dead of Israel, and to relieve, and maintain their poor, as we do the poor of Israel, because of the wayes of peace, as it is written, God is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works. Psal. 145.9. And in conformity hereto, I witnesse before God blessed for ever, that I have continually seen in Amsterdam where I reside, abundance of good correspondency, many interchanges of brotherly affection, and sundry things of reciprocall love. I have thrice seen when some Flemine Christians have fallen into the river in our ward, called Flemburgh, our nation cast themselves into the river to them, to help them out, and to deliver their lives from death. And certainly he that will thus hazard himself to save another, cannot harbour so much cruell malice, as to kill the innocent, whom he ought out of the duty of humanity to defend and protect.

3. It is forbidden Exodus 21.20. to kill a stranger; If a man smite his servant, or his maid with a rod, and he die under his hand, he shall surely be punished, notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his money. The text speaks of a servant that is one of the Gentile nations, because that he onely is said to be the money of the Iew, who is his master, as Aben Ezra well notes upon the place. And the Lord commands, that if he die under the hand of his master, his master shall be put to death, for that as it seems, he struck him with a murderous intent. But it is otherwise if the servant dies afterwards, for then it appeares, that he did not strike him with a purpose to kill him; for if so, he would have killed him out of hand, wherefore he shall be free, and it may suffice for punishment that he hath lost his money. If therefore a Iew cannot 110kill his servant, or slave that is one of the nations, according to the law, how much lesse shall he be impowred to murder him that is not his enemy, and with whom he leads a quiet and a peaceable life? and therefore how can any good man believe that against his holy law, a Iew (in a strange countrey especially) should make himself guilty of so execrable a fact?

4. Admit that it were lawfull (which God forbid) why should they eat the bloud? And supposing they should eat the bloud, why should they eat it on the Passeover? Here at this feast, every confection ought to be so pure, as not to admit of any leaven, or any thing that may fermentate, which certainly bloud doth.

5. If the Iewes did repute, and hold this action (which is never to be named without an epethite of horrour) necessary, they would not expose themselves to so eminent a danger, to so cruell and more deserved punishment, unlesse they were moved to it by some divine precept; or at least, some constitution of their wise men. Now we challenge all those men who entertain this dreadfull opinion of us, as obliged in point of justice, to cite the place of Scripture, or of the Rabbins, where any such precept, or doctrine is delivered. And untill they do so, we will assume so much liberty, as to conclude it to be no better then a malicious slander.

6. If a man, to save his life, may break the Sabbath, and transgresse many of the other commands of the law, as hath been determined in the Talmud; as also confirmed by R. Moses of Egypt, in the fifth Chapter of his treatise of the fundamentalls of the law; yet three are excepted, which are, idolatry, murther, and adultery; life not being to be purchased at so dear a rate, as the committing of these heinous sins: an innocent death being infinitely to be preferred before it. Wherefore if the killing of a Christian, as they object, were a divine precept, and institution, (which far be it from me to conceive) it were certainly to be null’d and rendred void, since a man cannot perform it, without indangering his own life; and not onely so, but the life of the whole congregation of an entire people; and yet more, since it is directly a violation of one of these three precepts, Thou shalt do no murder: which is intended universally of all men, as we have said before.

1117. The Lord, blessed for ever, by his prophet Ieremiah Chap. 29.7. gives it in command to the captive Israelites that were dispersed among the heathens, that they should continually pray for, and endeavour the peace, welfare and prosperity of the city wherein they dwelt, and the inhabitants thereof. This the Iewes have alwayes done, and continue to this day in all their Synagogues, with a particular blessing of the Prince or Magistrate, under whose protection they live. And this the Right Honourable my Lord St. Iohn can testifie; who when he was Embassadour to the Lords the States of the united Provinces, was pleased to honour our Synagogue at Amsterdam with his presence, where our nation entertained him with musick, and all expressions of joy and gladnesse, and also pronounced a blessing, not onely upon his honour, then present, but upon the whole Common-wealth of England, for that they were a people in league and amity; and because we conceived some hopes that they would manifest towards us, what we ever bare towards them, viz. all love and affection. But to return again to our argument, if we are bound to study, endeavour, and sollicite, the good and flourishing estate of the city where we live, and the inhabitants thereof, how shall we then murder their children, who are the greatest good, and the most flourishing blessing that this life doth indulge to them.

8. The children of Israel are naturally mercifull, and full of compassion. This was acknowledged by their enemies, Kings 1.20, 31. when Benhadad King of Assyria was discomfited in the battel, and fled away, he became a petitioner for his life to King Ahab, who had conquered him; for he understood that the Kings of the house of Israel were mercifull Kings; and his own experience confirmed it, when for a little affection that he pretended in a complement, he obtained again his life and fortunes, from which the event of the warre had disentitled him. And when the Gibeonites made that cruell request to David, that seven of Saul’s sons who were innocent, should be delivered unto them, the prophet saies, now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, Sam. 2.21, 2. as if he had said, in this cruelty, the piety of the Israelites is not so much set forth, as the tyranny, and implacable rage of the Gentiles, the Gibeonites. Which being so, and experience 112withall declares it, viz. the fidelity which our nation hath inviolably preserved towards their superiours, then most certainly it is wholly incompatible, and inconsistent with the murdering of their children.

9. There are some Christians, that use to insult against the Iewes, as Christian homicides, that will venter to give a reason of these pretended murtherous practises. As if the accusation were then most infallibly true, if they can find any semblance of a reason why it might be so. As they say, that this is practised by them in hatred and detestation of Jesus of Nazareth. And that therefore they steal Christian Children, buffeting them in the same manner that he was buffetted; thereby to rub up, and revive the memory of the aforesaid death. And likewise they imagine that the Iewes secretly steal away crosses, crucifixes, and such like graven images, which Papists privately and carefully retein in their houses, and every day the Iewes mainly strike, and buffet, shamefully spitting on them, with such like ceremonies of despight, and all this in hatred of Jesus. But I admire what they really think, when they object such things as these, laying them to our charge. For surely we cannot believe, that a people, otherwise of sufficient prudence, and judgement, can perswade themselves into an opinion that the Iewes should commit such practises, unlesse they could conceive they did them in honour and obedience to the God whom they worship. And what kind of obedience is this they perform to God blessed for ever, when they directly sin against that speciall command Thou shalt not kill? Besides, this cannot be committed without the imminent, and manifest perill of their lives and fortunes, and the necessary exposing themselves to a just revenge. Moreover, it is an Anathema to a Iew to have any graven images in his house, or any thing of an idol, which any of the nations figuratively worship, Deut. 7.26.

10. Matthew Paris p. 532. writes, how that in the year 1240. the Iewes circumcised a Christian child at Norwich, and gave him the name Iurnin, and reserved him to be crucified, for which cause many of them were most cruelly put to death. The truth of this story will evidently appear upon the consideration of its circumstances. He was first circumcised, and this perfectly constitutes 113him a Iew. Now for a Iew to embrace a Christian in his armes, and foster him in his bosome, is a testimony of great love and affection. But if it was intended that shortly after this child should be crucified, to what end was he first circumcised? If it shall be said it was out of hatred to the Christians, it appears rather to the contrary, that it proceeded from detestation of the Iewes, or of them who had newly become proselytes, to embrace the Iewes religion. Surely this supposed pranck (storied to be done in popish times) looks more like a piece of the reall scene of the Popish Spaniards piety, who first baptiz’d the poor Indians, and afterwards out of cruel pity to their souls, inhumanely butchered them; then of strict-law-observing Iewes, who dare not make a sport of one of the seales of their covenant.

11. Our captivity under the Mahumetans is farre more burdensome, and grievous then under the Christians, and so our ancients have said, it is better to inhabit under Edom then Ismael, for they are a people more civill, and rationall, and of a better policie, as our nation have found experimentally. For, excepting the nobler, and better sort of Iewes, such as live in the Court of Constantinople, the vulgar people of the Iewes that are dispersed in other countries of the Mahumetan Empire, in Asia and Africa, are treated with abundance of contempt and scorn. It would therefore follow, that if this sacrificing of children be the product and result of hatred, that they should execute and disgorge it much more upon the Mahumetans, who have reduced them to so great calamity and misery. So that if it be necessary to the celebration of the Passeover, why do they not as well kill a Mahumetan? But although the Iewes are scattered, and dispersed throughout all those vast territories, notwithstanding all their despite against us, they never yet to this day forged such a calumnious accusation. Wherefore it appeares plainly, that it is nothing else but a slander, and such a one, that considering how the scene is laid, I cannot easily determine whether it speak more of malice, or of folly: certainly Sultan Selim made himself very merry with it, when the story was related him by Moses Amon his chief Physicyan.

12. If all that which hath been said is not of sufficient force to wipe off this accusation, because the matter on our part is 114purely negative, and so cannot be cleared by evidence of witnesses, I am constrained to use another way of argument, which the Lord, blessed for ever, hath prescribed Exod. 22. which is an oath; wherefore I swear, without any deceit or fraud, by the most high God, the creatour of heaven and earth, who promulged his law to the people of Israel, upon mount Sinai, that I never yet to this day saw any such custome among the people of Israel, and that they doe not hold any such thing by divine precept of the law, or any ordinance or institution of their wise men, and that they never committed or endeavoured such wickednesse, (that I know, or have credibly heard, or read in any Jewish Authours) and if I lie in this matter, then let all the curses mentioned in Leviticus and Deuteronomy come upon me, let me never see the blessings and consolations of Zion, nor attain to the resurrection of the dead. By this I hope I may have proved what I did intend, and certainly this may suffice all the friends of truth, and all faithfull Christians to give credit to what I have here averred. And indeed our adversaries who have been a little more learned, and consequently a little more civill then the vulgar, have made a halt at this imputation. Iohn Hoornbeek in that book which he lately writ against our nation, wherein he hath objected against us, right or wrong, all that he could any wayes scrape together, was notwithstanding ashamed to lay this at our door, in his Prolegomena pag. 26. where he sayes, An autem verum fit quod vulgò in historiis legatur, &c. i.e. whether that be true which is commonly read in histories, to aggravate the Iewes hatred against the Christians, or rather the Christians against the Iewes, that they should annually upon the preparation of the Passeover, after a cruell manner sacrifice a Christian child, privily stollen, in disgrace, and contempt of Christ, whose passion, and crucifixion the Christians celebrate, I will not assert for truth; as well knowing, how easy it was for those times wherein these things are mentioned, to have happen’d, (especially after the Inquisition was set up in the Popedome) to forge, and fain; and how the histories of those ages, according to the affection of the writers, were too too much addicted, and given unto fables and figments. Indeed I have never yet seen any of all those relations that hath by any certain experiment 115proved this fact, for they are all founded; either upon the uncertain report of the vulgar, or else upon the secret accusation of the Monks belonging to the inquisition, not to mention the avarice of the informers, wickedly hanquering after the Iewes wealth, and so with ease forging any wickednesse. For in the first book of the Sicilian constitutions tit. 7. we see the Emperour Frederick saying, Sivero Iudæus, vel Saracenus fit, in quibus prout certò perpendimus Christianorum persecutio minus abundat ad præsens, but if he be a Iew or a Saracen, against whom, as we have weighed, the persecution of the Christians do much abound, &c. thus taxing the violence of certain Christians against the Iewes. Or if perhaps it hath sometimes happened, that a Christian was kill’d by a Iew, we must not therefore say that in all places where they inhabit, they annually kill a Christian Child. And for that which Thomas Cantipratensis lib. 2. cap. 23. affirms, viz. that it is certainly known, that the Iewes every year, in every province, cast lots what city or town shall afford Christian bloud to the other cities. I can give it no more credit then his other fictions and lies wherewith he hath stuffed his book. Thus farre Iohn Hoornbeek.

13. Notwithstanding all this, there are not wanting some histories, that relate these and the like calumnies against an afflicted people, For which cause the Lord saith, He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of my eye, Zach. 2.6. I shall cursolarily mention some passages that have occurred in my time, whereof, I say not that I was an eye witnesse, but onely that they were of generall report and credence, without the least contradiction. I have faithfully noted both the names of the persons, the places where, and the time when they happened, in my continuation of Flavius Josephus, I shall be the lesse curious therefore in reciting them here. In Vienna the Metropolis of Austria, Frederick being Emperour, there was a pond frozen, according to the cold of those parts, wherein three boyes (as it too frequently happens) were drowned. when they were missed, the imputation is cast upon the Jewes, and they are incontinently indicted, for murthering of them, to celebrate their Passeover. And being imprisoned, after infinite prayers and supplications made to no effect, three hundred of them were burnt, when the pond thawd, these three boyes were found, 116and then their innocency was clearly evinc’d although too late, after the execution of this cruelty.

In Araguza about thirty yeares ago, there was a Christian woman, into whose house there came a little girle (of eleven yeares of age, daughter to a neighbouring gentleman) richly adorned with jewels: this wretched woman, not thinking of a safer way to rob her, then by killing her, cut her throat, and hid her under her bed, the girle was presently mist, and by information they understood that she was seen to go into that house, they call a Magistrate to search the house, and find the girle dead, she confest the fact, and as if she should have expiated her own guilt by destroying a Iew, though never so innocent, she said, she did it at the instigation and perswasion of one Isaac Jeshurun, for that the Jewes wanted bloud to celebrate their feast: she was hang’d, and the Jew was apprehended, who being six times cruelly tortur’d, they employing their wits in inventing unheard of, and insufferable torments, such as might gain Perillous the estimation of mercifull and compassionate, still cryes out of the falshood of the accusation, saying, that that wickednesse which he never committed, no not so much as in his dreams, was maliciously imputed to him, yet notwithstanding he was condemned to remain close prisoner for twenty yeares, (though he continued there onely three,) and to be fed there through a trough, upon the bread and water of affliction, being close manacled, and naked, within a four square wall, built for that purpose, that he might there perish in his own dung. This mans brother Joseph Jeshurun is now living at this time in Hamborough. This miserable man calling upon God, beseeching him to shew some signall testimony of his innocencie, and citing before his divine tribunall the Senatours who had with no more mercy, then justice, thus grievously and inhumanely afflicted him; the blessed God was a just Judge, for the Prince died suddenly at a banquet, the Sunday next ensuing the giving of the sentence, and during the time of his imprisonment, the aforesaid Senatours by little and little dropt away, and died, which was prudently observed by those few that yet remain’d, wherefore they resolved to deliver themselves by restoring him to his liberty, accounting it as a particular divine 117providence: this man came out well, passed throughout all Italy, where he was seen, to the admiration of all that had cognizance of his sufferings, and died a few yeares since at Jerusalem.

14. The act of the faith (which is ordinarily done at Toledo) was done at Madrid, Anno 1632, in the presence of the King of Spain, where the Inquisitors did then take an oath of the King and queen, that they should maintain and conserve the Catholick faith in their dominions. In this act it is found printed, how that a family of our nation was burnt, for confessing upon the wrack the truth of a certain accusation of a maid servant, who, (provoked out of some disgust) said, that they had scourged, and whip’t an image, which by the frequent lashes, issued forth a great deal of bloud, and crying with an out stretched voice, said unto them, why do you thus cruelly scourge me? the whole nobility well understood that it was all false, but things of the inquisition all must hush.

15. A very true story happened at Lisbon, Anno 1631. A certain Church missed one night a silver pixe or box, wherein was the popish hosts. And forasmuch as they had seen a young youth of our nation, whose name was Simao pires solis, sufficiently noble, to passe by the same night, not farre from thence, who went to visit a Lady, he was apprehended, imprisoned, and terribly tortured. They cut off his hands, and after they had dragged him along the streets, burnt him. One year passed over, and a thief at the foot of the gallowes confessed how he himself had rifled and plundered the shrine of the host, and not that poor innocent whom they had burnt. This young mans brother was a Frier, a great Theologist, and a preacher, he lives now a Jew in Amsterdam, and calls himself Eliazar de solis.

16. Some perhaps will say, that men are not blame worthy for imputing to the Jewes, that which they themselves with their own mouthes have confest. But surely he hath little understanding of wracks, and tortures that speaks thus. An Earle of Portugal, when his Physicyan was imprisoned for being a Jew, requested one of the inquisitors, by letter, that he would cause him to be set at liberty, for that he knew for certain that he was a very good Christian, but 118he not being able to undergo the tortures inflicted on him, confessed himself a Iew, and became a penitentiary. At which the Earl being much incenst, feins himself sick, and desires the inquisitor by one of his servants, that he would be pleased to come and visit him. when he came, he commanded him that he should confesse that himself was a Iew, and further, that he should put it down in writing with his own hand, which when he refused to do, he charges some of his servants to put a helmet that was red hot in the fire, (provided for this purpose) upon his head; at which, he not being able to endure this threatned torment, takes him aside to confesse, and also he writ with his own hand that he was a Iew: whereupon the Earl takes occasion to reprove his injustice, cruelty, and inhumanity, saying, in like manner as you have confest, did my Physicyan confesse. Besides that, you have presently, onely out of fear, not sence of torment, confest more. For this cause in the Israelitish Senate, no torture was ever inflicted, but onely every person was convicted at the testimony of two witnesses. That such like instruments of cruelty may enforce children that have been tenderly educated, and fathers that have lived deliciously to confesse that they have whipt an image, and been guilty of such like criminall offences, daily experience may demonstrate.

17. Others will perchance alledge, these are histories indeed, but they are not sacred, nor canonicall. I answer, Love and hatred sayes Plutarch, corrupt the truth of every thing, as experience sufficiently declares it; when we see that which comes to passe, that one and the same thing, in one and the same city, at one and the same time, is related in different manners. I my self in my own Negotiation here have found it. For it hath been rumoured abroad, that our nation had purchased S. Pauls Church for to make it their Synagogue, notwithstanding that it was formerly a temple consecrated to the worship of Diana. And many other things have been reported of us that never entred into the thoughts of our nation; as I have seen a fabulous Narrative of the proceedings of a great Council of the Iewes, assembled in the plain of Ageda in Hungaria, to determine whether the Messiah were come or no.

11918. And now, since that it is evident that it is forbidden the Iewes to eat any manner of bloud, and that to kill a man is directly prohibited by our law, and the reasons before given are consentaneous and agreeable to every ones understanding, I know it will be inquired by many, but especially by those who are more pious, and the friends of truth, how this calumnie did arise, and from whence it derived its first originall. I may answer, that this wickednesse is laid to their charge for divers reasons.

First, Ruffinus the familiar friend of S. Hierome in his version of Iosephus his second book that he writ against Apion the Grammarian (for the Greek text is there wanting) tells us how Apion invented this slander to gratifie Antiochus, to excuse his sacriledge, and justifie his perfidious dealing with the Iewes, making their estates supply his wants. Propheta vero aliorum est Apion &c. Apion is become a Prophet, and said that Antiochus found in the temple, a bed, with a man lying upon it, and a table set before him, furnished with all dainties both of sea and land, and fowles, and that this man was astonished at them, and presently adores the entrance of the King, as coming to succour and relieve him, and prostrating himself at his knees, & stretching out his right hand, he implores liberty; whereat the King commanding him to sit down and declare who he was, why he dwelt there, and what was the cause of this his plentifull provision? the man with sighs and tears, lamentably weeps out his necessity: and tells him that he is a Grecian, and whilst he travelled about the province to get food, he was suddenly apprehended, and caught up by some strange men, and brought to the temple, and there shut up, that he might be seen by no man, but be there fatted with all manner of dainties, and that these unexpected benefits wrought in him at the first joy, then suspicion, after that astonishment, and last of all, advising with the Minister that came unto him, he understood that the Iewes every year, at a certain time appointed according to their secret and ineffable law, take up some Greek stranger, and after he hath been fed delicately for the space of a whole year, they bring him into a certain wood, and kill him. Then according to their solem rites and ceremonies, they sacrifice his body, and every one tasting of his intrails, in the offering 120up of this Greek, they enter into a solemn oath, that they will bear an immortall feude and hatred to the Greeks. And then they cast the reliques of this perishing man into a certain pit. After this Apion makes him to say, that onely some few dayes remained to him, before his execution, & to desire the King that he, fearing and worshipping the Grecian gods, would revenge the bloud of his subjects upon the Iewes, and deliver him from his approaching death. This fable (saith Iosephus) as it is most full of all tragedy, so it abounds with cruell impudence, I had rather you should read the confutation of this slander there, then I to write it in this place, you will find it in the Geneva edition of Iosephus, pag. 1066.

Secondly, The very same accusation and horrid wickednesse of killing children, and eating their bloud, was of old by the ancient heathens, charg’d upon the Christians, that thereby they might make them odious, and incense the common people against them, as appeares by Tertullian in his Apologia contra gentes, Iustin Martyr in apologia 2. ad Anton. Eusebius Cæsareensis l. 5. cap. 1. & 4. Pineda in his Monarchia Ecclesiastica l. 11. c. 52. and many others, as is known sufficiently. So that the imputation of this cruelty, which as to them continues onely in memory, is to the very same purpose, at this day charged upon the Iewes. And as they deny this fact, as being falsly charged upon them, so in like manner do we deny it, and I may say perhaps with a little more reason, forasmuch as we eat not any manner of bloud, wherein they do not think themselves obliged.

Now the reason of this slander was alwayes the covetous ambition of some, who desiring to gain their wealth, and possesse themselves of their estates, have forg’d and introduc’d this enormous accusation, to colour their wickednesse, under a specious pretence of revenging their own bloud. And to this purpose, I remember that when I reproved a Rabbi (who came out of Poland to Amsterdam) for the excesse of usurie in Germany, and Poland, which they exacted of the Christians, and told him how moderate they in Holland and in Italy were, he replyed, we are of necessity constrained to do so, because they so often raise up false witnesses against us, and levie more from us at once, then we are able to 121get again by them in many yeares. And so, as experience shews, it usually succeeds with our poor people under this pretext and colour.

19. And so it hath been divers times; men mischieving the Iewes to excuse their own wickednesse; as to instance one precedent in the time of a certain King of Portugal. The Lord, blessed for ever, took away his sleep one night, (as he did from King Ahashuerus) and he went up into a belcony in the palace, from whence he could discover the whole city, and from thence (the moon shining clear) he espyed two men carrying a dead corps, which they cast into a Iew’s yard. He presently dispatches a couple of servants, and commands them, yet with a seeming carelesnesse, they should trace and follow those men, and take notice of their house; which they accordingly did. The next day there is a hurly burly and a tumult in the city, accusing the Iewes of murder. Thereupon the King apprehends these rogues, and they confesse the truth; and considering that this businesse was guided by a particular divine providence, calls some of the wise men of the Iewes, and asks them how they translate the 4. verse of the 121 Psalm, and they answered, Behold, he that keepeth Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The King replied, if he will not slumber then much lesse will he sleep, you do not say well, for the true translation is, Behold, the Lord doth not slumber, neither will he suffer him that keepeth Israel to sleep. God who hath yet a care over you, hath taken away my sleep, that I might be an eye witnesse of that wickednesse which is this day laid to your charge. This with many such like relations we may read in the book called Scebet Iehuda, how sundry times, when our nation was at the very brink of destruction, for such forged slanders, the truth hath discovered it self for their deliverance.

20. This matter of bloud hath been heretofore discussed and disputed before one of the Popes, at a full councell; where it was determined to be nothing else but a mere calumnie: and hereupon gave liberty to the Iewes to dwell in his countryes, and gave the princes of Italy to understand the same, as also Alfonso the wise King of Spain. And suppose any one man had done such a thing, as I believe never any Iew did so, yet this 122were great cruelty to punish a whole nation for one mans wickednesse.

21. But why should I use more words about this matter, seeing all that is come upon us, was foretold by all the prophets? Moses, Deut. 28.61. Moreover, every sicknesse and every plague which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, &c. because thou hast not hearkned to the voice of the Lord thy God. David in the 44. Psalm make a dolefull complaint of those evils, and ignominious reproaches, wherewith we are invironed round about in this captivity, as if we were the proper center of misery, saying, For thy sake are we killed all the day long, we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. The same he speaks Psalm 74. and in other Psalms.

Ezekiel more particularly mentions this calumnie; God, blessed for ever, promising Chap. 36.13. that in time to come the devouring of men, or the eating of mans bloud shall be no more imputed to them, according to the true and proper exposition of the learned Don Isaac Abarbanel. The blessed God, according to the multitude of his mercies, will have compassion upon his people, and will take away the reproach of Israel from off the earth, that it may be no more heard, as is prophesied by Isaiah, and let this suffice to have spoken as to this point.


Your worship desired joyntly, to know what ceremony, or humiliation the Iewes use in their Synagogues, toward the book of the Law; for which they are by some ignorantly reputed to be idolaters. I shall answer it in Order.

First, the Iewes hold themselves bound to stand up when the book of the Law written upon parchment, is taken out of the desk, untill it is opened on the pulpit, to shew it to the people, and afterwards to be read. We see that observed in Nehemias, chap. 8.6. where it is said, And when he had opened it, all the people stood up. and this they do in reverence to the word of God, and that sacred Book.

123For the same cause, when it passeth from the desk toward the pulpit, all that it passeth by, bow down their heads a little, with reverence; which can be no idolatry for these following reasons.

First, it is one thing adorare, viz. to adore, and another venerari, viz. to worship. For Adoration is forbidden to any creature, whether Angelicall, or Earthly; but Worship may be given to either of them, as to men of a higher rank, commonly stiled worshipfull. And so Abraham, who in his time rooted out vain idolatry, humbled himself, and also prostrated himself before those three guests, which then he entertained for Men. As also Iosuah the holy Captain of the people, did prostrate himself to another Angel, which with a sword in his hand, made him afraid, at the gates of Iericho. Wherefore if those were just men, and if we are obliged to follow their example, and they were not reprehended for it, it is clear, that to worship the Law in this manner as we do, can be no idolatry.

Secondly, The Iewes are very scrupulous in such things, and fear in the least, to appear to give any honour or reverence to images. And so it is to be seen in the Talmud, and in R. Moses of Egypt in his Treatise of idolatry: That if by chance any Israelite should passe by a Church, that had images on the outside, and at that time a thorn should run into his foot, he may not stoop to pull it out, because he that should see him, might suspect he bowed to such an image. Therefore according to this strictnesse, if that were any appearance of idolatry to bow to the Law, the Iewes would utterly abhorre it; and since they do it, it is an evident sign that it is none.

Thirdly, to kisse images is the principall worship of idolatry, as God saith, in the 1 of Kings 19.19. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth that hath not kissed him. But if that were so, it would follow, that all men, who kisse the Testament after they are sworn, should be idolaters. But because that is not so, since that act is but a simple worship, by the same reason it will follow, that to bow the head, cannot be reputed for idolatry.

Fourthly, Experience sheweth, that in all Nations the ceremonies 124that men use mutually one towards another, is to bow the head; And also there are degrees thereof, according to the quality of the person with whom they speak; which shew that in the opinion of all nations, it is no idolatry, and therefore much lesse, to reverence the Law with bowing of the body.

Fifthly, In Asia (and it is the same almost in all the world) the people receiving a decree, or order of the king, they take it, and kisse it, and set it upon the head. We owe much more to Gods word, and to his divine Commandments.

Sixthly, Ptolomeus Philadelphus, receiving the 72 Interpreters with the book of the Law, into his presence, he rose from his seat, and prostrating himself seven times, worshipped it, (as Aristæus assures us.) If a Gentile did this to a law which he thought did not oblige him, much more do we owe reverence to that Law which was particularly given unto us.

Seventhly, The Israelites hold for the Articles of their Faith, that there is a God; who is one in most simple unity; eternall, incorporeall; who gave the written Law unto his people Israel, by the hand of Moses, the Prince, and chief of all the Prophets; whose Providence takes care for the world which he created; who takes notice of all mens works, and rewardeth or punisheth them. Lastly, that one day Messias shall come to gather together the scattered Israelites, and shortly after shall be the resurrection of the dead.

These are their Doctrines, which I believe contain not any idolatry; nor yet in the opinion of those that are of other judgements; For, as a most learned Christian of our time hath written, in a French book, which he calleth the Rappel of the Iewes (in which he makes the King of France to be their leader, when they shall return to their country,) the Iewes, saith he, shall be saved, for yet we expect a second coming of the same Messias; and the Iewes believe that that coming is the first, and not the second, and by that faith they shall be saved; for the difference consists onely in the circumstance of the time.



Sir, I hope I have given satisfaction to your worship, touching those points. I shall yet further inform you with the same sincerity, concerning the rest. Sixtus Senensis in his Bibliothæca, lib. 2. Titulo contra Talmud, and others, as Biatensis, Ordine 1. Tract. 1. Titulo Perachot. averre out of the Talmud. cap. 4. “that every Iew, thrice a day, curseth all Christians, and prayeth to God to confound, and root them out, with their Kings and Princes. And this is especially done in the Synagogue, by the Iewes Priests, thrice a day.” I pray let such as love the truth, see the Talmud, in the quoted place; and they shall find nothing of that which is objected: onely there is recited in the said fourth Chapter, the daily prayer, which speaks of Minim, that is, Hereticks, ordained in Tabne, (that is a town not farre from Ierusalem, between Gath and Gazim, &c.) the Talmud hath no more. Hence Sixtus Senensis by distillation, draws forth the foresaid calumnie, whenas, what the Talmud rehearseth briefly, to be made onely by the wise men in the said Town, he saith, was a constitution in the Talmud long after.

Now let us see what was done by those wise men in the said Town; and let us examine, whether that may justly offend the Christians.

There is in the daily prayers a certain Chapter where it is thus written, la-Mumarim, &c. that is, For Apostates, let there be no hope, let all Hereticks be destroyed, and all thine enemies, and all that hate thee, let them perish. And thou shalt root out the kingdome of pride forthwith, weaken, and put it out, and in our dayes. This whole Chapter speaketh nothing of Christians originally, but of the Iewes, who fell in those times, to the Zaduces, and Epicureans, and to the Gentiles, as Moses of Egypt saith, Tract. Tephila. cap. 2. For by Apostates and Hereticks are not to be understood all men, that are of a diverse religion, or heathens, or Gentiles, but those renegado Iewes, who did abrogate the whole 126Law of Moses, or any Articles received thence; and such are properly by us called Hereticks. For according to the Law of Christians, he is not properly an Apostate, or Hereteck, who is originally bred a scholler and a candid follower from his youth of a diverse law, and so continueth: otherwise native Iewes and Hagarens, and other Nations that are no Christians, nor ever were, should be properly called Apostates, and Hereticks in respect of Christians, which is absurd, as it is absurd for the Iewes to call the Christians Apostates, or Hereticks. Wherefore it speaketh nothing of Christians, but of the fugitive Iewes, that is, such as have deserted the standard, or the sacred Law.

2. Lastly, neither the kingdomes, nor kings that are Christians, or Hagarens, or followers of other Sects are cursed here, but namely the kingdome of Pride. Certain it is that in that time (wherein, our wise men added to the daily Prayers the foresaid Chapter) there was no kingdome of Christians, what therefore that kingdome of pride was, should any man ask, who can plainly shew it? So much as we can conjecture by it, it is the kingdome of the Romans which then flourished, which did rule over all Nations tyrannically and proudly, especially over the Iewes. For, after that, Vespasian, with his son Titus, had dissipated all Iudea. And though som Roman Emperours after that became Christians, or had a good opinion of Christianity, yet the kingdome of the Romans was heathenish, and without distinction, was proud, and tyrannicall. And however the Iewes repeated the same words of the prayer when the Prince was very good, and they lived under a just government, that they did, onely of an ancient custome, without any malice to the present government. And now truly in all their books printed again, the foresaid words are wanting, lest they should now be unjustly objected against the Iewes; and so for Apostates and Hereticks, they say, secret accusers, or betrayers of the Iewes. And for the kingdome of pride, they substitute all Zedim, that is, proud men.

3. After this manner, to avoid scandall, did the 72 Interpreters, who coming in Leviticus, to unclean beasts; in the place of Arnebeth which signifies the Hare, they put δασύποδα, that is, rough foot: leaving the Name, and keeping the sense. They would 127not retein the Hebrew word Arnebeth, as they have done in some other appellatives, lest the wife of Ptolomy whose name was Arnebet, should think that the Iewes had mocked her, if they should have placed her name amongst the unclean beasts. Neither would they render it λαγωὸν lagoon, or λαγὸν lagon, which in the Greek language signifies a Hare, lest Ptolomy himself who was the son, and nephew of the Lagi, should be offended, to see the name of his family registred among the creatures that were unclean. Besides, Plutarch records, how that it was deeply resented, as a very high affront, and contempt, when one asked Ptolomy, who was Lagus his father, as is it scoffingly reflected upon his obscure extraction and descent.

4. The very like calumnie fell out concerning the very same Chapter of our Prayer, when Mulet Zidan reigned in Morocco. A certain fugitive Iew, to shew himself constant in the Mahumetan Religion, and an enemy to his own Nation, accused the Iewes before this king, saying, that they prayed to God for his destruction, when they mention in their prayers all Zedim, as though they would have all the Family of Zidan destroyed. They excused themselves with the truth, and affirmed, in praying against Zedim, that they prayed onely against proud men, (as that word in their Hebrew language properly signifieth) and not against his Majesty. The King admitted of their excuse; but said unto them, that because of the equivocation of the word, they should change it for another.

5. For certain, the Iewes give no occasion, that any Prince, or Magistrate should be offended with them; but contrariwise, as it seems to me, they are bound to love them, to defend, and protect them. For, by their Law, and Talmud, and the inviolable custome of the dispersed Iewes, every where, upon every Sabbath day, and in all yearly solemnities, they have prayers for Kings and Princes, under whose Government the Iewes live, be they Christians, or of other Religions, I say by their Law, as Ieremiah ch. 29. commandeth, viz. Seek ye the peace of the city, whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray for them, unto the Lord, &c. By the Talmud ord. 4. Tract. 4. Abodazara. cap. 1. there is a prayer for the peace of the Kingdome, from custome, 128never intermitted of the Iewes. Wheresoever they are on the Sabbath day, and their annuall solemnities, the Minister of the Synagogue before he blesseth the people of the Iewes, doth with a loud voice, blesse the Prince of the country under whom they live, that all the Iewes may hear it; and they say Amen. You have seen the Form of the prayer in the book entitled The humble Addresses.

6. In like manner the ancients observe, that whereas God commands in Numbers 29.13. that seventy bullocks should be sacrificed upon the seven dayes of the feast of tabernacles, that this was in respect of the seventy nations (who shall one day come up to Ierusalem, year after year, to keep this feast of tabernacles, Zechar. 14.16.) for whose conservation they also sacrificed. For they say, that all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in Abraham, and in his seed, not onely spiritually, and in the knowledge of the one first cause, but also that at this time they shall enjoy temporall, and earthly blessings, by vertue of that promise. And so in the time of the second temple, they offered up sacrifice for their confederate nations, as may appear by these ensuing instances.

In Megilat Tahanit. cap. 9. it is reported, that when Alexander the great, at the instigation of the Samaritans, that inhabited mount Gerizim, went with a resolution to destroy the temple, Simeon the just met him in the way, and amongst divers reasons that he urged to divert him from his purpose, told him, this is the place, where we pray unto God for the welfare of your self, and of your kingdome, that it may not be destroyed, and shall these men perswade you to destroy this place?

The like we find in the first book of the Maccabees, cap. 7.33. and in Iosephus his Antiq. lib. 12. cap. 17. when Demetrius had sent Nicanor the Generall of his army against Jerusalem, the Priests, with the Elders of the people went forth to salute him, and to shew him the sacrifice which they offered up to God for the welfare of the King.

In the same history lib. 2.3. and in Josephus Gorionides lib. 3. cap. 16. we may read, that Heliodorus Generall to Selencus, came to Jerusalem with the same intent, Onias the High-priest, besought him, not to destroy that place, where they prayed to God for 129the prosperity of the King, and his issue, and for the conservation of his kingdome.

In the first Chapter of Baruch, the disciple of Jeremiah, we find that the Iewes, who were first carried captive into Babylon with Iechonias, made a collection of money, according to every ones power, and sent it to Jerusalem, saying, Behold, we have sent you money, wherewith ye shall buy offerings, and pray for the life of Nebuchadnezzar, and for the life of Baltasar his sonne, that their dayes may be upon earth as the dayes of heaven, and that God would give us strength, and lighten our eyes, that we may live under their shadow, that we may long do them service, and find favour in their sight.

The Iewes in Asia did the same, as is reported by Josephus Gorionides, lib. 3. cap. 4. they sent letters, with a present to Hircanus the High-priest, desiring that prayers might be made for the life of Augustus Cæsar, and his companion Marcus Antonius.

Philo Judæus, in the book of his Embassage to Caius, making mention of a letter which Caius sent, requiring his statue to be set up in the sacred temple, and Agrippa’s answer thereupon, unto the said Emperour, reports, that there were these words in it, viz. The Iewes sacrifice for the prosperity of your Empire, and that not onely upon their solemn feasts, but also every day.

The like is recorded by Josephus, (lib. 2. cap. 9. De bello Judaico) the Iewes said to Petronius Generall to the Emperour Caius, we daily offer up burnt offerings unto God, for the peace of the Emperour, and the whole people of Rome. And in his second book against Apion, he sayes, we Hebrews have allwayes accustomed to honour Emperours with particular sacrifices.

Neither was this service ever entertained unthankfully, as appears by the decree of Cyrus, Ezra 6.3. where also Darius commands, that of the Kings goods, even of the tribute, expences should be forth-with given unto the Elders of the Iewes &c. and that which they had need of, both young bullocks, and rammes, and lambs for the burnt-offerings of the Lord of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine, and oyl, &c. that they might offer sacrifices of a sweet savour, unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the King, and of his sonnes.

The same also was commanded afterwards by Artaxerxes, who also conferred liberally many large gifts, as well towards the 130building of the temple, as the maintaining of the sacrifices. As for Alexander the great, he lighted down out of his chariot, and bowed himself at the feet of the High-priest, desiring him to offer up sacrifice to God on his behalf. And who can be ignorant of Ptolomy Philadelphus, how richly he endowed the temple, as is recorded by Aristeas? Nor did Antiochus king of the Greeks unlike this, when by a publick edict, he forbid that any stranger should enter the temple, to prophane that place, which the Hebrews had consecrated to religion, and divine worship. (Josephus lib. 12. cap. 3.) Demetrius did the like, (Josephus lib. 13. cap. 5.6.) To which may be added, that when they of Ierusalem contended with them of Samaria, about the honour and dignity of the temple, before Alexander the great, the Ierusalem Priest in his plea, urged, that this temple was ever had in great reverence by all the Kings of Asia, and by them enricht with sundry splendid and magnificent gifts. In the Second book of Iosephus against Apion, we read, that Ptolomy Euergetes, when he had conquered Syria, offered up Eucharisticall sacrifices, not to idols, and false Gods, but to the true God, at Ierusalem, according to the manner of the Iewes. Pompey the great, as is mentioned by Iosephus de bello Iudaico (lib. 1. cap. 5.) durst not spoyl, no nor so much as touch the treasures of the temple, not because (as Tully in his Oration for Plancius supposeth, to whom Augustine in his book de civitate Dei assentos) he feared lest he might be thought too avaritious; for this seems in comparison, very ridiculous, and childish; for military law would soon have acquitted him for this; but because of the reverence to the place with which his mind was so affected. Philo Iudæus, (p. 102. 6.) relates a letter of Agrippa’s, where he writes, that Augustus Cæsar had the temple in so great reverence, that he commanded a sacrifice of one bullock, and two lambs, to be offered up every day out of his own revenues. And his wife Iulia Augusta, adorn’d it with golden cups, and basons, and many other costly gifts. Neither did Cleopatra Queen of Egypt, fall short of her liberallity. Tiberius throughout the 22 years of his Empire, commanded sacrifices to be offered up unto God, out of his own tribute. The like did Nero, till the unadvised rashnesse of Eleazar in refusing his sacrifice, alienated the mind of the Emperour, that he became the cause of a bloudy persecution. 131And by all this, we may the better interpret that 11 verse of the 1. chap. of Malachy (who flourisht in the second temple,) The words are, From the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. For besides that the heathens termed the temple the house of the great God, (Ezra 5.8.) they and their Monarchs, and Emperours, both of Persia, Grece, and Rome, desired, as we have heard, to have sacrifices, and incense, offered for them in Gods name.

9. And let the reader be pleased further to observe, that the Iewes were accustomed, not onely to offer up sacrifices, and prayers to God, for the Emperours, their friends, confederates, and allyes, but also generally for the whole world. It is the custome (saith Agrippa to Caius according to Philo p. 1035.) for the High-priest, at the day of attonement, to make a prayer unto God, for all mankind; beseeching him to adde unto them another year, with blessing and peace. The same Philo Iudæus in his second book of Monarchy saith, The priests of other nations pray unto God onely for the welfare of their own particular nations, but our High-priest prayes for the happinesse and prosperity of the whole world. And in his book of sacrifices, p. 836. he saith, Some sacrifices are offered up for our nation, and some for all mankind. For the daily sacrifices, twice a day, viz. at morning, and evening, are for the obtaining of those good things, which God the chief good, grants unto them, at those two times of the day.

And in like manner, Iosephus in his second book against Apion saith, We sacrifice, and pray unto the Lord, in the first place, for the whole world, for their prosperity, and peace, and afterwards more particularly for our selves, forasmuch (as we conceive) that prayer which is first extended universally, and is afterwards put up more particularly, is very much acceptable unto God. Which words are also related by Eusebius Cæsareensis, in his Præparatio Evangelica, lib. 8. cap. 2.

10. ’Tis true, that no outward materiall glories are perpetuall; and so the temple had its period, and with the paschall lamb, all other sacrifices ceased: But in their stead, we have at this day prayer, and as Hoseah speaks Cap. 14.2. For bullocks, we render 132the calves of our lips. And three times every day, this is our humble supplication, and request to God, Fill the whole world, O Lord, with thy blessings; for all creatures are the works of thy hands; as it is written, the Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works Psal. 145.9.

11. Yea further, we pray for the conversion of the nations, and so we say in these most excellent prayers, upon Ros a sana and the day of attonement, Our God, and the God of our Fathers, reign thou over the whole world in thy glory; and be thou exalted over all the earth, in thine excellency; cause thy influence to descend upon all the inhabitants of the world, in the glorious majesty of thy strength; and let every creature know that thou hast created him; and let every thing that is formed, understand that thou hast formed it; and let all that have breath in their nostrills say, the Lord God of Israel reigneth, and his kingdome is over all dominions. And again, Let all the inhabitants of the earth know, and see, that unto thee every knee shall bow, and every tongue swear; before thee, O Lord our God, let them bow, and prostrate themselves; let them give honour to the honour of thy name, and let them all take upon them the yoak of thy kingdome, &c. And again, Put thy fear, O Lord, our God, upon all thy works, and thy dread upon all that thou hast created; let all thy works fear thee, and let all creatures bow down before thee and let them all make themselves one handfull, (that is, with joynt consent) to do thy will with a perfect heart, &c. A most worthy imitation of the wise King Solomon, who after he had finished the building of the Temple, in that long prayer King. 1.8. was not unmindfull of the Gentiles, but v. 41. he saith, Moreover, concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people of Israel, but cometh out of a farre country, for thy names sake, for they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched-out arm, when he shall come, and pray towards this house, hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for, that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do the people of Israel, and that they may know that thy name is called upon this house which I have builded. Where it may be observed, that when the Israelite comes to pray, he saith, 29. and give every man according to his wayes; but upon the prayer of a stranger, he saith, and do according to all that the 133stranger calleth to thee for. And this distinction is made to this end, that by the evident, and apparent return, and answer of their prayers, all Gentiles might effectually be brought in to the truth, and knowledge, and fear of God, as well as the Israelites.

12. Moreover, since the holy prophets made prayers, and supplications for all men, as well for the nations, as the Israelites, how should not we do the same, for the nations, among whom we inhabit, as ingaged by a more especiall obligation, for that we live under their favour and protection? In Deuteronomy 23.7. God commands Thou shalt not abhorre an Egyptian, notwithstanding the heavy burthens they afflicted us with, onely because thou wast a stranger in his land, because that at the first, they entertained, and received us into their country.

As on the other side, Ezek. 23.11. he saith, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. We ought therefore to imitate his actions, and not to hate any man, upon the mere account of religion, but onely to pray to the Lord for his conversion; and this also, without giving offence, or any kind of molestation. To detest, or abhorre those, to whom we owe that prosperity which we enjoy, or who endeavour their own salvation, is a thing very unworthy, and ill becoming; but to abhorre their vices, and sins, is not so. It was a very excellent observation, of a most wise, and vertuous Lady, Beruria, who (as it is recorded in the Talmud, Berachot cap. 1.) when her husband R. Meir was about to pray to God, to destroy some of his perverse, and froward neighbours, that had no lesse grievously, then maliciously vexed, and molested him, gave him this seasonable admonition, that such a thing ought not to be done in Israel; but that he should rather make his prayer, that they might return, and break off their sinnes by repentance, alledging that text, Psal. 104.35. Let sin be consumed out of the earth; it is not said sinners, but sinnes; and then the wicked shall be no more.

13. We have now in this Section shewn, that it is a mere calumnie to imagine, that we Iewes should pray to God, so as to give an offence to the Christians, or cause scandall, by any thing in 134our prayers, unlesse it be that we are not Christians, we have declared to the contrary, how we daily pray for them. As also that during the temple, we offered up sacrifices, for nations confederate with us, and how all Emperours desired this. Yea, and we offered sacrifices, not onely for particular princes, but for all mankind in generall. How, since sacrifices ceased, with the temple, we at this day, do the same in our prayers, and how we beseech God for their salvation, without giving any scandall, or offence in respect of religion; and how we think our selves obliged to perform all this, by the sacred Scripture. By all which layed together, I hope I have sufficiently evidenced the truth, of that I have asserted.


By consequence, the accusation of Buxtorphius, in his Bibliotheca Rabbinorum, can have no appearance of truth, concerning that which he puts upon us, viz. that we are blasphemers. I will set down the Prayer it self.

“We are bound to praise the Lord of all things; to magnifie him, who made the world, for that he hath not made us, as the Nations of the earth; nor hath he placed us as the families of the earth; nor hath he made our condition like unto theirs, nor our lot, according to all their multitude. For they humble themselves to things of no worth, and vanity, and make their prayers to gods that cannot save them; but we worship before the King of kings, that is holy, and blessed; that stretched forth the Heavens, and framed the Earth; the seat of his glory is in heaven above, and his divine strength in the highest of the Heavens; He is our God, and there is no other; He is truly, our King, and besides him, there is no other; as it is written in the Law. And know this day, and return into thine own heart, because the Lord is God, in Heaven above, and upon the Earth beneath, there is no other.”

Truly, in my opinion, it is a very short, and most excellent 135prayer, and worthy of commendation. The Sultan Selim, that famous conquerour, and Emperour of the Mahumetans, made so much account of it, that he commanded his Doctor Moses Amon, (who translated the Pentateuch into the Arabian and Persian languages) that he should translate our prayers. And when he had delivered them to him in the Turkish Tongue, he said to him, what need is there of so long prayers? truly this one might suffice, he did so highly esteem and value it. This is like an other prayer which was made at that time, viz.

“Blessed be our God, who created us for his honour, and separated us from those that are in errours, and gave unto us a Law of truth, and planted amongst us eternall life. Let him open our hearts in his law, and put his love in our hearts, and his fear, to do his will, and to serve him with a perfect heart, that we may not labour in vain, nor beget children of perdition. Let it be thy will, O Lord our God, and God of our Fathers, that we may keep thy statutes, and thy laws in this world, and may deserve, and live, and inherit well, and that we may attain the blessing of the world to come, that so we may sing to thy honour, without ceasing. O Lord my God, I will praise thee for ever.”

But neither the one, nor the other is a blasphemy, or malediction against any other Gods, for these reasons following.

1. It is not the manner of the Iewes by their law to curse other gods by name, though they be of the Gentiles. So in Exod. cap. 22.27. Thou shalt not revile the Gods. Heb. אלהום, that is Gods, or God, as Philo Iudæus in libro de Monarchiâ, doth interpret, and not Judges, as Onkelus and Ionathan translate in their Chald. Paraphr. Where Philo addes this reason, which is, lest they hearing their own Gods blasphemed, should in a revengefull way of retaliation, blaspheme the true God of Israel. And we have examples enough, how the idolatrous heathen used to revile, and defame each others Gods, both in Cicero, and Iuvenal.

And in that sense Flavius Josephus in his book written against Apion, saith these words: “As it is our practise to observe our own, and not to accuse, or revile others; so neither may we deride, or blaspheme those, which others account to be Gods. 136Our Law-giver plainly forbad us that, by reason of that compellation, Gods.” According to this, by our own religion, we dare not do that which Buxtorsius chargeth us with. And upon this account the Talmudists tell us, that we ought to honour, and reverence, not onely the Kings of Israel, but all kings, princes, and governours, in generall, forasmuch as the holy Scripture gives them the stile of gods, in respect of the dignity of their office.

2. The time wherein these, as also the other prayers were composed, and ordered, was in the dayes of Ezras, who, with 120 men, amongst whom were three Prophets, Haggai, Zechary, Malachy, composed them, as we have it in the Talmud. Wherefore he cannot say, that there is any thing intended against honour, or reverence of Christ, who was not born till many yeares after.

Moreover, the Iewes, since that calumny was first raised, (though that was spoken of the Gentiles, and their vain gods, humbling themselves to things of no worth, and vanity) because they desire to decline, and avoid the least occasion of scandall, and offence, have left off to print that line, and do not in some books print any part thereof. As John Hoornbeek also witnesses, in his fore-mentioned Prolegomena, and William Dorstius, in his observations upon R. David Gawz, p. 269. and Buxtorf in his book of Abbreviatures. And perhaps it will be worthy our observation, that all these three witnesses say, that it was first made known to them, by one Antonius Margarita, who was a Iew, converted to the Christian faith. That this part of the prayer was intended Contra idola Papatus, against the Popish idols, which they therefore, as by a necessary consequence, interpret, as against Christ; but how justly, let the unprejudiced and unbiased reader judge.

3. If this be so, how can it be thought, that in their Synagogues, they name him with scornfull spitting, (farre be it from us.) The Nation of the Iewes is wise, and ingenius. So said the Lord, Deut. cap. 4.6. The Nations shall say, surely this is a wise, and an understanding people. Therefore, how can it be supposed, that they should be so bruitish in a strange land, when their Religion dependeth not upon it? Certainly, it is much contrary to the precept we spake of, to shew any resemblance of scorn. There was 137never any such thing done, (as it is well known) in Italy, and Holland, where ordinarily the Synagogues are full of Christians; which with great attention, stand considering, and weighing all their actions, and motions. And truly they should have found great occasion to find fault withall, if that were so. But never was any man heard thus to calumniate us, where ever we dwell and inhabite, which is a reason sufficiently valid, to clear us. Wherefore, I suppose, that I have sufficiently informed you, concerning our prayers, in which we purpose nothing, but to praise God, and to ask spirituall, and temporall blessings, and by our service, and worship, implore the divine benevolence, protection, and defence.


But forasmuch as it is reported, that we draw, and seduce others to our religion, &c.

1. Never unto this day, in any part hath this been suspected, where the Iewes are dispersed; nor can it find place here. Truly, I have held friendship with many great men, and the wisest, and most eminent of all Europe; and also they came to see me, from many places, at my house, and I had many friendly discourses with them, yet did not this give occasion to make us suspected of any such things. Yea, Gaspar Barleus, the Virgill of our time, and many others, have written many verses in my commendations, which I mention not, for vain glory (farre be it) but for vindication of my innocent repute.

2. By our rituall books we are clear of this seducing. For if any man offer to become a Iew, of what Nation soever he be, before we receive him, and admit him as a member of our Synagogue, we are bound to consider, whether he be moved by necessity to do it, or if it be not for that he is in love with some of our nation, or for any other worldly respect. And when we find no reason to suspect him, we have yet another obligation upon us, which is, to let him know the penalties he subjects himself unto, if he breaketh the 138Sabbath, or eateth bloud, or fat, which is forbidden Levit. 3.17. or disannulleth any precept of the Law, as may be seen in the Targum upon Ruth. And if he shew himself constant, and zealous, then is he admitted and protected. Wherefore we do not seduce any one, but contrarily, avoid disputing with men, concerning religion, not for want of charity, but that we may as farre as it is possible, avoid scandall, and hate; and for this cause we refuse to circumcise them that come to us, because we will give no offence. Yea, I have known some, that for this cause have circumcised themselves. And if Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Castile did make an order to expell the Iewes, because they seduced many Christians, and some of the Nobility to become Iewes, this was but a pretence, and colour for their tyranny, and onely, as it is well known, having no other thing to object against us. Truly, I do much commend that opinion, not onely of Osorius, de rebus Immanuelis, but of our Flavius Iosephus, the most famous of all Historians, which he relates in his history of his own Life.

“At that time (saith he) there came unto me, two Noble men, of the Trachomites, subjects of the king; bringing with them horsemen, with arms, and money. These, when the Iewes would compell to be circumcised, if they would live amongst them; I would not suffer them to trouble them; maintaining that every man ought to serve God, of his own free will, and not be forced thereto by others. For, should we do this thing (saith he) it might make them repent, that ever they fled unto us. And so perswading the multitude, I did abundantly afford unto these men, their food, according to their diet.”

Truly, this was an action worthy of a noble, and wise man, and worthy of imitation, for defending common liberty, leaving the judgement, and determination to God alone. The Spanish Inquisitions, with all their torments, and cruelties, cannot make any Iew, that falls into their power, become a Christian. For unreasonable beasts are taught by blowes, but men are taught by reason. Nor are men perswaded to other opinions, by torments, but rather, on the contrary, they become more firm, and constant in their Tenet.



Having thus discussed the main exceptions, I will now proceed to smaller matters, though lesse pertaining to my faculty, that is to businesse of Merchandise. Some say, that if the Iewes come to dwell here, they will draw unto themselves the whole Negotiation, to the great damage of the naturall Inhabitants. I answer, that it hath been my opinion alwayes, (with submission to better judgements) that it can be no prejudice at all to the English Nation: because, principally in transporting their goods, they would gain much, by reason of the publick payments of customes, excise, &c.

Moreover, they would alwayes bring profit to the people of the land, as well in buying of commodities, which they would transport to other places, as in those they would trade in here. And if by accident, any particular person should lose by it, by bringing down the price of such a commodity, being dispersed into many hands; yet by that means the Commonwealth would gain in buying cheaper, and procuring it at a lesser rate.

Yea, great emolument would grow to the naturall Inhabitants, as well in the sale of all provision, as in all things else that concern the ornaments of the body. Yea, and the native Mechanicks also would gain by it, (there being rarely found among us, any man that useth any such art.)

2. Adde to this, that as our nation hath sailed into almost all parts of the world, so they are alwayes herein profitable to a nation, in a readinesse to give their opinions, in favour of the people amongst whom they live. Beside that, all strangers do bring in new merchandises, together with the knowledge of those forreign Countries wherein they were born.

And this is so farre from damnifying the natives, that it conduces much to their advantage; because they bring from their countryes new commodities, with new knowledge. For the great Work-Master, and Creatour of all things, to the end, to make 140commerce in the earth, gave not to every place all things, but hath parted his benefits amongst them; by which way, he hath made them all wanting the help of others. This may be seen in England, which being one of the most plentifull countries that are in the world, yet wanteth divers things for shipping; as also, wine, oyl, figs, almonds, raisins, and all the drougs of India, things so necessary for the life of man. And besides, they want many other commodities, which are abundant in other countries, with more knowledge of them; though it be true, that in my opinion, there is not in the world, a more understanding people, for most Navigations, and more capable of all Negotiation, then the English Nation are.

3. Farther, there may be companies made of the natives, and strangers, (where they are more acquainted) or else Factors. All which, if I be not deceived, will amount to the profit of the natives. For which, many reasons may be brought, though I cannot comprehend them, having alwayes lived a sedentary life, applying my self to my studies, which are farre remote from things of that nature.

4. Nor can it be justly objected against our Nation, that they are deceivers; because the generality cannot in any rationall way, be condemned for some particulars. I cannot excuse them all, nor do I think, but there may be some deceivers amongst them, as well as amongst all other nations and people, because poverty bringeth basenesse along with it.

5. But if we look to that which we ought by our Religion, the morall precept of the Decalogue, Thou shalt not steal, it belongs in common to all Iewes, towards all Gentiles. As may be seen in Rab. Moses of Egypt, Tract, Geneba, cap. 1. and Gazela, cap. 1. It is a sinne, (saith he) to rob any man, though he be a Gentile. Nor can that be alledged out of the sacred History, concerning the jewells and houshold stuff, of which the Israelites spoiled the Egyptians, as I have heard it sometimes alledged by some, to some men; because that was a particular dispensation, and a divine precept for that time. So it is recorded in the Talmud, in the Tract of the Sanhedrim, cap. 11. that in the time of Alexander the great, those of Alexandria accused the Iewes for being thieves, and they 141demanded restitution of their goods. But Guebia Ben Pesria answered them, our Fathers went down into Egypt but seventy souls, there they grew a numerous nation, above 60000. and served them in base offices, for the space of 210 yeares, according to this, pay us for our labour, and make the accounts even, and you shall see you are yet much in our debt. The reason satisfied Alexander, and he acquitted them.

6. By consequence, the Iewes are bound not to defraud, nor abuse in their accounts, negotiation, or reckonings, any man whatsoever, as it may be seen expresly in R. Moses of Egypt, and R. Moseh de Kosi in Samag.

7. Yea, they farther say, that by restitutions, there is a result to the praise of God, and the sacred Law, whence that holy, and wise man, R. Simeon Ben Satah, having bought an asse of a Gentile, the head stall whereof was a jewell of great value, which the owner knew not of, afterwards he found it, and freely, and for nothing, he restored it to the seller, that knew not of it, saying, I bought the asse, but not the jewell. Whence there did accrue honour to God, and his Law, and to the nation of the Iewes, as Midras Raba reports in Parasot Hekel.

8. After the same manner they command, that the oath which they shall make to any other nation, must be with truth, and justice, and must be kept in every particular. And for proof thereof, they quote the history of Zedekias, whom God punished, and deprived of his kingdome, because he kept not his word, and oath, made to Nebuchadnezzar, in the name of God, though he were a Gentile, as it is said, 2 of Chronicles, cap. 36.13. And he also rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, who made him swear by God.

9. These are the laws and obligations which the Iewes hold. So that the Law that forbids the Iewes to kill any Gentiles, forbids them also to steal from them. Yet every one must look to it, for the world is full of fraud in all Nations. I remember a pretty story of what passed in Morocco, in the Court of the king of Mauritania. There was a Iew that had a sort of false stones, &c.—He making a truck with a Portugal Christian, for some Verdigrease that he had, which was much sofisticated, (as they are wont to do there) being all falsified with Earth; one of the Portugals friends 142laughed at him, saying, the Iew fitted thee well; he answered, If the Iew hath stoned me, I have buried him. And so they ordinarily mock one another.

This I can affirm, that many of the Iewes, because they would not break with other mens goods, were very poor at Amsterdam, lived very poorly, and those that did break with other mens goods by necessity, became so much the more miserable, that they were forced to live on almes.

And whereas in the time of K. Edward I. the Iewes were accused of clipping the Kings coin; it appears that this accusation drew its originall mainly from the suspicion and hatred the Christians bare against the Iewes, as appeares in the story, as it is set forth by Mr. Prynne, In his second part of a Short Demurrer to the Iewes &c. p. 82. where quoting Claus. 7. E. I. n. 7. De fine recipiendo à Iudæis, brings in the King, writing to his Judges in Latine, in these words. Rex dilectis, & fidelibus suis Stephano de Pentecester, Waltero de Helyn. & Th. de Cobham Iusticiariis ad placita transgressionis monetæ audienda, salutem. Quia omnes Judæi nuper rectati, & per certam suspicionem indictati de retonsura monetæ nostræ, & inde convicti cum ultimo supplicio puniuntur; & quidam eorum eadem occasione, omnia bona, & catalla sua satisfecerunt, & in prisona nostra liberabantur, in eadem ad voluntatem nostram detinendi. Et cum accepimus, quod plures Christiani ob ODIVM Judæorum, propter discrepantiam fidei Christianæ, & ritus Judæorum, & diversa gratia minus per ipsos Judæos Christianis hactenus illata, postquam Judæos nondum rectatos in indictatos de transgressione monetæ, per levas, & voluntarias accusationes accusare, & indictare de die in diem nituntur, & proponunt, imponendas eis ad terrorem ipsorum, quod de ejusmodi transgressione culpabiles existunt super ipsos Judæos faciendæ, & sic per minas hujusmodi accusationis, ipsis Judæos metu incutiant, & pecuniam extorqueant ab eisdem; Ita quod ipsi Judæi super hoc, ad legem suam sæpe ponuntur in vitæ suæ periculum manifestum. Volumus quod omnes Judæi qui ante primum diem Maii proximo præterit, indictati, vel per certam suspicionem rectati non fuerunt de transgressione monetæ predictæ, & qui facere voluerint finem juxta discretionem Vestram, ad opus nostrum facere pro sic, quod non occasiorentur, &c. hujusmodi transgressionibus factis ante primum diem Maii 143propter novas accusationes Christianorum post eundem diem inde factas non molestentur, sed pacem inde habeant in futurum. Proviso, quod Judæi indictati, vel per certam suspicionem, rectati de hujusmodi transgressione ante prædictum diem Maii, Indicium subeant coram vobis, juxta formam prius inde ordinatam & provisam. Et ideo vobis maneamus, quod fines hujusmodi capiatis, & præmissa fieri, & observari faciatis in forma prædicto. Teste Rege apud Cantuar. 8. die Maii.


And now by this time, I presume (most noble Sir) I may have given abundant satisfaction, (so farre as the nature of an epistle will permit) to all your objections, without giving just ground of offence, or scandall to any. And forasmuch as you are further desirous to know somewhat, concerning the state of this my expedition, and negotiation at present, I shall now onely say, and that briefly, that the communication and correspondence I have held, for some yeares since, with some eminent persons of England, was the first originall of my undertaking this design. For I alwayes found by them, a great probability of obtaining what I now request; whilst they affirmed, that at this time the minds of men stood very well affected towards us; and that our entrance into this Island, would be very acceptable, and well-pleasing unto them. And from this beginning sprang up in me a semblable affection, and desire of obtaining this purpose. For, for seven yeares on this behalf, I have endeavoured, and sollicited it, by letters, and other means, without any intervall. For I conceived, that our universall dispersion was a necessary circumstance, to be fulfilled, before all that shall be accomplished which the Lord hath promised to the people of the Iewes, concerning their restauration, and their returning again into their own land, according to those words Dan. 12.7. When he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. As also, that this our scattering, by little, and little, should be amongst all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; as it is written Deut. 28.64. I conceived that by the end of the earth might be understood this Island. And I knew not, but that the 144Lord who often works by naturall meanes, might have design’d, and made choice of me, for the bringing about this work. With these proposalls therefore, I applyed my self, in all zealous affection to the English Nation, congratulating their glorious liberty which at this day they enjoy, together with their prosperous peace. And I entituled my book named The hope of Israel, to the first Parliament, and the Council of State. And withall declared my intentions. In order to which they sent me a very favourable passe-port. Afterwards I directed my self to the second, and they also sent me another. But at that juncture of time my coming was not presently performed, for that my kindred and friends, considering the checquered, and interwoven vicissitudes, and turns of things here below, embracing me, with pressing importunity, earnestly requested me not to part from them, and would not give over, till their love constrained me to promise, that I would yet a while stay with them. But notwithstanding all this, I could not be at quiet in my mind, (I know not but that it might be through some particular divine providence) till I had anew made my humble addresses to his Highnesse the Lord Protector (whom God preserve.) And finding that my coming over would not be altogether unwelcome to him, with those great hopes which I conceived, I joyfully took my leave of my house, my friends, my kindred, all my advantages there, and the country wherein I have lived all my life time, under the benign protection, and favour of the Lords, the States Generall, and Magistrates of Amsterdam; in fine (I say) I parted with them all, and took my voyage for England. Where, after my arrivall, being very courteously received, and treated with much respect, I presented to his most Serene Highnesse, a petition, and some desires, which for the most part, were written to me by my brethren the Iewes, from severall parts of Europe, as your worship may better understand by former relations. Whereupon it pleased his Highnesse to convene an Assembly at Whitehall, of Divines, Lawyers, and Merchants, of different perswasions, and opinions. Whereby mens judgements, and sentences were different. Insomuch, that as yet, we have had no finall determination from his most Serene Highnesse. Wherefore those few Iewes that were here, despairing 145of our expected successe, departed hence. And others who desired to come hither, have quitted their hopes, and betaken themselves some to Italy, some to Geneva, where that Commonwealth hath at this time, most freely granted them many, and great priviledges.

Now, O most high God, to thee I make my prayer, even to thee, the God of our Fathers. Thou who hast been pleased to stile thy self the keeper of Israel; Thou who hast graciously promised, by thy holy Prophet Ieremiah, (cap. 31.) that thou wilt not cast off all the seed of Israel, for all the evill that they have done; thou who by so many stupendious miracles, didst bring thy people out of Egypt, the land of bondage, and didst lead them into the holy land; graciously cause thy holy influence to descend down into the mind of the Prince, (who for no private interest, or respect at all, but onely out of commiseration to our affliction, hath inclined himself to protect, and shelter us, for which extraordinary humanity, neither I my self, nor my nation, can ever expect to be able to render him answerable, and sufficient thanks,) and also into the minds of his most illustrious and prudent Council, that they may determine that, which according to thine infinite wisdome, may be best, and most expedient for us. For men (O Lord) see that which is present, but thou in thy omnisciencie seest that which is afarre off.

And to the highly honoured nation of England, I make my most humble request, that they would read over my arguments impartially, without prejudice, and devoid of all passion, effectually recommending me to their grace and favour, and earnestly beseeching God that he would be pleased to hasten the time promised by Zephaniah, wherein we shall all serve him with one consent, after the same manner, and shall be all of the same judgement, that as his name is one, so his fear may be also one, and that we may all see the goodnesse of the Lord, blessed for ever, and the consolations of Zion. Amen, and Amen.

From my study, in London, April the 10, in the year from the creation 5416, and in the year, according to the vulgar account, 1656.

146As to give satisfaction to your worship, being desirous to know what books have been written, and printed by me, or else are almost ready for the presse, may you please to take the names of them in this Catalogue.

A Catalogue of such books as have been published by Menasseh Ben Israel, in Hebrew.

Nismachaim, four Books, concerning the Immortality of the soul, wherein many notable, and pleasant Questions are discussed, and handled, as may be seen by the Arguments of the particular Chapters, prefixed to the book, in Latine, dedicated to the then Emperour Ferdinand the third.

Pene Rabba, upon Rabot, of the Ancient Rabbins, in Latine and Spanish.

Conciliatoris pars prima in Pentateuchum.

De Resurrectione mortuorum libri tres.

Problemata de creatione.

De termino vitæ.

De fragilitate humana, ex lapsu Adami, deque divino in bono opere auxilio.

Spes Israelis. This is also in English.

Orationes panegyricæ, quarum una ad Illustrissimum principem, Aurantium, altera ad serenissimam reginam Sueciorum, in Spanish onely.

Conciliator the second part, upon the first Prophets.
the third part, upon the later Prophets.
the fourth part upon the Hagiographa.

Humas, or the Pentateuch, with the severall precepts in the margin.

Thesoro de los dirim five books of the rites and ceremonies of the Iewes, in two Volumes.

Humas the Pentateuch, with a commentarie.

Piedra pretiosa, of Nebuchadnezzar’s image, or the fifth Monarchy.

Laus orationes del anno, the Iewes prayers for the whole year, translated out of the originall.

Books ready for the Presse.

De cultu Imaginum contra Pontificios Latine.

Sermois, Sermons in the Portugal tongue.

Loci communes Omnium Midrasim, which contains the divinity of the ancient Rabbins, in Hebrew.

Bibliotheca Rabbinica, together with the arguments of their books, and my judgement upon their severall editions.

Phocylides in Spanish verse cum Notis.

Hippocratis Aphorismi in Hebrew.

Flavius Iosephus adversus Apionem, in Hebrew, ejusdem Monarchia rationis in Hebrew.

Refutatio libri cui titulus Præadamitæ.

Historia sive continuatio Flavii Josephi ad hæc usque tempora.

De divinitate legis Mosaicæ.

De scientia Talmudistarum, in singulis facultatibus.

Philosophia Rabbinica.

De disciplinis Rabbinorum.

Nomenclator Hebraius & Arabicus.

I have also published, and printed, with my own presse, above 60 other books, amongst which are many bibles in Hebrew, and Spanish, with all our Hebrew prayers corrected, and disposed in good order.



(P = page; l = line)


(Frontispiece, and pp. 1 and 105)

Pocock, in his biographical introduction to the English translation of Menasseh ben Israel’s “De Termino Vitæ” (Lond., 1700), gives the following pen-picture of the author derived from the recollections of English Jews who remembered the days of the Whitehall Conferences:—

“He was of middle stature and inclining to fatness. He always used his own hair, which (many years before his death) was very grey; so that his complexion being pretty fresh, his demeanour graceful and comely, his habit plain and decent, he commanded an awful reverence which was partly due to so venerable a deportment. In short, he was un homme sans passion, sans legiereté, mais hélas! sans opulence” (p. viii).

This description agrees with the portraits of Menasseh. Three of these portraits are extant. Two of them are by Rembrandt, and one is by a Jewish line-engraver, Salom Italia. Curiously enough, although far inferior in artistic merit to the Rembrandts as a portrait, Menasseh prized the Italia engraving highest. He sent a copy to the Silesian mystic Frankenberg in 1643, and he writes in the Bonum Nuncium Israeli:—

Abr. à Frankenberg ... effigiem meam, aeri incisam misissem, ubi ad symbolum meum Perigrinando Quærimus, cui ab uno latere Hominis Peregrinantis, ab altero candelæ emblema adscriptum cum hoc dicterio נר לרגלי דברך sic praefatur” (p. 92).

The shield in the left-hand corner of this portrait was used by Menasseh as a trade-mark in his printing-office. It has for this reason been reproduced on the title-page of the present work. Salom Italia’s portrait is often found bound up with the first Latin version of the “Hope of Israel,” and was roughly copied in the Spanish edition published at Madrid in 1881.

Rembrandt belonged to the distinguished circle of Menasseh’s personal friends. He illustrated the Piedra Gloriosa published by Menasseh in 1655, and he etched one portrait of the Rabbi, and painted another. The etching, of which a mezzotinted reproduction is presented on the frontispiece of the present work, was produced in 1636 when Menasseh was 150thirty-two years old. The painted portrait which is in the Hermitage at St. Petersburg is of doubtful authenticity as relating to Menasseh, but I am inclined to regard it as genuine. It represents the Rabbi at a much more advanced age than the etching. The grey hair agrees with Pocock’s description of his appearance in 1656, while the sorrowful expression and full beard may be accounted for by his troubled experiences in London, and especially by the death of his son. When he returned to Middleburg in 1657, he was mourning for his son, and hence his beard would be unshaved. It is not at all improbable that Rembrandt, his old friend of twenty years, saw him at this tragical moment, and that the portrait is a reminiscence of the prematurely aged and broken-hearted Rabbi, then tottering on the verge of the grave.


(pp. 1–72)

Bibliographical Note

The title is taken from Jeremiah xiv. 8 (see p. 7).

The first edition (pp. xiii, 126, 12mo) was in Spanish, and bore the following title:—

מקוה ישראל / Esto es, / Esperança / de Israel. / Obra con suma curiosidad conpuesta / por / Menasseh Ben Israel / Theologo, y Philosopho Hebreo. / Trata del admirable esparzimiento de los diez / Tribus, y su infalible reduccion con los de / mas, a la patria: con muchos puntos, / y Historias curiosas, y declara- / cion de varias Prophecias, / por el Author rectamen- / te interpretadas. / Dirigido a los señores Parnassim del K.K. / de Talmvd Tora. / En Amsterdam. / En la Imprension de / Semvel Ben Israel Soeiro. / Año. 5410.

It was dedicated to the Wardens of the Theological School (Talmud Torah), Josseph Da Costa, Ishak Jessurun, Michael Espinosa, Abraham Enriques Faro, Gabriel de Rivas Altas, Ishak Belmonte, and Abraham Franco. The dedication is dated Shebat 13, 5410 [= Jan. 15, 1650], and is headed with the significant quotation in Hebrew of part of verse 1 of Isaiah lxi.: “To preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted.” This dedicatory epistle is only to be found in the Spanish edition. In the Latin and English translations it is replaced by an address “To the Parliament, the Supream Court of England.”

The Latin edition (pp. xii, 111, 12mo), which was printed very shortly after the Spanish, bore the following title:—

מקוה ישראל / Hoc est, / Spes / Israelis / Authore / Menasseh Ben Israel / Theologo & Philosopho Hebræo / Amstelodami / Anno 1650.

151It is doubtful whether Kayserling (Misc. Heb. Lit., ii. p. 16 and note 76), following Castro, is correct in his conjecture that this translation is the work of Menasseh himself. There are too many misunderstandings of the Hebrew names and quotations to admit of this view. The deviations from the original suggest that it was hurriedly executed from a first draft of the Spanish version, which was afterwards revised by the author, who omitted to perform the same service for the Latin text.

The English version (pp. xiv, 90, 12mo) was based on the Latin, and reproduced all its faults. It appeared in London towards the end of 1650. The title-page runs as follows:—

The / Hope of Israel: / Written / By Menasseh Ben Israel, / an Hebrew Divine, and Philosopher. / Newly extant, and Printed in / Amsterdam, and Dedicated by the / Author to the High Court, the / Parliament of England, and to the / Councell of State. / Translated into English, and / published by Authority. / In this treatise is shewed the place where the ten / Tribes at this present are, proved, partly by / the strange relation of one Antony Monte- / zinus, a Jew, of what befell him as he tra- / veiled over the Mountaines Cordillære, with / divers other particulars about the restoration of / the Jewes, and the time when. / Printed at London by R. I. for Hannah Allen, / at the Crown in Popeshead / Alley, 1650.

The only respect in which this version differs from the Latin is that it contains on pp. xi-xiv an address from “The Translator to the Reader.” The name of the translator is not given, but the work was subsequently acknowledged by Moses Wall in a correspondence with E. S. (Sir Edward Spencer); see pp. 66–72.

A second edition, “corrected and amended,” sm. 4to, was published in 1651 and reprinted in 1652. It is the latter which is reproduced in the present volume on account of its convenient format, and of the Appendices which throw light on the motives by which the publication in England was actuated.

The following is a list of other editions and translations:—

1659. Spanish by Jedidjah Ibn Gabbai (Smyrna). 1666. Dutch by Jan Bara (Amsterdam). 1691. Judeo-German by Mardochai ben Moses Drucker (Amsterdam). 1697. Hebrew by Eljakim ben Jacob (Amsterdam). 1703. Ibid. 1712. Judeo-German (Frankfort) reprint of 1691 edition. 1723. Spanish (Amsterdam) reprint of original edition. 1792. English by Robert Ingram (Colchester). 1836. Hebrew (Wilna) reprint of 1703 edition. 1850. English (London) reprint of 1650 edition. 1881. Spanish, by Santiago Perez Junquera (Madrid), reprint of original edition.

The Epistle Dedicatory

P. 4, l. 9. “Not onely by your prayers.” This, no doubt, refers to the protection extended by the Government to the Marranos in London. (See Introduction, p. xxx.)

To the Courteous Reader

P. 6, l. 21. “Others to the Ten Tribes.” There is a very voluminous literature of the Ten Tribes, a bibliography of which has long been promised by Mr. Joseph Jacobs. Bancroft in his “Native Races of the Pacific States of North America” discusses the theory of the Hebrew origin of the Americans (vol. v. pp. 77–95). Santiago Perez Junquera in his Spanish reprint of “Esperanza de Israel” gives a bibliography of Spanish writers who have dealt with the problem of the Ten Tribes. The Jewish legends on the subject, none of which admit the American theory, have been summarised by Dr. A. Neubauer in the Jewish Quarterly Review (vol. i. pp. 14, 95, 185, 408). See also M. Lewin, “Wo wären die Zehn Stämme Israels zu suchen” (1901).

The following selections from the vast literature of the Ten Tribes, especially in its relation to Menasseh ben Israel, may be recommended to investigators of this curious craze:—

Enquiries touching the Diversity of Languages and Religions through the chief parts of the world, written by Edw. Brerewood. London, 1635.

Thos. Thorowgood—Jews in America, &c. 1650.

John Dury—Epistolary Discourse to Mr. Thomas Thorowgood. 1650.

Sir Hamon L’Estrange—Americans no Jews. 1652.

Thos. Thorowgood—Jews in America [with] an accurate discourse [by] Mr. John Eliot. 1660.

Theophili Spizelii—Elevatio Relationis Montezinianæ de repertis in America tribubus Israeliticis. Basle, 1661.

Account of the Ten Tribes of Israel being in America, originally published by Menasseh Ben Israel, with observations thereon. By Robert Ingram, M.A. Colchester, 1792.

The Ten Tribes of Israel historically identified with the aborigines of the Western Hemisphere. By Mrs. Simon. London, 1826.

The Hope of Israel, presumptive evidence that the aborigines of the Western Hemisphere are descended from the ten missing tribes of Israel. By Barbara Anne Simon. London, 1829.

The Remnant Found, or the place of Israel’s hiding discovered, being a summary of proofs showing that the Jews of Daghistan on the Caspian Sea are the remnant of the Ten Tribes. By the Rev. Jacob Samuel. London, 1841.

153The Thorn Tree, being a history of thorn worship of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, but more especially of the Lost Tribes and House of David. By Theta. London, 1863.

Paläorama. Oceanisch-Amerikanische Untersuchungen und Aufklärungen. Erlangen, 1868.

Ireland, Ur of the Chaldees. By Anna Wilkes. London, 1873.

Ueber die Abstammung der Englischen Nation. Von D. Paulus Cassel. Berlin, 1880.

P. 6, l. 29. “Cordilleræ,” Spanish. A mountain chain, sometimes, as here, applied in a specific sense to the Andes.

P. 6, l. 32. “The Sabbaticall River,” or Sambation, a river mentioned in the Midrash as slowing during the first six days of every week and drying up on the Sabbath. (Neubauer, “Géographie du Talmud,” pp. 33–34, 299; Hamburger, “Real-Encyclopädie des Judenthums,” vol. ii. p. 1071; see also “Hope of Israel,” infra, p. 35.)

P. 7, l. 15. “I intend a continuation of Josephus.” No trace of this work has been found. From a passage in the Vindiciæ there is reason to believe that it it was completed in MS. (see p. 115 and note thereon, infra, p. 167).

The Relation of Antony Montezinus

P. 11. An earlier translation of this affidavit was published by Thomas Thorowgood in “Jewes in America,” pp. 129, 130. (See Introduction to present work, p. xxv.)

P. 11, l. 13. “Port Honda,” now Bahia Honda, an inlet at the northeastern extremity of Colombia, in 12° 20′ N. and 50° W. It was first visited by Ojeda in 1502, and named by him Puerto de Santa Cruz. There is a town named Honda in the interior, and a bay of the same name on the northern coast of Cuba, 60 miles west of Havana.

P. 11, l. 15. “Province of Quity,” modern Quito, originally a presidency of the Spanish viceroyalty of Peru, afterwards a division of the Republic of Colombia, and in 1831 organised with the districts of Asuay and Guayaquil into a new republic, under the name of Ecuador.

P. 11, l. 17. “Cazicus,” modern Cacique or Cazique, used in Spanish to designate an Indian chief. The word is of Haytian origin. An early Spanish writer derives it from the Hebrew. (Kayserling, “Christopher Columbus,” p. 154.)

P. 11, l. 29. “Jonkets,” junket, from Italian giuncata, a cream-cheese, so called because served on rushes (giuncoa—a rush):

“And beare with you both wine and juncates fit
And bid him eat.”
Spenser, F. Q., V. iv. 49.
“With stories told of many a feat,
How faery Mab the junkets eat.”
Milton, L’Allegro, 172.

154P. 12, l. 3. “Carthagenia”: modern Cartagena, a fortified maritime city of the United States of Colombia, on the Caribbean Sea.

P. 12, l. 5. “Blessed be the name of the Lord that hath not made me an Idolator, a Barbarian, a Black-a-Moore, or an Indian.” This is an extension of a blessing said in the Hebrew morning service. The original blessing, however, only speaks of “idolator.” There is another blessing said on seeing “negroes and redskins,” and this, curiously enough, is discussed in the same section of the Talmud as that in which the recital of the blessing in regard to heathens is enjoined (see Schwab, “Le Talmud,” vol. i. p. 158).

P. 13, l. 17. “Duerus”: the river Douro or Duero in Spain. Mr. Wall does not seem to have taken the trouble to delatinise the name. In the Spanish edition it appears, of course, “Duero.”

P. 13, l. 18. “Making a sign with the fine linen of Xylus.” This is a misunderstanding of the original Latin, which says, “factoque ex duabus Xyli syndonibus.” The word “Xyli” here is intended for the genitive of Xylon = cotton. The passage should read, “and making out of two pieces of cotton cloth.” The original Spanish says, “y haziendo vandera de dos paños de algodon.” What Montezinos and his companion did was to construct a flag out of their two cotton waistbands.

P. 14, l. 1. Curious mistake overlooking the identity of Jacob and Israel.

P. 14, l. 22. “Mohanes”: American-Indian medicine men. (See infra, p. 56.)

The Hope of Israel

P. 17, l. 21. For Jewish aspects of the early voyages to America see Kayserling, “Christopher Columbus, and the participation of the Jews in the Spanish and Portuguese discoveries” (Lond., 1894); also the same author’s “The First Jew in America,” in the John Hopkins University Studies for 1892.

P. 18, l. 32. “Gomoras” = Francisco Lopez de Gomara.

P. 18, l. 18. “Tunes” = Tunis.

P. 18, l. 22. “Isaac Abarbanel,” Jewish statesman and theologian (1437–1509), served Alphonso V. of Portugal, Isabella of Spain, and Ferdinand of Naples; author of numerous Bible commentaries and philosophical essays. Headed the emigration of the Spanish Jews at the time of the expulsion (Graetz, Geschichte d. Juden, vol. viii. pp. 316 et seq.; Kayserling, Juden in Portugal, pp. 72, 100). The Abarbanels, whose descendants are numerous in Europe, claimed descent from King David. Menasseh ben Israel’s wife was an Abarbanel (see “Hope of Israel,” p. 39). Mr. Coningsby Disraeli is a descendant on his mother’s side.

155P. 19, l. 30. “Rabbi Jonathan ben Uziel.” The author of a free Aramaic paraphrase (Targum) to the Hebrew Prophetical Books. His date is about the beginning of the Christian era. A Targum to the Pentateuch is wrongly ascribed to him; this is properly the Targum Yerushalmi or Jerusalem Targum (see Zunz, “Die Gottesdienstlichen Vorträge der Juden,” pp. 66 seq.).

P. 19, l. 33. “Rabbinus Josephus Coen in his Chronology” (see Bialloblotzky, “The Chronicles of Rabbi Joseph ben Meir the Sphardi,” Lond., 1835). Joseph Cohen was born 1496 and died 1575.

P. 21, Sect. 4. The Hebrew in the first case is מה טם אל שעלבין מת דע אל, the ט in the second word being regarded as a mistake for ת. In the second case the Hebrew is מהטבאל שעל בן מתדעאל (see “Esperança de Israel,” pp. 26, 27).

P. 21, l. 32. “Collai” = Callao.

P. 22, l. 7. “Petrus Cieza” = Pedro Cieça de Leon.

P. 22, l. 8. “Guamanga”: modern Ayacucho.

P. 23, l. 30. “Garracas” = Caracas.

P. 24, l. 9. “Alonsus de Erzilla” = Alonzo d’Ercilla y Zuñiga (1530–1595). The quotation is from “La Araucana,” the most famous of Spanish Epics.

P. 24, l. 27. “Maragnon” = Marañon, another name for the Amazon.

P. 24, l. 35. “Farnambuc” = Pernambuco.

P. 26, l. 14. “The Isle of Solomon and Hierusalem.”—Mendaña landed on Isabel Island in 1568, and named the group Solomon, and Bougainville rediscovered the islands in 1768. H. B. Guppy, “The Solomon Islands and their Natives” (Lond. 1887). C. M. Wood in “Proceedings R. Geog. Soc.,” 1888, pp. 351–76, and 1890, pp. 394–418, with map (p. 444), on which are given the original Spanish as well as the modern names of the islands.

P. 28, l. 7. “To this day they privately keep their Religion.” The Marranos. See supra, pp. xii-xiv.

P. 29, l. 9. “My Reconciler.” “Conciliador” Segda Parte. Amsterdam, 1641. This work was translated into Latin by Vossius (1687), and into English by Lindo (1842).

P. 29, Sect. 16. A bibliography of the Jews in China has been published in French by Henri Cordier. A useful summary of our knowledge of the Hebrew Settlements in China, brought down to the most recent date, has been written by Mr. Marcus Adler (Jew. Quart. Rev., vol. xiii. pp. 18–41).

P. 33, l. 20. “David the Reubenite.” David Reubeni, an Oriental Jew, who visited Europe in 1524, alleging himself to be an envoy from the Ten Tribes. He was received with distinction by the Pope and the King of Portugal, and made a great commotion among the Marranos and Jews (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. ix. pp. 244 et seq.).

156P. 33, l. 23. “Selomoh Molcho.” A Marrano disciple of David Reubeni. His name was originally Diogo Pires. He migrated to the East and became a learned Cabbalist. He died a martyr’s death in 1532 (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. ix. pp. 251 et seq.).

P. 33, l. 30. “Abraham Frisol Orchotolam.” A mistranslation for Abraham Frisol in his book entitled, “Orhat Olam.” Abraham Farisol or Peretsol (1451–1525) was a Hebrew geographer, author of “Orchat Olam” (The Path of the Universe), which was edited with a Latin translation by Thomas Hyde (Oxford, 1691). For life of Farisol see Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. ix. pp. 46 et seq.

P. 33, l. 38. “The Hebrew letter (h) and (t) are neere in fashion.” The letters referred to are ח and ת.

P. 33, l. 39. “Eldad Danita.” Eldad the Danite lived in the ninth century. His career was similar to that of David Reubeni (Epstein, “Eldad Ha-Dani,” Pressburg, 1891).

P. 34, l. 2. “Sephar Eldad Danita,” ספור אלדד הדני. An edition with a French translation was published by Carmoly (“Relation d’Eldad le Danite.” Paris, 1838). The best editions are those of Epstein and D. H. Müller.

P. 34, l. 3. “Rabbi David Kimhi.” Famous Hebrew exegete, grammarian, and lexicographer (d. 1232). The work referred to as “etymol. suo” is “The Book of Roots” (ספר השרשים).

P. 34, l. 5. “Of the name of Rabbi Juda Aben Karis.” Should be, “in the name of Rabbi Judah ben Koraisch.” Rabbi Judah (fl. circa 870–900) was a Karaite philologist; lived in North-West Africa. He met Eldad in Morocco (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. v. p. 261).

P. 34, l. 9. “Part of the Ten Tribes also live in Ethiopia.” The Falashas of Abyssinia are here referred to (Halévy, “Travels in Abyssinia”; Mis. Heb. Lit., vol. ii. pp. 175 et seq. There are also reports on the Falashas in the Annual Reports of the Alliance Israelite and Anglo-Jewish Association).

P. 35, l. 22. “Rabbi Johanan, the Author of the Jerusalem Talmud.” Rabbi Jochanan, son of the Smith, was a disciple of Rabbi Judah the Prince, compiler of the Mishna. He was one of the most famous Hebrew teachers of the third century. The tradition that he was author of the Jerusalem Talmud rests only on the assertion of Maimonides. Modern critics reject it, and date the Jerusalem Talmud in the seventh century. (Hamburger, “Real-Encyclopädie,” sub voc. “Jochanan” and “Talmud.”)

P. 35, l. 34. “The learned man l’Empereur.” Constantine l’Empereur, an Hebraist of the seventeenth century (d. 1648), who translated into Latin some tractates of the Mishna and other Hebrew works, including the Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela.

P. 35, l. 36. “Sedar Olam.” The name of two Hebrew Chronologies (see Hamburger, “Real-Encyclopädie,” sup. vol., pp. 132, 133).

157P. 35, l. 37. “In Talmud tractat, Sanhedr.” “Sanhedrin” is the name of a treatise of the Talmud, the fourth in the fourth book of the Jerushalmi, and the fifth in the fourth book of the Babli. Excerpts have been translated into Latin with elaborate notes by Joh. Coccejus (Amsterdam 1629).

P. 36, l. 9. “Beresit Rabba.” The first part of the “Midrash Rabboth,” the chief collection of Hagadic or homiletic expositions of the Scriptures. As its name implies, it deals with Genesis (Zunz, “Gottesdienstlichen Vorträge,” pp. 184 et seq., 1892.)

P. 36, l. 9. “In Perasach,” should be “in Parashah 11” (see original Spanish “Esperança,” p. 66). The misprint occurs in the Latin. “Parasha” means section. There are 100 sections in the Bereshith Rabba.

P. 36, l. 10. “Tornunsus” = Turnus Rufus.

P. 36, l. 12. “Rabbi Aquebah.” One of the greatest of the Tanaim or compilers of the Mishna. He became an adherent of the Pseudo-Messiah Bar Cochba, who rebelled against the Romans during the reign of Hadrian, and was put to death after the fall of Bethar. His career has passed into legend (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. iv. pp. 53 et seq.).

P. 36, l. 20. “Asirim Rabba” = Shir Ha-Shirim Rabba. Midrashic exposition of the Song of Songs (supra, “Beresit Rabba”).

P. 36, l. 27. “Jalcut.” A collection of Midrashim covering the whole of the Scriptures, and compiled in the eleventh century by R. Simeon b. Chelbo, whence it is called the Yalkut Shimeoni (Zunz, “Gottesdienst,” pp. 183 and 309).

P. 36, l. 31. “Bamibar Rabba”: misprint for Bamidbar Rabba, the Midrashic exposition of Numbers.

P. 37, l. 12. “R. Selomoh Jarchi.” Solomon b. Isaac of Troyes, called Rashi (1040–1105), the most eminent Hebrew Bible commentator of the Middle Ages. The name Jarchi was erroneously given to Rashi by Raymund Martini, Munster, and Buxtorf, who imagined that he was a native of Lunel (ירח = luna). Menasseh ben Israel was the first Jewish scholar to adopt this blunder (Wolf, “Biblio. Heb.” vol. i. 1057, &c.; Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. vi. pp. 77 et seq.; Wolf, “The Treves Family in England”).

P. 37, l. 15. “R. Mardochus Japhe.” Bohemian Rabbi (1530–1612) (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. ix. pp. 465–467).

P. 37, l. 26. “Another worthy of credit.” In the original Spanish, Menasseh gives his name as Señor H. Meyr Rophé. This is omitted from both the Latin and English editions.

P. 37, l. 34. “R. Moses Gerundensis.” Moses ben Nachman (1200–1272), also called Nachmanides, and Ramban. Christian scholars sometimes speak of him as Gerundensis from his birthplace, Gerona. The greatest Talmudic authority of his day, author of a 158Bible commentary. His public disputation at Barcelona with Pablo Christiani in 1263 is famous (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. vii. pp. 131–136, Schechter “Studies in Judaism,” art. “Nachmanides”).

P. 38, l. 1. “Benjamin Tudelensis,” Benjamin b. Jonah of Tudela, famous Jewish traveller (see Itinerary by, translated by A. Asher. Lond., 1840).

P. 38, l. 4. “The City Lubin”: misprint for Lublin.

P. 45, l. 14. “Rabby Simeon ben Johay, the author of the Zoar.” Rabbi Simeon was a famous doctor of the Mishna and disciple of Akiba. He laid the foundation of the Sifre, the Halachic, or legal exposition of Numbers and Deuteronomy. He figures in Jewish legend as the greatest master of the Cabbala. He was not the author of the Zohar. Internal evidence stamps that work as a product of the thirteenth century, and its authorship is now ascribed to Moses ben Shemtob de Leon (Hamburger, “Real-Encyclopädie,” arts. Simon b. Jochai, Sifre, and Sohar).

P. 45, l. 22. “Rabbi Seadiah” = Saadja ben Joseph or Saadja Gaon (892–942). The most celebrated of the Geonim, who were the chiefs of the schools of Sura and Pumbaditha, and the ecclesiastical counterparts of the Exilarchs. Saadja was one of the most prolific and versatile writers Judaism has produced (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. v. pp. 302 et seq.).

P. 45, l. 23. “Moses Egyptius” = Moses Maimonides.

P. 45, l. 24. “Abraham bar Ribi Hijah” = Abraham ben Chijah ha-Nasi of Barcelona (1065–1136), Jewish astronomical and geometrical writer; was Minister of Police during the Moorish domination in Spain (Graetz, “History,” vol. iii. p. 320).

P. 45, l. 24. “Abraham Zacculo”: misprint for Zaccuto (d. c. 1515). He was a Jewish astronomer employed at the Court of Manuel of Portugal. His works influenced Columbus (Kayserling, “Christopher Columbus,” pp. 9, 13, 14, 46–51, 112, 113).

P. 45, l. 30. “The letter (m) in Isa. ix. 7.” The reference is to the sixth verse of Isaiah ix., in the first word of which, לםרבה, the second letter, which should be מ, is written in its final form ם.

P. 47, l. 13. “Diogo d’Assumean”: misprint for Diogo da Asunçao (Graetz, “History,” vol. iv. p. 711; Kayserling, “Juden in Portugal,” pp. 282, 292).

P. 47, l. 20. “The Lord Lope de Veray Alacron” = Don Lope de Vera y Alarcon. His martyrdom is the subject of a poem by Antonio Enriquez Gomez, “Romance al diuin Martir Juda Creyente” (Kayserling, “Biblioteca Española,” p. 50; Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. x. pp. 101, 197).

P. 47, l. 38. “Isaac Castrensis Tartas” = Isaac de Castro Tartas (Graetz, “History,” vol. v. p. 33).

159P. 48, l. 9. “Eli Nazarenus.” His real name was Francisco Meldonado de Silva (“Publications of the American Jew. Hist. Soc.,” vol. iv. p. 113).

P. 48, l. 13. “Thomas Terbinon.” Doctor Thomas (Isaac) Trebiño de Sobremente (“Pub. Amer. Jew. Hist. Soc.,” vol. iv. pp. 124–161).

P. 48, l. 25. “My booke, De Termino Vitæ” (English edition by P. T. [Thomas Pocock]. Lond., 1700).

P. 49, l. 8. “His wife Benuenida” = Bienvenida Abravanela (Kayserling, “Die Jüdischen Frauen,” pp. 77 et seq., 111).

P. 49, l. 16. “Don Selomo Rophe.” Rabbi Solomon ben Nathan Aschkenazi, surnamed Rophe, or the Physician, was a diplomatist in the Turkish service who secured the election of Henry of Anjou to the throne of Poland. (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. ix. pp. 396, 399, 438, 580; Levy, “Don Joseph Nasi,” pp. 8 et seq.).

P. 49, l. 18. “D. Ben Jaese, Anancus, and Sonsinos, are of great authority with the Turk.” These are the names of Jewish families who played an important part in Turkey in the sixteenth century. This is a chapter of Jewish history on which the historians have as yet shed little light. The materials are chiefly in manuscript, and the present author proposes dealing with them in a communication to the Jewish Historical Society. On the Ben Jaese (Ibn Jachya) family, the reader may provisionally consult Carmoly, “Chronica Familiæ Jachya,” and on the Soncinos, Mortara, “Indice Alfabetico.”

P. 49, l. 20. “Abraham Alholn”: misprint for Alhulu, treasurer to the Pasha of Egypt. (See infra, p. 86.)

P. 49, l. 21. “Don Josephus Nassi.” A wealthy Jew, nephew and son-in-law of Donna Gracia Nasi (see note, infra, p. 163). He was in the service of the Sultan, and conquered Cyprus for the Turks. In addition to the sources indicated by Menasseh, see Levy, “Don Joseph Nasi, Herzog Von Naxos” (Breslau, 1859), and Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. ix. passim.

P. 49, l. 25. “Jacob Aben Jaes.” He is sometimes referred to as Don Solomon. He was of the Ibn Jachya family, and was uncle to Joseph Nasi. For a time he was in the service of Queen Elizabeth, and corresponded with her physician Rodrigo Lopez, to whom he was related. The Sultan created him Duke of Mytilene. (MS. materials.)

P. 49, l. 29. “D. Samuel Palaxe.” (See Henriques de Castro, “Keur Van Grafsteenen,” pp. 91, 94.)

P. 50, l. 6. “D. Benjamin Mussaphia.” Dionysius Mussaphia (1605–1674), physician and philologist, court physician to Christian IV. of Denmark, afterwards Rabbi in Amsterdam (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. x. pp. 24, 26, 202, 227, 243, 244; Kayserling, “Juden in Portugal,” p. 298.)

160P. 50, l. 9. “King Cochini.” A mistranslation; should be “King of Cochin.” The Jews of the Malabar coast settled there in the fifth century. Local tradition gives the colony a much greater antiquity. Menasseh gives further particulars of them in his “Humbler Addresses,” infra, p. 85 (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. iv. pp. 470–472; Satthianadhan in the Church Missionary Intelligencer, 1871, pp. 365 et seq.)

P. 50, l. 12. “Mardocheas Maisel.” Mordecai Meisel (1528–1601). The first Hebrew capitalist in Germany. Created an Imperial Councillor by the Emperor Rudolph. His charities were on a princely scale. He built two synagogues at Prague (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. ix. pp. 477, 478.)

P. 50, l. 14. “Jacob Bathsebah.” Jacob Basevi Schmieles (1580–1634), an influential Bohemian Jew, ennobled by the Emperor Ferdinand, receiving the title of Von Treuenburg and a grant of arms. (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. x. pp. 41–47; Wolf, “Jewish Coats of Arms.”)

P. 50, l. 22. “Moses Amon” (1490–1565). Physician to Solymon II. Translated the Bible and Hebrew Prayer-Book into Arabic, and was employed by the Sultan on diplomatic missions (Levy, “Don Joseph Nasi,” pp. 6–8).

P. 50, l. 23. “Elias Montalto.” Felipe Montalto, or Eliahu de Luna Montalto, brother of Amato Lusitano. Portuguese physician. Practised in Italy, and afterwards was appointed physician-in-ordinary to Maria de Medicis; died at Tours 1616, and buried in the Jewish Cemetery at Amsterdam (Kayserling, “Biblioteca Española,” pp. 72, 73). Montalto was also known as Don Philipe Rodrigues. Among his descendants is Prof. Raphael Meldola (MS. materials).

P. 50, l. 25. “Elias Cretensis.” Better known as Elia del Medigo (1463–1498). Lectured publicly on philosophy in Padua, and arbitrated in a dispute between the professors and students of the university at the request of the Venetian Senate. Pico di Mirandola was one of his pupils. He was a prolific writer (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. viii. pp. 240–247).

P. 50, l. 26. “R. Abraham de Balmas” (d. 1521). Physician, philosopher, and grammarian. Like Del Medigo, he lectured in Padua, and was one of the Hebraists whose teaching influenced the Reformation. Daniel Bomberg, the famous Venetian printer, was one of his pupils, and translated his poems into Latin (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. ix. p. 215).

P. 50, l. 27. “Elias Grammaticus.” Better known as Elia Levita (1498–1549). A German Rabbi who taught in Padua, Venice, and Rome, and who exercised a strong influence on the Hebrew studies which produced the Reformation. Scaliger describes him as “the greatest Hebrew scholar of his age.” Among his pupils were the 161Cardinal Egidio de Viterbe, the French bishop and ambassador George de Selve, and the theologians Münster and Fagius (Günsburg, “Masoreth Hamasoreth”; Karpeles, “Geschichte d. Jüd. Lit.,” pp. 855 et seq.).

P. 50, l. 33. “David de Pomis.” Physician, lexicographer, and theologian (1525–1588), translated Koheleth into Italian. Author of “De Medico Hebræo” (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. ix. p. 483; Karpeles, “Gesch. Jüd. Lit.,” pp. 880–881). There is a curious tradition that De Pomis was residing in Hull in 1599 (Symons, “Hull in ye Olden Times,” Hull, 1886, pp. 82, 83).

Considerations upon the Point of the Conversion of the Jewes

Pp. 57–72. This Appendix is, as will be seen, by the English translator, Moses Wall. It does not appear in the first edition, and it is printed here as throwing light on the motives of the English supporters of Menasseh ben Israel.

P. 67, l. 21. “E. S.” Sir Edward Spenser, M.P. for Middlesex. See Introduction, p. xxvii.

P. 68, l. 36. “Did Mr. Broughton gaine upon a learned Rabbi.” See Broughton, “Ovr Lordes Famile” (Amst., 1608), and “A Reqvire of Agreement” (1611).


(pp. 73–103)

Bibliographical Note

For the origin of this tract, and the probable date and circumstances of its preparation, see Introduction, pp. xxxviii-xxxix.

There are two editions, neither of which bears any imprint or date. Both are 4to, but one has 26 pp. and the other 23 pp. It is difficult to say whether, and which, one of these two versions is a revision of the other, as the only difference between them is that the following sentence is added at the end of the 23 pp. text: “Which is the close of Rabbi Menesse Ben-Israel, a Divine, and Doctor in Physick in the Strand over against the New-Exchange in London.” The British Museum copy of this edition is dated in MS. “Novemb. 5th (London), 1655.” This edition must have been printed after Menasseh’s arrival in London, and it is probable that the other is the Libellus Anglicus of which he speaks in his letter to Felgenhauer in February 1655, and which, consequently, we may assume was printed in Amsterdam.

162The latter was reprinted in Melbourne in 1868, with an introduction by the late Rev. A. F. Ornstien:—

“To / His Highnesse / the / Lord Protector / of the / Commonwealth of / England, Scotland and Ireland / the Humble Addresses / of / Menasseh Ben Israel, a Divine, and / Doctor of Physic, in behalfe / of the Jewish Nation / 1655. / Reprinted by H. T. Dwight, / Bookseller and Publisher, Bourke Street East, Melbourne, / 1868.”

English reprints of the 23 pp. text have been published in the Jewish Chronicle, Nov.-Dec. 1859, and in Kayserling’s “Life of Menasseh ben Israel,” with annotations in 1877 (Miscellany of Hebrew Literature, Second Series, pp. 35–63). According to Barbosa Machado (“Biblioteca Lusitana,” vol. iii. p. 457) a Spanish translation was published in London simultaneously with the first English edition. Its title is given as follows:—

“Las Humildes suplicaciones En nombre de la Nacion de los Judios a su Alteza el Señor Protector Oliver Cromwell de la Republica de Inglaterra, Scocia, y Yrlandia. Traduzido del Original Ingles. En Londres, 1655.”

A copy of this translation in MS. existed in the library of Isaac da Costa of Amsterdam (Misc. Heb. Lit., ii. p. 84). Kayserling first translated the tract into German, and published it in his “Menasse ben Israel, sein Leben und Wirken” (Berlin, 1861).

A very large number of the historical references in this tract are taken without acknowledgment from Imanuel Aboab’s “Nomologia” (Amst., 1629) and Daniel Levy de Barrios’s “Historia Universal Judayca.” Kayserling has given many of the original passages in his notes to his “Life of Menasseh ben Israel” (Misc. Heb. Lit., Series II.).

To His Highnesse, &c.

P. 77, l. 9. “The Ambassadors of England.” The St. John Mission (see Introduction, pp. xxx-xxxi, and Vindiciæ, p. 111).

P. 81, l. 19. “Merchandizing is ... the proper profession of the Nation of the Jews.” In so far as this implies that the Jews have an inborn genius for commerce this is a vulgar error (see Loeb, “Le Juif de l’Histoire et le Juif de la Legende,” pp. 7–14).

P. 85, l. 7. “These in India in Cochin.” See note, supra, pp. 159–160.

P. 85, l. 21. “In the Turkish Empire.” See Nicolas de Nicolay, “Navigations, Peregrinations et Voyages faicts en la Turquie,” Anvers, 1576, pp. 243 et seq.

P. 86, l. 20. “In this estate some of the Jews have grown to great fortunes.” The Jewish notabilities referred to in this paragraph are also mentioned in the “Hope of Israel.” See note, supra, p. 159.

P. 87, l. 6. “Isaac Iecells.” Jessel or Joesel is a diminutive of Joseph. The person referred to is probably Asher ben Joseph of Cracow (see Steinschneider, “Bibl. Bodl.,” p. 751).

P. 87, l. 9. “The Cosaques in the late warres.” The rising of Chmielnicki, 1648–1649. (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. x. pp. 52–82.)

163P. 87, ll. 22 et seq. The references to Jewish families in this paragraph are taken from Aboab and De Barrios. See notes 201–204 to Kayserling’s “Menasseh ben Israel” (Misc. Heb. Lit., ii. p. 88).

P. 88, l. 17. “Seignor Moseh Palache.” See De Castro, “Keur Van Graafsteenen,” p. 93; “Cal. State Papers, Dom.,” 1654, p. 91. On the Jews of Morocco, see Jew. Quart. Rev., vol. iv. pp. 369 et seq.

P. 89, l. 5. “Sir Duarte Nunes a’ Acosta.” See Da Costa, “Adellijke Geslachten onder de Israelieten.”

P. 89, l. 8. “Emanuel Boccaro Rosales.” See p. lxxx (Menasseh’s letter to Felgenhauer); Kayserling, “Sephardim,” p. 209; “Biblioteca Española-Portugueza-Judaica,” pp. 95–96.

P. 90, l. 16. “As the Chronicles do declare.” This paragraph is almost literally translated from Aboab’s “Nomologia,” p. 290. The story does not appear in the earlier Jewish chronicles, such as Schevet Jehuda, Emek Habacha, and Zemach David, although the events of the reign of Pedro the Cruel and Don Enrique so far as they affect the Jew are fully dealt with in them. The “Chronicle” referred to by Menasseh is probably that of Pedro Lopez d’Ayala, which is the original authority for the story.

P. 91, l. 27. “Don Isaac Abarbanel.” See note, supra, p. 154.

P. 92, l. 1. “They everywhere are used to pray.” See Singer, “The Earliest Jewish Prayers for the Sovereign” (Jewish Chronicle, Feb. 22, 1901).

P. 92, l. 18. “He that giveth salvation unto Kings.” This is the first English translation of the Prayer for the Sovereign. See Singer, preceding note.

P. 93, l. 3. “R. Simon Ben-Iochai in his excellent book called Zoar.” See note, supra, p. 158.

P. 93, l. 26. “One famous lawyer in Rome, and Osorius.” The whole of this, and the following paragraphs relating to the expulsion from Spain, is taken from Aboab’s “Nomologia.” Osorius (Hieronymo Osorio, 1506–1580) was author of a history of the reign of King Emanuel, which was translated into English by Gibbs (Lond., 1752). See notes to Kayserling’s “Menasseh” for parallel passages from Aboab.

P. 99, l. 22. “As Vasquo saith.” For Vasquo read Usque. Menasseh is quoting from the “Consolacam as Tribvlacoens de Ysrael,” by Samuel Usque (Ferrara, 1552), see pp. 198–200. Samuel Usque was one of three brothers, all distinguished Marranos. He fled from the Portuguese Inquisition and settled at Ferrara, whence he emigrated to the Holy Land. He was a protégé of Donna Gracia Nasi (see Note on “Don Josephus Nassi,” supra, p. 159; also Kayserling, “Jüdischen Frauen,” pp. 80–86).

P. 100, l. 5. The narrative as pirated from Aboab’s “Nomologia” 164ends here. For fuller details of the Portuguese persecutions, see Kayserling, “Juden in Portugal,” pp. 120 et seq.

P. 101, l. 17. “As for killing of the young children of Christians.” See infra, notes on “Vindiciæ Judæorum,” pp. 165–167.

P. 102, l. 9. “In Araguza” = Ragusa. For a fuller version of this story see infra, “Vindiciæ Judæorum,” pp. 116–117.

P. 102, l. 20. “As for the third point.” Menasseh himself was largely responsible for the charge of proselytising, inasmuch as in the “Hope of Israel” (supra, p. 47) he had boasted of the converts made by the Jews in Spain. There can be no doubt that these conversions were very numerous, but they were probably due in a larger measure to the oppressive policy of the Inquisition than to any active proselytising on the part of the Jews.

P. 103, l. 33. “In the Strand.” For a full discussion of the place of Menasseh’s abode while in London, see Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. iii. pp. 144 et seq.


(pp. 105–147)

Bibliographical Note

For the origin of this tract see Introduction, pp. lxii-lxiv.

It has often been reprinted and translated, especially on occasions of Jewish persecution. In 1708 it reappeared in the second volume of “The Phœnix; or a Revival of Scarce and Valuable Pieces.” In 1743 it was reprinted as an independent pamphlet (Lond., 8vo, pp. 67). Ninety-five years later it was again reprinted by M. Samuels in the prolegomena to his translation of Moses Mendelssohn’s “Jerusalem” (Lond., 1838, vol. i. pp. 1–73), together with a translation of Mendelssohn’s introduction to the German edition (pp. 77–116).

On the Continent it was first published in 1782 in connection with the Mendelssohnian movement for Jewish emancipation, which was participated in by Lessing and Dohm. The fact that it should have been considered by Moses Mendelssohn worthy to stand by the side of Lessing’s Nathan der Weise is a striking tribute to its merits. The Mendelssohnian issue is more famous than the original English edition, for in its German form the work became a classic of national Jewish controversy, whereas in English it was only associated with the local history of the British Jews. The following is the full title of the German edition (pp. lii, 64, sm. 8vo):—

Manasseh Ben Israel / Rettung der Juden / Aus dem Englischen übersetzt / Nebst einer Vorrede / von / Moses Mendelssohn./ Als ein Anhang / zu des / Hrn. Kriegsraths Dohm / Abhandlung: / Ueber / die 165bürgerliche Verbesserung / der Juden./ Mit Königl. Preussischer allergnädigster Freyheit./ Berlin und Stettin / bey Friedrich Nicolai / 1782.

This translation is said to have been made by Dr. Herz, the husband of the famous Henrietta Herz (Kayserling, “Moses Mendelssohn sein Leben und seine Werke,” p. 354), but it was probably done by his wife, who knew English so well that during her widowhood she was engaged to teach it to the daughter of the Duchess of Courland. (See “Life” by Fürst, also Jennings’s “Rahel,” pp. 19 et seq.) The introduction supplied by Moses Mendelssohn fills fifty-two pages, and is as famous as the Vindiciæ itself.

Besides being reprinted in Mendelssohn’s collected works, the German edition of the Vindiciæ was republished in 1882, in connection with the Anti-Semitic agitation, under the title “Gegen die Verleumder,” and again in 1890.

The following editions have also appeared:—

Hebrew by Bloch (Vienna).
Hebrew with a preface by Moses Kunitz (Wilna).
Polish by J. Tugenhold (Warsaw).
French by Carmoly (Brussels, Revue Orientale, ii. pp. 491 et seq.).
Italian by Nahmias (Florence).

The First Section

P. 108, l. 11. “The Jews are wont to celebrate the feast of unleavened bread, fermenting it with the blood of some Christians.” This accusation, now known as the Blood Accusation, has been for many centuries the favourite superstition of the Jew-haters. It was revived by Prynne and Ross during Menasseh’s sojourn in London. During the residence of the Jews in England previously to 1290, it played a conspicuous part in their persecution. (See Joseph Jacobs’ “Little St. Hugh of Lincoln,” Jew. Hist. Soc. Trans., vol. i., especially pp. 92–99. “The Blood Accusation, its origin and occurrence in the Middle Ages,” reprinted from the Jewish Chronicle, 1883.) There is a very voluminous literature of the Blood Accusation (see especially Zunz’s “Damaskus, ein Wort zur Abwehr,” Berlin, 1859), but it has not hitherto been noticed that during the period the Jews were banished from England (1290–1655) the superstition continued to haunt the public mind. We have a curious instance of it in 1577. When John Foxe, the martyrologist, baptized a Moorish Jew named Nathaniel Menda, on April 1 of that year, at All Hallows, Lombard Street, he adopted the Blood Accusation in the address he delivered to celebrate the occasion. “Moreover, if he (Abraham) had seene your unappeaceable disorder without all remorse of mercy in persecuting his (Jesus’s) disciples; your intolerable scorpionlike savageness, so furiously boyling against the innocent infants of the Christian 166Gentiles: ... would he ever accompted you for his sonnes.” To which the printer’s gloss runs thus: “Christen men’s children here in Englande crucified by the Jewes, Anno 1189 and Anno 1141 at Norwiche, &c.” (John Foxe, “A Sermon at the Christening of a certaine Iew at London,” London, 1578; p. E. iii.) This sermon, originally delivered in Latin, was translated into English and published in extenso, together with the confession of Nathaniel Menda, in 1578. It was dedicated to Sir Francis Walsingham, Principal Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth.

Thomas Calvert, “Minister of the Word at York,” was the next to lend his name to the superstition, and to give vigorous expression to it in his “Diatraba of the Jews’ Estate.” This was a preface to “The Blessed Jew of Marocco; or A Blackmoor made White, by Rabbi Samuel, a Jew turned Christian; written first in the Arabick, after translated into Latin, and now Englished” (York, 1648. The British Museum copy is dated in MS. “July 25, 1649.”) His exact words are as follows:—

“So much are they (the Jews) bent to shed the blood of Christians, that they say a Jew needs no repentance for murdering a Christian; and they add to that sinne to make it sweet and delectable that hee who doth it, it is as if he had offered a Corban to the Lord, hereby making the abominable sin an acceptable sacrifice. But beyond all these they have a bloody thirst after the blood of Christians. In France and many kingdoms they have used yearly to steale a Christian boy and to crucifie him, fastning him to a crosse, giving him gall and vinegar, and running him in the end thorow with a spear, to rub their memories afresh into sweet thoughts of their crucifying Christ, the more to harden themselves against Christ and to shew their curst hatred to all Christians” (pp. 18–19).

John Sadler stands out conspicuously for dissociating himself from this baseless prejudice. When he wrote his “Rights of the Kingdom,” in 1649, he summed up the matter in a happy and pithy manner: “Wee say, they (the Jews) crucified a child, or more. They doe deny it: and we prove it not” (p. 74). Undaunted by Sadler’s championship of the Jews, James Howell followed Calvert, and in the Epistle Dedicatory to his pirated edition of Morvyn’s translation of Joseph ben Gorion, “The wonderful and deplorable history of the latter times of the Jews” (London [June 2], 1652), he thus insinuated the truth of the charge:—

“The first Christian Prince that expelled the Jews out of his territories, was that heroik King, our Edward the First, who was such a sore scourge also to the Scots; and it is thought divers families of those banished Jews fled then to Scotland, where they have propagated since in great numbers, witness the aversion that nation hath above others to hog’s flesh. Nor was this extermination for their 167Religion, but for their notorious crimes, as poysoning of wells, counterfeiting of coines, falsifying of seales, and crucifying of Christian children, with other villanies.”

Sadler was not the only English contemporary of Menasseh ben Israel who threw doubt on the Blood Accusation. Prynne himself relates in the preface to his “Demurrer” that he met Mr. Nye by the garden wall at Whitehall, when he was on his way to the Conference on the Jewish Question. “I told him,” writes Prynne, “the Jews had been formerly clippers and forgers of money, and had crucified three or four children in England at least, which were principal causes of their banishment, to which he replied, that the crucifying of children was not fully charged on them by our historians, and would easily be wiped off.” (Preface, p. 4.)

It is curious that, as Menasseh himself points out, the Jews were not alone at this period as sufferers from the Blood Accusation. (“Humble Addresses,” p. 21.) Apart from the instance quoted by Menasseh, a similar charge was levelled at the Quakers, who were accused of the ritual murder of women. An illustrated tract on the subject will be found in Historia Fanaticorum. (See “Historia von den Wider-Tauffern,” Cöthen, 1701.)

The Blood Accusation did not again make a conspicuous appearance in Anglo-Jewish history, but it is not improbable that the Damascus trials in 1840 produced a serious effect in retarding the progress of the struggle for emancipation. On the Continent, and in the Levant, it has frequently reappeared during the last thirty years.

P. 109, l. 8. “In Iad a Razaka.” Misprint for Yad Hachazaka (“The Strong Hand”), also called Mishneh Torah, an exposition of Jewish law by Moses Maimonides, written (in Hebrew) 1170–1180.

P. 111, l. 7. “A particular blessing of the Prince or Magistrate.” See note, supra, p. 163.

P. 112, l. 16. “And every day the Jewes mainly strike.” The belief that Jews habitually desecrated the sacramental wafer runs parallel with the Blood Accusation. A curious echo of it was heard in 1822, and the published account of the case was illustrated by George Cruikshank (“The Miraculous Host tortured by the Jews,” Lond., 1822).

P. 114, l. 4. “Wherefore I swear.” This oath is famous in Jewish history, and has been over and over again quoted and reiterated on occasions of the revival of the Blood Accusation (see e.g. Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. i. p. 38).

P. 114, l. 20. “John Hoornbeek in that book which he lately writ.” The work referred to is De Convertendis Judæis, 1655.

P. 115, l. 28. “In my continuation of Flavius Josephus.” In the “Hope of Israel” (supra, p. 7), Menasseh announced his intention 168of writing this work. From this passage it seems that he had now completed it, and that he had the MS. with him in London. It was never printed, as none of it has survived. It is curious that Menasseh does not mention it among his “Books ready for the Presse,” of which he gave a list at the end of the Vindiciæ (see p. 147).

P. 116, l. 13. “One Isaac Jeshurun.” An account of his persecution was written in Hebrew by Aaron de David Cohen of Ragusa, and translated into Spanish under the title, Memorable relacion de Yshac Jesurun. The work is in MS.; a copy was in the Almanzi Library.

P. 118, l. 30. “That our nation had purchased S. Paul’s Church.” See Introduction, p. xli.

P. 118, l. 34. “A fabulous narrative.” Brett, “A Narrative of the Proceedings of a Great Councel of Jews assembled on the plain of Ageda” (Lond., 1655; reprinted in “The Phœnix,” 1707, the “Harleian Miscellany,” vol i., 1813, and in pamphlet form by Longmans & Co., 1876).

P. 121, l. 27. “The book called Scebet Iehuda,” ספר שבת יהודה, by Solomon Aben Verga, a Jewish chronicle of the sixteenth century. See German translation by Wiener (Hanover, 1856). The story related by Menasseh ben Israel will be found on pp. 77–78. It is not told of a “King of Portugal,” but of a King of Spain.

P. 121, l. 32. “Before one of the Popes, at a full Councell.” For Papal Bulls on the Blood Accusation see “Die Blutbeschuldigung gegen die Juden von Christlicher Seite beurtheilt,” Zweite Auflage (Vienna, 1883). Strack’s “Blutaberglaube” (several editions) is the classical work on the subject.

The Second Section

P. 124, l. 16. “The Israelites hold.” This paragraph is a summary of the Thirteen Articles of Faith first drawn up by Moses Maimonides in 1168, and now incorporated in the Synagogue liturgy. Menasseh’s summary, though admirably succinct, is not altogether perfect, and was apparently drafted with a view to the susceptibilities of the English Conversionists. A full translation of the thirteen creeds had, however, already appeared in England (see Chilmead’s translation of Leo Modena’s “The History of the Rites, Customes, and Manner of Life of the Present Jews,” Lond., 1650, pp. 246–249).

P. 124, l. 28. “A French book which he calleth the Rappel of the Jewes,” Iaac la Peyrère “Rappel des Juifs.”

The Third Section

The subject matter of this section, the alleged cursing of Gentiles, is, like the Blood Accusation, an obstinate delusion of the anti-Semites. It is 169the burden of a very voluminous literature. See, among recent publications, Jellinek, “Der Talmudjude” (Vienna, 1882); Daab, “Der Thalmud” (Leipzig, 1883); Hirsch, “Über die Beziehung des Talmuds zum Judenthum” (Frankfort, 1884); and Hoffmann, “Der Schulchan Aruch und die Rabbinen über das Verhältniss der Juden zu Andersgläubigen” (Berlin, 1885).

P. 127, l. 31. “Prayers for Kings and Princes.” See note, supra, p. 163.

P. 128, l. 6. “The form of prayer in the book entitled The Humble Addresses,” supra, p. 92.

P. 133, l. 25. “Wise and vertuous Lady Beruria.” The most famous of the women mentioned in the Talmud. She was the daughter of Rabbi Chanina ben Tradjon, and wife of Rabbi Meir (Kayserling, “Jüdischen Frauen,” pp. 120–124).

P. 133, l. 26. “R. Meir.” A distinguished pupil of the great Rabbi Akiba, and one of the most famous of the authors of the Talmud. He lived in the second century (Levy, “Un Tanah,” Paris, 1883; Blumenthal, “Rabbi Meir,” Frankfurt, 1888).

The Fourth Section

P. 134, l. 14. “Buxtorphius.” Johann Buxtorf the Elder (1564–1629), the greatest Christian Hebraist of his day. Professor of Hebrew at Basle.

P. 136, l. 22. “R. David Gawz.” David Gans (1541–1631), a Jewish chronicler, mathematician, and astronomer, author of Zemach David. He lived in Prague, and was a friend of Tycho Brahe and Keppler (Klemperer, “David Gans’s Chronikartige Weltgeschichte,” Prague, 1890).

P. 136, l. 25. “Antonius Margarita.” His name was Aaron Margalita. He was an ignorant Polish Jew, who became converted to Christianity and placed his services at the disposal of the Jew-haters (Graetz, “Geschichte,” vol. x. pp. 313–314).

The Fifth Section

P. 137, l. 18. “I have held friendship with many great men.” Menasseh’s circle of Christian friends was large and distinguished. His intimacy with Rembrandt has already been referred to (supra, pp. 149–150). Among his other friends were Hugo Grotius, the learned family of Vossius, Episcopius, Vorstius, Meursius, Cunæus, Blondel, Chr. Arnold, Bochart, Huet, Sobierre, Felgenhauer, Frankenberg, Mochinger, and Caspar Barlæus.

P. 137, l. 23. “Many verses in my commendations.” The poem by Barlæus here referred to was prefixed to Menasseh’s treatise “De Creatione” (Amsterdam, 1636), together with congratulatory 170sonnets by Himanuel Nehamias, Mosseh Pinto, Jona Abravanel, and Daniel Abravanel. It ran as follows:—

Clarissimi viri Manassis Ben-Israel,
De Creatione.
Qvæ cœlos terrasq́; manus, spatiosaq́; Nerei
Æquora, & immẽsas, quas habet orbis opes,
Condiderit, mersuniq́; alta caligine mundum
Iusserit imperijs ilicet esse suis:
Disserit Isacides. Et facta ingentia pandit;
Et nondum exhaustum contrahit arte Deum.
Hîc atavos patresq́; suos & verba recenset,
Sensaq́; Thalmudicæ relligiosa Scholæ.
Vera placẽt, placet egregijs conatibus author,
Et pietas fidei disparis ista placet.
Cunctorum est coluisse Deum. Non unius æví,
Non populi unius credimus, esse pium.
Si sapimus diversa, Deo vivamus amici,
Doctaq́; mens precio constet ubiq́; suo.
Hæc fidei vox summa meæ est. Hæc crede Menasse.
Sic ego Christiades, sic eris Abramides.
C. Barlævs.

The Seventh Section

P. 144, l. 37. “Wherefore those few Jewes that were here, despairing of our expected successe departed hence.” This can only refer to Menasseh’s companions on his mission. With two exceptions all the Marranos in London at the time of Menasseh’s arrival remained in the country.

P. 145, l. 34. “From my study in London.” See Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. iii. pp. 144–150.



Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co.
Edinburgh & London

1. Wolf, “Crypto-Jews under the Commonwealth” (Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. i. pp. 55 et seq.); “The Middle Age of Anglo-Jewish History” (Papers read at the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition, pp. 53–79).

2. The origin of this name is obscure. There seems to be little doubt that it was originally a nickname, seeing that the classical name for the converts was Nuevos Cristianos, or “New Christians.” Graetz believes that Marrano is derived from Maran-atha, in allusion to 1 Cor. xvi. 22, “If any man love not the Lord, let him be Anathema Maran-atha” (Geschichte der Juden, vol. viii. p. 73).

3. Kayserling, Juden in Portugal, p. 327.

4. Graetz, vol. viii. pp. 309–11; Ehrentheil, Jüdisches Familien Buch, p. 326.

5. Kayserling, p. 139.

6. Graetz, vol. x. pp. 195, 196, 200; Da Costa, Israel and the Gentiles, p. 408; Kayserling, p. 302.

7. Graetz, vol. viii. pp. 342–43; Colonial State Papers (Spanish), vol. i. pp. 51, 164.

8. Wolf, Middle Age, pp. 64, 67–70; S. L. Lee in Gentleman’s Magazine, Feb. 1880.

9. Wolf, Middle Age, p. 68; Graetz, vol. ix. p. 494.

10. Historia de los Judios de España, vol. iii. p. 357.

11. Wolf, Crypto-Jews, loc. cit.

12. Wolf, Middle Age, pp. 61–63.

13. De Castro, Auswahl von Grabsteinen, Part I. p. 28.

14. Rycaut, History of the Turkish Empire (1687), vol. ii. pp. 174, et seq.

15. Infra, pp. 143–145.

16. Tracts on Liberty of Conscience, 1614–1661 (Hanserd Knollys Soc.), pp. 28, 30–31, 47, 71.

17. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. VII., MSS. of Sir F. Graham, pp. 401–403.

18. See reprint by Hanserd Knollys Soc., p. 141. For Roger Williams’s services to the cause of Jewish Toleration, see Wolf, “American Elements in the Resettlement” (Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. iii. pp. 77–78), and Straus, “Roger Williams, the Pioneer of Religious Liberty,” pp. 172–178.

19. Edwards, Gangræna, Part III. p. 103.

20. Art. 10. See also his “Good Work for a Good Magistrate” (1651), pp. 53, 90.

21. Mercurius Pragmaticus, Dec. 19–26, 1648.

22. Firth, “Notes on the History of the Jews in England, 1648–1660.” Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. iv.

23. “The Petition of the Jews for the Repealing of the Act of Parliament for their Banishment out of England” (Lond., 1649).

24. Fuller, “A Pisgah-sight of Palestine,” Book V. p. 194.

25. Calendar State Papers, Dom. 1623–25. p. 435.

26. Whitelock, “Memorials,” p. 397.

27. De Castro, Auswahl, loc. cit.

28. Edwards, Gangræna, i. p. 121; ii. pp. 26, 31; “Middlesex County Records,” vol. iii. pp. 186–87; Anabaptisticum Pantheon, p. 233; Hickes, Peculium Dei, pp. 19–26. There are many other scattered references in the literature of the period to this curious movement.

29. A good life of Menasseh ben Israel has yet to be written. Short biographies have been published by Kayserling (English translation in Miscellany of Hebrew Literature, vol. ii.); the Rev. Dr. H. Adler, Chief Rabbi of the British Empire (Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. i.); and Graetz (Geschichte der Juden, vol. x.). None of these is exhaustive, or based on bedrock material.

30. “Gratulação ao seren. Raynha Henri. Maria, dignissima corsorte ao august; Carlo, Rey da Grande Britannia, Francia e Hebernia” (Amst., 1642).

31. Harl. Misc., vol. vii. p. 623; infra, p. lxxvii.

32. Thorowgood, “Jews in America” (1660), Postscript to the “Epistle Dedicatory.”

33. The Declaration of the Unity of God, the fundamental teaching of Judaism (Deut. vi. 4–9). Shema means “Hear,” and it is the first word of verse 4: “Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one God.”

34. Dury, “Epistolary Discourse to Mr. Thomas Thorowgood” (1649).

35. Thorowgood, “Jews in America” (1650), pp. 129 et seq.

36. The text of the letter has not been preserved, but its contents are summarised in Holmes’s reply, printed in an appendix to Felgenhauer’s Bonum Nuncium Israeli.

37. Vindiciæ Judæorum, infra, pp. 143–144.

38. Dury, “Epistolary Discourse.” For text of the letters, see infra, p. lxxviii.

39. Bonum Nuncium, loc. cit.

40. This tract has been the source of a curious misunderstanding. Kayserling, who apparently never examined more of it than the title-page, on which the author is described as “E. S. Middlesex,” ascribed it to “Lord Middlesex,” and regarded it as favourable to Menasseh (Misc. Heb. Lit., ii. p. 33). Had he looked at the Latin translation at the end he would have found the name of the author given in full. Moreover, the writer, so far from being philo-Semitic, expressly states that the object of his pamphlet was the “taking off the scandall of our too great desire of entertayning the unbeleeving Nation of the Jewes.” Kayserling’s errors have been adopted without inquiry by Graetz, Adler, and other writers.

41. “Rights of the Kingdom,” p. 39.

42. “Pisgah-sight of Palestine,” Book V. pp. 194 et seq.

43. “Good Work,” &c., loc. cit.

44. Writing to Crawford in 1643, says: “The State, in choosing men to serve it, takes no notice of their opinions; if they be willing faithfully to serve it—that satisfies.... Bear with men of different minds from yourself.” Carlyle, “Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches,” i. p. 148.

45. Gardiner, “History of the Commonwealth,” vol. ii.

46. Carlyle, “Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches,” vol. iii. pp. 23, 25, 26.

47. Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. i. pp. 73–74; vol. ii. pp. 17–18; Wolf, “Jewish Emancipation in the City” (Jewish Chronicle, Nov. 30, 1894); Graetz, Geschichte, vol. x. p. 19.

48. Wolf, “Cromwell’s Jewish Intelligencers” (Lond., 1891).

49. S. R. Gardiner in the Academy, March 4, 1882.

50. Vindiciæ Judæorum, p. 5; infra, p. 111; “Humble Addresses,” infra, p. 77.

51. Cal. State Papers, Dom. (1651), p. 472.

52. Cal. State Papers, Dom. (1651–52), p. 577; (1652–53), p. 38.

53. Thurloe State Papers, vol. i. p. 387; Clarendon State Papers, vol. ii. p. 233.

54. Supra, p. xvii.

55. Wolf, “Resettlement of the Jews in England” (1888), p. 9.

56. For text of these petitions see Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. iii. pp. 88–93.

57. State Papers, Dom. Interregnum, i. 75 (1654), pp. 596, 620.

58. Rawl. MSS., A 260, fol. 57. Text of this letter is given in Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. iii. p. 93.

59. Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. ii. pp. 18, 45–46.

60. Cal. of State Papers, Dom., 1655, p. 585.

61. Supra, p. xvii.

62. Infra, p. lxxxvii.

63. Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. iii. p. 90.

64. Wolf, “American Elements in the Resettlement” (Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. iii. pp. 95–100); Wolf, “Cromwell’s Jewish Intelligencers,” 1891, pp. 11–12.

65. Cal. of State Papers, Dom., 1655, p. 583.

66. “Cromwell’s Jewish Intelligencers,” loc. cit.

67. Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. iii. pp. 82–86.

68. Jacob Sasportas, who had acted as a “corrector” in Menasseh’s printing-office in Amsterdam, and was afterwards elected Chief Rabbi in London, was a member of the mission (Graetz, vol. x. notes, p. xix). Raguenet states (Histoire d’Oliver Cromwell, p. 290) that two other Rabbis accompanied it, “Rabbi Jacob ben Azahel” and “David ben Eliezer of Prague.” I have not been able to identify these persons, but tentatively I am disposed to think that “Azahel” is a corruption of “Heschel,” and that the person referred to is Rabbi Josua ben Jacob Heschel of Lublin. Menasseh’s elder son lived for some time in Lublin, and it is quite possible that Heschel came to London to lay the case of the persecuted Polish Jews before Cromwell.

69. Wolf, “Menasseh ben Israel’s Study in London,” Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. iii. pp. 144 et seq.

70. Felgenhauer, Bonum Nuncium Israeli, p. 110.

71. Infra, p. 47.

72. Infra, p. lxxix.

73. Graetz, Geschichte, vol. x. pp. 52–82; Mercurius Politicus, Dec. 17, 1655; Thurloe State Papers, vol. iv. p. 333.

74. “Annals of England” (1655), vol. iii. p. 31.

75. The interest of the Embassies in the question is illustrated by the frequent reference made to it in the despatches of Chanut (Thurloe, vol. ii. p. 652), Nieupoort (Ibid., vol. iv. pp. 333, 338; “New York Colonial MSS.,” vol. i. pp. 579, 583), Sagredo and Salvetti (Revue des Études Juives, No. 11, pp. 103–104). Nieupoort’s view is shown by the assurance he extracted from Menasseh that there was no intention to invite Dutch Jews to England (Thurloe, vol. iv. p. 333).

76. “Memorials,” p. 618.

77. Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. i. pp. 70–71, 75.

78. Ibid., p. 44.

79. Infra, p. 118. London News Letter, April 2, 1649 (Cartes Letters, vol. i. p. 275).

80. Jesse, “England under the Stuarts,” vol. ii. p. 297; Tovey, Anglia Judaica, p. 275.

81. Violet, “Petition against the Jews,” p. 2.

82. The violence of such tracts as Prynne’s “Demurrer,” Ross’s “View of the Jewish Religion,” and the anonymous “Case of the Jews Stated,” has no parallel in the literature of the time.

83. Paul Isaiah, “The Messias of the Christians and the Jews.”

84. Prynne, “Demurrer,” Part I. p. 73.

85. Copley, “Case of the Jews is Altered,” p. 4.

86. “View of the Jewish Religion.”

87. See especially Prynne’s “Demurrers,” and “Anglo-Judæus,” by W. H. Only three ungrudging defences of the Jews were published—Copley’s “Case of the Jews,” D. L.’s “Israel’s Condition and Cause Pleaded” (a very feeble reply to Prynne), and Collier’s “Brief Answer.”

88. Dury, “A Case of Conscience.” Harl. Misc., vol. vii. p. 256.

89. “Life of Henry Jessey,” pp. 67–68.

90. Philo-Judæus, “The Resurrection of Dead Bones,” p. 102.

91. State Papers, Domestic. Interregnum, vol. i. 76, p. 353.

92. Ibid., p. 374. For text of petition, see infra, pp. lxxxii-lxxxiv.

93. Harl. Miscellany, vol. vii p. 618.

94. Infra, p. lxxxiv.

95. State Papers, Dom. Inter., i. 76, p. 374.

96. State Papers, Dom. Inter., i. 76, p. 375.

97. Ibid., pp. 378–379. For text of Circular see infra, p. lxxxiv.

98. Publick Intelligencer, December 10, 1655.

99. The list of members is given in State Papers, Dom. Inter., i. 76, p. 378.

100. Publick Intelligencer, loc. cit.

101. [Henry Jessey.] “A Narrative of the late Proceedings at Whitehall Concerning the Jews, &c.,” Harl. Misc., vii. p. 623. See also Burton (pseud. i.e. Nathaniel Crouch), Judæorum Memorabilia.

102. Ibid.

103. That the Judges’ decision was given at the first meeting of the Conference is clear from a statement made by Nye to Prynne on the morning of the second meeting (“Short Demurrer,” p. 4).

104. Publick Intelligencer, loc. cit.

105. Ibid.

106. Judæorum Memorabilia, p. 170.

107. Barlow, “Several Miscellaneous and Weighty Cases of Conscience” (1692), Fifth Treatise. See also p. 1 of the Bookseller’s Preface. Rev. S. Levy believes (Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., iii. p. 152) that this opinion was drawn up at the request of Robert Boyle. This is improbable, as it is clear from the resemblances between Barlow’s recommendations and the report ultimately drawn up by the Committee of the Council (infra, p. lxxxiv), that the opinion was submitted to the Whitehall Conference, and Boyle was not a member of that body. Goodwin, who was President of Magdalen College, is much more likely to have asked Barlow for the opinion, especially as we know that he was in favour of “due cautions” (Jud. Mem., p. 174).

108. Jud. Mem., p. 174.

109. Ibid., pp. 170, 175.

110. State Papers, Dom. Inter., i. 76 (1655), p. 412.

111. This is shown by two letters in the Domestic State Papers (see Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. i. p. 46).

112. Thurloe State Papers, vol. iv. p. 321.

113. Publick Intelligencer, loc. cit.

114. Spence’s “Anecdotes,” p. 77.

115. “A Short Demurrer,” Part I. The publication of the pamphlet was hurried to be in time for the Conference. It was written in seven days, and the preface is dated December 14, four days before the last meeting (cf. Preface to “Second Demurrer,” 1656).

116. Jud. Memor., p. 175; Burton, “Diary,” p. 309.

117. Burton, loc. cit.

118. Burton, loc. cit.

119. “Life of Henry Jessey,” pp. 67–68.

120. That Cromwell’s interposition took place under these circumstances is an inference of the present writer’s. The statements in Jessey’s “Life” clearly point to this conclusion.

121. These fragments of Cromwell’s speech are gathered from Jessey’s “Narrative,” Crouch’s Judæorum Memorabilia, pp. 175–176, and Spence’s “Anecdotes,” p. 77.

122. Testimony by Rycaut, who was present in the crowd (Spence’s “Anecdotes,” p. 77).

123. Writing to Henry Cromwell about the Conference a week later, Thurloe says, “I doe assure you that his highness is put to exercise every day with the peevishness and wroth of some persons heere” (State Papers, vol. iv. p. 343).

124. Cf. Conditions, ii., iii., iv., v., ix., xi., and xvii., in Barlow, “The Care of the Jews,” pp. 67, 68, 70, 71, and 73.

125. Infra, p. lxxxiv-lxxxv.

126. In the Calendar of State Papers, Dom. (1655–1656), p. 15, it is hypothetically dated November 13, the day on which Menasseh’s proposals were referred to the Committee. This date is absolutely impossible, as the Committee could not have ascertained the views it reported to the Council in the course of a single afternoon. If it was not drawn up on the 15th, it could not have been drawn up until the Conference was over, as the Conference was specifically summoned to advise the Committee.

127. I have to thank Dr. Gardiner for this ingenious conjecture. It entirely accords with all the known facts.

128. Edit. Bohn, vol. i. p. 327.

129. Supra, p. xvii.

130. Guildhall Archives. Remembrancia, vol. ix. No. 44, pp. 1–18. I printed the text of this petition in full in the Jewish Chronicle, November 15, 1899.

131. These grants are mentioned in a Jewish petition subsequently presented to Cromwell (infra, pp. lxxxv-lxxxvi).

132. Gardiner, “Hist. of the Commonwealth,” vol. i. pp. 396–97.

133. Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, vol. x. p. 122.

134. Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1655–56, p. 82.

135. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962. In a despatch dated January 14, Salvetti refers to the Jewish question, but makes no mention of the arrangement respecting divine worship. On the same date, too, the well-informed Dutch ambassador, Nieupoort, informed the States-General that it was generally understood that the Lord Protector would take no further steps (Thurloe State Papers, vol. iv. p. 328). It would seem, then, that the transaction took place between the 14th and the 28th January.

136. Ibid.

137. State Papers, Domestic. Interregnum, cxxv., No. 38, i. 76, p. 604; i. 112, p. 289; cxxvi., No. 105.

138. Ibid., cxxvi., No. 105, iv.

139. Ibid., cxxvi., No. 105.

140. Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. i. p. 63.

141. State Papers, Dom. Interregnum, cxxv., 58. Infra, p. lxxxv.

142. See endorsement of the petition. Infra, p. lxxxvi.

143. Infra, p. 107. The hypothesis that John Sadler was the author of the letter which gave rise to the Vindiciæ Judæorum is based on the facts that he was at the time the go-between in the negotiations with Cromwell, that he was an intimate friend of Menasseh, and that he had already given some thought to the blood accusation and other charges against the Jews (“Rights of the Kingdom,” p. 74).

144. State Papers, Dom. Inter., i. 77, April 1, 1656; cxxvi., No. 105, xi.

145. Carlyle, “Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches,” vol. ii. p. 161.

146. State Papers, Dom. Inter., cxxvi., No. 105, i.; i. 77, No. 11.

147. State Papers, Dom. Inter., cxxvi., No. 105, ii. and iii. Most of the documents in the Robles case have been printed as an appendix to my paper on “Crypto-Jews under the Commonwealth” (Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. i. pp. 76–86).

148. Ibid., cxxvi., No. 105, vi.

149. State Papers, Dom. Inter., i. 77, pp. 44, 78; cxxvii., 21, 40; i. 77, No. 19.

150. There is a tradition in the synagogues that written privileges were granted, and this conforms with all the other evidence relating to the campaign. The disappearance of these documents is not surprising, as many of the older documents belonging to the Sephardi congregation in London passed into private hands. Moreover, after the Restoration the congregations would naturally wish to destroy all evidence of their negotiations with the Protector. It is probable that these documents are referred to in the State Papers, where mention is made of “a Jew living in London who has produced great testimonies under the hand of the late Lord Protector.” (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1659–60, p. 291.)

151. “Tracts on Liberty of Conscience” (Hanserd Knollys Soc.), p. 240.

152. See Endorsement of Petition, infra, p. lxxxvi.

153. A similar course had been taken with regard to Protestant refugees in the city on November 13, 1655. (Guildhall Archives: Rep. lxiv. fol. 8b.)

154. Some of these restrictions are clearly indicated by Menasseh’s disappointment at the settlement. The prohibition of proselytising has always been remembered as one of the conditions of the Readmission, and it was religiously observed until the Rabbinate of the present ecclesiastical chief of the Anglo-Jewish community. In 1752, when certain Ashkenazi Jews were making proselytes in London, the Parnassim of the Portuguese synagogue wrote to the authorities of the German congregation, calling their attention to this condition, and the proselytisers were ordered to desist from “pursuing such unlawful practices.” In 1760 a Jew was expelled from the synagogue and deprived of his burial rights for this offence. (Minute Books of the Duke’s Place Synagogue, 1752, 1760.)

155. Violet, “The Petition Against the Jews” (1661), p. 2: “Cromwell and his Council did give a toleration and dispensation to a great number of Jews to come and live here in London, and to this day they do keep public worship in the City of London, to the great dishonour of Christianity and public scandal of the true Protestant religion.”

156. Abstract of lease in Jewish Chronicle, November 26, 1880, communicated by Mr. Israel Davis.

157. Guildhall Archives, Rep. lxxiii. fol. 213.

158. Menasseh had assured Nieupoort that he did “not desire anything for the Jews in Holland” (Thurloe, iv. p. 333). The negotiations with Charles II. are recorded in Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 4106, fol. 253.

159. Infra, p. lxxxvi.

160. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., viii. pp. 94–95. Fifth Rep. of Dep. Keeper of Public Records, App. ii. p. 253.

161. Infra, p. lxxxviii.

162. Ibid., p. lxxxvii.

163. Ibid. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., viii. p. 95.

164. Compare frontispiece with portrait at p. 105.

165. Kayserling, “Menasseh ben Israel.” (Misc. of Hebrew Literature, Series ii. pp. 68, 93.)

166. For the condition of the Ashkenazi Jews at this epoch see Graetz’s Geschichte, vol. x. pp. 52–82.

167. [Richard Baker], “The Marchants Humble Petition and Remonstrance” (London, 1659). p. 17.

168. Guildhall Archives: Remembrancia, vol. ix. No. 44, pp. 1–18.

169. Violet, “A Petition against the Jews” (London, 1661).

170. State Papers, Dom., Charles II., vol. xxi. p. 140.

171. “Petition,” p. 2.

172. Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc., vol. i. pp. 71, 74–75.

173. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 4106, f. 253.

174. Journal of the House of Commons, December 17, 1660.

175. State Papers, Dom., Chas. II., Entry Book xviii. (1664), fol. 79.

176. The text of these orders in Council has been printed by Webb, “The Question whether a Jew may hold Lands” (Lond., 1753), pp. 38–40.

177. Some of these patents are printed by Webb in an appendix to “The Question,” pp. 17–19. For Coronel’s knighthood see Le Neve’s “Pedigrees of Knights,” Harl. Soc. Pub. (1869).

178. Wolf, “Jewish Emancipation in the City” (Jew. Chron., November 30, 1894).

179. Child, “A New Discourse of Trade” (Lond., 1668), p. 5.

180. Wolf, “Jewish Emancipation,” loc. cit.

181. Dr. Gardiner has suggested to me, and I agree, that this paragraph is not a recommendation, but the thesis of the report. It is the text of the “reference” to the Sub-Committee by the Council, and the succeeding paragraphs constitute the report upon it. See supra, p. xlv.

  1. P. xiv, changed "almost immediataly after" to "almost immediately after".
  2. P. xlii, changed "among it signatories" to "among its signatories".
  3. P. lxxv, "which caunot be" to "which cannot be".
  4. P. lxxxv, changed “from uisnge or applyinge” to “from usinge or applyinge”.
  5. P. 6, changed “veiwed those Countryes” to “viewed those Countryes”.
  6. P. 26, changed "aud when he" to "and when he".
  7. P. 36, changed "Our ancient Rabinsin" to "Our ancient Rabins in".
  8. P. 37, chaanged "the paticle (ion)" to "the particle (ion)".
  9. P. 43, changed "as Ekekiel, and" to "as Ezekiel, and".
  10. P. 100, changed "every on should gain" to "every one should gain".
  11. P. 101, changed "6 par Cent" to "6 per Cent".
  12. P. 111, changed "Sauls sons" to "Saul’s sons".
  13. P. 122, changed "Nehemias, cap. 8.6." to "Nehemias, chap. 8.6.".
  14. P. 127, changed "certain fugive Iew" to "certain fugitive Iew".
  15. P. 135, changed "or blaspeeme those" to "or blaspheme those".
  16. P. 136, changed "thouh that was" to "though that was".
  17. P. 176, changed "Pontificus Latine, 147 De disciplinus" to "Pontificios Latine, 147 De disciplinis".
  18. P. 176, changed "Drucker, Mordechai ben" to "Drucker, Mardochai ben".
  19. P. 176, changed “author of Gangrena” to “author of Gangræna”.
  20. P. 177, changed "Eurgetes, Ptolomy" to "Euergetes, Ptolomy".
  21. P. 177, changed "Finicus, Marcilius" to "Ficinus, Marcilius".
  22. P. 178, changed "Geographie du Talmud" to "Géographie du Talmud".
  23. P. 178, changed "Glory of Jehudah" to "Glory of Iehudah".
  24. P. 180, changed "dominions at an" to "dominions as an".
  25. P. 181, changed "Jurnin" to "Iurnin".
  26. P. 181, changed "Kalicout" to "Kalikout".
  27. P. 181, changed "Lacto, de" to "Laet, de".
  28. P. 181, changed "Leon, Pedro Cieçade" to "Leon, Pedro Cieça".
  29. P. 181, changed "Loet, cited" to "Loeb, cited".
  30. P. 182, changed "of Elias Montalbo" to "of Elias Montalto".
  31. P. 182, changed "Luxa" to "Laxa".
  32. P. 182, changed "Marianus, cited" to "Marinus, cited".
  33. P. 182, changed "Marracco, King of" to "Maracco, King of".
  34. P. 183, changed "Diogo Pires" to "Diego Pires".
  35. P. 185, changed "Ornstein, Rev. A. F." to "Ornstien, Rev. A. F."
  36. P. 186, changed "Porarius" to "Pomarius".
  37. P. 186, changed "Procopius, cited" to "Procopious, cited".
  38. P. 186, changed "Psuedo-Messiah, Bar" to "Pseudo-Messiah, Bar".
  39. P. 186, changed "Ragusa = Aragusa" to "Ragusa = Araguza".
  40. P. 187, changed "Rodriques, Don Daniel" to "Rodrigues, Don Daniel".
  41. P. 187, changed "Salamanque, Synagogues of" to "Salaminque, Synagogues of".
  42. P. 188, changed "Sasal, Prince of" to "Sasol, Prince of".
  43. P. 188, changed "Schemtob de Leon" to "Shemtob de Leon".
  44. P. 188, changed "Sepher Eldad Danita" to "Sephar Eldad Danita".
  45. P. 188, changed "Sisbuthus, the end" to "Sisibuthus, the end".
  46. P. 188, changed "De Quieros enters" to "De Queiros enters".
  47. P. 189, changed "Thesoro de los dinim" to "Thesoro de los dirim".
  48. P. 189, changed "Tiglath-Pileser" to "Tiglah-Pileser".
  49. P. 190, changed "Trask" to "Thrask".
  50. P. 190, changed "Villepende, Marquis de" to "Villependi, Marquis de".
  51. P. 190, changed "Viterbo, Cardinal Egidio" to "Viterbe, Cardinal Egidio".
  52. All other spelling errors were uncorrected.
  53. Footnotes have been re-indexed using numbers and collected together at the end of the last chapter.

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