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destroy that nation. For notwithstanding the joint persecutions of Christians and Idolators, who designed their ruin, they are still in being." And may I not with the fullest confidence add, that had not God pledged to them his protection, they must, even the whole race of them, long ere this, have been exterminated from the face of the globe. Well may we exclaim in the language of Basnage, "What a marvellous thing it is, that after so many wars, battles, and sieges; after so many rebellions, massacres and persecutions; after so many years of captivity, slavery and misery, they are not destroyed utterly; and though scattered among all people, yet subsist as a distinct people by themselves: where is there any thing comparable to this to be found in all the histories, and in all the nations under the sun ?"
After announcing to them the prophecy, that they should be "scattered among all nations," Moses proceeds to tell them, Deut. xxviii. 64–66—“And there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind. And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life."
Here Moses predicts that they should serve other gods, which were unknown to them or their fathers, 66 even wood and stone." This prediction has been exactly fulfilled, during their last, long and oppressive captivity; for the Jews of Spain, and other Catholic countries, have been compelled to submit to the idolatrous rites of the church of Rome, and bow down to stocks and stones, to prevent having their property confiscated and their persons murdered by the Inquisition. This, according to Levi's dissertations upon the prophecies, (vol. i. page 18.) was the cause which led multitudes to apostatize from the Jewish religion and adopt the forms and worship of the church of Rome, with all the adoration which was paid to senseless images.
Again, Moses tells them that they shall find no ease, neither rest for the soles of their feet. On this clause, it is prop
er to remark, that the prediction has been abundantly verified for they have suffered banishment from place to place, and from country to country, so often, that they have constantly hung in doubt respecting any permanent location. In some places, they have been banished, then recalled, and then banished again. According to Basnage, they were banished from England about the close of the thirteenth century, and were not permitted to return again till the reign of Charles the Second, or the days of Oliver Cromwell. Near the close of the fifteenth century, they were banished from Spain, by Ferdinand and Isabella: and according to Mariana, there were 70,000 families, or about 800,000 persons, who left Spain in consequence of this edict. These Jews were received in Portugal, by John II. who made them pay dearly for a refuge. By Emanuel, his successor, they were shortly after banished. This prince shamefully violated his faith and outraged every principle of humanity by depriving them of the privilege of carrying their children with them, which were under fourteen years of age. This reduced the Jews to such a state of despair, that some of them killed themselves, and others became the executioners of their own children.
With the prophetic vision of these inhuman oppressions, well might Moses declare, Deut. xxviii. 29, 32. "that they should be oppressed and spoiled evermore, and that their sons and daughters should be given to another people." These predictions have been fulfilled in several countries, but more especially in Spain and Portugal, where they were very numerous in former ages. Here their children were taken from them by order of government, that they might be educated in conformity with the Roman Catholic creed. The fourth council of Toledo, in Spain, ordered that all the Jewish children should be taken from their parents and shut up in monasteries to be instructed in what was then termed the christian truths.
Their oppressions of which mention is made in this prophecy, have been without a parallel in the history of all nations. How often has their valuable property been seized, and their coffers drained, to supply the necessities of the state, or to pamper the luxury and extravagance of a British prince. They have been fined and fleeced by
different governments, and forced to redeem their wretched lives by extravagant sums of money, extorted from them by the most cruel sufferings! Kennet, the English historian, says that Henry III." always polled the Jews at every low ebb of his fortunes. One Abraham, who was found delinquent, was forced to pay seven hundred marks for his ransom. Aaron, another Jew, protested that the king had taken from him at times, thirty thousand marks of silver, and two hundred marks of gold, which he had presented to the queen."
Another respectable historian* informs us, that in the year 1240, the king attempted to fleece the Jews to the That he "commanded all the Jews of both sexes throughout England, to be imprisoned, till they would make a discovery of their wealth; which he appointed officers to receive in every county, and return to his Exchequer. Many of them, no doubt, pleaded poverty, or pretended to have given up all but as the tyrant was in earnest to have their last farthing, he extorted it by the most cruel torments."
Stow asserts that the generality of these sufferers had one eye put out: while Matthew Paris informs his readers that from a single individual Jew at Bristol, the king demanded no less than ten thousand marks of silver. This was resolutely denied, and the king ordered that one of his large teeth should be extracted daily, till he complied with the demand. He had the courage to sustain seven opperations, when his sufferings overcame his resolution, and he ransomed the remainder of his teeth by the sum demanded. Thus, at every step we advance, we behold new demonstrations of the fulfilment of the prophecies of Moses.
In the 34th verse of the chapter from which we have quoted these predictions, Moses declares to the Jews,"Thou shall be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see." And my Brethren, we have already seen, to what desperation the Jews were reduced, when their children were torn from their embraces, and themselves compelled to wander in cruel banishment In their madness and frenzy they have destroyed their wives, their children, and their own lives! Josephus informs us that after the
* See Anglia Judaica, page 70.
destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army, some of the Jews retired for refuge to the castle of Nasada; and be• ing closely besieged by the conquerers, they were persuaded by their leader (Eleazer,) first to murder their wives and children and that they then chose ten men by lot to slay all the rest and when this was accomplished, they appointed one of the ten to kill the other nine in like manWhen he had performed his bloody deed, he finished the tragedy by stabbing himself!-This historian tells us, that nine hundred and sixty perished in this awful manner. Nor is this a solitary instance of such phrenzy and madness for in the reign of Richard I. the populace rose in arms to make a general massacre of the Jews. About fifteen hundred of them, according to Basnage, retired into York castle, where they were closely besieged. They offered to capitulate, and ransom their lives with money. Their offer was refused; when one of them, in the madness of despair, cried "it is better to die courageously for the law, than to fall into the hands of the christians." In this despair each seized his knife and slaughtered his wife and children. The men then retired into the king's palace and set it on fire, and consumed themselves, with the palace and furniture !
I might continue to recite the prophecies of Moses, with the history of their exact and literal fulfilment, till I should swell this discourse to a volume: but I must forbear.Omitting a particular notice of the prophecies which assured them that women should slay and eat their own children, when their walled cities should be closely besieged by their enemies, and its fulfilment in the memorable siege of Jerusalem-the assurance that they should become a proverb and a by-word among all nations, and its extensive and universal fulfilment, even to the present day; as well as numerous other predictions of this celebrated lawgiver; I shall hasten to consider one, and but one more, of the astonishing predictions of Moses.
The prophecy to which I allude, has justly excited the wonder of every reflecting and serious mind, and stands forth as an imperishable monument of the divine inspiration of this prophet. It is recorded in Deut. xxviii. 68. "And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again, in ships; by
the way whereof I spake unto thee, thou shalt see it no more again and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bond-men and bond-women, and no man shall buy you."
How striking is the contrast here presented! But a short time before, they had left Egypt in triumph: but now he tells them that they should again be carried back, not by the way of the wilderness, but in ships, to be sold for slaves, to their ancient enemies, till none should be found to purchase them! This prediction, as strange as it may appear, was literally and fully accomplished: For in the antiquities of the Jews, book xii. and chapter first, Josephus informs us, that "in the reign of the two first Ptolemies, a number of Jews were slaves in Egypt. And when Jerusalem was taken by Titus, he sent many of them captives, who were above seventeen years of age, bound to the works in Egypt those under seventeen, were sold; but so little care was taken of these captives, that eleven thousand of them perished for want. The markets were so overstocked with them, that (as this author tells us elsewhere) the Jews with their wives and children, were sold at the lowest price." After their last overthrow, by Adrian, Josephus informs us that many thousands of them were sold; and those that could not be disposed of at home, were transported in ships to Egypt. Many perished by shipwreck and famine, multitudes were sold as slaves, till no purchasers could be found, and the remainder were massacred by the inhabitants !
Such, my hearers, are the manifest proofs of the prophecies of Moses-prophecies which were uttered more than 3000 years ago, and which stand without a single parallel in the annals of all ages.
The clear and lucid evidence of their minute fulfilment, cannot fail to inspire the candid mind with astonishment, and fill the heart with the most profound reverence for the power, the majesty, and the faithfulness of God. The minuteness with which these prophecies have been fulfilled, has disarmed some of the boldest of skeptics, and enraged the more ignorant and headstrong, who have given vent to their ungenerous spleen and their wounded pride, by unmanly satire and childish ridicule; which has ex