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• coraplifhment, of misrepresenting truth and disseminating error."
In the Preface Mr. C. says, "Dr. Clarke conveys to his readers the clearest instructions on the fundamental articles of Grace, Faith, the Atonement; and that he has endeavoured to comprize in this selection the best both of practical and doctrinal sermons contained in ten volumes, consisting of no fewer than one hundred and ninety one discourses." Dr. Clarke, it is well known, was a semi-arian, on which account his. writings are less acceptable to the Orthodox reader, Mr. Clapham has judiciously obviated this objection; for he hats, in a few inltances, made the Dr. speak a language very different from himself. "It may be proper," he says, "to acquaint the reader, that I have, in a few instances, changed the expression of the author; my conviction forbidding me to become the instrument of promulgating a doctrine derogatory to the character and dignity of the Son of God, and the Spirit of Truth."
This volume is well adapted to answer the ends the editor had in view. It will attach men more strongly to the church; it will enable them, if it be read with common attention, to comprehend the doctrines of the Gospel with more clearness; and it exposes, with full conviction, the fallacy.of the dogmas, as well as those inculcated in the conventicle, as those in the church by the evangelical preachers. The Sermons which Mr. C. has selected are on the most interesting subjects, as, Of the Number of those which shall be saved.—Of being the children of God.—Who are the true Church of God.—Of Ele&ion and Reprobation.—The Wisdom of God in the Redemption of Man.—0f Religious Melancholy.—Of the Liberty of Moral Agents.—The knowledge of Sin is by the Law.—That true Christians are free from all habits of Sin, &c. &c.
Mr. Clapham has comprised the marrow and essence of Dr. Clarke's works in this selection, by which he has, in our judgment, done a most acceptable service to the church, in making discourses which were very generally neglected, at once instructive and popular. We recommend this volume as a proper companion to Mr. C's Abridgment of the bishop of Lincoln's Elements of Christian Theology.
In our next Magazine, we shall give a critique on Mr. C's sermon preached at the Visitation of Southampton, on the subject of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
Transactions of the Parisian Sanhedrim, or Ails of the Asfcmbly of lfratUtifk Deputies of France and Italy, convokea at Paris by an Imperial and Royal Decree, Dated May go, 1806. Translated from the original published by M. Dtogene Tama, with a Preface and illustrative Notes. By F. D. Kikwak, Esq. 8yo. 334 pp. is. Taylor.
THE circumstance of a general assembly of the Jews having been convened at Paris, naturally excited universal attention, particularly among those who regard that people as providentially preserved amidst the wrecks of nations for purposes corresponding wkh the dictates of antient prophecy. The ostensible design of this meeting, wad, indeed, nothing more than to correct some abuses said to be prafcliscd by the Jews, and to obtain distinct answers to certain questions, relative to particular laws and customs among them. But, as the ingenious translator of this volume judiciously observes, " these questions are mostly of a nuga-. tory nature, and such a.s might have been easily answered, without any recourse to a Jewish assembly: others are evidently captious; and it is not without a mptive, although not a very obvious one, that such a stress has been laid on the obligation of defending the country, and on the organization of the Rabbinica| body."
That the present ruler of France has a much more extensive plan in View with regard to these people, is evident from the discourse addressed by his commissioner to the Jewish deputies.
"The purity of your law" says he "has no doubt, been altered by the crowd of commentators, and the diversity of their opinions must have thrown doubts in the minds of those who read them. Jt will be then a most important service, conferred on tbe whole Jewish community, to fix their belief on those points which have been submitted to'you. To find, in the history of Israel, an assembly capable of attainingthe object now iri view, we must g6 back to the Great Sanhedrim, and it is the Great Sanhedrim, which his majesty this day intends to convene. This senate, destroyed together with the temple, will rise again lo enlighten the people it formerly governed: although dispersed throughout the whole world, it will bring back the Jews to the true meaning of the law, by giving interpretations, which shall set aside the corrupted glosses of commentators; it will teach them to love and to defend the country they inhabit; it will convince them that the land, where,
for the first time since their dispersion, they have been able to raise their voice, is intitled to all those sentiments, which rendered their ancient country so dear to them."
Who fees ridt in this partial developement of the plan, a ./lefign of greater magnitude than the establishment of particular regulations for the civil government and improvement of a separated body of men? It is not to the Jews of France and Italy alone that the new order of things, whatever that may be, is intended to apply; but all the descendants of Israel even "those in hostile countries" are»invited by circular letters to give their assistance to the Great Sanhedrim. The language made use of for this purpose deserves observation.
"Be not deaf to our voice, dear Brethren! Select among you men known by their wisdom, the friends of truth aud of justice, and able to assist us in the completion of this great work. Send them to take their places among us, that their wise and enlightened yiews may conduce to general advantage.
"It must be a pleasing task to all the Israelites of Europe to concur in the regeaertuion of their brethren, as it must be glorious for us in particular, to have fixed the attentipn of an illustrious sovereign."
Here is marked plainly enough some design of a great change which is to affect the Jews at large, and not merely any particular regulation for those who live under the domination of Buonaparte. The most superficial and prejudiced reader of this volume will fee that the Sanhedrim, as it is called, is nothing more than an engine formed by the sanguinary usurper for some high object of his ambition. Now his views with regard to the East have never been concealed; and though he has been hitherto baffled and covered with disgrace in that quarter, it is well known that a settlement in
Egypt is one of the favourite projects of his rapacious mind.
Here we shall quote the remarks of the ingenious translator.
"The Jewish deputies say, that Buonaparte conceived the idea. of their regeneration, or their political redemption in the land of fegypt, and on the banks of the Jordan. This we doubt notj and though we are almost ashamed to hazard the extravagant supposition, we feel a conviction that his gigantic mind entertains the idea of re-establishing them in Palestine, and that this forms a pars of bis plan, respecting Egypt, which he is well known never to have abandoned.
t "tilo one will contend that this idea is too wild for hisopn«pVion;jtJB, pty|he.contrary, perfectly consonant with his love fy; .extraordinary, dazzling enterprizes; he acts in this even with snore thaa his usual foresight, by attempting to prepare the Jews
for for the new situation he intends for them. It is with this view that he encourages them to follow these professions which are necessary for men forming a distinct nation in a land of their own; for certainly, a body wholly comprised of merchants and traders could never exist as such.
"So far from blending the Jews with their fellow-citizens, the regulations forced upon them in this assembly, prove that the intention of Buonaparte was to separate them more than ever from the rest of Frenchmen'"
"This will be evident" says Mr. Kirwan "on a mere perusal of them. It will be seen that the Israelites have separate elective assemblies, separate constitutions, and a seperate police, exercised by their own Rabbies, who are to inforce military service among them, keep an exact account of their members, and even interfere in their private concerns. In this they are indeed under the hand of government, but they are totally secluded from the mass of the people. Their actual strength, their several occupations, will bo known accurately; they may be ready at a moment's warning.
"These regulations have another remarkable feature, common to all the recent politico-religious conceptions of the French government. The Rabbies are by them set as spies over the Jews, like the ministers of the Roman Catholic religion over the rest of Frenchmen. Nor does this part of the plan stop here; by means of the close union existing between the several Jewish communities scattered over Europe, the French ruler Hopes to extend the system far and wide. Already deputies of all the synagogues have been invited to Paris, to assist at the Great Sanhedrim. An uniformity of doctrine will connect thenl more closely wtih those among the French Jews who are devoted to Buonaparte."
Whether this last opinion be correct, time must (hew. The transactions of the first assembly previous to the meeting of the Great Sanhedrim, are given in detail in the volume before us, and therein we perceive a uniformity, lamentable enough; and that is "a uniformity in blasphemous adulation."
On the birth-day of the usurper, this assembly of Jew* went in procession to their Great Synagogue, where "The cyphers of Napoleon and of Josephine were prophanely blended with the unutterable name of Jehovah, and the Imperial eag'le was placed over the sacred Ark!"
In all the speeches of the deputies the most fulsome and impious flattery to the tyrant prevails; and in the sermons, as they are called, delivered by the Rabbies on the above day, those sublime passages of • Steripture which relate only to the Messiah are without scruple applied to Napoleon. The first of these ontort hat thus daringly profaned the pift« in Daniel; ** I saw 1* the tight xnfiens, mmiUrnddam^ hie the Son of Man, came, and there was given him dominie*, and glory, and a kingdom," Rabbi Segre illustrates this prophecy by an enumeration of the victories and laurels of Buonaparte, and then exclaims "A supernatural genius has really appeared on earth, surrounded with greatness and with glory infinite!"
Rabbi Zinzfaeimer. a German from Strasbourg, went even beyond this, andno: only applied Daniel's prophecy directly to Napoleon, but also that of Isaiah: "Behold my servant wh cm I uphold, mine ele3 in whom my soul dehghteih: I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment on the Gentiles; he shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have set judgment in the earth, and the iflesshall wait for his law. I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thint hand, and will keep thee, and will give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles." (Isaiah xliu)
Should the Great Sanhedrim follow the example set by this assembly, we shall not wonder at their openly acknow. ledging Buonaparte as their Messiah
There seems a preparation for this in the answer given by the deputies to the sixth question, by which the French Jews acknowledge France as their country, without any restriction whatever. "This" observes the translator, " is a still more heinous dereliction of the tenets of the Mosaic law; for they give up, by it, the hope of the expected Messiah, and of the everlasting possession of the promised land of Canaan, which they deem a part of the sacred covenant between God and bis chosen people."
That this is a gross apostacy we admit, but it does not amount to an abandonment of their expectation. On the contrary, it seems as if these men were prepared to acknowlege the French despot as their leader, and are ready to submit themselves to any of his decrees concerning them, even though the fame ssiould overturn some of the principles and usages hitherto held sacred by their nation. When men have degraded themselves to such a state as these Jews have done, there is no act of impiety or extravagant lervflity which they will have any scruple to perform.
Among the parallel circumstances which have distinguished the interregnum in England, and the period of the French revolution, the proceedings of these Jews at Paris are not
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Vol. XIII. Churchm< Mag. for Sep. 1807. >