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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

This is the kind of Messiah which the Jew should contemplate


present, the few Christian Jews find no others of their race with whom to form associations as a community; so that, to all intents and purposes, they feel as if they were a sort of outcasts, despised and hated by those of their own race, and separated from the other inhabitants by a natural law, over which neither have any control, however much they may associate with, and respect, each other. It requires a very powerful moral influence to constrain a Jew in embracing the Christian faith--almost nothing short of divine grace; and sometimes a very powerful immoral one in professing it--that which peculiarly characterizes Jews--the love of money. Were a community of Christian Jews firmly established, among whom were observed every tittle of the Jewish ceremonial, excepting such as the dispensation of Christ had positively abolished; or even observing most of that, (circumcision, for example,) as merely characteristic of a people, without attaching to it the meaning of a service recommending themselves, in any way, to the mercy of God; and many Jews would doubtless join such a society. They could believe in Christ as their Messiah--as their prophet, priest, and king; receive baptism in His name; and depend on Him for a place of happiness in a future state of existence. To such, the injunction, as declared by St. Paul, is: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans x.
9.) And when they contemplate death, they might lay their heads down in peace, with the further assurance, as also declared by St. Paul: "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." (I Thess. iv. 14.) This is the kind of Messiah which the Jew should contemplate, and seek after. He will find his conception and birth more particularly recorded in the two first, and his death, resurrection, and ascension, more fully detailed in the two last, chapters of the Gospel according to St. Luke. A person would naturally think that a Jew would have the natural curiosity to read this wonderful book called the "New Testament;" since, at its very lowest estimate, it is, with the exception of the writings of St. Luke, altogether a production of people of his own nation. Among the Jews, there are not a few who believe in Christ, yet, more or less, appear at the synagogue. They have no objections to become "spectacles to angels;" but they are not willing to make themselves such to men, by placing themselves in that isolated position which a public profession of Christianity would necessarily lead to. But, all things considered, one is rather apt to fall into Utopian ideas in speaking of the conversion of Jews, as a body, or even as individuals, unless the grace of God, in an especial degree, accompanies the means to that end.

It is no elevated regard for the laws of Moses, or any exalted sense of the principles contained in the Old Testament, that leads a Jew to lend a deaf ear to the claims of Christianity; for his respect for them has always been indifferent, even contemptible,

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