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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

Before which the Messiah was to have come


all the obloquy and contempt cast upon his race, amid all the persecutions to which it has been exposed, the Jew, with his inherent conceit in having Abraham for his father, falls back upon the history of his nation, with the utmost contempt for everything else that is human; forgetting that there is such a thing as the "first being last." He boasts that his race, and his only, is eternal, and that all other men get everything from _him_! He vainly imagines that the Majesty of Heaven should have made his dispensations to mankind conditional upon anything so unworthy as his race has so frequently shown itself to be. If he has been so favoured by God, what can he point to as the fruits of so much loving-kindness shown him? What is his nation now, however numerous it may be, but a ruin, and its members, but spectres that haunt it? And what has brought it to its present condition? "Its sins." Doubtless, its sins; but what particular sins? And how are these sins to be put away, seeing that the temple, the high-priesthood, and the sacrifices no longer exist? Or what effort, by such means as offer, has ever been made to mitigate the wrath of God, and prevail upon Him to restore the people to their exalted privileges? Or what could they even propose doing, to bring about that event? Questions like these involve the Jewish mind in a labyrinth of difficulties, from which it cannot extricate itself. The dispersion was not only foretold, but the cause of it given. The Scriptures declare that
the Messiah was to have appeared before the destruction of the temple; and the time of his expected advent, according to Jewish traditions, coincided with that event. It is eighteen centuries since the destruction of the temple, before which the Messiah was to have come; and the Jew still "hopes against hope," and, if it is left to himself, will do so till the day of judgment, for such a Messiah as his earthly mind seems to be only capable of contemplating. Has he never read the New Testament, and reflected on the sufferings of him who was meek and lowly, or on those of his disciples, inflicted by his ancestors, for generations, when he has come complaining of the sufferings to which his race has been exposed? He is entitled to sympathy, for all the cruelties with which his race has been visited; but he could ask it with infinitely greater grace, were he to offer any for the sufferings of the early Christians and their divine master, or were he, even, to tolerate any of his race following him to-day.

What has the Jew got to say to all this? He cannot now say that his main comfort and support, in his unbelief, consists in his contemplating what he vainly calls a miracle, wrapt up in the history of his people, since the dispersion. That prop and comfort are gone. No, O Jew! the true miracle, if miracle there is, is your impenitent unbelief. No one asks you to disbelieve in Moses, but, in addition to believing in Moses, to believe in him of whom Moses wrote. Do you really believe in Moses? You, doubtless, believe after a sort; you believe in Moses, as any other person believes in the history of his own country and people; but your belief in Moses goes little further. You glory in the antiquity of your race, and imagine that every other has perished. No, O Jew! the "mixed multitude" which left Egypt, under Moses, separated from him, and passed into India, has come up, in these latter times, again to vex you. Even it is entering, it may be, pressing, into the Kingdom of God, and leaving you out of it. Yes! the people from the "hedges and by-ways" are submitting to the authority of the true Messiah; while you, in your infatuated blindness, are denying him.

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