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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

And that the existence of the Jews


It

is the Christian who should be the most ready to take up and do justice to this subject; for he will find in it a very singular work of Providence--the most striking phenomenon in the history of man. In Europe, the race has existed, in an unacknowledged state, for a greater length of time than the Jews dwelt in Egypt. And it is time that it should be introduced to the family of mankind, in its aspect of historical development; embracing, as in Scotland, members ranging from what are popularly understood to be Gipsies, to those filling the first positions in Christian and social society. After perusing the present work, the reader will naturally pass on to reconsider the subject of the Jews; and he will perceive that, instead of its being a miracle by which the Jews have existed since the dispersion, it would have been a miracle had they been lost among the families of mankind. It is quite sufficient for the Christian to know that the Jews now exist, and that they have fulfilled, and will yet fulfill, the prophecies that have been delivered in regard to them, without holding that any miracle has been wrought for that end. A Christian ought to be more considerate in his estimate of what a miracle is: he ought to know that a miracle is something that is contrary to natural laws; and that the existence of the Jews, since the dispersion, is in exact harmony with every natural law. He should not maintain that it is a miracle, for nothing having the decent appearance of an argument can
be advanced in support of any such theory; and far less should he, with his eyes open, do what the writer on the Christian Evidences, alluded to, (page 459,) did, with his shut--gamble away both law and gospel.[327] He might give his attention, however, to a prophecy of Moses, quoted by St. Paul, in Rom. x. 19, from Deut. xxxii. 21, wherein it is said of the Jews: "I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you;" and lend his assistance towards its fulfillment.[328] The subject of the Gipsies is certainly calculated to do all that the prophet said would happen to the Jews; if Christians will only do their duty to them, and, by playing them off against the Jews, _provoke_ and _anger_ Israel beyond measure. That the Jews have existed, since the dispersion, by the Providence of God, is what can be said of any other people, and more especially of the Gipsies for the last four centuries and a half in Europe. It is as natural for the Gipsies to exist in their scattered state, as for other nations by the laws that preserve their identity; and although their history may be termed remarkable, it is in no sense of the word miraculous, notwithstanding the superstitious ideas held by many of the Gipsies on that head, in common with the Jews regarding their history. A thousand years hence the Gipsies will be found existing in the world; for, as a people, they cannot die out; and the very want of a religion peculiar to themselves is one of the means that will contribute to that end.[329] It is the Christian who should endeavour to have the prejudice against the name of Gipsy removed, so that every one of the race should freely own his blood to the other, and make it the basis of a kindly feeling, and a bond of brotherhood, all around the world.


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