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engage in the popular discussion of the “Evidences.” * It has, to a remarkable degree, the merit of being clear, concise, and complete in its treatment of the subject. Its brevity makes it unavoidably dogmatic, rather than argumentative, which is unsatisfying to the critic,
– its value consisting in its summary of the evidence from a single point of view. We recommend it particularly to those who are disposed to be dogmatists on the other side. As advocating a definite class of opinions, it includes some points critically much weaker than others, — particularly as to the genuineness of the fourth Gospel and the Hebrew prophecies of the Messiah. It would have been possible, without much increasing the bulk, to give a much fairer view of the way the discussion really lies in the mind of the present day. This would have greatly increased its value to an intelligent reader, but would have been inconsistent with its purpose, – of being a convenient text-book, or summary of arguments, on that side only which the writer adopts. And so we find that it has nothing which really interests or helps what we suppose to be the general state of mind among inquirers; namely, a disposition to set aside the whole question of the supernatural, as one on which theologians and critics are hopelessly divided, seeking meanwhile as intelligent a comprehension as may be of the human forces which were really at work in the great historical phenomenon of the development of Christianity. This is the actual problem, as it comes in fact before most minds at the present day; and the manual before us, valuable for other uses, gives us little or nothing to aid in its solution.
WHILE Rabbi Tuska translates for us a few chapters of the great work of Graetz, Rabbi Stobbe, in an original work on the “ Jews of the Middle Age,” † acknowledges his large indebtedness to that master in Jewish learning who teaches history to the Jewish students in Breslau. Herr Stobbe is not a brilliant writer. His style has that ponderous dulness which seems inevitable when a German undertakes to arrange and set forth historical details. There is hardly one bright sentence in all of his closely printed three hundred pages. He
* Manual of the Evidences of Christianity, for Classes and Private Reading. By STEPHEN G. BULFINCH, D.D. Boston: William V. Spencer. Second edition.
† Die Juden in Deutschland waehrend des Mittelalters in politischer, socialer und rechtlicher Beziehung. Von Otto STOBBE. Braunschweig, 1866. 8vo, pp. xii., 312.
never allows his imagination to color his descriptions, and is especially anxious to avoid overstatement. He tells of horrible persecutions, of burnings, banishments, confiscations, plunderings, all the outrages to which his people were subject in those dreadful centuries, as calmly as a military officer would report his losses in battle. There is not a word of vindictive passion, where passion would be so natural and so pardonable. In this respect he varies from the teacher whom he follows so closely. Graetz, accurate as he means to be in his facts, never forgets that he is a Jew, and takes no pains to conceal his Jewish antipathies.
There is a wonderful abundance of learning in this book of Stobbe, in the text, and still more in the copious notes, which fill nearly half of the volume. He shows us the Jews as vassals and as citizens,
- sometimes protected by the kings and dukes, sometimes by the bishops, sometimes by the civil authorities of the aristocratic cities; their different condition and relations in their favorite cities, Mayence, Augsburg, Nuremberg, Ratisbon, Frankfort, Cologne, and Prague ; how protection, in these cities and by the rulers, meant plunder, oppression, enormous taxation, and virtual slavery; how they were despised, scoffed at, abused, and murdered, — sometimes by the mob, sometimes by the solemn sentence of judges and inquisitors; in what narrow limits they were compelled to stay, to what disabilities they were subject, even when they were allowed to live in peace. The imagination of the reader can take these details, and fill up the picture. In this work of Herr Stobbe there is ample material for a score of romances, as exciting as Ivanhoe, or Vivian Grey, or Oliver Twist, or the great romance of Eugene Sue.
The worst times for the Jews in Germany were the times of the Crusades, and the age just preceding the Reformation. The passion against the infidels of the East included the infidels at home, whose money was found convenient in those enterprises of religious conquest and rapine. Those who could not go off to the Syrian land could at least show their zeal in exterminating the hateful race, who were the hereditary enemies of the Lord and his people. A Jew, in those ages, who could save his life and half his goods, had rare good fortune. Of the numerous accusations against the Jews, three were always in place, and had a lease of life as long as the race itself. It was said, that, at the feast of the Passover, they drank the blood of murdered Christian children: that notion still survives in many parts of Europe. It was said, that they caused the plague, by poisoning all the wells of the Christians : that notion, too, stays. And it was said, that they outraged and defiled the sacred wafer, by sprinkling it with blood and beating it in a mortar. No charge against them was too frivolous or too foolish to be believed.
It is wonderful that, through so many persecutions, the race should have continued to grow and thrive, to lay up goods and money, illustrating always the proverb, “ as rich as a Jew,” making itself essential to the prosperity and progress and good order of the states and cities that dealt with it so harshly and ungratefully. Stobbe is not unwilling to admit, that some of the Popes were more humane than their Christian subjects in the treatment of the unfortunate Hebrews, and that some of the kings guaranteed rights to a people who had no rights that Christians were bound to respect. They came back to the cities from which they were driven out; and, excepting the city of Nuremberg, there was hardly any important city from which they were finally banished. In an appendix to Stobbe's work, is a curious chapter on the “Privileges” of the Jews, a gleam of light in the prevailing darkness. In the thirteenth century, the Dukes of Austria and the Emperors of Germany were disposed almost to favor Israel at the expense of their Christian vassals. There are thirty-one items in the list of favors which Duke Frederic of Austria grants to the Jews in his dominion. A Jew then had all the rights of a Christian, and even more. He could have his own tribunals, in which a Christian had no right to meddle or to testify. He could have his own schools, and enjoy his own worship unmolested. If a Christian struck, a Jew, his hand should be cut off for the offence. No Jewish child should be baptized without the full and free consent of parents. A debt to a Jew was as valid as any debt, and could not be evaded on the plea of usury. These privileges, however, belong chiefly to the thirteenth century. After that, the times of bitterness came again, and the good-will of the former emperors was forgotten. It is a little singular, that the time of greatest toleration to the Jews coincided with the time of greatest prosperity to the Church.
C. H. B.
POLITICS AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. The Eastern Question is the bête-noir of European politics; and it will continue to be so as long as the policy of external aggrandizement prevails over that of internal moral development. It is a question which statesmen avoid : for all possible solutions of it threaten the equilibrium of the existing political system, and the disturbance of that means to them confusion and anarchy and civil death ; and it is a question which journalists discuss with more than their usual reckless flippancy and audacious ignorance. The creation, therefore, in Europe of a right public sentiment, which is but another term for the enlightenment of the general conscience, is difficult, almost hopeless. In this country, however, where no direct personal interest, so to speak, is involved in the consideration of the subject, we may reasonably expect a clearer, juster, and more philosophical conception of the whole question, in all its manifold relations and all its endless issues. The two pamphlets undernoted, by Mr. Rangabé,* the present scholarly and able Greek Minister at Washington, point the way to that solution of it which is likely to engage more and more the public attention as the only permanent one. Turkey is necessary to the European equilibrium, argue a large party in England and France and elsewhere. The Turks are civilizable, like other races: to develop the Turkish element in all its energy is, therefore, the proper policy, the safest and most humane. So thought Lord Palmerston ; and so think the short-sighted men who control the conservative party of Europe to-day. They forget that Turkey is no longer the Turkey of the Coran ; that its soldiers are no longer the soldiers of Solyman the Magnificent. The condition of its existence was conquest; and, conquest having ceased to be possible, there remains nothing but tyranny without force. To such a degree, indeed, has its vigor degenerated in the last fifty years, that a handful of Greeks kept its whole power in check for seven years, and finally established an independent state ; while Samos, Egypt, Algeria, Tunis, the Danubian Provinces, Servia, Montenegro, and the Lebanon, have successively, either in whole or in part, thrown off their chains. For a .barbarous power will always degenerate, unless it is belligerent. The Byzantine Greeks were corrupt indeed; but they preserved, in their traditions and their religion, the germ of a higher civilization. Their religion was better than their morals; and so they have been saved. The religion of the Turks, on the contrary, was inferior to their virtue when first dominant on the Bosphorus ; and so they have
* La Solution de la Question d'Orient. Par R***. Paris : E. Dentu, Libraire-Editeur, 1867.
La Turquie, ou La Grèce : pour faire suite à la Brochure intitulée "La Solution de la Question d'Orient.” Par R***. Paris : E. Dentu, Libraire-Editeur, 1867.
become stagnant and rotten, making foul the air of Europe : for they had no ideal of saint or martyr to draw them on; no vision of a spiritual life opening to them in those flashes of holier thought which, at times, illumine the soul of man by virtue of its divine essence. With no thought here but of indulgence, and no promise hereafter of other reward than the rapture of sense, they have become what, after centuries of inaction, they could not but have become, – bankrupt, body and soul.
But if Turkey cannot be reformed within the pale of Mohammedanism, can it be saved from its doom by assimilating the European civilization, by the toleration of all sects, and the equalizing of all races ? Mahmoud saw that Turkey would perish unless radical reforms were undertaken, and so he slew in cold blood forty thousand Janissaries, and untied the hands of the Sultan ; but every Turk in Europe is a Janissary still: for honesty is a thing unknown to the Turkish official mind. If ten honest men were needed to save that vast Sodom, they could not be found.
But more than that: the ineradicable hostility of the Turk to the Christian baffles all attempts to secure justice to the one, or prosperity to the other. The Hatti-Scherifs and the Hatti-Houmayouns, as the decrees are called in which civil equality has been proclaimed, are but waste paper. For there is but one code in Turkey : the Coran is the law temporal as well as spiritual; and those who administer it are thus priests as well as judges. The Ulemas are more than the Sultan; and the Ulemas hate the unbeliever as only the pious of Islam can hate. An imperial decree suppressed the kharatsch, or head-tax; and all the subjects of the Sultan were declared equal before the law. The measure was hailed with enthusiasm in Europe, as a token of the regeneration of the empire: but it is notorious, that the testimony of a Christian before a Turkish tribunal still goes for nothing, and woe to the Christian who bears witness against a Turk; while, though they no longer pay a head-tax in name, the Christians are compelled to pay an enormous sum in commutation of military service, which they are not allowed to render. It is a waste of time, however, to expose the futility of all efforts to redeem the institutions of Turkey from the decay that has overtaken them. The abolition of the Turkish empire must be conceded as necessary. It needs but a squadron of English, French, Austrian, and Russian ships of war to drop anchor in the Golden Horn, with a united note from the governments they represent, directing the Sultan to withdraw into