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tures had been thrown. I accordingly went to the synagogue with a few of the chief men, and examined the contents, which some of them said they had never looked at before, and did not seem greatly to value. The manuscripts were of various kinds, on parchment, goat-skins, and cotton paper. I negociated for them hastily, and wrapped them up in two cloths, and gave them to the Jews to carry home to my house. I had observed some murmuring among the bye-standers in the synagogue, while I was examining the chest: and before we appeared in the streets, the alarm had gone forth, that the Christians were robbing the synagogue of the law.There were evident symptoms of tumult, and the women and children collected and were following US. I requested some of the more respectable Jews to accompany me out of the town; but I had scarcely arrived at my own house at Cochin, when the persons who had permitted me to take the manuscripts, came in evident agitation, and told me I must restore them immediately to calm the popular rage. Others had gone to complain to the chief magistrate, Thomas Flower, esq. And now I had lost my spoil, but for the friendly counsel and judicious conduct of Mr. Flower. He directed that all the manuscripts should be delivered up to him, and that there should be no further proceedings on the subject without his authority. To this the Jews agreed. There was some plea of justice on my side, as it was understood that I had given a valuable consideration. In the mean tiine he allowed a few days to pass, that the minds of the people might become tranquil, and he then summoned some of the more liberal men, and gave them a hearing on the subject. In the mean time I thought it prudent to retire from Cochin, for a day or two, and went to Cranganor, about sixteen mile's off, to col. Macaulay, the British resident at Travancore, who was then at the house of Mr. Drummond, thc collector xt Alalabar,
On my return to Cochin, Mr. Flower informed me that all the manuscripts were to be returned to my house; that I was to select what was old, and of little use to the Jews, and to give back to them what was new. The affair ended however in the Jews permitting me generously, to retain some part of the new.
“I have since made a tour through the towns of the Black Jews in the interior of the country, Tritoor Paroor, Chenotta, and Maleh. I have procured a good many manuscripts, chiefly in the Rabbinical character, some of which the Jews themselves cannot read; and I do not know what to say to their traditions. A copy of the scriptures belonging to Jews of the east, who might be supposed to have had no communication with Jews of the west, has been long considered a desideratum in Europe; for the western Jews have been accused by some learned men of al tering or omitting certain words in the Hebrew text to invalidate the argument of Christians. But Jews in the east, remote from the controversy, would have no motive for such corruptions. One or two of the MSS. which I have just procured, will probably be of some service in this respect. One of them is an old copy of the books of Moses, written on a roll of leather. The skins sewes together, and the roll is about forty-eight feet in length. It is, in some places, worn out, and the holes have been sewed
with pieces of parchment. Some of the Jews supposed that this roll came originally from Senna in Arabias others have heard that it was brought from Cashmir. The Cabul Jews, who travel into the interior of China, say that in some Synagogues the law is still writ. ten on a roll of leather, made of goat skins dyed red; not on velluin, but on sost flexible leather; which agrees with the description of the roll above mer
Hir. Teates, formerly of All Souls College, Oxford, and editor of the le. brew tiraninas, has been employed for the last two years at Cambridge; in 97Thang ograd cuising ine liebrow and Syriac Yss. brought from India
“Ever since I came among these people, and heard their sentiments on the prophecies, and their confident hopes of returning to Jerusalem, I have thought much on the means of obtaining a version of the New Testament in the Hebrew language, and cir. culating it among them and their brethren in the easte i had heard that there were one or two translations of the Testament in their own possession, but they were studiously kept out of my sight, for a considerable time. At last however they were preduced by individuals in a private manner. One of them is written in the small Rabbinical or Jerusalem character;the other in a large square letter. The history of the former is very interesting. The translator, a learned Rabbi, conceived the design of making an accurate version of the New Testament, for the express purpose of confuting it. His style is copious and elegant, like that of a master in the language, and the translation is in general faithful. It does not indeed appear that he wished to pervert the meaning of a single sentence; but depending on his own abilities and renown as a scholar, he hoped to be able to controvert its doctrines, and to triumph over it by fair contest in the presence of the world. There is yet a mystery about the circumstances of this man's death, which time will perhaps unfold: the Jews are not inclined to say much to me about him. His version is complete, and written with greater freedom and ease towards the end than at the beginning. How astonishing it is that an enemy should have done this! that he should have persevered resolutely and calmly to the end of his work! not indeed always calmly; for there is sometimes a note of execration on the sacred person who is the subject of it, to unburthen his mind and ease the conflict of his
collation of the roll of the Pentateuch above mentioned, is now finished, and will forn a volume in quarto. The Univerty bas, with great liberality, resolved that this book shall be printed at the expense of the University, for the benefit of Mr. Yeates; and Dr. Marsh, the learned editor of the Michealis, has writ ten a note on the antiquity and importance of tbe tarpuso ript, würich will forro
preface to the work,
laboring soul. At the close of the gospels, as if afraid of the converting power of his own translation, "he calls Heaven to witness that he had undertaken the work with the professed design of opposing the Epicureans;" by which term he contepmtuously means the Christians.
"I have had many interesting conferences with the Jews, on the subject of their present state; and have been much struck with two circumstances, their constant reference to the desolation of Jerusalem, and their confident hope that it will be one day rebuilt. The desolation of the holy city is ever present to the minds of the Jews, when the subject is concerning themselves as a nation; for, though without a king and without a country, they constantly speak of the unity of their nation. Distance of time and place seems to have no effect in obliterating the remembrance of the desolation. I often thought of the verse in the psalms, “If I forget thee, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning." They speak of Palestine as being close at hand, and easily accessible. It is become an or. dinance of their Rabbins, in some places, that when a man builds a new house, he shall leave a small part of it unfinished, as an emblem of ruin, and write on it these tvords, Zecher Lachorchan, i. e. In memory of the desolation.
“Their hopes of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, the third and last time, under the auspices of the Messiah, or of a second Cyrus, before his coming, are always expressed with great confidence. -They have a general impression, that the period of their liberation from the heathen is not very remote; and they consider the present commotions in the earth as gradually loosening their bonds. "It is," say they, "a sure sign of our approaching restoration that in almost all countries there is a general relaxation of the persecution against us. I presscei strongly upon them the prophecies of Daniel. In
former times that prophet was not in repute among the Jews, because he predicted the coming of the Messiah at the end of the seventy weeks;" and his book has been actually removed from the list of prophetic writings, and remains to this day, among the Hagiographa, such as Job, the Psalms, the Proverbs Ruth; but he now begins to be popular among those who have studied him, because he has predicted that the final "accomplishment of the indignation against the holy people” is near at hand. The strongest argument to press upon the mind of a Jew, at this period, is to explain to his conviction Daniel's period of one thousand two hundred and sixty years; and then to shew the analogy which it bears to the period of the Evangelist John, concerning the Papal and Mahomedan powers; with the state of which the Jews are well acquainted.
"I passed through the burial-ground of the Jews the other day. Some of the tombs are handsomely constructed, and have Hebrew inscriptions in prose and verse. This mansion of the dead is called by the Jews Beth Haiim, or “The House of the Living.
“Being much gratified with my visit to the Jews of Malabar, and desirous to maintain some commur nication with them, I have engaged a very respectable member of their community to accompany me with his servant to Bengal, and to remain with me in the capacity of Hebrew Moonshee, or teacher, until my return to England. Observing that in the houses of the White Jews there are many volumes of printed Hebrew, mostly of the ffteenth and sixteenth centuries, which are rarely met with in England, I have employed Misrahi, that is the name of my Moonshee, to collect soine of the most valuable."
At the beginning of the following year (1808) the author visited Cochin a second time, and proceeded afterwards to Bombay, where he had an opportunity of meeting with some very intelligent men of the Jewish nation. They had heard of his confer