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ences with the Cochin Jews, and were desirous to discuss certain topics, particularly the prophecies of Isaiah; and they engaged in them with far more spirit and frankness, he thought, than their brethern at Co. chin had done. They told him, that if he would take a walk to the Bazar in the suburb, without the walls of Bombay town, he would find a synagogue without a Sepher Tori, or Book of the Law. He did so, and found it to be the case. The minister and a few of the Jews assembled, and shewed him their synagogue, in which there were some loose leaves of prayers in manuscript, but no book of the law. The author did not understand that they disapprove ed of the law, but they had no copy of it. They seemed to have little knowledge of the Jewish scriptures or history. This only proved what he had been often told, that small portions of the Jewish nation melt away from time to time, and are absorbed in the mass of the heathen world. Nor is this any argumest against the truth of the prophecy, which declares that they should remain a separate and distinct people; for these are mere exceptions. Conversions to christianity in the early ages would equally militate against the prediction, taken in an absolute sense.
THE TEN TRIBES.
The tribes of Israel are no longer to be inquired after by name. The purpose, for which they were once divided into tribes, was accomplished when the genealogy of the Messiah was traced to the stem of David. Neither do the Israelites themselves know certainly from what families, they are descended. And this is a chief argument against the Jews, to which the author never heard that a Jew could make a sensible reply. The tribe of Judah was selected as that from which the Messiah should come;
and behold, the Jews do not know which of them all of the tribe of Judah.
While the author was amongst the Jews of Malabar, he made frequent inquiries concerning the Ten Tribes. When he mentioned that it was the opinion of some, that they had migrated from the Chaldean provinces, he was asked to what country we supposed they had gone, and whether we had ever heard of their moving in a great army on such an expedition. It will be easy perhaps to shew, that the great body of the Ten Tribes remain to this day in the countries to which they were first carried captive. If we can discover where they were in the first century of the Christian era, which was seven hundred years after the carrying away to Babylon, and again where they were in the fifth century, we certainly may be able to trace thein up to this time.
Josephus, who wrote in the reign of Vespasian, recites a speech made by king Agrippa to the Jews, wherein he exhorts them to submit to the Romans, and expostulates with them in these words: “What, do you stretch your hopes beyond the river Euphrates? Do any of you think that your fellow tribes will come to your aid out of Adiabene? Besides, if they would come, the Parthian will not permit it.” (Jos. de Bell, lib. ii. c. 28.) We learn from this oration, delivered to the Jews themselves, and by a king of the Jews, that the Ten Tribes were then captive in Media under the Persian princes.
In the fifth century, Jerome, author of the Vulgate, treating of the dispersed Jews, in his notes upon Hosea, has these words: “Unto this day, the Ten Tribes are subject to the kings of the Persians, nor has their captivity ever been loosed. [Tom. vi. p. 7.] And again he says, “The Ten Tribes inhabit at this day the cities and mountains of the Medes.". Tom. vi. p. 80.
There is no room left for doubt on this subject. Have we heard of any cxpedition of the Jews “go
ing forth from that country, since that period, like the Goths and Huns, to conquer nations." Have we ever heard of their rising in insurrection to burst the bands of their captivity? To this day, both Jews and Christians are generally in a state of captivity in these despotic countries. No family dares to leave the kingdom without permission of the King. *
Mahomedanism reduced the number of the Jews exceedingly: It was presented to them at the point of the sword. We know that multitudes of Christians received it; for example, "the seven churches of Asia;" and we may believe, that an equal proportion of Jews were proselyted by the same means. In the provinces of Cashmire and Aftghanistan, some of the Jews submitted to great sacrifices, and they remain Jews to this day: but the greater number yielded, in the course of ages, to the power of the reigning religion. Their countenance, their language, their names, their rites and obseryances, and their history, all conspire to establish the fact.f We may judge, in some degree, of the number of those who would yield to the sword of Mahomed, and conform, in appearance at least, to what was called a sister religion, from the number of those who conformed to the Christian religion, under the influence of the inquisition in Spain and Portugal. Orobio, who was himself a Jew, states in his history, that there were upwards of twenty thousand Jews in Spain alone, who, from fear of the inquisition, professed christianity, some of whom were priests and bishops. The tribes of the Affghan race are very numerous, and of different casts; and it is probable, that the proportion which is of a Jewish descent is not great. The Affghan nations extend on both sides
Joseph Emin, a Christian well known in Calcutta, wished to bring his family from Ispabam; but he could not effect it, though our goverainent interested itself in bis behalf.
#Mr. Forster was so much struck with the general appearance, gard, and magmers of the Cashmirians, as to think, without any previous knowledge of the fact, that he had been suddenly tránsported among a nation of Jews. See Forsers Travels.
of the Indus, and inhabit the mountainous region commencing in Western Persia. They differ in language, customs, religion, and countenance, and have little knowledge of each other. Some tribes have the countenance of the Persian, and some of the Hindoo; and some tribes are evidently of Jewish extraction.
Calculating then the number of Jews, who now inhabit the provinces of antient Chaldea, or the contiguous countries, and who still profess Judaism; and the number of those who embraced Mahomedanism, or some form of it, in the same regions; we may be satisfied, “That the greater part of the ten tribes, which now exist, are to be found in the countries of their first captivity."
RESTORATION OF THE JEWS.
That many of the Jews, when liberated from their state of oppression, will return to Judea, appears probable from the general tenor of prophecy, and from their own natural and unconquerable attachment to that country: but we know not for what pur. , pose they should all return thither; and it is perfectly unnecessary to contend for the fact, or to impose it as a tenet of faith. We perceive no reason why they should leave the nations in which they live, when these nations are no longer heathen. Nor is it possible, in numerous cases, to ascertain who are Jews and who are not. It is also true, that before Judea could nourish the whole body of Jews, even in their present reduced state, the ancient fertility, which was taken away according to prophecy (Deut. xxviii, 23, and 38,) must be restored by miracle.But we have no warrent to look for a miracle under the finished dispensation of the gospel. We possess "the more sure word of prophecy,” (2 Pet. i, 19,) and look not for signs and wonders. We expect de
miracle for the Jews, but that of their conversion to Christianity; which will be a greater miracle, than if the first temple were to rise, in its gold and costly stones, and Solomon were again to reign over them in all his glory:
Much caution is also required in stating to them our opinions concerning a Millennium, or period of universal truth and felicity. It was prophesied to Israel, about seven hundred years before the coming of the Messiah, that a time should be, "when nations should no longer lift the sword against nation, neither should men learn war any more:" when "the knowledge of the lord, which was then confined to Judea, sliould cover the earth as the waters cov. er the sea;” and when they should not teach every man his neighbor, saying, know the Lord, for all shall know him from the least to the greatest. These prophecies were fulfilled generally when the Mes. siah appeared. The gospel of peace was preached to men, and the sound thereof went to the ends of the earth.” The last prediction, which is the clear.' est and strongest of all, “They shall not teach every man his neighbor, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know him, from the least to the greatest," is expressly quoted by the apostle Paul (Heb. viii, 11,) as having been already fulfilled by the manifestation of Christ, who abrogated the old covenant with Israel, which was confined to few, and made a new covenant with the world, which was extended to all.
It is believed, however, that the predictions above recited will receive a more particular accomplishment hereafter, and that the glory even of the primitive church shall be far surpassed. But it does not appear, that the conversion of men at any future period will be universal. It is evident indeed, from the sure word of prophecy, that there will be a long time of general holiness and peace, which will succeed to the present reign of vice and misery, probably "a thousand years;" during which, rigteousnees