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"tain the favour of GOD or man. Let thy virtue be "thus diffused; and if thou believeft with reverence, "thou shalt be accepted above. Farewel. May the "fmile of HIм who refides in the Heaven of Heavens, "be upon thee! and against thy name in the volume " of His will, may happiness be written !"
The King, whofe doubts like thofe of Mirza were now removed, looked up with a smile that communicated the joy of his mind. He difmiffed the prince to his government; and commanded thefe events to be recorded, to the end that posterity may know" that no "life is pleafing to GOD, but that which is useful to "MANKIND.' "
Reflections upon the JEWS.
[Spec. No 495.1
SI am one, who by my profeffion, am obliged to look into all kinds of men, there are none whom I confider with fo much pleasure, as those who have any thing new or extraordinary in their characters, or ways of living. For this reason I have often amufed myfelf with fpeculations on the race of people called Jews, many of whom I have met with in most of the confiderable towns, which I have paffed through in the courfe of my travels. They are, indeed, fo diffeminated through all the trading parts of the world, that they are become the inftruments by which the most distant nations converse with one another, and by which mankind are knit together in a general correfpondence: they are like the pegs and nails in a great building, which though they are but little valued in themselves, are abfolutely neceffary to keep the whole frame together.
That I may not fall into any common beaten tracks of observation, I fhall confider this people in three views: first, with regard to their number; fecondly, their dispersion; and thirdly, their adherence to their religion; and afterwards endeavour to fhew, first, whạt natural reafons, and fecondly, what providential reasons may be affigned for these three remarkable particulars..
The Jews are looked upon by many to be as numerous at prefent, as they were formerly in the land of Cenaan.
This is wonderful, confidering the dreadful flaughter made of them under fome of the Roman emperors, which hiftorians defcribe by the death of many hundred thoufands in a war; and the innumerable maffacres and perfecutions they have undergone in Turkey, as well as in all Chriftian nations of the world. The Rabbins, to exprefs the great havock which has been sometimes made of them, tell us, after their ufual manner of hyperbole, that there were fuch torrents of holy blood shed, · as carried rocks of an hundred yards in circumference above three miles into the fea.
Their difperfion is the fecond remarkable particular in this people. They fwarm over all the Eaft; and are fettled in the remoteft parts of China: they are fpread thro' most of the nations of Europe and Africa, and many families of them are established in the Weft-Indies; not to mention whole nations bordering on Prefer-John's country, and fome difcovered in the inner parts of America, if we may give any credit to their own writers.
Their firm adherence to their religion, is no lefs remarkable than their numbers and difperfion, efpecially confidering it as perfecuted or contemned over the face of the whole earth. This is likewife the more remarkable, if we confider the frequent apoftafies of this people when they lived under their kings, in the land of Promife, and within fight of their temple.
If in the next place we examine, what may be the natural reafons of these three particulars which we find in the Jews, and which are not to be found in any other religion or people, I can, in the first place, attribute their numbers to nothing but their conftant employment, their abftinence, their exemption from wars, and above all, their frequent marriages; for they look upon celibacy as an accurfed ftate, and generally are married before twenty, as hoping the Melfiab may defcend from them.
The difperfion of the Jews into all the nations of the earth, is a fecond remarkable particular of that
people, though not fo hard to be accounted for. They were always in rebellions and tumults while they had the temple and holy city in view, for which reafon they have often been driven out of their old habitations in the land of Promife. They have as often been banished out of most other places where they have fettled, which must very much disperse and scatter a people, and oblige them to feek a livelihood where they can find it. Befides, the whole people is now a race of fuch merchants as are wanderers by profeffion, and at the fame time are in moft, if not all, places incapable of either lands or offices, that might engage them to make any part of the world their home.
This difperfion would probably have loft their religion, had it not been fecured by the ftrength of its conftitution: for they are to live all in a body, and generally within the fame inclosure; to marry among themselves, and to eat no meats that are not killed or prepared their own way. This fhuts them out from all table-converfation, and the most agreeable intercourfes of life; and, by confequence, excludes them from the most probable means of converfion.
If, in the laft place, we confider what providential reafon may be affigned for thefe three particulars, we fhall find that their numbers, difperfion, and adherence to their religion, have furnished every age, and every nation of the world, with the ftrongest arguments for the Chriftian faith; not only as these very particulars are foretold of them, but as they themselves are the depofitaries of these and all the other prophefies, which tend to their own confufion. Their number furnishes us with a fufficient cloud of witneffes that atteft the truth of the Old Bible. Their difperfion spreads these witneffes through all parts of the world. The adherence to their religion makes their teftimony unquestionable. Had the whole body of the Jews been converted to Chriftianity, we fhould certainly have thought all the prophefies of the Old Teftament, that relate to the coming and hiftory of our Bleffed Saviour, forged by Chriftians, and have looked upon them, with the prophefies of the Sibyls, as made many years after the events they pretended to foretel.
Virtue in Diftrefs; reprefented in the story of AMANDA. [Spect. No 375-1
I mention, a
noble faying of Seneca the philofopher, that a virtuous perfon ftruggling with misfortunes, and rifing above them, is an object on which the gods themselves may look down with delight. I fhall therefore set before my reader a scene of this kind of distress in private life, for the fpeculation of this day.
An eminent citizen, who had lived in good fashion and credit, was, by a train of accidents, and by an unavoidable perplexity in his affairs, reduced to a low condition. There is a modesty usually attending faultlefs poverty, which made him rather chufe to reduce his manner of living to his prefent circumstances, than folicit his friends, in order to fupport the fhew of an eftate, when the fubftance was gone. His wife, who was a woman of sense and virtue, behaved herself on this occafion with uncommon decency, and never appeared fo amiable in his eyes as now. Inftead of upbraiding him with the ample fortune fhe had brought, or the many great offers the had refused for his fake, fhe redoubled all the inftances of her affection, while her hufband was continually pouring out his heart to her in complaints, that he had ruined the best woman in the world. He fometimes came home at a time when she did not expect him, and surprised her in tears; which she endeavoured to conceal, and always put on an air of chearfulness to receive him. To leffen their expence, their eldest daughter (whom I shall call Amanda) was fent into the country, to the house of an honest farmer, who had married a fervant of the family. This young woman was apprehenfive of the ruin which was approaching, and had privately engaged a friend in the neighbourhood to give her an account of what paffed from time to time in her father's affairs. Amanda was in the bloom of her youth and beauty, when the Lord of the manor, who often called in at the farmer's house as he followed his country fports, fell paffionately in
love with her. He was a man of great generofity, but from a loose education had contracted a hearty averfion to marriage. He therefore entertained a defign upon Amanda's virtue, which at prefent he thought fit to keep private. The innocent creature, who never fufpected his intentions, was pleased with his perfon; and having obferved his growing paffion for her, hoped, by fo advantageous a match, the might quickly be in a capacity of fupporting her impoverished relations. One day as he called to fee her, he found her in tears over a letter fhe had juft received from her friend, which gave an account that her father had lately been ftripped of every thing by an execution. The lover, who with fome difficulty found out the cause of her grief, took this occafion to make her a propofal. It is impoffible to exprefs Amanda's confufion when the found his pretenfions were not họnourable. She was now deferted of all her hopes, and had no power to fpeak; but rushing from him in the utmost disturbance, locked her felf up in her chamber. He immediately dispatched a meffenger to her father with the following letter.
your daughter, if she will live with me, to fettle on her four hundred pounds a-year, and to lay down the fum for which you are now diftreffed. I will be 'fo ingenuous, as to tell you that I do not intend marriage: but if you are wife, you will use your autho⚫rity with her not to be too nice, when fhe has an opportunity of faving you and your family, and of making herself happy. I am, &c.
This letter came to the hands of Amanda's mother; fhe opened and read it with great furprise and concern. She did not think it proper to explain herfelf to the meffenger; but defiring him to call again the next morning, fhe wrote to her daughter as follows.
YOUR father and I have juft now received a letter from a gentleman who pretends love to