« EelmineJätka »
ANCIENT SETTLEMENT OF KARAITE JEWS.
FROM SPENCER'S TRAVELS IN LOWER TARTARY.
* Soon after leaving this tu- it was founded by some persecuted multuous rabble (a gipsy village) Arians, who, we know, fled to rocks we perceived the monastery of the and caverns. While others, upon no Assumption, which appeared sus- better authority, assign the honour pended like an eagle's eyrie, on the to the Cimmerians, who, on the side of a range of stupendous rocks. invasion of the Scythians, took This singular effort of human labour refuge in the mountains and inacis supposed to have been the work cessible rocks. But for what reaof the persecuted Christians of the son it received its Tartar appellaearly ages. Here we found the tion Tchoufout-Kali (Fortress of cells of the monks, corridors, re- the Miscreants) we are no better fectory, and church, hewn out of informed than as to its origin. This the solid rock, and supported by little fortress town contains about massive columns, altogether form- three hundred houses ; the streets ing a fortress, perfectly impreg- are exceedingly narrow ; the nable; for the only entrance is up ment is the solid rock, and the a flight of steps cut in the rock to a whole kept remarkably clean by draw-bridge, which being once re- the inhabitants, who are without moved, the inmates are perfectly exception Jews of the Karaite secure from intrusion. The church sect. Their moral character is has been recently repaired by the unimpeachable! their honesty proRussian government; and, after verbial ! and so highly esteemed being closed for centuries, divine are they by the government, that service is now regularly performed they enjoy more extensive priviin it.
leges than any other of the various • This subterranean convent and tribes inhabiting the Crimea. church, however interesting, are • On entering the town we were quite equalled in the curious na- immediately conducted to the ture of their position, by that of house of Rebi Youssouf, the rabthe fortress Tchoufout-Kali, about bin, or principal chief of the whole a mile higber up the defile. This of the Karaite sect in these counvery remarkable fortress is built on tries. This venerable elder of the the summit of an isolated peak of church received us in the most the same range of rocks: and so friendly manner; and not only resteep and precipitous is the ap- galed us hospitably, but entertained proach, that in order to reach it, us with his animated and intelligent we were obliged to climb, rather conversation. After our repast, he than to walk. Being completely accompanied us to the synagogue, surrounded by high massive walls, an antique building, differing in no in great part hewn out of the rock, respect from the
respect from the generality of and having only two gates, which Jewish places of public worship, form the sole communication with Here we were shewn a MS. of the exterior, the inhabitants, if re- the Old Testament, commencing solute to defend themselves, might with the first book of Joshua, and with perfect safety bid defiance to so very ancient, that there remains any attack from without.
among the people no tradition of . We have no authentic record its date. From thence we passed when or by whom this impregnable into an adjoining garden, solely fortress was
constructed. Some appropriated to the celebration of antiquarians, grounding their opi. the Feast of Tabernacles, and connions on vague traditions, assert that tinued our promenade through the
town to a steep flight of steps, heathen, and to the scarcity of leading to what is termed the valley written copies of the law, the inof Jehosaphat, situate in a chasm troduction of a variety of errors of the rocks. This is the cemetry and fallacious traditions. Hence, of the sect, resembling a beautiful on the re-establishment of the grove, shaded by the dark foliage tribes, a large portion, finding the of a thousand trees, forming a Scripture loaded with comments, striking contrast to the white mar- refused to receive them. These ble tombs and gloomy beetling called themselves Karaites, and in rocks that seem to threaten de- after-days were dreadfully persestruction at every step. Here cuted by their brethren. They several tombs were pointed out to
also assert that our Saviour was me, bearing inscriptions in the a member of their community, and Hebrew language, so far back as that he entertained the same opinthe fourteenth century : thus pro
ions as themselves, with respect to ving the present tribe to have been the interpolations of the Rabbins ; in possession of the fortress at least in support of which belief, they since that period. The trees also adduce his repeated and violent exhibit an appearance of great age, denunciations against the rabbinical and are held so sacred, and so interpretations; and they most highly valued by the Karaites, positively deny that any member of that their former masters, the their sect was, in the slightest Khans of Krim Tartary, when in degree, implicated in the cruciwant of funds, had only to threaten fixion. These people believe that their extirpation, in order to extort they possess the only authentic heavy contributions from the pious copy of the Old Testament extant. inhabitants.
They provide amply for their poor; • A few additional details of the are principally engaged in commanners and religion of the Kar- merce, and generally wealthy. aite Jews, a people so highly Perhaps no religious sect educate esteemed for their moral qualities,
their children with greater care, and differing so widely from the the whole, without exception, being character of the Talmudists, may publicly instructed in the synaperhaps be interesting. It appears gogue. In their dress they resemthat the name of the sect is derived ble the Armenians, wearing long from Karai, the written word ; their flowing robes, and on the head a creed being founded exclusively high fur cap.'-Spencer, vol. ii. out of the text of the Old Testa- What inference are we to draw ment, as it stands, pure, simple, from their appealing to the words and uncommented : rejecting in toto of Christ, (only known to them the traditions and interpretations of through the New Testament,) and the Rabbivs, and also those estab- from their repudiating the idea of lished by the authority of the their participating in the guilt of Talmud. From the latter they his murder, but that either they also differ in various other particu- are the chosen seed of a new kinglars ;—for instance, in the degree of dom, kept by the hand of provi. consanguinity, mode of circumci- dence in the neighbourhood of sion, diet, marriage, permitting po- Palestine, or that they are the lygamy,- which however, through descendants of some half-converted the influence of custom, is not Jews. In the latter case, they are preached. They trace their ori- hardly more interesting to us than gin, as a sect, to the dispersion of any other heretics; but the fact of the Israelites at the Babylonish their long settlement at Tchoufoutcaptivity; and they attribute to Kali, seems to make the former their long residence among the more probable.
SELECTIONS FROM OLD WRITERS.
ARCHBISHOP CRANMER ON THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST.*
In his epistle to the Hebrews, St. offered not their own blood, but Paul hath plainly and fully de- the blood of brute beasts; but scribed unto us the difference be. Christ's sacrifice, once offered, was tween the priesthood and sacrifices sufficient for evermore. of the Old Testament, and the Two kinds of sacrifices. And most high and worthy priesthood that all men may the better underof Christ, his most perfect and stand this sacrifice of Christ, necessary sacrifice, and the benefit which he made for the benefit of that cometh to us thereby.
all men, it is necessary to know For Christ offered not the blood the distinction and diversity of of calves, sheep, and goats, as the sacrifices. priests of the old law used to do; One kind of sacrifice there is, but he offered his own blood upon which is called a propitiatory or the cross.
And he went not into a merciful sacrifice, that is to say, holy place made by man's hands, such a sacrifice as pacifieth God's as Aaron did, but he ascended up wrath and indignation, and obtaininto heaven, where his eternal eth mercy and forgiveness for all Father dwelleth ; and before Him our sins, and is the ransom for our he maketh continual supplication redemption from everlasting damfor the sins of the whole world, nation. presenting his own body, which The sacrifice of Christ. And was torn for us, and his precious although in the Old Testament blood, which of his most gracious there were certain sacrifices called and liberal charity, he shed for us by that name, yet in very deed upon the cross.
there is but one such sacrifice, And that sacrifice was of such whereby our sins be pardoned, and force, that it was no need to renew God's mercy and favour obtained, it every year, as the bishops † did which is the death of the Son of of the Old Testament, whose sacri- God, our Lord Jesus Christ ; nor fices were many times offered, and never was any other sacrifice proyet were of no great effect or pro- pitiatory at any time, nor never fit, because they were sinners them- shall be. * selves that offered them, and they. This is the honour and glory of
this our High Priest, wherein he * The following paper forms a part of admitted neither partner nor sucCranmer's' Defence of the True and Ca.
cessor. For by his one obligation tholic Doctrine of the Sacrament of the
he satisfied his Father for all men's Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ,' written in 1550. It is taken from the
sins, and reconciled mankind unto edition of his works, printed at Oxford in
and favour. And who1833. The fifth book of that Treatise is
soever deprive him of this honour, 'Of the Oblation and Sacrifice of our Saviour Christ. A considerable portion
and go about to take to themof controversial matter is omitted here
selves, they be very Antichrist, but that part of the Defence deserves to and most arrogant blasphemers be reprinted entire in a separate form, -as against God, and against his Son the best way to maintain the doctrines of
Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. our venerated Reformers, is to disseminate their writings. The transcriber has
The sacrifices of the church.supplied a few explanatory notes.
* In modern phrase we should say, nor + Priests.
Another kind of sacrifice there is, lieve in his gospel.* So that now which doth not reconcile us to we may look for none other priest, God; but is made of them that be nor sacrifice, to take away our reconciled to Christ, to testify our sins, but only him and his sacriduties unto God, and to show our- fice. And as he, dying once, was. selves thankful unto him; and offered for all, so, as much as pertherefore they be called sacrifices tained to him, he took all men's of laud, praise, and thanksgiving. sins unto himself. So that now
The first kind of sacrifice Christ there remaineth no more sacrifices offered to God for us; the second for sin, but extreme judgment at kind we ourselves offer to God by the last day, when he shall appear Christ.
to us again, not as a man to be And by the first kind of sacri- punished again, and to be made a fice Christ offered also us unto his sacrifice for our sins, as he was Father; and by the second we offer before; t but he shall come in his ourselves and all that we have, glory without sin,t to the great joy unto him and his Father.
and comfort of them which be And this sacrifice generally is purified and made clean by his an obedience unto God, in keeping death, and continue in godly and his laws and commandments. Of innocent living; and to the great which manner of sacrifice speaketh terror and dread of them that are the prophet David, saying, a sacri- wicked and ungodly.ş fice to God is a contrite heart.* Thus the Scripture teacheth, And St. Peter saith of all Chris- that if Christ had made oblatian people, that they be a holy
tion for sin more than once, he priesthood, to offer spiritual sacri- should have died more than once; fices, acceptable to God by Jesus forasmuch as there is none oblation Christ.t And St. Paul saith, that and sacrifice for sin, but only his alway we offer unto God a sacrifice
death. And now there is no more of laud and praise by Jesus Christ. I oblation for sin, seeing that by him
A more plain declaration of the our sins be remitted, and our consacrifice of Christ. But now to sciences quieted. speak more largely of the priest- The sacrifices of the old law.hood and sacrifice of Christ; he And although in the Old Testawas such a high bishop, that he ment there were certain sacrifices, once offering himself, sufficient called sacrifices for sin, yet they by one effusion of his blood to were no such sacrifices that could abolish sin unto the world's end. take away our sins in the sight of He was so perfect a priest, that God; || but they were ceremonies by one oblation he purged an
ordained to this intent, that they infinite heap of sins, s leaving should be, as it were, shadows and a remedy for all sinners, that figures, to signify beforehand the his one sacrifice should suffice unto excellent sacrifice of Christ that all men that would not show was to come, which should be the themselves unworthy.ll And he took unto himself not only their * Heb. ix, and x. + Matt. xxiv. sins, that many years before were | Dr. Doddridge has a good remark on dead, and put their trust in him, this expression, in his paraphrase of Heb. but also the sins of those that until
" And then he shall come like
the high-priest, in his richest dress, when his coming again should truly be
the grand act of expiation was over, with
out any thing that wears the marks of * Psalm 1. 17. f 1 Peter ii. 5. humiliation or abasement, or resembles I Heb. xiii. 15. 6 Heb. vii.
the form in which he came to make 11 1 John ii. 2. The word unworthy ap- atonement for sin." pears to be used in the same meaning, § Heb. ix. 27, 28. as in Acts xiii. 46.
Heb. x. 11.
very true and perfect sacrifice for of the old law bad, nor we yet the sins of the whole world.
have, but only by the sacrifice of And for this signification they Christ, made in the Mount of Calhad the name of a sacrifice propi- vary:
And the sacrifices of the tiatory, and were called sacrifices old law were prognostications and for sins, not because they indeed figures of the same then to come, took away our sins, but because as our sacraments be figures and they were images, shadow3, and demonstrations of the same now figures, whereby godly men were passed. admonished of the true sacrifice of The true sacrifice of all ChrisChrist then to come, which should tian people.- Almighty God, the truly abolish sin and everlasting Father of light and truth-give death.
this light and faith to every man, And that those sacrifices which that he may trust to have remission were made by the priests in the old of bis sins, and be delivered from law could not be able to purchase eternal death and hell, by the our pardon, and deserve the remis- merit only of the death and blood sion of our sins, St. Paul doth of Christ : refore let us give clearly aflirm in his said epistle to the laud and praise hereof unto the Hebrews, where he saith, it is him ; let us fly only to him for impossible that our sins should be
succour; let us hold him fast, and taken away by the blood of oxen hang upon him, and give ourselves
wholly to him.
And forasmuch as Wherefore all godly men, al- he hath given himself to death for though they did use those sacri- us, let us give ourselves again unto fices ordained of God, yet they him, making unto him an oblation, did not take them as things of that not of goats, sheep, kine, and other value and estimation, that thereby beasts that have no reason, as was they should be able to obtain accustomed before Christ's coming ; remission of their sins before God. but of a creature that hath reason,
But they took them partly for that is to say, of ourselves, not figures and tokens ordained of God, killing our own bodies, but mortiby the which he declared, that he fying the beastly and unreasonable would send that seed which he pro- affections that would gladly rule mised, to be the very true sacrifice and reign in us. for sin, and that he would receive So long as the law did reign, them that trusted in that pronise, God suffered dumb beasts to be and remit their sins for the sacrifice offered unto him ; but now that we after to come.
be spiritual, * we must offer spiriAnd partly they used them as tual oblations, in the place of certain ceremonies, whereby such calves, sheep, goats, and doves. persons as had offended against the We must kill devilish pride, furious law of Moses, and were cast out of anger, insatiable covetousness, filthe congregation, were received thy lucre, deadly hatred and again among the people, and de
malice, foxy wiliness, wolvish clared to be absolved.
ravening and devouring, and all As for like purposes we use, in other unreasonable lusts and desires the church of Christ, sacraments of the fesh. And as many as by him instituted. And this out- belong to Christ must crucify and ward casting out from the people kill these for Christ's sake, as of God, and receiving in again, Christ crucified himself for their was according to the law and sakes. * knowledge of man ; but the true reconciliation and forgiveness of * That is, live under a spiritual dispensin before God, neither the fathers sation. See Heb. ix. 10. MARCH, 1838.