« PreviousContinue »
in consequence of it, to be conducted native who lives with him, whom he to Ge-ho in Tartary, there to remain a intends to instruct in the art of weay. prisoner, and to be debarred from any ing: communication with the Tartars in A Sultan, named Ali, who used of that neighbourhood. Several of the ten to visit the missionaries, died lateChinese, who had been seduced by ly. Before his death he asked his this European, were found guilty. friends to carry him to Karass. But One of them, a private of infantry, this request they rejected with indig. who had been discovered teaching the nation. They suspected that he died Christian doctrine in a church ; four a Christian, and on that account hesiothers wlio superintended congrega. tated about burying him. He left a tions of Christians, or were otherwise widow and three children whom he active in extending their sect; a fe. wished to be committed to Mr. Brunmale peasant who superintended a ton's care. But they all died soon af. congregation of her own sex; and a ter him of the plague, which was soldier who had contumaciously re- then raging in the district where they sisted the exhortations made to him resided. to renounce his errors, are banished The Karmans are a numerous fami. to Eluth, and condemned to become ly among the Kabardians who live near slaves among the Eluths. Three Karass. The missionaries have had soldiers who had been converted to many conversations with them
about Christianity, are declared unworthy religion, and not long ago a Tartar to be considered as men, and their Effendi wrote to the Kabardian Maha names ordered to be erased from the kemma, or Parliament, accusing the list of the army. Several who had Karmas of being Christians at heart, renounced their errors are discharg- and of practising Christian usages seed from confinement, but a strict cretly. watch is to be kept over them, lest The Russians are gone to war with they should relapse. The various a mountain tribe not far from Karass, civil and military officers, through called the Tshitshins. These tribes whose remissness these foreign doc- are exceedingly restless and faithless. trines have been propagated, are to It is said that the Circassians are to be cashiered; and the books contain- join the Russians, and it was reporting these doctrines are without ex- ed among the Tartars that the Tshit. ception to be committed to the flames, shins had killed a number of Circastogether with the printing blocks from sians who were on their way to the which the impressions were taken. Russian head quarters. It is further declared, that all who shall hereafter frequent the Europe.
JEWS. ans, in order to learn their doctrines, Dr. Herschel, the Jewish Rabbi, will be punished with the utmost rig- has addressed a second exhortation to our of the law.
his brethren, in which, after stating
that the plan formed by the MissionaTARTARY
ary Society, of an institution for edu. The Directors of the Edinburgh cating Jewish youth, “is but an inMissionary Society have lately re. viting snare, a decoying experiment ceived letters from Karass, dated the
to undermine the props of their relig28th of March.
ion,” and “ to entice innocent Jewe The ransomed children continue to
ish children from the observance of do well, and are a great comfort to
the law of Moses," requires the conthe missionaries. A field of about gregation to send no child to any such 18 acres has been enclosed, wbich it seminary, on pain of being considered is intended to cultivate this summer,
as having forsaken their
religion, as for the use of the mission. It was having lost all title to the name of nearly all ploughed. Mr. Galloway,
Jews, and forfeited all claims on the who was bred to the weaving busi. congregation both in life and death. ness, has got a loom made, on which he works at his leisure hours. He
SCOTLAND. has finished one web, , and was pro- The general assembly of the church posing to get a loom made for a young of Scotland, to their honour, came to an unanimous resolution at their last long ceased to be membered among meeting to thank his Majesty for the nations, induces us to offer an account abolition of the Slave Trade. The of its proceedings to the English pubfollowing extract from their address lic. The French Jewish editor, M. to the King expresses their senti. Diogene Tama, in an advertisement ments on this subject.
prefised to his collectio:1, expatiates “ In recollecting your Majesty's with wonderful complacency on the unifr.m zeal for the interests of relig- immense utility of his publication. ion, justice, and humanity ; the many Without being quite so sanguine in public measures for the promotion of our expectations, we cannot help ex. these great interests by which your pressing our conviction, that it will Majesty's reign has been distinguish- prove highly gratifying to that curiosis ed, and the exalted character which, ty which has been excited by the first under your Majesty's government, mention of the meeting of such an the British nation has acquired ; it is Assembly." with heartfelt satisfaction that we In the preface the translator gives a congratulate your Majesty on the clear and concise account of the final abolition of the African Slave advantages enjoyed by the Jews un. Trade, which had so long polluted der the old monarchy, and states the commerce, and tarnished the various circumstances, by which it honour of the British name. We feel, appears that their condition was pref, in common with the great body of our erable to that of the Protestants, and fellow subjects, that the acts of the afterwards offers a few shrewd sur. last session of parliament, which pro. mises as to the real views of Bonahibited the farther importation of parte in calling the present assembly: slaves into the West India Colonies, The work commences with a Col. will ever be regarded as one of the lection of Writings and Acts relating to most splendid events of your Majes. the former Condition of Individuals ty's reign. And while it proclaims professing the Hebrew Religion in to the world the justice of the British
France. character, will send the tidings of The reader's attention will be parpeace and benevolence to the injured ticularly arrested by a letter of M. patives of Africa." [Ch. Obs
Berr-Isaac-Berr, a Jew, resident at Nancy, to his brethren, on the rights of active citizens being granted to the Jews. It contains a fund of good sense and sound reasoning, which do the writer very great credit: its great
length hinders us from cxtracting it. The following account of the late sin
MM. Poujol and Bonald, having, gular movement among the Jews, in in 1806, written against the interests France, which has excited such genea
of the Jews, the writer of this work ral curiosity in the public mind, is
enters into an elaborate defence of taken from a late publication, entit
that nation, which is inserted under led, “Transactions of the Parisian this head. Sanhedrim, or Acts of the Assembly, To this succeeds the Imperial De of Israelitish Deputies of France and
crec by which the assembly was conÍtaly, convoked at Paris by an Impe- voked. The number of Deputies rial and Royal Decree, dated May sent by each district, with their names 30, 1806. Translated from the Ori.
and occupations follow, and then the ginal published by M. Diogene Tama,
minutes of the various sittings, which with a Preface and illustrative Notes
took place, from the first sitting, July by F. D. Kirwan, Esq.” Svo. Pp. 26, 1806, to the last, February 7, 350. pr. 88. Taylor. 1807. 1807.
Few objects can so justly claim our We cannot follow the author attention as the subject of the present through the mass of interesting, work. “The novelty of a Jewish as- instructive, and novel materials in. sembly," says the translator of this cluded in the work.
It will par volume, “deliberating on the nation. ticularly engage the attention of those al interests of a people which has so persons who entertain an idea of the
TRANSACTIONS OF THE PARISIAN
re-establishment of the Jews in Pa- on interest to another? It was to draw lestine, as it furnishes many obscure closer between them the bonds of bints in support of this opinion. fraternity, to give them a lesson of
A considerable part of the work is reciprocal benevolence, and to engage occupied by the Questions proposed them to help and assist each other by the Commissioners of the French with disinterestedness. Emperor, and the answers given by The first thought has been to es. the assembly, including some of the tablish among them the equality of speeches and opinious of the Rabbies property, and the mediocrity of priand principal Deputies.
vate fortune; hence the institution The ostensible reason for calling of the salbatical year, and of the this assembly, it will be remembered, year of jubilee ; the first of which was the usurious extortions of some came every fifty years. By the sabof the Jews of the northern depart- batical year all debtors were released ments. The answers to the questions from their obligations : the year of relative to this subject are particular- jubilee brought with it the restitution ly curious. They are as follow. of all estates sold or mortgaged.
It was easy to foresee that the difELEVENTH QUESTION.
ferent qualities of the ground, greatDoes the law forbid the Jews from or lesser industry, the untoward. taking usury froin their brethren? ness of the seasons, which might ef
fect bcth, would necessarily make a
dillerence in the produce of land, and Deuteronomy, ch. xxii. verse 19, that the more unfortunate Israelite says " thou shalt not lend upon inter. would claim the assistance of him est (English translation, usury) to thy
wliom fortune should have better fabrother, interest of money, interest of voured. Moses did not intend that victuals, interest of any thing that is this last should avail himself of his lent upon interest."
situation, and that he should require The Hebrew word nechech has been from the other the price of the serimproperly translated by the word vice he was soliciting ; that he should usury: in the Hebrew language it thus aggravate the misery of his means interest of any kind, and not brother, and enrich himself by his Maurious interest. It cannot then be spoils. It is with a view to this that taken in the acceptation now given in he says, “ Thou shalt not lend upon
interest to thy brother.” But what It is even impossible that it could want could there exist among the ever have had that acceptation ; for Jews, at a time when they bad no tisury is an expression relative to, and trade of any kind ? It was, at most, compared with, another and a law ful a few bushels of corn, some cattle, interest; and the text contains noth- some agricultural implements ; and ing which alludes to the other term Moses required that such services of comparison. What do we under- should be gratuitous ; his intention stand by usury? Is it not an interest, was to make of his people a nation of above the legal interest, above the husbandmen. For a long time after rate fixed by the law ? If the law of bim, and though Idumea was at no Moses has not fixed this rate, can it great distance from the sea shore, be said that the Hebrew word means inhabited by the Tyrians, the Sidoan unlawful interest? The word nians, and other nations possessing nechech in the Hebrew language an. shipping and commerce, we do not swers to the Latin word fanus : to sec the Hebrews much addicted to conclude that it means usury, another trade; all the regulations of their lawword should be found which would giver seemed designed to divert their mean interest ; and, as such a word attention from commerce. does not exist, it follows that all in- The prohibition of Moses must terest is usury, and that all usury is therefore be considered only as a
principle of charity, and not as a What was the aim of the lawgiver commercial regulation. According in forbidding one Hebrew to lend up- to the Talmud, the loan alluded to Vol. III, No. 5.
the word usury.
is to be considered almost as a fami- bidden, always on the score of char. ly loan, as a loan made to a man in ity, to lend upon interest to our fel. want ; for in case of a loan made to a low citizens of different persuasions, merchant, even a Jew, profit aciequate as well as to our fellow Jews. to the risk should be considered as The disposition of the law, which lau ful.
allows to take interest from the stranFormerly the word usury carried no ger, evidently refers only to nations invidious meaning; it simply implied in commercial intercourse with us; any interest whatever. The word otherwise there would be an evident usury can no longer express the contradiction between this passage meaning of the Hebrew text ; and and twenty others of the sacred accordingly the Bible of Osterwald, writings. and that of the Portuguese Jews, call “The Lord your God loreth the interest, that which Sacy, from the stranger, in giving him food and raiVulgate, has called usury.
ment; love ye therefore the stranger, The law of Moses, therefore, for- for ye were strangers in the land of bids all manner of interest on loan, Egypt.” Deut. x. 18, 19. “One law not only between jews, but between shall be to him that is homeborn and a Jew and bis countryman, without to the stranger.” Exod. xii. 49. distinction of religion. The loan “ Hear the causes
between your must be gratuitous whenever it is brethren, and judge righteously' be. to oblige those who elaim our assist- tween every man and his brother, and ance, and when it is not intended for
the stranger that is with him." Deut. comercial speculation.
i. 16. “If a stranger sojourn with We must not forget that these laws, thee in your land, you shall not res so humane and so admirable at these him.” Lev. xix. 33. “ Thou shalt early periods, were made for a people neither vex a stranger, nor oppress which then formed a state and held him, for ye were strangers in the a rank among nations.
land of Egypt.” Exod. xxii. 21. “If If the remnants of this people, now thy brother be waxen poor, or fallen scattered among all nations, are at. in decay with thee, thou shalt then tentively considered, it will be seen relieve him ; yea, though he be a that, since the Jews have been driven stranger, or a sojourner.” Lev. from Palestine, they no longer have
xxv. 15. had a common country, they no long- Thus the prohibition extended to er have had to maintain among them the stranger who dwelt in Israel : the primeval equality of property. the Holy Writ places them under Although filled with the spirit of their the safe guard of God; he is a sa. legislation, they have been sensible cred guest, and God orders us to that the letter of the law could no treat him like the widow and like the longer be obeyed when its principle orphan. was done away; and they have, there. It is evident that the text of the fore, without any scruple, lent money Vulgate, “ Extranei fænaberis et on interest to trading Jews, as well fratri tuo non fænaberis,” can be unas to men of different persuasions. derstood only as meaning foreign na.
tions in commercial intercourse with TWELFTH QUESTION.
us; and, even in this case, the Holy Does it forbid, or does it allow to
Writ, in allowing to take interest take interest from strangers ?
from the stranger, does not mean an
extraordinary profit, oppressive and ANSWER.
odious to the borrower. “Non licu. We have seen, in the answer to isse Israelitis,” say the doctors, the foregoing question, that the pro- “usuras immoderatas exigere ab eshibition of usury, considered as the traneis, etiam divitibus, res est per smallest interest, was a maxim of charity and of benevolence, rather Can Moses be considered as the than a commercial regulation. In Jawgiver of the universe, because he this point of view it is equally con- was the lawgiver of the Jews ? Were demned by the law of Moses and by the laws he gave to the people, which the Talmud. We are generally for- God had entrusted to his care, likely to become the general laws of man- these remarkable words in the first kind ? " Thou shalt not lend upon in- National Assembly : “ It is said that terest to thy brother.” What secu. usury is permitted to the Jews; this rity had he, that, in the intercourse assertion is grounded only on a false which would be naturally established interpretation of a principle of benevbetween the Jews and foreign nations, olence and fraternity which forbade these last would renounce customs them from lending upon interest to generally prevailing in trade, and one another.” lend to the Jews without requiring This opinion is also that of Puffenany interest? Was he then bound to dorf and of other writers on the law sacrifice the interest of his people, of nations. The antagonists of the and to impoverish the Jews to enrich Jews have laid a great stress on a foreign nations ? Is it not absolutely passage of Maimonides, who seeins absurd to reproach him with having to have represented as a precept the put a restriction to the precept con- expression anochri tassih, (make pro. tained in Deuteronomy? What law- fit of the stranger.) But although giver but would have considered such Maimonides has presumed to maintain a restriction as a natural principle of this opinion, it is well known that his reciprocity?
sentiments have been most completely How far superior in simplicity, refuted by the learned Rabbi Abar. generosity, justice and humanity, is banel. We find, besides, in the Tal. the law of Moses, on this head, to mud, a treatise of macot, (perfection) those of the Greeks, and of the Ro. that one of the ways to arrive at permans ? Can we find, in the history of fection, is to lend without interest to the ancient Israelites, those scanda. the stranger, even to the idolator. Jous scenes of rebellion, excited by Whatever besides might have been the harshness of creditors towards the condescension of God to the Jews, their debtors ; those frequent aboli- if we may be allowed the expression, tions of debts to prevent the multi- it cannot be reasonably supposed that tude, impoverished by the extortions the.common Father of mankind, could, of lenders, from being driven to de- at any time, make usury a precept. spair ?
The opinion of Maimonides, which The law of Moses and its interpre- excited all Jewish doctors against ters have distinguished, with a praise him, was principally condemned by the worthy humanity, the different uses famous Rabbies Moses de Gironda of borrowed money. Is it to main. and Solomon Benadaret, upon the tain a family ? Interest is forbidden. grounds, first, that he had relied on Is it to undertake a commercial spec- the authority of Siffri, a private doculation, by which the principal is ad- tor, whese doctrine has not been ventured ? Interest is allowed, even sanctioned by the Talmud : for it is a between Jews. "Lend to the poor," general rule that every rabbinical says Moses.
Here the tribute of opinion that is not sanctioned by that gratitude is the only kind of interest work is considered as null and void. allowed; the satisfaction of obliging Secondly, because if Maimonides is the sole recompense of the conferr- understood that the word nochri ed benefit. The case is different in (stranger,) was applicable to the regard to capitals employed in exten. Canaanean people doomed by God to sive commerce : there, Moses allows destruction, he ought not to have conthe lender to come in for a share of founded a public right, arising from the profits of the borrower ; and as an extraordinary order of God to the commerce was scarcely known among Israelites, considered as a nation, the Israelites, who were exclusively with the private right of an individual addicted to agricultural pursuits, and towards another individual of that as it was carried on only with stran. same nation. gers, that is, with neighbouring na- It is an incontrovertible point, actions, it was allowed to share its cording to the Talmud, that interest, profits with them.
even among Israelites, is lawful in It is in this view of the subject that commercial operations, where the M. Clermont Tonnere made use of lender, running some of the risk of