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as that sect is distinguished for extraordinary zeal in devotional exercises. God had, however, better things in reserve for him, as Jacob was brought, when about twenty years of age, through the divine blessing on the labours of some pious missionaries, to know that truth which he was afterwards permitted to teach to others during the period of his exemplary labours, both as a Christian missionary himself, and also as the faithful pastor of a Christian congregation.
THE JEWS IN PORTUGAL.* The Jews in Portugal enjoyed extensive privileges as a completely separate portion of the community, yet on nearly an equal footing with the Christians. The Chief Rabbi was no where so highly considered, or his position more carefully determined by the legislature. King John İ. gave his sanction, at the request of Micer Moses, his chief physician, to a bull of Clement VI., confirmed by Boniface IX., in 1389, granting to the Jews free permission to celebrate their feasts, practise their ceremonies, and continue the full exercise of their religious worship, notwithstanding the violence and opposition of hot-headed fanatics.
Until the reigns of John II., and Don Manuel, we scarcely find any attempt to persecute the Jews recorded. From time to time the clergy and representatives of the people demanded an enforcement of the ancient edicts, requiring the Jews and Moors to wear a distinctive mark on their clothes. To Alphonso V. complaints were made of the magnificence of their style of living, and the luxury they displayed in silken garments, fine horses, and splendid arms.
* From Da Costa's “Israel and the Gentiles.”
During the period of tranquillity which the Jews of Portugal enjoyed before the end of the fifteenth century, they applied themselves diligently, not only to theology and Hebrew literature, but also to the study and investigation of science. A learned Portuguese, speaking of his own country in particular, says that the inhabitants of that part of the Peninsula were indebted to the Jews for their earliest instruction in philosophy, medicine, botany, astronomy, and cosmography. Alphonso V., of Portugal, in the fourteenth century (1325—1357, trod in the steps of his maternal grandfather, Alphonso X., of Castile, and engaged with zeal in the study of astronomy, in which he was also assisted by learned Jews and Arabs.
It was more especially in the reign of Don Duarte, that the science of navigation made rapid advances during the repeated voyages of the illustrious seaman, Prince Henry. The King himself took great interest in all studies connected with these voyages of discovery. He entertained at court the Hebrew astronomer, Abraham Guedetha, as cosmographer to the King, who com. bined with a knowledge of astronomy, not only its usual accompaniment, astrology, but also an extensive acquaintance with geography,
The principal counsellors of John II., when undertaking the expeditions that led to the discovery of a new way to India, round the Cape of Good Hope, were the two Bishops of Visen and Ceuta, and three Jewish physicians, José, Rodrigo, and Moses. Four of these learned men were also engaged in making charts to assist the two celebrated travellers in Abyssinia, Pero de Covilhao and Alphonso de Pavia. These four counsellors have been reproached with dissuading the King from accepting the proposals of Christopher Columbus. To counterbalance this error, we may state that the first idea of the possibility of finding a passage to India was suggested by the observations of two Portuguese Jews, Rabbi Abraham de Beja, and Joseph Zaphatero de Lamego, who had been sent by King John II. to explore Ormaz, and the coasts of the Red Sea. An investigation, as to the best means of encouraging navigation, not along the coast only, but in the open sea, was confided by the government, during the reign of this prince, to the celebrated German, Martin de Behaim, then established in the country, together with the before-mentioned Rodrigo and José.
The celebrated Don Manuel, surnamed the Lucky, who succeeded to the throne of Portugal after the death of John II., earned still more renown by the interest he took in the sciences of astronomy and navigation. In his reign, Vasco de Gama first accomplished a passage to India round the Cape, which contributed to open a new era in the history of the world, as well as in that of commerce.
This monarch, who finally banished the Jews, much against his own inclination, bestowed honour upon many of that nation, both before and after their compulsory baptism, and conferred upon them
many privileges. In their own literature and theology, less progress was made by the Jews of Portugal than those of Spain; fewer names of distinction have been recorded, and Hebrew poets were rare in that portion of the Peninsula. Yet academies and learned men were not wanting, and the rabbinical school of Lisbon early gained distinction among the many Jewish institutions which sprung up from the mother school of Cordova. It was gradually increased by numerous fugitives, who quitted Spain before the final catastrophe in 1492, compelled by local persecution, or other causes, to escape from Castile and Arragon. During the five years that elapsed between their expulsion from Spain and their banishment from Portugal, Lisbon became, for a moment, the centre-point of Jewish science and civilization.
THE LITTLE CAPTIVE. We are glad at any time to be able to direct the attention of our young readers, to any publication which may serve to stir them up to greater diligence in the practical duties connected with Christian missions. A little work bearing the above title,* relates to the cleansing of Naaman the Syrian, through the instrumentality of the little Jewish maiden, who was taken as a captive from her native land, and became an attendant on Naaman's wife. God may use any instrument he pleases for the accomplishment of His will, and our young friends may be encouraged in knowing how He employs small means, to bring about very great and important ends. We learn in this little book How valuable are the influences and effects of
early religious training. “ In the house of Naaman lived the little cap* Wertheim and Macintosh, 24, Paternoster-row.
tive maid of Israel. Though far distant from her home and surrounded by idolatry, she had not forgotten the lessons of her parents, who, we may be sure, did not allow the religion of their child to depend on chance, or the caprice of her own taste, as is too often the case in the education of children in the present day, but early instilled sound religious principles into her tender mind......No doubt she sighed for her longlost parents, and her distant home; but neither impatient in adversity, nor proud in the favour of her mistress, she gained influence over all who were in Naaman's house.
In a strange and heathen land, away from all her kindred, with no one to counsel her, and, as we should have thought, in daily danger of falling into the idolatry which surrounded her, she not only kept the faith in which she had been so early and zealously trained, but in her life and conversation preached the true God to those who hitherto had worshipped idols.
• Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
We may further learn from this little publication thatEvery one may do something for the glory of
God, and the good of their fellow-men. “ It may be asked, And what could she do? SHE DID WHAT SHE COULD. Engaged in the path of duty, while performing service to her earthly master, she did not neglect her duty to the Lord of lords. There was no mere selfishness in her religion. Her own sorrows did not so weigh her down, that she forgot the sufferings of those around her. Her sorrowing master was not