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" 8. JEHOVAH hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies, and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for which thou hast laboured.
“9. But they that have gathered it, shall eat it, and praise Jehovah ; and they that have brought it together, shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.
"10. Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye of the people : cast up, cast up the highway, gather out the stones, lift up a standard for the people.
“ 11. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh ; Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
“ 12. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord : and thou shalt be called, Sought out, a city not forsaken.
“The Zion, to whom this whole chapter is addressed, has been generally supposed to be the church ; but the description of it here does by no means favour such an interpretation. For when was the church forsaken, and her land desolate ? her corn meat for her enemies, and her wine drunken by strangers ? Does not all this much better suit the literal Zion, or the city of Jerusalem, and the land of Judæa ?
“ Isaiah lxv. 19. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people, and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
20. There shall be no more thence an infant
of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days : for the child shall die an hundred years old, but the sinner being an hundred years old, shall be accursed.
“ 21. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
“ 22. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
“ 23. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth trouble: for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.
“ 24. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer : and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
“ 25. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.
“ This prophecy evidently relates to the restoration of Jerusalem; and cannot, with propriety, be applied to the Church, which has never yet been in the happy state here described.”
ISRAEL AND THE GENTILES.
JEWS IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL,
Aben Ezra.* ABRAHAM BEN MEIR ABEN EZRA was born at the commencement of the twelfth century, (pro
* From “ Israel and the Gentiles," by Da Costa,
bably in 1119,) at Toledo, of a family already distinguished by more than one name of eminence in the Jewish history of the Peninsula. Posterity has surnamed him, by way of distinction, Hachacham (the wise); and learned Christians have also done full justice to his genius and extensive learning. Taking into consideration the age in which he lived, he was really eminent as a commentator, grammarian, philosopher, cabbalist, physician, mathematician, astronomer, and poet. Gifted with some portion of wealth, he was enabled to gratify a taste for travelling, which he possessed in common with many of his co-religionists of that period.
This taste, which belonged peculiarly to the Jews of the middle ages, is worthy of remark, as presenting a striking contrast to the life led by the monks and Roman Catholic clergy of that period. This desire of becoming personally acquainted with a world in which they met with so much hostility; this persevering diligence in study, carried on amid the fatigues and excitement of foreign travel ; and, lastly, the desire to ease, as it were, their position as wanderers, by becoming really so, is especially observable in the character of Aben Ezra.
The various places from which he dated his different works show, in the literal meaning of the word, that they were composed by a wanderer on the earth. One of them was written at Mantua, another at Rome, another in London, and a fourth in Greece. He visited also the land of his forefathers, and held discourse with the learned men of Tiberias, upon the Masoretic text of the Old Testament. He died on his return from this pilgrimage, in his seventy-fifth year ; about twelve years earlier than Maimonides, who, with many others, esteemed and admired him.
As a commentator on Scripture, he is valued, without exception, by all. He made good use of his great talents as a linguist, and was skilful in detecting the meaning of the text; while his expressions were elegant, and sometimes lively, and full of wit. His works have always been favourably received among Christians, and by them his commentaries have been translated into Latin. Complaint is made, however, of the obscurity of his style, which has required comments to be written upon his commentaries.
He also highly distinguished himself as a poet, he has left sacred poetry, hymns, and prayers, some of which have been added to the Liturgy of the Sephardim. His hymn on the soul is a poetical development of the rabbinical idea, that each night during sleep, the soul released from the body, gives account to the Most High, of the works done during the day. He has left also other descriptions of poetry, as Epithalamiums, Satires, and even a copy of verses on the game of chess, which, with two other poems on the same subject, were translated, and published in Latin, by Hyde, at Oxford, 1694. It is said that the Spanish version of the Old Testament, printed at Ferrara, in the sixteenth century, was only an improvement upon more ancient versions; among others, that of Aben Ezra. The Spanish language was at that time far less studied by the learned Jews than Hebrew and Arabic.
LETTER FROM THE REV. ALFRED
PERTH, VAN DIEMEN'S LAND,
Feb. 4th, 1852. An interesting circumstance has been communicated to me by the Rev. J. S. Medland, which I am sure will please you. It appears that he was rather disheartened by the result of his appeal in behalf of the Jews, and began to regret that he had incurred the expense of advertizing his sermons (he preached for the Society at his own Church), when scarcely a stranger was present. But he was soon cheered by the following occur
I will give it in his own words :“ After our evening service on Christmas-day, I had occasion to see Mr.
and remained talking with him until ten o'Clock. The Penitentiary-gate had scarce closed on me, when I was accosted by a person whom at first I could not at all distinguish. However, after a few words, I said, I think
you were the person who came into the chapel this evening, after the service had commenced; you were there in the morning, and also in the evening of Sunday.' He said, I was ;' and added : 'I could not leave this place (Hobart Town) without seeing you, and thanking you for your sermons for the Jews.' I asked him if he took any particular interest in them; and he replied, 'I am a Jew. I enquired: * Are you a baptized-a converted Jew?' With much diffidence and humbleness of manner he said he was. This led to some interesting conversation, in the course of which I learned that he had only arrived in the Colony a few days