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and we can scarcely regret the failure, since if they had succeeded in making the Jews Trinitarians," the last error would have been worse than the first.” Abandoned children, probably half-Jews by descent, have been taken up. and provided for by these zealous proselyting associations; and so far it is well. Here and there a trader in opinions comes amongst them from the Jews, and now and then a wretched individual who is seeking for food. We do not find, however, that they entice over respectable and religious persons of the Jewish faith, much less persons whose minds are at all enlightened. There has been a disgusting exposure of roguery amongst the Jew-Society converts. Several of these renegades, after being fed with Christian “ bread and wine,” have relapsed into their former state, and have been reconciled to their own people by penance and by the mulcts which the credulity of their proselyting patrons bas enabled them to pay:
But whilst every other people is in a state of intellectual excitement and moral improvement, can the Jews remain stationary and preserve their hard and unamiable character? We think not. Symptoms have appeared on the Continent of a disposition to a change for the better, in this hitherto inflexible nation. A very few of their writers have attempted to purge their religion from superstition and to reduce it to the ratiopal standard of the law of Moses; and some synagogues have, we learn, diminished the number of ceremonies, and introduced a purer worship, and a worship not wholly in a dead language, which to many even of the Jews is an « unknown tongue."
More recently an attempt at reformation of Judaism has been made, and is we hope still making, in the United States of America; a favourable spot for the noble experiment. In our last Volume, XI. 359, we gave some ac. count of a proclamation by Mordecai Manual Noah, “ Citizen of the United States, late Consul of the said States for the City and Kingdom of Tunis, High Sheriff of New York, Counsellor at Law," who styles himself a Judge in Israel, and proposes to establish a Jewish Republic, in Grand Island, in the State of New York, on which he is about to lay the foundation of a City of Refuge, to be called Ararat. And an American Correspondent in the Monthly Repository, Vol. XIX. p. 554, says, referring to the Jews, — " persons of that denomination are found in some of the most responsible civil situations under our
National and State Governments; they are also officers in the army and navy, editors of some of our most popular newspapers, and teachers of excellent schools, to which Christians send their children with as little repugnance as to those of their own creed.”
The attempt to which we have referred is explained in the North American Review* for July of the present year, in a notice of the two following publications : "1. The Constitution of the Reformed Society of Israelites, for promoting true Principles of Judaism according to its Purity and Spirit.
Founded in Charleston, South Carolina, January 16, 1825. Charleston, 1825. 8vo. pp. 16.2. A Discourse, delivered in Charleston, South Carolina, on November 21, 1825, before the Reformed Society of Israelites, for promoting true Principles of Judaism according to its Purity and Spirit, on their First Anniversary. By Isaac Harby, a Member. Charleston. 1825. 8vo. pp. 40.
The Reforming Israelites at Charleston, to the number of forty-seven, addressed a memorial to the synagogue in that place, praying for certain alterations in the worship. This was rejected by the Vestry without discussion or the right of appeal. Hereupon the petitioners formed themselves into a Society and drew up a Constitution, of which the following are a few of the Articles :
“ As soon as this Society finds itself able, it will educate a youth or youths of the Jewish persuasion classically in the English, Latin and Hebrew languages, so as to render him or them fully competent to perform divine service, not only with ability, learning and dignity, but also according to the true spirit of Judaism, for which this institution was formed; and in the meanwhile, this Society will adopt and support, as soon as practicable, any person so qualified for the sacred office.
“ It shall be the primary object of this Institution to devise ways and means, from time to time, of revising and altering such parts of our prevailing system of worship, as are consis. tent with the present enlightened state of society, and not in aceordance with the Five Books of Moses and the Prophets.
* This is a Quarterly Journal, in the manner of our Quarterly and Edinburgh. It is compiled with great ability, and may be placed beside the above-named celebrated periodicals. Already, it has raised the standard of literature and taste among our Transatlantic brethren. The religious opinions maintained in the Review are such as would be esteemed heresy wherever there is a political and Trinitarian Church ; its politics are, we need not add,
republican, but at the same time not intemperate. In this work, England is treated with marked respect, though the national bigotry of some Englishmen who write upon America, is not spared.
“There shall be annually elected from among the resident members a committee of five, entitled a Committee of Correspondence, for the purpose of conferring and corresponding, at all times, when it shall be deemed necessary by said Committee, or a majority thereof, with the several congregations, or respec. table individuals, or sections of Jews throughout the United States, Europe, or elsewhere, as to any assistance or co-operation which they may be disposed to afford this Society in its future operations.
Any Hebrew, having attained his seventeenth year, and desirous of becoming a member of this Society, shall make application by letter addressed to the president and members."
The Reviewer says that it has been vaguely suggested, though it is not hinted in these documents, that the new Reformers among the Jews, both in America and Europe, have it in contemplation to remove their Sabbath forward one day, so as to make it coincide with the day of rest of the Christian.
An interesting paper is inserted in the Review from the pen of a Jewish Reformer. This writer estimates the Jews in the Old World, at six millions ; in the New, at six thousand only. The congregation at Charleston consists of six hundred persons. The city of New York equals and will soon double it. This informant says,
“Men, who reflect, go any where in pursuit of happiness. The immediate ancestors of the most respectable Jews in these United States came, some for the purposes of commerce, others for the more noble love of liberty, and the majority for both. In Georgia and in South Carolina, several honourably bore arms in the revolutionary war. My maternal grandfather contributed pecuniary aid to South Carolina, and particularly to Charleston, when besieged by the British. My father-in-law was a brave grenadier in the regular American army, and fought and bled for the liberty he lived to enjoy, and to hand down to his children. Numerous instances of patriotism are recorded of such Israelites.
“ As to the descent of the Jews of the United States, they are principally German and English; though South Carolina has a portion of French and Portuguese. My ancestors came originally from Barbary, where my father's father enjoyed a post of honour in the palace of the Emperor of Morocco, that of Royal Lapidary. He fled to England, and married an Italian lady. My father left England for Jamaica before he was twenty years
of age. He afterwards settled ių Charleston, and, I think
I may say, was among the first to set an example to his Jewish brethren, of giving a liberal education to their children.”
The Reformed Society have fifty members, making with their families upwards of two hundred Dissenters. The Jews born in Carolina are mostly of their way of thinking. The objects of the Reformers are thus explained :
“ The principal points aimed at by the Reformers, are order and decency in worship, harmony and beauty in chanting, the inculcation of morality and charitable sentiments upon individuals, and the promotion of piety towards the Deity. . In these things, the Society believes, consist religion, virtue and happi. ness ; in these, the salvation of every rational and immortal being
Although in France the rich Jews, generally, have little or no religion, yet in Bourdeaux the Israelites have built a handsome temple, sing with taste and music, preserve great decency and order, and have a portion of the liturgy in French. I have not been able to ascertain whether they sit covered or not. But I perfectly recollect being told, by competent authority, that the worship was solemn, affecting and engaging.
“ In Germany, where the civil (Christian) authorities interposed to prohibit several exceptionable ceremonies and practices, it was done at the request of enlightened Israelites.”
Mr. Harby, the author of the second article reviewed, is said by the author to be
“ honourably known in the fields of literature, having published a successful tragedy, entitled Alberti, of which the style is more than commonly chaste, and the structure betokens no small dramatic ability. He for some time edited, in an able and indefatigable manner, one of the four daily papers in Charleston ; another being conducted also by a gentleman of the same religious denomination, distinguished for the solidity and extent of his views in political economy, and occasionally by the felicity of his literary criticisms. Mr. Harby's Discourse will much increase his reputation. It is conceived in a fine spirit, and executed in a manner altogether worthy of the occasion. There is a solemnity, and a conscientious fixedness and elevation of purpose, apparent in the author's views. He has all the ardour and confidence of a Reformer, to whom obstacles are stimulants rather than discouragements. Though, in the capacity of an Israelite, he betrays a becoming sympathetic indignation for the past sufferings of his brethren, yet he seems to feel, that the name of America is rather a more precious patronymic, than one of antique and foreign origin. Cherishing a bitter hatred against the cruel excesses of spurious Christianity, he still has the candour and discrimination to separate