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notice of it by some friend. If you have the book of Joshua, and any liturgy, send us that also.
“ Tell us what your law is. As for us, we call that the law which begins with the first word of Genesis, (a) and ends with the last of Deuteronomy, (beren). Cause all this to be copied for us in the holy tongue, and tell us by what name you go? We adjure you by the name of the living God not to suffer a year to run over your heads without giving us an answer. In the mean time we bless God, the LORD of heaven and earth ; and we implore His mercy and His justice to instruct you in all that can please Him, and to guide you in the good way, Amen. May He preserve you and deliver you from the hands of your enemies; and gather you together from your dispersions, into the land of your fathers, through the merits of Moses. We add, that this is our faith; we believe in God, in Moses His servant, in the holy law, in Mount Gerizim, the house of God, and in the day of vengeance and peace. Blessed for ever be our God; and let His peace rest upon Moses, the son of Amram, the righteous, perfect, pure, and faithful prophet. We have written this letter at Sichem, near Gerizim, the 15th day of the sixth month, which is the 27th day of the lunar month, in the 6111th year of the creation of the world; according to the Greeks, the second from the year of rest. This year the seventh month will begin the fourth of Elul, according to the Greeks; and the next year
is the 3411th from the entrance into the Land of Canaan. God be blessed!"
May this letter by the help of God arrive into the city England, to the synagogue of the Samaritan children of Israel, whom God preserve. It is written by the synagogue of Israel, dwelling at Sichem. Mechab, the son of Jacob, a descendant of Ephraim, the son of Joseph, was the secretary.”
The Samaritan Pentateuch, which it appears from the above that the Rev. Mr. Huntington (then chaplain to the Turkey Company at Aleppo, and afterwards bishop of Rapho in Ireland,) had requested from them in the name of the Samaritans dwelling in England, is Cod. 65. in Kennicott's collection. Mr. Huntington made it a present to Abp. Marsh. It seems it had been highly prized by its Samaritan possessor; for, says Mr. Huntington, in an epistle to Ludolf, He had it in his bosom, suspended from his neck. Kennicott supposes it to have been written about the middle of the thirteenth century. The 33d and 34th chapters of Deuteronomy are supplied in this manuscript by Marcab ben Yacoub, the writer of the above epistle. The manuscript is in the 12mo . form.
In the year 1790 I met with “an epistle from the Samaritans at Sichem, to the Samaritans of England,” in Marsh's Library, St. Patrick's, Dublin, neatly written upon paper, in a very legible Samaritan character. It is probably the same with that mentioned above. I began to transcribe it as a curiosity, but could not find opportunity to finish it. It is directed in the following manner:
want yuz using yuz zag Wet MI NTAZ
:952751 90179 Laedeth benee yisrael hashemereem hashokeneem baair angeland. “ To the congregation of the children of Israel, the Samaritans dwelling in the city England.” I mention this circumstance here, that any of the literati who are curious in oriental matters may know the residence of such a curiosity, and consult it when opportunity may offer. If my recollection be correct, a part of the epistle is accompanied with a Latin translation.
For further information relative to this people, I must refer the reader to Prideaux's Connections, as quoted above ; to Ludolf's and Huntington's Letters; and to Basnage's History of the Jews. Whether any remains of this very antient sect of mongrel Jews be now in existence at Sichem or elsewhere I have not been able to learn. According to De Sacy there ate.
State of the modern Jews. Their Liturgy.
THERE is some reason to fear that many Jews in the present day have drank deeply into the infidel spirit of the times, and no longer receive the writings of the Old Testament as divinely inspired. A Jewish Rabbi, a man of extensive information, and considerable learning, lately observed to me, that “as Moses had to deal with a grossly ignorant, stupid, and headstrong people, he was obliged to have recourse to a pious fraud, and pretend that the laws he gave them were sent to him by the Creator of all things: and that all the antient legislators and formers of new states who had a barbarous people to govern were obliged to act in the same way, such as Menu, Numa, Lycurgus, Mohammed, &c. and that the time was very near at hand, when all the inhabitants of the civilized world would be of one religion, viz. Dersm, which, he said was a system of truth, compounded from Judaism, Mohammedanism, Christianity, and the writings of the antient heathen philosophers !" When I expressed my surprise at hearing a Jew talk thus, and asked him if any of his brethren were of the same mind, he answered with considerable emotion, “Yes; every intelligent Jew in Europe, who reflects on the subject, is of the same mind." If this Rabbi's testimony be true, the children of Jacob are indeed deplorably fallen! And from the manner in which they conduct what they call the worship of God, who would suppose they either credit His word, or believe in His existence? It cannot even be called a solemn mockery; the irreligion of it is too barefaced to have any pretensions to solemnity, or indeed even to decorum."
• A friend of mine went into the synagogue in Duke's place, Houndsditch, London, to observe the method in which they conducted their worship. Happening to come near a Jew who
Having brought the work thus far, I think it proper to conclude the whole wth some account of the Jewish Liturgy.
In former times their synagogue service was composed of prayers, reading the Scriptures, and expounding them. At present the latter is not generally regarded. At first their prayers were very short and simple. Our Lord's prayer is a model of this kind; and seems to have been taken from some of the Jewish forms extant in his time; at least, every petition of it is found in the antient Jewish writings : but even then there were some hypocritical Pharisees who made long prayers, and these our Lord most cuttingly reprehends. The liturgy of the modern Jews is greatly increased in size, which makes their synagogue service long and tedious: and the rubric by which they regulate it is very intricate, perplexed, and encumbered with many rites and ceremonious observances ; in all of which, says Dr. Prideaux, they equal, if not exceed, both the superstition and length of the Popish service.
was loudly chanting his part of the sacred office, he unfor. tunately trod on his toes. The man instantly suspended his reading; and, with a countenance as fierce as a tyger, cried
- your eyes ! can't you see?” and then recollecting his piety anew, he immediately resumed his sacred employment, and with the same devotion as before, continued to accompany his bre. thren, having lost but about two seconds in pronouncing his execration,
• Maimonides in Tephillah, and Prideaux's Connections, Vol. II. p. 538.