Page images


IN presenting to the public a new work upon a subject, which has recently excited so much attention, and employed such able pens, it is of course necessary to state the principles upon which it has been composed, and the motives which have induced its publication.

The principles upon which the HISTORY OF THE JEWS IN ALL AGES has been composed, are the following :

The statements of the Holy Scriptures, as the inspired word of God, however irreconcilable with human maxims and inconsistent with human opinions, are to be received with all the submission which their divine authority demands; and without hesitation, and to their fullest extent, are to be implicitly credited.

Since the dispensations of the Almighty to the Hebrew nation in every age, involve the accomplishment of one grand design of infinite importance to the

human race,

and essentially identified with the development of the glory of God, therefore a direct divine interposition, or superintendence, in the arrangement of the civil and religious institutions, and in the national affairs of the Jews, is to be considered reasonable and probable..

Such an interposition or superintendence, is clearly asserted in the Holy Scriptures, and has been demonstrated by a long series of facts and events, which plainly exhibit a miraculous agency,

and which cannot be accounted for, which in fact become absolutely incredible, if the existence and operation of such a preternatural agency be denied.

This divine design, this divine interposition or superintendence, are to be so constantly recognized in the whole history of the Jews, that their patriarchal ancestors, their great lawgiver, their judges, their kings, their prophets, their priests, their heroes, their enemies, their destroyers, are all alike to be contemplated as subordinate instruments in the hands of Him, by whom they were originally called, by whom they have been signally punished, and by whom they have been as wonderfully preserved.

The divine design in the separation of the Hebrew people from all other nations, in committing to them a revelation of the character of God, in establishing among them moral, ceremonial, and judicial institutions, and, in fact, in every dispensation which evolved during the long period of seventeen hundred years, was to prepare the way for the accomplishment of the Redemption of Christ, the “bringing in of that better hope,” by which sinners now draw nigh unto God.

The appearance of the Son of God in the world, and the consequent establishment of the Christian dispensation, involved the final abolition of the peculiar privileges of the Jews, and of the ceremonial and judicial institutions of their law.

The crime of the rejection of Christ, heightened by every possible aggravation of ingratitude, malignity, and unbelief, has been the cause of the sufferings the Jews have endured, in every age, and in almost every country, since the destruction of Jeru. salem.

The wonderful preservation of the Jews, notwithstanding the unparalleled calamities which have been inflicted upon them since their dispersion, viewed in connexion with the intelligible predictions of inspiration, warrants the conclusion, that a momentous design remains to be accomplished in their historyand that design is, the signal exhibition of the power, the wisdom, and the mercy of God, in their conversion to the religion of Jesus, and their restoration to the land of their fathers.

The history of the Jews, being replete throughout with the most striking instances of the fulfilment of prophecy, may be regarded as furnishing a testimony, at once interesting and irrefragable, to the divine authority and inspiration of the Scriptures.

And lastly, the moral lessons for individuals, for nations, and for the world, which are furnished by the history of the Jews, are so important and impressive, so awful and affecting, that they demand the investigation, and ought to be retained in the memory, of all who believe in the doctrine of a providence, or anticipate the decisive transactions of a judgment day.

Such are the principles upon which this work has been composed, and which are directly or incidentally illustrated in the following pages. The author has no doubt, that as they are clearly deducible from the word of God, as they are essential to the consistency and credibility of the narrative itself, and as they are indubitably subservient to the great purposes of personal advantage and practical utility, they will commend themselves at once to the approbation and to the serious attention of the reader.

To present to the public in a condensed form, and in a lucid arrangement, a HISTORY OF THE JEWS IN ALL Ages, founded upon the preceding principles, and embodying and illustrating them, is the exclusive objeet of the present publication. Such a work, it is conceived, is particularly required by the circumstances of the present times, and by the fact that no other, upon the same plan, with the same design, and within similar limits, is accessible to the ordinary reader.

Almost two years ago, indeed, a History of the Jews was published in a popular form, which soon

« PreviousContinue »