Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Jews
 
  Is there a person of the least knowledge who suffers himself to doubt that in the most comprehensive meaning of Scripture, the prophecy of its [the Christian religion] universal reception is fast fulfilling, and certainly must be fulfilled? For my own part, gentlemen of the jury, I have no difficulty in saying to you, not as counsel in this cause, but speaking upon my honour, for myself (and I claim to be considered as an equal authority, at least, to Mr. Paine, on the evidence which ought to establish any truth), that the universal dispersion of the Jews throughout the world, their unexampled sufferings, and their invariably distinguished characteristics, when compared with the histories of all other nations, and with the most ancient predictions of their own lawgivers and prophets concerning them, would be amply sufficient to support the truths of the Christian religion, if every other record and testimony on which they stand had irrecoverably perished.
Lord-Chancellor Erskine: Speech in the Prosecution of Paine as the author of The Age of Reason, 1794.    
  1
 
  Rulers must not be suffered thus to absolve themselves of their solemn responsibility. It does not lie in their mouths to say that a sect is not patriotic. It is their business to make it patriotic. History and reason clearly indicate the means. The English Jews are, as far as we can see, precisely what our government has made them. They are precisely what any sect, what any class of men, treated as they have been treated, would have been. If all the red-haired people of Europe had, during centuries, been outraged and oppressed, banished from this place, imprisoned in that, deprived of their money, deprived of their teeth, convicted of the most improbable crimes on the feeblest evidence, dragged at horses’ tails, hanged, tortured, burned alive; if, when manners became milder, they had still been subject to debasing restrictions and exposed to vulgar insults, locked up in particular streets in some countries, pelted and ducked by the rabble in others, excluded everywhere from magistracies and honours,—what would be the patriotism of gentlemen with red hair? And if, under such circumstances, a proposition were made for admitting red-haired men to office, how striking a speech might an eloquent admirer of our old institutions deliver against so revolutionary a measure! “These men,” he might say, “scarcely consider themselves as Englishmen. They think a red-haired Frenchman or a red-haired German more closely connected with them than a man with brown hair born in their own parish. If a foreign sovereign patronizes red hair, they love him better than their own native king.  2
  “They are not Englishmen; they cannot be Englishmen: nature has forbidden it: experience proves it to be impossible. Right to political power they have none; for no man has a right to political power. Let them enjoy personal security; let their property be under the protection of the law. But if they ask for leave to exercise power over a community of which they are only half-members, a community the constitution of which is essentially dark-haired, let us answer them in the words of our wise ancestors, Nolumus leges Angliæ mutari.”
Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay: Civil Disabilities of the Jews, Jan. 1831.    
  3
 
  Whilst all the surrounding world lay immersed in the profoundest moral darkness; whilst Egypt, which has been celebrated as the instructress of mankind, lay grovelling before her oxen, her birds, her reptiles, and her pot-herbs; whilst Grecian and Roman altars, even at a moment when heathen refinement was at its highest, were smoking before the emblems of the grossest appetites and of the rankest intemperance;—there in an obscure corner of the globe, overlooked and despised by the surrounding nations, was to be seen the astonishing spectacle of one small people, with no literature but their own sacred books, no arts but those derived from a most limited and unwilling intercourse with their neighbours, celebrating, as they had done for ages, the praises of the great unseen immaterial Creator of the universe, in sentiments the justness and sublimity of which poetry in her highest flights has never to this day been able to equal, nor philosophy in her utmost pride of discovery to improve.
Bishop Philip N. Shuttleworth.    
  4
 
 
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