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myriads of the redeemed shall have , every fear! Let us struggle on. been gathered from all lands and The morning star is risen. The ages. Oh is not the anticipation day will soon dawn-the bright and enough to ravish the mind, and quell cloudless day of eternity!
MASSACRE OF JEWS IN THEIR SYNAGOGUE AT PRAGUE.*
A GLIMPSE AT MIDDLE-AGE PERSECUTIONS.
It happened in the days of Wences. numbers, swore a bloody deadly laus the Slothful, that a Knight was revenge against the Jews. He kept inflamed with lust for a Jewish his word. maiden. She repelled his shameful Long ago expelled from the ranks proposals with virtuous indignation. of the nobility on account of his The arts of seduction were foiled by worthless behaviour, the Knight the maiden's steadfast determination. had cultivated a connexion with The Knight, therefore, resolved to some discontented idle burghers of attain his purpose by violence. The the city, and these he hoped to make day of the Feast of the Atonement the ministers of his cruel vengeance. seemed to him the best suited for Some short time afterwards he put the accomplishment of his plan. himself at the head of a mob, He knew that Judith-so the maiden wrought up by frivolous pretexts to was named-would on that day be a frenzy of fanaticism, to murder staying at home with her blind the Jews, and plunder their town. mother, while all the other members The Jews who, frightened out of of the family were detained by prayer their peaceful dwellings, went to and pious exercises in the house of meet the robbers, were cut down. God. On the evening of that day Determined as they were, the rest Judith was softly praying by the were overwhelmed by a superior bed-side of her slumbering mother. force, and being unarmed were comThe door of her chamber opened, pelled, after a heroic struggle, to and her detested persecutor entered take refuge in the synagogue, which with sparkling eyes. Unmoved by was already crowded with old men, her prayers, or tears, he already women, and children. Mighty blows held Judith fast embraced in his sounded heavily on the closed doors powerful arms, when a lucky chance of the synagogue. • Open, and give brought her brother home to enquire yourselves up,' yelled the Knight after the bealth of his mother and from outside. After a short pause sister. The terrible unutterable of consultation, answer was made wrath that took possession of the that the Jews would deliver over brother gave him, naturally a their property to the mutineers, powerful man, the strength of would draw up a deed of gift of it, a giant. He wrenched the sword and only reserve for themselves out of the villian's hand, who had absolute necessaries. They also only the women to thank that he promised to make no complaint to did not pay for the attempted king or states, in exchange for which infamy with the forfeit of his life. the honour of their wives and With kicks and grim mockery the daughters was to be preserved, and outraged brother drove the dissolute fellow from the house. The Knight, Pascheles, a learned modern Jew of Prague,
* The above is given by Dr. Wolf exposed to the scorn of the people in his recent work, entitled "Sippurim. who bad assembled in considerable -ED.
Rather Death than Dishonour.
no one compelled to change his ; 'Lord,' he implored, 'I suffer in. religion.
finite sorrow. Yet, oh that we 'It is not your business,' a voice ' might fall into the hands of the from outside again resounded, it Lord, for His mercy is boundlessis ours to dictate conditions. If only not into the hand of man- 1-Ah! you desire life, and not a wretched we know not what to do: to Thee death, open at once, and abjure alone we look for succour. Call to your faith. I grant but short delay remembrance Thy mercy
and for reflection : let the time of grace gracious favour, which has been pass by, and you are one and all ever of old; in anger be mindful of given over to destruction.'
compassion; let Thy goodness be No answer followed. Further re- shown unto us, as we put our trust in sistance could not be thought of; Thee.' and a hope that the king would at But God at this season did not length put a stop to this unheard of, succour His children: in His ununparalleled iniquity, grew every searchable counsels it was otherwise moment less. The battle in the ordained. The first door was burst street-if the desperate resistance open ; the mob pressed into the of a few unarmed men against an vestibule of God's house. A single armed superior force could be called frail barrier separated oppressed by that name—had lasted long and oppressors. Lord,' cried the enough to have enabled King Wen- Rabbi, in accents of deepest despair, ceslaus to send to their assistance. 'Lord, grant that the walls of this As no help came, the Jews were at house, in which we and our fathers length constrained to admit that he with songs of praise bave glorified did not trouble himself about their and blessed Thy name, that the fate. A silence as of death reigned walls of this Thy temple may fall in the synagogue. Only here and together, and that we may find a there a suppressed sobbing, only grave under their ruins ! But let us here and there an infant at the not fall alive into the hands of the breast that reminded its mother of barbarians. Let not our wives and her sweetest duty, was heard. Once maidens become a living prey to the more the voice of the Knight wicked.' “No!' now exclaimed a thundered rough and wild, 'I de- powerful voice, that shall they not, mand of you for the last time, which Rabbi. Wives and maidens, do do you choose-the new faith or you prefer death at the hands of death ?' There was a momentary your fathers, husbands, brothers, silence, then a cry of thousands, death at your own hands, to shame Death!' broke with a dull sound and disbönour ? Would you appear against the roof of the house that was pure and innocent before the throne consecrated to God. The rioters of the Almighty, instead of falling now began to demolish the doors living victims into the hands of with axes and batchets. But the these blood-thirsty, inhuman men besieged, in their deadly agony, outside ; would you ? Speak ! time lifted up their voice in wonderful presses. And again resounded from accord, and sang in solemn chorus à hundred women's lips, Rather the glorious verse of the Psalmist:- death than dishonour. "Though I walk through the valley of the
His lovely blooming wife pressed shadow of death,
up close to the side of the man who I will not fear the crafty wiliness of the had thus spoken, her baby at her evil-doer;
breast. 'Let me be the first; let For Thou art with me! Thou art in all my me receive my death at thy loved
ways; The firm staff of faith is my confidence.'
hands,' she murmured, softly. With
the deepestemotion of which a human The aged Rabbi had sunk upon soul is capable, he clasped her to his knees in prayer upon the steps his breast. * It must be done that led up to the tabernacle. I quickly,' he said, with hollow,
trembling voice. • The separation | battle-axe in hand, stood on the must be speedy. I never thought steps that led up to the house of to part from you thus. Lord, most prayer. His countenance was dismerciful, forgive us. We do it for figured by fury. Behind him crowded Thy holy name's sake alone. Art an immeasurable mass of people, thou ready?'
armed with spits, and clubs, and 'I am,' she said; 'let me only iron flails. 'Yield your women and once more, but once more, for the children !' he shouted, in a voice last time, kiss my sweet, my in. of thunder, at length betraying his nocent child. God bless thee, poor real intention ;-' and abjure your orphan; God suffer thee to find faith!' compassion in the eyes of our • Look at these blood-dripping, murderers * * God help thee! | steaming corpses,' said a man who We, dear friend, we part but for a stood nearest the door ; they are short time ; thou wilt follow me women and maidens; they have all soon; thou true-hearted.' With the preferred death to dishonour most infinite sorrow that can thrill Do you think that we men fear a man's heart, the husband pressed death at thy hands and the hands of a fervent parting kiss, a last touch of thy murderous associates ? Murder the hand upon the loved infant, that me, monster, and be accursed here absolutely refused to leave its and hereafter, in this world and the mother, and her bared and heaving next, for ever and ever!' A moment breast. One stroke of the knife, afterwards the bold speaker lay and a jet of blood sprinkled the on the ground weltering in his child's face, and spouted up against blood. At the sight of the countless the walls of God's house. The corpses of the women, the beastly rage woman sank with a cry of 'Hear, of the populace, that saw itself thus oh Israel, the Everlasting, our God cheated, mounted to absolute mad. is God alone!' and fell lifeless on
Hyænas drunk with blood the ground.
would have behaved with greater All the other women, including humanity. Not a life was spared ; Judith, followed the brave and and even infants were slaughtered gallant example. Many died by over the bodies of their mothers. their own hands ; many received Blood flowed in streams. One boy their death - strokes from their alone was later on dragged still husbands, fathers, brothers; but all living from under the heaps of dead. of them without a murmur, silent As they approached the tabernacle, and resigned to God's will. They in order to inflict the death-stroke had to tear away tender children, on the Rabbi, who was kneeling on who, weeping and wringing their the steps before it, they found him hands, climbed on to their father's lifeless, his head turned upwards in knees, and piteously implored them the direction of the East, a soft not to hurt their mothers. It was smile
his death-like features. a scene horrible and heartrending; Death had anticipated them. His a scene than which the history of pure soul had passed away in fervent the Jews, the history of mankind, prayer. knows none more agonizing. It The mob surveyed the work that was accomplished: no woman might had been accomplished ; and now fall alive into the hands of the per- that the thirst for blood was stilled, secutors. The last death-sigh was shrunk in terror before the crime breathed, and the few stout men, that had been perpetrated. The who had desired to defend the inner tabernacle remained untouched, the door only till then, stepped back house of God unplundered. Disward. A fearful blow, and the charging oaths and curses on the door, the last bulwark, fell in, Knight, their ringleader, the wild sending clouds of dust whirling troop dispersed in apprehensive awe over it. The Knight, brandishing of the Divine and human judge.
ARMINIUS: A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.
CHAPTER II. -HIS EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION. On the pleasant and fertile plains of, of Oudewater, was soon to stand in South Holland, about half - way need. In infancy he was left an between Rotterdam and Utrecht, orphan, and while yet in early youth stands the ancient town of Oude- he alone of his father's house re. water. Distinguished by the rich- mained. By the help of God he must ness and verdure of the surrounding carve his way for himself through the country, and by the frugality and world. Nor was that help withheld. industry of its inhabitants, it finds His mind was hardly awake to the a place in history as the scene of reality of life before the prayers of one of the many massacres which the widow were answered. Theodore perpetuate in the Netherlands the Æmilius became the guardian of infamy of the Spaniard. In this her son, and charged himself town Arminius first saw the light. with his education. For this He sprang of an honest but not he was eminently qualified by his patrician family of the old Batavian scholarly culture, his Christian stock. His father, wbo was by trade principles and life. Bred in the & cutler, is said to have been an Romish Church, he had renounced ingenious mechanic, and his mother her doctrines and worship, and enjoys the reputation of a worthy embraced with enthusiasm the purer Dutch house-wife of thrifty habits faith of the Reformation. To escape and godly disposition. His name persecution, and to enjoy in peace in the mother-tongue was Hermann; his newly-adopted religion, he had the pedantry of the times changed resided occasionally at Paris, it into the Latinized form Arminius. Louvain, Cologne, Utrecht, and That name was already famous. elsewhere, as the shifting humour The son of a German chieftain, of the times render expedient. For trained in the Roman service and those were days of most severe invested with Roman honours and suffering and trial for Protestants, citizenship, rendered it memorable both in the Netherlands and in in the early days of the Empire. France. Flocks of foul harpies, Nine years after the commencement hatched in Spain, haunted the sky, of the Christian era the tidings flew and with bloody beak and talons across the Alps to Rome that the sought a living banquet by turns army under Varus had been de in every land. Now this city and stroyed and the commander had now that furnished the horrid feast died by his own hard. The city as it was given up to the greed and was seized with panic. The Empire lust of soldiers, or the cold blooded was thought to be in danger. cruelty of the Holy Office. Augustus, already in his dotage, When the father of Arminius wept like a child, tore his garments died, Æmilius was at Oudewater. in frenzy, and called upon Varus As soon as his young charge was of to give him back his legions. In fit age he began to imbue his mind the woods of North Germany three with the principles of religion, and brave and disciplined legions had to instruct him in the elements of been met by a host of native the classical tongues. Discovering warriors led by Arminius, and after in his pupil a singular aptness for a three days' battle had been cut learning, and indications of the force to pieces. The prowess of the of genius, Æmilius took occasion victorious chief preserved to his frequently to advise him to disregard country her freedom, her language, in his plan of life worldly honour and her independence.
advancement, and to devote himself Of the heroism associated with to God and his conscience. The life his name, young James Hermann we live here,' said the good man,
is short and vain, but that which So sanguinary a follows is measured not by a brief not, however, an extraordinary event period of servitude or freedom, but under the benign sway of the by aneternity of blessedness ordeath.' husband of Mary Tudor. "Arminius Solemn words like these impressed must have been familiar with such the heart of the orphan scholar, and revolting details from a child. The led him to devout meditation and children cried in the streets when the diligent study of the Scriptures. the Prince of Orange died; the If the panegyric of his friend children must have shuddered in Bert may be trusted, Arminius the nursery at the names of Philip as a boy was thoughtful and studious and Alva. When Philip left the beyond his years, and already evinced Netherlands for Spain, in 1559, he an amiable and gracious temper, and gave, as his farewell counsel, comtraits of unusual mental power. mands for the extirpation of heresy.
While residing at Utrecht this He repudiated in particular the false kind benefactor died, and Arminius charity which interpreted the edicts was again thrown upon the provi- as intended only against Anabaptists, dence of God. But scarcely had and enjoined their strict enforcement Æmilius been consigned to his without distinction or mercy, against grave when a new patron appeared. all sectaries, in any way.spotted with Rudolph Snell, a native of Oude the errors of Luther.' Saved from water, driven from the Netherlands shipwreck on his voyage, he reby the Inquisition, had taken refuge cognized the hand of God anointing at Marburg, in Hesse-Cassel. In him to the holy work of destroying an interval of repose he returned heresy throughout his dominions. on a visit to his fatherland. Finding As a pledge of his fidelity to his at Utrecht a youth from the place mission, and a pious thank-offering of his own birth destitute and to God, be celebrated his escape friendless, he offered him a home at from the storm, and his marriage Marburg. Arminius gladly accepted soon after with Isabella of France, the offer. He was in his fifteenth with the solemnity of burning before year, and the university of that his own eyes sixty - three living town
attraction. To heretics, and the bones of one long this providential interposition he since dead. probably owed his life. Soon after To Margaret of Parma was left his arrival at Marburg the news the administration of the affairs of came that Oudewater had been the Netherlands. Until universal besieged by the Spaniards, the detestation caused his retirement, garrison slain, the inhabitants Anthony Perrenot, Bishop of Arras, butchered, and the town itself burnt afterwards Cardinal Granville, was to the ground. The intelligence the chief adviser of the Duchess. overwhelmed him with grief. In The warmest sympathy in the work an agony of suspense he waited of death subsisted between this fourteen days, and at length de- subtle, wily, smooth-tongued, plotterminedwith characteristic boldness ting ecclesiastic and his royal master. to go at once to Oudewater, test the The bishop filled gaol, gibbet, and truth of the report, and learn the fate scaffold with victims; men, women, of his mother, or die. His worst fears and children alike suffered at the were true. The rage of the Spaniard stake. The popular discontent that had spared neither the widow nor the broke out in 1560 had led to the orphan. Mother, sister, brothers, removal of the Spanish soldiers. But and all his nearest relatives had image-breaking riots, the league of been cruelly and brutally massacred. the nobles against the Inquisition, the His home was a heap of ashes. He general attitude of revolt, the alarm turned away mournfully from the of the Duchess, furnished a pretext blackened ruins, and went back to for their return. The Duke of Alva, Marburg on foot, sad, desolate, alone. I the most accomplished soldier in