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Mordecai's Absence from Prague Explained.
land? No, no; and yet the Jew has it would be well to wait—and on no nothing, nothing on this vast spacious account allow the unwelcome news earth that he can call his own--not thus secretly conveyed to be noised the clod on which he rests his head, abroad. weary of this life.
He cannot Nearly six months had passed bequeath his grave to his son, for before any rumours began to spread. he does not even know whether the The leading Jews and the Rabbi weeping orphan will be driven from kept their own counsel; but several his grave, as himself had been pedlars who carried their wares from chased away from the grave of his house to house in other quarters of father.'
the city, were recommended to sell Mordecai might have remained at a moderate price, as they were standing still longer in the street, soon to be sent into banishment, lost in these thoughts ; but the and would then be unable to sell atmosphere was suddenly agitated anything. At first the poor Jews by a sharp gust of wind. Then a paid little heed to this Gentile hint, warm breeze of spring came gently and thought it a mere taunt to be whispering through the air. The patiently endured; but by degrees fragrant breath of the wind fanned the fearful truth leaked out. An Mordecai's hot face and roused imperial decree had arrived from him from his dreams. It seemed to Vienna, commanding all Jews to him as though it were a morning leave Bohemia. Presently nothing salutation from the Father of all else was talked about among the men to His sons, which proclaimed, Jews. Mordecai's absence had been 'Peace, peace, to far and near-to noticed, but it was not yet known all my children, peace !' Mordecai by his brethren that the journey at once proceeded to the house of had been undertaken for the common the chief Rabbi, told his secret, and weal. The chief Rabbi and his explained the secretary's plan for friends could keep their secret no averting the coming woe, in the longer. They explained to the filling out of which it would be people the cause of Mordecai's necessary that he should leave at absence, and soothed by the informdaybreak for Vienna. The chief ation the troubled hearts of the Rabbi approved the plan, and people. The relief was only temMordecai hastened home to prepare porary.
No letter came from for his journey and to bid his family Mordecai. They learnt, moreover, a hasty farewell. As the morning that their friend had left Viennadawned on the first day of the but where he had gone, and for what Passover, Mordecai passed through purpose, they could not divine. At the Wischerheder gate, mounted a a full meeting of the Jewish comhorse that stood ready saddled, munity it was proposed to send a pressed spurs into its flanks, and deputation to Vienna, and lay their sped swift as the wind toward cause before the Emperor. The Vienna.
majority voted in favour of this After the morning service on that proposition, but the chief Rabbi day, the chief Rabbi invited the opposed. 'If salvation,' he said, leading members of the community is possible-if any human being is to a secret meeting, and explained able to induce the Emperor to recede all that it was prudent to tell. He from his resolution—it is Reb. urged, as not improbable, that Mordecai Cohen. I was perfectly Mordecai must be favoured by some satisfied by Reb. Mordecai, that person in high rank, since he alone there was but one way of salvation, had been put in possession of so and that he will try. If he fails— important
secret; that this all is lost.' fact, coupled with his rare talent The chief Rabbi at Prague had and various learning, made him ever exercised the greatest influence their fittest representative; and that over his community. Besides, the
assembly perceived from his al. I of the Middle Ages was without lusions, that he had a deeper insight protection, could not but fear that into the matter than themselves. his grey-haired parents, his wife, Nothing, therefore, remained for and his tender children, would them but to confide in his wisdom perish under the unwonted fatigues and experience, to let him have his of the journey; for how could he way, and to wait the end in sorrow. tell how long that might be? The It was a painful situation. In order banished Jew of the Middle Ages to appreciate its full significance, a was constrained to tear himself from little more light must be thrown the arms of his weeping betrothed upon it. The idea of banishment, when their roads separated, and has, in recent times, owing to the knew not whether he should ever large number of German emigrants see her again in this life. The who send themselves, so to say, into banished Jew of the Middle Ages voluntary exile, lost so much of its might die in a remote foreign land original horror that we are very pining for the graves of his loved likely to be misled in our concep- 5-might die, but not return. tion of it. Yet how different was The Jews at Prague were soon to the situation of a banished Jew in be relieved from their tormenting the Middle Ages from that of an state of uncertainty, but only to emigrant in these days! The latter obtain the most entire assurance of voluntarily forsakes his home after their misfortune. Some days after he bas realized his immoveable Pentecost, the Imperial edict reached property. He is protected by the Prague, and was proclaimed on the Government, and hopes to better his same day in the Jews' town by the condition. He has found a new royal governor. Thus it ran. country, where he is hospitably Jews must leave Prague in eight days : received. And if he feels a longing the country, in four weeks.' for his fatherland, grows rich and At dawn on the day fixed, morning prosperous in the distant country, service was celebrated in all the and would return back; again if he synagogues. In the head synagogue would die at home, be buried in the the chief Rabbi officiated. As soon grave of his forefathers; then the as the sun's first rays pierced ship carries him back, he is again through the narrow windows of this welcomed home, again becomes his place, the service was commenced. country's child : he has two homes. The temple was overflowing with The Jew on the contrary, was com- worshippers. Many of the pious pelled to tear himself with bleeding devotees had sunk on their knees, heart from a spot which he had and lifted_their clasped hands to perhaps for centuries called home. heaven. The profound touching The Jew was cast forth poor and agony awakened by the thought that wretched, for even the wealthiest they must soon quit the holy spot
impoverished by exile. His for ever, had mastered the whole houses became wortbless ; for who assembly, and had driven for a short would purchase a property that was time all care for the future out of from the necessity of the case to their hearts. The prayers abounded become shortly without an owner ? in wonderfully striking passages, The stored-up wares also, which and soon nothing was heard in the could not be carried with them in entire building but the heart-rending their wanderings in search of a sobs of the congregation. The place of refuge, became valueless service ended. The chief Rabbi to the proprietors, especially as so stood before the holy tabernacle to large a number of Jewish merchants take leave of that consecrated place, could not dispose of their effects at which he had so often trodden, to one and the same time. The debts take leave of his beloved congrega. due to them in the country could tion, and to strengthen and refresh not be levied. The banished Jew I them with the words of Holy
The Hour of Darkness.
87 Scripture for the dark uncertain Gradually the vast burial ground future which was approaching. was deserted. Each one had still ' Friends and brethren,' he began. preparation to make for a long, The words died away on his wearisome journey. Ateleven o'clock trembling lips—a boundless emotion in the forenoon a gate of the Jews' took possession of him. In vain he town was thrown open, through endeavoured to recover himself, his which they were all to defile. On quivering lips refused to utter a the square facing the Jews' town word. A pause of profoundest two regiments of infantry and some silence for some minutes ensued. troops of cavalry were drawn up. The Rabbi kissed the veil of the A vast multitude had assembled to holy tabernacle, opened the sacred assist at the strange spectacle. ark of the covenant, and took a roll The viceroy had commissioned a of the law out of it. The head superior officer to see to the execuoverseers and the warders of the tion of the decree. Each family on synagogue followed him unbidden. its departure was ordered to give Then came the principal Talmudists, satisfactory proof that it had satisfied until all the rolls of the Law had all claims of the royal treasury, and been removed. The Rabbi muttered to declare by which of the city a few words of prayer in a low gates they wished to leave. The voice, then all left the synagogue confused stir in the Jews' town in tears. The chief Rabbi was the offered a melancholy sight. Before last but one; the head overseer of many doors stood a small cart drawn the community the last to retire by a lean hack. They were intended from it. As the latter came out of to convey out of the country the old the synagogue he locked the gates, and sick who could not travel on and handed the keys to the Rabbi. foot. A group was standing before Both of them desired to speak, as every door: men with a wanderer's might be seen from the nervous staff in their hands, a bundle which twitching of their lips; but both contained all their transportable were silent. The last priest cannot wealth on their backs; women with have quitted the temple on Sion's children at their breasts. At halfhill with a heart more penetrated past eleven the officer in command with grief. Once more, as though ordered a trumpeter to ride through he could not tear himself away, the the streets and proclaim that they Rabbi kissed the lintels of the had only half an hour more, and temple; then the procession betook that every one must make ready to itself to his residence, there to depart. Friends and relatives now deposit the rolls of the Law till the bade one another farewell in the open moment of departure arrived. After street. A warm pressure of the that, the Rabbi went to the burying hand, a brotherly kiss, and then ground. The whole company, im- they would set out. The chief pelled by one and the same noble Rabbi had stationed himself at the feeling, had here assembled to take gate of exit to comfort and bless the leave of those who had gone to their departing. At length the word of long home before them, of the command rung out. Swords clashed graves of their dead. No sound of as they were drawn from the sheath. sorrow disturbed the sacred quiet of The infantry arranged itself in line.
Nought could be seen The clock in the old Rathhaus began but a kneeling multitude, pale faces, to strike twelve. The Rabbi and graves bedewed with tears. Bela, whispered words of encouragement Mordecai's wife, was kneeling on and resignation in the ears of those the grave of her father, while hot who were to be the first to leave the tears trickied down her face. A Jews' town. Not a breath was two-fold grief divided her heart. audible ; a funeral silence prevailed. Where was Mordecai, her husband, The clock struck one-two--threethe prop of her life ?
four-five--up to twelve.
* * fortunate issue excited the most At the last stroke a sound of horses' joyful sympathy, and amidst the hoofs was heard, and all eyes at once flourish of trumpets a thundering turned in the direction of the Jesuits' shout was soon raised, 'Long live College. A horseman was flying the Emperor ! Long live Ferdinand towards the Jews' town; the smoking the First!' steed was covered with foam and What passed in the hearts of men blood, the rider's face was convulsed delivered from so great a peril canand pale. He waved a roll of parch- not be described, cannot be conceived, ment in his hand, and cried, - can only be sympathized with by Grace
in the Emperor's one who, threatened by the same name! In front of the commandant danger has obtained the same dehe drew the rein, and as he handed liverance. Every one now pressed him the parchment, sunk swooning round Mordecai. Those nearest to to the ground. The horse reeled, him kissed the hem of his raiment. staggered, and fell at his side. Hewas borne in triumphal procession
At the same moment an imperial to his house. Arrived there, the officer, accompanied by a mounted chief Rabbi said, 'We will now trumpeter, galloped up a full speed. leave Reb. Mordecai to the care of He waved a white flag, and cried, his family; but before we ourselves 'I confirm it, in the name of his do anything elsc, let us go into the Apostolic Majesty! Grace!' synagogue and return thanks to the
When the commanding officer Lord for this unexpected salvation!' perceived the imperial signet, he Yes; to the synagogue! to the uncovered his head, and read the synagogue !' all joyously shouted, revocation of the edict. This was and the whole multitude followed all the work of a minute. At the the Rabbi to God's temple with same instant a loud scream was hearts over-flowing with gratitude. heard, • Mor-de-cai!
How this salvation was wrought; Father!
and Bela, with the details of Mordecai's journey to her children, forced her way through the Emperor at Vienna; and to the the crowd up to her husband, their Pope at Rome, whence he obtained father.
letters absolving Ferdinand from The multitude assembled before the rash vow made in his dream,- for the Jews' town had taken the all this we must refer our readers to warmest interest in the events of Dr. Wolf Pascheles' book itself the morning. The unexpectedly entitled, -Sippurim.
BE STRON G.
Be strong to HOPE, oh heart !
Though day is bright,
In the dark night.
Look towards the light !
Nothing is vain :
And God sends pain,
Rest will remain !
Love knows not wrong ;
Life were not long;
Thou wouldst be strong!
-- Adelaide Anne Procter,
ARMINIUS: A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.
CITAPTER III.-HIS MINISTRY AND DOUBTS AT AMSTERDAM. It was in the autumn of 1587 that was granted without hesitation. Arminius arrived at Amsterdam. Leave was given to make use of His first care was to appear before it by taking a journey of business his patrons, and clear himself from and pleasure to South Holland; the charges industriously circulated and the necessary expenses of the against him. It was by no means a journey were furnished. Soon after diticult task. In the minds of honest his return he presented himself and impartial men, he was at once before the court or presbytery for acquitted. His career as a student examination. His orthodoxy was bad been brilliant and successful, tested on the leading points of the and spoke for itself. He had been Christian faith. His testimonials the first man of his year at Leyden. wereread and approved. There could He had won trophies at Basle. He be but one opinion as to his fitness had splendid testimonials . from for the ministry. In due form, acGenera. His preceptor, Beza, cording to the custom of the Dutch twice honoured him with high church, he was admitted to the commendations. *He possesses,' exercise of its sacred functions. He said the venerable scholar, in his began to preach, with the consent second letter, 'a mind admirably of the presbytery, in the pulpit of qualified for the discharge of duty the Reformed church at Amsterdam. should it please God to accept his Such was the favour with which his service in the work of the church.' probationary services The journey to Italy was readily ceived, that in the course of the explained, and the calumnies in- year he was called to the ministry vented concerning it indignantly in connection with this church, and refated. The testimony of the publicly ordained as one of its companion of his tour, Adrian pastors. Junius, completely answered every The fruit of his long and patient accusation. Nothing could have training now began to appear. He been further from the mind of was but twenty-eight years of age, either of them than tendency to the but he gave evidence of profound faith and communion of Rome. The acquaintance with theological learnvoice of suspicion, which had grown ing, and displayed the abilities of lond enough before his return, was a master in pulpit oratory. His speedily silenced.
manner was pleasing and impressive. The appearance of Arminius before His voice was soft and musical; its the ecclesiastical court for examina- tone and inflections so accommodated tion was, however, delayed for a few to his theme as to seem to flow out Weeks. The delay was occasioned of it. His discourses were marked by the candidate's own request. He by masculine vigour and sound eruwas not satisfied with his prepara- dition. There was about them nothing tion for the ministry, because it had crude or common - place, nothing not sufficiently included the practice showy or superficial. In embellishof elocution. He wished, therefore, ing his subject he never overstepped for a brief interval that he might the modesty of truth ; in explaining give attention to the modulation of it, he did it with singular clearness; his voice as a public speaker, and in enforcing its lessons, he was to the formation of a popular and emphatic and distinct. Meretricious persuasive style of address. In adornment was distasteful to him this the characteristic thoroughness because unworthy, as he ustly of Arminius is seen. Everything thought, of the grandeur and purity he undertook he sought to do in the of the Christian system. · He dis, most finished manner, and to the dained,' says his friend Bert, ‘the utmost of his ability. The intervall rhetorical elaboration and unctuous