Definitions for jews, the

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The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Jews, The

    a people of Semitic origin, descended from Abraham in the line of Jacob; conspicuous for the profession of a religion that has issued from them, and affected to the core the rest of the civilised world. Their religion was determined by a moral standard; through them more than through any other race has the moral principle, or the law of conscience, been evolved in humanity as the sovereign law of life, and this at length resolved itself into a faith in one God, the sole ruler in heaven and on earth, the law of whose government is truth and righteousness, only they stopped short with the assertion of this divine unity, and in their hard monotheism stubbornly refused, as they do still, to accept the doctrine of trinity in unity which, spiritually understood is, as it has been well defined, the central principle of the Christian faith, the principle that to have a living morality one must have a faith in a Divine Father, a Divine Son, and a Divine Spirit, all three equally Divine. But, indeed, it is to be noted that the Jewish religion never was nor ever has been the religion of the Jewish people, but was from first to last solely the religion of the law-givers and prophets sent to teach them, to whom they never as a race paid any heed. There was never such antagonism of Yea to God and Nay to Him in the history of any nation as among them; never such openness to whisperings, and such callousness to the thunder of God's voice; on the one side, never such tenderness, and on the other, never such hardness, of heart. Nor except by their religion, which they did not believe at heart themselves, and of which they have but been the vehicles, have they as a race contributed anything to the true wealth of the world, "being mere dealers in money, gold, jewels, or else old clothes, material and spiritual." And it has been noted they have all along shown a want of humour, a want of gentle sympathy with the under side, "a fatal defect, as without it no man or people is good for anything." They were never good for much as a nation, and they are still more powerless for good since it was broken up, numerous as they have been, and are in their widely scattered state; for there are 4,500,000 in Russia, 1,600,000 in Austria-Hungary, 1,567,000 in Germany, 567,000 in Roumania, 300,000 in Turkey, 120,000 in Holland, 97,000 in France, 72,000 in England, 101,000 in Italy, 50,000 in Switzerland, 4652 in Servia, and 15,792 in Greece, in all, 7,701,261 in Europe; throughout the globe altogether 11,000,000, while the numbers in Palestine are increasing.

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