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up the cup from which he had drank, and looking intently at its proportions, said:

“Verily, Onias, the cunning of man is like the cunning of Him who made him. How many are his devices for our comfort and adornment! Here is this cup of silver curiously wrought from Rome I doubt not; these carpets from Persia; these rich hangings from Damascus; these couches of silk from the farther India. Wisdom, saith Solomon, is better than silver, or gold, or rubies. Yea, O wise man, so it is. Yet these are good nevertheless, and thou wast too wise to give them bad names. So again he saith, There is nothing better for a man in this life than that he should eat and drink; which is also a wise saying. We may well call that wise which simply describeth a natural thing. It needed not he should have eaten so good grapes or drunk so good wine as these to have taught him that. Every man will say it who in the morning riseth and findeth nothing better than a cake baked on the coals, with a piece of honey. As I think, it is only when a man eats or drinks that he can say his soul is without trouble. Verily he is righteous overmuch, as the great king saith, and one greatly impertinent moreover, who, like the foolish Essenes, seeketh to please God by refusing with contempt the good things he hath taken the pains to create, and caused the earth to bring forth for his entertainment. It would be right that such an one in the resurrection should be defrauded of his expectations. He that despiseth what the Lord hath made and pronounced good, should himself be despised and his portion taken from him. Daughter, this wine is good. Yes, that is what I would have — let it be filled once more. Onias, who is this Saturninus, as some one called him, whom we are to have to rule over us?”

Onias replied that he knew not.

“Perhaps then,” continued the ruler,“our young Roman knoweth him.”

To this I answered that I knew only his name, that he was of good family (the family, my mother, of M. Scævola Saturninus) and had served with credit in the army.

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* May he and his army perish !” cried Zadok, “ere they leave the walls of Beth-Harem."

“In the meanwhile," said Onias, “it were better that the people trouble him not. What is done, let it be done not as to-day.”

“Ah, Onias, I see thee. Thou wouldst take them by craft, thou wouldst catch them by subtlety.”

“ I would not catch them at all,” Onias replied, “but let them dwell among us in peace. When the time cometh it will be seen that it is come. I shall trust to see this same Saturninus and know him."

So we conversed of many things, till Shammai, bethinking himself of affairs that required his presence, took his departure, Zadok accompanying him. The elder of the two rulers, Shammai, is one whom for many things both Judith and Onias esteem ; while for other reasons they think but lightly of him. He is, if one may say so, a sort of Epicurean in a Jew's dress — and among what nation, tribe, or religion is not the Epicurean to be found ? The dispositions which nature has given him are such as inspire affection; but the boldness with which he administers the office of ruler of the synagogue, while in his heart he doubts or disbelieves the faith of which he makes so open a profession, causeth him to be treated not so much as a friend whom they can admit to their entire confidence and love, as one whose cheerful presence and discourse add greatly to the pleasures of any society of which he makes a part. His years insure him rever

Judith, indeed, having known him from a child, doth more than reverence him. Of Zadok thou shalt hear another time.

ence.

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CHAPTER IX.

JULIAN AT BETH-HAREM TO NAOMI IN ROME.

PECULIARITIES OF THE JEWS. EXPECTATIONS OF THE PEOPLE.

SEJANUS. The Good CENTURION. INTOLERANCE. THE PHARISEE AND

SADDUCEE. - CONVERSATION ON PASSING EVENTS. THE CHILD OF BETHLEHEM. Love. THE GENTILE AND THE JEWESS.

THE

HE longer I remain among this people, my mother,

the more strange do they seem; but the more, too, do I become bound to them, and especially to the members of this household. They are a people beyond any other religious, and yet, as I suppose, beyond any other superstitious and wicked; which seems to proceed from this, that they make distinctions between the worship of God and virtue; and consider these two things as not necessarily joined together. Not but what the same error is to be observed elsewhere, but that here it appears to be more universal. Prayers are made upon all occasions, and in all places, but they are a ceremony by themselves; and being once said, the matter is over; so much was due to God by command, agreement, or custom, or tradition, and the debt has been paid. Then how their life shall be ordered is another affair, and governed by interests, rules, and motives which belong to itself. Some who are esteemed to stand at the head of the religion, and who generally are of the Pharisees, are as remarkable for their want of goodness, or rather as notorious for their vices, as for their piety toward God shown in a strict observance of the Sabbath and the least points of the law. So long as religion shall be held as somewhat distinct from virtue must it continue to be so; and so long will the faith in one God, in which we may justly boast over all other nations, be little better for the interests of goodness than the Roman's faith in many.

But at the same time it is true that some have been instructed even as it was my fortune to be by thee. Their religion hath been connected with their life; their many prayers and fastings, their sacrifices and offerings, their goings up to the feasts, their observance of the law to its smallest requirement in every outward rite and act, has all been done not in the place of virtue, but in addition and as incentives to it. Of this sort I need hardly say to thee are Onias and Judith. They are careful observers of the law; but while exact in the mere ceremonial part, they are even more exact in what pertains to righteousness. Nay, they would by many be thought to neglect observances on which others greatly pride themselves, though none can be found to charge them with any infringement of the greater matters of the law. The hypocrisies and over-righteousness of the Pharisees are not theirs, nor the indifference of the Sadducees. They believe in Moses and the prophets — in the law that guides them in this life, and in the resurrection at the last day, for which the law fits them by its commands. But they pretend not to more than they have. They are content to do what to them seems necessary, without seeking to gain the admiration of others by extraordinary acts of piety and the observance of all the lesser points of the law. Truly, their lives are beautiful. Onias indeed oftentimes seems severe and harsh ; but he is a just man and fears God, and serves him in that very way which to him seems right. The law, with the traditions which are its interpretation, are to him the lights — the greater and the lesser — by which he draws every breath and shapes every step in life. He asks for no more or better. He sees no defect, there is nothing incomplete to be supplied. If the law were truly kept, Israel, he says, would rise to her proper glory, and would overshadow the whole earth, — prosperity and riches and love and

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glory would make the land of Judea the wonder of the earth, and the seat of an everlasting kingdom, for its felicity like the paradise of the first pair.

Judith, though her reverence for the law is great, and though she reads diligently the prophets, and observes their precepts, and performs the required rites, is yet secretly sad and unsatisfied. So much have I gathered, not from any set disclosure she hath made of her thoughts, but rather from the language of her countenance, from words that have dropped from her, and yet more from what she hath not said when certain subjects have formed the matter of discourse. With the rest of the people she is anxiously dwelling on what the future shall reveal, but differing from them, her hopes are of some one who shall prove himself to be a reformer of the manners of her nation as much and well as she the subduer of her enemies. She thinks that the medicine needed is partly that which shall purge the heart. So that when she speaks of the Messiah, it is as a prophet and a priest that she delights chiefly to regard him. She asks for a teacher and a guide who shall lead her farther into a knowledge of God and of things invisible than she can now penetrate. The priests of the law do not give her what she asks — the law itself is dark and refuses to speak of the things of which she desires most to learn. The harp of David, though the music is sweet, and all the tones it speaks find an accordant response in her soul, yet are not its notes enough to answer one by one to the wants she feels. The harmony is not complete. For myself, my mother, I judge that this people want

I liberty first — truth afterward. The truths for which a soul like Judith's sighs would fall on stony ground falling upon the hearts of slaves. In the slave the thoughts are bound as well as the limbs. They cannot think or feel as men, who cannot move and act as men. The outward bondage becomes necessarily one that is inward also, seeing the body and the mind are one. Is it not in vain

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