What have they done in modern literature?
The most eloquent orator and the most brilliant writer in Spain, Emilio Castelar, is a Hebrew.
The majority of the professorial chairs in Germany are occupied by Jews. Two-thirds of the journalism of Europe to-day is said to be controlled by Hebrews. Out of three hundred and seventy authors in the Austrian Empire, two hundred and twenty-five are Jews. The poet Heine was of Hebrew descent; so was the German novelist, Auerbach. And the Hebrew Spinoza was the father of modern philosophy.
In art and music it is the same. Once give the Jew a chance, and he springs into the front rank of his competitors; the splendid genius of the race leaping into flame like a row of lights, when the torch is passed along the line. Thus Mun-kacsy, the Hungarian painter, was a Hebrew. So were the famous actresses Rachel and Janauschek. So is that woman of surpassing histrionic genius, Sarah Bernhardt. It is impossible to enumerate all the musicians found among the Jews, but we may mention Mosch-eles, Wieniawski, Joachim, and Rubenstein, as well as the mighty composers, Halevy, Rossini, Meyerbeer and Mendelssohn. How is it in finance? Here they are unrivaled. The Jews are the bankers of the world. The banking business of the Austrian empire is managed by Hebrews, who could foreclose and ruin many of the nobles who in society treat them with disdain. The principal banker of Prussia is the Hebrew, Bleichroder; while the Jewish house of the Rothschilds controls the diplomacy of empires.
The Jews, we know, are often reproached with being merely financiers, and with doing little or nothing in industrial or pastoral pursuits. But why is this? Because until recently everywhere, and even now in certain portions of the world, the Jews have not been allowed to own a foot of soil, or to enter any manufacturing guilds. Accordingly, being restricted to finance, they have taken their revenge by managing the money commerce of the world.
Again, the Jews are often blamed because of their fondness for gems. But for centuries they were compelled to carry their wealth in that portable and easily secreted form, since, whenever suspected of having property, they usually escaped having their teeth pulled, or their nails drawn out by the roots, only by yielding it up to their persecutors.
We all dislike the petty avarice of small Jewish traders, but let us in charity remember that they are but exhibiting the traits that centuries of persecution have ground into them.
" Our deeds still travel with us from afar, And what we have been makes us what we are."
The death of that grand benefactor of his race, Sir Moses Montefiore, reminded us of another characteristic of the Jews, - their philanthropy. He was so well known for his benevolence, that on the one hundredth anniversary of his birth (in 1884), he received the homage of the civilized world; and he it was who first proposed the scheme of rescuing his persecuted brethren and forming them into well managed colonies in various countries. This scheme was ably seconded by his successor in benevolence, the late Baron Hirsch, whose charity was on a scale unprecedented in the annals of philanthropy, for he gave fifteen million dollars for the relief of his outcast co-religionists! Russian tyranny, therefore, colossal though it was, encountered Jewish charity more colossal still. The first exemplified the record of a down-trodden race; the second stood for justice and humane treatment in the years to come. We cannot doubt which of these forces will finally overcome the other, under the influence of Him who in His earthly life was born of a Jewish mother and was to all intents and purposes a Jew. Yet, notwithstanding these facts, perhaps some reader of these words may say: "It is all true, but - we do not like the Jew!" Hut shall we not take a broader and kindlier view than that? Rising above individual likes and dislikes, let us ask ourselves if it is, or ever has been, consistent for Christian nations to oppress and despise the people who gave to them their patriarchs, their prophets, their Bible, their religion and their Saviour. Nearly nineteen centuries have come and gone since Jesus died upon the cross. Surely it is time for His teachings of charity and the brotherhood of man to prevail among his followers. For " New occasions teach new duties;