FOR 1 ! BOOK?
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE
JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY AND
TWELVE LECTURES ON THE HISTORY AND
PURPORT OF JUDAISM,
DELIVERED IN MAGDEBURG, 1847,
DR. LUDWIG PHILIPPSOHN.
TRANSLATED FROM THK GERMAN, WITH NOTES,
ANNA MARIA GOLDSMID.
LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN AND LONGMANS.
FRUITED BY WERTIIK1MER AKH CO.,
CIRCDS PI ACE, FIKSBURY CIRCUS.
THE enlightened benevolence with which the author of
the following lectures advocated measures for the relief,
present and future, of the Jews of Jerusalem, has
within the last year made his name almost as familiar
to their co-religionists of Great Britain, as it has long
been rendered by his able editorship of the 'Allgemeine
Zeitung des Judenthums', to the Israelites of Germany.
Two years since, a German acquaintance called my
attention to the work, and kindly sent it to me for
perusal. From that perusal I rose, with a strong desire
that its contents should be placed within reach of all
the educated minds of the community to which I
belong. The writer, it appeared to me, supplied a
long-existing void and very urgent want, in the Jewish
polemical literature of the age. Though not wholly
concurring with him on some few points, his general
deductions were, I thought and felt, as sound and true,
as the elaboration of the arguments that led to them was
patient and logical. So the wish deepened into a sense
IV TRANSLATOR S PREFACE.
of a duty to be accomplished, the duty of placing an
English version before all my co-religionists, for whom
their non-acquaintance with German renders the
original a sealed book. To you then, my dear brothers
and sisters in faith and of race, members of all syna-
gogues, natives of all lands spread over the wide surface
of our globe, in which the English is the language first
lisped by infant lips, I dedicate these pages. Accept
them as a labour of good- will and love. To you all,
whether you be of those who by honest reverence
for ancient forms, are induced to cling to the exegesis
of the Talmud; or whether of such, as a reverence
equally honest, leads back to the yet more ancient
phase of our common faith, the one presented in the
Torah of our inspired legislator, Moses ; or whether,
perchance, of those finally, who while unendowed with
strength of intellect sufficient to enable them to resist
the pressure of the time present, that forces them into
the path of rationalism, are yet strong enough of heart,
to cling to the ties of race, blood aud affection ; to all,
I believe, a patient examination of the views presented
to us by Dr. Philippsohn ' On the Development of the
Religious Idea' will not be unfruitful in good. To this
inquiry I would also invite my countrymen of other
creeds, in the confident hope, that by it they would
attain to a truer knowledge of the broad and firm basis
TRANSLATORS PREFACE. V
on which the religion of the Jews rests, and would learn
from it, more clearly to comprehend, more duly to
respect, the solemn convictions which lie at the root of
the Hebrew's enduring fidelity to his God-revealed
It will teach us all, as many as we are, Talmudists,
Mosaists, Rationalists, Christians, better to understand
ourselves and others better to know and to appreciate,
all which we severally and respectively reject, all to
which we adhere, more wisely to direct the spiritual
tendencies of those, who by circumstances of age or
position, are committed to our guidance. Yet more !
It will teach us a deeper reverence for that Eternal
Wisdom, which out of present evil prepareth future
good. The present evil we shall outlive, we are out-
living. May the asperities to which I allude, as having
so long marked the relation of Christian to Jew, and
as having arisen frequently within our own communi-
ties, when practical outward reforms were attempted,
be likened with justice to the passing of the harrow
over the ground ! May they have prepared the mental
soil of that community and of all mankind, for the
seeds of truth, the grain which the Almighty has
garnered up in unmeasured abundance, and which it is
the mission, first of the Jews, then of all the human
race, gradually, during countless coming ages, to scatter
VI TRANSLATORS PREFACE.
over the earth. May all men, while sowing in weariness
and conflict of body and spirit, reap in gentleness and
peace, a rich and holy harvest of love, happiness, and
truth, ( Here/ and of bliss eternal, ' Hereafter !'
A. M. G.
ST JOHN'S LODGE, REGENT'S PARK.
THE following Lectures were delivered here last winter,
in the presence of an audience composed of persons of
all religious denominations. I had the satisfaction to
find their numbers not only sustained but increased
as the course proceeded, in a town whose inhabitants
have long made freedom of belief, thought, and speech,
an object of their especial and fostering care, and have
thus secured to themselves a distinguished name in the
annals of civilisation.
Many of my hearers have expressed a wish that
these Lectures should appear in print. In preparing to
comply with this desire, the question suggested itself to
me, M'hether 1 could advantageously develop much, of
which only a slight sketch had been presented, illus-
trate by notes much, upon which I had but cursorily
remarked. But I speedily came to the conviction, that
Vlll AUTHOR S PREFACE.
the work would thereby be too much extended, perhaps
well-nigh doubled, and that the aim I had in view might
thus be prejudiced. Spoken utterances have a manifest
advantage ; the speaker can facilitate by the manner,
the comprehension of the matter, he can infuse into
his accents the living voice of his heart. He and his
words stand in direct relation with the listener. Written
utterance fails of this, and has only the compensating
capability of operating, with less force it is true, but
with more enduring effect on the reader, long after the
echo of the spoken word has died away. Each Lecture
must necessarily have its own exclusive theme, which it
must examine to its close ; and thus confined within
certain limits, a subject requiring elaborate discussion
can extend no further than another demanding briefer
consideration. But for these disadvantages, the author
finds abundant compensation in the adaptation of the
form, and in the pleasure he experiences in placing
before an enli ghtened public, the results of the laborious
investigations of years.
In the following Lectures, the path of history has
been followed. History, while delineating the future
of each, attaches itself to no one party. Whoever,
therefore, seeks to reason on strictly historical premises
only, without belonging to any one party, will arrive
AUTHOR S PREFACE. IX
at conclusions that some will deny, others accept as
their own. But entire acceptance from any one party,
must he the less expect to enjoy.
Without having originated much that is new, I am
conscious that I may claim to have struck out a new path.
My especial aim and endeavour have been, to remove
religion from the ideal station assigned to it, into the
position to which it belongs into life. Religion has
so long abandoned society, that it is scarcely a matter
of surprise if society has in its turn abandoned religion.
The two thus parted must be re-united. Religion must
come to understand that it can exercise no true and
beneficent influence on the individual, until society
collectively shall have become religious. Society must
come to comprehend, that it cannot raise itself from
its present prostrate condition, until it shall have
realised the principles which were long ago enunciated
by religion, but of which the removal of religion from the
actual world, its taking refuge exclusively in the celestial
' Hereafter/ have caused the loss for actual life.
I shall seek an opportunity of resuming and am-
plifying my examination of this important branch of
my inquiry (only touched upon in Lectures III. and
XII.) in a future course, at a fitting moment.
X AUTHORS PREFACE.
If these printed words share the kindly reception
accorded to their spoken utterance, I may feel perfectly
tranquil as to the destiny awaiting them.
DR. L. PHILIPPSOHX.
MAGDEBURG, March \blfi, 1847.
ANTIQUITY AND MOSAISM . . . .23
ON THE SOCIAL MORALITY OF MOSAISM . 51
PROPHETISM ...... 79
THE TEACHINGS OF THE PROPHETS, AND
THE HAGIOGRAPHA .... 105
THE SECOND TEMPLE, THE ORIGIN OF
THE RELATION OF CHRISTIANITY TO
JUDAISM . ... 145
THE RELATION OF MAHOMEDANISM TO
JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY . 165
THE JEWS IN THEIR DISPERSIONS . .184
THE CONTENTS OP THE TALMUD . . 203
THE MOVEMENTS OF RECENT TIMES IN
ALL RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS . 222
THE FUTURE OF RELIGION . 247
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE
THE Religious or Divine Idea (a terra we shall employ in
contradistinction to the human Idea, or Heathenism)
has its origin in Judaism. Of the truth of this asser-
tion, though involving a fact in many periods designedly
ignored or forgotten, not history alone furnishes ample
evidence. Christianity and Moslemism alike testify
thereto, by their equal recognition of the religious
authority of the Judaic biblical writings.
The Religious Idea sprang from Judaism, and has de-
veloped itself from Judaism, as from its parent stem.
Round that stem its branches yet cling unwithered.
A history of the development of the Religious or
Divine Idea, must be therefore necessarily and essentially,
a history of Judaism. Again, the latter must resolve
itself into the former, if we desire, neither to narrow
the history of Judaism into a history of Jewdom,* nor
to consider Judaism in respect of its own integral nature
* This term is employed as the nearest approach to the
German word '3ubent;eit/' and analogous to the English Christen-
dom, in signification. T.
only, but also to comprehend it in its relation to sur-
rounding antagonisms. From the present lectures will
be deduced, as I proceed with my course, the confirma-
tion of these propositions. I submit them to you in
this place, in order to justify myself in the presumption,
that I present virtually an outline of the history of the
development of the Religious Idea among mankind
generally, while keeping the history of Judaism espe-
cially in view, and taking Judaism from its commence-
ment for the guiding thread of my reflections.
What, it may be asked, induces, what emboldens
me to treat such a subject in public lectures? I an-
swer, the tendency of the age : I should say rather,
the subject itself is a growth of the age. Whatever
opinion may be held as to the time in which we live,
whether its general characteristics be deemed worthy of
praise or condemnation, on one point all will be agreed.
In this its true glory consists; the tendency which
marks it, is the striving to receive all things spiritual
into its own consciousness. In it, the barriers have
been thrown down, behind which each domain of
thought and belief was wont to entrench itself, within
which each withdrew from his neighbour's ken, partly
from holding, that to inform himself of the thoughts
and convictions of his fellow man was to desecrate
his own sanctuary, and partly from arrogance and
contempt, conceiving such knowledge to be valueless.
As each believed he owned the highest, the intellec-
tual possessions of another lay at, or rather under, his
feet. This period of separation and isolation has passed.
All presses onward, and is pressed onward, into the
full light of intercommunion and mutual recognition.
That which claims continued existence is subjected to
close investigation as to its origin and significance, and
the validity of that claim. Arbitrary dismissal is no
longer possible; equally impossible is voluntary with-
drawal. Retirement into solitude and silence, whether
induced by exaggerated self-estimation, or the self-con-
sciousness of weakness, is now wholly infeasible.
In like manner, Judaism, roused from her lethargy
by the mighty upheavings of the age, has at length
arisen, and steps forth out of her long obscurity, into
the broad sunlight of general consciousness. Urged by
the agitation around her, she breaks the silence to
which she has been, during thousands of years, alike
sentenced from without, and self-condemned from
within. Favored by the tendency of the time, her
voice, so long mute, obtains full hearing. Judaism
exists, must, will eternally endure. Judaism must,
therefore, make it clearly manifest, both to believers
and non-believers, why she now exists, and unto what
end she will continue to exist. Judaism claims for
herself a permanent, wide, and important place among
men a deep and significant voice in the counsels of
men. It behoves her, therefore, to prove her worthiness,
her dignity, her indispensability. The whole domain
of human thought lies now open to the mental vision,
as much of every Jew as of every Christian, of every
one in fact, who partakes of the blessing of civilization.
No one can longer refuse to contemplate the attain-
ments, spiritual and intellectual of another, to test his
own thereby, and to subject them to the full light of
investigation, for his own and the general good.
On entering upon our subject, my hearers, the first
question that forces itself upon our attention is this :
Of what have we to treat, in treating of Judaism ? Of
4 LECTURE I.
a phenomenon that arose in the very earliest ages, that
existed through antiquity, outlived the middle ages,
that held on its course during later centuries, and has
manifested, in the more recent periods, unexpected
vitality, renewed activity, positive and true rejuvenes-
Assuredly, this sufficiently testifies to the potency of
this phenomenon. Were it our task to examine a
monument of antiquity to gather up the venerable
remains of an age long hy-gone to linger amid the
time-Avorn relics of a life long buried beneath them
how great, how intense would be the interest they
would awaken within us. But this it is not. We here
pass into a presence, that coeval with the earliest ages
of the race of man, has been his companion on all his
wanderings, has followed him, step by step, and pre-
pares anew to follow him on his future course; a
presence, whose human embodiments may not only be
enumerated among the generations of the past, but are
now to be found in the midst of all nations, weaving
their due portion at the great loom of the web of human
destiny ; a presence \vhich not alone ruled the spirits of
the past, but even at this day fills and forms the mental
being of millions.
It stands alone, single of its kind. All historical
facts pertain to the periods which they have produced,
or by which they have been produced. One only
phenomenon has lived through all ages of man's
history, until this day; one alone has moved, a living
presence, in and through all times. That one is
Whence has Judaism derived this capacity? This
question has been variously answered. By some it has
been said, " Judaism is a mumrny ; it resembles the
skilfully embalmed corpse of an Egyptian, which
remains entire after dissolution." Surely, this comparison
can hardly be made in all seriousness ; for the lifeless
body may lie undisturbed for a time amid the ashes of
earthly things ; but from the domain of the spirit, all
death is excluded, as from a living organization. It is
not given to a mummy to combat and be combated ;
nor to a corpse to act and be reacted upon. Judaism,
therefore, must still be regarded as an Idea, bequeathed
to us by the past.
By others again, the blindness and obstinacy of its
followers have been assigned as the cause of the con-
tinued existence of Judaism. We are truly justified in
the assumption, that the blindness and obstinacy dwell
with those who thus dispose of the question. It were
possible that one or two generations of men, having the
bitter memory of inflicted wrong yet fresh within them,
might be swayed by such feelings ; but that men should
be thus acted upon and enslaved, generation after
generation, amid the mutations of ages, and under cir-
cumstances the most varied and adverse, by low, narrow,
and selfish passions, is wholly inconceivable. No ! En-
tire conviction, unbounded resignation, and a love that
knows nought beside, could alone have had power to
produce such a result.
If these premises be admitted, then the natural and
evident deduction is this : The inward stream of life it
is, flowing continuously, though often silently and im-
perceptibly, through the veins of Judaism, which has
nourished the root, invigorated the stem, and imparted
the verdant hue of life to the leafy crown, of the
primeval palm-tree. Well may it be, that from a
6 LECTURE I.
growth that has outlived ages, a decayed bough may
sometimes fall a withered leaf float gently earth-
wards. But within, in the giant tree's core, the creative
sap of life mounts in full tide heavenwards, keeping
it healthful and verdant, and powerful to resist, alike
the mouldering effect of time, the blasting of the
storm, and the stroke of the lightning.
Again then we ask, what is Judaism ? The reply
that we can here give by anticipation, at the very outset
of our proposed enquiry, is in truth comprised in what
we have just advanced.
Had Judaism been from its commencement an in-
herent isolated fact, had it been delivered to us, with a
limitation of its activity within its original narrow do-
main, as its distinctive element it would have been
necessary, ere we entered upon our proposed investiga-
tion, that I should have laid before you, my hearers, a
clear definition of Judaism. In it, on the contrary,
we have recognized a living presence that "has existed
through all the great periods of the history of man a
presence which, though in its inmost being a unity, has
passed through many different phases, and assumed
very varying forms. The history of all these forms
and phases, and not that of any one of them only,
constitutes therefore, the history of Judaism. In and
from their collected history alone, is the real omnipre-
sent essential unity of Judaism clearly demonstrable.
The solitary ark of the covenant in the wilderness,
is not the golden temple of Jerusalem, nor is this the
obscure sjTiagogue in the ghetto of the middle ages.
The rigidly simple law of Moses in the wilds of Arabia,
is not identical with the glowing denunciations of the
prophets against the idolatrous and degenerate race of
Israel. Different again are the hair-splitting, sophistical
acumen of the Talmudist, and the all-weighing gene-
ralizing judgment of the philosophical thinker. Juda-
ism then consists, not of any one of these items alone,
but of all of them collectively. And though we are
well aware that of all these phases, the subject, end,
and aim are the same, their purport the same, yet have
we no right to pronounce determinately on the latter,
until we shall have more closely examined the former.
Although certain marked features are at once clearly
perceptible, any anticipation on this subject would be
an assumption of that, in respect of which an appeal to
history can alone produce conviction.
We must next enquire, what is the true sphere of
action of Judaism? The answer would be easy, if it
were true that of religion. From early times, a dis-
tinction, it is well known, has been made between man
in his religious, and man in his social character. In his
relation to that higher Power, whose creature he is, to
the Divinity, he is the religious man ; in his relation to
society, the social man. In the latter, there is again
a distinction between the individual man, in his relation
to his individual fellow man, and man in his relation
as a responsible moral being, a member of society and
of the state, to society in general and to the state.
As however general morality rests wholly on the re-
lation of man to his God, general morality has come to
be considered (as it virtually is) an integral part of
religion; so that the moral and religious elements,
though they may sometimes be placed in contrast, must
co-exist in the human being.
Notwithstanding its antiquity, its historical develop-
ment, and its present general acceptance, this distinction
8 LECTURE i.
between the religious and the moral man, i. e., between
man in his relation to the Divinity, and man in his re-
lation to society, is after all, my hearers, a purely fac-
titious distinction. It is neither natural, since every
man, inasmuch as he exists, is a unity in which mind
and spirit, reason and soul, in all their operations,
have one concurrent mode of action; nor is it an
original distinction, since history teaches us that in
all countries religion and state were originally one.
Judaism having been a primary, and not, as are other
and more recent religions, a secondary creation (by
secondary, I understand such as have arisen subsequently
to the governmental formation of the states in which
they respectively prevail), Judaism necessarily considers
the social as well as the religious man man in fact, as
an individual whole. The separating the religious from
the social being, could not by possibility originally ob-
tain in Judaism, but was necessarily received into it,
when outward circumstances compelled its admission :
that is, when Judaism ceased to possess its own state,
and to rule over its own society.
Judaism must therefore include, among its hopes and
aspirations for the future, and its future achievements, be
that future ever so remote, the rendering universal the
recognition of the great principle the unity of the social
and the religious man a principle which ought to be
now considered, as in fact it is, an article, an inherent
part of the ' Israelite's confession of faith.' As we are
considering; not the Judaism of any one period, but that
of all periods, we must direct our attention as well to
its action as a religion, as to its social influence.
I state my proposition simply thus: 'Judaism con-
siders man to be> in all his relations, a unity.'
Hence results another peculiarity. Judaism must
contain certain elements wholly opposed to all else that
time has produced and destroyed. Had Judaism
been of like nature with all things that successive
centuries have engendered, transmuted, and annihi-
lated, it must have passed through the same vicis-
situdes and have undergone the same mutations as they
have, and have at length passed away as they have
passed away. Judaism would now, in that case, be
merely remembered as a form of thought that had
achieved its appointed work, had been worn out and
cast wholly aside. Yet more : Judaism must still in
the present, contain those indwelling contrasts to all that
is around, or it would long ere this have been absorbed
by, or amalgamated with, all its surroundings. In fine,
it must] stand security for its own continuance, so long
as its tenor and purport have not found general accept-
ance ; I should say rather, so long as all men shall not
have been so thoroughly imbued with its tenor and
purport, as to render these a part of their mental being.
We learn from these deductions, that the contrast of
which we treat has ever existed, as it still exists, not in
the form alone, but in the essence. A contrast in form
disappears with the thing of which it is the form,
while the same contrast in the essence may obtain so
long as the thing continues, even though each form
under which it successively appears, be completely
different from the one it previously assumed.
I have been compelled, my hearers, to press these
observations thus early on your attention, because they
determine the course to be followed in these lectures
which range themselves under three heads :
First. The close examination of each single phase of
10 LECTURE I.
Judaism, in order that Judaism may be fully compre-
hended as a unity a living historical presence.
Secondly. Judaism presenting this contrast, the ex-
ternal things and circumstances among which it was
born, has lived, and those in the midst of which it now