Isaac Leeser

The Claims of the Jews to an Equality of Rights


Isaac Leeser
   - The Claims of the Jews to an Equality of Rights

Excerpt from The Claims of the Jews to an Equality of Rights: Illustrated in a Series of Letters to the Editor of the Philadelphia Gazette

The following series of letters, written during the course of last winter, and then published in the Philadelphia Gazette, of which Willis Gaylord Clark, Esq. is editor, owes its origin chiefly, as is stated in the first number, to a variety of illiberal and at times unfounded remarks which were put in circulation in various forms for some years past, mostly originating however in different English Reviews, under the guise of criticisms on various new works. Prominent among these publications stands the London Quarterly Review of January, 1839, as will appear from several extracts subjoined. It is singular enough that an article emanating from this celebrated periodical, which appeared in July, 1828, should have caused me to appear before the public, the second time I ever ventured to offer any thing to the press, with an extended defence of our people and of our religion, which has since given rise to the "Jews and Mosaic Law," which was published seven years ago. It is not likely, that the Reviewer ever saw my strictures; but these repeated attacks, proceeding from the organ of one of the great parties of Great Britain, prove to my satisfaction at least, that the same spirit of disinclination (to use a mild term) towards us as a separate religious society does yet prevail with the same activity now as during the ages of persecution. Were it now that the malign influence were to be diffused in England only, it might possibly be advisable not to notice it in this country. But the fact of the very extended circulation of British Reviews through various modes of republication, renders them by no means antagonists who may be safely despised or passed over with silent contempt.

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