- Christogenea Saturdays
The Jews in Europe: Judaizing England and Sweden
Before we proceed with a short summary of the Jewish presence and influence in 17th century England, we should take a brief moment to look at the Jewish presence and influence in contemporary Sweden. Perhaps the Swedes missed an opportunity in saving England from Judaism, at least temporarily, when Christina the Swedish queen rejected the advances of Manasseh ben Israel. But in truth, she had already had enough Jews of her own.
We do not like to use Jewish sources for our studies, and we strongly dislike quoting Jews unless we are quoting them critically. But on some topics relating to Jews, some of their writers are worthy of quoting, so long as we can corroborate their statements independently. So the following excerpt is from a book written by a Jew named David S. Katz, entitled Menasseh ben Israel’s Mission to Queen Christina of Sweden, 1651 - 1655:
With perfect hindsight, one often sees Menasseh ben Israel’s career as leading inexorably to his mission to Oliver Cromwell in 1655, when he came to London to plead for the readmission of the Jews to England, nearly four centuries after their expulsion. At least this is how the events of the 1650s appear if one begins with the Whitehall Conference of 1655 and follows the thread back to the first tentative overtures toward England from Amsterdam. Even after the publication of The Hope of Israel in 1650, however, it was not apparent that Menasseh would soon be devoting himself to the cause of Anglo-Jewry. On the contrary, it was immediately after the appearance of the rabbi’s inﬂuential book that he began maneuvering for a place in the retinue of the notorious Christina, queen of Sweden. Only after he failed to obtain a position among her band of foreign scholars did Menasseh devote himself wholeheartedly to the readmission of the Jews to England. Other Jews had managed to win themselves a place in Christina’s circle. so Menasseh’s scheme was quite practicable. If Queen Christina had accepted the rabbi’s proposals with more alacrity, the history of seventeenth century Anglo-Jewry would have been very different indeed.
While philosemitic trends are readily identiﬁable in England decades before Menasseh ben Israel turned his energies toward London, it was not until he began to correspond with Englishmen that this vague sense of sympathy was transformed into a political force. Yet while many of the bare facts of his life and the list of his inﬂuential contacts are easily accessible, the implications of the surviving evidence have never been fully drawn. If one examines his early overtures to England side-by-side with his efforts to ﬁnd employment at Queen Christina’s court, it becomes evident that, similar to anyone seeking employment, Menasseh ben Israel submitted more than a single application since by 1650 he was desperately in need of a more lucrative situation. Driven onto hard times by bad luck and political disasters beyond his control, spurned by the Dutch Jewish community as a superficial scholar and an inadequate clergyman, Menasseh found the acclaim he craved among gentiles, who came to regard him as the ambassador of the Jewish people to Europe. Menasseh’s efforts on behalf of Anglo-Jewry appear wholly one-dimensional if seen in isolation from the disappointing period that he endured while Englishmen were ﬁghting a civil war, and the following years when he was distracted by the red herring of Christina’s interest in Jews and Jewish studies.
Christina ruled Sweden from 1632 to 1654, when as a young woman she abdicated in favor of her cousin, Charles X Gustav. At an early age she decided not to marry, and adopted many masculine practices. After abdicating, she went off to Rome to pursue an interest in theater. The introduction of radical liberal feminism is not as new as we think.
We have obtained a PDF copy of a book which is a compilation of the State Papers of John Thurloe, a lawyer who was the First Secretary to the Council of State under Charles I, and continued under both Oliver and Richard Cromwell. The papers date from 1638 through 1656. The papers include a great deal of the correspondence which his office had received. Among them were the following messages from Hamburg, in Germany, which we repeat because they corroborate the accounts concerning the relationships which queen Christina of Sweden had with Jews:
Evidently, however, the Kabbalah had made its way to Sweden long before Christina became queen and began her flirtations with her Jewish friends. Johan Bure, who in academic circles was also known as John Bureus, lived from 1568-1652. He was a tutor to both Gustavus Adolphus, the king of Sweden who died on the battlefields of the Thirty Years’ War, and his daughter Christina.
Johan Bure was born in 1568 near Uppsala, the son of a Lutheran priest. He studied in Uppsala, Sweden, Germany and Italy. He became a professor in 1602 and from 1603 he was the Royal antiquarian. He learned both Latin and Hebrew and became well versed in reading old books on Kabbalah. He mixed the runes and Norse myths with the Kabbalah, astrology and magic in a system that he called "Adula runes," or Gothic Kabbalah. Early in Sweden's period as a world power, John Bureus entwined mysticism and concepts from the Kabbalah with a passion for the ancient Goths, according to a thesis written by Thomas Karlsson of the Religion Science Department at the University of Stockholm.
"John Bureus saw himself as a prophet and intended to revive the old religion that he believed had existed among the ancient Goths in the area around Uppsala," notes Karlsson, and adds, "John Bureus' thinking reflects an important but still rather unexplored part of cultural and religious history." [Summarized from: Gothic Cabala in Sweden's Golden Age.]
So John Bureus was Sweden’s John Dee, and there is a history of philosemitism in Sweden, or favor for the Jews and their lies, from his time forward.
What follows is an excerpt from the book, Philo-Semitism and the Gothic Kabbalah, 1688–1710, from Chapter One: The Swedburg Family in Uppsala, written by Marsha Keith Schuchard:
Emanuel Swedenborg, who was to gain fame as a master of the natural and supernatural sciences, was born in Stockholm in February 1688, the third child of Jesper Swedberg, a chaplain in the horse-guards of King Charles XI. Son of a farming and copper-mining family, the robust and blunt-speaking Swedberg gained the king’s favor when he had encouraged the soldiers to learn to read, while at the same time lambasting mere “brain faith” that did not result in pious behavior and charitable action. Four years after Emanuel’s birth, the king sent Swedberg on a study tour to England and the Continent, where he formed many of the opinions that he would forcefully impose on his most sensitive son. For better or worse, the huge shadow of his father would loom over Emanuel’s inner and outer worlds for the rest of his life.
During his travels, Jesper Swedberg met royalist churchmen, innovative scientists, and philo-Semitic scholars, and he developed contacts that would be resumed by Emanuel during his later travels. For three months in England, the chaplain observed and admired the scientific work of the Royal Society, but he did not approve of the factionalism that would soon wrack the British church and state. Recording his negative response to “all the many sects and parties,” he explained,
I mean those that the so-called reformed church is divided into. Not speaking of the biggest party which is called Thoris and Whigs, of High church and Low church, of Quakers and Anabaptists, but only of the so-called English church.
His observations in 1684 reinforced his belief that “Disunity is of the Devil, who promotes it and derives the greatest satisfaction from it, especially in the teachers of the congregation.”
Impressed by the religious tolerance of the Stuart king, Charles II, and the campaign for religious unity by the High Anglicans, Swedberg travelled to France in 1685. There, despite the strong anti-Papal sentiments of his native Lutheran Church, he came to admire the active charity carried out by Roman Catholics, who could not easily be dismissed as superstitious Papists. Their practical accomplishments in aiding the poor influenced his growing determination that the Swedish church should have a useful impact on the nation’s living standards. Swedberg’s son Emanuel would later develop a whole mystic theology of “use.”
In Germany Swedberg called on various Orientalists [which seems to have originally been an academic code word for Jews], of whom the most important was Esdras Edzard, whose successful conversion efforts in the Jewish community fanned Swedberg’s millenarian hopes. [The errant belief in a thousand-year reign of Christ on earth over all nations preceding Armageddon and the rule of an Anti-Christ, based on a misunderstanding of Revelation chapter 20.] During his ten week’s residence in Edzard’s Hamburg home, he learned of his host’s outreach to Jews who had been believers in the messianic mission of the Jewish Kabbalist, Sabbatai Zevi, but who now suffered Disillusionment after their hero’s conversion (forced) to Islam. [It seems that from the start of the Reformation, Christians were fascinated with Jewish messianic hopes, naively believing that the Jewish messiah was their Messiah as well, which would fulfill the belief in millenialism.] Edzard had learned from Manuel Texeira, Resident in Hamburg for the abdicated Swedish queen Christina, about their mutual fascination with the Sabbatian movement. An enthusiastic Christina even danced in the streets with her Jewish friends in the messianic year of 1665. Edzard also heard from Texeira about his subsequent embarrassment at the failure of the movement. While Swedberg was in Hamburg, the Jewish banker still served as Resident for Christina and Charles XI, and news about Jewish affairs and Sabbatian controversies on the Continent continued to be of great interest to the Orientalist scholars at Uppsala University.
The Sabbatian movement was the Jewish declaration by a so-called Jewish prophet named Nathan of Gaza that Sabbatai Zevi was the Messiah, these were actually only Jewish hucksters pretending to be theologians. Jewish sources still consider them to be valid theologians today. Continuing with our source:
When Jesper Swedberg returned to Sweden in August, 1685, he informed the king about Edzard’s missionary work among the Jews, and he convinced him to support similar efforts among the Indians in the New World, whom he and Edzard believed to be descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. [The same lie that Menasseh ben Israel sold to the English.] Four years earlier, Charles XI had been convinced by Swedberg’s friend, Professor Lars Norman, to allow a small number of heterodox Jews into Sweden, and the king presided over their baptism. However, he soon came under pressure from the conservative clergy about the Jewish “threat” to Sweden. Warning that wrong customs might be absorbed into the evangelical rite, the clerics argued that the purity of the national Lutheran church must be protected. Thus, in December 1685 Charles XI reluctantly issued a royal edict which prohibited the practice of the Jewish religion in Sweden. In doing so, he set off a bitter though secretive controversy that would taint Swedish efforts at economic and educational reform throughout the next century. No bigot himself, the king did not act forcefully on the edict and an uneasy, unofficial tolerance developed. A small number of Jews were allowed to stay, as long as they did not proselytize.
Of course, the author is sympathetic to Jews, but we would think that with her worldview, where bigotry is unacceptable, that she is all the more candid. Moreover, she evidently believes that Swedish education needed reform, and it could not be properly reformed without Jews.
Sweden’s court had already had its share of Kabbalistic Jews, during the earlier and brief reign of the young queen Christina. Eventually, the same king Charles XI appointed the Judaizer, Jesper Swedberg, as Professor of Theology at the University of Uppsala. He also became the bishop of Skara. So a Jewish Kabbalist holds these high academic and religious offices in Sweden at the tvery urn of the 18th century. We would assert that with him, Sweden had its own Johann Reuchlin. And like Reuchlin and his nephew Melanchthon, Jesper Swedberg’s judaizing also had a multi-generational impact, through his own son Emanuel Swedenborg. We read just a little further on:
In 1692 the king appointed Jesper Swedberg as Professor of Theology at the University of Uppsala. Reinforced by the atmosphere of philo-Semitism at the university, Swedberg made his own home a center of Hebrew studies. As the father reported what his attendant angels said in the holy tongue, his son Emanuel spent hours meditating on his own Hebrew and Biblical studies.
After an account of some of the alleged visits of angels to Jesper Swedberg and his son Emanuel, which are reminiscent of the events detailed in the diaries of John Dee, our author speaks of the young Emanuel Swedenborg’s life-long association with his brother-in-law, a librarian at the University of Uppsala, who also helped with his education, and she describes
… the early experiences that influenced Swedenborg’s development into a scientist-seer, who secretly gathered intelligence on earth and in heaven. At the same time, many of the vague and confusing claims about Swedenborg’s early access to secret traditions of Kabbalism, Rosicrucianism, and Freemasonry will take on historic plausibility.
It is not our purpose here, at least just yet, to examine the entire history of Freemasonry and its connections to Kabbalah through the Rosicrucians and alchemists and mystics of the time. For now, it shall suffice to say that evidently, the soundest theory of the evolution of modern Freemasonry began with a reorganization of the old Scottish stonemason’s guilds undertaken by William Schaw at the behest of King James VI of Scotland, the future James I of England. The original stonemason’s guilds seem to have had some rites of initiation and secrets among their members which were related to both the trade itself and to job security for those who were initiated, and they were no more nefarious than modern-day union cards. These independent guilds were not federated until Schaw organized them and centralized authority among the Scottish lodges.
The following is from Robert L. D. Cooper, an author of several books on Scottish Freemasonry, and is excerpted from an online discussion posted on a Freemasonic website, where he refers to historical documents cited in his books:
These early Scottish documents reveal the existence of a system of stonemasons’ lodges scattered across the country. There was no central authority and lodges acted independently of each other although clearly they had a common purpose... This rather haphazard collection of Scottish lodges formed a kind of national federation... but was later brought together by one man, William Schaw.... These lodges remained exclusively for stonemasons until 1634 when the first non-stonemasons were admitted to a stonemasons’ lodge. These were therefore the first ‘speculative’ Masons (Freemasons) and pre-date Elias Ashmole’s... initiation in 1646 by more than 10 years. Oddly, he continues to be cited as the first ‘Speculative Freemason’ despite the evidence to the contrary. The transition from stonemasons’ lodges to modern Masonic Lodges is well documented in Scottish records.
Elias Ashmole is another can of worms. His notes are said to contain the earliest evidence of Freemasonry in England, however as Robert Cooper has informed us, he was not necessarily the first Freemason, or “speculative mason”. However Ashmole is significant for other reasons, as his career informs us of the character of these early English Freemasons. Ashmole is said to have been an antiquary, astrologer and alchemist, and therefore he follows the mold of John Dee. He was also a Royalist politician who was rewarded with profitable offices by Charles II after the restoration of the monarchy. He was one of the founding fellows of the Royal Society. It is said that one notable contemporary writer, Anthony Wood, had labeled Ashmole a Rosicrucian, a charge which was denied by another contemporary writer, the astrologer John Gadbury, who was also a Royal Society member.
During the 17th century, Freemasonry, founded in Scotland and sympathetic to the Stuart cause, also required the element of secrecy in the Cromwell years, as Freemasons sought the Restoration of the monarchy. This new 17th century Freemasonry added to “speculative masonry” the Kabbalistic fables of temple architecture, the plans for a new temple in Jerusalem, Jewish mysticism, alchemical sorcery, and all of this seems to have been a result of the fervor of Christian Zionism and the elevation of the Jews by the Christian Kabbalists. Here when we say “Christian Kabbalists, we mean Christians who were following the Jewish Kabbala. Eventually, Freemasonry became something which seemed to be founded on Jewish ideals and the Jewish mysticism of the Kabbalah, and the Jews themselves would come to rule the highest levels among the master Freemasons. The Royal Society, as well as its French counterpart, were created by Freemasons as an expression of the interest in science, which was originally not distinguished from Kabbalistic sorcery. For now we have a glimpse of what happened in Sweden, and a better background on what was about to happen in England. This is the Judaization of the Christian world, and it all began in the earliest years of the Reformation.
This is the backdrop against which the Jew whose name was originally Manoel Dias Soeiro had sent to England seeking the favor of Oliver Cromwell. But he is better known by his so-called “Hebrew name”, which was really just a cover so that he could maintain a pretense, as “Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel of Amsterdam”. Soeiro was a Portuguese rabbi, kabbalist, and writer. He was also a merchant, who is alleged to have founded the first Jewish printing press in Holland. After his appeals to Cromwell, he was unofficially called the “ambassador of the Jews to England”.
Here I am going to cite a book which I also cited in a part two of a series of podcasts with Sven Longshanks from a year ago on the treachery of British politicians behind all of the invasions of Britain since Roman times. The authors recognize that some Jews had dwelt in England during the banishment, in a footnote: “The fact that a few Jews are known to have lived in England during the three hundred and sixty-five years between the formal expulsion of the race (1290) under Edward I. and their formal readmission under Cromwell (1655) has little bearing on our present subject, as they do not seem to have taken any prominent part in commerce.” But this is a downplay of what they were actually able to accomplish while in London, especially in the years leading up to the English Civil War and Cromwell, as we shall later see. This is from a work called A Social History of England, Volume 4, on p. 381:
The development of English commerce was, no doubt, assisted by the Jewish immigration. The permission to return given by Cromwell to this long-banished race may probably be connected with the general Judaic spirit of the Puritans. Oliver Cromwell himself said, “Great is my sympathy with this poor people whom God chose, and to whom He gave the law”: and it was probably a similar sympathy which prevented any serious opposition to their readmission into England. Some London merchants, indeed, protested, but they were moved more by commercial jealousy than by religious intolerance. The Hebrew immigration at this time consisted almost entirely of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, who had been driven from the lands of their adoption by the persecution of the Inquisition. Their estates had in many cases been confiscated, but they were on the whole, nevertheless, a wealthy body. Most of them had, in the first instance, settled in Holland or in Italy; and in these countries they had had ample opportunities of learning the newest and most perfect methods of conducting international trade, and of giving and receiving credit. Many of them, in fact, came directly from Amsterdam, which was by this time the commercial capital of Holland.
Now, this is not entirely true, and in fact, Jewish history is being whitewashed by these authors. Rather, it seems to be a history written for the benefit of the Jews, so that they could portray their opponents as little more than greedy merchants themselves. There was indeed a great deal of religious opposition to allowing the Jews into England, and there were already at least some Jews in England at the time. They could not practice their religion openly, or build synagogues. They were mostly crypto-Jews who fled Spain and Portugal, coming over into England from Holland as merchants.
One such religious opponent to the admission of the Jews was Edmund Gayton, an English scholar and poet who was a professor at St. John’s College at Oxford from 1626. In 1656 he wrote a poem warning against the Jews and addressed it to Menasseh ben Israel himself. In it, Gayton asserted that allowing the Jews into England, the churches would be closed, St. Paul’s cathedral would be sold to the Jews for use as a synagogue, and they would continue to enrich themselves with usury while they proselytized all of England. In our opinion, Gayton certainly does seem to have been a prophet, because that is precisely what has happened.
The English Civil War between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists had begun in 1642 and lasted nearly ten years. Cromwell did not gain the title of Lord Protector until 1653, and held it for just short of 5 years. Gayton’s papers, preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, also indicate that there were Jews in England before the Council of Whitehall which was held in the last weeks of 1655. Other papers show that the dispute over the admittance of Jews into England was ongoing at least as early as 1649, probably earlier, and that re-admittance was heavily opposed by the Royalist press of the time. The Royalists went so far at this early time as to accuse Cromwell of wanting to employ Jewish merchants in the selling off of the inhabitants of London into slavery to the Turks and Moors. Another contemporary writer reported that it was “No marvell, that those which intend to crucifie their King, should shake hands with them that crucified their Saviour.” (Anarchia Anglicana, written by Clement Walker and published in 1649)
It is our opinion, that Jews already in England, along with the Jews from Holland who had financed Cromwell, and who had also later compromised and financed Charles II after him, wanted an official decree of re-admittance not so they could enter England, as they already had, but so that they could practice their religion in England openly and without fear. For that reason, I believe that the appeals of Menasseh ben Israel were made to Cromwell under pretense. Cromwell, indebted to Jews, was already in favor of re-admittance, and was portrayed as an ally of the Jews in the Royalist Press for many years before he had actually been petitioned for their re-admittance. But the opposition among the English people was so great, that he could not risk to force the matter. The real mission of Manasseh ben Israel was not to convince Cromwell, but to attempt to persuade sufficient of the English notables so as to win the cause. However even that was not enough, and the Council of Whitehall adjourned without making a formal decision, and not being able to resolve their divisions. There was a decision by judges which amounted only to a concession, and not an actual approval. The Jews never received an official admittance to England, although they have been permitted to participate in English politics and hold office since the 19th century. I have summarized these things here because they are beyond the scope of our purpose for this presentation, and would require a separate and lengthy study in order to provide all of the relevant factual evidence.
Continuing with A Social History of England:
Manasseh Ben Israel was one of those Peninsular Jews who had settled in Amsterdam. He had distinguished him self as a teacher and as a student, but the confiscation of his paternal estates had driven him to abandon the pursuit of learning in favour of the career of a merchant and watchmaker. He then came over to England to intercede for the readmission of his co-religionists into the country. In his interview with Cromwell and the Privy Council, he laid great stress on the increase in English exports and imports which the settlement of Jews in London would probably produce. He explained the importance of the exchange and banking transactions they were now carrying on from Holland, and showed that the large capital committed to their care by Spanish and Portuguese Jews, who thus hoped to save it from the Inquisition, enabled them to lend out money at what was then considered the extraordinarily low rate of 5 per cent. These arguments must have been specially appreciated in a country whose merchants were at once envious of the low rate at which their Dutch rivals could borrow, and desirous of extending their trade into all parts of the world. The Privy Council was divided on the subject, but the judges decided that the law did not prohibit Jews from living in England, and Cromwell then gave the required permission on his own authority. It was at once taken advantage of by a number of well-to-do merchants, and these were soon followed by poorer Jews from Holland and Poland. The first settlers do not seem to have accorded so friendly a welcome to their poorer brethren as the generally philanthropic character of the race might have led us to expect. Charles II. was appealed to, on his restoration, to reverse the policy of Cromwell, but the “merry monarch " was too shrewd not to see that the presence of the Jews in England was stimulating English commerce. Moreover, he had himself during his exile borrowed largely from Dutch Jews, and he not only continued to tolerate their presence, but allowed them to open a synagogue in London in 1662.
The Social History of England glossed over the fact that there is evidence which suggests that Cromwell had actually sent for the Jewish rabbi to address the Whitehall Conference, and granted him a lifetime pension after he had done so. Fortunately, the Jew did not live to collect it for very long. There is also much evidence that Cromwell was making alliances with the Jews during the Civil War, years before Whitehall, which seems to be omitted by these authors.
However in spite of the evidence which supports Cromwell’s having invited Soeiro to England, which we shall see is nevertheless possible, it is evident that a petition was presented to Cromwell first. This is found in an unlikely place, in a letter recorded by the English State Secretary John Thurloe which was written from a French ambassador in Holland and addressed to the French ambassador in England. It was dated October 16th, 1654, and the last paragraph of the letter states the following:
A Jew of Amsterdam hath informed me for certain, that the three generals of the fleet have presented a petition to his highness the protector, to obtain, that their nation may be received in England, to draw the commerce thither.
The letter seems to have been written for little particular purpose, other than to share some news of various trivial events happening around the continent, and among other items queen Christina of Sweden was mentioned in the paragraph which precedes, where she had confided to the French ambassador in Holland that she distrusted whether her cousin would keep her pension payments coming. We would want to read a greater part of the book, however, before passing judgment on this one letter.
First published in London in 1650, under his pseudonym Menasseh ben Israel, the Jew Soeiro had published a booklet titled The Hope of Israel. The cover of the book promotes its author as “a Hebrew Divine, and Philosopher.” Of course, that statement contains three great lies. The Jew is not a Hebrew, has never been divine, and is no true philosopher. At least some modern-day Mormons cite this book as an authority for some of their own hare-brained beliefs. Ignoring the New Testament and contradicting the prophets which the book cites out-of-context, the Jew sets out to prove that the savages which Spanish and Portuguese explorers had found in the Americas were somehow the “Ten Lost Tribes” of Israel. He gives a fabulous account of how the deported Israelites of old had somehow journeyed from Tartary to the Americas via Greenland, without one shred of proof or any account of intervening history.
In another place, earlier in his booklet, Soeiro contends that the first settlers of the New World were Phoenicians of Carthage and Iberia, which is true. But the savages found in Spanish times were certainly not the Phoenicians, whom Soeiro also admitted were Israelites, who he says were white and bearded while the savages, whom he calls Indians, were brown and beardless. Soeiro realizes the discrepancy, noting differences in appearance, character and level of civilization between the Phoenicians and the Indians. But then he offers contorted explanations by which to justify his identification of the Indians as Israelites.
Of course, modern Identity Christians understand that the Phoenicians were Israelites who inhabited Western Europe and North Africa at an early time, and certainly did explore the Americas long before they were rediscovered more recently. But if anything remains of the Phoenicians who landed in the New World, it was long ago destroyed by miscegenation. Identity Christians also know that the Israelites of the Assyrian deportations did indeed travel through the Caucasus mountains into what is now Russia, and from there the Germanic tribes were formed which migrated over the centuries into Europe. But all of that knowledge was beyond the Englishman of the 17th century.
We have already seen that by 1685, the Swedish academic and bishop, Jesper Swedberg, had also heard and accepted this account of the origins of the Indians from the Jews. The premise upon which Soeiro rests his contentions is two-fold: a belief in a global flood, which Scripture denies, and the contention that if there was a global flood, the Indians had to come from somewhere. If they could not otherwise be accounted for, they must be the so-called “lost tribes”. So one false premise forces one to accept another, and another, ad infinitum. This is crucial to understand, because this false identification of the savages must be considered in relation to later English policy in regard to the savages. With the support that Cromwell had from his fellow Puritans, and with the promotion of Menasseh ben Israel as a venerated Jew among the English, there should be little doubt that these very wrong ideas had permeated into English society in the 17th century.
Now we shall examine some of the grounds upon which The Jew Menasseh ben Israel addressed Oliver Cromwell, and ultimately the White Hall conference. These addresses to Cromwell and the English Nation were not without opposition. However what we seek to establish is some of the grounds upon which they were made, since they were absolutely anti-Christian, and the fact that they were indeed accepted by a great many of the English in spite of that. We will usually call him by his Jewish name, Soeiro, here, because we disdain having to call him by his impious pseudonym.
First, the address to Cromwell:
To His Highnesse The Lord Protector of the Common-Wealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The Humble Addresses of Menasseh Ben Israel, A Divine and Doctor of Physick, in behalf of The Iewish Nation.
Give me leave, at such a juncture of time, to speak to your Highnesse, in a style and manner fitting to us Iewes and our condition. It is a thing most certaine, that the great God of Israel, Creator of Heaven and Earth, doth give and take away Dominions and Empires, according to his owne pleasure; exalting some, and overthrowing others: who, seeing he hath the hearts of Kings in his hand, he easily moves them whithersoever himselfe pleaseth, to put in execution his Divine Commands. This, my Lord, appears most evidently out of those words of Daniel, where he, rendering thanks unto God, for revealing unto him that prodigious dreame of Nebuchadnezar, doth say: "Thou that removest Kings, and sets up Kings." And else-where, "To the end the living might know, that the Highest hath dominion in Mans Kingdome, and giveth the same to whom he please." Of the very same minde are the Thalmudists likewise, affirming that a good Government, or Governor, is a Heavenly Gift; and that there is no Governor, but is first called by God unto that dignity: and this they prove from that passage of Exodus: Behold I have called Bazale'l by name," &c., all things being governed by Divine Providence, God dispensing rewards unto Vertues, and punishment unto Vices, according to his owne good Will. This the Examples of great Monarchs make good; especially of such, who have afflicted the people of Israel: For none hath ever afflicted them, who hath not been by some ominous Exit, most heavily punished of God Almighty; as is manifest from the Histories of those Kings, Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezar, Antiochus Epiphanius, Pompey, and others. And on the contrary, none ever was a Benefactor to that people, and cherished them in their Countries, who thereupon hath not presently begun very much to flourish. In so much that the Oracle to Abraham ("I will blesse then that blesse thee, and curse them that curse thee") seemeth yet daily to have its accomplishment. Hence I, one of the least among the Hebrews, since by experience I have found, that through Gods great bounty toward us, many considerable and eminent persons both for Piety and Power, are moved with sincere and inward pitty and compassion towards us, and do comfort us concerning the approaching deliverance of Israel, could not but for myself, and in the behalf of my Countrey men, make this my humble addresse to your Highness, and beseech you for Gods sake, that ye would, according to that Piety and Power wherein you are eminent beyond others, vouchsafe to grant, that the Great and Glorious Name of the Lord our God may be extolled, and solemnly worshipped and praised by us through all the bounds of this Common-wealth; and to grant us place in your Countrey, that we may have our Synagogues, and free exercise of our Religion. I nothing doubting, but that your Clemency will easily grant this most equitable Petition of ours. Pagans have of old, out of reverence to the God of Israel; and the esteem they had to his people, granted most willingly free liberty, even to apostated Iewes; as Onias the High Priest, to build another Temple in their Countrey, like unto that at Jerusalem: how much more then may we, that are not Apostate or runagate Iewes, hope it from your Highnesse and your Christian Council, since you have so great knowledge of, and adore the same one onely God of Israel, together with us. Besides, it increases our confidence of your bounty towards us, in that so soon as ever the rumour of that most wished-for liberty, that ye were a thinking to grant us, was made known unto our Countrey-men; I, in the name of my Nation, the Iewes, that live in Holland, did congratulate and entertaine their Excellencies, the Ambassadors of England; who were received in our Synagogue with as great pomp and applause, Hymns and cheerfulnesse of minde, as ever any Soveraigne Prince was. [And this is one important reason why we believe Cromwell sent for, or perhaps invited, Menasseh ben Israel, or some other, to come to England and address the Whitehall Conference. Why else would he send ambassadors to a synagogue in Amsterdam?] For our people did in their owns mindes presage, that the Kingly Government being now changed into that of a Common-wealth, the antient hatred towards them, would also be changed into good-will: that those rigorous Laws (if any there be yet extant, made under the Kings) against so innocent a people, would happily be repealed. So that we hope now for better from your gentleness and goodness, since, from the beginning of your Government of this Common-wealth, your Highnesse hath professed much respect, and favour towards us. Wherefore I humbly entreat your Highnesse, that you would with a gracious eye have regard unto us, and our Petition, and grant unto us, as you have done unto others, free exercise of our Religion, that we may have our Synagogues, and keep our own publick worship, as our brethren doe in Italy, Germany, Poland, and many other places, and we shall pray for the happinesse and Peace of this your much renowned and puissant Common-wealth.
So the Jew basically ingratiates Cromwell, by informing hi that he sits as ruler of England by the will of God, and then uses the blessing to Abraham in Genesis chapter 12 to threaten Cromwell, that if he did not bless the Jews, England would be cursed. Moreover, the Old Testament and an appeal to the Old Testament God is made on behalf of people claiming to be Israel, without any consideration of the New Testament and all of the warnings against “those who say they are Jews, and are not”, made to Christians by Christ and the apostles. Was Cromwell a Christians? Or a Jew? He was born a Christian, but to accept this he must have thought like a Jew. Soeiro had the audacity to cite the Talmudists, who absolutely hate Christ, and employ traditional Jewish Talmudic subterfuge to undermine the naive leader and people of England. Cromwell was hardly a Christian, in fact, could not have been a true Christian, to accept any of these things.
We will present only the first part of Soeiro’s declaration to the English people:
A DECLARATION TO THE COMMON-WEALTH OF ENGLAND, BY RABBI MENASSEH BEN ISRAEL, SHOWING THE MOTIVES OF HIS COMING INTO ENGLAND
Having some years since often perceived that in this Nation, God hath a People, that is very tender-hearted, and well-wishing to our sore-afflicted Nation; Yea, I my selfe having some Experience thereof, in divers Eminent persons, excelling both in Piety and Learning: I thought with my-self, I should do no small service to my owne Nation, as also to the People and Inhabitants of this Common-wealth, if by humble addresses to the late Honourable Parliament, I might obtaine a safe-Conduct once to transport my selfe thither. Which I having done, and according to my desire, received a most kinde and satisfactory Answer, I now am come. And to the end all Men may know the true Motives and Intent of this my coming, I shall briefly comprehend and deliver them in these particulars.
First and formost, my Intention is to try, if by Gods good hand over me, I may obtaine here for my Nation the Liberty of a free and publick Synagogue, wherein we may daily call upon the Lord our God, that once he may be pleased to remember his Mercies and Promises done to our Fore fathers, forgiving our trespasses, and restoring us once againe into our fathers Inheritance; and besides to sue also for a blessing upon this Nation, and People of England, for receiving us into their bosoms, and comforting Sion in her distresse.
Here is Jewish effrontery at its utmost. The Jews have not had a high priest to offer sacrifices as propitiation for their sins for 1,600 years at this point, and they rejected Christ. So what propitiation do they have for their sin? None, and Soeiro’s attitude is that God should forgive their sins freely. On the other hand, Paul of Tarsus had warned that whoever does not love Jesus Christ, he must be accursed. Christians of the time should have already understood that, and evidently they failed. Continuing with Soeiro:
My second Motive is, because the opinion of many Christians and mine doe concurre herein, that we both believe that the restoring time of our Nation into their Native Countrey, is very neer at hand; I believing more particularly, that this restauration cannot be, before these words of Daniel, Chap. 12. ver. 7. be first accomplished, when he saith, "And when the dispersion of the Holy people shall be compleated in all places, then shall all these things be compleated:" signifying therewith, that before all be fulfilled, the People of God must be first dispersed into all places & Countreyes of the World. Now we know, how our Nation at the present is spread all about, and hath its seat and dwelling in the most flourishing parts of all the Kingdomes, and Countreys of the World, as well in America, as in the other three parts thereof; except onely in this considerable and mighty Island. And therefore this remains onely in my judgement, before the Messia come and restore our ration, that first we must have our seat here likewise.
And here is another lie and another threat. The Jew first misquotes Daniel to assert that it is the will of God that they must occupy every nation in the world, which is not at all what Daniel had said. Then he insists that there will be no Messiah until the Jews inhabit “the most flourishing parts of all Kingdoms”. But the Jewish Messiah is not the Christian Messiah, who had already come and whom the Jews had rejected. Christians and Jews may use the same words, but they cannot speak the same language. Yet we are blessed, to see the subterfuge for which so many of our Medieval English forbears had fallen. Continuing with Soeiro:
My third Motive is grounded on the profit that I conceive this Common-wealth is to reap, if it shall vouchsafe to receive us; for thence, I hope, there will follow a great blessing from God upon them, and a very abundant trading into, and from all parts of the World, not onely without prejudice to the English Nation, but for their profit, both in Importation, and Exportation of goods. Yet if any shall doubt hereof, I trust their Charity towards the people of God, will satisfie them, especially when they shall reade the ensuing Treatise.
This basically amounts to a bribe. And in truth, England has been in a state of war ever since they readmitted the Jews. And lastly, Soeiro wrote:
The fourth Motive of my coming hither, is, my sincere affection to this Common-wealth, by reason of so many Worthy, Learned, and Pious men in this Nation, whose loving kindnesse and Piety I have experience of: hoping to finde the like affection in all the People generally; the more, because I alwayes have, both by writing and deeds, professed much inclination to this Common-wealth; and that I perswade my selfe they will be mindfull of that Command of the Lord Our God, who so highly recommends unto all men the love of strangers; much more to those that professe their good affection to them. For this I desire all may be confident of, that I am not come to make any disturbance, or to move any disputes about matters of Religion; but onely to live with my Nation in the fear of the Lord, under the shadow of your protection, whiles we expect with you the hope of Israel to be revealed.
The Jews know what the New Testament saus, and they only cite it when they can use it to gain an advantage over Christians.
The confusion of good for evil is very old indeed. The Jew considers those who are fooled by his deceit to be “Worthy, Learned, and Pious”, while those who reject the Jews are bigoted and hateful, as we saw from one of the first writers we cited this evening, Marsha Keith Schuchard. Of course, Christian principles are never considered by the Jews, unless they can gain advantage over Christians, and we should not expect them to consider them in any other light. However we should indeed expect Christians to consider Christian principles, and respect the judgment of morality set forth by Christ and His apostles, rather than the Jews. Sadly, that has never been the case in history. Christianity has never been practised, and the inevitable result is Jewish world supremacy.
The following parts of his Declaration to the Common-wealth of England contain sections entitled How Profitable The Nation of the Jewes are, and How Faithfull The Nation of the Jewes are. There was also a Vindiciae Judaeorum [Vindication of the Jews], which was an answer to William Prynne’s argument against the re-admittance of the Jews, entitled Short Demurrer. In addition to these, there was an essay titled Considerations Upon the Point of the Conversion of the Jewes. This paper also exhibits the Jewish messianic fervor of the time, which was contagious among Christian millenialists. However its opening premise is fascinating, because it reflects a belief still held among Judaized Christians today. So we will read the first few sentences. We have not read all of Soeiro’s writing, but this is the only time we noticed actual quotes from the New Testament in any of it, as there are a few other citations from it further on in this essay:
God hath promised to doe great things in these last days, as namely, to subdue all his Enemies, to relieve his people, to destroy all tyranny and oppression both civil and ecclesiasticall, and to ampliate the Bounds of Christs Kingdom, by a plentiful pouring forth of his spirit, and by converting the multitudes of both Jews and Gentiles. Herein he doth what the Ruler of the Feast said to the bridegroome in John 2:10. he keeps the best wine till last; he makes the last Act, the best part of the Comedy.
So, speaking of the prospect of converting the Jews, Soeiro cites the New Testament as an excuse to forestall conversion, while at the same time he make light of it by imagining it to be a comedy. The irony of it all just kills me, that Christians accepted such subterfuge. But it get worse. Further on he cites Peter in an exhortation to brotherly love and kindness, and then attributes those empathies to Christ Himself. So Jews reject Christ, but JEWS find Christians guilty if they do not extend Christian love to Jews, which is all contrary to Scripture. Soeiro even makes a reference to the “methods of the devil” while he employs the very methods of the devil about which Christ and the apostles had warned their followers.
And most Christians, in spite of those warnings, still believe the Jews today.
Following the lie of Jewish messianic fervor is a forked road for Christians. But there is more to it than just Sabbatai Zevi or Menasseh ben Israel. The following is from a short article, Cromwell and the ‘readmission’ of the Jews to England, 1656, by one Barbara Coulton of Lancaster University in England [click here for a PDF facsimile]:
The context for the actions of Cromwell and Menasseh involved Protestant millenarianism and Jewish messianism, religious toleration, and the good of the state. Belief in the millennium and in the Second Coming of Christ was long-standing but received fresh impetus after the Reformation. A leading millenarian in seventeenth-century England was the Cambridge scholar Joseph Mede (1586-1638) whose interpretation of the Book of Revelation traced the historical application of apocalyptic prophecy. [Mede was another 16th century Hebraist, but upon a precursory examination there are no charges of him being a kabbalist or a sorcerer.] Other Biblical works such as Zechariah and Daniel contained passages which Mede applied to the Jews, comparing their expected conversion to that of Paul; their conversion would be a witness to Christ, and a reproof to the church of Rome; it would herald or coincide with the Second Coming. [And here is the impetus: Reformers embracing the enemies of Christ simply because they wanted to rehabilitate the enemies of Roman Catholicism, and thereby convict the pope.] On the other hand, some Jews believed that their messiah would appear when they had been scattered throughout the world; they would be gathered again and led to Sion; Menasseh ben Israel held this belief. The return of the Jews to England was important to both sides: the new chosen people, Protestant England, would convert them; their reaching England would help the progress of Jewish messianism. (The two aims were of course incompatible.) Another factor in the acceptance of the Jews was the interest of puritan divines in the Hebrew language and its religious literature. In an extreme form this could lead to ‘judaising’ practices such as observing the Jewish sabbath; in general it took the form of ‘philosemitism’, examples of which will be cited. [Here the author cited the following sources: R.G. Clouse, ‘The Rebirth of Millenarianism’, in Peter Toon (ed.), Puritans, the Millennium and the Future of Israel (Cambridge, 1970), pp. 56-65; The Jewish Encyclopaedia (12 vols, New York, 1901-6), under ‘Messiah’ and ‘Manasseh [sic] ben Israel’; D. Katz, Philo-Semitism and the Readmission of the Jews to England 1603-1655 (Oxford, 1982).]
So we have seen that the Kabbalah and its adherents were spread not only throughout Germany and Italy in the 16th century, but also throughout England and Sweden in the 17th. And both the Jews and the Kabbalists among the Christians were very influential in 17th century England at the same time that the Freemasonic lodges were also developing. The Freemasons, originally called ‘speculative’ Masons because they were not stonemasons, consisted largely of alchemists, astrologers and other sorcerers, some of whom were making a transition into developing sciences, and a great number of whom had a particular interest in the supposed secrets of the Kabbalah. Through the Kabbalah, since it is written in what the Jews call Hebrew, the rabbis of the Jews would ultimately be their masters.
We have seen in earlier portions of these presentations that the myths, ideals, objectives and rituals of Freemasonry were indeed wholly Jewish, and throughout those earlier parts of this series we saw witness to that fact from the testimony of 18th and 19th century Freemasons themselves. At the same time, Protestant millenialism was being syncretized with Jewish messianic desires, a combination which is entirely hostile to true Christianity, but which seems to be an ideal incubator for the Zionist professions of Freemasonry which are expressed in the desire to restore the Jews to a new temple of Solomon, and institute world Jewish government. In the meantime, Jews such as Menasseh ben Israel were claiming an authority over Christians based on their own application of Scripture to themselves, Scriptures which have nothing at all to do with them, if only Christians had only read and considered the words of Christ.
We have seen sufficient evidence to support all of these assertions throughout this series of presentations. During the formative years of the Reformation, Satan was working overtime in an effort to subvert all Christendom. In the growth of Freemasonry on the Continent, the Jews would have all of the ingredients they need to undermine Christian society.
It is also evident that in the formative years of the lodges of Freemasonry in England, the members of those lodges had been of the Royalist party throughout the English Civil War, being favorable to the Scottish Stuart monarchy, and for that reason out of necessity they had to operate as secret societies. When the successor to the restored Charles II, his brother James II, was deposed in the so-called Glorious Revolution, in favor of William III of Orange, the Roman Catholic James II sought refuge in France. It was William III who permitted the Jewish usurers to found the Bank of England. With this, it is evident that many of the Jacobites, Freemasons who were supporters of James II, also went to France. The connections are sketchy, and the accounts often conflict, but within a century the Jacobins appeared, the French Revolution was organized by Freemasonry and the emancipation of the Jews followed.
That account, however, will have to await further investigation if it is our lot to present it here.