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mentioned in Josephus—a brief review of Israel as she was after the erection of the second temple—and the effects of war, dispersion, and persecution, upon her now. We shall find, even there, enough to confirm us in the position we have advanced; but even had we not-even if the records of more modern Judaism presented nothing but a dark and awful picture of social and individual degradation-even if laws were promulgated by erring man, depriving us of our long-granted privileges, and debasing us in the scale of creation much below our brother man—still it would prove nothing but the fearful effects of superstition and intolerance on the human mind. It could not do away with the law which God Himself had given. It dare not term itself divine, if it contradict one item of that which the Bible holds up before us, alike in the precepts given by the voice of God, and in the history of His female children; and, therefore, as in not one precept, in not one mention of woman in the Word of God, can be discovered one évidence of her social or individual abasement, so must not only the Israelite, but his opponents be convinced, that the woman of Israel needs no other law, no other faith but her own, to convince her of her immortal destiny and her earthly duties—to guard the hallowed circle of her home-or raise her, as an individual, to perfect equality with man.
WOMEN OF ISRAEL, DURING THE CONTINUANCE
OF THE SECOND TEMPLE,
COMPRISING, AMONGST OTHER GENERAL NOTICES AND INDIVIDUAL
THE MARTYR MOTHER, ALEXANDRA, MARIAMNE,
[As, in proceeding with her subject, the Author found many more interesting notices of the Women of Israel in Josephus than she at first anticipated, she has been compelled slightly to alter the plan of the Sixth Period from that laid down in the Introduction to the Work. See Vol. I. p. 12.]
REVIEW OF THE JEWISH NATION, FROM THE RETURN
FROM BABYLON, TO THE APPEAL OF HYRCANUS AND ARISTOBULUS TO POMPEY.
We are now to commence a period in the History of the Women of Israel, completely and even painfully distinct from any which had gone before it. Indeed, so complicated, so amalgamated with the histories of other nations, so little purely national is Israel, and so few and far between are the notices of women, in the history of the nation, from the death of Nehemiah to the dispersion,—that there is very very little which we can claim our own, or from which we can glean the consolation and lessons for individual social guidance, which are presented in the word of God. So little is there, in fact, of woman, that we may be censured, for dwelling so long on a period which has so little to do with a work entitled « The Women of Israel," as almost to contradict its
Yet where there are so very few works relative to our history in the vernacular idiom, and still fewer in which the Hebrew himself comes forward, with an attempt to fill up the void in national literature, and give the youth of his nation some assistance, distinct from the peculiar tenets, which must pervade the writings of the most liberal of other creeds; we trust,
that to linger a little while on our general history and thus explain away some of the errors and prejudices which have unconsciously gathered round us from unanswered accusations, may not be considered unnecessary, or even irrelevant to the subject on which we professed to treat.
Where there is no allusion to the Women of Israel of the past, let it be remembered that we are writing for the Women of Israel of the present ; and, therefore, that we do not depart from the profession of our title. To the men of Israel—the works of our own ancient writers, are, or ought to be, open; and they, therefore, cannot need the feeble effort of a female pen: but woman does. She has neither the time nor privilege, nor, in fact, the capability of seeking and penetrating into the vast tomes of stupendous learning, the complicated and allegorical questions and replies, narratives and histories, contained in the works of our venerable teachers; but is she on that account to remain entirely ignorant of the history of her people, in which, whether in prosperity or adversity, in patriotism or persecution, she has ever borne a distinguished part? How is she ever to realise that spirit of nationality and holiness which should be so peculiarly her own, if she knows little of her national history, save from Gentile writers ? How know what is demanded of her now, if she does not sometimes ponder on the past, remembering, while she shudders at th awful sufferings of her people, that what has been, may again be. And is she endowed with the same noble spirit which guided her hapless ancestors ? Has she the same deep love of her God, and His religion, which will keep her faithful in the midst of the horrors of persecu