Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/363

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341
CONFESSIONS.

last of all is individual character. That is why the professors of one and the same creed, ay, often the professors of one and the same philosophical system, incline to such different forms of individual and social life. As for Judaism now, it recognizes a godly life quite independent of the revelation of the law. Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all esteemed godly, though they lived long before the revelation on Sinai. Moses, by means of his sublime and divine gifts, gave the law to the people as a right, as a constitution. This is destroyed. The primeval right to found divine laws on individual recognition appears in Judaism too with universal application."

"The Jews always appear to me as a remarkable phenomenon of history," said Meyer. "The Jews must exist as long as there is a dogmatic religion in the world. The wonderful tenacity with which they have endured the most fearful blows of fate must prove that their mission is not yet fulfilled, and that in the course of history they will once more be a mighty lever."

"Such abnormal developments please you," said Oldenburg, and Spinoza replied:

"Nothing is abnormal; everything has its definite cause, from which it must arise necessarily and logically in its destined order. If the ordinances of their religion did not rob them of their manliness, I should unhesitatingly affirm that the Jews,