Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/364

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342
SPINOZA.

as is quite possible in the whirling wheel of human affairs, would one day, when the opportunity occurred, again obtain their kingdom, and God would choose them anew. We have an example in the Chinese, who have again won their kingdom. But the mission of the Jews is fulfilled. There is nothing wonderful in their preservation; it is only the hatred of all nations that has preserved them, and they have set themselves apart from all nations by their customs. These customs may disappear like all other laws of ceremonial, which have only a local signification, and the hatred of the nations may change to love."

"I should be proud to be a Jew," said Meyer. "He is born in such decided opposition to all commonplace, and in himself represents exactly the schism which now rends the heart of humanity. The free Jew, who has cut loose from his own already torn traditions is the only unbiassed stranger in the world, armed with all the weapons of the masculine intellect, and yet with the unclouded eyes of childhood, capable of examining and surveying the world as given in history; a privilege and a freedom none other can attain to as easily. We others have too much share in the ruling of the world, and too much partiality for and familiarity with it. And already in the great current of history it is seen that the renewing of the whole world has not been done by the domi-