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munity in Egypt, and of how far the Jewish spirit and faith have been kept peculiar or have been tinctured with Greek culture. The Jew of Rome will indeed hear wonderful tidings from the Jew of Alexandria.

For the Jews have been back in Egypt ('tis but two or three days' voyage from coast to coast) since the beginning of the Ptolemaic era. Now there are one million persons of Hebrew descent in the land of the lower Nile. In Alexandria the children of Israel comprise not less than half of all the free population; two districts of the city are wholly under their control; they almost monopolize the trade between East and West; all the great shipping-lines have been in their hands since Emperor Augustus entrusted them with the supervision of the Nile and the Delta-a signal mark of confidence, seeing that Egypt is the granary of Rome.

Nay, more, Alexandria had been the intellectual metropolis of the world two centuries and more before Rome had become the political capital. Was it to be expected that, in this city, the Jews would withstand the influences of Greek art, whose treasures had since the days of Alexander been making their way in everincreasing numbers southward across the Mediterranean? Not, of course, that the temple of Alexandria was to be contaminated by traces of heathen art! The temple, in its splendour and its purity, was to vie with the mother-temple in Jerusalem. Furthermore, if the Egyptian Jews read the works of Homer and Plato, these were romances, which could not affect the solid world of theocratic fact. In the days of the first

Ptolemies the books of Moses and the books of Solomon, all the laws and all the wisdom of the Jews, had been rendered into Greek, and thus the secrets of the chosen people had been made known to the whole world. When the seventy-two elders, six from each tribe, secluding themselves on an island, had in seventy-two days (thus ran the legend) completed the Septuagint version of the Pentateuch, this momentous undertaking cut them off from their narrow tribalism to become citizens of the world. These ancient worthies praised the day when they handed the golden book, penned in Greek, to the learned king, Ptolemy Philadelphus, who had commissioned them to make the translation for his library. Now the world would learn that Moses had been a greater man than Pythagoras.

The Jew from Rome has a matter of more topical interest about which he wishes to question the Jew from Alexandria. What news of Philo? Is he to go on a new mission to the emperor? What about his latest book, the one concerning dreams; is it of a very startling character? How soon will a transcript be obtainable? Does Philo go too far, after all, so that his writings tend to shake the people's faith in the words of the prophets?

Philo, the Jew, shining star of Greek Judaism, is at this time a man nearing sixty. A child of both the worlds that touch beside the waters of the lower Nile, he combines in his writings the streams of thought that are confluent in the delta of the epoch in which he lives.

He is a citizen of the first world-wide empire, a disciple of two cultures, a sage whose lot is cast in the great seaport to which the sailing-ships and the galleys bring goods and ideas. Open-minded, almost entirely free from national prejudices, he soars in spirit above the political limitations of Hellas and Judea, to form out of the mingled thoughts of the prophets and the Platonists the first conception of a humane and loving God, Father of all, as whose sons all men are brothers. Here, on the threshold between one millennium and the next, the kingdom of the soul first discloses itself to the eyes of men.

Man has fallen, says Philo, but it is God's will that he shall save himself through self-knowledge and repentance. Make your vows without taking formal oaths. Practise unity and community, deeming all nations of equal worth. Help your enemy when misfortune lays him low. Watch over the woman who has been made prisoner of war; be kind to slaves, to immature beasts, and to those that are big with young; deal kindly even with the fruit-tree. Deliver yourself from matter, shun distraction, seek solitude, renounce sensual love; then the body will ecstatically perish, while the soul will return upward to God, from whom it came. Have nothing to do with lawsuits; avoid the marketplace and public assemblies. Be simple, meek, unperturbed; eschew wealth and pride. The world is a foreign country; heaven is our true home. One who knows this and acts on it, one who does good and serves God, is, by the very wording of the law, a son of God. For

God loves the humble and the meek and exalts them; his grace chooses the pious before birth; through the power of his Spirit he reveals himself in holy souls, and leads them by his inner light beyond the bounds of the human into the realm of the divine.


LET us suppose that two elderly Pharisees, sitting in a corner of the common room at the inn, could overhear the foregoing conversation. Every word would be an outrage to them. The mere sight of the interlocutors would be an offence to their eyes. The Jew from Rome is dressed in costly raiment; he is plump and in good liking; well groomed too, being clean-shaven after the Roman fashion. His friend from Alexandria is of bland aspect, with kindly eyes. The Pharisees are lean and hungry men, lank, grim of visage, white-bearded; and their eyes flash as they listen to the talk of these Jews who are neither hot nor cold-for a Pharisee hates a Laodicean even more than he hates an unbeliever.

The recreant elders who had translated the word of God into an infidel tongue had been fellows of that ilk, revealing to the heathen the story of the covenant the Lord had made with his chosen people. A deadly sin! In their schools the Pharisees teach that he who reads a heathen book, were it but one, will be cut off from the life everlasting. Greek is for slaves, not freemen. The writing of the Septuagint version was the beginning of the second period of decay. God has punished this treason, and that is why the Jews are slaves to-day. Coming in their ships, these apostles

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