Uriah P Levy Defence 18571205

[p. 88]This is the case before you; and, in this view, its importance cannot be overrated. It is the case of every Israelite in the Union. I need not speak to you of their number. They are unsurpassed by any portion of our people in loyalty to the Constitution and to the Union in their quiet obedience to the laws; and in the cheerfulness with which they contribute to the public burthens. Many of them have been distinguished by their liberal donations to the general interests of education and of charity; in some cases, too- -of which the name Judah Touro will remind you- -to charities controlled by Christians. And of all my brethren in this land- -as well those of foreign birth as of American descent- -how rarely does any one of them become a charge on your State or municipal treasuries! How largely do they all contribute to the activities of trad; to the interests of commerce; to the stock of public wealth! Are all these to be proscribed? And is this to be done while we retain in our Constitution the language I have quoted? Is this language to be spoken to the ear, but broken to the hope, of my race? Are the thousands of Judah and the ten thousands of Israel, in their dispersions throughout the earth, who look to America, as a land bright with promise- -are they now to learn, to their sorrow and dismay, that we, too, have sunk into the mire of religious intolerance and bigotry? And are American Christians now to begin the persecution of the Jews? Of the Jews, who stand among them the representatives of the patriarchs and prophets;- - the Jews, to whom were committed the oracles of God;- -the Jews, from whom these oracles have been received, and who are the living witnesses of their truth;- -the Jews, from whom came the founder of Christianity;- -the Jews, to whom, as Christians themselves believe, have been made promises of greatness and glory, in whose fulfillment [p. 89] are bound up the hopes, not merely of the remnant of Israel, but of all the races of men? And think not, if you enter on this career, that it can be limited to the Jew. What is my case to-day, if you yield to this injustice, may to-morrow be that of the Roman Catholic or the Unitarian; the Episcopalian or the Methodist; the Presbyterian or the Baptist. This is but one safeguard; and this is to be found in an honest, whole-hearted, inflexible support of the wise, the just, the impartial guarantee of the Constitution. I have the fullest confidence that you will faithfully adhere to this guarantee; and therefore, with like confidence, I leave my destiny in your hands.
U. P. Levy

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