Race, Nation, Religion the Jews (Classic Reprint)

C. G. Montefiore


Excerpt from Race, Nation, Religion the Jews

1. Many are the differences which separate and distinguish one group of men from another, but, on the other hand, many are the agreements or likenesses which unite them to one another, and make them different from all other living creatures. All men speak and talk. They all call some acts 'good' and others 'bad.' They all have something which we call reason, mind, intelligence - of a different kind apparently, and leading undoubtedly to very different results, from the intelligence even of the elephant and the dog; they all have, as we believe, what we call spirits or souls. They all (so the learned, I think, declare) have some sort of what we call religion. And we believe that, through their souls, spirits, reason, they are all united in some special way to God. Only man, says the Bible, was created in the divine image; but all men and women were so created; not only white men, but also black men; not only 'civilized' men, but also 'savages'; not only the wise, but also the ignorant; shall we add, too, not only the 'good' but also the 'bad?'

It is a curious fact, however, that the very things which, in one sense, unite all men together, and separate them, and make them different, from animals, also separate them from one another. The reason is, I suppose, that there are differences in the likenesses. Though all men speak some language, there are very many different languages. Though all men call some things 'good' and some things 'bad,' they do not all call the same things good or bad.

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