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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/222

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over, in order to be converted in the last days. Such a remnant of the Jews, it was thought, would be preserved, if not in Europe, at all events in Asia.

The succeeding Popes held firmly to the principles and demands of Innocent III. If the Jews built a new synagogue, it must be torn down; the only thing allowed was to repair the old ones. No Jew could witness against a Christian; the bishops were to insist, even with the use of force, upon their wearing of the distinctive badges, the hat or the yellow cloth. This law respecting badges was particularly hard and cruel; for, in the frequent uprisings and tumults in the cities, the Jews fell so much the easier into the hands of the infuriated mob, which in this way recognized them at a glance; and in traveling they became the prey, without hope of rescue, of the robber-knights and highwaymen, who naturally looked upon every Jew as an outlaw. In Spain, permission was therefore given them to wear every kind of clothing in traveling, but the permission was soon taken back.

Especially did Eugene IV, who annulled the humane concessions made by Martin V, add to the sharpness of the ecclesiastical legislation, already pitiless enough, and the question was perforce raised how, if all this was fully carried out, could these men maintain their piteous existence at all.

Whatever ground the Popes had left untouched, was covered by the councils of the different countries; they forbade, for example, that a Christian should let or sell a house to a Jew, or buy wine of him. In addition to all this, came the oft-renewed orders to burn all copies of the Talmud and its commentaries—i. e., by far the largest part of the Jewish literature—on account of the passages hostile to Christianity that were said to be found therein. And then came again tortures, persecutions, and imprisonments in abundance. It seemed as if the mighty of the earth had only stones instead of bread for the afflicted people, and were disposed to give no answer to their entreaties and inquiries, other than that which the ancestors of the Jews once gave to the tyrant Herod, viz., when he asked what, then, he should do for them, they replied, to hang himself.

The new theory of the slavery of the Jews was now adopted and elaborated by the theologians and canonical writers. Thomas of Aquinas, whose views pass as unimpeachable in the whole Church, decided that the princes could dispose of the property of these men, who were condemned to perpetual bondage, just as they would of their own goods. A long series of writers on the canon law built upon the same foundation the assertion that princes and lords could forcibly dispossess the Jews of their sons and daughters, and cause them to be baptized. That a baptized child of a Jew should not be allowed to remain with its father was universally taught, and still is a demand of the Church. The princes, in the mean time, had greedily adopted the papal doctrine of the divinely ordained slavery of the Jews, and the