The Hope of Israel, A Breife Epistle, and Silex Scintillans

Title-page of ^4 Briefe Epistle to the Learned Manasseh Ben Israel. (By permission of Bodley’s Librarian)

The Hope of Israel, A Breife Epistle, and Silex Scintillans

By John Sparrow, M.A.

(Warden of All Souls College, Oxford)

I

THE British Museum and the Bodleian Libraries contain, each of them, a copy of a rare little volume entitled A Breife Epistle to the Learned Manasseh Ben Israel.1 The Epistle is a contribution to the controversy that arose under the Protectorate concerning the re-admission of the Jews to England, in which a prominent part was played by Menasseh ben Israel, the learned Jew of Amsterdam, to whose The Hope of Israel the Epistle was an answer.2

The title-page is illustrated opposite.

Besides the English text, the book contains a Latin translation of the “Breife Epistle”; and sandwiched between the text and the translation are a Latin epistle addressed to the author by the

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