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בס"ד

חג המצות
The Passover

A Sermon Delivered in the Synagogue Shearith Israel, Montreal, on Passover, 5608.

By the Rev. Abraham De Sola

כי ישאלך בנך מחר לאמר מה העדת והחקים והמשפטים אשר צוה ה׳ אלהינו אתכם ואמרת לבנך עבדים היינו לפרעה במצרים ויציאנו ה׳ ממצרים ביד חזקה׃ דברים ו׳׃

When thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments which the Eternal, our God, hath commanded you? Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt, and the Eternal brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. (Deut. 6:20, 21.)

Brethren,—

O magnify the Lord with me, for He permits us to unite once more to celebrate the solemn ordinance of the Passover. And let us together exalt his name, for He has once more enabled us to assemble on the return of this joyous season, להגיד כי ישר ה׳ to declare that He is most righteous, that his fostering kindness lath not at all abandoned us since we last met to celebrate the feast of unleavened bread in its due season, and that He is infinite in mercy and love, since He has not suffered our numbers <<73>>to diminish, but has withholden death from entering into our dwellings, and laying his icy hand on the hearts that in love and faithfulness, do beat for us. Return thanks, therefore, to your Almighty Guardian, for his abundant goodness, the more so, in that ye have been graciously kept alive, whilst a most fatal visitation* in its wide and destructive circuit around you, hath sent many a one to an untimely and sorrowful grave; and ascribe ye the glory due to his name, in that your barrel of flour hath not wasted, and your cruise of oil hath not failed, whilst thousands of your fellow-creatures have felt the severe pangs of poverty and hunger.† Do ye, therefore, now praise the Eternal for all these mercies! Praise Him who hath caused all those who rose up against you, to be smitten before your face, who hath protected you, and permitted you to reassemble this day at his holy altar in life and in health. Praise Him who hath blessed you in the city, and in the field, in your basket and in your store, in your goings out and in your comings in. Praise Him who hath spread his pavilion of peace alike over you, your wives, and your little ones and ascribe ye everlasting hallelujahs to Him who forgets not the word which He spake unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, but hath caused us, their children, to be alive, even all of us, this day, so that we may accomplish the purpose for which He chose us from among all people and tongues, to proclaim the unity of his blessed name, and by the strict observance of his Passover, and other institutions, to attest before all the families of the earth his revelation and his truth, and so procure to us and to them everlasting life and bliss.

*The typhus fever. † Consequent upon the large immigration of the year.

My beloved hearers, it is, doubtless, always good to give thanks unto the Eternal, and to sing praises unto the name of the Most High; and to proclaim his goodness and mercy, is an occupation always fitting and always seasonable. But, as the services of the day here, and the peculiar ceremonies and observances in our houses, do all tend to remind us that the anniversary of our redemption from Mitsrayim has again dawned upon us: does it not occur to you that it now becomes us to speak more particularly of the benevolence and favour of the Almighty, in leading us forth מכור הברזל from the degradation and oppres<<74>>sion of our Egyptian servitude? This theme you will not only consider as appropriate for the day’s discourse, but as obligatory also, since not only do our sages teach מצוה עלינו לספר ביציאת מצרים that “it is incumbent on us at this season to converse concerning the exit from Egypt,” but the duty is strictly and repeatedly enjoined in the sacred volume also. Our text requires no less from us. Turn we, therefore, with due attention and seriousness to this important subject.

When I last spoke to you on the Passover, and by an inquiry into the design of this institution and the manner in which it is to be observed, endeavoured to demonstrate to you its transcendent importance and the blessings its due observance bestows, I said that the פסח, in the first place, commemorated those most stupendous and most important events, the exit from Egypt, and the commencement of our vocation as the depositaries of God’s holy word. I then took occasion, as I do now, to remind you, that since we have been thus particularly favoured, it becomes our bounden duty to be particularly observant of all the teachings of this holy word, to do them. I also endeavoured to show you, that it ill became the descendants of those who were alike bondmen in Egypt, the children of one father, to create any distinction or exclusiveness in their acts of worship; but that equality should be the characteristic in all our religious and devotional rites. Farther, that not only should we hold forth the hand of brotherly love and esteem to him who is called by the name of Israel, but to the gentile also; and that we should love the stranger, since we were strangers in Egypt, and since, in social, if not in religious intercourse, he is as much our brother as is the descendant of Abraham. I remarked, too, that there were many other important reflections, which the observance of the Passover called forth, but which we were unable to pursue then. But, since all who were present on the occasion to which I refer, are spared to assemble yet again in God’s house, let us proceed now with these reflections, as forming a fitting subject for our present consideration, and let us attentively and prayerfully continue to inquire—

First. What is the design of the Passover? and
Secondly. What are some of the advantages resulting from its due observance?<<75>>

And now, Almighty Father, in humbleness and reverence would I raise my hands towards thy commandments which I love. O take not the word of truth entirely out of my mouth, but suffer me to show the pleasantness and excellence of thy ways to these thy children, thy creatures, the works of thy hands. Amen.

I.

1. The Passover was designed to implant within us a due sense of the omnipotence, justice, and mercy of our Creator. There is no incident in the history of our ancestors, which, in interest or importance, can at all equal that most astounding event, the exit from Egypt. And there is no subject of inquiry which is calculated to afford a more just or more perfect conception of the being and attributes of the Eternal, than that which contemplates Him as the deliverer of Jacob’s house from a people of a strange tongue. The redemption from Mitsrayim is strikingly illustrative of the divine perfection. It displays to us the Deity as asserting his supremacy over those things, which benighted man had declared objects of worship. It displays Him to us as the omnipotent director and ruler of sea and river, thunder and lightning, hail and fire, earth and vegetation, light and darkness, of man, least, fish, and reptile. And it displays Him to us as proclaiming at once to the proud oppressor and to the humble oppressed, that to the Eternal alone are the greatness, power, glory, victory, and majesty, and that He (blessed for ever be his name) shall reign for ever and ever. Amen. In a light no less clear, does it show forth God’s justice. It proves to us, in the most satisfactory manner, that “the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong;”* but that the Deity, in presiding over the affairs of men, directs both wisely and faithfully; that “his justice is as the eternal mounts, his judgment like the profound abyss.”†  And it assures us of the blessed and consoling truth, that although the heartless oppressor may triumph for a while in his cruelty, and, like the haughty monarch of Egypt, may exclaim in all the pride of successful villainy, “Who is the Lord? I know not the Lord!”‡ that this God, Justice is his name, <<76>>will not fail to manifest himself when the cry of the afflicted is heard, even as He did of old manifest himself on the shores of the Yam Suph.

* Ecc. 9:11. † Psal. 36:6. ‡ Ex. 5:2.

Therefore, to the modern Pharaoh, to the oppressor, the lordling, and the tyrant, the Passover teaches that there is a retributing One above who neither sleepeth nor slumbereth when the groans of the oppressed, the poor, the widow, or the orphan, are heard around his throne; but that this God, Vengeance is his name, will, at such times, surely shine forth יהיה כי יצעק אלי ושמעתי כי חנון אני.

At the same time, therefore, speaketh the Passover to the heart of the unhappy, the broken in spirit, and the afflicted, in a voice, than which none can be more sweet, more cheering, or more consoling. It assures them, that from the day when the first parents of the human family dwelt on this earth, even to the present moment, God hath never permitted the voice of innocent blood to cry to Him from the ground unrequited and unavenged; but, when the unhappy victims of malignant persecution cry loudest in their agony ויצעקו אל ה׳ בצר להם, then will the mighty right hand of the Eternal be stretched forth, and even then shall they find light, boy, gladness, and honourוממצוקותיהם יצילם. No less manifestly does the Passover exhibit the Deity as a God of mercy. We cannot repeat that portion of the Hagadah which reminds us that “He brought us forth from bondage to freedom, and from servitude to redemption; He changed our sorrow into joy, our mourning into a feast, and brought us from darkness to a great light,”—we cannot acknowledge this, without acknowledging at the same time that “the Lord is indeed plenteous in mercy.”* For how could his mercy have been more signally evinced than in the consoling assurance which He made to enslaved Israel by the mouth of his servant Moses, that they should go forth from their task-masters with a high hand; that notwithstanding four long centuries of bitter servitude, they should go forth from their burdens a free and happy people; that from being the lowest and meanest among nations, they should become the most important and most favoured,—God’s own people?

* Psal. 86:5.

But what farther proof shall we require to satisfy us that the יציאת מצרים is demonstrative of the divine mercy? what farther proof can we require, when we witness the spirit of God agitating the mighty waters? when we behold his storm-wind <<77>>lashing the angry billows, and swelling there into walls,—walls firmer than the everlasting rocks,—for it was at the word of the Eternal they stood ויאמר ויעמד רוח סערה ותרומם גליו.* Let us picture to ourselves six hundred thousand men, besides their little ones, and also the mixed multitude, descending into the ocean depths, and pursuing their journey between two liquid mountains which in the ordinary course of nature would have overwhelmed them. Let us view them ascending safely, from the sea-bed, the opposite shores; let us see how instantaneously, then, the upheaved waters descend on their revengeful pursuers, with his “six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, with their captains;” and then let us ask with David, מי חכם וישמר אלה ויתבוננו חסדי ה׳ “Who, being wise, and observing these, things, shall not acknowledge the mercy of the Eternal?”†

* Psal. 107:25. † Psal. 107:43.

2. The Passover was designed to teach us the importance and necessity of public worship. The institutions of man, whether civil or religious, may be judged by their attendant characteristics. These attendant characteristics, while they afford to the thinking and intelligent a favourable opportunity for abstraction, by which process a true estimate of the institution to which they attach themselves may be obtained, do at the same time afford to the bulk and uninquiring portion of mankind a practical means for ascertaining whether this or that ordinance is conducive to the well being and happiness of the human species, or the contrary. But far be it from us, my hearers, to submit the precepts and behests of our all-wise and infinite Creator to this kind of ratiocination. No! we are neither so foolish nor so presumptuous as to propose any such thing. No! “All those things which the Eternal hath said, those will we perform and hear.” Nevertheless, friends, there are some of God’s precepts, I speak not of those which are termed חקים, to which no reasons are assigned; there are, I say, some of the institutions of the Almighty, the beneficialness and excellence of which appearing, so to say, on the very face of them, cannot fail to strike us and call forth our admiration and praise. To illustrate this, let us for a moment cast a glance on some of the characteristics of that most sacred of our convocations, the שבת קדש. When I spoke to you on a former occasion concerning this hallowed institution, <<78>>I showed you that one of its characteristics was rest, the value and importance of which boon we saw in the comfort and relaxation thereby afforded to the weary mind and body, and the cheering consolation it bore to us, that our vocation here is not merely that of hewers of wood or drawers of water. We found that another of its characteristics was its periodical return, the utility and advantage of which we recognised in the favourable opportunity which it afforded us for uniting together in public worship, and the beneficial influence which this act exercised on the community generally.

Now, for a farther exemplification of our principle, let us turn to the festival which should now be more particularly the subject of our discourse. We discover one of its most striking characteristics to be commemoration—commemoration of that most glorious of all glorious events, the departure from Egypt,—and in this point of view we find it eminently demonstrative of the omnipotence, justice, and mercy of the almighty God of Israel. And if we proceed to notice those rites which are the peculiar characteristics of the Pesach festival, we shall find that they too are not without their instruction and their value. Let us select one of these as most clearly elucidating the point we have just proposed to prove, to wit, the necessity and importance of public worship. Among the duties which the observance of this festival imposed upon our ancestors when they dwelt in their own land was that which required of them the קרבן פסח, the sacrifice of the paschal lamb. Besides other ceremonies which attended the due performance of this precept, the children of Israel were commanded, “Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee; but it the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to rest his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the Passover, at even, at the going down of the sun, at the anniversary of thy coming forth from Egypt.”*

* Deut. 16:5, 6.

It requires no deep investigation, brethren, to show us why this command should have been enjoined. When we perceive that it was not addressed to any particular class of persons among the Jewish people, but that all the house of Israel were required to celebrate the Passover together, not singly, not as various individuals, not as various families, but as one individual, as one family, as God’s <<79>>first born, we at once discover its extent; still let us say what was likely to be the result of such an ordinance, of such an assemblage. In the first place, it clearly proves to us the truth and value of the maxim enunciated by Israel’s sages, that ישראל ערבים זה לזה in matters of faith we stand in the character of sureties to one another; for, when with the annual return of the Passover, the Israelites gathered from all quarters to Jerusalem, the holy city (be it rebuilt in our day); when those who in worldly intercourse, were strangers to each other, met for a common purpose; when the blood of the paschal lamb had been shed, and all joined in the same rites, the same ceremonies,—how beautiful, how inspiring, and how glorious must have been the sight! When the sons of Jacob, in that holy place, acknowledged before their God that to Him were their thanks due, since it was He who had delivered them from the oppression of Egypt, עבדים היינו לפרעה במצרים ויציאנו ה׳ ממצרים ביד חזקה,* and when in all conviction and fervour they proclaimed their full belief in the divine authority of the rites they celebrated, וצונו ה׳ לעשות את כל החקים האלה ליראה את ה׳ אלהינו,† who that had eyes to see the important influence which this public assemblage was likely to exercise on their existence as a nation, could refrain from attesting this conviction, and declaring in the words of holy writ, לטוב לנו כל הימים לחיתנו כהיום הזה.‡ And if there was among that assembly one whose mind until then had been agitated by conflicting doubts, whose heart until then had not beat responsive to those of his more zealous brethren, and had not shared as fully as they in the conviction of the divine origin of the institution; if there had been such a one in the assembly, even he could not remain long a cold, a doubting, an indifferent spectator, when he found that it was not une or two who believed the reality of those events which originated the Passover, but that each one of the assembled thousands did testify and declare the same truths, truths which had been preserved by their ancestors, who in uninterrupted succession had received them from those who stood on the miraculously dried bed of the Red Sea!

* Deut. 6:21. † Ibid. 24. ‡Ibid.

And when these reflections, which a scene such as we have endeavoured to realize was so eminently calculated to create, forced themselves upon his attention, all coldness, all scepticism vanished, <<80>>and he was to be seen among those who most lowly and reverentially prostrated themselves at God’s altar, and who most fervently and devoutly uttered prayers and praises to the Shield of his ancestors. Thus spike the paschal ceremonies to our forefathers of old, brethren, and even thus speak they to us of the present day. When, O children of Israel, you unite on this day in public assembly, and declare your obligations to the Eternal, more particularly for having freed you from a despot’s cruel rule, you individually and collectively constitute yourselves what the Almighty intended you should be, the living witnesses of his revelation and truth. Therefore, let not one of you refrain from appearing in a character so glorious, so becoming to you, so peculiarly your own. Peradventure, dear brethren, there be one amongst us, who when he views the peculiar ceremonies with which we celebrate the Passover, may with contemptuous levity exclaim מה העבודה הזאת לכם, “What are these, your ceremonies and rites! how can such trifling be acceptable to the Eternal!” To such a one do you now answer, that the Almighty has nevertheless instituted these ceremonies, which, however simple in themselves, have been the great means under God’s pleasures of preserving us as a peculiar people through so many ages, and whilst so many other nations have either become fused into surrounding empires, or have disappeared entirely from the world’s map. These very ceremonies have satisfied the doubting ones amongst us of the heavenly birth of the festival to which they belong; for impossible would it have been for Moses, (whose memory be revered,) to have introduced observances which would have been pronounced as insufferably irksome, and therefore not practised by our stiff-necked forefathers, who rebelled so repeatedly against all authority, even when it assumed a divine character. We maintain, the ordinance of the Passover would never have been observed by these, unless they had an all-sufficient reason and a most powerful inducement to do so; and they had this all-sufficient reason and inducement: they had been too signally assured, they had too clearly witnessed the wonders, signs, and miracles, which, according to divine intent, called forth the Passover, not to be quite satisfied of its transcendent claims to their regard.

Now display these facts to the doubting one; show him farther treat during more than thirty <<81>>centuries his fathers, who were doubtless as good and as wise as he, have most rigidly observed the same ordinances; that they have not failed to remove the leaven from their houses, because they considered the command too simple in its character to have originated with the Eternal, but that they have recollected that God has not disdained to create the blade of grass, because He has formed the more beautiful flower and lofty tree; that He has not considered it unworthy his almighty power to produce the shell and the pebble, because He has given being to the rock and the mountain; that He has not considered it beneath his creative power to produce the animalcule, in which the human eye can detect no organs of life, because He has produced that intricate and wonderful piece of mechanism, the human frame. And as in the physical so in the moral world. Shall we maintain, that because the Eternal hath instituted laws and statutes which we consider important, therefore those which to us appear less weighty are in reality so, and that for this reason it would appear improbable they should have emanated from Him? Would it not be most inconsistent, and most presumptuous for us to maintain any such thing? Shall mortal man take upon himself to say to the Creator of heaven and earth, the source and perfection of all wisdom and excellence, “Thou hast well said,” or, “Thou hast ill said?” ומי בכל מעשה ידיך בעליונים ובתחתונים שיאמר לך מה תעשה ומה תפעל

The holy angels above, seraphim, ophanim, and Hayoth Hakodesh, open not their mouth but to praise all the works of his hand and the words of his mouth; and shall he that is a worm, mortal man, do less? O brethren, far, far from us be such presumptuous and wicked thoughts! Let us all in this our minor sanctuary recount the praises of the Most High, and let us declare in particular what He hath done for us in Egypt before our eyes, so that our conviction of his omnipotence, justice, mercy, and truth, may be imparted to the careless or doubting ones amongst us, so that not only we but those who shall come after us, may, as God’s witnesses on earth, be privileged to spread the true knowledge of his holy and blessed name among the children of men, and so that it may be accounted unto us a everlasting righteousness according to the words of God’s holy law, וצדקה תהיה לנו כי נשמר לעשות את כל המצוה הזאת לפני ה׳ אלהינו כאשר צונו.*

* Deut. 6:25.
<<82>>

II.

If now, my hearers, we turn to examine what are some of the advantages resulting from a due observance of the Passover, we shall find one of the most important to be, its disposition to establish amongst us sentiments of amity, concord, and brotherly love. I have already remarked, when I before spoke to you on this subject, that it is in the highest degree incompatible with the object, and opposed to the spirit of the Passover festival, to retain thereon any but sentiments of good-will and esteem, one towards the other, and that we must be as careful to remove חמץ שבלב the leaven of the heart, as we are in putting forth the material leaven from our habitations; and if we have not done this, and if moreover we have not removed from amongst us all feelings of foolish and unworthy pride, that leaven which rises and rises within us until almost the world itself appears too small to contain us, and our fellow-creatures too unworthy to breathe with us the same atmosphere; then do we not properly observe the Passover, then do we derive no advantage from it. I beseech you, brethren, forget not how this same pride has proved the greatest bane, the greatest curse to us nationally; for it was pride which led our ancestors to reject the authority of God and of his servants, and as scripture most expressively saith, “When Jeshurun waxed fat, then did he kick.”* But observe the Passover with befitting sentiments, as is required of you, and this bane will for ever disappear from amongst us.

* Deut. 32:15.

We have seen also that the Passover, by reminding us of our servitude in Egypt, does at the same time remind us of our common descent and vocation. From the command that all the congregation of Israel shall observe it, we have found that it is the duty of each of us to promote, as far as in us lies, this general celebration, and that consequently the poor, and houseless Israelite should be as warmly welcomed at our table as those who are its ordinary occupants. Farther, we have seen that although the present constitution of society renders it imperative for one to minister to the wants of the other, for grades and degrees to exist, yet are those of our brethren destined by Providence to <<83>>dwell with us in a menial capacity, declared by holy writ as being worthy of joining us in the paschal rites, and are, therefore, of as much account in God’s sight as the best of us, and for the same reason have as much to pride themselves on as the highest amongst us. But in farther proof, let us proceed now to detail some of the requirements which accompanied the sacrifice of the paschal lamb. Every Israelite was commanded to take to himself a lamb, a lamb to each house; “but,” adds Scripture, “if the house be too little for the consumption of the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it with him.”* Here again we find that no unneighbourly feelings of exclusion were permitted to exercise  their baneful influence, but on the contrary, a spirit of frank, brotherly, and happy intercourse was to prevail; for the one great purpose, they were to forget everything that might possibly interfere with their pleasant communion, and no matter what misunderstanding or animosity existed between the Israelite and his neighbour, all was to give way to the great and passing considerations that they were Israelites, and that they were to celebrate the Passover together. But again, we see these sentiments insisted on, and in this way. If the rich man had been commanded to supply at his own cost the paschal lamb to him who could not afford to provide it for himself, no doubt every one so requiring would have preferred to receive it in this manner, rather than to use his own exertions to procure it, or to join with his neighbour against whom he might entertain feelings of animosity; but the law of God, ever consistent, ever faithful, permitted him but one course. Its unqualified requirement is that in case of necessity “he and his neighbour next unto his house shall take it according to the number of the souls;” and hence, brethren, will we deduce the important and valuable lesson, that no consideration whatever should or can prevent us from uniting together in those matters, upon which the glory and sanctification of God’s name is dependent.

* Exod. 12:3, 4.

We would fain pursue our reflections on the attendant observances of the Passover, and gladly would we display the all-important, valuable, and cheering truths they teach, but they are by far too numerous and by far too momentous to be dismissed <<84>>with a cursory glance. Be it sufficient, that we now ponder well on what has already arisen in our minds. Let us recall the gracious deeds which our almighty Father did at this time vouchsafe to enact for us; let us seek Him with grateful voice, with tongues declaring our obligations, and with hearts which, like the paschal lamb of old, shall be without blemish; and as our fathers did eat the Passover of the Lord as if prepared for a journey, even so let us eat this Passover, that we may have before our eyes that long journey which one day we must all undertake, so that reminded of our mortality and nothingness, we may walk with our fellow-travellers in humbleness and charitableness the path of this life, and so that we may thereby become worthy of entering that suite in which oppression, pain, and sorrow can never enter, but where joy the most ecstatic, calm the most serene, and bliss the most complete, shall for ever dwell.

That God in his infinite mercy may grant unto all present this portion, let us now pray.

O Lord God! mighty and tremendous, Creator and Preserver of all, in whose sight the strongest and the wisest amongst us are but weak and foolish, we venture now to approach Thee with prayerful voice; we strive to concentrate all our ideas, all our feelings, for the one great and glorious object, to commune with Thee, O great but merciful Father, in humbleness and love. And it is no little matter, O Eternal, for man to present himself before Thee who art his Creator, his God, and to entreat Thee to listen in particular to his words; and there are wrong and foolish feelings of independence, O Lord, which, alas and alas, harden his heart; and there are the stormy passions of his blood, and the obtuse reasonings of his brain, which disqualify his asking thy attention to his prayers. Lord, almighty, gracious, and eternal! we feel indeed our unworthiness to address Thee, we are indeed sensible that our hearts and minds are not in fit state to seek Thee, Source of all purity and excellence, and for this, O our Father, our souls feel unhappy in the day, and for this do we saturate our pillow at night with penitent, scalding tears. Yes, O our God! and in our tears and in our penitence we then wish that Thou wouldst be pleased to take us unto The, so that <<85>>they might make atonement for our past evil actions, and so that we might be spared the stormy passions and trials of this life, and so that, no longer clogged by our mortal frame, our souls might soar joyously to join in the hallelujahs with which celestial spirits, pure and free, greet thy presence, O King of glory!

O Lord, and the God of our fathers! when we open our lips to address Thee, we feel at a loss what to say or how to speak. We indeed feel that our heart is full, that it melts and would pour itself a willing oblation on thine altar; we are sensible that our soul seeketh Thee; we are assured of thy supreme excellence; we doubt not the infiniteness of thy mercy; we know that we have much to ask of Thee, much whereof we should repent, much for which we should supplicate Thee, and yet, O our Father, we can neither speak nor say. Do Thou then deign to interpret our hearts, all wise God, and O may they indeed appear pure to thy sight, and may they gain for us thy gracious favour, both for now and everlasting. And if there still remain any leaven of wickedness, of malice to our fellow-men, of harshness to the poor, the widow, and the fatherless, of coveting that which is our neighbours, O Lord God, blot them out for now and evermore, so that we may be children worthy of Thee, and so that thou mayest receive us after death in favour and approval.

God of benevolence and mercy, not for ourselves, not for Israel only do use pray unto Thee, but we entreat thy blessing for all men, even for those who acknowledge not the unity of thy name, even for those who are so far lost to their most important, their eternal interests, as never to seek Thee in any of the houses which have been built for thy worship, even for those who in darkness and superstition bow down themselves to the reptile, the stick, and the stone. Lord God! incline their hearts to thy service, and their minds to thy ways, and let us, the children of Abraham thy beloved, be the instruments, even as Thou, O Eternal, didst promise us, to awaken them from their deep and troubled sleep to the enlightening and cheering realities of thy revelations. To this end, our Father, endow us, we beseech Thee, with due sentiments of obedience, so that we may observe all the convocations of thy instituting, even as we would observe this Passover and to this end vouchsafe, O Lord God, to implant within us such a spirit as shall lead us to perform, duly and <<86>>faithfully, all the requirements of thy blessed law, so that it may be well with us and with our children after us, so that all the families of the earth may know Thee and acknowledge Thee, and so that all thy creation, above and below, may attest thy Unity, power, and excellence. Amen.