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Sabbatai Sevi in England

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 October 2009

Michael McKeon
Boston University
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Several years ago Gershom Scholem's authoritative work on the seventeenth century messianic figure Sabbatai Sevi, first published in Hebrew in 1957, appeared in a revised English translation. The importance of Scholem's work for an informed understanding of the Sabbatian movement and for the general study of religious and political movements must be acknowledged by all readers. The relevance of Sabbatai's career in the Levant to the specific historical context of post-Restoration England may be less evident. If the English involvement with Sabbatai is compared with the excitement generated in other European countries by his appearance, the English connection cannot fail to appear questionable. The Jewish community in London was a relatively small one at the time of Sabbatai's ascendancy, and the mass of contemporary material on which Scholem has drawn to document this extraordinary episode in Jewish history includes little that was produced for or by “English Jews.” Moreover, Scholem takes pains to discredit the common notion that English Christian speculations on the year 1666 played a direct, causal role in determining Sabbatai's public emergence in the summer of the preceding year, without denying the historical interest of this conjunction of Christian expectations and Jewish developments. In the following discussion, I hope to establish the major significance of Sabbatai Sevi for England by examining several questions—limited in comparison with those entertained by Sabbatai's most profound and exhaustive historian—concerning the English awareness of him 300 years ago. How and in what form did the unparalleled developments in the Levant from 1665 to 1667 first become known to English-speaking people? What contribution was made by the Sabbatian movement to Christian eschatology and to the expectations aroused among its devotees by the approach of the “wonderful year” 1666? What was the range of response to the movement among English observers; what was its ideological or sectarian meaning to contemporaries? In confronting these questions I will, of course, rely heavily on Scholem's analysis and documentation of Sabbatai's career.

Research Article
Copyright © Association for Jewish Studies 1977

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1. Sevi, Sabbatai, The Mystical Messiah,1626–1676, Bollingen Series, no. 93 (Princeton, N.J., 1973), 1000 pp. Hereafter cited as“Scholem.” The research for this article was completed before Scholem's study was made available to non-Hebrew-speaking audiences. Readers will find that many of my sources are cited in that study, although more are not. My special use of these sources is determined of course by the quite different aims that underlie my work. I have made a number of factual and informational revisions of the article in response to Professor Scholem's generous and close reading of it. Needless to say all errors, and all interpretations of the historical data, remain my own responsibility.Google Scholar

2. See Scholem, pp. 547–48.

3. Scholem, pp. 101–2, 152–54. Scholem's point that the Sabbatian movement was most basically a function of Jewish intellectual traditions rather than of Christian stimuli certainly is well taken and well argued, and I do not intend to revive this particular mode of asserting the English-Jewish connection in the history of Sabbatai. At the same time, his rejection of the idea that Christian eschatology may have influenced Sabbatai seems more comprehensive than present knowledge permits. Scholem attributes to earlier scholars the suggestion“that Sabbatai's father, Mordecai Sevi, had heard from the English merchants, whose agent he was, all sorts of rumors about the impending restoration of Israel to their land in the apocalyptic year of redemption 1666. Mordecai Sevi would report these rumors at home and create in his house a messianic atmosphere whose origin was ultimately non-Jewish” (p. 153). Scholem continues: “There is not a shred of evidence to show that Mordecai Sevi's employers were millenarians, and we may positively assert that they could not have mentioned 1666 as a messianic year. The propaganda for this date made its appearance in Dutch and English literature in the fifties only, that is, after Sabbatai had left Smyrna. There had, of course, been a few medieval writers who had interpreted the ‘number of the beast, ’ 666, in Revelation 13:18 as a prophecy of the coming of Antichrist in the year 1666, but these isolated views were not widely known” (pp. 153–54). Three objections may be made to this argument. First, millenarian ideas and expectations might well be disseminated by merchants who were not themselves strict believers in millenarianism. In the later seventeenth century, merchants were an important medium for the communication of all sorts of news between different countries, and they were bound to have a wide variety of attitudes toward the information they encountered and passed on. Second, Sabbatai was an experienced and well traveled man, and there is no reason to suppose that any access he might have had to Christian millenarian and messianic ideas would have been limited to the reports of his father's employers (or, consequently, to the period of his habitation with his father). Third, even if Christian eschatology had been unavailable to Sabbatai through channels other than those provided by his father's business associates, there is no reason to locate the origin of seventeenth century eschatological speculation on 1666 as late as the 1650s. Indeed, Scholem is unable to pinpoint the date of Sabbatai's departure from Smyrna more precisely than the period between 1651 and 1654 (pp. 150–51), and there was considerable discussion in England, both before and throughout this period, of the belief that 1666 would play a significant role in the sacred drama of the last things and the Second Coming. In the following sources, 1666 is most often associated with the ruin of Antichrist (usually identified with Rome), but other eschatological events are mentioned as well (place of publication of all seventeenth century tracts cited in notes is London unless otherwise specified): Henry Archer, The Personall Reign of Christ upon Earth…. (1642; 5 eds. by 1661), pp. 46–47, 53–55; George Wither, Campo-Musae … (1643, Publications of the Spenser Society, no. 12 [1872], pp. 24–25); William Lilly, A Prophecy of the White King … (1644), p. 29 (quoting a prophecy which hedates 1548), The Worlds Catastrophe… (1647), p. 32; Bp. Joseph Hall, The Revelation Unrevealed…. (1650), p. 94; A brief Description Of the future History of Europe, from Anno. 1650 to An. 1710…. (1650), sigs. A2r-A2v, pp. 3, 4, 8–9; T.L., A Voyce Out of the Wilderness … (1651–1653, compilation of four tracts with separate pagination): Preface, sigs. E6v, E8v, Fir, To The Church of Rome…First Printed Anno Dom. 1589. …, p. 52, Babylon is Fallen…. (1651), p. 25; John Rogers, Sagrir. Or Doomesday drawing nigh … (1653), pp. 128–29; John Canne, A Voice From the Temple to the Higher Powers…. (1653), pp. 24–25; Wither, The dark Lantern …(1653, Publications of the Spenser Society, no. 16 [1874J, p. 42); William Burden, Christs Personal Reign on Earth … (1654), pp. 9,10. For several other sources see also Christopher Hill, Antichrist in 17th-century England, Riddell Memorial Lectures, University of Newcastle upon Tyne (London, 1971), p. 26 and n. 3, p. 107, n. 4.

4. See Lucien, Wolf, ed., Menasseh Ben Israel's Mission to Oliver Cromwell (London, 1910), introduction;Google ScholarOliver, Cromwell, The Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, ed. by Wilbur, Abbott C. (Cambridge, Mass., 1947), 4:18–19, 34–36, 45, 51–55;Google ScholarOsterman, N.,“The Controversy Over the Proposed Readmission of the Jews to England (1655),” Jewish Social Studies 3 (1941): 301–28;Google ScholarDon, Patinkin,“Mercantilism and the Readmission of the Jews to England,” Jewish Social Studies 8 (1946): 161–78.Google Scholar

5. [Richard Baker,] The Marchants Humble Petition And Remonstrance, To his late Highnesse…. (1659), p. 15; [John Bland,] Trade Revived… (1660), pp. 2, 21. Thus the common charge that the Jews conspired, under Oliver, to transform St. Paul's Cathedral into a synagogue: CSPD, November 30, 1660, p. 366; Abraham Cowley, A Vision … (1661, Harleian Miscellany [1810], 5:541). See also Thomas Violet, A Petition Against theJewes … (1660), pp.2, 5; (Public Record Office) SP 29/96 (6), notes of parliamentary Committee of Trade, April 1, 1664; CSPD Add., June 7, 1664, February 24, 1665, pp. 104, 129, instructions for promotion of trade in Tangier. In transcribing seventeenth century language, I have silently emended obvious errors in spelling, made bracketed modernizations of intentionally abbreviated words and of other words whose unmodernized form might create problems in understanding for the reader, and let stand variations in spelling which seem not to confuse the sense of the passage quoted.

6. On the other hand, the readmission to England also could be seen to fulfill the prophecy that the scattering of the Jews“from one end of the earth to the other” (Deut. 28:64) would precede the Messiah, since in medieval Hebrew, words meaning“the end of the earth” served as the standard term for“England” (Angle-terre): see Scholem, p. 339.

7. See Scholem, pp. 88–90; Abraham, Galante, Nouveaux documents sur Sabbelai Sevi (Istanbul, 1935), pp. 1011;Google ScholarSilver, Abba H., A History of Messianic Speculation in Israel(New York,1927), p. 252.Google Scholar

8. Scholem, pp. 138–47.

9. Paul Isaiah, A Vindication of the Christians Messiah … (1653),“Epistle to the Reader,” sigs. Blr–B2r. Scholem was unable to locate a copy of this tract (I have used one in the Houghton Library at Harvard University), whose significance for messianic movements is con fused in his account owing to misinformation in the source on which he was obliged to rely for knowledge of the tract's import: see pp. 154–55. This conversion was by no means a unique event in Isaiah's checkered religious career: see Wilfred S. Samuel,“The Strayings of Paul Isaiah in England, 1651–1656,” Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England 16 (1952): 77–87.

10. Doomes-Day: or. The great Day of the Lords ludgement, proved by Scripture: and two other Prophecies, the one pointing at the yeare 1640, the other at this present yeare 1647. to be even now neer at hand. With The gathering together of the Jews in great Bodies … for the conquering of the Holy Land (1647), p. 2.

11. Samuel Brett, A Narrative Of the Proceedings Of a great Councel of Jews, Assembled in the Plain of Ageda in Hungaria, about 30 Leagues distant from Buda, to examine the Scriptures concerning Christ; on the 12th of October 1650…. (1655), pp. 4–12. Brett's narrative was reprinted by Nathanael Homes in his eschatological Miscellanea … (1666), pt. 3, a collection which also documents the messianic excitement surrounding Sabbatai's second proclamation (see below).

12. Nicholas Culpeper, An Ephemeris for the Year 1652. Being Leap-year, and a Year of Wonders…. (1651), sig. Dlr, pp. 19, 21.

13. Diary of John Evelyn, ed. E. S. de Beer (Oxford, 1955), 3:158, August 28, 1655. For further references to English expectations of the conversion of the Jews between 1650 and 1656 see Hill, Antichrist in 17th-Cenlury England, pp. 114–15.

14. Correspondence of Henry Oldenburg, ed. A., Rupert Hall and Marie Boas Hall (Madison, Wis., 1965–), 1:126, no. 55, letter of July 25, 1657 (Eng. trans, from Lat.).Google Scholar

15. Royal Society MS I, fols. 138–53. The editors of Oldenburg's correspondence were “unable to trace this book” (1:127, n. 4). They tentatively identify“Lambermont” as Ludovicus Lambermontius.

16. Royal Society MSI, fol. 143. Oldenburg gives the complete title of the prophecy as:“Le reveille matin des Juifs Pour les advertir, que l'aube de Jour grand et notable du seign[eu]r est levee: qui est le temps prefix de leur immuable restablissemt au pai[?] de Canaan, et de leur generale conversion a J. Christ.”

17. See Cecil, Roth, ed., Magna Bibliotheca Anglo–Judaica (London, 1937), pp. 279–80.Google Scholar

18. See An Information, concerning The Present State of the Jewish Nation in Europe and Judea. Wherein the footsteps of Providence preparing a way for their Conversion to Christ, and for their Deliverance from Captivity, are discovered (1658), passim. Cecil Roth has attributed the portion of this tract not authored by Serrarius to the Baptist minister Henry Jessey: see Magna Bibliotheca.

19. Forraign and Domestick Prophecies … (1659), pp. 150, 182–83.

20. Nathanael Homes, The Resurrection-Revealed Raised, Above Doubts, & Difficulties…(1661), p. 22. See also pp. 179, 287–92 on the Jews.

21. Diary and Correspondence of Dr. John Worthington, ed. James Crossley (Publications of the Chetham Society, vol. 36, 1855), 2:108–9, 111, letters of February 14,24, 1662. Worthington was vice-chancellor of Cambridge University.

22. An A wakening Warning to the Wofull World, By a Voyce in Three Nations; … In which It is clearly evinced… that the Glorious Coming of Jesus Christ is at hand. Whereby I. He will recollect the Dispersed Nation of the Jews. 2. Abolish the man of Sin, … And, 3. At length erect his Glorious Kingdom on Earth (Amsterdam, 1662), title and passim.

23. Arise (Rhys) Evans, Light For the Jews: Or, the Means to convert them … pp.11,16 He prints a second title page identical with the preceding one except for the absence of the explanatory note about delayed publication, and for the fact that the date is given as 656.

24. Miscellanea …, pt. 3, p. 16. On pp. 15–16 Homes uses gemafria, a technique of numerology consisting in the extraction of significant numbers from the numerical values of Hebrew letters, to associate 1665–1666 with“the year of recompenses” for the Jews predicted in Isaiah 34:8.

25. See, e.g., above, n. 3. On Wither's activities as prophet, see Hensley, Charles S., The Later Career of George Wither (The Hague, 1969).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

26. A possible reference to the fact that Serrarius was often responsible for disseminating, although not necessarily for originating, much of the English information concerning movements in the Levant.

27. Wither, Meditations upon The Lords Prayer… (1665), pp. 33, 34–35. Wither's“To the Reader” is dated December 30, 1665 (sig. A2r).

28. Ibid pp. 36–37. For identifications of the Antichrist as a Jew (primarily a Roman Catholic interpretation) see Hill, Antichrist in 17th-century England, pp. 178–80.

29. Wither, Meditations …. p. 44.

30. See Ibid pp. 38–39, 52. Cf. Wither's Ecchoesfrom the Sixth Trumpet…. (1666), p. 92, which may suggest that it was his skepticism which triumphed, at least with respect to this particular sign of the times: The greatest member Christians now profest, Send one another unto Antichrist,And say that's he: In Turky at this day, He is expected, (as reports do say.) And many last year were in expectation To hear thereof, ere now, a confirmation. Wither died in 1667, disappointed in at least some of his expectations for the year of the beast.

31. See Calendar of Slate Papers, Ireland, Sir George Rawdon to Viscount Conway, from Dublin, September 5, 1665, p. 639; Thomas Nunnes, An Almanack … For… 1666….(1666), sig. C8v; John Tanner, Angelus Britannicus, An Ephemeris for… 1666 … (1666), sig. C7v. During this period, almanacs regularly appeared in the fall of the year preceding the one for which they were written.

32. A New Letter from Aberdeen in Scotland, Sent to a Person of Quality. Wherein Is a more full Account of the Proceedings of the Jews, Than hath been hitherto Published. By R.R. (1665), pp. 2–3; The Last Letters, To the London-Merchants and Faithful Ministers concerning The further Proceedings of the Conversion and Restauration of the Jews … (1665), p. 6; The Jewes Message to Their Brethren in Holland… (1665), p. 1. Scholem, p. 349, has noted the English and Christian bias in the language, and the anti-Turkish sentiment, of this last passage.

33. The Last Letters …, pp. 2–3; The Jewes Message … pp. 2–4; The Restauration of the Jewes: Or, A true Relation of their Progress and Proceedings in order to the regaining of their Ancient Kingdom. Being the Substance of several Letters viz. From Antwerp, Legorn, Florence, &c.Published by R.R. (1665), pp. 4–5. All of these are variations on the same letter, which in The Last Letters …, pp. 1, 3 and in The Jewes Message …, p.2 is ambiguously described as being from Serrarius to Dr. (Nathanael?)Homes, or from both of them and others to an unspecified recipient.

34. The Last Letters …, pp. 4–5; The Jewes Message…, pp. 4–5; The Restauration of the Jewes…, p.2; A New Letter from Aberdeen … (1665), p. 4.

35. The Last Letters …, pp. 4, 6; The Jewes Message …, pp. 4, 6. With the first quoted passage, cf. A New Letter from Aberdeen …, p. 4, and The Restauration of the Jewes …, p. 2, a similar description of a letter dated October 10, 1665. Dates on Continental letters are given in the Old Style (ten days earlier than the New Style) except that the year is taken to have begun on January 1. In all cases where sources neither specify such dates as O.S. nor give them in two versions, 1 have assumed them to be N.S. and have converted them accordingly.

36. The Jewes Message …, p.2, letter of November 15, 1665.

37. A New Letter from Aberdeen…, pp. 5–6 (mispaginated 3); The Restauration of the Jewes…, pp. 2–4. For Scholem's suggestion that this informant is Serrarius, and for his argument that Serrarius was involved anonymously in other of the English tracts, see pp. 334, n. 12, 335–36, 344, n. 26.

38. (British Library) MS Harleian 3785, fols. 65v–66v, S. Foster to Sancroft, from Cambridge, December, 1665.

39. Correspondence of Oldenburg, 2:637, no. 467, December 8, 1665 (Eng. trans, from Lat.). Spinoza's reply has not been preserved.

40. Gazette, no. 8, December 7–11, 1665. On the confusion of names, see Scholem, p. 521.

41. Ibid no. 24, February 1–5, 1666. Cf. Gazette, no. 11, December 18–21, 1665 and Newes. no. 7, December 21, 1665, which carry similar reports attributing erroneous stories concerning the Jews to internal struggles between Turkish factions.

42. Included in this number is a rare broadside described by Scholem (p. 341, n. 23) as at least partially a reprint of a letter contained in The Last Letters … and entitled The Congregating of the Dispersed Jews, Certified and Related by Caravans, and Letters, from Morocco, Salea, Sus, Amsterdam and London…. (1666). The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (New York) has catalogued a copy of this tract but has been unable to locate it.

43. The Wonder of all Christendom; and Great Miracles, Wrought by The Famous Nathan, A Prophet of the Jewes:… Also, their further Proceedings, under the Royal Conduct and Command of their New King Sabothi-Levi; and their great and eminent A ctions throughout all Judea.… (1666?), pp. 2–5; Gods Love to his People Israel. Being a True Copy of a Letter As it was sent to the East-India-Company, Concerning the Jewes: with A more perfect Account of them, their Prophet, and the Miracles he hath wrought, than hath hitherto been Extant (1666), pp.2–5.

44. A Brief Relation Of several Remarkable Passages of the Jewes, In their Journey out of Persia, and Tartaria toward Jerusalem…. Printed in the second Month, and hoped for Year of Israels Restoration, 1666 (1666), pp. 3–7.

45. Ibid p. 7.

46. Several New Letters Concerning the Jewes: Sent to divers Persons of Quality here in England: being A perfect Relation of the Miracles wrought by their Prophet, The Magnificence of their King, with the manner of his Entertainment in the Court of the Grand Signior (1666x), passim; A New Letter Concerning the Jewes, Written by the French Ambassador, at Constantinople, To his Brother the French Resident at Venice. Being a true Relation of the Proceedings of the Israelites, the wonderful Miracles wrought by their Prophet, with the terrible Judgments that have fallen upon the Turks (1666), pp. 2, 3, 5, 6. The arrival of“the King pretended” in Constantinople is alluded to in the concluding section of A Brief Relation…, pp. 7,8,“though the Transactions there, are yet kept in silence.” The compiler is aware also of the movements of the two and a half tribes.

47. A New Letter Concerning the Jewes…, pp. 1–5. In a letter to Robert Boyle, Henry Oldenburg quotes some of the material contained in this tract: Correspondence of Oldenburg,3:49–50, no. 493, March 6, 1666.

48. See A New Letter Concerning the Jewes …, p. 6. On the prayer books see Scholem, p.524.

49. P. 6.

50. See Scholem, p. 350.

51. HMC Finch, Benjamin Lannoy to Earl of Winchelsea, January 24, 1666, p. 410.

52. Gazette, no. 21, January 22–25, 1666, no. 30, February 22–26, 1666, no. 33, March 5–8, 1666. These letters come from Vienna and parallel in language and substance letters written from Vienna to Italy ca. December, 1665 cited by Scholem, p. 347. Some of the Italian letters refer to the Jewish commander“Jeroboam.” J. Philips, apparently drawing on the Gazette, also alludes to“Jeroboam,” distinguishing him from both“a New Messiah … bred and born in Smyrna” about this time, and“one Sabadai, not so Warlike” as“Jeroboam”“but more Prophetical”: James Heath, Chronicle of the Late Intestine War in the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland… The Second Edition. To which is added A Continuation to this present year 1675… By J. P[hilips] (1676), p. 548.

53. Gazette, no. 34, March 8–12, 1666.

54. No. 35, March 12–15, 1666, letter dated January 8.

55. Correspondence of Oldenburg, 3:59, no. 497, Oldenburg to Boyle, March 13, 1666.

56. A New Letter Concerning the Jewes …, p. 1 (cf. Correspondence of Oldenburg, 3:49, no.493, Oldenburg to Boyle, March 6, 1666, where the French original of the letter is dated November 28, 1665).

57. Gazette, no. 35, March 12–15, 1666, letter of January 8, 1666.

58. The Wonder of all Christendom…, p. 4; Gods Love to his People Israel…, p. 4.

59. Gazette, no. 33, March 5–8, 1666.

60. The Wonder of all Christendom…, p. 6; Gods Love to his People Israel…, p. 6.

61. A Brief Relation…, pp. 4–6.

62. A New Letter Concerning the Jewes…, p. 2, letter dated February 9, 1666.

63. Correspondence of Oldenburg, 3:23, no. 483, Oldenburg to Lord Brereton, January 16, 1666.

64. (British Library) MS Add. 40712, fol. 32v, G. Willoughby to Sir George Oxenden, President of East India Company at Surat, March 5, 1666.

65. (Public Record Office) SP 29/151(23), Muddiman newsletter of March 15, 1666.

66. (Public Record Office) SP 29/147(33), petition of January 26, 1666. England was at war with the United Provinces from 1665 to 1667.

67. The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Henry, Wheatley B. (London, 1904), 5:226, February 19, 1666. See Cecil Roth, A History of the Jews in England, 2d ed. (Oxford, 1949), p. 175 on the commotion Sabbatai caused in London's small Jewish community.Google Scholar

68. See Gazette, no. 46, April 19–23, 1666, letter of February 24 from Genoa. Thomas Rugge, in (British Library) MS Add. 10117, fol. 158v, seems to follow the Gazette. See also Ralph Josselin, The Diary of the Rev. Ralph Josselin, 1616–1683, ed. E. Hockliffe (London, Camden Society, 3d ser., vol. 15, 1908), April 26, 1666, p. 152; (Public Record Office) SP 29/156(38), Muddiman newsletter of May 15, 1666.

69. (Public Record Office) SP 97/18, fol. 156v, newsletter from A. Barnardiston, J. Adderley, and N. Thruston in Smyrna to Thomas Dethick & Co. at Leghorn, February 17, 1666.

70. Current Intelligence, no. 3, June 7–11, 1666, letter from Leghorn, May 14.

71. (Public Record Office) SP 29/162(85), T.Chappell (paraphrasing letters sent by Serrarius) to J. Fitton, in Chester, July 12, 1666.

72. Gazette, no. 73, July 23–26, 1666. For another example of this apparent attempt to conflate Jewish messianic expectations with Christian hopes for 1666, see William Andrews, Newes from the Starrs: or an Ephemeris … for… 1667 (1667), sig. C2r. A n d r ewsconcludes, however, that“what ever they [the Jews] think, let them know, that their Messias is already come, even the Lord JESUS …” (sig. C2v).

73. Gazette, no. 95, October 11–15, 1666, letter from Leghorn, September 18. Cf. (PublicRecord Office) SP 9/174(139), newsletter of October 11, 1666.

74. Lilly, Merlini Anglici Ephemeris … for … 1667 (1667), sigs. A2v-A4i,“ To the Reader” dated October 10.

75. Gazette, no. 102, November 5–8, 1666, letter from Leghorn, October 14. Cf. Rugge in (British Library) MS Add. 10117, fol. 181, who copies this notice or relies on its source.

76. Scholem, p. 673, gives the date as September 16 (N.S.), i.e., September 6 O.S.

77. (Public Record Office) SP 97/18, fol. 210v.

78. R. Nehemiah Kohen: see Scholem, pp. 658–68 on his role in these events.

79. Probably kapici bashi, keeper of the palace gates: see Scholem, p. 681.

80. (Public Record Office) SP 97/18, fol. 211, A. Barnardiston, J. Adderley, and N. Thruston to Thomas Dethick Co.

81. (Public Record Office) SP 97/18, fol. 214–214v, newsletter of October 9, 1666, S. Pentlow, J. Foley, and T. Laxton in Smyrna to Thomas Dethick Co. at Leghorn. For Haman, Mordecai, and Esther see the Book of Esther.

82. (Public Record Office) SP 97/18, fols. 210v, 212v, 21 lv, newsletters from Smyrna to Leghorn, September 25, October 9, 1666.

83. (Public Record Office) SP 97/18, fol. 211–21 lv, newsletter from Smyrna to Leghorn, October 9, 1666. On the influence of Christian predictions for 1666, see also SP 97/18, fol. 212v, another newsletter of the same date.

84. Scholem, pp. 101–2.

85. See Obadiah 21.

86. (British Library) MS Add. 4292, fols. 134, 134v, J. Spray to Mr. Gaghin in Amsterdam, November 5, 1666. The letter continues briefly and ends on a more optimistic note.

87. For predictions that this confrontation will reach eschatological proportions around 1664 to 1666, see (British Library) MS Sloane 2541, C.H.L.P.I.G.,“The Herauld of Regensburg …” (1664); Pounraict Of the New Wonderful Blazing Star… (1664), broadside; John Heydon,“Psonthonphanchia …,” in El Havarevna … (1665), pp. 16–17, and Theomagia, or the Temple of Wisdome (1663–64), 1:165.

88. (Public Record Office) SP 29/136(93), letter of November 10, 1666 (not included in ed. of Correspondence of Oldenburg).

89. Correspondence of Oldenburg, 3:447, no. 652, July 5, 1667.

90. This habit of thought has been corrected most notably by Lamont, William M., Godly / Rule (London, 1969)CrossRefGoogle Scholar and Keith, Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (London, 1971).The present argument also aims to revise the equally prevalent notion that this antithetical at- titude, once eradicated from revolutionary England, may safely be understood to date from the Restoration of Charles II.Google Scholar

91. The History Of the Three late famous Impostors … (1669), pp. 41–42. Eveglyn is also very insistent and querulous about the commercial implications of Sabbatian spirituality: see ] pp. 43, 48, 52–53, 54–55, 69–70, 78, 99, 110–11.

92. Royal Society MS I, fols. 144v–145.

93. E.g., to Oldenburg, in Correspondence of Oldenburg, 3:447, no. 652, July 5, 1667.

94. The Wonder of all Christendom …, p. 1; Gods Love to his People Israel…, p. 1. And see above, n. 18.

95. A New Letter from Aberdeen …, pp. 2–3.

96. Doomes-Day …, p. 6. Cf. A brief Description Of the future History of Europe …, sigs. A2r-A2v, p. 30, which combines an expectation of the Jewish restoration with an utter disdain for the doctrine of Christ's personal reign.

97. See Light For the Jews …, assim.

98. For much fuller argument and documentation of the assertions made in this paragraph than comment on the Sabbatian movement can provide, see my Politics and Poetry in Restoration England: The Case of Dryden's Annus Mirabilis (Cambridge, Mass., 1975).

99. See, e.g., A New Letter from Aberdeen …, pp. 2, 6 (mispaginated 3); The Restauration of the Jewes…, pp. 3–4; The Last Letters…, p. 3; The Jewes Message…, pp. 3–4; N thanael Homes, Miscellanea …, pp. 3–4; (British Library) MS Harleian 3785, fol. 66, S. Foster to Dean Sancroft, December, 1665; William Lilly, Merlini Anglici Ephemeris…for… 1667…, sigs. A2r–A4r.

100. See above, nn. 5, 28, 29, 86.

101. See above, n. 83.

102. See, e.g., the comments of Serrarius, above at n. 89.

103. See above, n. 45.

104. See above, n. 37.

105. See above, n. 70.

106. From this perspective the traditional antisemitic stereotype appears to be less an explanation of a specific historical factaes the persistence of the commercial factor in eschatological speculation on Sabbataiaes than a rather more general historical fact which is itself in need of explanation. An obvious realm of investigation would be the social and economic relations traditionally accorded to Jews within medieval and early modern Christian communities. The following discussion might in turn suggest a prior avenue of thought that the effort to define Jews as an alien religious persuasion dominated by certain economic proclivities has roots in the Christian perception of Judaism as a dangerously seductive reconciliation of the spiritual and the material.

107. ACase of Conscience … (1669), pp. 12–13.

108. A Discourse of the Forbearance or the Penalties Which a Due Reformation Requires (1670), pp. 165–66.

109. Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (New York, [1926], 1958g53:49), pp. 15, 228. It will be apparent from the following comments that 1 believe Tawney hastens somewhat the speed with which the complete transformation in attitude toward religion was achieved.

110. See Ibid pp. 154–59. Besides Tawney's classic work, I have been aided in this section by the analyses in Christopher Hill, Society and Puritanism in Pre-Revolutionary England, 2d ed. (New York, 1967) and The World Turned Upside Down (New York, 1972); and in Richard Schlatter, The Social Ideas of Religious Leaders, 1660–1688 (Oxford, 1940).

111. The Wisdom of Being Religious. A Sermon Preached at St. Pauls…. (1664), p. 15.

112. Correspondence of Oldenburg, 3:447, no. 652.

113. See Scholem, pp. 93–101; Joseph Klausner, The Messianic Idea in Israel (London, 1956), pp. 10,418,420; and Gershom Scholem, The Messianic Idea in Judaism and Other Essays on Jewish Spirituality (New York, 1971), pp. 1–36.

114. A Door of Hope: or, A Call and Declaration for the gathering together of the first ripe Fruits unto the Standard of our Lord, King Jesus (1661), pp. 4–5.

115. Review of Charles Webster, The Great Instauration: Science, Medicine, and Reform, 1626–1660 (London, 1976) in New York Review of Books 23, no. 9 (May 27, 1976), p. 28. Yates calls for a study of the interaction between the Sabbatian movement and manifestations of the English spirit of millenarianism.

116. A Brief Relation…, p. 5. The promise of the ambassadors is soon made good, since the Persians are persuaded by divine wrath to send the riches after the Jews: see p. 6.