By Bernard Lazare
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Extra resources for Antisemitism Its History And Causes
We find all these theological and polemical attacks combined in the six sermons delivered at Antioch, by St. John Chrysostom (38) against the Jews; an examination of those homilies will give us an understanding of the methods of discussion, as well as the reciprocal attitude of Christians and Jews and their mutual relations. The Jews, says Chrysostom in the first of his sermons, are ignoramuses, who lack all understanding of their own law, and are consequently impious. They are wretches, dogs, bull- headed; their people are like a herd of brutes, like wild beasts.
He defends the 31 Church; he shows that Israel is dispersed in consequence of the death of Christ; he draws from the prophets and the stories of the Bible proofs of the divinity of Jesus, and he recommends to his flock to stay away from the sermons of those Jews who call the cross an abomination and whose religion is null and useless to those who know the true faith. In short, says he in conclusion, it is absurd to consort with men who have treated God with such indignity and at the same time to worship the Crucified.
Irritated by the objections of the Talmudists he brands them as falsifiers, and declares that one need seek no religion in the blindness of the Jews, and that Judaism may serve only as a term of comparison to demonstrate the beauty of Christianity. St. Ambrose (35) attacked them from another side; he took up anew the charges of the ancient world, those which had been used against the first Christians, and accused the Jews of despising the laws of Rome. St. Jerome (36) claimed that an impure spirit had seized the Jews.