The history of the three late, famous impostors, viz. Padre Ottomano, Mahomed Bei and Sabatai Sevi the one, pretended son and heir to the late Grand Signior, the other, a prince of the Ottoman family, but in truth, a Valachian counterfeit, and the last, the suppos'd Messiah of the Jews, in the year of the true Messiah, 1666 : with a brief account of the ground and occasion of the present war between the Turk and the Venetian : together with the cause of the final extirpation, destruction and exile of the Jews out of the Empire of Persia.
Evelyn, John, 1620-1706.
Page  41

THE HISTORY OF SABATAI SEVI, The Pretended Messiah of the Iewes, In the Year of our Lord, 1666. The Third Impostor.

ACcording to the Predicti∣ons of several Christian Writers, especially of such who Comment on the Apocalyps, or Reve∣lations, this Year of 1666 was to prove a Year of Wonders, of strange Revo∣lutions in the World, and particularly of Blessing to the Iewes, either in re∣spect of their Conversion to the Christi∣an Faith, or of their Restoration to their Page  42 Temporal Kingdome: This Opinion was so dilated, and fixt in the Coun∣treys of the Reformed Religion, and in the Heads of Phanatical Enthusiasts, who Dreamed of a Fift Monarchy, the downfall of the Pope, and Antichrist, and the Greatness of the Iewes: In so much, that this subtile People judged this Year the time to stir, and to fit their Motion according to the season of the Modern Propheies; whereupon strange Reports flew from place to place, of the March of Multitudes of People from unknown parts into the remote Desarts of Arabia, supposed to be the Ten Tribes and halfe, lost for so many Ages. That a Ship was arrived in the Northern parts of Scotland with her Sailes and Cordage of Silke, Na∣vigated by Mariners who spake no∣thing but Hebrew; with this Motto on their Sailes, The Twelve Tribes of Israel. These Reportes agreeing thus near to former Predictions, put the wild sort of the World into an expecta∣tion of strange Accidents, this year should produce in reference to the Iew∣ish Monarchy.

In this manner Millions of People Page  43 were possessed, when Sabatai Sevi first appear'd at Smyrna, and published him∣self to the Iewes for their Messiah, re∣lating the greatness of their approach∣ing Kingdome, the strong hand where∣by God was about to deliver them from Bondage, and gather them from all partes of the World. It was strange to see how the fancy took, and how fast the report of Sabatai and his Doctrine flew through all partes where Turkes and Iews inhabited; the latter of which were so deeply possessed with a beliefe of their new Kingdome, and Riches, and many of them with promotion to Of∣fices of Government, Renown, and Greatness, that in all parts from Con∣stantinople to Buda (which it was my fortune that year to Travel) I perceiv'd a strange transport in the Iewes, none of them attending to any business unless to winde up former negotiations, and to prepare themselves and Families for a Journey to Ierusalem: All their Dis∣courses, their Dreames, and disposal of their Affaires tended to no other De∣sign but a re-establishment in the Land of Promise, to Greatness, Glory, Wis∣dome, and Doctrine of the Messiah,Page  44 whose Original, Birth, and Education are first to be recounted.

Sabatai Sevi was Son of Mordechai Sevi, an Inhabitant, and Natural of Smyrna, who gained his Livelihood by being Broaker to an English Marchant in that place; a person, who before his death was very decrepit in his Bo∣dy, and full of the Goute, and other In∣firmities, but his Son Sabatai Sevi ad∣dicting himself to Study, became a no∣table Proficient in the Hebrew and Me∣taphysicks; and arrived to that point of Sophistry in Divinity and Metaphysicks, that he vented a New Doctrine in their Law, drawing to the Profession of it so many Disciples, as raised one day a Tu∣mult in the Synagogue; for which after∣wards he was by a Censure of the Cho∣hams (who are Expounders of the Law) banished the City.

During the time of his Exile, he ravelled to Thessalonica, now called Salonica, where he Marryed a very handsome Woman; but either not ha∣ving that part of Oeconomy as to go∣vern a Wife, or being Importent to∣wards Women, as was pretended, or that she found not favour in his Eyes, Page  45 she was divorced from him: Again, he took a second Wife, more beautiful then the former, but the same causes of discontent raising a difference be∣tween them, he obtained another Di∣vorce from this Wife also. And be∣ing now free from the Incumbrances of a Family, his wandring Head mov'd him to Travel through the Morea, thence to Tripoli in Syria, Gaza, and Ierusa∣lem; and by the way picked up a Li∣gernese Lady, whom he made his third Wife, the Daughter of some Polonian or German, her Original and Paren∣tage not being very well known. And being now at Ierusalem he began to Reforme the Law of the Iewes, and Abolish the Fast of Tamnz (which they keep in the Moneth of Iune) and there meeting with a certain Iew cal∣led Nathan, a proper Instrument to pro∣mote his Design; he communicated to him his Condition, his Course of Life, and Intentions, to Proclaime him∣self Messiah of the World, so long ex∣pected and desired by the Iewes. This Design took wonderfully with Nathan; and because it was thought necessary according to Scripture, and Antient Pro∣phesies,Page  46 that Elias was to precede the Messiah, as St. Iohn Baptist was the fore-runner of Christ: Nathan thought no man so proper to Act the Part of the Prophet as himself; and so no sooner had Sabatai declared himself the Messiah, but Nathan discovers himself to be his Prophet, forbiding all the Fasts of the Iewes in Ierusalem; and declaring, that the Bridegroom being come, nothing but Joy, and Triumph ought to dwell in their Habitations; Writing to all the Assemblies of the Iewes, to perswade them to the same beliefe.

And now the Schisme being begun, and many Iewes really be∣lieving what they so much desired, Na∣than took the courage and boldness to Prophesie, That one Year from the 27th of Kislen, (which is the moneth of Iune) the Messiah shall appear before the Grand Signor, & take from him his Crown, and lead him in Chaines like a Captive.

Sabatai also at Gaza Preached Re∣pentance to the Iewes, and Obedience to Himself and Doctrine, for that the coming of the Messiah was at hand: which Novelties so Affected the IewishPage  47 Inhabitants of those partes, that they gave up themselves wholly to their Prayers, Almes, and Devotions; and to confirme this beliefe the more, it hap∣ned, that at the same time that Newes hereof, with all perticulars were dis∣patched from Gaza, to acquaint the Brethren in Forrain Partes: The Ru∣mour of the Messiah hath flown so swift, and gained such reception, that Intelli∣gence came from all Partes and Coun∣treys where the Iewes inhabit, by Let∣ters to Gaza, and Ierusalem, Congratu∣lating the happiness of their Delive∣rance, and expiration of the time of their Servitude, by the Appearance of the Messiah. To which they adjoyned other Prophesies, relating to that Do∣minion the Messiah was to have over all the World: that for Nine Moneths after he was to disappeare; during which time the Iewes were to suffer, and many of them to undergoe Martyrdom: but then returning again Mounted on a Caelestial Lyon, with his Bridle made of Serpents with seven heads, accompa∣nyed with his Brethren the Iewes, who Inhabited on the other side of the Ri∣ver Sabation, he should be acknowledg∣ed Page  48 for the Sole Monarch of the Uni∣verse▪ and then the Holy Temple should descend from Heaven already built, fra∣med, and beautified, wherein they should offer Sacrifice for ever.

And here I leave you to consider, how strangely this Deceived People was Amused, when these Confident, and vain Reports, and Dreams of Power, and Kingdomes, had wholly transport∣ed them from the ordinary course of their Trade, and Interest.

This noise and rumour of the Messiah, having begun to fill all places, Sabatai Sevi resolved to Travel towards Smyr∣na, the Country of his Nativity; and thence to Constantinople the Capital City, where the principal Work of Preaching was to have been perform∣ed: Nathan thought it not fit to be long after him, and therefore Travels by the way of Damascus, where resolving to continue some time for better Pro∣pagation of this Nes Doctrine; in the meane while Writes this Letter to Sa∣batai Sevi, as followeth.

Page  49

22. Kesvan of this YEAR.

To the King, our King, Lord of our Lords, who gathers the Dispersed of Israel, who Redeems our Captivity, the Man elevated to the height of all sublimity, the Messiah of the God of Ja∣cob, the true Messiah, the Coelestial Ly∣on, Sabatai Sevi, whose Honour be exal∣ted, and his Dominion raised in a short time, and for ever, Amen. After ha∣ving kissed your hands, and swept the Dust from your Feet, as my Duty is to the King of Kings, whose Majesty be exalted, and his Empire enlarged. These are to make known to the Supreme Ex∣cellency of that Place, which is adorned with the Beauty of your Sanctity, that the Word of the King, and of his Law, hath enlightned our Faces: that day hath been a solemn day unto Israel, and a day of light unto our Rulers, for immediately we applyed our selves to performe yur Commands, as our duty is. And though we have heard of many strange things, Page  50 yet we are couragious, and our heart is as the heart of a Lyon; nor ought we to en∣quire a reason of your Doings, for your Workes are Marvellous, and past find∣ing out: And we are Confirmed in our Fidelity without all exception, resigning up our very Souls for the holiness of your Name: And now we are come as far as Damascus, intending shortly to proceed in our Iourney to Scanderone, according as you have commanded us; that so we may ascend, and see the Face of God in light, as the light of the Face of the King of Life: And we, servants of your ser∣vants shall cleanse the dust from your Feet, beseeching the Majesty of your Excellency and Glory to vouchsafe from your habitation to have a care of us, and help us with the Force of your Right Hand of Strength, and shorten our way which is before us: And we have our Eyes towards Jah, Jah, who will make hast to help us, and save us, that the Children of Iniquity shall not hurt us; and towards whom our hearts pant, and are consumed within us; who shall give us Tallons of Iron to be worthy to stand under the shadow of your Asse. These are the Words of the Srvant of your Page  51 servants, who prostrates himself to be∣trod on by the soles of your feet,

Nathan Benjamine.

And that he might Publish this Doctrine of himself, and the Mes∣siah more plainly, he Wrote from Da∣mascus this following Letter, to the Iewes at Aleppo, and parts theea∣bouts.

To the Residue or Rem∣nant of the Israelites, Peace without end.

THese my words are, to give you no∣tice, how that I am Arrived in Peace at Damascus, and behold I go to meet the Face of our Lord, whose Maje∣sty be exalted, for he is the Soveraign of the King of Kings, whose Empire be en∣larged. * According as he hath Com∣manded us and the 12 Tribes to elect unto Him 12 Men, so have we done: Page  52 And we now go to Scanderone by his com∣mand, to shw our faces together, with part of the principal of those particular Friends▪ to whom he hath given Licence to assemble in that same place. And now I come to make known unto you, that though you have heard strange things of our Lord, yet let not your hearts faint, or fear, but rather fortifie your selves in your Faith, because all his Actions are Miraculous, and Secret, which Hu∣mane understanding cannot comprehend, and who can penetrate into the depth of them. In a short time all things shall be Manifested to you clearly in their Purity: and you shall know, and consi∣der, and be instructed by the Inventor himself; Blssed is he who can expect, and arrive to the Salvation of the true Messiah, who will speedily publish his Authority and Empire over us now, and for evr.

Nathan.

And now all the Cities of Turky where the Iewes Inhabited were full of the expectation of the Messiah; no Page  53 Trade, nor course of Gaine was follow∣ed: every one imagin'd that dayly Pro∣visions, Riches, Honours, and Govern∣ment, were to descend upon them by some unknown and Miraculous man∣ner: an example of which is most ob∣servable in the Iewes at Thessalonica, who now full of Assurance that the Re∣storation of their Kingdome, and the Accomplishment of the time for the coming of the Messiah was at hand, judged themselves obliged to double their Devotions, and Purifie their Con∣sciences from all Sins and Enormities which might be obvious to the scruti∣ny of him who was now come to Pene∣trate into the very Thoughts and Ima∣ginations of Mankinde. In which Work certain Chochams were appoint∣ed to direct the People how to Regu∣late their Prayers, Fasts, and other Acts of Devotion. But so forward was eve∣ry one now in his Acts of Pennce, that they stay'd not for the Sentence of the Chocham, or prescription of any Rules, but apply'd themselves imme∣diately to Fasting: And some in that manner beyond the abilities of Nature, that having for the space of seven dayes Page  54 taken no sustenance, were famished to death. Others buryed themselves in their Gardens, covering their naked Bodies with Earth, their heads onely excepted, remained in their Beds of dirt until their Bodies were stifned with the cold and moisture: others would in∣dure to have melted VVax dropt upon their Shoulders, others to rowle them∣selves in Snow, and throw their Bo∣dies in the Coldest season of Winter into the Sea, or Frozen Waters. But the most common way of Mortificati∣on was first to prick their Backs and Sides with hoes, and then to give themselves thirty nine Lashes. All Business was laid aside, none Worked, or opened Shop, unless to clear his VVarehouse of Merchandize at any Price: who had superfluity in Houshold∣stuffe, sold it for what he could; but yet not to Iewes, for they were Inter∣dicted from Bargaines or Sales, on the pain of Excommunication, Pecuniary Mulcts, or Corporal Punishment; for all Business and Imployment was e∣steemed the Test, and Touchstone of their Faith. It being the general Te∣nent, that in the dayes that the MessiahPage  55 appeares, the Iewes shall become Ma∣sters of the Estates and Inheritance of Infidels; until when they are to con∣tent themselves with Matters onely n∣cessary to maintain and support Life. But because every one was not Master of so much Fortune and Provision, as to live without dayly Labour, therefore to quiet the Clamours of the Poor, and prevent the Enormous lives of some, who upon these occasions would be∣come Vagabonds, and desert their Ci∣ties, due order was taken to make Col∣lections, which were so liberally be∣stow'd, that in Thessalonica onely 400 Poore were supported by the meer cha∣rity of the Richer. And as they in∣deavour'd to purge their Consciences of Sin, and to apply themselves to good VVorkes, that the Messiah might find the City prepared for his Recep∣tion; so, least he should accuse them of any omission in the Law, and parti∣cularly in their neglect of that Anti∣ent Precept of, Increase and Multiply; they marryed together Children of ten yeares of age, and some under, without respect to Riches, or Poverty, Condi∣tion or Quality: But, being promis∣cuously Page  56 joyned, to the number of 6 or 700 ouple, upon better and cooler thoughts, after the deceipt of the false Mssiah was discover'd, or the expecta∣tion of his Coming grew cold, were Di∣vorced, or by Consent separated from each other.

In the heat of all this Talk and Ru∣mor, comes Sabatai Sevi to Smyrna, the City of his Nativity, infinitely de∣sir'd there by the common Iewes; but by the Chochams, or Doctors of their Law, who gave little or no credence to what he pretended, was ill receiv'd, not knowing what mischief or ruine this Doctrine and Prophesie of a New King∣dome might produce. Yet Sabatai bringing with him testimonials of his Sanctity, Holy Life, Wisdom, and Gift of Prophesie, so deeply fixed himself in the heart of the Generality, both as being Holy and VVife, that thereupon he took courage and boldness to enter into Dispute with the Grand Chocham (who is the Head, and Chief Exposier of the Law and superinendent of their will and Government) between whom the Aguments grew so high, and Lan∣guage so hot, that the Iewes who fa∣voured Page  57 the Doctrine of Sabatai, and feared the Authority of the Choham, doubtful what might be the issue of the Contest, appear'd in great num∣bers before the Cadi of Smyrna, in ju∣stification of their New Prophet, before so much as any Accusation came against him: The Cadi (according to the Custome of the Turkes,) swallows Mo∣ny on both sides, and afterwards remits them to the determination of their own Justice. In this manner Sabatai gaines ground dayly; and the Grand Cho∣cham with his Party, losing both the af∣fection and obedience of his People, is displaced from his Office, and another Constituted, more affectionate, and a∣greeable to the New Prophet, whose power daily increased by those confi∣dent Reports, That his Enemies were struck with Phrensies and Madness, un∣til being restor'd to their former tem∣per and wits by him, became his Friends, Admirers, and Disciples. No Invita∣tion was now made in Smyrna by the Iewes, nor Marriage, or Circumciion solemnized, where Sabata was not pre∣sent, accompanyed with a multitude of his Followers, and the Streets cover'd Page  58 with Carpits, or fine Cloath for him to tread on; but the Humility of this Pharisee appear'd such, that he would stoop and turne them aside, and so pass. And having thus fixed himself in the Opinion and Admiration of the People, he began to take on himself the Title of Messiah, and the Son of God; and to make this following Declaration to all the Nation of the Iewes, which be∣ing wrote Originally in Hebrew, was Translated for me faithfully into Itali∣an, in this manner.

L'unico figliolo, e primoge∣nito d' dio, Sabatai Sevi, il Messiah, e Salvatore d' Israel eletti di dio pace bessendo che sete fatti degni di veder quel grangiorno della deliberatione e Salvatione d' Israel, e consummati∣one delle parole di dio, promess per li sua Profeti, e padri notri, per il suo diletto figlio d' Israel, ogni vestra amaritudine si con∣verta Page  59 in allegrezza, e li vestri diginguiti facino feste, per che non piangerete O miei figliole d' Israel havendovi dati iddio la consolatione inenarrabile, feste∣giate contimpani e musiche, rin∣gratiando quello chi ha adempito il promesso dalli secoli, facendo ogni giorno quelle cose che solete fare nelle callende, e quel girno dedicato al▪ afflictione e mestitia, convertite lo in giorno giocondo per la mia comparsa, e non spa∣ventate niente, per che haveret Dominio sopra, le genti, non so∣lamente di quelle, che si vedo∣dono in terra, ma quelle che sono in fondi del mare, il tutto pro vestra consolatione & allegrez∣za.

Which Translated into English, runs thus;

Page  60THe Onely, and First-borne Son of God, Sabatai Sevi, the Messiah and Saviour of Is∣rael, to all the Sons of Israel, peace. Since that you are made worthy to see that great Day of Delive∣rance, and Salvation unto Israel, and Accomplishment of the Word of God, Promised by his Prophets, and our fore-fathers, and by his Beloved Son of Israel: let your bitter sorrowes be tur∣ned into Joy, and your Fasts in∣to festivals, for you shall weep no more, O my sons of Israel, for God having given you this unspeakable Comfort, rejoyce with Drums, Organs, and Musick, giving thanks to him for perfor∣ming his Promise from all Ages; doing that every day, which is usual for you to do upon the New-Moons; and, that Day De∣dicated Page  61 to affliction and sorrow convert you into a Day of Mirth for my appearance: and fear you nothing, for you shall have Dominion over the Na∣tions, and not onely over those who are on Earth, but over those Creatures also which are in the depth of the Sea. All which is for your Consolation and Re∣joycing.

Sabatai Sevi.

Notwithstanding the Disciples of Sabatai Sevi were not so numerous, but many opposed his doctrine, pub∣liquely avouching that he was an Im∣postor, and Deceiver of the people, amongst which was one Samuel Pen∣nia, a man of a good estate and reputa∣tion in Smyrna, who arguing in the Synagogue, that the present signs of the coming of the Messiah were not apparent, either according to Scripture, Page  62 or the doctrine of the Rabbins, raised such a sedition and tumult amongst the Iews, as not onely prevailed a∣gainst arguments, but had also against his life, had he not timely conveyed himself out of the Synagogue, and thereby escaped the hands of the mul∣titude, who now could more easily endure blasphemy against the Law of Moses, and the prophanation of the Sanctuary, than contradiction, or mis∣belief of the doctrine of Sabatai. But howsoever it fell out, Pennia in short time becomes a convert, and preaches up Sabatai for the Son of God, and de∣liverer of the Iews: and not onely he, but his whole family; his daugh∣ters prophesie, and fall into strange extasies; and not onely his house, but four hundred men and women pro∣phesie of the growing kingdom of Sabatai, and young infants who could yet scarce stammer out a syllable to their mothers, repeat, and pronounce plainly the name of Sabatai the Mes∣siah, and Son of God. For thus farr had God permitted the devil to de∣lude this people, that their very chil∣dren Page  63 were for a time possessed, and voices heard to found from their sto∣macks, and intrails: those of riper years fell first into a trance, foamed at the mouth, and recounted the future prosperitie, and deliverance of the Is∣raelites, their visions of the Lion of Iudah, and the triumphs of Sabatai, all which were certainly true, being effects of Diabolical delusions: as the Iews themselves since have confessed unto me.

With these concomitant accidents, and successes, Sabatai Sevi growing more presumptuous, that he might cor∣respond with the Prophesies of great∣ness, and dominion of the Messiah, proceeds to an election of those Prin∣ces which were to govern the Israe∣lites in their march towards the Holy∣Land, and to dispence Judgement and Justice after their Restoration. The names of them were these which fol∣low, men well known at Smyrna, who never (God knows) had ambition to aspire to the title of Princes, until a strange spirit of deceit and delusion had moved them, not onely to hope Page  64 for it as possible, but to expect it as certain.

  • Isaac Silvera. King David.
  • Salomon Lagnado. was Salomon.
  • Salom Lagnado jun. named Zovah.
  • Ioseph Cohen. Uzziah.
  • Moses Galente. Iosaphat.
  • Daniel Pinto. Hilkiah.
  • Abraham Scandale. Iotham.
  • Mokiah Gaspar. Zedekiah.
  • Abraham Leon. Achas.
  • Ephraim Arditi. Ioram.
  • Salom Carmona. Achab.
  • Matassia Aschenesi. Asa.
  • Meir Alcaira. Rehoboam.
  • Iacob Loxas. Ammon.
  • Mordecai Iesserun. Iehoachim▪
  • Chaim Inegna. Ieroboam.
  • Ioseph Scavillo. Abia.
  • Conor Nehemias. was Zarobabel.
  • Ioseph del Caire. named Ioas.
  • Elcukin Schavit. Amasia.
  • Abraham Rubio▪ Iosiah.

Elias Sevi had the title of the King of the king of kings.

Elias Azar his Vice-king, or Vizier.

Page  65Ioseph Sevi, the king of the kings of Iudah.

Ioseph Inernuch his vice-king.

In this manner things ran to strange height of madness amongst the Iews at Smyrna, where appear'd such pa∣geantry of greatness, that no Come∣dy could equal the mock-shews they represented, and though none durst openly profess any scruple, or doubt of this common received belief, yet for confirmation of the Iews in their Faith, and astonishment of the Gen∣tiles, it was judged no less than nces∣sary that Sabatai should shew some mi∣racles, whereby to evince to all the World that he was the true Messiah: and as the present occasion seemed to require an evidence infallible of this truth, so it was daily expected by the vulgar, with an impatience sutable to humors disposed to Novelie; who out of every action and motion of their Prophet began to fancy something extraordinary and supernatual. Sa∣batai was now horribly puzzled for a Miracle, though the imagination of the people was so vitiated that any leger∣demaine,Page  66 or slight of hand would have passed more easily with with them for a wonder than Moses striking the rock for water, or dividing the red sea. And occasion happening that Sabatai was, in behalf of his Subjects, to ap∣pear before the Cadi, or judge of the Citie to demand ease, and relief of some oppressions which aggrieved them: It was thought necessary a Mi∣racle should now or never, when Saba∣tai appearing with a formal and pha∣risaical gravitie, which he had starcht on: Some on a sudden avouched to see a pillar of fire between him and the Cadi, which report presently was heard through the whole room, filled with Iews that accompanied Sabatai, some of whom, who strongly fancied it, vow'd, and swore they saw it; others in the outward yard, or that could not come near to hear, or see for the crowd, as speedily took the alarm, and the rumour ran, and belief receiv'd by the Women and Children at home in a moment, so that Sabatai Sevi returned to his house triumphant, fixed in the hearts of his people, who now needed no further Miracles to Page  67 confirm them in their faith. And thus was Sabatai exalted, when no man was thought worthy of communica∣tion who did not believe him to be the Messiah: others were called Ko∣phrim, infidels or hereticks, liable to the censure of excommunication, with whom it was not lawful so much as to eat: every man produc'd his trea∣sure, his Gold and Jewels, offering them at the feet of Sabatai; so that he could have commanded all the welth of Smyrna, but he was too subtil to accept their money, least he should render his design suspected by any act of covetousness. Sabatai Sevi having thus fully fixed himself in Smyrna, and filled other places with rumors of his fame; declared that he was called by God to visit Constantinople, where the greatest part of his work was to be accomplisht; in order whereunto he privately ships himself, with some few attendants in a Turkish Saick, in the Moneth of Ianuary 1666. least the crowd of his disciples, and such who would press to follow him, should en∣danger him in the Eyes of the Turks, who already began to be scandalzed Page  68 at the reports and prophesies concern∣ning his person. But though Sabatai took few into the Vessel to him, yet a multitude of Iews travell'd over land to meet him again at Constantinople, on whom all their Eyes and Expectations were intent. The wind proving nor∣thernly, as commonly it is in the He∣lespont and Propontis; Sabatai was thir∣tie nine days in his voyage, and yet the Vessel not arriv'd, so little power had this Messiah over the Sea and Winds, in which time news being come to Constantinople that the Iews Messiah was near, all that people pre∣pared to receive him with the same Joy and Impatience as was exprest in other parts where he arrived; the great Vizier (then also at Constanti∣nople, being not yet departed on his expedition for Candia) having heard some rumors of this man, and the dis∣order and madness he had raised a∣mongst the Iews; sent two Boats, whil'st the Saick was detained by con∣trary winds, with commands to bring him up Prisoner to the Port, where accordingly Sabatai being come, was committed to the most loathsom and Page  69 darkest Dngeon in the Town, there to remain in farther expectation of the Viziers sentence: The Iews were not at all discouraged at this ill treatment of their prophet, but rather confirmed in their belief of him, as being the accomplishment of the prophesie of those things which ought to precede his glory and dominion; which con∣sideration induc'd the chiefest persons amongst the Iews to make their visits and addresses to him with the same ceremony and respect in the Dungeon as they would have done had he then sat exalted on the throne of Israel: several of them, with one Anaago, by name, a man of great esteem amongst the Iews, attended a whole day before him, with their Eyes cast down, their bodies bending forward, and hands crost before them (which are postures of humility, and service in the Eastern Countres) the undecency of the place, and present subjection, not ha∣ving in the least abated their high thoughts, and reverence towards his person. The Iews in Constantinople were now become as mad and distracted as they were in other places, all trade Page  70 and trafficque forbidden, and those who owed money, in no manner care∣ful how to satisfie it: amongst which wild crew some were indebted to our Merchants at Galata, who not knowing the way to receive their money, partly for their interest, and partly for curio∣sity thought fit to visit this Sabatai, complayning that such particular Iews, upon his coming, took upon them the boldness to defraud them of their right, desired he would be pleased to signi∣fie to these his Subjects, his pleasure to have satisfaction given: where∣upon Sabatai with much affectation took Pen and Paper, and wrote to this effect.

TO you of the Nation of the Iews, who expect the appearance of the Messiah, and the Salvation of Israel, Peace without end. Whereas we are informed that you are indebted to several of the English Nation: It seemeth right unto us to en∣order Page  71 you to make satisfaction to these your just debts: which if you refuse to do, and not obey us herein: Know you, that then you are not to enter with us into our Joys and Domi∣nions.

In this manner Sabatai Sevi re∣mained a Prisoner at Constantinople for the space of two Moneths; at the end of which, the Vizier having designed his expedition for Candia; and consi∣dering the rumor and disturbance the presence of Sabatai had made already at Constantinople, thought it not secure to suffer him to remain in the Imperial Citie, whil'st both the Grand Signior and himself were absent: and there∣fore changes his prison to the Darda∣nelli, otherwise called the Castle of Abydos, being on the Europe side of the Helespont, opposite to Setos, places famous in Greek Poetrie. This remo∣val of Sabatai from a worse Prison to one of a better air; confirmed the Iews with greater confidence of his being Page  72 the Messiah, supposing that had it been in the power of the Vizier, or other Officers of the Turks, to have de∣stroyed his person, they would never have permitted him to have lived to that time, in regard their Maximes en∣force them to quit all jealousies and suspitions of ruine to their state by the death of the party feared, which much rather they ought to execute on Sa∣batai, who had not onely declared him∣self the King of Israel, but also pub∣lished Prophesies fatal to the Grand Signior and his Kingdoms.

With this consideration, and others preceding, the Iews flock in great numbers to the Castle, where he was imprisoned, not onely from the neigh∣bouring parts, but also from Poland, Germanie, Legorne, Venice, Amsterdam, and other places where the Iewt re∣side: on all whom, as a reward of the expence, and labours of their pilgri∣mage, Sabatai bestowed plenty of his benedictions, promising encrease of their store, and enlargement of their Possessions in the Holy-Land. And so great was the confluence of the Iews to this place, that the Turks thought Page  73 it requisite to make their advantage thereof, and so not onely raised the price of their Provision, Lodgings, and other Necessaries, but also denied to admit any to the presence of Sabatai, unless for money, setting the price, sometimes at five, sometimes at ten Dollers, or more or less, according as they guessed at their abilities, or zeal of the person, by which gain and ad∣vantage to the Turks no complaints or advices were carried to Adrianople either of the concourse of people, or arguments amongst the Iews in that place; but rather all civilities, and li∣bertie indulged unto them, which ser∣ved as a farther argument to ensnare this poor people in the belief of their Messiah.

During this time of confinement, Sabatai had leisure to compose and institute a new method of Worship for the Iews, and principally the manner of the celebration of the day of his Nativity, which he prescribed in this manner.

BRethren, and my People, men of Re∣ligion inhabiting the City of SmyrnaPage  74 the renowned, where live men, and wo∣men, and families; Peace be unto you from the Lord of Peace, and from me his beloved son, King Salomon. I com∣mand you that the ninth day of the Moneth of Ab (which according to our account answered that year to the Moneth of Iune) next to come, you make a day of Invitation, and of great Joy, celebrating it with choice meats and pleasing drinks, with many Candles and Lamps, with Musick and Songs, because it is the day of the Birth of Sa∣batai Sevi, the high King above all kings of the Earth. And as to mat∣ters of labour, and other things of like nature, do, as becomes you, upon a day of Festival, adorned with your finest garments. As to your Prayers, let the same order be used as upon Fstivals. To converse with Christians on that day is unlawful, though your Discourse be of matters indifferent, all labour is forbidden, but to sound instruments is lawful. This shall be the method and substance of your Prayers on this day of Festival: After you have said, Blessed be thou, O holy God! then proceed and say, Thou hast chosen us before Page  75 all people, and hast loved us, and hast been delighted with us, and hast hum∣bled us more than all other Nations, and hast sanctified us with thy Precepts, and hast brought us near to thy service, and the service of our King. Thy holy, great, and terrible Name thou hast publihed amongst us: and hast given us, O Lord God, according to thy love, time of Joy, of Festivals, and times of Mirth, and this day of Consolation for a solemn Convocation of Holiness, for the Birth of our King the Messiah, Sabatai Sevi thy servant, and first∣born son in love, through whom we commemorate our coming out of E∣gypt. And then you shall read for your Lesson the 1, 2, and 3 Chapters of Deut. to the 17 verse, appointing for the reading thereof five men, in a per∣fect and uncorrupted Bible, adding thereunto the Blessings of the Mor∣ning, as are prescribed for days of Fe∣stival: and for the Lesson out of the Prophets usually read in the Synagogue every Sabbath: you shall read the 31 Chapt. of Ieremiah. To your Prayer called Mussaf (used in the Synagogue every Sabbath and solemn Festival) you Page  76 shall adjoyn that of the present Festi∣val; In stead of the Sacrifice of Additi∣on, of the returning of the Bible to its place, you shall read with an Audible Voice, Clear Sound, the Psalm 95. And at the first Praises in the Morning, after you have Sang Psalm 91, and just before you Sing Psalm 98, you shall re∣peate Psalm 132 but in the last Verse, where it is said, As for his Enemies I shall cloath them with shame, but upon himself shall his Crown flourish; in the place of (upon himself) you shall read upon the most High: after which shall follow the 126 Psalm, and then the 113 to the 119.

At the Consecration of the Wine upon the Vigil, or Even, you shall make mention of the Feast of Conso∣lation, which is the day of the Birth of our King the esiah Sabatai Sevi thy Servant, and First-born Son, giving the Blessing as followeh: Blessed be thou our God, King of the World, who hast made us to live, and hast maintain'd us, and hast kept us alive unto this time. Upon the Eve of this day you shall Read also the 81 Psalm, as also the 132 and 126 Psalmes, which are appointed Page  77 for the Morning Praises. And this day shall be unto you for a Remem∣brance of a Solemn Day unto eternal Ages, and a perpetual testimony be∣tween me, and the Sons of Israel.

Adite Audiendo & manducate bo∣num.

Besides which Order, and Method of Prayers for Solemnization of his Birth, he prescribed other Rules for Divine Service, and particularly published the same Indulgence and Priviledge to eve∣ry one who should Pray at the omb of his Mother; 〈◊〉 if he had taken on him a Pilgrimage to Pray, and Sacrifice at Ierusalem.

The Devotion of the Iewes toward this pretended Messiah increased still more and more, so that onely the Chief of the City went to attend, and proffer their service toward him in the time of his Imprisonment, but likewise decked their Synagogue with S. S. in Letters of Gold, making for him on the Wall a Crown, in the Circle of which was wrote the 91 Psalm at length, in faire and legible Characters; attributing the Page  78 same titles to Sabatai, and Expounding the Scriptures in the same manner in favour of his Appearance, as we do of our Saviour. However some of the Iewes remain'd in their Wits all this time, amongst which was a certain Cho∣chan at Smyrna, one zealous of his Law, and of the good and safety of his Na∣tion: and observing in what a wilde manner the whole People of the Iewes was transported, with the groundless beliefe of a Messiah, leaving not onely their Trade, and course of living, but publishing Prophesies of a speedy Kingdome, of rescue from the Tyran∣ny of the Turk, and leading the Grand Signior himself Captive in Chaines; matters so dangerous and obnoxious to the State wherein they lived, as might justly convict them of Treason and Re∣bellion, and leave them to the Mercy of that Justice, which on the least jealousie and suspicion of Matters of this nature, uses to extirpate Families, and subvert the Mansion-houses of their own Peo∣ple, much rather of the Iewes, on whom the Turkes would gladly take occasion to dispoile them of their Estates, and condemn the whole Nation to perpe∣tual Page  79 slavery. And indeed it would have been a greater wonder then ever Sabatai shewed, that the Turkes took no advantage from all these extrava∣gances, to dreine the Iewes of a consi∣derable Sum of Money, and set their whole Race in Turky at a Ransome, had not these Passages yielded them mat∣ter of Pastime, and been the Subject of the Turkes Laughter and Scorne; sup∣posing it a Disparagement to the great∣ness of the Ottoman Empire, to be con∣cerned for the Rumors and Combu∣stions of this Dispersed People. With these considerations this Cocham, that he might clear himself of the blood and guilt of his Countrey-men, and con∣cern'd in the common destruction, goes before the Cadi, and there protests a∣gainst the present Doctrine; Decla∣ring, that he had no hand in setting up of Sabatai, but was an Enemy both to him and to hi whole Sect. This free∣dome of the Chocham so enraged and scandalized the Iewes, that they judg∣ed no Condemnation or Punishment too severe against such an Offender and Blasphemer of their Law, and Holiness of the Messiah; and therefore with Mo∣ney Page  80 and Presents to the Cadi, accusing him as Disobedient in a Capital nature to their Government, obtain'd sentence against him, to have his Beard shaved, and to be condemn'd to the Gallies. There wanted nothing now to the ap∣pearance of the Messiah, and the so∣lemnity of his coming, but the presence of Elias, whom the Iewes began to ex∣pect hourely, and with that attention and earnestness, that every Dreame, or Phantasme to a weak head was judged to be Elias; it being taught, and aver∣red, that he was seen in divers formes and hapes, not to be certainly disco∣vered or known, before the coming of the Messiah; for this superstition is so far fixed amongst them, that generally in their Families they spread a Table for Elias the Prophet, to which they make an Invitation of Poor people, leav∣ing the chief place for the Lord Elias, whom they believe to be invisibly pre∣sent at the entertainment, and there to Eate, and Drink, without dimunition, either of the Dishes, or of the Cup, One person amongst the Iewes com∣manded his Wife after a supper of this kind, to leave the Cup filled with Wine, Page  81 and the Meat standing all night, for Elias to Feast, and Rejoyce alone; And in the morning arising early, af∣firmed, that Elias took this Banquet so kindly, that in token of gratitude, and acceptance, he had replenish'd the Cup with Oyle, in stead of Wine. It is a certain Custome amongst the Iewes on the Evening of the Sabbath, to repeate certain Praises of God (called Havdi∣la) which signifies a distinction, or se∣paration of the Sabbath from the pro∣phane dayes (as they call them) which Praises they observe to performe in this manner. One takes a Cup filled with Wine, and drops it through the whole House, saying, Elias the Prophet, Eli∣as the Prophet, Elias the prophet, come quickly to us with the Messiah, the Son of God, and David; and this they affirme to be so acceptable to Elias, that he never failes to preserve that fa∣mily, so devoted to him, and augment it with the blessings of Increase. Ma∣ny other things the Iewes avouch of Elias, so ridiculous, as are not fit to be declar'd, amongst which this one is not far from our purpose, that at the Cir∣cumcision there is alwayes a Chir set Page  82 for Elias: And Sabatai Sevi being once Invited at Smyrna to the Circumcision of te First-borne-Son of one Abraham Gutiere, a Kinsman of Sabatai, and all things ready for the Ceremony, Saba∣tai Sevi exhorted the Parents of the Child to expect a while until his farther Order: After a good halfe hour, Saba∣tai order'd them to proceed and cut the Prepuce of the Child, which was instant∣ly perform'd with all joy and satisfacti∣on to the Parents: and being after∣wards demanded the reason why he re∣tarded the performance of that Function, his answer was, That Elias had not as yet taken his Seat, whom, assoon as he saw placed, he ordered them to proceed; and that now shortly Elias would discover himself openly, and proclaime the newes of the general Redemption.

This being the common Opinion a∣mongst the Iewes, and that Sabatai Sevi was the Messiah, being become an Article of Faith, it was not hard to per∣swade them, that Elias was come al∣ready, that they met him in their Dishes, in the darke, in their Bedcham∣bers, or ny where else invisible, in the same maner as our common People in Page  83England believe of Hobgoblins, and Fairies. For so it was, when Solomon Cremona, an Inhabitant of Smyrna, ma∣king a great Feast, to which the Prin∣cipal Iewes of the City were Invited, af∣ter they had eaten and drank freely, one starts from his Seat, and avouches, that he saw Elias upon the Wall, and with that bowes to him, and Complements him with all Reverence and humility: Some others having in like manner their Fancies prepossessed, and their Eyes with the Fume of Wine ill pre∣pared to distinguish shadowes, immedi∣ately agreed upon the Object, and then there was not one in the Company who would say he did not see him: at which surprize every one was stuck with reverence and awe; and the most Eloquent amongst them, having their Tongues loosed with Joy, and Wine, directed Orations, Encomiums, and acts of Thankfulness to Elias, courting and complementing him, as distracted Lo∣vers doe the supposed presence of their Mistresses. Another Iew at Constan∣tinople reported, that he met Elias in the Streets, habited like a Turke, with whom he had a long Communication; Page  84 and that he enjon'd the Observation of many neglected Ceremonies, and particularly the Zezit, Numb. 15. v. 38. Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make Fringes in the Bor∣ders of their Garments, throughout their Generations, and that they put upon the Fringe of the Border a Ribbon of blue. Also the Peos, Levit. 19. v. 27. Ye shall not round the corners of your Head, nor marr the corners of your Beard: This Apparition of Elias being believed as soon as Published, every one began to obey the Vision, by Fringing their Garments; and for their Heads, though alwayes shaved, according to the Tur∣kish and Eastern Fahion, and that the suffering Hair to grow, to men not ac∣customed, was heavy, and incommodi∣ous to their healths and heads; yet to begin again to renew, as far as was pos∣sible, the antient Ceremonies, every one nourished a lock of hair on each side, which might be visible beneath their Caps; which soon after began to be a Sign of distinction between the Be∣lievers and Kophrims, a name of disho∣nour, signifying as much as Unbeliev∣ers; or Hereticks, given to those who Page  85 confessed not Sabatai to be the Mes∣siah; which particulars, if not observed, it was declared, as a Menace of Elias, that the People of the Iewes, who come from the River Sabation, as is spe∣cifyed in the second Esdras, Chap. 13. shall take vengeance of those who are guilty of these Omissions.

But to return again to Sabatai Svi himself, we find him still remaining a Prisoner in the Castle of Abydos upon the Hellespont, admir'd and ador'd by hi Brethren, with more honor then before, and visited by Pilgrimes from all parts where the same of the coming of the Messiah had arriv'd; amongst which one from Poland, named Nehemiah Cohen, was of special note, and renown, learn∣ed in the Hebrw, Syriack, and Chaldee, and versed in the Doctrine and Kabala of the Rabines, as well as Sabatai him∣self, one (of whom it was said) had not this Sevi anticipated the Design, esteemed himself as able a Fellow to Act the Part of a Messiah as the other: Howsoever, it being now too late to publish any such Pretence, Sabatai ha∣ving now eleven Points of the Law by Possession of the Office, and with that Page  86 the Hearts and Belief of the Iewes: Nehemiah was contented with some small appendage, or Relation to a Messiah; and therefore to lay his De∣sign the better, desired a Private Con∣ference with Sabatai: These two great Rabbines being together, a hot Dispute arose between them; For Cohen alleadg∣ed that according to Scripture, and Ex∣position of the Learned thereupon, there were to be two Messiahs, one called Ben phraim, and the other Ben David: the first was to be a Preacher of the Law, poor, and despised, and a Servant of the Second, and his Fore-runner; the o∣ther was to be great and rich, to re∣tore the Iewes to Ierusalem, to sit upon the Throne of David, and to per∣fome and act all those Triumphs and onquess which were expected from Sabatai. Nehemiah was contented to be 〈◊〉 Ephraim, the a••licted and poor Messiah; And Sabatai (for any thing I hear) was well enough contented he should be so: but that Nehemiah accu∣sed him or being too forward in pub∣lishing himself the latter Messiah, be∣fore Ben Ephraim had fitst been known unto the World. Sabatai took this re∣prehension Page  87 so ill, either out of pride, and thoughts of his own infallibility, or that he suspected Nehmiah, being once admitted for Ben Ephraim, would quickly (being a subtile and learned person) perswade the World that he was Ben David, would by no means un∣derstand, or admit of this Doctine, or of Ben Ephraim for a necessary Officer: And thereupon the Dispute gew so hot, and the Controvesie so irrecon∣cileable, as was taken notice of by the Iewes, and controverted amongst them, as every one fancy'd: But Sabatai be∣ing of greater Authority, his Sentence prevail'd, and Nehemiah was rejected, as Schismatical, and an Enemy to the Messiah, which afterward proved the ruine and downfal of this Impostor.

For Nehemiah being thus baffled, and being a person of Authority, and a haughty Spirit, meditated nothing but revenge; to execute which to the full, he takes a Journey to Arianople, and there informes the Chief Min∣sters of State, and Officers of the Court, who (by reason of the gai the Turks made of their Prisoner at the Castle on the Hellespont) heard nothing Page  88 of all this Concourse of People, and Prophesies of the Revolt of the Iews from their Obedience to the Grand Sig∣nior; and taking likewise to his Coun∣sel some certain discontented and un∣believing Chochams, who being zealous for their Nation, and jealous of the ill∣consequences of this long-continued, and increasing Madness, took liberty to informe the Chimacham (who was De∣puty of the Great Vizier then at Can∣dia) that the Iew, Prisoner at the Ca∣stle, called Sabatai Sevi, was a Lewd Person, and one who indeavoured to debauch the mindes of the Iewes, and divert them from their honest course of livelihood, and Obedience to the Grand Signior; and that therefore it was ne∣cessary to clear the World of so Fa∣ctious and dangerous a Spirit: The Chimacham being thus informed, could do no less then acquaint the Grand Sig∣nior with all the particulars of this Mans Condition, Course of Life, and Doctrine; which were no sooner un∣derstood, but a Chiaux, or Messenger, was immediately dispatched, to bring up Sabatai Sevi to Adrianople. The Chiaux executed his Commission after Page  89 the Turkish fashion in hast, and brought Sabatai in a few days to Adrianople, without further excuse or ceremony; not affording him an hours space to take a solemn farewel of his Friends, his Followers and Adorers; who now were come to the vertical point of all their hopes and expectations.

The Grand Signior having by this time received divers informations of the madness of the Iews, and the pre∣tences of Sabatai; grew big with de∣sire and expectation to see him: so that he no sooner arriv'd at Adria∣nople, but the same hour he was brought before the Grand Signior: Sabatai ap∣peared much dejected, and failing of that courage which he shewed in the Synagogue; and being demanded seve∣ral Questions in Turkish by the Grand Signior, he would not trust so farr to the vertue of his Messiahship, as to deliver himself in the Turkish Language; but desired a Doctor of Physick, (who had from a Iew turned Turk), to be his in∣terpreter, which was granted to him; but not without reflection of the stan∣ders by; that had he been the Messiah, and son of God, as he formerly pretended, Page  90 his tongue would have flown with va∣rietie, as well as with the perfection of Languages. But the Grand Signior would not be put off without a Miracle, and it must be one of his own choice: which was, that Sabatai should be stript naked, and set as a mark to his dex∣terous Archers: if the Arrows passed not his body, but that his flesh and skin was proof like armour, then he would believe him to be the Messiah, and the person whom God had de∣sign'd to those Dominions, and Great∣nesses, he petended. But now Sabatai not having faith enough to stand to so sharp a trial, renounced all his title to Kingdoms and Governments, al∣ledging that he was an ordinary Chocham, and a poor Iew, as others were, and had nothing of Priviledge, or Ver∣tue above the rest. The Grand Signior notwithstanding, not wholly satisfied with this plain confession, declared, that having given publique scandal to the Professors of the Mahometan religion, and done dishonour to his Soveraign authoritie, by pretending to draw such a considerable portion from him, as the Land of Palestine; his treason and Page  91 crime was not to be expiated by any other means then by a conversion to the Mahometan faith, which if he refus'd to do, the stake was ready at the gate of the Seraglio to empale him. Saba∣tai being now reduced to extremitie of his latter game; not being the least doubtful what to do; for to die for what he was assured was false, was against nature, and the death of a mad man: replyed with much chearfulness, that he was contented to turn Turk, and that it was not of force, but of choice, having been a long time desi∣rous of so glorious a Profession, he esteemed himself much honored, that he had opportunity to own it; first in the presence of the Grand Signior. And here was the non plus ultra of all the bluster and noise of this vain Impostor. And now the Reader may be pleased to pause a while, and contemplate the strange point of consternation, shame, and silence, to which the Iews were reduc't, when they understood how speedily their hopes were vanished, and how poorly and ignominiously all their fancies and promises of a new Kingdom, their Pageantry, and Offices of Devo∣tion, Page  92 were past like a tale, or a midnights dream: And all this was concluded, and the Iews sunk on a sudden, and fallen flat in their hopes, without so much as a line of comfort, or excuse from Sabatai; more than in general, to all the brethren. That now they should apply themselves to their Cal∣lings and services of God, as formerly, for that matters relating unto him were finished and the sentence past. The news that Sabatai was turned Turk, and the Messiah to a Mahumetan, quickly filled all parts of Turky. The Iews were strangely suprized at it, and ashamed of their easie belief, of the arguments with which they had per∣swaded one the other, and of the Pro∣selytes they had made in their own fa∣milies. Abroad they became the com∣mon derision of the Towns where they inhabited: the Boys houted after them, coyning a new word at Smyrna (Ponftai) which every one seeing a Iew, with a finger pointed out, would pronounce with scorn and contempt: so that this deceived people for a long time after remained with confusion, si∣lence, and dejection of spirit. And yet Page  93 most of them affirm that Sabatai is not turned Turk, but his shadow onely re∣mains on earth, and walks with a white head, and in the habit of a Mahumetan: but that his natural body and soul are taken into heaven, there to reside until the time appointed for accomplishment of these wonders: and this opinion began so commonly to take place, as if this people resolved never to be un∣deceived, using the forms and rules for Devotion prescribed them by their Ma∣humetan Messiah: Insomuch that the Chochams of Costantinople, fearing the danger of this error might creep up, and equal the former, condemned the be∣lief of Sabatai being Messiah, as dam∣nable, and enjoyned them to return to the antient Method and Service of God upon pain of Excommunication. The style and tenure of them was as followeth.

Page  94

To you who have the power of Priesthood, and are the know∣ing, learned, and magnanimous Governours and Princes, re∣siding in the Citie of Smyrna, may the Almighty God pro∣tect you, Amen: for so is his will.

THese our Letters, which we send in the midst of your habitations, are upon occasion of certain rumors and tumults come to our ears from that Citie of your Holiness. For there is a sort of men amongst you, who fortifie them∣selves in their error, and say, let such a one our King, live, and bless him in their publique Sy∣nagogues every Sabbath day:Page  95 And also adjoyn Psalms and Hymns, invented by that man, for certain days, with Rules and Methods for Prayer, which ought not to be done, and yet they will still remain obstinate therein; and now behold it is known unto you, how many swelling Waters have passed over our Souls, for his sake, for had it not been for the Mercies of God, which are without end, and the merit of our forefathers, which hath assisted us;* the foot of Israel had been razed out by their enemies. And yet you continue obstinate in things which do not help, but rather do mischief, which God avert. Turn you therefore, for this is not the true way, but restore the Crown to the antient custom and use Page  96 of your forefathers, and the law, and from thence do not move; We command you that with your authoritie, under pain of Excommunication, and other penalties, that all those Ordinances and Prayers, as well those delivered by the mouth of that man, as those which he enjoyned by the mouth of others, be all abolished and made void, and to be found no more, and that they never enter more into your hearts, but judge ac∣cording to the antient com∣mandment of your Forefathers, repeating the same Lessons and Prayers every Sabbath, as hath been accustomary, as also Col∣lects for Kings, Potentates, and anointed, &c. And bless the King, Sultan Mahomet, for in his Page  97 days hath great Salvation been wrought for Israel, and become not Rebels to his Kingdom, which God forbid. For after all this, which is past, the least motion will be a cause of jea∣lousie, and you will bring ruine upon your own persons, and upon all which is near and dear to you, wheresore abstain from the thoughts of this man, and let not so much as his name proceed out of your mouths. For know, if you will not obey us herein, which will be known, who, and what those men are, who refuse to conform unto us, we are re∣solved to prosecute them, as our duty is. He that doth hear, and obey us, may the Blessing of God rest upon him.

These Page  98 are the words of those who seek your Peace and Good, having

in Constantinople, on Sun∣day the fifth of the Moneth Sevat, underwrot their names.

  • Ioam Tob son of Chananiah Ben-Iacar.
  • Isaac Alnacag∣na.
  • Ioseph Kazabi.
  • Manaseh Barn∣do.
  • Kalib son of Sa∣muel.
  • Eliezer Castie.
  • Eliezer Gherson.
  • Ioseph Accohen.
  • Eliezer Aluff.

During the time of all these trans∣actions and passages at Constantinople, Smyrna, Abydos, upon the Helespont,Page  99 and Adrianople, the Iews leaving their Merchantlie course, and advices, what prizes commodities bear and matters of Traffique, stuffed their Letters for Italy and other parts, with nothing but wonders and miracles wrought by their false Messiah. As then when the Grand Signior sent to take him, he caused all the Messengers immediately to die, up∣on which other Ianizaries being again sent, they all fell dead with a word on∣ly from his mouth; and being desired to revive them again, he immediately recall'd them to life; but of them one∣ly such who were true Turks, and not those who had denied that faith in which they were born, and had profest. After this they added, that he went voluntarily to prison, and though the gates were barr'd and shut with strong Locks of Iron, yet that Sabatai was seen to walk through the streets with a numerous attendance, and when they laid Shackles on his neck and feet, they not onely fell from him, but were converted into Gold, with which he gratified his true and faith∣ful believers and disciples. Some Mi∣racles Page  100 also were reported of Nathan, that onely at reading the name of any particular man, or woman, he would immediately recount the Story of his, or her life, their sins or defaults, and accordingly impose just correction and penance for them. These strong reports coming thus confidently into Italy and all parts, the Iews of Casel di Monferrato resolved to send three persons in behalf of their society, in the nature of extraordinary Legates, to Smyrna, to make inquiry after the truth of all these rumors, who ac∣cordingly arriving in Smyrna, full of expectation and hopes, intending to present themselves with great Humi∣lity and Submission before their Mes∣siah and his Prophet Nathan, were en∣tertain'd with the sad news, that Sa∣atai was turned Turk, by which in∣formation the Character of their Em∣bassy in a manner ceasing, every one of them laying aside the formalitie of his function, endeavoured to lodge himself best to his own conveni∣nce. But that they might return to their brethren at home, with the Page  101 certain particulars of the Success of the affairs, they made a visit to the brother of Sabatai; who still conti∣nued to perswade them, that Sabatai was notwithstanding the true Mes∣siah, that it was not he who had ta∣ken on him the habit and form of a Turk, but his Angel or Spirit, his bo∣dy being ascended into Heaven, un∣til God shall again see the season, and time to restore it, adding fur∣ther, that an effect hereof they should see by the prophet Nathan, certified, now every day expected, who ha∣ving wrought Miracles in many pla∣ces, would also for their Consolation, reveal hidden secets unto them, with which they should not onely remain satisfied, but astonished. With this onely hope of Nathan, these Le∣gates were a little comforted, resol∣ving to attend his arrival, in regard they had a Letter to consign into his hands, and according to their instru∣ctions, were to demand of him the grounds he had for his Prophesies, and what assurance he had, that he was divinely inspir'd, and how these Page  102 things were reveal'd unto him, which he had committed to Paper, and dis∣persed to all parts of the World. At length Nathan arrives near Smyrna, on Friday the third of March, to∣wards the Evening, and on Sunday these Legates made their visit to him: But Nathan, upon news of the success of his beloved Messiah, began to grow sullen and reserved; So that the Legates could scarce pro∣cure admittance to him; all that they could do was to inform him, that they had a Letter to him from the brother-hood of Italy, and com∣mission to conferr with him concern∣ing the foundation and authority he had for his prophesies; but Nathan refused to take the Letter, ordering Kain Abolafio a Chocham of the City of Smyrna to receive it; so that the Legates returned ill contented, but yet with hopes at Nathan's arrival at Smyrna to receive better satis∣faction.

But whil'st Nathan intended to enter into Smyrna, the Chochams of Constantinople, being before advised Page  103 of his resolution to take a Journey into their parts, not knowing by which way he might come, sent their Let∣ters and Orders to Smyrna, Prussia, and every way round, to hinder his passage, and interrupt his journey; fearing that things beginning now to compose, the Turks appeas'd for the former disorders, and the minds of the Iews in some manner setled, might be moved, and combustions burst out afresh, by the appearance of this new Impostor; And therefore dispatc∣ed this Letter as followeth.

Page  104

To you who are the Shepherds of Israel, and Rulers, who reside for the great God of the whole World, in the Citie of Smyrna, which is Mother in Israel, to her Princes, her Priests, her Iudges, and espe∣cially to the perfect wise men, and of great experience, may the Lord God cause you to live before him, and delight in the multitude of Peace, Amen, so be the will of the Lord.

THese our Letters are dis∣patched unto you, to let you understand, that in the place of your Holiness, we have heard that the learned man, which was in Gaza, cal∣led Natan, Benjamin, hath pub∣lished Page  105 Vaine Doctrines, and made the World Tremble at his Words and Inventions; And that at this time we have re∣ceiv'd Advice, that this man some dayes since, departed from Gaza, and took his Journey by the way of Scanderone, inten∣ding there to Imbarke for Smyr∣na, and thence to go to Constan∣tinople, or Adrianople: And though it seem a strange thing unto us, that any Man should have a desire to throw himself into a place of Flames, and Fire, and into the Sparkes of Hell; notwithstanding we ought to fear, and suspect it; For the Feet of Man alwayes guide him to the worst: Wherefore we Under-written do Advertise you, that this Man coming Page  106 within the compass of your Ju∣risdiction, you give a stop to his Journey, and not suffer him to proceed farther, but presently to return back. For we would have you know, that at his coming, he will again begin to move those Tumults, which have been caused through the Imaginations of a New Kingdome; And that Miracles are not to be Wrought every day.

God forbid that by his com∣ing the People of God should be destroy'd in all places where they are, of which he will be the first, whose Blood be up∣on his own Head: For in this Conjuncture, every little Error or Fault is made Capital. You may remember the Danger of Page  107 the first Combustion: And it is very probable that he will be an occasion of greater, which the Tongue is not able to ex∣press with Words. And there∣fore by Vertue of Ours, and Your own Authority, you are to hinder him from proceed∣ing farther in his Journey, up∣on paine of all those Excom∣munications which Our Law can Impose, and to force him to return back again, both he, and his Company. But if he shall in any manner Oppose you, and Rebel against your Word, your Indeavours and Law are sufficient to hinder him, for it will be well for him and all Israel.

Page  108-109For the Love of God, let these Words enter into your Eares, since they are not vain things; for the Lives of all the Iewes, and his also, consist therein. And the Lord God behold from Heaven, and have pitty upon his People Israel, Amen. So be his holy Will:

Written by those who seek your Peace.

  • Ioam Tob, Son of Chanania Iacar.
  • Moise Benve∣niste.
  • Isaac Alce∣nacagne.
  • Ioseph Ka∣zabi.
  • Samuel A∣cazsine.
  • Caleb Son of Chocham, Samuel de∣ceased.
  • Moise Barn∣do.
  • Elihezer A∣luff.
  • Iehoshuah Ra∣pael Ben∣veniste.

By these meanes Nathan being dis∣appointed of his Wandring Progress, and partly ashamed of the event of Page  110 Things contrary to his Prophesie, was resolved, without entring Smyrna, to returne again: Howsoever he obtained leave to visit the Sepulcher of his Mo∣ther, and there to receive Pardon of his Sins (according to the Institution of Sabaai before mentioned) but first washed himself in the Sea, in man∣ner of Purification, and said his Tephil∣la, or Prayers, at the Fountain, called by us the Fountain Sancta Veneranda, which is near to the Cymetry of the Iewes, and then departed for Xio, with two Companions, a Servant, and three Turks, to conduct him, without admitting the Legates to Audience, or answering the Letter which was sent him, from all the Communities of the Iewes in Italy. And thus the Embasy of these Legates was con∣cluded, and they returned from the place from whence they came, and the Iewes again to their Wits, following their Trade of Merchandize and Bro∣kage as formerly, with more quiet, and advantage, then the meanes of re∣gaining their Possessions in the Land of Promise. And thus ended this mad Page  111Phrensie amongst the Iewes, which might have ••st them dear, had not Sabatai Reno•••t his Messiaship at the Feet of Mahomet.