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in a Jewish paper in London, thus describes the painful condition of the poor Jews :
“ Rome, Dec. 13, 1846. We have had • Sirocco,' or south wind weather, with thunder, and lightning, and torrents of rain, enough to satisfy the most greedy admirer of the grand and picturesque. The peculiar warm wind which blows from the sea, in addition to the great rains here, and the floods descending from the mountains, caused the Tiber suddenly to rise Wednesday night, to such a degree that the water was four feet deep in the Corso,' from the • Porto del Popolo' to the Post Office; and in the “Ghetto,' or Jews' quarter, which is the lowest part of the city, and adjoining the river, it was up to the second floor windows. Boats were launched in the streets, and Rome was converted into a Venice; the water was in the shops of the Corso,' in some places four feet high-boats plying about. So was it in the
Ghetto;' people were prisoners in their houses, and almost starving. We had driven to the entrance of the 'Ghetto,' on Thursday, but could not recognise it: people were all at the windows above, and boats were carrying bread to the poor Jews ; they were of course unable to move, the water being up to the second floor windows; all furniture and goods were destroyed, so suddenly it came on. As the water had gone down as suddenly yesterday, the wind having changed towards the sea, driving the river in that direction, I walked towards the " Ghetto- La long way from my residence; the water had gone down' and left a sediment like the banks of the Thames when the tide is down. The desolation, listress, and silence, were most affecting. I was
surrounded by all the poor people, men, women, and children ; they did not know I was one of their faith, until I began asking after the synagogues, which, I am happy to say, being situated on higher ground, were undamaged and safe. An old woman guessed I was an Ebreo,' and asked me; when I said “Yes,' I thought she would have hugged me. Some respectable Jews came forward and took me to see the desolation, and I went through a dirty dark house on to a wooden bridge, which they had constructed across the houses; a great crowd assembled and followed me. Soon after Mr. T. came, followed by several other respectable Jews; I was glad to hear his house was untouched he told me that several illustrious personages had been to see them in their distress. The Prince Borghese went himself in a boat, and took them bread ; I think this disaster may eventually do good to the Jews, for I have heard all persons express the utmost sympathy for them. I do hope that this excellent and liberal-minded Pope will better their condition."
MISSIONS TO THE JEWS.
The Rev. G. Solbe's journal, recently forwarded to the Society, contains many interesting statements of the effects of Christian kindness and labours amongst the Jews in Smyrna. When the calamitous fire destroyed most of the houses of the poor Jews, the inissionaries were the
means of greatly alleviating their distress. Contributions were sent to them through their administration, and they were thus privileged to shew the true nature of Christian benevolence and charity. Many a homeless sufferer did they relieve; many a sad heart did they cheer; and though they themselves were sufferers by the heavy visitation, though their own dwellings and property were destroyed, yet they were enabled to "look not on their own circumstances alone, but also to regard the welfare of those who were still more deeply afflicted."
In differences which arose amongst the Jews, the services of the missionaries were kindly rendered and gladly received, and the impressions which were made by these means are gratefully remembered.
The letter in the following extracts from Mr. Solbe's journal, signed by more than six hundred Jews, proves how deep an impression has been made on many hearts. Truly we ought to " thank God and take courage.” It will be seen that the great obstacle which presents itself at Smyrna, as in other stations, is the difficulty of finding employment for those who are led to believe in the Lord Jesus. It is a difficulty which exists in some countries, in India especially, amongst the Gentiles as largely as amongst the Jews, and it shews the necessity of much greater liberality on the part of Christians, in order to the adoption, if it be possible, in the principal missionary stations, of some plan which may afford employment, whilst it helps to support those who suffer the loss of all things for Christ's sake. In the mean time, amidst all the opposing trials, we must be more earnest in prayer for a larger measure of the Holy Spirit's influence, and for wisdom and faith, to guide and sustain those who are bearing “the burden and heat of the day.”
The following extracts will illustrate our remarks :
Sept. 22, 1846.-Went to the Jewish quarter with Mr. Hirschfeld and Philip Russo. We visited ten or twelve Jewish families, and were received by all with the greatest kindness and attention. A great number of Jews followed us from house to house, and listened to all we said with the greatest respect; it was really delightful to witness the kind reception which the descendants of faithful Abraham gave to Christian missionaries.
“ Oct. 6.-It being now the Feast of Tabernacles, I visited, accompanied by my wife, several Jewish families, both of the rich and poor parties. Amongst others we called, having been so invited to do, on Senhor Messeri and family: Senhor M. is an influential man amongst the rich Jews. He received us with the greatest courtesy, and conversed with me a long time. Indeed, rich and poor, wherever we called, gave us a hearty welcome.
“ Oct. 20.-We have received a letter signed by upwards of 600 Jews, of which the following is the translation :
" "To the respectable and philanthropic Messrs. Solbe and Hirschfeld, missionaries at Smyrna.
Respected Gentlemen,-We, the undersigned, your humble and devoted servants, neither know nor can find terms sufficient to thank you for the great kindness you
have shown to us in assisting us in our difficulties and differences in our community. We shall never cease to offer up our prayers to the Supreme Being for your health, prosperity, and happiness, during a long series of years. We still beseech you, since you have had the goodness to help us thus far, to persevere in this pious work; and for the love of God, to continue your kindness to us, by assisting and supporting us till our difficulties are over. We acknowledge you gen. tlemen in this affair, and trust you will defend our cause with fervour.
si In the mean time we are, with profound esteem and respect, Gentlemen,
6. Your most devoted and humble servants.""
Respecting the school, Mr. Solbe thus writes: - It is, then, with sincere pleasure and with humble thanks to God, that we now say with regard to this branch of our labours, “ Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”
Nov. 6.-Our pupils have lately been learning the Ten Commandments in English, and this has brought on many discussions on most important subjects. This morning Isaac maintained the doctrine, that a righteous son may, through his righteousness, obtain from God the forgiveness of a wicked father's sins. I requested him to open the Bible and to read attentively the eighteenth chapter of Ezekiel. He did so, and felt quite confused when he read, “ The soul that sinneth it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, &c.” I then exhorted him to read the Scriptures with more attention, and not to suffer himself to be led away from God's Word by the doctrines of men.