« PreviousContinue »
THE JEWISH ADVOCATE.
TO OUR READERS.
DEAR FRIENDS.-At the beginning of another year, we wish to say a few words to
you pecial reference to the Missionary work amongst God's ancient people. The facts recorded, from time to time, prove that the Gospel is not preached in vain : they prove that there exist no obstacles in the hearts or in the circumstances of the Jews, which it cannot overcome: many a former unbeliever, through its agency, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance and power, now rejoices in the hope and peace which it reveals, and finds in the new, yet everlasting covenant, all his salvation and all his desire. God is faithful, and honours his own word : he is condescending, and honours his creatures as the instruments of dispensing it. Yet how little have we done—how few, how poor, how heartless, have our efforts been. There never existed a period in the history of Christian missions to the Jews, when exertions—prayerful, diligent, self-denying exertions were more needed than they now are. The late scarcity of food, and dearness of necessaries of life, leading to commercial difficulties throughout the kingdom,
have made it impossible that our friends should give as liberally as they were accustomed to do. Many have been compelled to withhold, at least, a part of their usual contributions, and some to withdraw them altogether. After Sermons, and public Meetings, our collections have fallen very far short of their usual amount, and the consequences are that the Committee have not had money to meet the necessary expenditure of the Society, and have been obliged, not only to decline the services of additional missionaries, but also to postpone the printing of useful publications for the Jews, and even of a most important version of the Holy Scriptures themselves.
We, therefore, appeal to you at the beginning of this new year, entreating you to redouble your exertions, seek to influence your young friends and companions, and induce them to help in the good work. Tell them of the awful danger of the Jews—of the love of Jesus for them-of his commands—his invitations—his promises. Tell them of God's purposes of mercy for Zion and her captive children, and through them to a dark and unhappy world. Urge upon them the duty of praying for the Jews : recount some of the many motives which should lead them to seek the good of Jerusalem : point out to them how justice, how gratitude, how pity plead in their behalf, and advance their paramount claim. Let this year be new to you, as to the extent of your exertions for the Jews ; and though you may not accomplish all you desire, nor succeed in influencing many to unite with you in this good work; yet you will have the approving testimony of your own conscience, and may be comforted by the words of our adorable Lord,
once addressed to a daughter of Israel, “ she hath done what she could.” Ever, dear friends, your faithful servant,
THE EDITOR. January 1st, 1848.
BIBLE HISTORY OF THE JEWS.
CHAPTER XXXII. UPON this, Saul sought his life again, and so fiercely, that at last David was obliged to fly away from him ; first to Ramah, where Samuel abode, and thence (because Saul pursued him thither, violating the sacred retreat of the Prophet) into the wilderness.
There (after very carefully committing his father and mother to the care of the King of Moab, till it should appear what God would do for him) he abode some while; gathering about him a troop or company of some hundreds of men, who perhaps followed him from Saul's service out of love and admiration, and who were necessary for the protection of his person against Saul. For Saul did not cease to pursue him into the wilderness : so that David could not remain long in one place ; but went from stronghold to stronghold ; now entrenched in the mountain cave of Adullam ; now in the deep forest of Hareth ; sometimes almost circumvented by Saul and his army, but still, by God's help, escaping from their hands.
Once indeed, when the Philistines go up to besiege Keilah (a city of Judah), David is moved to leave the wilderness, and to go to help his countrymen. He does so, with the sanction of God; he “smote the Philistines with great slaughter,” and “ saved the inhabitants of Kei. lah." “ And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah : and Saul said, God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars.” He goes down to besiege David there : but again David escapes from him, and secures himself in the wilderness of Ziph : and after that, in the wilderness of Maon and of Engedi : perpetually and hotly pursued of Saul.
6 Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand.”
All this time, David had no hate against Saul ; nay, would gladly have been his servant, as in times past; but the evil spirit in Saul would not understand that. Twice indeed, when Saul was pursuing “David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats,” David surprised him as he lay asleep, and cut off the skirt of his garment, and might have slain him as he lay. But David would not injure the Lord's anointed. When Saul awoke, he “ rose up out of the cave and went on his way; David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king! And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself. And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men's words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt? Behold this day thine eyes have seen how that the Lord had delivered thee to-day into mine hand in the cave : and some bade me kill thee ; but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord: for he is the Lord's