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among all people from the one end of the earth even unto the other-that among these nations we should find no ease, nor rest for the soles of our feet—that we should have a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind.' Deut. xxviii. 25, 37, 43, 59, 64, 65. Overawed by the terrible majesty of Jehovah, whose presence I felt to be near in this His holy law, I shuddered beneath these denunciations which seemed to sound anew from Mount Ebal. The fearful reality of this awful punishment I could not but see experienced by our people to this very day. Once more I turned to the book, and conscience-smitten I read, • Even all nations shall say, WHEREFORE hath the Lord done thus unto this land ? What MEANETH the heat of this great anger ? Then men shall say, BECAUSE they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them forth out of the land of Egypt.' Deut. xxix. 24, 25.
“ Ashamed and confounded, I was about to close the book of God, as if to silence an accusing law, when my eyes fell upon the very words which seemed to come to me from heaven, and I read as follows:
:- And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, and shalt return unto the Lord thy Go and shalt obey His voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart and with all thy soul ; that then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations whither the Lord thy God
hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the utmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee. And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed. and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.' Deut. xxx: 1-5.
“ At beholding this passage my eyes grew dim —my heart faint. I hid my face in my hands and wept.
The truth flashed upon my mind. Hitherto, in looking at our afflictions, I could think only of the enmity of our persecutors, or at most, of the sins of our forefathers ; but now I felt that we had overlooked an awful truth. I felt that, however wickedly we were treated by the Gentiles, we were suffering FOR SINS, and I clearly saw that though the sins of our fathers have sent us into captivity, it is our sins which have KEPT US THERE! Deeply, deeply did I feel that not their sins but our own are the cause of our sorrows, and painfully did I recall the words of the prophet, “In those days they shall say no more, the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge; but every one shall die for his own iniquity. Every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.' Jer. xxxi. 29, 30. I sat, terror stricken, condemned by the holy law-abashed before my own conscience-I felt that we
that I-had not yet returned to the Lord our God.
“ The more I meditated, the more I felt that our people greatly deceived themselves. I called to mind that when our fathers were yet in the holy land, if any man sinned, he brought an offering to the priest, and an atonement was made for him. I then thought of our present helpless state, that we have neither temple nor sacrificeprophet nor king—and I was reminded of the words of the prophet Hosea, who anticipates this very state of ours in these words; For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim : afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God and David their king, and shall fear the Lord, and his goodness in the latter days.' · Hosea iii. 4, 5. From this the truth, that our nation is in a dreadful state of apostacy, once again struck my conscience! for it is obvious that this prophecy describes the present fallen and sinful state of our people, and marks our condition, as at once deprived both of the ordinances and favour of God. And now can you wonder if after this I was anxious to discover what were my sins, and the sins of our nation, which for so many centuries had separated between us and our God? and if, on examination, I detected that sin, ought I not immediately to forsake it, and to return to the Lord our God?”
When in this state of mind, the New Testament was given to the awakened Israelite. The idolatry of the Romish Church and the immoral conduct of Christians-so opposed to the teaching of the Sacred Volume-added to the anxiety of his mind : “ But,” he continues, “what distressed me most of all, and what distracted my soul to the uttermost, was the uncertainty and suspense of my state. I was haunted by doubts and misgivings. Whilst in the night watches I read the New Testament, and examined care
fully its contents, then my confidence increased, and I entertained not the least doubt, but believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Melech Hamosheeck, and that Christianity was true; but when in the morning I re-entered the world, and fell into conversation with Christians, and sought to find in their life and conduct, confirmation of what I read in the New Testament, then indeed I was sadly disappointed, and my doubts and apprehensions returned, and I dreaded, lest after all, I might be deceived.
“One day, when an old acquaintance of my father's paid him a visit, I overheard them speaking of a Christian gentleman who lived near us. The visitor mentioned some very liberal donations which that very morning had been made to a charitable institution by our Christian neighbour; and furthermore stated, that this gentleman had, at his own expense, built two churches. This conversation interested me exceedingly, and several times during that day my mind reverted to it. My soul longed for sympathy. My understanding required satisfaction. Many things connected with the subject, which so engrossed my attention, perplexed and distressed me. enquiries to make and many objections to propose.
The idea now suggested itself to me, that I would seek an interview with that excellent Christian, of whose character I had received the most favourable impressions. I resolved to call upon him the following morning. During the night I could not sleep for thinking of the anticipated interview. As the morning advanced, I began to feel some reluctance to carrying my purpose into effect, which chiefly arose from fear of detection. However, I adhered to my resolu
I had many my visit.
tion. At an early hour that morning I found myself at the door of Mr.
and with a palpitating heart I rang the bell. I was shown into a waiting room. For some time I remained there in nervous expectation, and as, at last, I heard footsteps approaching, my courage forsook me; had it not been for the gentlemanly and affable manner with which Mr. entered, and the kindness with which he inquired what was my desire, I could not have uttered a word. Still I hesitated, and he was obliged to repeat the question. I then summoned all my resolution, and with faltering voice told him the object of
To my astonishment and terror, I perceived the pleasing expression of his countenance change into a contemptuous frown. I was about to speak again, when he hastily turned to the door, and opening it, said, “Well, sir, you have come to the wrong place, I have nothing to do with the Jews. Appalled at this unexpected rebuff, I was scarcely able to rise from my seat; and as I moved tremblingly towards the door, I suspected that I had mistaken the house, and stopping short I ventured to enquire whether he was not a Christian? At this he became very angry, and with an oath, ordered me to leave his house.
“ How shall I describe my feelings as I was thus hurried from this Christian dwelling, and heard the door slammed furiously behind me! shame and confusion covered me; I was overwhelmed by various sensations. My poor parents,' I said within myself, · Ah! what disgrace am I bringing down upon you!' The pride of my heart was wounded-it rebelled and demanded revenge. I turned for a moment, and as if to tell