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two Jewish children were placed under the auspices of the Society in the year in which it was commenced. A
young Rabbi from Jerusalem, very learned in Rabbinical literature, became an inquirer into the truth of Christianity, and was placed under the care of a clergyman, by whom he was instructed in the English, Latin and Greek languages, and who gave satisfactory evidence of the sincerity of his profession.
Many tracts were published and distributed amongst the Jews, and their attention was greatly excited towards the all-important questions now for the first time so prominently brought before them.
The Committee found, as already intimated, that they had many difficulties to contend with, and in their Report for the third half-year, they refer especially to the ignorance of the poorer class of the Jews; and to the opposition which was shewn to all who were suspected of desiring instruction from the lips of a Christian teacher. They remark : “ For the benefit of adult Jews, a Sunday School has been commenced, for the purpose of teaching those to read who may be disposed to attend. The great ignorance of these people can scarcely be credited: they are taught first to read IIebrew, without understanding it, and very few, comparatively, are instructed in the English language. Hence they are not able to make use of the Scriptures to profit, and thus they become proper subjects of superstition and prejudice"
Of the other hindrance to the spread of in. quiry amongst the Jews, the Report referred to
" The blessing of God on the efforts of this Society, like the influences which accompanied the mission of Moses, has roused many Jews from the slumber of their superstitions, who are already saying, “ We will
because our God is with you.' But a great difficulty stands in the way of these people; a difficulty, in its consequences, not less apparently fatal than that which the Red Sea presented ; in that case with the enemy behind them and the sea before them, there appeared to be no chance of escape from the sword and the waves. In the present case, the slightest disclosure of a tendency of mind to examine the truths of the Christian dispensation excites persecution, and threatens consequent distress and ruin.”
In one instance “ An aged man brought two children for reception into the school, and also expressed his wish to attend the service of the chapel himself, from conviction of the truth of the Messiahship of our Lord Jesus Christ. No sooner was it known that he had been to the Jews' Chapel, than he was assaulted by his brethren, who not only broke his windows and injured his furniture, but declared they would murder him if he fell into their hands. For a time, the Society was obliged to furnish him with the protection of a constable, but, imprudently venturing into the street without his defender, the Jews seized him, and beat him with sticks in so dreadful a manner, as to cover the poor old man with bruises.”'
In another instance, “ A young man, in consequence of attending the Chapel, was thrown out of bread. He applied to the Society to assist bim in procuring some way of livelihood. They
endeavoured to get him employment in Leadenhall market, where it was no sooner discovered that he was a Jew, than every man in his own trade refused to work with him. A second effort was made to procure him employment in another line of business, and on proposing to bind him apprentice, all the men in the employ declared they would quit their master if he took a Jew as an apprentice.” Thus, on the one hand, the Jews persecuted the inquirer, because he sought to know the truth; and on the other, the Gentiles, professing to be Christians, refused to work with him because he was a Jew.
On these accounts, it was determined to establish a house of industry, in which some kind of handicraft or manufactory might be carried on, by which these poor people could earn their daily bread. To accomplish this, a separate fund, called “the building fund," was commenced, and subscriptions were earnestly entreated for it, that this most necessary object might be accomplished. It was also determined that subscribers of twenty guineas at one time should be Governors of the Society; half of their subscription was to be paid to the building fund.
The encouragements which it pleased God to grant to the Society, were, notwithstanding their many trials, sufficient to strengthen their hands and gladden their hearts. The number of children under their care, amounted now to forty-four. Many copies of the Scripture, in the German and Portuguese languages, were distributed, and several Jews were received by baptism into the Church of Christ. The Committee thus expressed the grateful feelings of their hearts : “ They cannot refrain from making a few observations upon
the remarkable events which took place on the 13th instant,* in the sight of many
persons: they allude to the baptism of several persons of the house of Israel, as the sign of their public avowal of their faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah.
Since the days of the Apostles, there is no account on record of so many Jews, on one day, making a voluntary public profession of faith in the crucified Redeemer. Well may it be said : • Blessed are your eyes; for they see.'
Christians ! in the spectacle of yesterday, exhibited by twenty-four children and sons of Abraham, putting on Christ, behold the great wave sheaf, waved before the altar as the first fruits of our Lord's spiritual harvest. Hear ye His words :
Say not, there are yet appointed times, and then cometh the harvest : Behold, I say unto you;
up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white already to the harvest :' and although one may sow and another may reap, yet,
He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal : that both he that soweth, and he that reapeth, may rejoice together.'”
NATHAN, OR THE POWER OF LOVE AND
In last year's volume, we presented our readers with a series of extracts from “ Seligmann, or the Leaven of the Gospel in a Jewish Family.” The small volume which contains that true history,
* June, 1810.
contains also another equally true and interesting, whose title stands at the head of this paper. The author of the two memoirs, himself a Jewish convert, and a faithful and long-tried labourer in the missionary field, in a brief introduction says, “ I was relating a story to a dear child, a short time since, and when I had finished he exclaimed, What a beautiful story! but is it true?' I was happy to be able to reply in the affirmative, but added, “Supposing that the story were not true, what then?' It would not be so beautiful,' was the answer.
Though the following narratives may not be richly adorned or embellished, yet I rejoice to say they are true; not merely historically true ; but they set before us in living examples, the power of eternal truth.”*....
- Towards the close of the last century a respectable and opulent man, kept a retired inn in a secluded part of the village of M-, in HThough wealthy, and possessed of an abundance of earthly goods, one care pressed heavily upon his heart. His son, who ought to have been the joy and comfort of his life, was wild and dissolute, and set at defiance the commandments both of God and man. One day the innkeeper having occasion to purchase stock and provisions, went with his servants to the neighbouring town, leaving his son in sole charge of the house. Towards evening, an aged sickly Jew, named Eleazer, who needed rest and refreshment, turned aside into the lonely inn : he asked for a little straw, in order to repose his weary limbs and strengthen himself to pursue his
* Introduction to Seligmann and Nathan, published by Wertheim and Macintosh, 24, Paternoster-row.