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two families is very great, and in the synagogue were destroyed five copies of the written word of God, of which the price of one copy is about $200 or £30 sterling. I mention this last circumstance, as perhaps a few of the friends of Israel may be willing to send a sum sufficient to furnish these poor sufferers with one new copy of the word of God, after the fashion in which they must have it at their public service. When I went to visit these Jews, I requested the Rev. Mr. Kalthoff, who lives about six English miles from that village, and who is very active for the welfare of Israel, to yo with me; and it softened, visibly, the sorrows of these poor sufferers to see our sympathy and real love for them. But the Roman Catholics in that place were very much dis. pleased that we should speak in defence of the Jews, and re. fute their error with respect to the use of blood. The enmity against this people has also appeared in other parts of this country, and different attacks have been planned. I therefore went to the Vicar-General of the Archbishop, who is not at present himself here, and requested he would charge all clergymen in this diocess to instruct the people respecting the above false charge, and I am happy to tell you that he has done so, and thus I hope that the present enmity will soon cease. The general superintendent of the Protestant Church in this province does likewise, at my request, send letters to the superintendents that they may request all clergymen to say a word in favor of the Jews, particularly with respect to the above-mentioned vulgar error. May it please the Lord to accompany this with his blessing to the real benefit of Israel, and also to the Christian church !"
The prevailing question among Christians is, “ Where are the fruits of the above-mentioned benevolence and Christian duty towards the Jews ?” To this inquiry I would answer: If one would take into due consideration the labor which is required to remove the heaps of rubbish that have been accumulating for centuries, by nominal Christianity and Roman Catholicism, and also the small number of missionaries who are scattered among the millions of Jews, and the short period which has elapsed since the commencernent of these operations, no surprise would exist that the success has been no greater. · Wherefore I would remark, thirdly, that as far as my own experience goes, I may venture to say that a great work has already been done among them. This conclusion I have drawn from the following observations. Not many years since if a Jew were in any measure religiously disposed, 'he would not have allowed himself to argue about Christianity, although the Jews from childhood are accustomed to argue on the most frivolous subjects. But if any thing respecting Christ were mentioned all would stop their ears, and the name of Jesus would be accompanied with every expression of imprecation and blasphemy, and a sentence of excommunication passed upon any, who either in public or private introduced such a discussion.
The following occurrence will illustrate my assertion. A Polish nobleman had for a factor a rich and learned Jew, whom he attempted to convert to Christianity. The latter listened, but feared to bring forward his objections. The nobleman not being satisfied without a decisive opinion from the Jew, urged him by threats and promises to reply to his arguments. At length he promised to search the Scriptures, and to give an answer after three days. Immediately upon reaching his home, however, and reflecting upon his promise, he began to tear the hair from his head with regret and anguish, lest he had left an impression upon the mind of the nobleman that he had been brought to some serious thoughts respecting Christianity. The three days were employed by the poor Jew in fasting and prayer, and when they had expired he went to the nobleman and passed sentence upon himself, at the same time defining the nature of the penance to be inflicted. In accordance with which, his tongue, hands and feet were mutilated, and he was thrown into the synagogue, where he expired in a few minutes.
Now I would mention the change which has taken place among the Jews in reference to this point, especially where missionaries have visited, and tracts and New Testaments have been distributed. They are not only willing to con. verse on the blessed subject of Christianity, but are also candid to acknowledge many doctrines which it once would have been highly criminal to have done. They formerly regarded Christianity as a system of religion, which had nothing to do with the Bible; and this prejudice exists even now in places unvisited by Protestant missionaries. But thanks be to God, through the united influence of these and of the Bible Society, the Lord has been pleased to lead many
of his ancient people to the knowledge of the true Messiab, and a much larger number to see that Christianity is built apon a rational interpretation of the Law and the Prophets.
They are also now in some measure acquainted with the nature of true Christianity, and have discovered that there are those who love them for Christ's sake ; contrary to what they have experienced from the resident nominal Christians of the lands in which they have sojourned.
I may also confidently assert that there are many among them who truly believe in the Lord Jesus, but are afraid to confess it publicly, like the priests who dwelt at Jerusalem in the time of our Lord. There is even now" a remnant according to the election of grace." I know several in the Holy Land who are thus kept from openly acknowledging the Lord, and have ventured to go to their chief Rabbi at Safed, and declare that they had been led to the conviction that Christ Jesus must be the true Messiah ; and by their own request this Rabbi sent for me, that, by our arguments they might be confirmed either in the faith of Christ, or in Judaism. The Lord so enabled me to exhibit the truth, as that the Rabbi himself became entangled in his own arguments. The subject was thus discussed for several hours, in a friendly manner, before several Rabbies. I scarcely heard the name of Christ blasphemed in all my discussions with them; and those who were familiar with the New Testament, and the beauty of its doctrines and precepts, have ventured to declare publicly that Jesus Christ must have been a very good and wise man. From the respect which they paid to Mr. Nicolayson, and more particularly to me, I was led to suspect at first, that they doubted the sincerity of my profession, and I therefore inquired of them the meaning of their deference towards one who not many years since would have been the object of their utmost contempt and abhorrence. They all declared that they could discover in me the earnestness of my faith in Christ. I was frequently invited to their entertainments, where I was always conducted to a seat among their most respectable Rabbies ; and notwithstanding that the conversation soon turned upon Jesus Christ and him crucified, they did not diminish aught from their respect. I scarcely ever heard from their lips the reproachful name of awa renegade, which not many years since would have been my only epithet among them.
Now I would inquire what has produced this change ; chance, or the weapons of which the Apostle Paul speaks, which are not carnal, but spiritual ? speculative reasoning, or the simplicity of faith? Doubtless every Christian knows what the weapons of our warfare are. The seed has been cast upon the waters, and " he that goeth forth weeping, bearing the precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." No being can tell what may be the success of a work which is accompanied by faith, hope, and prayer. We have not only the command of God to engage in it, but the promise is pledged for its success, when he says that every knee shall bow to the sceptre of his Son; and also, that, “ as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
The SECOND point in which I differ vastly from Mr. H. is in reference to the present state of Judaism. He appears not to have scrutinized it deeply, but has exhibited its outward appearance, disconnected from its absurdities and superstitions, as an object of admiration, and expressed no pity at seeing the law of the living God turned into a root of bitterness, and its holy spirit into sensuality. If the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, in his own days, for having made void the law of God by their traditions, how much more applicable is such a rebuke to the Jews now ? You must not, for a moment, suppose that I mean to charge Mr. H. with falsehood. Far from it; for I must acknowledge that before I became acquainted with the Judaism of the East, or rather, before I had thoroughly looked into the state of religion and morals among them, in consequence of my labors here for the benefit of their souls, my own views were nearly like those of Mr. H. The more I have penetrated, however, into their real condition, the more do I pity ther, and the stronger do I regard my obligations towards them. Many, many times has my heart been broken, and my tears fallen for them. The same motives have led me to examine into the state of Judaism in Europe. In the Holy Land, which is now its garrison and strong hold, may be found a criterion by which to judge of its condition in other lands; since here are to be found spiritual Jews from every part of the world, whose professed zeal and holiness have brought them hither, and of course their Judaism must be of the first stamp, and worthy to be the standard of all their captive brethren.
Before I enter into details, however, let me first say a few words in self-vindication, for exposing the nakedness of my own nation, especially as regards their religious state. I would not have attempted it, but from the fear that you would take Mr. H.'s delineation as a correct statement of the real condition of Judaism. I thought it my duty to make you acquainted with the truth of the matter, without any partiality, and I do not believe that you will think that I have ceased to love my brethren. Although I have not that overpowering affection which constrained the apostle to exclaim, that he could wish himself accursed from Christ for their sakes, yet, I thank God that I can sincerely say, that I love them in no small degree.
I will begin by stating one fact of great importance, of which I was totally ignorant before I came to this country, which will prove that the seasons of the festivals, appointed by God for the Jewish nation, have been annulled and subverted by the oral law of the Scribes and Pharisees, which is now the ritual of the Jews. The season for the feast of unleavened bread is thus defined in Exodus 13: 4: “This day came you out in the month Abib (4x);" also, Ex. 23: 15. “ Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib," 24387 977 7992), literally, “ at the season of the month of green corn,” as it is evident from the parallel word in Ex. 9: 31: " And the flax and the barley was smitten, for the barley was 2x in the ear.”* But, at present, the Jews in the Holy Land have not the least regard to this season appointed and identified by Jehovah, but follow the rules prescribed in the oral law, namely, by adding a month to every second or third year, and thus making the lunar year correspond with the solar. And when the 15th day of Nisan (1043), according to this computation, arrives, they
* Compare Deut. 16: 9; Joshua 3: 15 ; 4: 19; 5: 10, 11, 12.