Imagini ale paginilor

ministers with bis own intense love for Israel ; and in a recent letter he makes the extraordinary statement, from authority on which he could depend, that in the forty years preceding 1853, there had been baptized in Silesia alone 6000 Jews, of whom a large proportion were believed to be under serious impressions of the truth as it is in Jesus. He refurs to our devoted female missionary in the town of Gorlitz, and states his belief that she has found access to every Jewish family in the place, from the Rabbi downward, and his hope that her zealous labours will be crowned with a blessing. In regard to his personal labours, I shall just read a few sentences from his letter of last month, relating a visit which be paid to a respectable Jewish family in a village across the Bohemian frontier : “ The colporteur and I arrived about noon, and remained till next morning; and literally, from the time I entered the house till eleven at night, I was not suffered to be silent five minutes. With L. himself and his daughter I had long and earnest conversation; the beart of the latter is very tender, but Mrs L. was the person to whom I trust the visit was especially blessed. Our colporteur contemplated her with wonder as she sat listening to the word, and whispered to a neighbour that such things as these she had never heard before. When I touched on the passage, they shall look on Him whom they have pierced,' sho asked her busband where that was. He took the Hebrew Bible and trauslated it to her literally from the Hebrew. She was much affected, and would seemingly have sat up all the night. Next morning she said, 'I think the reason why our fathers did not receive Him was that He came as a common man, and not as a prince or in the clouds of heaven.' This led me to explain Isaiah liii. Her husband said, 'It is the truth; we cannot say a word against it.' She burst into tears, and said, “To think that we are thus straying and wandering like lost sheep, crying and praying, and not knowing whether we are heard, and the Messiah is there.' It was an affecting sight, this Israelitish family thus bowing their hearts before the Redeemer. There is still something to forbid water, till the Holy Ghost come down with His baptism of fire ; but I left with a heart full of thankfulness to God, and hope of a full blessing through the prayers of God's people.” With regard to the schools at Pesth, they had this year the interesting fact, bitherto, he supposed, unexampled, of a large number of Jewish parents, not only sending their children to a Christian school, but paying Christian missionaries for giving their children an education in which the New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ is daily taught, explained, and enforced. No doubt their object was that their children should get ou better in the world; but there must be a wonderful removal of prejudice on the part of pareuts to induce them to go so far These boys and girls would leave school with their prejudices against Christianity weakened or removed, or probably turned into prepossession in its favour. Since the Disruption, probably about 2000 altogether had passed through the schools. Now, these children, grown to be men and women, read in their Bibles, or hear in their synagogues, the 22d Psalm, the 53d of Isaiah, or the 12th of Zechariab, and I think I may venture to say that many of them will never all their lives be able to hear the words,“ They pierced my hands and my feet,” “ He was led as a lamb to the slaughter," " They shall look on me whom they have pierced,” without awakening the thought of Christ, and Him crucified. (Applause.) The report then referred to the influence brought to bear upon parents through the verses repeated at home by the children attending the schools at Constantinople, and the hymns they sing. At Prague three proselytes had been baptized during the year--two young Jewish ladies and a young man—who will assist the missionary as a colporteur. There also, year after year, Jewish prejudices are being taken out of the way. The missionaries at Constantinople say that many of the educated young Jews now acknowledge that Jesus of Nazareth was a good man, and that He was ill-treated by their fathers. Mr Moody Stuart then proceeded - The only other subject I shall take up is that of the Hungarian Bohemian bursaries. For them I am sorry we have not half the funds that we require—between L.200 to L.300 a-year. One of the students, now a minister in Bohemia, has translated the Shorter Catechism into the Bohemian or the Czech language. The other is the active centre of evangelistic labours over a wide district of his native country. The first of our Hungarian students is our professor of Church History in their central college of Debrnecsin, and who writes in terms of warmest gratitude towards this Church, as indeed they all do. To-night I feel that we are strong in the cause of Israel by the presence of my revered and beloved friend, Dr Cappadose. (Applause.) His name is well known to you all. It is a name long known and honoured in the whole Christian world, and recently brought out more prominently by the active interest hé took in the release of Matamoras from a Spanish prison. Dr Cappadose is the lively centre of a devoted and influential circle of Christians at the Hague. He is not indeed the direct fruit of Christian missions to the Jews ; but what is still more interesting, he owes his couversion, under God, to the Old Testament Scriptures, and this gives us great encouragement to pray that the veil may be taken off the eyes of Israel when they read Moses and the prophets. The fervour of first love is always refreshing to see ; yet we rejoice over it with trembling, because that goodness is sometimes like the morning cloud and the early dew ; but there is nothing in the Church either so valuable or so honourable as the leaf remaining green and fruit still coming forth fresh in old age. I lived, fourteen years ago, at Dr Cappadose's house at the Hague, and again last year ; and among many honoured Gentile Christians, I have seen nowhere abroad or at home a brighter example both of consistent walk and of the warmth of early love to our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the children of men, than I have found cherished in the house of a Christian Jew.

Dr CAPPADOSE (of the Hague, Holland) spoke at some length, and said, Standing before the honourable Assembly, I cannot conceal my deep emotion for the goodness of God that He permitted me, after a lapse of twenty-one years, to enjoy the privilege to return to Scotland, and to be again in this noble Assembly. In the former time the Free Church had but few years; now she has grown up a stout invigorated man; and I in the fornier time began my address with thanks to God that for the first time in my life I witnessed a really Christian Church enjoying the true liberty, being the entire submission and obedience to the Word of God; and now, reverend fathers, I witness with delight the blessings that the Almighty continually has accorded to you of Christian courage and faith. The Free Church of Scotland stands in the midst of the nineteenth century as a glorious and encouraging witness that the right way of duty is the true way of life and prosperity. And now I hope the honourable Assembly will, with great forbearance and indulgence, hear her brother of the Continent, having but a very small knowledge of your beautiful language ; but bearing on your patience, I have accepted with thankfulness the kind and honourable invitation to come into this House to plead the cause of my old people. Twenty years ago, when I returned home from Scotland, I felt myself compelled to gather together some friends, and search the good for the house of Israel. Now, you must know that we have in Holland more than 60,000 Jews, and Amsterdam alone contains 30,000. They are extremely clinging one to another, and very inaccessible. I raised a Society of Friends of Israel, still existing, and developed by the coming of Dr Schwartz at Amsterdam, several years after my first endeavours. We in the Hague have had in the beginning several missionaries, but experience proved that these had very seldom an opportunity to be in personal intercourse with the Jews on account of their inaccessibleness. I saw the necessity of going on by another way. In my prayer meetings I try more to be useful to my Christian friends in setting before them the dealings of God with His old people. I try to make them know their firm and hopeful prospects in giving simply explanations of the prophecies, and explain the best means to speak with the Jews. In so doing, I interested more the Christian in the holy sake of Jesus, showing that it is a very duty of every Christian man to promote, in the midst of the many Israelites, the true knowledge of the way of salvation. So doing, I awoke love for Israel in the hearts of my hearers; and many a workman in his own way became a very good evangelist to the Jews. You see this is an indirect but still powerful manner to bring the glad tidings of the Gospel to the followers of the law. It is in my eye needful to follow this way. I remember former days in my youth, when a missionary of one or other Society of Friends of Israel came to our house in his official character, I was strong against him; and the very idea that the object that this man came to me was to bring me to Christendom, armed me with the decided thought to resist him; but when an ordinary Christian, not an official man, spoke to me on Christendom, well, then, I listened to him. Your mission at Amsterdam extended, by the zealous efforts of brother Dr Schwartz in a remarkable way, the labours I proposed in this field. We have worked together in the same spirit, however with some difference in the manner of working. He has worked by means of two well. fitted Christian misssionaries—I by the instrumentality of many workmen not regularly and officially adapted to this work of evangelisation. But, coming to my prayer-meetings, many workmen obtained a good knowledge of the principal historical parts of the Old Testament, and they are well prepared to show forth to their Jewish fellow-workmen the arguments to prove the fulfilment of the prophecies in the blessed Lord and true Messiah. Thus has been many sinners blessed by them. Once it happened between a mason and his Jewish assistant. Well, he was listening to his friend, began to search bis own heart, and, having no rest or peace there, he desired almost to have a tru knowledge of the Gospel. He came then to me with his wife. I told him to learn to read; and he came regularly three times a week to me to receive instruction in the Word of God. His heart having been opened by the Spirit of God, be received gladly the good tidings, and enjoys at present the true peace that surpasseth all understanding. He is baptized since

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

with his wife, and proves the truth of his confession by his consistent conduct. So it happened in another case also, by a workman accustomed to frequent my meetings, and well instructed by this regular means in the knowledge of the fulfilled prophecies. He was even as the former, a warm friend of Israel, and spoke often with a good Jew workman, being with him every day occupied in the same business. But this Jew was a more rigid one, much attached to bis own religion ; but he also listened with earnestness to his Christian friend. He became ill; and, after two days, the case was hopeless. In the utmost anxiety of his soul, he cried out for his Christian friend; he must come. He came, and the poor sufferer, in fearful position of mind, desired, in the great emotion of his heart in this solemn moment, that his Christian friend might pour out a hearty supplication to the Almighty God in order to give peace to his extremely agitated soul. But his Christian friend said to

“You know, my good friend, I cannot pray to the Holy God but in the name of the Redeemer, my blessed Lord Jesus, the true Messiah : do you desire that ?" Pray, 0 pray," was the answer. Well, he prayed a most faithful and fervent prayer for this poor Jew, that the Lord would have mercy upon him, and forgive all his sins, by the precious blood of Jesus Christ; and when finished, the dying man took the two hands of his Christian friend, crying out with a loud voice, Amen, Amen." Half an hour after that, he died. This bappened in the presence of his family and several Jews. Well, we may entertain a very good hope of such a deathbed. But not in all cases the efforts we do are so blessed. The last time I myself met with a good learned Jew, he was very friendly, and we had a good conversation. I asked him if be knew what happened with our forefathers when in their tents with the fiery serpents that bit the people. “O yes, sir,” was his answer ; “ Moses was commanded by God to make a serpent of brass, and put it on a pole, so that every one coming out and looking upon the serpent remained in life. I know," he said further, "that you apply this to your Christ, but that is a great mistake: the intention of God was alone that they ought to look on high to the help of God.” “ How is it possible," I replied, “ that thou, a man of good understanding, givest such an explanation? If that was true, for what reason should the Lord have commanded that they should come out and look upon the elevated serpent? Remaining in their tents they could look towards God.” Well, then, I saw in his fearful countenance that the light of truth came to him, but that he rebuked it voluntarily. In general, we can perceive that circumstances we have to deplore in our Church in the Netherlands are indeed not favourable seasons for the conversion of the Jews. Many years ago, several clergymen began the declension in faith by separating the Old Testament from the New. The Old was set aside ; and I venture to say that this is the cause of our desolate state. They may not be separated one from another; both together formed one living Word of God. I remember the judgment of the wise King Solomon when the two mothers came to him as the judge, with a living and a dead child : the one says, The living oue is mine ; no, says the other, He is mine. The king commanded the living must be cut in two, and each mother could have the half. The true mother's heart could not insist, and cried out, “Give the living to her.” Well, so it is with the Word of God. Old and New Testament is one living book of God; and from the very time that the Christian Church forgot that she is established on Israelitish ground, she was near her decay. Nevertheless, it remains true, indeed, that love for Israel is the best means to gain them for Christ. I will prove that by history. When we study the history of the Christian Church in relation to Israel's conversion, then we find that there is a constant relation between the measure of development of the Christian's life of faith and the manifestation of faithfulness in the Christian Churcb, and between the accession of Iraelites to the gospel. Out of this view we are enabled to divide the whole history of the Church, after the apostolic age, in synchronic order, with the history of the Jews in behalf of their conversion, in three epochs. In the first ages of the apostles and apostolical men, every year, by the flourishing state of the Church in doctrine, and conduct of the Christians, by the warm love for Israel, and by her continual extension, thousand and thousand conversions of Jews engraft the number of church members. Just at this time, the first charity being not yet declining, the zeal not yet diminished, a great number of Israel ites came to the acknowledgment of the true Messiah. Even so remarkable it was, in the second place, how, in the long series of years in which the universal hardening of the heart and enmity against Christians was observed amongst the Jews, just in this period the gradual degeneration and decay of the Christian Church took place : so that, instead of the prayer for Israel, the threatenings; instead of the sword of the spoiler, which is the Word of God, the murderer's sword ; instead of the fire of cbarity, the fire of brand-stapels seemed to be taken as the most convenient means of bringing the Jews to the acceptance of the Christian faith. In the third place, both the history of the Jews and of the Christian Church iustruct us that from the very time that charity and prayer for Israel were anew exercised in a great deal by the Christian Church in different lands, a greater opening for the acceptance of the evangelical truth took place on the side of Israel. He that is no stranger in history agrees certainly with me, that in a Church wherein the service of a Three-one God was united with the service of images and divination of man, and where the so-called “chevaliers of the cross” have opened themselves a way to the grave of the King of the Jews by streams of Jewish blood; in such a time the season for the Jew to learn a true knowledge of the spirit of Christendom was not a favourable one. On the contrary, I venture to say that, by such horrible fruits of a so-called Christian zeal, the heart of the Jew must undoubtedly have been hardened in his unbelief. These threefold observations fix our attention, not alone on the very source of the lamented deadness which covered the heart of Israel during centuries, but opened in the same time, for the future, a most cheerful prospect; yea, tends powerfully to encourage us to go forth stretching out our hands with the spiritual armour of continual prayer, of unwearied love, in connexion with the Biblical instruction to the swerving Jew-such was the doing of Jesus, such of the Apostles. With what great a blessing the Apostle Paul, whose immediate calling was to be an Apostle of the Gentiles, has also laboured under Irsael ; but he does not use other means than a weary heart of love and true instruction in the prophetical writings, and these means have been greatly blessed by the Lord. The apostolic man of the second and third century manifested the same sympathy for the guilty, and therefore utterly pitiful, people of the Jews; and how many hundred of those have

« ÎnapoiContinuați »