Sivut kuvina

undertaken to distribute a portion of what was left, in their foreign tour. (Report p. 29.)

The Society does not boast much of its success in making converts. Some nominal converts have, however, been made, but the Rev. Author of a Letter addressed to the Bishop of St. David's," has, we understand, found to his cost, that a converted Jew gains no very clear ideas of Christian honesty by the process; having not only detected these hopeful children in levying contributions upon his silver spoons and such light articles; but having been robbed of the communion plate and surplices of his Church, by the convert who had been appointed to the office of Clerk; and having reason to suspect the same person of a forgery upon his banker to the amount of some hundred pounds.

It is said that the letter of Mr. Way, one of the most zealous friends of the Society, contains admissions of its errors and failures; and he draws the same influences of its being an ob ject of peculiar Divine favour from its adversity, which are deduced in regard to the Bible Society from its prosperity. This adversity appears to have been owing to strange mismanagement, and not a little to the too great inference of a well known individual, C. F. Frey. While under his auspices, impostors without number were suffered to prey upon the Society; the most shameful immoralities were practised by its pretended converts; the association itself was disgraced, its income was wasted, the royal patronage which had been obtained, withheld, the public interest lost, and the more respectable Jews insulted, and confirmed in their own faith by the misconduct of those who had undertaken to convert them. Thus in seven years 70,000l. were expended, the Society was on the verge of bankruptcy, and a radical change became necesThe management of affairs was transferred from the Dissenters to members of the Episcopal Church, but the change was more nominal than real; it was sometime before even Frey was dismissed, and the general course of measures was but little changed. With respect to the instruments they have employed, it is astonishing how unfortunate or careless they have been in the selection. The immoralities of one are stated to have driven him from the country; another is reported to have been arrested on the charge of forgery, and strongly suspected of sacrilege; a third, the most prominent and active, appears to have deserted his original benefactors, and is charged with having quitted England at last, because detection in practices disgraceful to his moral character rendered his further residence here, or employment by the Society,


impossible. And the fourth is regarded even by his friends with an eye of diffidence.

If we proceed to investigate the conduct of the presumed or pretended converts, the picture will be too disgusting to look upon. If the hitherto uncontradicted narrative of Mr. Goakman be not exaggerated, grievous indeed has been the misapplication of public liberality, and gross the deception of those by whom it has been administered. Even the statements of zealous friends to the Society give little rational ground to hope that they are doing any good. We very much fear that few real Christians have been or will be made. Mr. Abrahams, we suspect, has stated the truth when, adverting to the thousands which have been expended, he says,- What have they bought for their money, but deception? Even those outcasts, which the temptation of money has beguiled to enlist under the banners of that Society, would be exceeding happy to return to their own congregation, if they thought they would be ac cepted.'


We would willingly, says the British Critic, in language we would adopt for our own-we would willingly speak with tenderness of those who have hitherto stood most prominent as the managers of the Society; for, notwithstanding we differ from them respecting the expediency of such an institution, we are always ready to give them credit for a sincere desire to do good, and for an ardent zeal in the prosecution of those designs which they consider to be praiseworthy and beneficial. In regard to the subject in general, it is one of great interest. The apostle's declaration that his heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel was that they might be saved,' has doubtless been echoed by the wishes of all reflecting Christians; who look forward with laudable anxiety to that predicted time, when it shall please God once more to call them to the knowledge of his truth, and the participation of his favour. It is not surprising accordingly, that many pious and learned men, in every age of the Church, have considered it their duty to attempt the promotion of this work and the hastening of this time. From the days of Justin Martyr, to those of Hoornbeck, Limborch, and Spanheim, and our own incomparable Leslie, a long list of writers might be produced, who have laboured in this well intentioned, but hitherto fruitless, work. For as if to shew that "God only knoweth the times and the seasons," and that this is a task which he hath especially reserved for himself, the conversion of a Jew has at all times been as rare, as their whole history is wonderful; and however laudable may have been the designs of these writers, or excellent their performances,



[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

is not sur n. in every attempt the ne. From Limborch, long list of his well in> shew that id that this imself, the re, as their have been formances,

[ocr errors]

they have been utterly unprofitable; the veil is yet upon the heart of the Jews; and until it shall please God to remove that judicial blindness, to which, for wise purposes, he has seen fit to condemn them, we have no reason to expect that others will succeed where they have failed.

[N.B. This article has been in type several months, but excluded by a press of other matter. Later information bas been since received, for which we may possibly find place hereafter.]

Massachusetts Peace Society.-The fourth anniversary meeting of this interesting and flourishing society was holden at Boston on the 25th of December. An address was delivered in the evening at the Old South Church, to a very numerous and attentive audience, by John Gallison, Esq. The speaker took an able and eloquent survey of the various causes, which have hitherto operated to counteract the pacific tendencies of the christian religion, and to maintain the custom of war amongst Christians notwithstanding its direct repugnance to their principles ;--and insisted upon the practicability of its final abolition.-After the address, the annual Report was read by the Rev. Noah Worcester, D.D. the corresponding secretary, which comprised a summary history of the origin and progress of the society, and a most encouraging view of its present state and future prospects. We hope, when the Report shall be published, to find room for some of its statements. The lovers of religion and of man must view with unmingled approbation the object of this Institution, and feel the most devont gratitude for the prosperity by which Providence bas been thus far pleased to distinguish it.

Theological Seminary in Cambridge.-The annual visitation of the Theological School in Harvard University, took place on November 17th, in presence of a large number of its patrons and friends. The whole number, of those pursuing Theological studies in their preparation for the Gospel Ministry, is 38. The following is a list of the subjects upon which exercises were exhibited:

1. The Nature of Divine Justice.

2. The character and design of the Mosaic dispensation.

3. Terms of Christian Communion.

4. The account of miracles said to have occurred when Julian attempted to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem.

5. The doctrines of Augustin concerning grace.

6. On the meaning of Thess. iv. 15.

7. On the evidence from the light of nature of a future retribution.

8. On the author and character of the Book of Job.

9. The conduct and views of the Disciples of Christ before his Crucifixion and after his Ascension.

10. Character of Wakefield's Translation of the New Testament.

11. On the state of the soul immediately after death.

12. On the necessity of the study of Natural Theology.

13. On the means of discovering the Divine will, where revelation is silent.

14. On the supernatural character of our Saviour.

15. On the nature of merit.

16. On the value of the morality of the Gospel as a proof of the divine origin of Christianity.

17. On the evidence of Prophecy.


The Editors of the CHRISTIAN DISCIPLE, close their labours for the year, grateful for the encouragement which they have received, and humbly trusting that they have not laboured in vain. The patronage with which the work has been favoured, has exceeded their expectations, and it affords them satisfaction to find that its circulation is constantly increas ing. Animated by their past success, and by their future prospects, they will devote themselves with fresh spirit to the work, in the hope, with the blessing of God, to render it yet more acceptable and more extensively useful.

The uncommon excitement, which has existed, during the past year upon some controverted questions, has unavoidably led them to devote a larger proportion of their pages, than would have been otherwise advisable, to doctrinal discussions. They hope, in future, that there will be less occasion for this. For although they never intend to keep back their opinions on disputed points, yet they never would unnecessarily obtrude them upon these pages which should be sacredly devoted to the holier cause of pious affections and pure living Those, therefore, who have complained that the share, which controversy has had in the numbers of the last year, has left too little room for subjects in which they feel stronger interest, will probably find less reason for the complaint in time to come.

A different complaint demands attention. It is best stated in the words of a distant correspondent, who says, "With whatever ability the work may be conducted, and however much deservedly admired at present by the higher class of readers, it is not suited to the great mass of country subscribers." The Editors will, in future, give their attention to render the work acceptable and interesting to readers of every class. And they call upon their friends and brethren at a distance, and in all parts, to lend their aid by communications or otherwise, to improve the work, and adapt it better to the wants of the community. The experience of one year, with such aid, may be expected to render the attempt of the second more successful. With new cheerfulness, therefore, anxious to serve, to the best of their abilities, the religious interests of their fellow-christians: asking of them only candor and the love of truth, and looking with humble confidence for the approbation of God; they again address themselves to the work.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »