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The Missionary's Wife: a Memoir of Mrs. M. A. Henderson, of Deme
rara. By her Husband, seventeen years a Missionary in British Guiana.
London: Snow. A BRIEF but deeply-interesting account of one who belongs to the clan of the true “heroines of history.” Women like the subject of this Memoir are the glory of their sex, and the brightest examples of vital Christianity. This slight record of one whose sun went down while it was yet noon, is worthy of universal perusal. It has our hearty recommendation.
We commend the following statement, by one of our London Missionaries, to peculiar attention, as presenting, we believe, a truthful, and certainly an encouraging, view of the state of enlightenment and evangelisation among Jews in this metropolis :
In reviewing my missionary labours, I people are peculiar, and that it is in referhave reason to be thankful to the Lord for ence to them we read in the inspired the many tokens of favour and acceptance volume, “ A nation shall be born in one that have attended the discharge of my day," so that their collective spiritual reduties among my Jewish brethren. Those storation is to be effected by nothing short tokens of favour have been cvidenced by a of omnipotent and sovereign power. Our freer intercourse with a goodly number of mission then, to them, is one of preparaJewish families, and the many opportuni. tion, to preach the Gospel as a testimony ties that have been afforded me to instruct unto them; and we must rejoice for being them in the everlasting truths of the Gos- permitted, in the meantime, to gather here pel. As I have now to call back to my and there one or two to the flock of the mind the incidents of a whole year's work, true Shepherd. it is an occasion of thankfulness to me I must acknowledge with humble gratithat they are reproduced to my mental tude, that the families among whom I was vision in a character indicative of a decided going in and out, through the course of progress of our work among Israel. For- this year, have decidedly been benefited merly, it was our sad experience to see the by my instructions, and advanced in their Jews averse to the very name of a mis- spiritual state with regard to the great sionary, and it was with great difficulty truths that appertain to their soul's salvathat a messenger of the Gospel could en- tion. The word of life and suitable tracts, gage the testimony of a son of Abraham to pointing to Jesus as the Saviour of sinners, the glad tidings of a Saviour. That hos. have been freely circulated, and in many tile state of mind has happily disappeared, cases a spirit of inquiry has been aroused, at least among a considerable class of leading the persons concerned therein from Jews, and, from my own experience, I can a state of enmity and opposition, to conescribe that happy change to nothing else viction and faith that Jesus was the true but to the potent influence of the Gospel Messiah. Great encouragements have been that is being preached around them, and is especially afforded to me in one place, continually brought by the missionaries of where I had ample opportunity to dispense the cross into their very homes and dwell. the glad tidings of the Gospel to a vast ings. Indeed, considering the present state number of foreign Jewish merchants; and of the Jews, and the movements that are in that place I have through the year been in various shapes going on among them, we enabled to preach Christ, and Him crucimjust say the dough is cast, and, by the grace
fied, to German, Polish, Russian, Greek, of the Lord, the whole lump may be evens
and Danish Jews severally, to many of tually leavened. It is true, we should be whom I have reason to believe the hearing delighted if we were privileged to notice of the word has been a savour of life unto an amount of fruit commensurate to our Jile. I could mention different cases of latours; but we must bear in mind, that these strangers, who, after hearing the the plans of Divine wisdom concerning this preaching of the truth, have made it a
matter of earnest inquiry, and have vehemently avowed to me their conviction and faith in the Lord. With almost all of these strangers I am keeping up communication, on their occasional visits to this country; and where an understanding of the truth is still wanting, I am endeavouring from time to time, to continue administering instruction, to add line upon line, and precept upon precept, in humble dependance upon the Divine promise, that the word spoken in His name shall prosper and be fruitful.
As regards the general state of the Jews in my district, it is strikingly observable that their faith in their system is becoming every day more loose and vague; and, although they still confess Judaism, and adhere partially to its observances, they feel that there are some serious defects in their religion, and their state of mind is such, that we may correctly and with propriety say of them, that Christianity appears to stand on their very threshholds. I mean to say, that it is the influence of our preaching that reaches them collectively, and throws rays of light into the midst of darkness and spiritual want in which they dwell. The veil is, however, still on their faces, and they are slow to look to Him who was the end of the law and the prophets. This exhorts us, therefore, to increased activity, prayer, and exertion on their behalf. It is, however, also encouraging to see, that notwithstanding their ignorance and stubborn adherence to their traditional faith, there is not among them the amount of infidelity which might be expected. On the contrary, I observe in my district that the Jews I come in contact with, uniformly believe in Godin His holy and inspired Word, and cherish the expectation of a Messiah who is to redeem them both temporally and spiritually. There is, therefore, reason to hope great things concerning persons in whom the seed of faith is not entirely eradicated or suppressed. Some Jews in my district attend the synagogue on the Sabbath and feast-days, but there are also a good number who visit Christian places of worship, and are more pleased with the Christian method of services than that of the Jews. I am thankful to report, that the Scriptures are now more widely posseseed and studied by the Jews than was the case at former periods of our Mission. This fact, of their possessing now the Word of God more extensively, is certainly owing, first, to our Christian agency; but it may be also traced to the exertions that are of late being made by the Jews themselves, to encourage more widely the study of the
Scriptures among the community. As regards the Jewish youth, my experience in my district has been, that some parents send their children to Jewish schools, but that others send theirs to Christian establishments, where those youths obtain also instruction in the New Testament, and hence is thus instilled into their youthful minds the principles and precepts of the Gospel.
It is a fact, with regard to the Jewish youth, that a great number of them are brought up under the influence of Christian education, and receive at an early age those valuable impressions of our holy religion that cannot fail to prove to them & blessing in their future course, when they shall be called to fill the ranks of their fathers. Oh! that in their case may one day he realised—“A seed shall serve Him, it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.”
To sum up my review of my past year's work, I have to state to you that I have, during that period of time, been privileged to preach salvation by faith in the death and atonement of our Saviour, to some hundreds of Jewish individuals, of whom I have reason to believe a great number have been seriously impressed with the truth, and some have been led by inquiry to conviction and faith, and have become disciples of the Lord, though they have not confessed His name publicly. Some serious inquirers are now under my care, of whom I have given particulars in my former reports.
It would certainly be highly useful and desirable if we could suggest some plans whereby our great work might be facilitated, and our spiritual end more easily attained. But there is one method which must always prove all-sufficient and powerful, a method which the apostles of old have pursued, and that is to address our. selves to every son and daughter of Abraham with the Bible-the Word of truth in our hands, and to convince them from those Scriptures that Jesus is the true Christ, and that by faith in His name only, salvation and the forgiveness of sins are to be obtained.
On the whole, I think we can congratalate ourselves that our work is advancing and making progress. It is slow, but sure. It may be indeed compared to the water that floweth still, but whose current is nevertheless working its way through vast extents and ramifications, until it is seen to lose itself in the ocean itself; so our work, which is but a link in the grand chain of God's ultimate purposes towards His people Israel, although that work is not as yet
attended by greater visible results, is nevertheless continuing its progressive course, fulfilling its divinely-appointed end of earrying the seed of the truth into every part of the Jewish body, until it shall be consummated in the great and glorious event when the Lord will pour His Spirit upon the house of Judah and Jerusalem, and they shall look upon Him whom they
have pierced, and own Him as their Messiah and Redeemer.
May that happy event soon be realised, and to us more grace given, to be more fitted for this holy work, by increasing zeal, and prayer, and faithfulness, so that we may prove worthy of the high calling wherewith we have been called!
Mr. WILKINSON, after giving a cheering view of the interest in his Mission evinced in a considerable provincial town, presents the following sketch of his intercourse with Jews :
I am happy to inform you, that while I during this walk. I went to his house one have reason to believe that God is blessing Sunday morning to invite this gentleman my efforts to interest Christians, my la- and lady to accompany me to a Wesleyan bours amongst the seed of Abraham aro chapel to hear the Rev. W.M. Punshon, and becoming increasingly encouraging. I com- they would have gone had not Mr. L-menced my labours in this department in been summoned to attend on a special jury the shop of a jeweller, who has just taken a at York on that day. Mr. L-- is a very partner into his business. These two Is- intelligent Jew, well acquainted with the raelites are carrying on a large business. I Ilebrew Scriptures, and a most gentlemanly had both of them listening to me for an man to converse with. I presented to him hour and a half one evening, while I of- a tract, “ Salvation through a Mediator;" fered them salvation in the name of Jesus and he told me the other day that he is alone, proving from the Scriptures that Je- writing an answer to it. I am very glad sus was Christ. They heard me and con- that he is taking such a course, for he may versed with me in the most friendly man- be brought in this way to see the truth of ner. I attended synagogue on the follow- that which he attempts to deny. ing Saturday ; after the service one of Whenever I go to the synagogue, Mr. the Jews came to me and shook hands L- invites me to his seat, and assists with me; and as he confessed the night me with my Hebrew prayer-book; other before that he could not answer my ar- Jews having observed this, have spoken to guments in favour of the Messiahship of me and invited me to see them. Thus I am Christ, he introduced me to a merchant gaining a friendly acquaintance with some who was better acquainted with the He- of the most respectable resident Jews. My brew Scriptures and more conversant with labours amongst the poorer classes of nonthe question at issde. I had a little con- resident Jews have been equally, if not versation with the merchant in the street, more interesting. On my entering the syand he invited me to come to his house some nagogue one morning, I met a poor Jew, and evening after eight o'clock. I accordingly having interrogated him as to his Jewish went on the following Tuesday evening, and origin, I gave him my address, and requesttook supper with the merchant and his ed him to come to my apartments after lady, who is an intelligent Jewess. After the service. He came at twelve o'clock. supper I took my Hebrew Bible, Mr. L- On entering into conversation, I found that took his, and Mrs. L--- took a German one, he was a Hungarian refugee, had kept a and we had a most friendly conversation on hotel in Hungary, and for entertaining the all-important question, which lasted some Hungarians was thrown into prison until half-past eleven o'clock at night. in 1849, and lay there during twelve When I left them they requested me to months. After his release he set out for come again as often as other duties would England, his wife being dead, and his two permit. I called again one morning about sons, one seventeen and the other nineteen twelve o'clock, but did not intend to stay; years of age had been forced into the Aushowever, they entreated me to accompany trian army. He has now been four years them on the hills for a morning's walk. 1 in England, but has not received one letgratefally accepted the invitation, and re- ter from his sons. He also gave me a painful sumed the subject of conversation which description of the sufferings of the Jews in had previously occupied our attention. We Cracow in 1831. I entered on the Messianic had another coversation of two hours length question with great freedom, expounding the
principal passages which refer to the Messiah, bringing out more conspicuously those features in His character for which the Jews respect Jesus of Nazareth—especially His deity, and the atoning nature of His death. Having explained the typical nature of the Levitical sacrifices, and the piritual nature of the Messiali's kingdom, I read to him several portions of the New Testament, directing particular attention to the Saviour's striking prophecy respecting the destruction of Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the Jews among all nations. I then referred him to the sufferings of his peuple during the past 1800 years, and challenged him to find any other cause for such unprecedented sufferings than the crucifixion and wilful rejection of Jesus of Nazareth. While urging him to embrace Jesus as his personal Saviour, I perceived that he was not only interested, but evidently impressed. He declared he had never had Christ set before him in such a manner during his whole life, or His Messiahship set forth in so clear a light. He was well acquainted with the Hebrew Scriptures, but complained very much of the irreligion of the English Jews, and of their ignorance of their own Scriptures. He accepted several tracts, and came to hear one of my lectures delivered two nights after this interview. I pray that God may bless the seed sown in his heart.
The above interview lasted two hours. I then went again to the synagogue, met another Jew in the street; we walked together to the synagogue, and I took the opportunity of preaching the Gospel to him. He asked permission to come and see me I accordingly arranged for receiv. ing him at 9 P.M. He came, accompanied by another Jew, about nineteen years of age; he himself being about twenty-five. I expounded the Scriptures to them until eleven o'clock, and gave them tracts, which they promised to read on the Sunday. The elder one called again twice or three times, but has been necessitated to leave the place for want of employment. The younger one remained a short time longer than the other, and we had repeated interviews. I exhorted both of them to exercise earnest prayer that God would guide them into the truth. While I have reason to suspect the sincerity of the older one, I believe the younger was sincere, and impressed with the truth. After I had had considerable conversation with him, and he had read some tracts I gave him, I asked what he thought about Jesus Christ; and he replied, “ It seems very plain that Jesus was the Messiah-I never saw it so plain before.” I said, “But it is one thing to
think so with the head, and quite another thing to feel it in the heart.” The answer he gave me to this statement pleased me much, as it evinced that he was taught of God as well as of man. He said, “ Yes, that is true, but God has promised to take away the stony heart out of the flesh, and to give a heart of flesh." I gave him a New Testament, which he afterwards declared to be his chief comfort in trouble. He suffers much from a pain in his chest-in fact, I am afraid he is consumptive.
Another case in which I feel considerable interest is that of a German Jew who travels about the country with jewellery, but spends his Sabbath here. The first time I saw him he was walking along the street. Having accosted him in Hebrew, I asked, “Do you ever think upon the important question as to whether the Messiah has already come, or is yet to come?" He answered “This question sometimes occupies my thoughts very much, and when I meet with a Christian who knows Hebrew, I like to have a friendly conversation on this subject, because it stands so closely connected with our happiness and salvation.” I invited him to come to my apartments on the following Saturday, after synagogue service. He has since spent six hours with mc in earnest conversation on the subject of personal religion, as well as in a careful examination of both the Old and New Testaments—three hours on Saturday last, and three hours on the Saturday previous. In the course of conversation he manifests a very extensive acquaintance with the Hebrew Scriptures, as well as with the opinions of the rabbis. He says he is resolved to read and converse about this subject until he arrives at more definite views; and if in his search after truth he is convinced of the Messiahship of Christ, lie will embrace Him, let it cost him what it may. He thinks it quite possible that the Jews may have continued to resist the claims of Jesus even after they have been partially convinced that he was the Mes. siah, simply because they did not wish it to be true. It appears that he has had to pass through peculiar and personal trials, and, in the midst of some of these trials, he says lie indulged hard thoughts of God, and grew indifferent to religion altogether; so much so that he neglected his morning prayer, in which he was accustomed to thank God for having given him back his soul. He has since been aroused from this state of indifference by severe affliction. During this affliction, from which he thought he should never recover, he repented of his sins, and believes that God forgave him, for he felt very happy in the
prospect of death, especially one night, when he felt sure that it would be his last so before he went to sleep he repeated the 5th verse of the xxxi. Psalm: “Into thy hands," &c. The Lord, however, raised him up, and restored him to health; but other trials a waited him. One day, while crossing some fields, being in a very perplexed state of mind, he saw a small piece of paper lying a short distance from the pathway; curiosity led him to go and look at it, and he found upon it the following words: “Lead me in thy truth, and teach me.” He has since resolved to read more and pray more; but he regretted that his Bible had been stolen from him on board the packet in which he came to England. The Hebrew Bible which you have recently sent me is for this Jew, whom I consider worthy of it. I intend also to
sent him with a New Testament, which he is anxious to possess; and I pray that while he is reading it the Holy Spirit may teach him that it, as well as the Old Testament, is not the word of man, but in truth the Word of God.
I attended synagogue service on the anniversary of the feast of purim. There were present about forty or fifty Jews, the usual number at a morning service. One little boy lad a rattle, which he occasionally used; while other Jews, principally of the poorer class, stamped on the floor and hissed at the mentioning of Haman's name. It appeared to me, that my presence in the synagogue restrained them a little, for when the poorer Jews wished to give vent to their feelings against Haman, the more respectable portion of the assembly hushed them to silence.
I attended aynagogue twice on Saturday last. In the evening I was there before the time, so I went into the house of the rabbi, with whom I had a short conversation before the service. The service continued only about twenty minutes, and when it was closed, I entered into conversation with the merchant with whom I have friendly intercourse, and with the rabbi. About ten
other Jews were standing in the synagogue, listening to the conversation. I called the rabbi to account for allowing Jews who keep open shop on the Sabbath, to read portions of the law in the synagogue--yea, even “ Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” while at the same time their shops are open, and their goods being sold. I said, “ I, as a Christian, keep Sunday in commemoration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of mankind; but while you Jews continue to reject Him, you are bound to be consistent Jews."
Well," said the merchant, “it is certainly wrong, but we cannot help it." Cannot help it!" I exclaimed. “Do you mean to say that God commanded anything to be done that could not be done?” “Certainly not," said the merchant. Well, then, God will hold you responsible for the observance of His commands." I asked, “ Do you admit such Sabbath-breakers into heaven?" The merchant, rather hesitatingly replied, “ Yes; for we hope they will repent.” “ But," I said, "what do you think of the genuineness of the repentance of that man who intends to pursue the same course as long as he lives? Does not Isaiah say, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon ?!" The rabbi looked, and listened with much interest, and said to the merchant, several times during the conversation, " He's right-he's right!" I told the rabbi, that, as the minister of religion, he ought to obey the command of the Lord, by the same prophet, “ Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah lviii. 1). The rabbi again exclaimed, " He's right!" No doubt the rabbi would have taken a more prominent part in the conversation, but for the fact that he knew very little of the English language. We parted in the most friendly manner,
THE PASSOVER IN FRANCE,
Mr. BRUNNER, in Paris, states : The Jews have again been celebrating their Passover according to their ancient customs; but though its loose performance here presents but a very miserable aspect, it appears that its spiritual import is forcing for itself a way through the encum
brances of ignorance and religious indifference. Perhaps no occasion affords more ample scope for preaching to the Jew the fulfilment of prophecy and typical institutions than this memorial-fast ; because, while its momentous events present to his