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thought was, what will become of the Society? for I felt that, of necessity, it would place you in a very serious difficulty. However, in this season of trial, there is one stay, the Lord reigneth,' and His gracious aid is generally accorded when we experience how absolutely we are dependent upon Him. I do not think that He will suffer an instrument which He has so often and so signally blessed to be broken, but will raise up, in some unlooked-for quarter, the help which is needed. I have great hope that the ship will not be permitted to founder, but that it will ride out the storm in safety. I believe that the Master is in it, who, although He seems to sleep while the waves are dashing over it, will arise in His own good time and way, and hush the storm, and steer it into safety."
Other ministers have kindly promised to bring the state of the Society before their congregations, and some friends have silently responded by contributions towards its relief, as will appear by the subjoined list. A Country Tradesman contributes £100, as his token of sympathy and love; and another friend sets a worthy example by the following: "I have much pleasure in handing you this small donation. God, I am sure, will raise you up friends in this your hour of need. It may not be uninteresting to you my recording the following:-A few weeks ago I came to the conclusion that I ought to give to God's cause the first fruits of all my increase. Through the providence of God, there had been a lessening of my household expenses, and the enclosed is a portion of the first fruits of the same. I had been thinking, a few days ago, to what object I should appropriate it; but, on returning home this afternoon, your circular was put into my hands, therefore I have not delayed in forwarding you the enclosed."
Let not the Committee be disheartened, nor think of withdrawing labourers from a cause which so richly deserves, and will ultimately so abundantly reward, every exertion made in the name of the Lord Jesus. Humbled every member of the Society may well be, under that Hand which has for a time drawn a cloud over the scene of our labours. Well may we inquire, collectively and individually, "Show me wherefore thou contendest with me;" but we may not, like Israel, "be discouraged because of the way." Let us realise more habitually the deep spirituality of the work, and its peculiar claims on the living piety of those who put their hands to it. We know that, in seeking the restoration of Israel to favour and to holiness, we are seeking the accomplishment of what the God of Abraham hath purposed. We believe that it is our duty to seek this object by presenting to our brethren the Jews the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; but we need to be reminded that, if Israel is to arise, it will be "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord." We are "fellow-workers with God" in this high and holy enterprise. Oh, how essential that our eye should be single to His glory-that we should be holy as He is holy"-and that the Jew should everywhere, in us and in our agents, perceive the same mind that was in Christ Jesus! Let the Committee, let the Missionaries, let the Constituents, give themselves in earnest to the work, as those who serve the Lord Christ-let us plead the promises in faith-and labour in love rekindled at Calvary, and in the spirit imbibed in the valley of humiliation. We dare not despond. We are saved in hope-and a hope thus cherished will never make us
Our readers will participate in the grateful feelings of the Committee for help so promptly rendered, and without which progress must have been stayed. But larger supplies must yet be afforded. The Official Assignee of Messrs. Strahan and Co.'s estate has required immediate payment of the debt £1022 3s. 10d.; and the Committee must provide for the support of twenty-one Missionaries, as well as for other indispensable expenses. They are most anxious to contract those expenses as much as possible, and at the same time to render the Missionary agency increasingly efficient. It is therefore hoped that the present effort will not be limited by the amount of the debt, but that means will be generously placed in the hands of the Committee for securing this object. They will feel more deeply than ever the sacredness of the trust thus reposed in them; and as, one and all, we consecrate our property, our talent, and our time, to the service of our one Lord, we may cheerfully adopt the language of one of old: "The God of heaven, He will prosper us; therefore we, His servants, will arise and build."
The Passover in Spain.
IN our last Number we gave a slight notice of the last Jewish passover observed in France. The following article is from Archives Israelite, a Jewish periodical:
We learn from history that, after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, a great number remained, who, by a nominal adoption of Christianity, obtained permission to retain their rights. The ancient Spanish families, however, cherished against these new Catholics the strongest prejudices, opposing any alliance with them, consequently they were obliged (and perhaps not unwillingly) to marry among themselves.
We should never be surprised, even in the present day, to see a forced conversion produce a false confession; besides this, it was very natural that many of these families, bound by new ties, should confide to each other their unshaken constancy to the faith of the one only God, the God of Israel. We may trace to this source the accounts we frequently read of the secret existence of Jews in Spain, living, from father to son, from
generation to generation, under a perpetual disguise; often assuming the appearance and duties of the Catholic priest in order so much the better to arbitrate for themselves, and to become often the defenders of their coreligionists against the Catholic Church. The compiler of this narrative has always received such accounts with a certain degree of distrust and doubt, until his attention was drawn to the subject of the following details. These are the circumstances under which the narrator, who has been an interested witness of the facts which he relates, introduces them, almost without alteration, to the eyes of the reader. The hero of the tale was born at Nerthirgen in Bavaria, his name is David Gugenheim, and he is at the present time Shamas of the congregation Ohabei Shalom at Boston. We will leave him to speak for himself—
"At seventeen years I became a soldier of the French army-at nineteen I was raised to the rank of sergeant. There were in the regiment to which I belonged, several other Israelites, among whom, in my own division, was M. Castain Vitali, and one in particular who acted in the capacity of his servant. In the year 1810, our regiment being at Madrid, the captain one day called me to him, and said, David, do you know that to-day is Eref Pessach?' 'No,' replied I; 'but even if I knew it, it is impossible to celebrate this feast in bigoted Spain.' 'Not altogether impossible,' said he; for already I have asked, and have received from my wife, who is at Paris, the Matzoth, and my intention in coming to you was, that having the Matzoth, we might be able, in this centre of the persecution of the Jews, to celebrate the anniversary of the deliverance of the Israelites in ancient times. You and I, and my servant will form the Mzummen.* But now,' said he, let us go to the market and provide ourselves with the necessary meats for the observance of the prescribed laws for the approach of this feast.' While we were making these purchases, an old man, clad in the costume of a Spanish priest, approached the same stall, and gently raising a stick of horse-radish, began to examine it, as we should do, to see if it was proper. We saw also, with astonishment, that he made exactly the same purchases that we had done, but knew not to what to impute this singular coincidence. However, having quitted the stall, we could not help turning to look at him, and saw him following alone by a bye-path into the same street. He was at some little distance from us, but his walk was more hurried than ours. When he came near to us, we stopped to allow him to pass; but he, as well as ourselves, had noticed our purchases, and addressing himself to Capitaine Vitali, he said briefly, Jehuda, Baruch ha shem! (God be praised, thou art a Jew!); to this he replied in the affirmative. As a French soldier, the captain had nothing to fear from the Inquisition or any of its myrmidons, still it was surprising to be thus accosted by a Catholic priest. On receiving the answer of the captain, he saluted us, crossing his arms upon his breast, and saying, 'Shalam alechem,' (peace be with you,) and he received the answer known to all the Israelites, who, like the freemasons, have a watchword which fraternizes them all the world over. He then wished to know whether myself and other companions were also sons of Israel, and receiving a reply in the affirmative, he said, 'Come, then, and I will show you my house, for I see that I can place confidence in you, since you are Benai Yesraelim' (Israelites). We then followed him to his house, the appearance of which was princely. On
* Three persons to recite together aloud the prayer after the repast.
entering, we were shown into a spacious drawing-room, whose walls were not furnished in a way that could denote the residence of an Israelite. Among other things, they had a large crucifix of gold, or gilt, a number of paintings of the same character as those which are found in Roman Catholic churches, and in the houses of the clergy; but our guide only gave us time to breathe. Now follow me,' said he, and I will show you my house.' He then descended with us into the underground apartments. There we found several rooms comfortably furnished, in one of which the table was already set, and partly prepared for the ceremony of the feast. 'Sir Captain,' said he, in your character of an Israelite, you must come this evening, and bring these Israclites with you, that we may unite in the celebration of the great deliverance of Israel from bondage; and even in this benighted country we can rejoice, since we know that God remembered Israel in the day of her distress, and that He will also remember us, and help us to go forth from this country of our oppressors.' He told us at what hour the ceremony would commence, and we were exact to the the appointment. There we were introduced to the other members of his family, and to ten or twelve strangers, of whom several appeared, like our host, ecclesiastics, but who were, like him, also Jews, come to celebrate the Pessach.
There is no doubt that the high position which our host enjoyed in the Roman Catholic hierarchy, made him consider himself the more sheltered from the watchful eye of the church. After the usual ceremony of this evening, we gathered around the table, rejoicing in the celebration of this feast; and the same ceremony was repeated the second evening, the same persons being present. After the Passover, while our regiment was at Madrid, Captain Vitali, as well as myself, frequently visited at the house of the Israelite, disguised as Roman Catholics, and were always received with the greatest cordiality."
Here the narrative terminates; but how many proofs have we not, of which this is one, of the secret existence of Israelites in Spain, even up to a comparatively recent date!
DURING the present season of depression, it is with emotions of lively gratitude we turn to our Missionaries' records, as they prove a blessing is on the work, and that Jews are being added to the Lord. The extracts from our own Missionaries' journals are so many that small space, we fear, will remain for equally cheering selections from the reports of kindred institutions.
The Rev. P. E. GOTTHEIL has given us, in a very excellent paper (which, did our limits allow, we would gladly transcribe), his views, the result of some years' observation and experience, of the nature, object, and position of the Jewish Mission, especially in Germany. He suggests the importance of bearing constantly in mind the spirituality of the work, and its certain, though oft unseen, progress. He urges, too, the great advantage of the spoken, in addition to the written word, and forcibly exhibits
the beneficial influence attending the residence of a Missionary among the people whose spiritual good he is seeking. If he be a faithful and consistent man, his presence "bears a constant testimony to the truth, and a constant protest against the carelessness and neglect of Gospel consolations reigning around him."
Mr. Gottheil says:
The dissemination of the Word of God is the most important auxiliary to our work. In the winter of 1843-44 I was able, by the Society's permission, to send forth a Bible colporteur into the different towns and villages in which Jews are to be found. That humble, yet faithful labourer, was able to disseminate many volumes of Holy Writ, and would have most likely disposed of a larger amount but for the great scarcity and distress occasioned by the failure of the crops during the previous season. Considering this disadvantage, the amount of books sold is considerable, whilst at the same time he was able to speak many a faithful word in season, and to gather much valuable information. It is much to be regretted that, owing to the financial difficulties of the Society, that important agency of the Bible carrier had to be discontinued this winter. It were well if the liberality of the Society's friends would promote its resumption as soon as possible.
With the Word of God generally goes a tract or a little volume, not claiming equal authority or honours with the Book of Books, "but desiring to be the humble instrument" of pointing and leading its readers to the only fountain of all wisdom. The dissemination of these silent messengers has also this year exceeded that of former years, and there are not wanting evidences that, in some cases at least, a blessing has been granted on their perusal. A new feature in this branch of our work is the fact that a good quantity of these tracts have been sold through the channel of the book-trade, realising £1 17s. Id., comparatively speaking, a large sum, as the price of each tract is but trifling.
they are addressed to Jews only, it may be hoped that many of them have been purchased either by Jewish brethren, or by Christians with a view to dissemination amongst the Jews. The value of this agency is self-evident, and will be the better appreciated, when it is remembered that these silent monitors very frequently find an entrance where the Missionary himself cannot. Very frequently the tract acts in the capacity of pioneer to the Missionary, or if not exactly to the Missionary, yet, perhaps, to a train of thoughts riveting the reader's attention to questions and considerations hitherto unheeded, only even
tually to land him in regions of delight
A further object I have in view, is the awakening and calling forth the sympathies and prayers of the Christian Church of this country on behalf of Israel. This is sought to be attained by attending at the local Missionary meetings, by preaching sermons, in which the subject is urged upon the hearers, and by the publication of a monthly Missionary periodical, in which the progress of Jewish evangelisation is recorded, and the cause of Israel pleaded. Our weekly Missionary prayermeeting in this place has been sustained throughout the year, with but a few slight exceptions.
I believe that the cause of Israel is gain. ing ground in the believing portion of the Protestant community, and that our work is enjoying the benefit of their prayers and intercessions, an accession we cannot value too highly. However much they may be divided as to the future destinies of Israel, yet in this they agree, that Israel ought not to be left without the one thing needful for life and eternity, and that the everlasting Gospel must be preached to Israel as well as to the Gentiles, ere the great consummation takes place, which is looked to by many with anxiety, and as near at hand.
I may be permitted here to make a short reference to the prospect of the Mission work on the Continent, and the features it is likely to assume.
The Jews over the Continent, though varying in their views in a great diversity of shades, from the most rigid orthodox, to the most decided almost nothingarian, will be found to have one common language; so it is the one and self-same spirit that influences the minds of all, with but few exceptions. Imperceptibly, and in some cases against their will, they have become engrossed, and their minds captivated, by one current of thought, on which they are borne onward with remarkable rapidity. It is no easy task to characterise that spirit, and it would carry me too far here to attempt to analyse it. Suffice it to say, that it is the child and offspring of a combination of circumstances that have occurred in the history of the Christian Church and the world, especially in the history of the Christian mind and philoso