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Appeal of the Associated Churches,
FOR A NEW YEAR'S GIFT TO THE BRITISH SOCIETY. [The Friends who have kindly united in an effort to aid the Society, and whose rules were inserted in the last Number, have desired us to present the following to the notice of our readers. Thankful for their cordial and generous intentions, we do so without pledging ourselves to every sentiment or expression. It is the utterance of hearts tenderly alive to the claims of Israel, and, of their own accord, responding to the appeal of this Society as affording a medium for carrying out their benevolent desires.
The mention of a New-Year's Gift, may, however, suggest to many of the friends of Israel, the seasonableness and value of such an appropriation on the 1st of January. Reminded of the past, and anticipating the future, as we gather around the Cross, and resolve that “We will go in the strength of the Lord God, making mention of Thy righteousness even of Thine only;" let us think of the Jew-our fellow-traveller to the bourne from which no traveller returns. Hitherto he “has not submitted himself to the righteousness of God,” and is therefore going onward, unsared, unblest, relying on a strength which will fail him when most he needs it, and rejecting Him as the Saviour before whom he must appear as the Judge. Let us, by our New-Year's offerings, send the Word of God, and the man of God, to warn him of his peril, to invite, to “ beseech” him to be reconciled to God through Christ Jesus the Lord. And let us, on the New Year's day, pour forth our heart's desires to God, in the name of Jesus, that there may be a daily ingathering of the wanderers to Christ, and an outgoing of them to preach the Gospel of our common salvation to a perishing world.]
Having read with pleasure the decision of the friends at Norwich, we wish them good success, and hope they will help, also, S.* and Fanny G. to aid the practical question now proposed to all the friends of Israel, of a New-Year's Gift for the British Society, as the Gentile offering of firstfruits to God; for “the silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts" (Hag. ii. 8). Let Israel's friends unite, and diligently labour that He may have of His own (1 Chron. ii. 9, 14, 16), a gathering of firstfruits in their places of worship on the first Sabbath of the new year, “ As God hath prospered him.” Now concerning the collection, “ Your liberality unto Jerusalem ” (1 Cor. xvi. 1): shall we name £1000? it will only be an instalment of an unpaid debt; and what is that among so many Churches? “According to your faith be it unto you" (Matt. ix. 29.) “With God all things are possible" (Matt. xix. 26); "and all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark xxxix. 21). “Hitherto, have ye asked nothing in my name : ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy maj: be full” (John xvi. 24). Season the offering with the salt of fervent prayer and praise; it will be accepted, the offerers blessed, and the British Society relieved. To this one object we affectionately urge every effort, and we believe many Gentile pastors will respond; in the meantime, glean up the
See our last No. pp. 150-152. † Pp. 160.
harvest for the Society. We are not to be understood as laying an undue stress on means, yet James (ii. 17) says: “Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone;" and Paul (Rom. x. 15), “How shall they hear without a preacher ? and how shall they preach except they be sent."
A word to Israel's WESLEYAN friends. You have two affecting services, the watch-night and the dedication. In either you begin the year. Your founder had a large and feeling heart, and were he living, judging from his notes on the New Testament, would he not cheerfully give to Israel the freewill offerings of one or both of these services ? He has entered into his rest, but his spirit lives.
To any Christian or Christian pastor, who may be surprised to think of the sacrifice in these bad times, we say, “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye, through His poverty, might be rich” (2 Cor.viii. 9); and, “now once, in the end of the world, hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. ix. 26). “Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb. xii. 2). Who, though He is “set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. xii. 2), beholding, in your labour of love, the work of His Spirit, as when He wept over Jerusalem, “will pour upon the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications" (Zech. xii. 10). “That His way may be known upon the earth, His saving health among all nations” (Ps. lxvii. 2).
Our rich brethren will forgive us in saying, we remember the days of trial and anxiety in business, and the corroding cares of bank and bill days—we therefore feel for the British Society; yet there are many who could
say, “ Take this—it will pay the whole," who can feel also that may
have known in theory the pressure. And let the poor of the Lord ponder the following words of Mark xii. 21 : " And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily, I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in than all they which have cast into the treasury.'
In pleading for Israel, we may reiterate the mind of Christ: therefore let the mind of Christ make the free gift a matter of private and public prayer, and let one or more in every Church give themselves as a “ whole burnt offering” to the work, and, as S. says, “stir up the Church to which you belong.” In S. the association hopes to find a fellow-labourer; and though they desire not to know any after the flesh, they are constrained to point the weak in faith concerning the thousand pounds to that living testimony of the power of faith and prayer in Mr. Müller, of Bristol, who by its mighty exercise feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, and adopts the orphan, building, also, by the same instrumentality, mansions as the home of its youth: “Ask, and it shall be given.”
SAMUEL KNELL, Secretary.
Special fund. The Committee have gratefully to add the subjoined to the former lists, as received to the 24th of the past month, amounting in the whole to £1160 12s. 11d. They hope that the friends of the Society will not yet stay their hands. Every endeavour will be used to keep the expenditure within the current income, when once the Society is placed in such a state as shall encourage its onward progress. The present price of provisions,
. and the necessity of their maintaining respectability of abode and appearance, forbid any reduction in the Missionaries' salaries; and it is earnestly to be desired that there should be no reduction in their number. The Committee will attempt to accomplish the visitation of Associations by one agent, assisted by Missionaries and occasionally by the kindness of ministers and friends, instead of two; so that soon after the commencement of the year the present highly esteemed agents, to whom the Society is greatly indebted for their valuable services, will retire, and the Committee will be ready to receive applications from persons qualified for the work---deeply imbued with love to the cause, and willing to devote their whole time and energy to its promotion.
£ 8. d. A Friend,by Miss Adams 0 10 0 A Friend, Aliss Square 0 5 0 A share of Tithe for
Mercies received 10 0 0 Abley, E. Esq
1 1 0 Buxton, Sir E.N.Bart 1) 10 0 Deeping, Mr. M. E. 1 0 0 Fearnley, B. Esq... 5 0 0 Four Friends .. 100 00 Frazer, A. Esq.
1 10 Lax, Mis...
0 13 6 Purdell, Miss... 1 0 0 Shepheard, Mr. 0.5 0 Sortell, Mr.
0 5 0 Starkey, Mr. S.
0 5 0 Turner, Mrs.
0 6 0 Varden, Miss
1 0 0 Bishopegate Chapel 10 12 0 Blackburn.....
5 0 0 Bristol
5 16 5
SUBSCRIPTION RECEIVED BY
J. CHOPPER, ES4.
Churcb.perRev.Dr. £ 8. d.
5 0 0
2 0 0
2 0 0
1 1 0 Mr. J. Matheson
10 0 Mr. Bryoe Allan
0 0 Mrs. Cearns..
1 0 0 Mrs. Howell.
1 0 0 Mra. Fergusson
1 0 0
1 0 0 Rev. Dr. Rafleg
0 JU 0 Rey. C. M Birrell . 010 0 Rev. J. Towers
0 5 0
0 0 0
0 10 0
0 15 0 05 0 5 0 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 010 0 10 0 5 0 0
BAPTISM OF J. KOPPEL. The usual questions addressed to Jewish candidates for Christian baptism were put to Mr. Koppel by Mr. Jaffé, to whom, under God, he is indebted for the happy change which has evidently passed upon his spirit, and for his introduction to that narrow way by which he hopes to reach the city of the living God. His replies were explicit, scriptural, and satisfactory, and closed by the following address, so delivered as deeply to affect the crowded and attentive audience :
MY CHRISTIAN FRIENDS, -In my appearing here this evening, to confess before God and His people my faith in a crucified Redeemer, the question will naturally suggest itselt to every mind, How it is that i, who by birth and education was an enemy to Christ, should have been led to change the belief of my fathers, and become a follower and worshipper of Jesus? To answer this I shall, with your kind indulgence, run briefly over some of the principal events in my history, and then point out the circumstances that conjointly operated to conduct me to the present crisis.
I was born in a town bordering on the Polish frontier, in the Grand Duchy of Posen, in the year of our Lord 1830, of Jewish parents.
Alieady in my third year, my parents, after the manner of our nation, made it their sacred duty to send me to a Hebrew elementary school, where, for the first time, I was initiated in to the Hebrew, or holy tongue. The nature of the instruction there enjoyed cousisted merely in being taught to repeat a formula of prayer, beginning with the words: “ Hear, o Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. vi. 4) Thus was the doctrine of the unity of God carefully inculcated upon me from my earliest days, and a strong antipathy infused into my mind against every other religious system. As a son of Abraham, and a descendant of the chosen ancient people, I was required to yield a perfect and faithful obedience to all God's commandments, to love Him with my whole lieart, and serve Him with my whole soul. The Bible, as containing the revealed will of God, and the oral law, which, as the rabbins pretend, is a commentary on the written law, were, till my eighth year, my uninterrupted study.
My parents, when they saw with what clearness I was able, in the light of the rabbins, to elucidate every part of Scripture, joyfully beheld in me, not only the promising youth, but also the devout and pious Israelite. Their joy, however, was soon turned into bitter grief and sadness, when, at the close of my eighth year, I was obliged, by the law of our country, to enter the national school; and this they dreaded for two reasons,--the first, that it would prove a serious interruption in my study of the Hebrew ; and secondly, that I might be brought in contact with some adverse in. fluence inimical to my religious state.
The Jewish residents of my native, as almost of all the neighbouring towns, were as yet not permitted by government to erect schools for the education of their youth, and were, in consequence of it, ne
cessitated to send them to Christian schools. The one in my own town was attended by about 136 scholars; of these 120 were the children of Papists, only 4 of Protest. ants, and about 12 Jewishı. The oppression, the insult, and the humiliation to which the Protestant, but more especially the Jewish, children were there subject, filled my own as well as my parents' hearts with horror and dismay when I was about to enter; but I went and shared the fate of my brethren. It is impossible for me to portray the ignomiry and cruel mockery which we had to bear. The name “ Jew" was the signal for every outrage and violence-the pretext for every calumny and slander. During the hours for religious instruction no Jewish child was allowed to be present; and if by chance one should, from motives of curiosity, be drawn to the door to listen, the greatest punishment awaited it in case of discovery. With the object of outraging our seelings still more, we were obliged very frequently, during our reading-lessons, to read in a loud, clear, and distinct voice those parts where the name of Jesus mostly occurs, and this was very often followed by a scornful laughter on the part of our Christian fel. low-scholars.
In these trying circumstances I passed eight years of my life ; and though during that period I acquired much that was good and useful, yet heartily glad did I feel when the day of my liberation came. That such treatment could not fail to leave a deep aversion on my mind to Christians and Christianity may easily be conceived.
It was about this time, in consequence of the long and loud complaint of the Jews against the cruel and barbarous treatment to which their children were subject in the national schools, that government felt itself forced to concede to the Jews the wished-for privilege of being allowed to erect their own schools, but on condition that the teachers should be educated in a Christian seininary, when, after having passed a satisfactory examination, they should be appointed to their situations by government. This concession, though restricted in many points, was nevertheless hailed with joy and gratitude by both young and old, and looked upon as the commencement of brighter and happier days for Israel.
Actuated by a holy desire for the welfare of the youth of our nation, I resolved to devote myself to the teaching department, and to that end I was received, in the year 1846, into the teachers' seminary at Bromberg, at wbich place I enjoyed equal right and privileges with those of my Christian fellow-students; but even here I scarcely ever met with an opportunity of having my mind directed to the clainis of the Christian religion. Here, as in the other place, I was excluded from religious instruction; and to read a New Testament, aguinst which I had imbibed from my very infancy such a bitter enmity, never for a moment entered my mind.
At the expiration of three years, after having passed my examination, I again left the seminary, but was not able immediately to enter upon active duties, as there happened to be no vacancy for me at that time. In the meantime, government appointed me, in one of the towns on the frontier, an interpreter of the Polish and German languages, a privilege to which the Jews had never before been admitted, but which the revolution of 1848 secured to them. But even here my situation, however much marked by honour and distinction, was rendered most irksome and intolerable to me by the incessant taunts and derisions that were heaped upon me by my fellow-functionaries, for the simple reason that I was a Jew. This cruel treatment compelled me to resign my office, and government soon after appointed me teacher to a Jewish community in another town.
With feelings of the deepest joy and satisfaction, I hastened to my new calling, where loving hearts were ready to welcome me, and affectionate pupils to surround me, and nothing was there wanting to render mny situation more delightful or satisfactory. But I was not permitted to enjoy the comfort of this for many years, Provi. dence had otherwise determined concerning me. The religious instruction as based on the doctrine of the rabbins, which I had to inculcate on my pupils, became to me, in the course of time, the source of deep anxiety and alarm. I began to have my misgivings as to the claims and truthfulness of the system of rabbinical Judaism. The conviction that it was not of divine origin became daily rooted more and more in my heart. Like a lost traveller in the darkness of night, who is urged onward in his course by some delusive light, till destruction ofertakes him, so followed I blindly one tradition after another, till I was overwhelmed with a sense of my error and delusion, and was roused to serious reflection. I came to see that the religious system to which I adhered, and which I propounded to my pupils as a rule of faith, was nothing more than a mere human Composition, and that the Judaism of the present day was not the Judaism of Moses and the prophets, but, on the contrary, quite foreign and opposed to it, and with
painful concern and anxiety did I regard the youths confided to my trust, in whoso tender hearts, instead of sowing the blessed seed of faith, I had only chaff to strew. Christianity I only knew from anti-bibli. cal writings, the false glosses of the rabbins, and the degenerate churches of Chris. tendom, especially as seen in Polish-Roman Catholicism, which is the predominant creed of my native province; but which, alas! lies deep in her poverty and wretchedness, although under the elevated name of Christianity, so that I considered it an act of immorality to waste even one moment's reflection upon the religious system of such a nation. The professors of the Protestant Church, on the contrary, are so few in number that they are almost entirely lost arnong the great mass of Romanists,- for which reason I could form no idea of the simplicity and purity of that religion which the Gospel teaches.
The change in my mind, above alluded to, became apparent to many of my friends, and their fears were in consequence aroused. One of my principal supporters, a man who claimed for himself a greater share of sanctity than he felt willing to concede to his co-religionists, went even so far as not only to take his children from me, but to deprive me of his support altogether, alleging that I had become too liberal in my views and principles, and verging on the very point of apostacy. After many severe struggles and bitter experiences, I resolved to leave my situation and home altogether, and thus escape further abuse and disgrace. In this disordered state oi' mind, without faith in Judaism, and full of doubts of Christianity, I left my home on the 3rd of March last year, and hastened in search of help to Berlin. Arrived there, I applied to the late Dr. Jaffé, who, unfortunately, was at that time so dangerously ill that all he could do wis to sympathise with and comfort me. I also called upon the chief rabbi, and had several religious discussions with him, in the hope of easing my burdened conscience, but nothing could bring me peace. For cight months I wandered about in Berlin, not knowing what would be the issue of my hopeless state. At last a hope of deliverance lighted up my soul, when I heard from Dr. Jaffé that he had a brother in England engaged in the mission field. This at once decided my future course. I determined to go to England, and a few days later found me treading the hospitable shores of this blessed and highly favoured land. Without delay, I repaired to the house of Mr. Jaffé, and found in him the magnanimity of an affectionate relative and friend. With