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to the Saviour, determined to receive them into the Church of Christ by baptism. I received a pressing invitation to visit that minister, and to be present on that solemn occasion. Oh, what a precious day it was! My heart beats even now for joy in thinking of it, and I fervently desired you to be with me, that you might enjoy with me such moments, during which we are transported into the feelings of the Apostles, when they exclaimed, 'It is good to be here.'
"Though the weather was very unfavourable, especially as I had to cross the water in order to reach the minister's residence, I yet went, and thank God that I did go. At nine in the morning there was a preparatory service, and at two in the afternoon we all went together to church. three sisters-these dear children after the flesh and the faith of Abraham-had joined us, plainly clothed, in the minister's house. Here I prayed with them, after a conversation which had convinced me that they were epistles of Christ, written by the Spirit of God, known of all men.' The church was so crowded that it was with difficulty we could make our way in, and a large number of people could get no entrance at all. Some got up on the outside, to look in at the windows. There were amongst them, of course, many that came merely from curiosity, such as are found everywhere. At different intervals we sang several hymns, such as Psalms cxviii. and cv., followed by fervent prayer. The minister then preached an excellent sermon on Acts x. 47,Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptised, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?' He then communicated some particulars of the history of the conversion of these three sisters, and referred to the bold confession they had been enabled to testify before the elders of the synagogue. Then the three knelt down, just below the pulpit, with their faces turned towards the audience, who all rose simultaneously. Upon which the minister, taking his place near them, addressed a few words of exhortation to them, and then baptised them in the name of the Thrice-Holy God, giving to each a few admonitory and encouraging words in particular. But when, after having done this, he said, 'Arise, beloved sisters in Christ our Saviour, and receive the welcome of the whole Church,' a great emotion became visible in the whole assembly; many eyes were seen filled with tears, and as to myself, my heart rejoiced within me, and, with a tearful eye, I adored the goodness of God. With visible emotion we sang Psalm cxxxiv.; for, dear brother, I must also tell you, that there were present not only these dear daughters of Abraham, but also five more brethren in Christ, descended from Israel; thus forming, in the midst of those called from among the Gentiles, a little Church of Jewish believers in Christ. The minister then again ascended the pulpit, and publicly confessed that the Church of Holland, and he himself especially, had great reason to humble themselves before God, and to acknowledge that they had done wrong hitherto in overlooking the cause of Israel. Then he turned to me, praised the Lord for having put it into my heart to organise prayermeetings all over the country, and for His having blessed them in more than one case, of which the present occasion was a pleasant instance: 'I conjure you before God,' he then said to his hearers, with raised voice, 'do not any longer forget this people Israel; pray for their conversion, do them good. Let us deeply repent the evil we have committed against them, by overlooking the holy duty that is incumbent upon us, of being a blessing to them. Shew them kindness, and shew to these three sisters,
who are henceforth to dwell amongst us, that those who have been called from among the Gentiles fully acknowledge the unspeakable benefits they have received of Israel. Be sure that if you do good to these descendants of Abraham, Abraham's God will become a blessing to you.' But I must conclude. It is impossible to give you anything like a full description of that solemn occasion. Yes, the God of Israel was there. He filled our souls with heavenly joy, and I may say that for years I have not experienced such deep emotions, nor enjoyed so close a communion with my God and Saviour. The conclusion of the solemnity was equally touching: after a fervent prayer, we sang a hallelujah to the Lord. Then the minister left the church, passing, as he proceeded to his house, through a crowd of people gathered on both sides of the way; then came the three sisters, and then the believing Israelites. We all went to the minister's house, where we knelt down again to thank the Lord. The names of the Sisters are, Rebecca, Leah, and Belia Hartz; the first thirty-seven, the second thirty-three, and the third thirty years old.
O Lord God of Israel, in Thy great love, add, we beseech Thee, many hundreds and thousands to Thy Church, to the honour of Thy holy name; and come speedily, O King of the Jews, to establish Thy kingdom.
Early Notices of Preaching to the Jews.
(FROM THE JEWISH EXPOSITOR.")
THE oldest account which I have met with, of preaching to the Jews, is contained in a precept of Edward the First, in the year 1281, directing the sheriffs and bailiffs, under whose care the Jews were placed, to cause them to attend the preaching of the Dominican friars. Some other hints of similar proceedings appear in the early history of England; but I have never been able to find anything more than the mere fact. No account remains, I believe, of the manner in which the service was conducted, the subjects discussed, or the effect produced upon the hearers. I fear it did more harm than good. Similar measures were pursued at Rome, of which we have a fuller account.
Gregory XIII., who became Pope in 1572, issued an order enjoining the Jewish community at Rome to send one hundred men and fifty women every Saturday evening during Lent, to hear sermons on the evidence of Christianity. I presume that all the travellers who speak of the sermons preached to the Jews at Rome refer to those which were preached under this order, though the place in which they were delivered seems to have varied; not, I am afraid, on account of any increase in the congregation. Anthony Munday, who published his " English Romayne Life," in 1590, after speaking of the little chapels near St. John Lateran's Church, adds: "From thence we go to a fayre large place, in the middest whereof standeth a font, wherein they say Constantinus Magnus was christened. In this font, every yeere on Easter even they doo christen Jewes, such as do chaunge to their religion. For there is a certaine place appointed for sermons, whereat the Jewes, whether they will or no, must be present,
because one of their own rabines preacheth to them, to convert them, as himself hath been a great while.
"In Rome the Jewes have a dwelling-place within themselves, being locked in their streets by gates on either side, and the Romayners every night keepeth the keyes. All the day time they go abroad in the cittie, and will buie the oldest apparell, or hose, that a man would think not worth a penny,-of the Jewes you may have the quantity of four or five shillings for them.
"Now, that the Jewes may be known from any other people, every one weareth a yellow cap or hatte; and if he go abroad without it, they use him very yll favouredly.
"In this order they come to the sermon, and when any of them doth change his faith, he taketh his yellow cap or hatte off from his head, and throws it away with great violence; then will a hundred offer him a black cap or hatte, and greatly rejoice that they have so wun him. All his ritches he then must forsake; that goes to the Pope's use, being one of his shifts. And to this aforesayed font he is brought, clothed all in white-a white cap, a white cloke, and everything white about him; and a holie candle burning, that he beareth in his hand. Then is he there baptised by an Englishman, who is named Bishop Goldwell, some time the Bishop of St. Asaph, who maketh all the English priests in the colledge, and liveth there very pontifically.
"After the Jewes be thus baptised, they be brought into the church, and there they see the hallowing of the paschall, which is a mightie greate wax taper and then a devise, wherein is enclosed a number of squibs, is shotte off, when thorowe all the church they crye, Sic transit gloria mundi.' From thence they goe to a colledge, which the Pope hath erected for such Jewes as in this manner turn to his religion: there they staye a certaine time; and after, they be turned out to gette their living as they None of their former ritches must they have again, for that goes to the maintenance of the Pope's pontificalitic.'
The next writer who seems to have been present at this preaching was Evelyn, who makes this entry in his diary, Jan. 7, 1645:-"A sermon was preached by the Jewes at Ponte Sisto, who are constrained to sit till the houre is don; but it is with so much malice in their countenances, spitting, humming, coughing, and motion, that it is almost impossible they should hear a word from the preacher. A conversion is very rare.” (Memoirs, vol. i. p. 124.)
From the account of Skippon, who was at Rome about twenty years after Evelyn, it appears that not only a fixed number, but one out of each family, was obliged to attend. He says: One Saturday we heard (about four in the afternoon) a Dominican friar preach to the Jews at S. Trunta Pellagrini-a Jew out of every family being obliged to be present every Saturday; and when any of them sleep, a sbirro, or officer with a wand, wakens them. The Jewes are divided into six classes; and we were informed by some, that a certaine number out of these classes, whose turn it is, must come, and every one that is present have their names written by officers if any are absent that are expected, they are punished with a pecuniary mulet, and the class whose turn it is must pay for those that are poor and unable to pay. A hundred men and fifty women must be present. The preacher hath his stipend out of the Camera Apostolica.'
Keysler, who was there in 1730, has the following notice :-"This
present Lent the subjects were, Christ's incarnation and death, the union of the two natures in His person, and the doctrine of the Trinity; but these subjects were handled with such fine-spun and metaphysical subtleties, that I could have wished the matter had been less abstruse, or the method better accommodated to the capacities of the persons who were to be instructed."
We are unwilling to abridge the My mission for the last few weeks has been chiefly amongst the sick and dying; we have escaped the cholera, but there has been a great deal of sickness and distress lately in this city. Distressing as it is to witness the miserable condition of the poor, who are wasting with sickness, without possessing any of the comforts of life to alleviate their sufferings, still it is a season when the conscience is more awakened, and the heart more susceptible of Divine truth, than at any other time.
I was informed that a Jew was lying ill in the hospital. I visited him without delay, and found him a very pious young man, strictly adhering to all the rites of Judaism, but at the same time very liberal in his views, and not at all prejudiced against Christianity. I lent him a New Testament and other Christian books, which he read with great interest; the last time I saw him, he told me that, in theory, Christianity is superior to Judaism, inasmuch as it brings man nearer to God, deprives death of all its terror, and holds out comfort and consolation to the tried and distressed; but (he added) for a Jew to embrace it without believing it with his whole heart would be monstrous, for not only could it never make him happy, but it would increase his misery a thousand-fold. I told him that faith was the gift of God, and that neither Jew nor Gentile could believe the Gospel without the aid of the Holy Spirit. I prayed with him before parting. When I visited the hospital again, I found his bed occupied by another patient, and heard, to my great regret, that he died two days after my last interview with him, and that a priest conversed with him for nearly two hours on the day that he died. Shortly after, I heard of the death of another Jew, to whom I had often preached the Gospel. He always listened with great attention, but would never express his views on the subject, always pleading ignorance whenever I urged him to give me his opinion.
following from Mr. FRANKEL :
One morning he went on business to St. Etienne; in the evening he fell down a flight of stairs, and in less than three hours he was a corpse.
I was very much affected in visiting the sick bed of Madame B-. I have often mentioned her in my journals. She is the most bigoted Jewess I have ever met with; when in health, she always boasted of her piety, and often told me that she considered her admittance to heaven, not as a grace and favour, but as a right; now that the doctor has expressed his doubts about her recovery, her mind is filled with despair. I asked her the cause of her anxiety. "Ah," she replied, "should I not tremble when death with all its horrors is before me? It is terrible to think of all I shall have to undergo-to face the angel of death; the sufferings in the grave; but, worst of all, I have no son to say the Kadish for me, by which my soul might be released from the torments of hell, and gain my admission into Paradise." how thankful should we be for the blessings of the Gospel, by which life and immortality have been brought to light! how ought we to pity the Jew, and proclaim to him the Saviour, who alone can deprive death of its sting, and the grave of its victory.
I found him in
Calling on Mr. Ecompany with several other Jews; as usual, they were busily engaged talking about the probable results of the war; they asked my opinion; I told them that I could say very little about the present war in particular, but as for wars in general, I could tell them precisely how they would terminate. I read to them the first four verses of the 2nd of Isaiah, and other portions which speak of the glorious and peaceful reign of the Messiah. Having once gained their attention, I spoke to them freely about the first coming of Christ, explained to them the object of His mission, and proved from the Old Testament, the doctrine of original sin and
the necessity of a Saviour. Mr, Nremarked, that he does not feel at all inclined to admit the fact that we are all sinners, because Adam sinned by breaking God's command. I replied, that nothing was less in accordance with man's pride, and man's inclination, than that doctrine, still we are bound to believe it, as it is plainly and repeatedly taught in the Bible, and by that book alone shall we be judged for the rejection or acceptance of any doctrine. He begged me not to press the point, as he has reasons for being averse to this doctrine, which he will one day explain to me in private. Calling on him, he producd a New Testament, and said, "I have been reading this book very carefully; it contains many things that command our admiration, but I find that the foundation of Christianity is this, that the first Adam has involved the whole human race in his guilt, and that Jesus Christ was the second Adam, who came to redeem mankind from the effects of Adam's sin. Now if I admit the first proposition, I must accept the second as a matter of course; but as I am born a Jew, and wish to die one, I must on no account agree to that doctrine." I pointed out to him those passages that bear on the subject, and he promised to give them his serious consideration.
On the 8th inst., the fête of the Immaculate Conception was celebrated with unusual magnificence; this city being consecrated to the Virgin, was most brilliantly illuminated with designs of the following description:"Mary, queen of heaven," "Mary, conceived without sin," "Mary, intercede for us," "Lyons is grateful to you," &c.; and the immense gilded statue of the Virgin, on the top of Notre Dame des Fournieres, was lit up with Bengal-lights, that the faithful might be able to see it at a great distance, and obtain many days' absolution by repeating an "Ave-Maria," whilst perceiving it. The Jew, who tests Christianity rather by its professors than by the New Testament, can form but a very ill notion of the Christian religion in witnessing these
mummeries of the Church of Rome. I am thankful to say, that those whom I am in the habit of visiting understand perfectly well that we do not at all participate in these practices, and that we accept the Bible as the only standard of our faith. There are, however, many who think that Romanism is a perfect model of Christianity. A few days ago, I met Mr. I—, a very bigoted Polish Jew; he asked me, whether I do not in my heart agree with him, that no Jew in his right senses can forsake the religion of his forefathers, and embrace a religion that teaches such absurdities, and told me that if I would call upon him, he would show me in the "Univers Israelite," a fine specimen of the practices of Christianity in a country that is eminently Christian; the following is its translation"On the 18th of October, there died in the town of Sinigaglia (in the Roman states), a Jewish boy, three years old; the bishop sent to the parents to give up to him the body of the child, on the plea that their Catholic servant made a declaration, that a few days before the death of the child, she had baptized it when giving it a glass of barley-water. All the arguments and tears of the unhappy family were of no avail; and being threatened with most terrible punishments, they were obliged to give up the body to the priest, who carried it into the public square, where an immense concourse of people were assembled to witness the glorious triumph of the Church, and the body was afterwards buried in the vaults of the cathedral."
I cannot close this without expressing my thankfulness to Almighty God for the many mercies we have enjoyed during the year that is now closing, and pray that the coming year may be a happy one to every member of the Committee and its Agentsmay the love of the Saviour be shed abroad in our hearts more abundantly! May our zeal for winning souls be doubled! and may we begin the new year with fresh determination to know nothing among men save Christ and Him crucified.
Mr. SCHWARTZ's communication deserves special attention, not only for the incidents narrated, but because of the view he takes in the close, of the position of the Society, and of the duty of its friends: