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Tbe Missions .
[UNDER the pressure of various engagements, a few of the Missionary Journals were handed to a young friend, for arrangement and abridgment. They were returned with the accompanying prefatory remarks, which may commend themselves to those who, like himself, are giving their morning thoughts to the cause of Israel. -Ed.]
On reading the reports of some of the London Missionaries, and marking the vicissitudes of a Missionary's life, with its hopes and its fears; on reviewing, now his most sanguine hours, and now his seemingly disappointed hopes, our reflections were upon the Divine nature in its competent desire, as it assists and cheers the labourer on; and we heard, as it were, a voice saying to ourselves and in their hearing, “Trust only in God.”
“Man's extremity (it has been said, and deserves to be often repeated) is God's opportunity.” As we turn our eyes upon the countenances of men, we feel that, though they are often the indices of the hidden nature, there are changes passing over them which nought but a self-consciousness can know; and when we remembered that troubles unseen may be greater than those which are discerned—and that this is especially the case in a Christian's walk-we thought, and truly, how much deeper must be the concern of those whose avocation, from dawn till dusk, is the care of souls, and who, in opposition to the spirit of Cain, strive to be the “ keepers of their brethren.”
We seem daily to experience, that where there is an unseen burden, there is also an invisible and potent Hand—that God is a present helpthat He lightens the darkness of all who trust in Him.
Though the proud may despise it, the work of an evangelist is not a mean one. Though some 'may make light of a Missionary's labour, still does he deserve a tear, a thought, a smile-a prayer on his behalf from those who otherwise aid him not. In his approaches to the seed of Abraham, does he meet with less difficulty than he would experience with other tongues and tribes? Nevertheless, there are those that seek the Saviour's aid and guidance for him, and who would refresh and do him good; and it is by these and other means that God regards and supplies all his wants, according to his need.
All is not cloud, all is not sun, that spreads above us;
And yet serene we live if God will lead and love us. How often the Missionary speaks to the “ tribes of the wandering foot!" How frequently it is the case that a few interviews are granted, which seem auspicious, and then the sail of the outward-bound emigrantship is lost, with its precious freight, on the hazed horizon,---or the pedestrian merchant's feet but for a day echo in the town, and then for years are heard no more.
Thus he knows not the end of his labours-and tidings seldom come to tell him of the death or life, the weal or woe, of those with whom he has communed.
As roots of life lie 'neath the drifted snow,
And it shall be reaped, though not by you,
Shall have the pure and everlasting praise. And as we read Mr. Gellert's report, it made us again reflect upon the light of the countenance of God, and how that when the spirits of His servants may be cast down within them, He has encouragement in store, and how that by manifestations of Himself which they appreciate, of which the world is unworthy, He revives and cheers them :
A young Jewese, named Rosy, of whom I afford me consolation and peace upon the made favourable mention last year, from most unlucky and gloomy days," at which then until the other day, seemed lost to my time she particularly inade use of it. She view. On her first meeting me, she mani- then poured her heart out to ine about her fested her gratitude for the New Testa- temporal concerns, manifesting at every ment and books which on that occasion I
pause sincerity, patience, and hope in that gave her, and which she seems to have grace which will surely cause all to work rend very diligently, not regarding the for her best. I learn, that when in Berlin open dislike of her present master and she was persuaded by her cousin, a Chrismistress to her so doing. Having no tian Jewess, to attend Protestant churches. reason to doubt the sincerity of her ex- I trust that the Word to which she has pressions, as they are not affected by any listened, both from my lips and from men unworthy motive, I was very satisfied with of God in the fatherland, will not return them. The following deserves mention, until it has pervaded her soul and mind, as it not only affords me an insight into and made her able to risk all for the un. the spiritual state of her mind, but even searcbable riches of Christ. evidences to me the influence of this spiri- And we would addtual condition on her daily occupation, which may indeed be considered as the
She walks, perchance, as does her guide, within
sequestere:l ways, first visible fruit produced by the Gospel, And no romantic incident this narrative could being that of peace and consolation to the
raise,mind by the reading of the simple Word
Truth no adornment needs; the name of God, the
Voice of love, of God. I asked her whether she believed
And the thought that angels can rejoice in heaven the New Testament to be a divine book?
alove if so, what were her reasons for such be: With us lelow-that truth, through Christ, makes
constant way, lief? Upon which she replied, " If it were
Shall glat our heart, shall give us strength beyond not a Divine book, it could not certainly the day.
The following instances derive increased interest from the fact that they have occurred among Jews in London, and of a class not so accessible as those in more dependent circumstances :
Mr. BRUNNER thus recommends to notice that the ceremonial part of the Old Testathe case of Mr. L- a merchant from Aus- ment-such as sacrifices, &c.--were not tria, with whom, he says, “ I have been in instituted by the Lord, as essential at the the habit of intercourse for the last two years, time, and typical of the great sacrifice on each occa-ion of his visit to this country. which was to take away the sins of tho Being an intelligent and well-educated world; but that they were merely customs Jew, his opinions on religion were to a borrowed from anterior or Egyptian habits, certain degree correct; but, while he was engrafted by Moses into his economy, and willing to admit all the rabbinical errors rendered subservient to the true service of Judaism, he excluded from his faith all and worship of Jehovah. I often argued those great and positive truths which point with Mr. L- from the Bible, and apto the Gospel as the end and perfection pealed to those auxiliary testimonies which of Judaism. In fact, Mr. L-'s views history bears to the supernatural mission
rationalistic. He maintained that the of Christ, and the divinity of Christianity; moral code of the Bible was the only part but, above all, I endeavoured always to by which man can make himself accept- awaken within him a sense of his guilty able to his Maker, and secure his future and depraved nature, and of the only salvation;
and he was inclined to believe remedy provided in the Gospel. Mr. L
was never inclined to accord to our Saviour such a character as we claim for Him, and did not think that we needed a reconciliation or atonement, as the Gospel admonishes every one to believe. However, his state of mind did not di-courage me from preaching to him on every occasion until I succeeded in awakening some degree of earnestness within him about those things that appertain to his eternal peace, and he began to read the New Testament, and the other books I supplied lim with, in a different spirit, not as one who would merely seek something for cavilling, but with a sincere desire to ascertain whether those things be so, and to arrive at the truth, whatever it may be, that his soul may be settled and quieted therein. From this period I had no more to combat disbelief and rationalism, but rather to do to bir the part of Philip to the eunuch, and to lead him through his difficult way, explaining to hiin questions and apparent contradictions, and leaving with him some new tract which I recommended to his diligent reading wbile abroad. In my recent interview with him, I have noticed a decided change in his state of mind, clearly indicating that work of grace which the Gospel operates within the heart of the sinner when his soul is awakened by the Holy Spirit to a lively sense of its guiltiness, and its need of a Saviour. Mr. L-spoke to me with great reverence and earnest. ness of the truths of the Gospel, and of the person of Christ observing that he did, during the time he was at honie, read at his leisure diligently the Old and New Testaments, and that his views on the subject were now different to what they always had been. What is most encouraging in his case, is his awaked sense of his guilty state lle said that he never felt himself so much a sinner, and that his conscience was
so sensible to this matter, as since his reading the New Testament, and that he must therefore come to the conclusion, that what the Gospel teaches of Jesus is true — namely, that He was the true Messiah, who was to bruise the serpent's head, and be Himself the atonement for the sins of the world. Now, when it is borne in mind that these sentiments were uttered by one who is
rich in the things of this world, and has no earthly inducement to express to the missionary feelings that he does not realise, are we not justified to conclude that our work is making progress among the Jews? Mr L- will, while in England, attend the Christian service; and I trust that his faith will be strengthened by a blessing on the means of grace.
Another case, confirming my statement as regards the progress of our work, is that of Mr. E-, an orthodox Jew, with whom I have also been acquainted for the last twelve months. This individual is the author of several works in Jewish rabbinical literature, and from his position as a learned Jew, it was natural that I found him, at my first acquaintance, possessing a perfect knowledge of the system and teaching of Christianity. always opposed to the truth, and perscvered in resisting my efforts to bring conviction to his mind. His argument was, that Judaism was unchangeable, and that its destiny was to bring ultimately all nations under its sway. As to the sinfulness of hunan nature, and the necessity of a redemption, he pleaded always the sufficiency of good works and self-righteous. ness; and affirmed that, although the Jews had now no sacrifices and no means to atone for their sins, their prayers, and fastings, and praisegivings would supply the place of sacrifices and burnt-offerings, as David and Isaiah have declared. In my recent intercourse with him, however, I found that the light of the truth had begun to shine upon his mind, and that he now reads the New Testament with interest, and the deepest concern of soul. He first discovered that the time of the Messiah's advent was past, by which he was led to a serious examination of the Old Testament Scriptures, and his mind having been satisfied on that point, it is now turned towards the Gospel. and he is anxiously seeking in Jesus the promised Hope of Israel. I have frequent intercourse with this interesting individual, and watch his case with the greatest anxiety, as his decided conversion and faith might prove a blessing to many of his Jewish brethren and acquaintances.
Mr. GINSBURG, of MULHOUSE, reports to us the conversion of three individuals, a Jewish husband and wite, and a youthful brother of the latter; and the baptism of the two former, with their children. In each case, no sooner was the design of the convert known, than efforts, multiform and strenuous, were put forth to frustrate their intentions, not only by a cruel persecution, but by stratagem and by bribes :
The whole community seemed stirred. It was a costly and a sacrificing zeal; and were it not that it had been false, would shame many a so-called Christian, who sees one by one stray from the right communion with but little or no emotion, while of such an apostle could not write without weeping.
But with regard to the three before us, it seems that nothing could separate them from the love of God. The ordinance of baptism was first received in the presence of a small assembly by the wife, together with her children. Her brother, of eigh
teen years, at the time of the benediction being pronounced upon the youngest child, rose before the little gathering, and expressed his longing anticipations of the time when the like should be done unto himself. The husband was afterwards baptised, with his elder son, eleven years of age, in the French church, which was crowded to excess, multitudes of Jews and Jewesses waiting, both within and without the structure, to see the convert retire. The sermon, it is believed, made a favourable impression upon them.
Mr. COHEN (MARSEILLES) speaks thus of one who, ashamed of some of the absurdities of the Talmud, had exchanged his rabbinicał studies for the school of Christ and His apostles :
One day last week I was introduced to the evil doers?' A day or so after this, I & most respectable Jew, who came hither read that God became unclean, when He from Constantinople to buy merchandise buried Moses, and in order to cleanse Himfor that place, with whom I had a long con- self, He bathed in fire. I was so disgusted versation; and after he had given me some in reading this, that I closed the Talmud, account of the war, he said: “ As you are a and said, ' From henceforth I will never Christian, perhaps you can tell me where I read it any more;' and as I left the Beth-hacould procure a New Testament?” I said: Miderash, I muttered to myself, the Talmud “What do you want with a Testament: you is not-it cannot be-inspired; for it robs are not a Christian?" He said: “What God of His glory, and makes Him like one of makes you think that I am not a Christian?" us.' Shortly after this I left the Holy City for I said: “Because you told me that you Constantinople, where I have been ever were a Jew.” He said: “I told you that I since, studying the Old and New Testawas a Jew before I knew who you were; ments, and it has pleased the Lord to bless and I am a Jew by birth, but I hope a me, and open my eyes to see that I am a Christian through faith in Christ-I believe sinner-that Christ is a sufficient Saviour." that Jesus is the true Messiah, who came to And he added, “I thank God for the moral save mankind. I have read the New Testa- courage which He gave me, by which I ment, but I lost it on my way hither.” I was enabled to renounce the Talmud; for said: “ How was it that the Lord opened I am sure that if I had remained studying your eyes to see that Jesus is the Messiah?” it, I should have become a decided infidel." He said: “I must tell you that I am a He bought two Testaments, one for native of Russia, but left when I was thir- himself, and the other for a friend of his. teen years of age, and have been twenty- There is a most intelligent Italian young two years in Jerusalem, studying the Tal- man with me, who is determined to know mud. About four years ago I began to the truth as it is in Jesus. He speaks the doubt the inspiration of the Talmud; but I Arabic, Greek, and Spanish languages flutried to divest my mind of this, and I ently, and has also a knowledge of French. did for nearly two years; but one day, as I He told me that about fifteen months ago sat in the Beth-ha-Miderash (the house of he had been in the hospital at Jerusalem, study), studying the Talmud, I read the and from that time his mind had been disfollowing fable (for such I now consider turbed. One day he told me that he did the Talmud): When Moses refused to not know much of the religion of Jesus, resign his life to the angel of death, God but he felt that it was of God; for it spoke Himself paid him a friendly visit, and took to the heart. He has bought an Italian his soul from him whilst in the act of Testament, which, he tells me, he reads kissing him; and immediately God wept, every evening. I see him almost daily, and said, Who will rise up for me against and have great hopes of him.
Mr. STERN thus writes from FRANKFORT:In looking back on the Lord's guidance having finished to the great satisfaction of and mercy hitherto, I can only bless and all the professors, he received an appointthank Him for the marvellous way by ment as Doctor of Medicine in Bavaria. I which He hath led me; and say with kept up a correspondence with him, and Jacob, “ I am not worthy of the least of have recently heard that he has been bapall the mercies and all the truth which tised, and married to the daughter of the thou hast showed unto thy servant."
Christian pastor of his country. While I held my first situation as school- R. F, the eldest brother of my wife, master, among the Jews, in Haukberg, for a citizen here and father of three children, three years from January 1817, the morn- died after a very short illness, in his 60th ing star arose in many a Jewish heart, as year. He came almost daily to us, and evidenced in the conversions of Mr. J. F. our frequent conversations with him about H-, his two sons, and brother, noted in the one thing needful made, I trust, a my Journal 1847. I often visited the deep impression upon his heart. A few parents of my pupils, and conversed with days before his death, he said to us, " Do them on the importance of the Holy Scrip- not believe that your words about the tures, and the accordance of many passages things of religion are lost. I am not in the in the Old Testament. Thus I frequently wrong way. I am recollecting what you called on the orthodox rabbi, father of two say to me.” The funeral was conducted of my pupils. At the yearly examination in the Jewish manner, and the relations of my school, the chief of the government gave me the honour to put a nail in his in Wurzurg presided, and was so satisfied coffin, and to cast ou his grave three shovels with the answers of NF
of earth, mised to help him on in his studies, which
that he pro
Mr. SCHWARTZ (BRESLAU) informs us of instances in which it seems easy to trace the influence of the life-giving Spirit of God :
Where the Gospel is taken to the Jew, panied me home, where we emphatically in how many instances does he become spent a day of rest. That day stands before unconsciously impressed with its veracity! me now, it is embalmed in my memory; How often is it an impression which time and though with the seasons past and dead, cannot wear away, nor gathering years
it lives. And from that time his desire for obliterate! It is about eighteen months truth grew, the whole Revelation being since I first met an Israelite of respecta- made his study; and he not only satisfied bility, the chaunter and teacher of a Jewish his own mind with truth, but opened it to congregation in Upper Silesia. I perceived others. The young man in whose comnot only that he was to some extent ac- pany I found him was one who, under his quainted with the right way, but also that influence, was feeling after the light and the tendency of his heart was to the prac- life which they had now, though imperfectly, tice of the same.
I placed the New Testa- received. Had it been but an intellectual ment in his hands, and saw him no more recognition of the truth, we might have until recently. On a Lord's day morning wept for them still; but the one thing Dr. Goup, one of the few believing minis- needful had been felt within, and their ters of the place, was preaching, and I hearts opened to receive it. May the Lord, arrived at the church when it had become who still is drawing them, also guide our crowded, so that I stood in the doorway; steps aright! It was no accident which and whilst intent upon the discourse, my brought us together, and with gratitude to attention was suddenly attracted by the the Lord we parted, each in duty's path, entrance of two individuals, one of whom still led by Providence. I immediately recognised as the teacher, Perhaps you still remember a Mr.R accompanied by a younger Israelite. Plac-' whose case I have before mentioned, and a ing themselves quietly by my side, they letter of whose, which had been addressed gave ceaseless attention to the discourse. to me, I then sent you, containing the warm The service concluded, he recognised me expressions of his interest in the Saviour. with much pleasure, and the more so as he It was the epistle of an awakened mind, was then on his way to Saxony, and per- from the receipt of which I formed a friendly haps for a permanence, in which event we connection with him. Young, and in a might have been forgotten to each other. measure uncontaminated by a degenerate Both he and his companion willingly accom- world, which so often deadens and destroys