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rising generation, growing up under influences tending to alienate it from the community. Great, great is the responsibility of those parents who remove their children from those circles and influences which would have fanned the dying spark of Jewish feeling within their bosoms. We should by far prefer the din of sectarian strife to the grave-like stillness of indifferentism. We Jews are too small a body to be divided into fractions. A mighty and influential institution such as the Established Church can afford to see dropping off body after body, resolving themselves into dissenters. Although a few branches be lopped off, yet the tree remains as stately as ever. The shoots around only serve to set off the majestic growth of the parent stem. But any droppings from our weak stem, however inconsiderable in themselves, must drain its sap and deprive it of its vital fluid. Dissent in Christianity stimulates zeal, dissent in Judaism seems to abate it; at least there is not sufficient co-operativeness for carrying out any common object.
We think it is not difficult to perceive, in these expressions of uneasiness, a proof that the leaven of Christianity is very widely diffused through the Jewish community. Let Christian effort be pursued silently, and in the spirit of love and prayer,-let it be cordially encouraged by all who desire the subjection of man to the peaceful sceptre of Messiah, and we shall soon join hand and heart with many a Jewish brother, and sister, and go with them to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.
THE JEWS AT THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. This season of joy and gladness, mingled with circumstances of humiliation and sorrowful retrospect, has just passed over :-The Feast that used to fill Jerusalem and its crowd of visitors with joy, while realising their abode in the city of habitation, they called to mind the days of pilgrimage, when their fathers dwelt in tents
, and when the Shechinah, now resting on the Temple, led through the desert their weary steps. It was a wise and merciful institution, and, as we stood within the walls of the synagogue, we felt a reverence and love for the people, unlike that awakened in our bosoms for any other; and the secret wish arose, that the voice once heard (probably), as they were drawing water at Siloam's stream, to be poured out before the Lord, could once again command attention and per. suade reception : “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
There is much of beauty in D’Israeli's notice of this festival :
“The vineyards of Israel have ceased to exist, but eternal law enjoins the children of Israel still to celebrate the vintage. A race that persist in celebrating their vintage, although they have no fruits to gather, will regain their vineyards. What sublime inexorability in the law ! but what indomitable spirit in the people!
“It is easy for the happier Sephardim, the Hebrews who have never quitted the sunny regions that are laved by the Midland Ocean—it is easy for them, though they have lost their heritage, to sympathise, in their beautiful Asian cities or in their Moorish and Arabian gardens, with the graceful rites that are, at least, an homage to a benignant nature. But picture to yourself the child of Israel in the dingy suburb or the squalid quarter of some bleak northern town, where there is never a sun that can at any rate ripen grapes. Yet he must celebrate the vintage of purple Pales ne! The law has told him, though a denizen in an icy clime, that he must dwell for seven days in a bower, and that he must build it with the boughs of thick trees; and the rabbins have told him th these thick trees are the palm, the myrtle, and the weeping willow. Even Sarmatia may furnish a weeping willow. The law has told him he must pluck the fruit of goodly trees, and the rabbins have explained that goodly fruit on this occasion is confined to the citron. Perhaps, in his despair, he is obliged to fly for the candied delicacies of the grocer. His mercantile connections will enable him, often at considerable cost, to procure some palm-leaves from Canaan, which he may wave in his synagogue while he exclaims, as the crowd did, when the Divine Descendant of David entered Jerusalem, "Hosannah in the highest!'
“There is something profoundly interesting in this devoted observance of oriental customs in the heart of our Saxon and Sclavonian cities, in these descendants of the Bedouins, who conquered Canaan more than three thousand
years ago, still celebrating that success which secured their forefathers, for the first time, grapes and wine.
“Conceive a being born in the Judenstrasse of Hamburg or Frankfort, or rather in the purlieus of our Hounsditch or Minories, born to hereditary insult, without any education, apparently without a circumstance that can develope the slightest taste or cherish the least sentiment for the beautiful; living amid fogs and filth ; never treated with kindness, seldom with justice; occupied with the meancst, if not the vilest toil; bargaining for frippery, speculating in usury, existing for ever under the concurrent influence of degrading causes, which would have worn out, long ago, any race that was not of the unmixed blood of Caucasus, and did not adhere to the laws of Moses : conceive such a being, an object to you of prejudice, dislike, disgust, perhaps hatred. The season arrives, and the mind and heart of that being are filled with images and passions that have been ranked in all ages among the most beautiful and the most genial of human experience; filled with a subject the most vivid, the most graceful, the most joyous, and the most exuberant; a subject which has inspired poets, and which has made gods, -the harvest of the grape in the native regions of the vine.
“He rises in the morning, goes early to some Whitechapel market, purchases some willow boughs for which he has previously given a commission, and which are brought, probably, from one of the neighbouring rivers of Essex; hastens home, cleans out the yard of his miserable tenement, builds his bower, decks it, even profusely, with the finest flowers and fruits that he can procure—the myrtle and the citron never forgotten--and hangs its roof with variegated lamps. After the service of his synagogue, he sups late with his wife and his children in the open air, as if he were in the pleasant villages of Galilee, beneath its sweet and starry sky."
We have grouped these articles together, as presenting the Jew in an aspect of peculiar interest; and as indicating the obligation upon Christians to diffuse among them the living Word, and to implore for them the influence of the life-giving Spirit. To us, the present seems a moment of peculiar solemnity as to the state of Israel. Is not some change at hand? Are we prepared for it? Shall the Son of Man find faith among us?
Six months have passed over us since the last annual meeting. We have made no anxious appeal for help; hitherto, it has met the expenditure; and we would bid away the fears that sometimes point to the very slender balance in hand, and tell us it will be exhausted before Christmas. You will not suffer this.
We have had other anxieties, but we believe even these will be for good. Three of our Missionaries have gone from us, not into the world, but into other sections of the Lord's vineyard. One of these from a conscientious objection to receive salary for a work done for God; one to give himself to the ministry of the Gospel among Gentiles; and the other, because he feels it essential to be a fellow-labourer with the London Society's labourers. We follow them with prayer; and although educated by this Society for its own service, we shall rejoice to know that the work of the Lord anywhere prospers in their hands. The Committee are now more anxious that their Missionaries should be well and thoroughly qualified for a work which increasingly demands eminent piety and superior intelligence. For such men we shall look, and to our Christian friends for the means of adequately sustaining them. The Committee have also in contemplation the placing of a schoolmaster with each foreign missionary, and also the appointment of a well-qualified servant of Christ as a visitor of the several stations, residing for a time with each Missionary, aiding him by counsel and co-operation, and thus imparting (if the Lord shall bless the plan) life and strength to the whole work. We do earnestly plead for special assistance for carrying out this. We believe that it will not be difficult to fix on such an agent. Oh! pray for us, and do not withhold that which is in the power of your hand to give. Early remittances from the Associations will be very acceptable.
The Night of Sorrow, and the Morning of Joy.
In a recent paper, we meditated on “ the sleepless night" of a mighty monarch, traced the wonderful consequences of the same, and found reason to magnify the tender mercy and over-ruling providence of God. We propose now to introduce the reader into the chamber of another of earth’s great potentates, in order to learn God's character, and to have our sympathies more drawn out towards His ancient people.
Of Darius it is thus written : “ Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of music brought before him, and his sleep went from him,” (Dan. vi. 18). The occasion of this sleeplessness and sorrow was, that he had fallen into the snare of some crafty and envious courtiers, who had persuaded him to make a royal statute, that no one should ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, save of himself, and that the penalty for transgressing this law should be, “to be cast into a den of lions.” We scarcely know which to condemn most severely, the envy and sycophancy of the princes who made this impious proposal, or the pride and folly of the king who agreed with it. The deification of despots was no uncommon thing in those days; and here, no doubt, is the root of the heathen mythology. How sad is the thought that something very analogous to this has been intro
duced into the professing Church! If the heathen gods could be traced to their origin, and presented to us as they really were, what a rabble of petty tyrants and cruel marauders should we behold! If the real history of the saints which swarm the Romish calendar could be told out honestly, no doubt many of them would be found anything but saints in the true sense of the word. There is no false halo around the name and fame of Jesus. There are no “myths” in the New Testament. We have the inspired testimony of those who saw Him, heard Him, and leaned on His bosom. He is - the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” He is worthy, as such, to receive “ worship, honour, and glory.” Every knee must bow to Him, and “confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” No petition should we present but in His name, no mercy can we obtain but through His merit. All who will not “honour the Son even as they honour the Father," must be cast into a place far more dreadful than even a den of lions: “Whoever believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” How should this solemn and unutterable declaration lead us to labour to bring both Jew and Gentile to believe on Him!
But to return to our subject. We will not dwell further on the envy of the courtiers, or the pride of the king,-both were punished for their conduct; for their vices are sure to bring a terrible retribution on those who indulge in them. Let us contemplate Daniel in his faithfulness, his trouble, and deliverance; and Darius in his sorrow, solicitude, and zeal ; and endeavour to profit by both.
In Daniel we see a proof of the grace of God; a beautiful specimen of the Divine workmanship is before us in the character of “the man greatly beloved." But we must now only consider him in connection with this part of his history. His implacable enemies testify to his holiness and consistency. They looked into his conduct as closely as man could look, but could find nothing to lay to his charge. He was prudent, patriotic, and honest; managing the vast affairs of the empire with discretion; neglecting nothing, oppressing no one. "They could find none occasion
“ or fault, forasmuch as he was faithful.” They saw that he was devoted to his sovereign; they knew also that he was true to his God. He neither paraded his religion nor hid it. He paid no attention to their idols. He had no question to ask about “going into the house of Rimmon." He knew there was one God, and only ONE; and he loved Him with his whole heart. Here his unscrupulous enemies saw they could find occasion against him.
They succeeded. The king signed and sealed the irrevocable edict. Daniel soon knew this; though he had not been consulted. He knew it, and he did just as afore time;" neither more nor less. He entered his house, his windows being open toward beloved Jerusalem, and there upon his knees " he prayed three times a day, and gave thanks.” Prayer was to him a matter of great consequence, he could not dispense with it. It was an act of heart-homage to his Heavenly King, which he would pay, come what would. Prayer was to him a source of real pleasure. He mingled with it thanks to God, and tears for Jerusalem ; he poured out his gratitude and his grief. A man who thus walks with God, can leave consequences: life or death is committed to Him whom he serves.
He was watched at his devotions, accused to his sovereign, and adjudged to suffer the penalty he had incurred. God sometimes subjects
His greatest favourites to strange changes and severe trials. What a change for Daniel, from his monarch's palace, and his own pleasant chamber, to the filthy den of wild beasts ! In the two previous chapters we have him standing before kings, crowned with honours, and in the following chapters we find him talking with angels, and beholding the visions of God; but now he lies in a den of lions. It may be this change was necessary to keep him humble, and to fit him for future service. God has always an end in view in these fiery trials. “ Changes and war (says Job) are against me.". Nay, upright but suffering saint, they are for thee; as the end will show.
Thus it was with Daniel: “he was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found on him, because he believed in his God.” In the greatest trials that come in the path of duty, there is either a passage through, or a road back. A covenant with God will bring a believer through them unhurt and profited. No manner of hurt was found on Daniel, not so much as the print of a tooth or a claw. But this was not all; he not merely escaped, he also gained much blessing from God, much honour from his sovereign, much respect from men, and much admiration from all posterity. "My God (he says) hath sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths." Oh, what a night he spent in that den! what an enjoyment of covenant relationship ; what a consciousness of angelic presence and care ! And the memory of that night, how sweet-how animating in future trials ! Of him the grateful king said (and many joined him), “Behold a man who would rather enter a den of lions than disobey God, or lose the happiness of communion with him."
But let us next turn to Darius. The reader can easily go over the history, and make his own reflections; we will just deduce two or three inferences of a practical nature: If Darius so sorrowed over one Jew, how should we feel towards the multitudes of that once favoured nation ?
They have been for ages exposed to the teeth of those wild beasts which Daniel saw in the next chapter. The fourth, or Roman beast, with its strong iron teeth,” has preyed on them for the last eighteen hundred years, and is still doing so. What a marvel that the nation has not been consumed! Let us go and tell them of the covenant angel, who walked with their fathers ; let us set before them “God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” Their situation is cheerless indeed, and, to the eye of sense, hopeless; they are in Daniel's circumstances, but without his faith, without his consolations. Should we not be “ grieved for the affliction of Joseph ?" “ Should we not take pleasure in the stones of Zion, and favour the dust thereof” and imitate the interceding angel in crying, “ O Lord, how long, wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem, against which thou hast had indignation these many years !" A time shall come when those who "mourn with Zion shall rejoice with her," (Isa. lxvi. 10); and surely we cannot afford to lose this blessing.
Again, if Darius so anxiously desired and looked for God's deliverance in this one instance, how should we long for Israel's full salvation? The morning dawns after that sleepless and sorrowing night. “And the king arose very early and went in haste to the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God whom thou servest continually able to deliver thee from the lions?"" What deep solicitude is here ! See the monarch of the world bending over the mouth of the den; hearken