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to visit him, and they have lasted, with scarce an interval, to this very day. Yet all the while he has been the object of a love that is unchangeable and eternal, and the heir of promises that fill the future with glory, and run parallel with the world's course.
Foremost among the causes that have made the Jew what he is, we have placed "the heart of stone." This root of bitterness is common to
him with the idolater of India and the infidel of Europe. To add to this evil, original bias, there comes next a perverted education. His fetters grow stronger with each successive year. What his education began is perfected and finished by the Talmud. The longer he studies it, the further he wanders from light into darkness. Intercourse with mankind, or reading, might tend to open and expand his mind; but, alas! he lives apart and all his prejudices and prepossessions are strengthened and confirmed by this isolation, and by the remembrance of the injustice and oppression with which he was treated in former ages, and with which, in too many countries, he is still treated. All these are barriers between him and the Gospel, which the Spirit's almighty and sovereign power alone can enable him to surmount.
Let us now speak of those impediments which are external. In what light does the world appear to the Jew? Let us try to look at it as it presents itself to him. Is there much in it fitted, at first-sight at least, to shake his faith in the religion which he has received from his ancestors? When he surveys the systems around him, and compares his own with them, what is there to make him conclude that his is less pure, less elevated, less divine? In Pagan lands, what does he behold but idols, grim, uncouth, and monstrous; adored by a worship that is childish, immoral, or bloody, and connected with dogmas which are ridiculous, incredible, or revolting. Is it for the system of Brahminism or Budhism that the Jew is to forsake the institute of Moses? Is it for such notions as the Shasters can give him of Vishnu, that he is to renounce the simple, yet sublime and spiritual idea which the Old Testament presents of Jehovah? Is he to turn away from Him that sits between the cherubim, to bow before Juggernaut? The Jew is not likely to exchange even the Talmud, foolish and absurd as its teaching is, for the sacred books of the Brahmin. Modern Judaism, corrupt as it is, placed beside the gross and sensual system of Hinduism, appears a spiritual and heavenly conception.
In Mohammedan countries the Jew meets just as little to open his eyes to the errors of his creed. He looks around in that vast empire for the fruits that ought to accompany the religion of Heaven. He sees them nowhere: neither social virtue, nor public justice. He himself encounters only contumely and wrong. He goes back to his former creed, and clings to it with fonder reverence than ever.
When the Jew passes from Mohammedan into Popish lands, he is sensible of no change to the better. He beholds on all sides pomps, temples, and idols. Everything is loved and served save God. Since his return from Babylon, the Jew has cherished a deeply-rooted aversion to idols; and to abandon Judaism and become a Romanist, he feels would be to renounce Jehovah and become a worshipper of idols. To the Jew living at Rome, at Florence, or at Vienna, in what light can Christianity possibly appear but as a revival of Paganism? Do not Jupiter and Venus, under other names, still reign throughout Christendom? Why, then, should the Jew change his faith? Is he not better as he is?
But, it may be said, in Britain, at least, the Jew has an opportunity of seeing genuine Christianity. Here at least it is not confounded with idolatry. Granting this, still how small a portion of Christendom does Britain form, and how few Jews comparatively live in it! And even as regards those who do reside among us, how seldom do they come in contact with a living example of the Gospel! Where are the humility, the uprightness, the self-denial, the love of man, and the reverence of God, which ought to flow from Christianity? The Jew casts his eye over society, and sees wealth and pleasure eagerly pursued, the Sabbath desecrated, the holy name of God profaned, and frauds and crimes of frequent occurrence. Are the fruits of Christianity, he asks, better than those of Judaism? What will it advantage me that I exchange the synagogue for the church? Thus, the inconsistencies of real Christians, or the ungodliness of merely nominal ones, in the opinion of the Jew completely justify him in his rejection of the Gospel, and adherence to Judaism.
And yet it has pleased God to give abundant testimony, in the progress of Christian effort, of His presence and blessing, by turning the hearts of some of His ancient people to the Saviour. We must go on as we are doing, availing ourselves of every door that is opened, and accepting with thanks whatever fruit is given as a reward of our labours, but looking confidently for the promised signal outpouring of God's Holy Spirit. Then all Israel shall be saved. And verily the aspect of Providence seems to say that now at length God has remembered His covenant, and is about to visit the land and people of that covenant. "In that day Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely."
If there be truth in the above remarks, how solemn is the obligation devolving upon us, who have given our hearts and hands to the work of Jewish evangelisation, that we "adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things,"-that the Jew should see the Christian indeed in all the varied relations and circumstances of our lives,-that there should be so much of love, of gentleness, of holy cheerfulness, so much of Christ, that he may be led to inquire, and disposed to hear, the truth at our lips! We cannot compel love, but we can render our Christianity lovely. We shall never by terror drive, but by love we may win our brother to the cross; and if this may not always be the result of our intercourse, we may at least remove a stumbling-block out of the way. Oh, let us live in closer communion with the Father of Spirits, and with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. We may then go forward in the more assured hope that ere long the promised showers of blessing shall descend, and the Christian temple resound with Israel's hallelujahs to God and to the Lamb.
On Efforts for the Conversion of the Jews.
"To love the Jewish people is a natural dictate of piety."-Rev. R. HALL.
"For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."-(Rom. x. 12, 13.)
WHAT abundant encouragement is given in these words to those believers who are disposed to make attempts for the spiritual benefit of the Jewish people! Perhaps we have too long looked on them as cut off from the hopes of Israel, as strangers to its spiritual immunities, as living without
hope and without God in the world,—have too long considered their literal and spiritual destitution as but indicative of a hopeless state, and rather viewed their condition with the apathetic indifference of unbelievers, than with the deep, heart-wrought sympathy which the benevolence of the Gospel, and the spirit of the Redeemer, demand.
Reader, is it so with you? Are you in any measure indifferent to the salvation of the Jews? If so, read again the text at the head of this article; bow humbly at the throne of mercy, to confess your past deficiencies and neglect; implore grace, energy, and ardent affection, and a large supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ, to devote yourself to the interests of the outcasts of Israel, and to point them to the Lamb of God, "to Christ, who is the end of the law for righteousness," to whom all the prophets give witness unto the Prince and the Saviour of Israel, exalted to give repentance and forgiveness of sins. Yes, reader; for while it is written, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself," "thou shalt not suffer sin to rest upon thy brother," so long will it be criminal to be indifferent to the salvation of the Jews, and the proof be wanting that the Spirit of Christ dwelleth in you. Oh, will you not be encouraged by the promise of God, and pray that you may feel the importance of the object? "The redemption of the soul is precious," and without a change of heart none can enter into the kingdom of heaven; but, in answer to hearty supplications, the Holy Spirit will be given to renew the heart and save the soul from destruction. We calculate too coldly on national prejudice, and other obstacles in the way of the conversion of the Jews. We forget that the Holy Spirit is omnipotent; we forget that all hearts are at His disposal, that "nothing is too hard for the Lord;" we forget that the same almighty power of Divine grace which has broken the caste of the Brahmin, subdued the proud Chinese, brought the frozen Greenlander to the feet of Jesus, changed the Hottentot, and made the oppressed negro in his bonds and chains a free man in the Lord, can as easily remove the veil from the heart of a Jew, and bring him to confess with his mouth the Lord Jesus, and to believe on Him (whom now he blasphemes) to the saving of his soul. Yes, reader, remember for your encouragement that the same Divine agency that delivered you from the power of darkness, opened "the eyes of your understanding,' ," "delivered you from dead works,"-it may be from the power of nominal Christianity, or from the sandy foundation of your fancied good deeds and works of righteousness which you had done,-is still mighty through God to deliver the benighted Jew, and by his deliverance to increase the joys of the heavenly world; "for," said the Saviour, "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." Reader, do you not feel an ambition to share in the honour of those who swell the chorus of the redeemed? Would it not delight you to be the honored means of placing more gems in the mediatorial crown? Would not your own felicity in heaven be increased by the grateful strains of a redeemed Jew, owning, amidst the transporting raptures of the glorified, your humble instrumentality in telling him of Jesus, as the way, the truth, and the life? Surely you are not insensible to honours such as these; for "he that winneth souls is wise," and "he that converteth a sinner from the errors of his ways, shall save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins," shall "shine as the stars, for ever and ever."
Reader, dear reader, time is short; thousands who bear the Jewish name are dying around you every year, ignorant of that great Deliverer who is to
turn away ungodliness from Jacob. They are dying in their sins, dying in rebellion and hostility to Him through whom alone they can be saved; for there is redemption in no other, neither is there " any other name given under heaven," whereby a Jew can be saved. Oh, let the solemn thought rouse you to holy activity and earnest desire, and fervent prayer on their behalf; hear the Saviour saying to you, "that thou doest, do quickly," for time is short, life is uncertain. Oh, then, examine what it is that is in the power of your hand to do, and whether it be the offering of time, or money, or influence, do it promptly, do it heartily and prayerfully, and your labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. The Saviour whom you recommend to the now blinded Jew will accept your offering, and with the Holy Spirit's influence bless your labours. You will indeed have cause to rejoice in success in having proclaimed to the banished ones that salvation is of the Jews, and that the blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom they slew and hanged on a tree, "cleanseth from all sin."-A FRIEND OF ISRAEL.
Another friend, quoting Jer. xii. 7 and vii. 21, remarks
We are here reminded that Israel's blindness is judicial, while at the same time God has made it imperative on Christians to use every means in their power to remove the blindness from their eyes. You read in Ezek., xxxiii. 6 to 11, a detailed account of the work to be done.
True the light may be very imperceptible at the first amongst the Jews. Such was the manner in which Christianity was for some time developed among all people. You read in Acts, xv. 7, how much disputing took place amongst the first preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, more especially the thirteenth and three following verses. The evangelist Luke, who wrote the Acts, spoke with a decision not to be questioned. However, possessing, as the Christian does, this infallible record, he must, if he reads his Bible, see it to be not only a duty, but an inestimable privilege, to use every means in his power to spread the light of the Gospel (so long hid under the bushel of sect and party, until the original possessors of it are almost lost sight of).
Would it not be wiser, now God moves among the nations, to call upon all Churches to act with due deliberation in reference to this question? This, and this only, would prove us Christian watchmen, and by such faithful labours we should only be wiping out part of our own outstanding debts, and in so far showing ourselves to be honest.
The following interesting passage is from Dr. Chalmers' "Lectures on the Romans :"
The general injunction to missionary work is comprehensive of Jews as well as Gentiles, "Go, preach the Gospel to every creature." But the duty of labouring for the conversion of God's ancient people is furthermore laid on a distinct and special ground of its own. All that is said of them in Scripture serves to enhance the obligation of attempting, in every possible way, to find access among them for the doctrines and dispensation of the New Testament. This is an employment whereof we are told, that the good of it will come back with double interest upon ourselves. Or rather, and without noticing it in this selfish form, we learn from the Bible that the Christianity of the Jews will be followed up by a mighty enlargement in the character and state of Christianity throughout the world; so that in labouring for this, we become in a peculiar manner the fellow-workers of God, and instruments in His hands for prosecuting and
carrying forward to its fulfilment one of the highest objects of His administration.
The period of Jewish unbelief is now drawing to a close; and by a sort of reverse law, it is the faith of that people which will now be the stepping-stone to a great and general expansion of Christianity among men. Surely, then, when the conversion of the Jews is so much more hopeful, the duty of preaching to them is not less imperative, and at least greatly more attractive than it was before, and especially now that the ulterior good is arrived at by a medium so much more bright and beautiful than that through which the first teachers of Christianity had to find their way ere they came into contact with the Gentiles. Theirs was a rugged path, from the rejection of the Gospel by their own countrymen, to the proclamation of it over a world where it was yet unknown; and ours, on the other hand, we should feel an inviting path, from the reception of the same Gospel by the children of Israel, to the spread and revival of it among all nations. It is such a receiving as will be life from the dead. Under all views of it the evangelisation of the Jews should rank as a first and foremost object of Christian policy.
Notice of Books.
Voices of Many Waters. By the Rev. T. W. AVELING. Second Edition, Revised and Corrected. Pp. 436. London, Snow.
ANOTHER edition of this graceful and interesting volume affords a welcome opportunity for again commending it to the attention of our readers.
It needs no sanction of ours, but we may be allowed to state that it well sustains the high esteem in which its author is held, and supplies us with information of deepest interest, in a form so chaste and natural, that at once it finds its way to our home affections.
It is a book for all. Free from the romantic and the marvellous, you hear the very tones of a friend, whose heart is filled with love to the Saviour, and whose mind is in its congenial element, amidst recollections of sacred and classic scenes. It is a book for the winter evening, and when the hour for family or secret devotion arrives, it will leave no lingering thoughts to draw the heart from God. Although we gladly listen to the voices from many waters, we find our nearest affinity with the author by the Jordan, Bethesda's pool, and the brook Kidron. We can sit down and weep with him for joy at sight of Jerusalem, enter into all his feelings in taking leave of the Holy Land, and fully sympathise with his emotions on again finding himself in England.
Happily, the countries visited by Mr. Aveling are far better known to us than before steam and the prevalence of peace opened the way so easily to distant lands, and we can now test the truth of statements formerly recorded; but we know no volume so well adapted to gratify the taste, inform the mind, and inspire the heart's best feelings in reference to this section of travel. It will no doubt share largely in the list of Christmas and New Year's presents. The second edition has additional claims, from the careful revision of the author, and from a very beautful plate from his own daguerréotype.