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The Jewish Herald,
RECORD OF CHRISTIAN EFFORT FOR THE SPIRITUAL GOOD OF GOD'S ANCIENT PEOPLE.
"PUBLISH YE, PRAISE YE, AND SAY, O LORD, SAVE THY PEOPLE, THE REMNANT
PUBLISHED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF THE BRITISH SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL AMONG THE JEWS.
In these words, the Lord appears before us as a suppliant, just as though it were of importance to the all-sufficient God, for His own sake, that we should love Him, and remember Him with affection! He makes use of every form of speech to entice us to His arms; but they are not empty forms, for they proceed from His merciful and compassionate heart, which thirsts for our deliverance. "O Israel," He says, "forget me not!" When was there ever a more moving, heart-affecting address heard under heaven than this? Ought not the tears to rush into our eyes at such language? Look at the world, how much reversed! It is for us to lie in the dust at His threshold, and unceasingly to cry with tears, "Immanuel, do not forget us!" Instead of which, He comes, the Lord of glory, with such a request to us, who had long since deserved a very different language from His lips!
And how loud, in the present day, do these words again resound! Mark in what a powerful chorus the preaching of His gospel again reBounds through the world! Muster, if you can, the daily increasing host of watchmen on Zion's walls, who again invite men to come to Christ. Listen to the accounts of victory which are brought to us, ever more strikingly and wonderfully, from the distant missionary worlds; nor overlook the horoscope of the times, in which the state of things predicted by the sure word of prophecy, as immediately preceding the second coming of the Lord for the destruction of His adversaries, and the universal establishment of His empire, is ever more clearly made known to us. In all this, you hear the expression of His desire, that you should not forget Him.
VOL. XI.-NEW SERIES, VOL, II.
And, besides which, out of how many things that individuals continue to experience, is the voice still heard! Thou, who didst so wonderfully escape an impending danger; thou, who, after severe illness, hadst thy life lengthened and presented to thee anew; thou, who, on the contrary, wast obliged to resolve on accustoming thyself to an early grave; thou, whose soul was darkened by forebodings of death, or perhaps, blacker cares and bitter distresses; thou, who didst seek peace in all the world and could not find it; thou, who hast all the world can afford thee, and yet art inwardly depressed, going about restlessly and a fugitive, like Cain-all you solitary and friendless ones, who sue for love, and go abegging for faithfulness, and yet find it nowhere-all of ye tell me, do you not perceive in all this, Who stands before you, Who looks graciously ? Of upon you, and most urgently and earnestly entices you to His arms a truth, He is the helper out of every trouble, the friend of sinners. He seeks not yours, but you. He offers you alliance and friendship; and, believe me, that what He has disguised in your experience and feelings, in your joys and sorrows, is nothing less than His suppliant request, "O Israel, forget me not!"
But what do these words imply? Certainly more than might be supposed at first sight. Brief is the language, but rich the import. The superadded words, "return unto me," explain and expound them. With a passing thought of the Lord, with the reception of His image into the mirror, with a preserving of His name in our mouths and memories, its appeal is little responded to-its pathetic entreaty scarcely remembered. But as this sweet expression breathes the most fervent love to us as individuals, so it likewise claims for us, on our parts, personal love to the personal Saviour. Yet a rose may sooner grow out of the stone than this love out of the soil of our fallen nature; no, this celestial flower does not expand itself in us before we have experienced in our inmost souls a great transformation, only to be wrought by the power of the Holy Spirit. Not such a change, however, in consequence of which a sinner becomes a saint; but a change by which a pharisee is transformed into a poor and penitent sinner. It is not a regeneration, in virtue of which one that is weak and powerless elevates himself to strength and vitality; but a change in which one who supposes himself rich is brought down to be poor and needy. Truly it is a bitter cup to justify the sentence of God's law upon us, and to be compelled to condemn our whole life as having been spent in estrangement from God; but he who resolutely empties this cup, by so doing only bids farewell to deceit, and renders due honour to truth. It is true, that to us the necessity seems hard, to be obliged to exchange the flattering conviction of belonging to those who are good and acceptable with God, for a shameful consciousness of belonging to the ranks of publicans and sinners. But he who takes the resolution to do so exchanges, when viewed in the light, only a wretched delusion for the acknowledgment of that which really exists. It must come to this, that we awake out of our natural dreamy life before the trumpet of eternity awakes us too late. We must at length cease to hide from ourselves and from Him our boundless guilt in His sight, and acknowledge the tremendous, but too wellfounded truth, to be read in the tables of Sinai as well as in the whole of our lives, that in ourselves we are utterly lost, and lie under the Divine We must no longer struggle against such a turning-point in our lives. We must accept the Divine accusation against us, even should our
hearts break over it. There will, doubtless, be an end of the peace we have hitherto enjoyed, and of much besides. The bread of tears is now dispensed, instead of the manna of joy, as was once the case with Peter, Mary Magdalene, and a thousand others who now join in the great hallelujah; and grief, anxiety, and care take possession of us, such as our poor hearts had never known before.
But what of that? The road lies through this Jordan to the promised land. Provision is made that despair shall not be among the gloomy guests who approach us in sackcloth and ashes. We shall not sit long in sorrow on the criminal's seat, until, before our inward eye, the veil is thrown aside by One who is incomparably elevated and yet gracious. See on His head the crown of thorns, and look at His blood-stained robe! Hear Him exclaim, "I have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins; return unto me, for I have redeemed thee." Oh, how delightfully sweet and blissful does this language fall on our inward ear! All that is within us responds, "Thy will be done, and thine remain; take us under thy saving and delivering care." From that time the Friend of sinners becomes the centre of our lives, our only hope, the sole object of our love and desire. Henceforth, we can no longer understand how any one can enlist or live without Him. Our eyes then never cease
to behold Him, nor our will to be subject to Him, and we join in the exulting language of the prophet: "Sing, O ye heavens, for the Lord hath done it; shout, ye lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein; for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel."-From "Christ and His People," by the Rev. F. W. Krummacher, D.D.
The Synagogues of the Jews.
(Abridged and translated from the Biblical Dictionary of Dr. George Benedict Winer.) SYNAGOGUES were the religious meeting-places of the Jews in the times which succeeded the captivity. Tradition maintained their very early origin; and the Targums carry them up even to the age of the patriarchs. In proof of their high antiquity, they relied partly on Deuteronomy xxxi. 11-13 (on the ground that the reading of the law is the principal part of the synagogue-worship), and partly on Psalm lxxiv. 8. The first of these arguments needs no confutation. The expression employed in the above-mentioned psalm is ambiguous; and after all, the question remains whether this whole psalm was composed before the captivity. The needfulness of religious meeting-houses for social worship, without the service of the altar, must first have become perceptible to the Jews when in bondage, far from the Holy Land and the legal sanctuary and hence the synagogues may have originated in that eventful period, and afterwards have been transplanted into the mother country. At the beginning of the Christian era, at least one synagogue existed in every town of moderate size in Palestine; for example, in Nazareth, in Capernaum, as also in those towns of Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece, in which Jews had settled. Larger towns had more of them; and in Jerusalem itself, four hundred and eighty, or at least four hundred and sixty, were found.
Different from the synagogues were the proseuchæ, that is, places of prayer, oratories, which were without the towns, and generally in the neighbourhood of flowing waters (the Jews being wont to wash themselves before prayer), in open places, and often without roof. The name, however, is likewise used by Josephus and Philo for synagogues properly so called. The erection and support of the synagogues (which were sometimes without, but more commonly within the towns, and in the most beautiful and elevated situations) devolved naturally upon the community; yet both were sometimes undertaken by private persons, and these occasionally heathens. The Jews entertained high ideas of the sanctity of these buildings. They assembled there (the women occupying separate seats) on Sabbaths, feast-days, and, in later times, on the second and fifth days of the week, for social prayer and hearing sections of the Scripture, from the law, the prophets, and some other books of the Old Testament. These were read out by one of the congregation (according to Philo, by one of the priests or elders,) and freely interpreted for edification. The readerand the interpreter were, however, different persons. When one of the priests had pronounced the benediction, to which the congregation said "Amen," the assembly was dismissed. The office-bearers in the synagogue were: 1st, the overseer or president, who had the direction of the whole service of the synagogue, and watched over the order of the assemblies. 2nd, The elders, who seem to have formed a college of counsellors under the superintendence of the overseer. 3rd, The legate or messenger of the assembly, who regularly officiated in the congregation as the offerer of prayer; but who was, besides, employed as the secretary and the messenger of the synagogue. 4th, The attendant or "minister," who made ready the books for public reading, attended to the cleanliness of the room, opened and closed the synagogue. To these was perhaps added an alms-gatherer; as Matthew vi. 2, cannot well be understood of open almsgiving.-Jewish
THE following address, sent from the Kertch Jews to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, our ambassador at Constantinople, is copied from the Jewish Chronicle; and affords a pleasing instance of the susceptibility of the Jewish heart to kindly influences. It is prefaced with a short note from the Earl of Clarendon, addressed to Sir Moses Montefiore :
Foreign Office, Dec. 22, 1855.
My dear Sir, I think you will read with pleasure the enclosed address to Lord Stratford, from some Jews who were brought away from Kertch when that place was taken by the allies, and in whose unfortunate condition I have taken great interest. I am, my dear Sir, very faithfully yours,
Sir Moses Montefiore, Bart., &c., &e., &c.
Your Excellency,-We, the undersigned, heads of families of 120 Russian refugees, of all ages, beg to be permitted to approach your lordship, to convey to your excellency the most heartfelt gratitude which we, the widows, the fatherless children, and orphans among us, feel and cherish for the considerate protection, and for the many acts of charity and kindness your lordship deigned to lavish on all of us, from the day of our arrival, from Kertch, at Constantinople, until the day of our departure for our desolate homes.
Language, my lord, even the most eloquent and impressive, would leave undefined our sense of obligation towards the generosity of the nation your excellency has the honour to represent; but especially towards your excellency's magnanimity, with which your lordship caused balm to be poured into our afflicted hearts.
We would also beseech your excellency to be pleased to interpret our deep sense of gratitude and obligation to the French and Turkish authorities at Constantinople, and towards the French Sisters of Charity, whose untiring zeal and solicitude in behalf of the women and children among us will never be forgotten.
We would, in conclusion, pray to manifest, through your excellency, our deeply engraven thanks in our hearts and minds, to Rear-Admiral Grey, and to Lord Napier, who, on many occasions, brought comfort to our habitations of mourning, who provided us with meat, drink, and clothing, when all the necessaries of life were out of our reach, and who, not heeding wind or weather, continued to befriend us and to bewail our misfortunes to the last.
We have taught, and shall continue to teach, our children to implore the blessings of the Most High on our benefactors, that their kind deeds towards us may be lastingly impressed on our memory, and faithfully recorded to that of our coming generations of Judah, who, we trust, may reap the benefits of the objects of this war. We have, &c.,
(Here follow the signatures.)
Missionary Intelligence, &c.
OUR "duty is to sow beside all waters." "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand." It is not permitted to the enemy to snatch away all the seed, though it may seem cast on stony ground some genial rain-drops-some penetrating sunbeam-may kindle into life what lay among the dead.
From Mr. FRANKEL :
I have been visiting Madame L A very long time; she always received me politely, and even allowed me to speak about Christ and the Gospel to all the members of her family, but seemingly, never paid any attention herself; she is very bigoted, and often told me that she was quite ready to lay down her life in defence of Judaism. One day her son
called to say that his mother was very anxious to speak to me; she had the day before received a letter from Alsace, an. nouncing the death of her father; the stroke was a severe one, and she could find nothing in Judaism to afford her any consolation in the hour of trial; in her distress, she remembered some remarks I made on the passage, "Christ hath brought life and