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and have employed Mr. David Reed to preach to them for three months.
We invite the friends of our religion to consider the present as a peculiarly favourable season for devising liberal things to spread the knowledge of Christ. Reports from various parts of our land justify the belief, that there is a rapid multiplication of friends to the truth as it is in Jesus. It should animate us to perseverance in our work, that the system we have adopted meets general approbation, and that the ministers we have ordained and the churches we have established, may be referred to as fruits of our labours. We entreat all who are charitable to give us the means of doing still more extensive good, and to join with us in a humble prayer that Christian truth, charity, and righteousness may prevail.
Statement of the Funds of the Evangelical Missionary Society of Massachusetts, Dec. 1, 1819.
Amount of the accumulating fund
Balance in the Treasury for appropriation
List of Donations in 1818.
From the Female Cent Society in the second parish in Marlborough
From the Cent Society in Concord
do. in Northborough
From Ladies of West Church Society, Boston
From Ichabod Tucker, Esq.
From the Female Cent Society in Shrewsbury
Ladies Cent Society Concord
$1418 52 360 35
- $14 50
List of Donations in 1819.
From the young Misses of the North Church Society, Salem
A Lady in Brighton
Ladies' Cent Society in Waltham
Officers of the Society.
Hon. ISAAC PARKER, L.L.D. President.
ICHABOD TUCKER, Esq. Assistant Treas. for Essex.
Rev. Aaron Bancroft, D.D.
Rev. John Foster, D.D.
Standing Committee for Foreign Missions, &c.
Professor Sydney Willard,
Rev. Isaac Allen,
Rev. Charles Lowell,
Nathaniel Thayer, D.D.
Stephen Higginson, Jr. Esq. Alden Bradford, Esq.
The next annual meeting of the Society will be holden in Boston, on the first Thursday in October, 1820, and the religious exercises will be performed in the West Church. First preacher, Rev. Abiel Abbot, of Beverly; second preacher, Rev. Mr. Channing.
Conversion of the Jews.-The London Society for promoting christianity among the Jews has existed eleven years. New Series-vol. I.
During the last year there was considerable discussion in England, respecting the good effected or likely to be effected by its exertions. Some account of the publications on this subject may be found in the British Critic, from which the following abstract has been made.
The London Society has expended in ten years about 95,000l., and its receipts during the last year amounted to 10,091. lis. 8d. If we inquire what these ample funds have enabled the Society to perform towards the promotion of its object, we shall be informed by its various reports, that it has opened a Meeting-house for the benefit of those Jews who might be converted, or appeared well disposed for conversion; that it has built an Episcopal Chapel, on Bethnal Green, for the accommodation of those converts, who might prefer the ministrations of the Church of England; that it has established schools in which there are at present 43 boys and 35 girls; and that it has printed an edition of the New Testament in Hebrew. We learn, however, from the same sources of information, that the Meeting-honse is shut up, and to be disposed of, as the conversions produced by this Society are hence, forth to be conducted on the principles of the Church of England; the society itself having, as it appears, fallen entirely, or in a great measure, under the control of those who style themselves "the Evangelical Party" in the Church. The Episcopal Chapel, on Bethnal Green, continues open, and is, we are informed, well attended; not however by Jews, or by the converts of the Society, who might probably be accommodated within a single pew in any Church,-but by those Christians who usually resort to the Chapels in which an Evangelical clergyman officiates. The schools do not appear to be confined to the children of Jewish parents; not a few others have found admission there; and as for the Hebrew Testament, it would probably have remained as lumber in the ware-room of the Society's printer, had not the Bible Society taken the greater part of the impression at less than the cost price; (10th Report, p. 24, 26.*) and the Rev. L. Way and his associates
*We find, by examining this Report, that another and corrected edition is preparing in Stereotype, and that the Society have met with some circumstances of encouragement as well as discouragement. The following anecdote is given: A Polish Jew, residing in this country, but not able to read the English language, was, under God, converted to the faith of Christ by reading the Gospels in the Hebrew tongue, which had been put into his hands by this Society. He made a public profession of his faith by baptism at the Episcopal Jews' Chapel, on the 20th of August last. His conduct since that time has been such as to afford the best hope of his sincerity.
undertaken to distribute a portion of what was left, in their foreign tour. (Report p. 29.)
The Society does not boast much of its success in making converts. Some nominal converts have, however, been made, but the Rev. Author of "a Letter addressed to the Bishop of St. David's," has, we understand, found to his cost, that a converted Jew gains no very clear ideas of Christian honesty by the process; having not only detected these hopeful children in levying contributions upon his silver spoons and such light articles; but having been robbed of the communion plate and surplices of his Church, by the convert who had been appointed to the office of Clerk; and having reason to suspect the same person of a forgery upon his banker to the amount of some hundred pounds.
It is said that the letter of Mr. Way, one of the most zealous friends of the Society, contains admissions of its errors and failures; and he draws the same influences of its being an object of peculiar Divine favour from its adversity, which are deduced in regard to the Bible Society from its prosperity. This adversity appears to have been owing to strange mismanagement, and not a little to the too great inference of a well known individual, C. F. Frey. While under his auspices, impostors without number were suffered to prey upon the Society; the most shameful immoralities were practised by its pretended converts; the association itself was disgraced, its income was wasted, the royal patronage which had been obtained, withheld, the public interest lost, and the more respectable Jews insulted, and confirmed in their own faith by the misconduct of those who had undertaken to convert them. Thus in seven years 70,000l. were expended, the Society was on the verge of bankruptcy, and a radical change became necessary. The management of affairs was transferred from the Dissenters to members of the Episcopal Church, but the change was more nominal than real; it was sometime before even Frey was dismissed, and the general course of measures was but little changed. With respect to the instruments they have employed, it is astonishing how unfortunate or careless they have been in the selection. The immoralities of one are stated to have driven him from the country; another is reported to have been arrested on the charge of forgery, and strongly suspected of sacrilege; a third, the most prominent and active, appears to have deserted his original benefactors, and is charged with having quitted England at last, because detection in practices disgraceful to his moral character rendered his further residence here, or employment by the Society,
impossible. And the fourth is regarded even by his friends with an eye of diffidence.
If we proceed to investigate the conduct of the presumed or pretended converts, the picture will be too disgusting to look upon. If the hitherto uncontradicted narrative of Mr. Goakman be not exaggerated, grievous indeed has been the misapplication of public liberality, and gross the deception of those by whom it has been administered. Even the statements of zealous friends to the Society give little rational ground to hope that they are doing any good. We very much fear that few real Christians have been or will be made. Mr. Abrahams, we suspect, has stated the truth when, adverting to the thousands which have been expended, he says,- What have they bought for their money, but deception? Even those outcasts, which the temptation of money has beguiled to enlist under the banners of that Society, would be exceeding happy to return to their own congregation, if they thought they would be accepted.'
We would willingly, says the British Critic, in language we would adopt for our own-we would willingly speak with tenderness of those who have hitherto stood most prominent as the managers of the Society; for, notwithstanding we differ from them respecting the expediency of such an institution, we are always ready to give them credit for a sincere desire to do good, and for an ardent zeal in the prosecution of those designs which they consider to be praiseworthy and beneficial. In regard to the subject in general, it is one of great interest. The apostle's declaration that his heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel was that they might be saved,' has doubtless been echoed by the wishes of all reflecting Christians; who look forward with landable anxiety to that predicted time, when it shall please God once more to call them to the knowledge of his truth, and the participation of his favour. It is not surprising accordingly, that many pious and learned men, in every age of the Church, have considered it their duty to attempt the promotion of this work and the hastening of this time. From the days of Justin Martyr, to those of Hoorabeck, Limborch, and Spanheim, and our own incomparable Leslie, a long list of writers might be produced, who have laboured in this well intentioned, but hitherto fruitless, work. For as if to shew that "God only knoweth the times and the seasons," and that this is a task which he hath especially reserved for himself, the conversion of a Jew has at all times been as rare, as their whole history is wonderful; and however laudable may have been the designs of these writers, or excellent their performances,