תמונות בעמוד

The following pleasing letter has lately been received from Madras, addressed to one of the Committee.

Madras, August 12, 1817. DEAR SIR,—The state of the Jews in India has long been the object of my attention. The greater portion of the leisure I can command from my public duties has for some time past been employa ed to further their interests. The deep concern you take in their spiritual as well as temporal welfare has decided me in offering to you this address. The late Rev. Dr. Buchanan, who has mentioned my name in his publications, and whose memory I respect, points in his letters from Cochin and other parts of the Malabar coast, (printed in his Christian Researches in Asia, which do his memory so much honour,) at once to their wants, and to their wishes. Under the impression which these have fixed upon my mind, I was filled with the desire to send the Jews who reside there, and those who are stated by him to exist in other parts of Asia, Tartary, and China, the prophecies of Isaiah and Daniel in a detached form, which he mentioned as those that would be more immediately useful. But how to accomplish this object in India, where the Hebrew language is scarcely heard of, was a question Í really could not solve. My appointment to the Presidency, however, gave me a prospect which I did not fail to endeavour to realize. An ingenious native, whose name shall be recorded with praise, Avoolanda Patter, cut the first Hebrew types ever struck in India, obtained through the means of an industrious character at this place, Mr. W. Urquhart, and succeeded beyond my utmost expectations, though by slow degrees, and I found myself prepared by the month of May last year to interest some gentlemen here to furthering the object of printing the Prophets named above, who warmly entered into my views, and offered every aid in their power. I was not aware, however, of the great travail of correcting the press, which one of them who had been engaged in printing Hebrew in England described to me as very laborious, and which would have been an almost insuperable obstacle joined to my public duties; 1 therefore sought for an assistant, and was fortunate enough to obtain one, a Jew from Cochin, where his family resides, a young man of about 20 years, his name, Michael Sargone. Some time afterwards a copy of a publication, I believe by the Society for promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, of wbich you are, I perceive, a member, and one of the Committee, containing the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, to which is added the gospel according to St. Matthew in Hebrew, reached Madras. This obliged me to alter my plan, and I then proposed to select from the Old Testament all those passages which in any way related to the Messiah, and to the restoration of the Jews, and to add thereto the, four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews, and the Apocalypse. The gospel according to St. Matthew being ready, as requiring no selection, we began to print it off immediately. In the interim, however, I wrote for the affectionate address to the Jews (published by your Society) from the Society for promoting Christian knowledge in London, which, though against the rules of that Society to comply with my request, they fortunately sent. We have now completed the printing of St. Matthew's Gospel, but finding the work to proceed more slow than my wishes, and “the address to the Jews being received by the late arrivals, I have determined to prefix it to that Gospel, and to distribute the two together in the first instance; this will give me time to go on with the principal plan, to enable me to effect which is one object of this address in requesting you will have the goodness to send me the whole of the New Testament in Hebrew, or such part of it as is already in print.

I need not point out the total ignorance in which the Jews in Asia exist at present, and the necessity of sending them all those little publications in use by the Society, for promoting their welfare and Christianity amongst them at home, which I shall bave much pleasure in forwarding to them at Cochin. They think all Christians are Catholics, which is one reason they are not so free in their communications with Protestants as they otherwise would be, the second commandment and the prophecies being so express against the worship of images and idolatry. In addition to the importance of giving them information and instruction, you must also be well convinced that in a political point of view, to the British empire, to attach them to its interests is of great consequence. Mr. Faber has given to Bonaparte, the sum of 300,000 as the return, in 1808, of their numbers in Persia, China, and India, on the east and west of the Ganges. If this be a true statement, here is a wide field for the Society's benevolent views in this part of the world. I shall be most happy to assist in any manner that can best conduce to further those views ; likewise in forming a Branch of the Society here ; but we must first know the sentiments of your Society: and allow me to express a hope that this letter may lead to a mutually interesting communication on all the subjects connected with its institution. The prophecies equally relate to the return of the Jews to Canaan from the east, as from the west.

I beg of you to accept my most hearty good will and prayers for your welfare ; may God continue his favours towards you to the end. Your sincere well wisher,


A few Hebrew Bibles and the prophecies, with St. Matthew'sgospel, mentioned above, might also be sent here, for transmission to the Jews at Cochin

and Bombay, with advantage. There was formerly a college at Cochin, and there is now a school there, which however I am informed is declining for want of support.


LETTER FROM SAXONY. The following is an extract from an interesting letter lately received by the Committee of the London Society, from a very respectable reformed minister in Saxony: We do not for prudential reasons insert names. We need not add the Committee have gladly complied with the request contained in it.

February 14, 1818. Honoured Gentlemen,-For many years ago the sweet thought has filled my mind, to contribute something to the conversion to Christianity, by suitable means, of the ignorant, superstitious, and immoral Jewish nation. Though I found, that in Berlin, Dresden, and Dessau, and other German towns, much was prepared and done for the intellectual improvement of this nation, by learned and worthy men of their own, yet I very soon observed, that all these attempts did not stand in any connexion with Christian faith, and that these men, as easily may be conceived, tbough endeavouring to promote reasonableness and morality among their nation, do not at all mean to remove them from the belief of their fathers. This prevented me from entering into any connexion with friends in different towns, and persuaded me rather to work alone in my immediate neighbourhood for tbe cause of Christianity among this people. The place of my residence seemed to give me the best opportunity for it, as there (a particularity no where else to be found) is no school among the numerous and rich Jewish population; but all the children of the Jews, from their early years, attend our Christian schools and other places of instruction. Here, therefore, I ventured with prudence and caution to take some steps, and bave since eighteen months been so happy, not through any constraint or pursuasion, but merely through lively conviction, to bring over to Christianity two young persons, both of them now being gone to the one as a physician, the other as a lawyer. Before them, a Jewish merchant of this town was baptized, and married a Christian woman. In this manner a way is opened, and I see a pleasing and smiling futurity before me. Besides, it is very remarkable, that I often have Jewish women among my hearers, and that during the last celebration of the feast of the reformation, Jewish children had decorated them, selves with medals, showing the bust of the German reformer. But one thing needful is still wanting, and that is to instil into the minds' of the children and of the aged a relish for the doctrine and the life of Jesus, and to give them opportunity to read the Gospel of our Lord in the Hebrew language. This want is general in Germany. Our great personages talk much of the Jews; but they do nothing for them. With the most heartfelt pleasure I therefore lately learned from a German journal the existence of a British Society in London for the conversion of the Jews, and that this Society already had, for the better attainment of its charitable ends, undertaken a translation of the Gospels into Hebrew. I am indeed ignorant whether the labours of the Honoured Society are limited

to England, alone or extended to the whole continent. However, I am so bold, in the confidence of British magnanimity, praised through the whole world, and as my individual abilities are very small, huinbly to solicit a powerful assistance in the work I have begun, provided your statutes will allow it. As my circumstances will not admit sacrifices of my own, and I however feel inclined to work among this nation to the glory of Christianity, I request the honourable Society to transmit, if possible without expense, for the present, only a small collection of the Hebrew Gospels, that I may through them operate upon the Jews in this place. I promise to myself a rich harvest, and shall not omit noticing in due time the consequences of my exertions and of British charity. With the most candid respect and love I remain, Of the honourable British Society for the conversion of the Jews, the most humble Servant.

**** **** God bless the Society and its glorious work!


Communicated for the Recorder.

The Board of Managers of the “ Female Society of Boston and the vicinity for promoting Christianity amongst the Jews," present the following, their Second Annual Report.

Since the last anniversary, the proceedings of your Committee have been few. Their field of exertion is yet very limited. They have, however, the satisfaction of feeling assured, that nothing within their power has been neglected which could conduce to the promotion of the original design of this Institution. Their ardour in the cause in which they are engaged has not abated. Still are they sanguine in the belief of being the humble instruments, in the hands of Divine Providence, in assisting to lead the Jews to their Redeemer, the only true Messiah.

With great satisfaction they announce, that another Auxiliary has been added to this Society, composed of a large proportion of the ladies in Portland, (Maine,) and called the “ Portland Female Association for the promotion of Christianity amongst the Jews."

It is the wish of the Directors to obtain Jewish children, whom they may take under their protection, and educate in the principles of Christianity. They have limited the number at present to two, the funds not being sufficient for the support of a larger number.

The Reverend Bishop of the Eastern Diocese has kindly acquiesced in a request made to him, in using his endeavours to procure a couple of male orphans, whose relations and guardians, through poverty, might be induced to relinquish the care of them. In this design we follow the bright example of the parent Society in London, whose last report (a donation of one hundred of which have been received) informs us, that their schools contain upwards of seventy boys and girls. These receive not only a religious education, but are also taught in the different trades and employments to which their inclinations tend, and are thus enabled to maintain themselves by honest industry. The Society in London is guided and patronized by men distinguished in rank and fortune, and highly eminent for piety and wisdom. They have published, at great expense, one edition of the New Testament in Biblical Hebrew, and, notwithstanding this was completed only in December last, so great is the demand for it, that another edition is found requisite, and has been commenced. Copies have been circulated in Russia, India, Gibraltar, Malta, and various parts of Germany. These have been received with gratitude, and many encouraging facts afford reason to hope that they have already been productive of good. A much respected member of a Society of Friends in England observes, in a letter to the editors of the Jewish Expositor for February, 1818: “ It is, I assure thee, with great pleasure, and with a strong faith, that I look forward to the effect of a general reading of the New Testament among the Jews; the Hebrew character, which they consider as a sacred one, will ensure an attention to it that no other character in which it may be presented can induce them to pay; and although a great multitude of the Jews are but half acquainted with the Hebrew tongue, a great proportion remain who thoroughly understand it, and whose minds, I trust, will be enlightened as they survey its doctrines; doctrines which, whilst they abolish the law of Moses, magnify and make it honourable.”

The Society in London have encountered difficulties and disappointments, but are not discouraged by them from persevering in the work they have so nobly begun. A spirit of interest for the

present state of the Jews seems to be diffused throughout most of the countries whither this extraordinary and once favoured people are dispersed. This circumstance induces to the belief, that the time is fast approaching, when the various prophecies concerning them shall be fulfilled, and the light of the glorious Gospel shall shine into their hearts : -When they shall acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Messiah, and penetrated with a sense of their wickedness in so long denying him as their Saviour, shall implore with deep humility bis intercession for pardon and forgiveness. For more than seventeen centuries bave they been scattered over the known world, objects of scorn and derision, experiencing persecutions and ignominy of every description; yet always remaining a distinct and separate people, "even as a nation in the midst of a nation,” suffering death rather than relinquish the religion they profess. The Jews demand our respect, they are entitled to our gratitude ; let us add our exertions and

« הקודםהמשך »