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have hitherto had from our inquiring travellers, has been of an encouraging nature. In passing through the considerable towns of Holland, they visited the synagogues, and had personal interviews with the chief rabbies. The reception which they have met with from them, has been kind and civil beyond their expectation, and in many cases the Hebrew Testament has been left for their perusal. The following letter from the Rev. R. Cox, gives an account of the reason of the unexpected delay of our friends at Berlin, and we trust will call forth the prayers of Chrisțians in behalf of all to whom it refers.
We must necessarily expect to see a recurrence in our day of many of the trials of the primitive Christians, and we ought fervently to pray, that those who are called to them may be endued with their faith and patience. It is proper to premise, that Mr. Solomon's wife and children had been earnestly invited to join him in England some time before the present journey was contemplated. A promise had been given that she should not want for temporal support, and that no constraint whatever should be put upon her conscience on the subject of religion ; and from the manner in which the proposal had been received both by his father-in-law and his wife, he had reason to suppose they were satisfied with it. His surprise and regret therefore at the occurrence which is related in the following letter, have been the greater.
“MY DEAR SIR,
“You will probably be anxious to know what has occasioned our remaining so much longer in this city than we originally intended; I will therefore state to you, in as brief a manner as possible, the reason of our delay.
“A short time after we had been in Berlin, Mr. Solomon's fatherin-law called upon us; and, after some days, informed us that the grand object of his journey was, to request that if Mr. Solomon persisted in his determination not to return to the Jewish religion, he would consent to be divorced from his wife, as she had authorized him to say that she would not live with him unless he abjured Christianity.
“Mr. Solomon, you may suppose, was not a little surprised at the information, especially as a correspondence had always.been carried on in the most amicable manner between them. We all, however, hoped that if he had an opportunity of seeing and freely conversing with his wife, she would be completely reconciled to the idea of living with him ; and that, at all events, it was indispensably his duty to see her before he could consent to the divorce. As a companion was desirable for him, I gladly accompanied him to Hamburgh, where his wife then resided. We remained eight or ten days in that city ; during which time Mr. Solomon conversed daily with her, and repeatedly assured her that though he was fully convinced of the intrinsic excellency and divine authority of the Christian religion, he should consider it as his bounden duty to permit her, without any restraint, to worship God according to the various rites of the Jewish religion. All, however, was in vain. From the first moment of their meeting to that of their final separation, she remained inflexible in her determination never again to live with him, unless he consented to return to the Jewish religion. That a godly Jewess should consent to cohabit with a Christian, and especially a Meshumad (an apostate Jew,) was a thing not to be heard of in Israel.
“Solomon's conduct during the whole of this most trying business has been truly satisfactory; it has been alike honourable to his character as a man and a Christian. Great indeed was his sorrow at the thought of leaving the wife of his youth and two interesting children: their inflexible determination, however, never to live with him whilst he continued a Christian; their reiterated entreaties that if he still persisted in his obstinacy, as they called it, he would at least consent to a divorce, the Apostle's declaration respecting the conduct to be adopted by the believing partner (1 Cor. vii. 12—15,) and the necessity of some final arrangement taking place before we proceeded on our journey to Russia, determined him to consent to the divorce. The ceremony was accordingly regularly performed at Altona, on Tuesday, in the presence of three rabbies and other suitable Jewish witnesses.
“ And now, my dear Sir, it merely remains that we earnestly pray in behalf of the poor wife and children, that they who are far off may be made nigh by the blood of Christ;' and as it respects our brother in Christ, that he may experience all the comfort and support which can be derived from our Lord's gracious declaration;
Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.' Berlin,
“I am, &c. November 4, 1817.
“. To the Rev. C. S. Haztroy.
CEYLON. Extract of a Letter from Ceylon, daied June 18. The Native Schools have now become very numerous, and for a few cents per month, without the expense of books or stationary, the boys can learn to read most fluently on the Ola leaf; and with astonishing rapidity they learn a kind of short-hand, so that they will take down a whole sermon without missing scarcely a word. Little boys, about 10 years old, write as fast as they can move their pen. So far we can assert, that one Spanish dollar will support a boy of
years of age with food and clothing one month. Females never learn even to write, as it would be thought a disgrace for them to learn to read.'
LONDON. Execution of John Vartie, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 1817. A few minutes after 8 o'clock, John Vartie, for forging a check for 4001. with an intent to defraud Messrs. Brenchly and Co. Bankers, at Gravesend, to whom he was clerk; George Pearson, for forging a warrant for the payment of 225l. with an intent to defraud Messrs. Williams and Co. Bankers, Birchin Lane; and Thomas Dealtry, for highway robbery, were executed before Newgate.
The case of John Vartie, who was only 19 years of age, excited unusual interest and commisseration. He was the son of respectable parents, who are now living near Kirby Steven, in Westmoreland. He procured gratuitous education at a grammar school in that county, and is said to have made such a proficiency in languages, &c. that he became the usher of that school at 10 years of age, and tutor in a gentleman's family at 13. At 15 he engaged with an Attorney; when he began the fatal course of Novel reading, and the perusal of infidel writings. He then removed to London, and soon after became a teacher at a respectable school at Gravesend; when his good conduct recommended him to the notice of the gentlemen who keep a bank in that town, by whom he was accepted as a clerk.
This change of situation, and its consequences, will be best described in his own words, taken from a paper which he left in the hands of the Rev. Mr. Rudge :
* In this innocent and amusing manner (alluding to his literary pursuits,) nearly two years passed sweetly over, when a vacancy occuring in the Gravesend Bank, I was engaged as a clerk by the firm, who considering my general good character as a sufficient security, required no other. Now becoming more public, the sphere of my acquaintance was extended; and, as a consequence, my former habits of retirement began gradually to wear off. The pleasure that I had hitherto found in the closet, was now sought in the gay circle of my companions. The seeds of infidelity which had been sown, began now to make their appearance. Christianity I considered a grand political scheme, invented to preserve order and subordination among the people; but, thanks to its Author, I now view it in another light. 'Is it to be wondered at, that one standing on such fallacious ground could not withstand the temptation by which I fell ?'
The transaction which occasioned the forfeiture of his life, is said to have been as follows :
Having written a letter on business from the firm at Gravesend, to the house of Williams and Co. Birchin Lane, he took it to the principals for signature. Before the letter was sent off, he added a postcript, requesting the house in London to pay to Lieut. (a fictitious person) 4001. on their account; and informing them, that the gentleman would call for it in a few days. Vartie then slipped away to town, and personating the supposed Lieutenant, received the money and gave a receipt; by which last act it was rendered a forgery : but which Vartie vainly considered, to the very day of his trial, could be regarded only as a fraud.
Having obtained the cash, he proceeded to France and entered as a student at a College in Abbeville, intending, it is said, to study the Hebrew language. Here he might have remained in privacy, had he not inadvertently written to a friend in Gravesend, informing him of the whole affair. This came abroad, and led to his apprehension, trial, and death.
Now a prisoner, with the prospect of eternity before his eyes, he readily listened to the instructions of the Ordinary, and of several clergymen and dissenting ministers, who visited him. Paley and Chalmers on the Evidences of Christianity, were put into his hands, which in concurrence with the Village Sermons, and other religious treatises, appear to have been rendered useful to him. His behaviour was sedate and becoming; and he frequently declared his having removed his infidel principles, looking upon his awful situation as the means which God in his mysterious Providence had permitted to bring him to proper views of himself and of salvation.
During his confinement in the cell he wrote the following lines on the wall, a translation of which he gave to a person who asked him for the meaning of them :
"Tu, fata quem dura huc trahunt, infelix, audi
Thou, hapless wretch, whom Justice calls
Mysterious change! it leads to heaven.
In compliance to your request, and the desire of my unknown friend, to whose Christian benevolence I am indebted, I shall in this letter expatiate on the subject of our interview. But before I describe the present state of my mind, I will advert to its state previous to my imprisonment-before it was roused by the sudden view of approaching death. From a course of novel-reading, which I pursued three or four years ago, I had contracted principles of infidelity, which I never rejected till within these few weeks past; when naturally examining the grounds on which I stood, relative to a future state, I found them defective in an alarming degree; and therefore had recourse to that Gospel which alone was able to impart the consolation my circumstances required. Here I soon found a basis on which I could safely rest-a basis which the refined subtlety of false philosophy could not afford. Blessed be that God who has thus graciously opened my eyes, and decided me in the right, the only way to salvation! Have I not ample reason then, Sir, to view my calamity in the light of a mercy? Providence is mysterious, whose secret operations we are too apt to misconstrue, till their effects are manifest—Here is a striking instance. Had I been suffered to proceed in error, who knows but that, like Voltaire and some other infamous names, an aspiring genius might have rendered me an embittered foe to the Christian religion, and have plunged me at last, as they were, into inextricable ruin and wo ? Such are the effects of that Gospel which now beams comfort and consolation on my few remaining days, and will light me to the regions of bliss as their end. Supported by this lively hope, death, even in his most hideous form, will be met with composure and resignation by,
Rev. and dear Sir.
yourself and friend,
The unfortunate John VARTIE Cells, Newgate, 6th Nov. 1817.
He preserved his composure to the last, aud slept a good part of the night before his execution. He declared to the Ordinary just before he left the prison, that he died depending solely on the atonement of Jesus Christ.
We consider the ruin of this amiable young man as holding forth an admonition of most solemn import to the rising generation. Let them beware of those infidel writings which seduce the mind and destroy the principles of moral obligation. But for those abominable books which poisoned his mind, Vartie might have lived to prove a blessing and an ornament to society. But let his retractation of these sentiments teach our youth that they cannot but fail their possessor in the time of trial and in the prospect of eternity; and that the mind of a sinful mortal can find no solid rest but on Jesus Christ, the rock of ages. SUDDEN DEATH OF A GENTLEMAN
AT A BIBLE MEETING, The Greasley and Eastwood Branch Bible Society held their Fourth Anniversary in Greasley Church, Sept. 23, 1817. The same spirit of harmony that had characterized the preceding meetings was again manifested. Persons of various religious denominations took