תמונות בעמוד

of the Jew. And such an assertion I know has actually been made; but made by those who were secretly anxious to dismiss an unwelcome subject, or were ignorant of the efficacy of grace in renewing and sanctifying the human heart. Only a few years ago we were as gravely told, that the Hindoo could not be converted without a prodigy, as we now are that the Jew cannot. And I pray God, that the evidence of facts which has confounded the one objection, may lead us to the active employment of those means which God may bless to the refutation of the other.

But it may perhaps be further doubted, whether the present be a suitable time for making this attempt, however right such an attempt may in itself be. And inust then, I would ask, the same objection which was advanced of old against the rearing of the Second Temple, be deliberately answered now, ere we put our hands to the erection of the new and spiritual edifice? Is it then time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? Is it for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power?

. Is it a time to disperse your Bibles over the world, and to send your missionaries into every quarter? Is it a time to educate your children, , and scatter your blessings at home and abroad? And, is it not a time to think upon Zion and favour the dust thereof; to raise the fallen tabernacle of David, and weep over the desolations of Israel? Yes, adorable Saviour; to raise such objections is to trifle with our duty towards thee! It is not argument on this point, but thy grace, which we need. We confess with shame our backwardness in this work of mercy! We acknowledge that ages have rolled by, whilst Christians have been despising and persecuting, instead of pitying and instructing, thy long-lost, but not rejected people. O that the time may now be come for the effusion of thy Spirit upon us; the time when thy mercy shall soften our hearts, the time when repentance for our past delay, shall quicken our future diligence, and a tender affectionate sympathy for the Jew, shall take place of our lifeless indifference or presumptuous despair!

It may however, in the last place, be still said by some, that the attempt has been made and has failed; or at least that such discouragements have arisen as may well check the hope of any considerable success.

And here, I apprehend, the real weight of all the present objections against our Society may be said to lie. Allow me therefore a moment's further attention, and I trust some considerations

may be suggested calculated to lessen its force. For, on the very face of the question, I do not understand how an attempt to promote Chris


tianity amongst the Jews. can be said to have failed, when it is only just now being made, and all our proceedings are in an incipient state. Certainly we can never look for success, if we sit down in despondency without having fairly entered on the necessary exertion. Considering the infant state of the cause and the languor with which it has had to contend, I must be permitted to assert that our advance has by no means been slow, and that the prospect of ultimate success is far from discouraging. In our estimate of it, indeed, it is necessary to bear in mind the particular nature of the cause in which we are engaged. We have no right to expect that splendour and magnitude in our proceedings which attend the Societies for spreading the Scriptures over the earth, or for converting the hundreds of millions of Heathen and Mohammedan people. We have here to do with a dispersed nation, which however numerous in itself is yet comparatively of small extent—not exceeding in the whole (as is commonly supposed) five millions and wandering in almost every region of the earth. Our access therefore to them must be more difficult, our efforts more unconnected, and our success less conspicuous. We are besides to remember, that the very moral degradation of the mass of the Jewish nation, which we all admit to be the fact, and which I fear is at times the source

of our contempt rather than of our pity, renders caution in our measures peculiarly necessary, and should prepare us for frequent failures, even when our hopes begin to be sanguine. Nor must we forget that the change which has lately taken place, not in the friends of the Institution, but in the management of its concerns, must of necessity occasion a temporary inconvenience. If some of our early measures were less considerate than might have been desired, if debts were consequently contracted, and it was found that a perfect unity in the details of the arrangements could only be secured by an alteration in the constitution of the committee, surely this affords no ground whatever of despair as to the general design of converting the Jewish people. Rather may we consider it as a

. peculiar encouragement, when we recollect the perfect harmony which prevailed on the occasion, and the extraordinary munificence by which the debts were discharged. For my own part, though I was a member of it on its former plan, and should have continued so if no alter-, ation had taken place, I must still say, that the present system of unity in all the measures of the Society, which could only be expected to arise in conscientious persons from an entire unity of judgment, does afford me a far more pleasing assurance of the divine favour and blessing. Nor do I find it an unusual circum

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stance, that in Societies of this nature seasons of depression should occur, calculated to humble the pride of man, to check our eager impatience, to correct any bad spirit which may have crept in amongst us, and to bring us in fervent prayer to the foot of the Cross. In proportion as human glory is abased and God alone exalted, may we hope for the blessing for which we wait. I am sure, in all religious societies with which I am connected, it has only been by dearly-bought experience that they have learnt what things to avoid and what to pursue; and it has usually occurred, that in quarters that we least expected, some encouragements have been afforded, to balance extraordinary depression in other branches of our efforts. I trust therefore the really unfounded prejudice, that the attempt to convert the Jews has been made and has failed, will not be allowed any longer to hang upon our minds, and to prevent the use of those very means by which alone any great success can be looked for. All I ask is, that serious and benevolent persons will calmly examine the whole question; and if they see the future steps of our Society to be honourable and prudent, to afford us that proportion of support which we may appear to deserve. To put the question on the very lowest footing, we are benefiting a very large mass of wretched and ignorant fellow-creatures, allied to us by many

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