« הקודםהמשך »
affairs of this world. It is only however when we look to that gracious purpose which God hath purposed concerning the Jews-their final restoration to his favour, and the consequent triumph of Christ's kingdom in the world—it is then only we see an adequate explanation of the wonderful mystery of their continued existence.
Leaving this, however, as the proper theme of a succeeding lecturer, let me, in drawing towards a conclusion, observe, that the temporary rejection of Israel has been accompanied with great mercy to the other nations of the earth. He who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working can, by the same act, serve many ends. As the storm which rends the oak and shatters the lofty tower, at the same time purifies the atmosphere from the noxious vapours that had been gathering over the face of the ground, leaving the sun to shine forth with a brighter and more healthful radiance on the reviving and rejoicing fields, so, when the lightning of Divine wrath smote and consumed that temple, which a backsliding and disobedient people had converted from a house of prayer into a den of thieves, it was so ordered that, from behind the clouds which nursed the thunderbolt of vengeance in their bosom, the Sun of righteousness should arise to be for a light of the gentiles, and for salvation to the ends of the earth. The mounds which had long hemmed in the waters of life, in the mountain-valleys of Judah were then broken down, in anger against Israel, but in mercy to the world. For while the draining away of these life-giving waters has left Israel so desolate—that the whole land is brimstone and salt and burning--that it is not sown nor beareth, nor any grass groweth thereon”—by flowing abroad over the wilderness of the surrounding world, they have made many a desert to rejoice and blossom as the rose. And oh, brethren, let us ever bear in mind that, fearful as was that day of the Lord's anger, when Jerusalem became heaps and the mountain of the Lord's house as the high places of .. the forest—"though it was indeed a day of darkness
and gloominess-a day of clouds and darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains”—yet was it after all but a faint shadow of that infinitely more terrible day of the Lord, when the Son of Man shall be revealed in flaming fire, to take vengeance on them that know not God, neither obey the gospel of his Son. Oh then, kiss the Son, lest he be angry and ye perish for ever from the way, if his wrath be kinaled but a little.
PRESENT STATE AND CHARACTER OF THE JEWS-INTELLEC
TUAL, MORAL, AND RELIGIOUS. WHAT HAS BEEN ATTEMPTED TOWARDS THEIR CONVERSION BY CHRISTIANS.
BY THE REV. JAMES WHYTE, A. M.
CHALMERS PARISH, GLASGOW.
“Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record, that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”-ROMANS X. 1-3.
It was foretold by Moses, and after his time the prediction was reiterated by the prophets, that the Jews would be scattered among all nations; and the accomplishment of those predictions is written over and over the dark page of their wonderful history. In every quarter of the globe, and in every civilized nation, the sons of Israel have sojourned; and we know not any country where they are not now to be found. There have, indeed, been occasions when, plundered and expelled from one land, they took refuge in another: as when, in the end of the thirteenth century, England—in the fourteenth, France, and at the conclusion of the fifteenth, Spain, caused the unoffending Jews to pass beyond their respective borders; but, looking at the line of their wanderings for nearly eighteen hundred years, we are satisfied that it could not have been affirmed at any one point of their history, that they were not then “scattered among all nations."*
* Deut. iv. 27, and passim.
Even the walls of secluded and inhospitable China were early surmounted by the Jew; nor should it be forgotten that thạt country, as well as other pagan lands, has never been visited by the children of Israel in great numbers. They have always been, and even now are “ few in number among the heathen,” according to the words of the prophecy. By far the greatest concentration of Jews exists in the Russian dominions: their numbers in that country have been variously estimated, but, according to the latest calculations, they amount to one million seven hundred thousand, being about one fourth of the Jewish population of the whole world. In France there are about one hundred and fifteen thousand Jews; in Britain, nearly thirty thousand, whereof two-thirds are resident in London; and in the Holy Land, upwards of forty thousand. They abound in Turkey; but it is to the developement of their character in Germany and Poland, called their northern hive, that we are principally to look, as these are the countries which exercise the greatest influence over professed Judaism throughout the nations of the world.
The prediction that they would be a “ taunt and a curse, a reproach and a proverb,”* in all places whither they would be driven, is verified by the latest writers who have been eye-witnesses of the degradation and abuse to which, with one cruel consent, they are subjected by the gentiles. The followers of the false prophet imbibe, with their first ideas of religion, a bigoted hostility against the Jews; and the consequence is that, over the length and breadth of Mahometanism, the ancient people of God receive at the hands of Mussulmans nothing but scorn and ignominious treatment. One traveller,t a military man, who visited the holy city of Meshed in 1830, gives us the following account of what he saw and heard. “ The Jews,” says he, “may not pass the pale of the sanctuary, neither may they put foot within the college squares in which good men are buried; on their
* Jer. xxiv. 9.
+ Lieut. Conolly.
clothes, however new, they must wear a patch at the breast; their.caps must not be of the same form as those worn by true believers, and they dare not return abuse, much less a blow, given by a Mahometan, so that even children of the faithful race throw stones and dirt at them in the streets, unchecked by their parents, who think it a very meritorious act to worry the soul of a Jew."
In another prophecy, gold and silver are represented as the “ stumbling-block of the iniquity of the Jews;' and it is well known, that no feature is more characteristic of the race than their morbid love of money. A Jew has become a proverbial expression among all nations and in all languages, for an avaricious and worldly-minded person; and yet the gold and silver of the Jews have not been able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord."* It is a curious fact, that three or four years ago, when all the Jewish brothers of the family of Rothschild were alive, in London, Frankfort, Paris, Vienna, and Berlin, the commercial destinies of Europe depended on the will of five of the despised and afflicted race. At this day, the same family may be said to hold in their hands the purse-strings of the civilized world; and yet, strange to tell, the people to whom they belong, by birth and by affection, are every where slighted and despised.. In past ages, both here and on the continent, kings, when they stood in need of money, were wont to raise some false accusation against the poor Jews; as, for instance, that they had crucified a Christian child, and on this pretext they spoiled them of their goods. At the present day they are, almost in every country of the world, ground down with taxes, because they profess the Jewish faith; and, notwithstanding that their gold and silver are thus extorted, the very nations by which they are oppressed trample upon them as if they were an inferior class of beings.
On this part of the subject, I may be allowed, from personal observation, to speak of the tribute which
* Zeph. i. 18.