« НазадПродовжити »
effect any for their
was shewn to carry into well-concerted measures relief.
If it be said, that it is unreasonable to expect, that those who dissent from the Church of England should exert themselves to promote its interests; we do not ask them to promote its interests. What we want,and what we are labouring to accomplish, is, the conversion of the Jews to the faith of Christ; and that, not in England only, but all the world over. For this end we have provided with great labour, and at great expense, a Translation of the New Testament into pure biblical Hebrew: and we are wishing to circulate it through every country under heaven. It is well known that the Jews will not read the New Testament in the vernacular languages of the countries where they live; (the experience of many hundred years has fully evinced this;) but if it be written in the Hebrew language, that language which they so highly venerate, they will
But there is another part of our plan which must also be approved of by Christians of every persuasion, I mean the education of Jewish Children. We all know how neglected the Jewish children are by their own parents: and it is a joy to us to see what zeal has been of late exercised by the Christian world, in the education of the children of the lower classes throughout the land. In all Missionary plans too, we see how prominent a part the education of children bears in all efforts for the conversion of the Heathen. And this is one great object also with the London Jews' Society; an object from whence we hope that great benefit will arise, not to the children only, but to the parents also. Have none of you ever heard what benefits have accrued to parents from the attendance of children at Sunday Schools? or can you be insensible of the influence which these children may obtain over their parents, and other members of their own nation, when they themselves shall be instructed in divine truth, and be enabled to impart the knowledge they have received? We call you then, of
whatever denomination you be, to aid us in this part of our plan. We want to build commodious Schoolhouses near to the Chapel, where they may be instructed with greater convenience, and without that great annual expense which is entailed upon us by the rent of houses for that purpose. The liberality of the public will be well bestowed for this object also; and a separate fund will
be alloted to it.
It is thought by some to be a vain attempt. But why should it be any more vain for us to seek the conversion of the Jews, than it was for them to seek the conversion of the Gentiles? Were not the idolaters of former days as far from God as they? Were not the people of this land, for instance, in as hopeless a state as the Jews at this day can be? Yet be hold what God has wrought in this country; and shall we despair of them? But God has told us, that the work of converting them is much more within the limits of rational expectation than that which has already been wrought in us: "If thou (says he) wert cut out of the olive-tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive-tree, how much more shall these which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive-tree !"
It is a mistake to imagine that God will convert the Jews without means, for in that place where God most strongly declares that he will restore them to life, Ezek. xxxvii. 1-6. he commands the prophet to prophesy unto them and never till he prophesied did the dry bones begin to move; but on his prophesying as he was commanded, they arose a great army. This shews us in what way alone we are authorized to expect the work of their conversion to be accomplished.
But, say others, the time is not come. But who, I would ask, is authorized to affirm this? Who has been the Lord's counsellor, so as to be perfectly acquainted with the times and the seasons which he has reserv ed in his own power? Supposing that God were to tell us, as he did David, that the time for erecting his temple among them was not yet come, would
he not at least commend us for having it in our hearts to build his temple? and should we not, like that pious monarch, labour to provide materials for it? He spent not less than eighteen millions of money in, preparing for the temple, though he knew he was not to build it: and surely all the efforts that we can use should be put forth to prepare the way of the Lord among them; and we should account it an honour to sow, though we knew that we were sowing for others only, and that others were to enter into our labours.
In confirmation of the former objection, it is further said by some, that we have expended much, and done little. That our success has not yet awhile been great, I readily admit: but in truth it is not till the present hour that the fittest means haye been used, for effecting the conversion of the Jews for in comparison of the translating the New Testament into Hebrew all other means are of little worth.
But, after all, it is not fair to say that little has been done. If there had been but one truly and savingly converted, it ought not to be called little; since one soul is of more value than the whole world. But is it little to have accomplished the translation of the New Testament into
be increased an hundred fold. But still we must not on that account neglect the Jews: for the Jews have, in reality, a prior claim. God has expressly said, that his salvation is sent to the Jew first, and next to the Gentile ; and those who were first commissioned to preach it, were to preach it beginning at Jerusalem. The Jews have a claim upon us, which none of the Gentiles have. Who were they who composed and delivered to us the lively oracles? Jews. Who was the Saviour of the world himself? A Jew. Who were they who first sought the salvation of the Gentile world, and even laid down their lives for us? Jews. Say then whether the Jews have not a
pure biblical Hebrew? No man would say so, who knew what efforts have been necessary to effect it. It is, in truth, a great national work, an honour to our country and it has laid the foundation of all that we hope hereafter to behold in the conversion of thousands and myriads by means of it. At this very hour it is producing a spirit of inquiry among the Jews upon the continent to a great extent and we trust that the new edition of it which we are about to issue from the press, will give a very effectual answer to this objection.
A fourth objection is, that there is work enough for us to do among the Gentiles. There is; and I rejoice that God has stirred up the hearts of his people to consider their case, and to send to them the light of his truth and so far am I from grudging the exertions of Christians for the Gentiles, that I pray God they may
claim on us? But see what St. Paul has said in Rom. xi. 30, 31. ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief; even so have these also now not believed; that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy." The meaning of this passage briefly this: "God made the Jews the depositories of his word for us; and he now makes us the depositories of his word for them. We came to the enjoyment of this blessing through their unbelief: but they are to be restored to the enjoyment of it through the mercy vouchsafed to us :" and God expects that we should improve our mercies for their good, This therefore is our bounden duty and if we neglect to do it, we do not answer the end for which our present mercies were Vouchsafed unto us. Now what would any of you, who, if ye have committed a sum of money to his steward to lay out for the benefit of some distressed Jews, say to him, if he withheld it all from the Jews, and spent it on himself? Would you commend him as a just steward? Would you not rather regard him as a thief and a robber? What then will God think of you, if, when he has committed the blessing of salvation to you for the benefit of the Jews, you withhold it from them, and leave them to perish for the want of it? Truly, it is no good account that you will give of yourselves to him. I do not mean to say that you can with
innocence withhold the light from any for you are not to put your light under a bushel, but to set it on a candlestick, that it may give light to all who are within the sphere of its influence: but this I must again say, that your first obligations are to the Jews, to make them partakers of the richness of their own olive, from which, for your sakes, they have been broken off.
you also, that there are other most important measures which we conceive would be of the greatest utility, if we could carry them into execution; but we must suspend them till your liberality shall enable us to proceed with them. That time I trust is now speedily arriving; and I hope that what you shall do in this opulent city, will be a pattern for Christians in every part of the empire.
I feel persuaded that the members of the Church of England will shew themselves not unworthy of the cause they have undertaken, and that they will now arise as one man to redeem the pledge given in their behalf, and never desist from their labours till they shall see Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
I will notice only one more objection, and that is, that because we have reduced our expenditure to our income, our income is equal to our necessities. But this is far enough from being true. We have retrenched in every thing to the utmost of our power and we hope in one or two things to be able to effect a yet further retrenchment; but I beg leave to assure you, and the public at large, that there are many great and important objects which we are compelled to decline for want of funds to meet them. You have just heard from the Secretary the urgent and pressing entreaties of that great and good man, Leander Van Ess, (so justly called upon the Continent, Luther the second,) to take under our care two pious Jews, who are desirous of embracing Christianity, and of devoting themselves to the study of it in order to qualify themselves for future usefulness in disseminating its blessed truths. And you have heard the answer of the Committee just sent to this great and good man, that "though we wish them well, our funds do not admit of our rendering them any assistance." What a heart-rending thing is this; that to entreaties in behalf of persons so recommended, we should be constrained to return such an answer, because we dare not to run ourselves in debt, or to contract obligations which we are not able to fulfil! And I am expecting that many, many such applications will soon be made to us from the Continent, where our name begins to be known, and where some of our friends, together with a converted Jew, are now gone (but not at the Society's expense,) to enquire into the state of the Jews, and to circulate the Hebrew Testament among them. I beg leave to assure
Letter from Mr. Morrison to the Rev.
Canton, China, Nov. 13, 1817. SIR-I this evening saw a gentleman with whom you are acquainted, and who desired from me some account of this mission to communicate to you. You are perhaps aware that the primary object of this mission was the acquisition of the language, in order to translate the Scriptures into it. This object has been, during the last ten years, steadily adhered to. In 1818 we hope to finish the whole scriptures. When that is done we shall have more leisure to teach and to preach. But in China there is no opening. Every attempt must be made in secret. It is amongst the islands chiefly that those efforts must be tried.
Mr. and Mrs. Milne of Malacca, with their family are here for their health-Mr. Milne is very poorly. The station at Malacca is, I trust, doing well. The monthly Tract in Chinese is calculated to impress favourably the minds of the natives. After all it is not, as you well know, in the power of man to change the heart. We use the means-sow the seedbut it is the blessing of Heaven alone that can give the increase.
China does not appear in a very settled state. Many predict a change; but I do not calculate on such occurrences. My hope is in God our Saviour. He can quicken the dead;
Gleaner, No. II. Aug. 1817.
SOUTH SEA ISLANDS.
By accounts lately received from our brethren in Eimeo, the affairs of the Mission seem to be prospering greatly-362 persons had requested to have their names registered as candidates for christianity-and their schools contained 660 scholars. An attempt had been made by the idolatrous chiefs, to exterminate all who had renounced Heathenism, by a general massacre, (on the night of the 7th July) but their purposes were mercifully disappointed. The Rev. Mr. Marsden, senior chaplain of New South Wales, bears testimony to the patience, perseverance, and constancy of the Missionaries, feeling confident of their final success. Nine
additional Missionaries have embarked for Eimeo, acquainted with several mechanical employments; and the Directors of the Missionary Society have it in agitation, to introduce the sugar-cane, cotton, and hemp in to the islands, for the purpose of promoting the civilization, and exciting the commercial spirit of the natives.
The Rev. John Gordon, from Vize agapatam, was at Madras, in May last, revising the Gentoo Translation of the Gospels, and intending, if pos sible, to print them there.
In the schools, at Madras, there were about 250 native, and 150 Portuguese and Country-born children, under the care of our brethren. The Rev. Messrs. Knill and Mead were labouring hard at the Tamul.
At Roya-Pettah, the Rev. Mr. Render has, under his charge, 160 children.
For the sake of those into whose hands "The Missionary Circular,"
for lighting up the place of worship, and other necessary expenses.
ROMAN CATHOLIC ZEAL. It is rather remarkable, that among the many opulent christians in dia, and in England, so very few have aspired to the honour of supporting a Mission at their own individual expense.
A rich Roman Catholic gentleman at Madras, has, it is said, sent to Goa, for six PRIESTS, to come and teach the Roman Catholic religion to the natives. He intends to support these Priests himself. This is an example highly worthy of being imitated by opulent Protestants in India.
BRITISH OFFICERS IN INDIA.
The daily increase of pious Officers in the army in India, and the truly laudable manner in which some of them employ their influence and talents, are things calculated to afford pleasure of the most refined nature to the lovers of truth. In the army, the cold sneer of infidelity, is now seldom met with; and not a few in it are the warm and judicious friends of the Gospel. Many of them being persons of liberal education, and well acquainted with the langua ges of India, are capable of rendering great service to the cause of christianity. By letters from various quarters, it appears that some engage in translating parts of the Holy Scriptures-others in correcting and revi sing former Versions. Some assist in superintending the education of native children-others liberally contribute to their support. Some illustrate the history and customs of the countries around them by their writings, and thus furnish a collateral auxiliary to the spread of divine knowledge;-others encourage the instruction of the children of European soldiers. Some take the lead in Bible Associations ;-others have seve eral schools, taught under their own personal inspection, and supported solely by themselves and their families; there is one instance in which three schools, containing 300 children, are superintended by an English Officer !We cannot but observe, with delight, the pious LADIES
also, the wives of these officers, employing their talents in writing useful tracts and books for children,-engaging in the superintendance of native schools and schools of industry, as well as in visiting the cottages of the poor, administering to their bodily wants, and endeavouring to conduct them to the knowledge of JESUS CHRIST.
To persons who are anxiously observing the progress of christianity in India, these are circumstances of no ordinary interest; and the Minister or Missionary, who has such useful co-adjutors planted around him, in the scene of his labours, may truly say "The lines are fallen to me in pleasant places !"
RECENT ANNUAL MEETINGS.
The Massachusetts Congregational Charitable Society held its annual meeting, on Monday, 25th May, at 11 o'clock, A. M. at the Vestry of the First Church, Chauncy-Place.
Officers rechosen, with the exception of Levi Hedge, Esq. Secretary, in the room of the Rev. Dr. McKean, deceased.
Hon. Peter C. Brooks was elected a member of the Society in the place of the Hon. Judge Wendell, and the Rev. John Pierce instead of Rev. Dr. McKean.
Tuesday 26th May, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the Society for promo. ting Christian knowledge, piety and charity held its eleventh annual meeting at Chauncy-Place. The Rev. Jacob Flint, of Cohasset, delivered a discourse on Moral Freedom, from Isaiah lxi. 1. "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me," &c. A collection was then taken. Officers chosen for the present year:-Rev. W. F. Channing, Rev. Dr. Bancroft, Rev. Joseph Allen, Rev. N. L. Frothingham, Rev. J. Tuckerman, Dea. Saniuel May, Rev. John White, Rev. Dr. Harris, Trustees-Mr. Elisha Clap, Treasurer.
In the evening, the nineteenth anniversary discourse was delivered before the Massachusetts Missionary Society by the Rev. Ebenezer Porter, D. D. Bartlet Professor of Sacred