Page images
PDF
EPUB

earth ?" This is as much as to say that little vital Christianity hath appeared with a great mass of profession. “As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” It is indicated all throughout Scripture that the Gentiles will fail as much as the Jews. Now God

says,

You Jews failed; I punish you. You Gentiles failed, and I punish you;" and when chastisements have been administered to the one and likewise to the other, God shuts them all up together for disobedience. What for? “ That he might have mercy upon all," and lavish his mercy upon such a scale as the world has never seen before. When the Apostle Paul gets thus far, look at that large-hearted man, that profound thinker, that great logician ; look at him as he seems to be standing now on the edge of a precipice, looking down and trying to sound the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. “How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been His counsellor, or who bath first given to Him and it shall be recompensed to him again? For of Him, and through Him, and back again to Him are all things, to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

One fact, and one minute more, just to encourage you to speak kindly to the Jews. I have such a profound faith in this Book, that, if I have made out the mind of God, I am willing to trust what God says, to trust you for showing interest on behalf of the Jew. God says, “ My word shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it.” “ If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” But I want to encourage you to speak kindly to the Jew; and, for this purpose, I would just show you what kindness can do. I was summoned recently down into Whitechapel, one Saturday afternoon, by a Christian brother, in order that I might speak at a Jewish debate, which was to be held that afternoon, “On the Authenticity of the Scriptures." I found assembled fifty or sixty of the sons of Abraham. I rushed at once to the platform, and turned round, and looked all those sons of Abraham in the face ; and my first few words were these :-“ Eighteen years ago, God touched my heart with sympathy for your people, and, ever since that time my prayers and my efforts have been in the direction of your welfare. I would even die, if God called me to die, for your salvation. I live for your welfare ; I would die for the same, if Christ could be glorified by that.” And when I began to speak to them in this way, and told them how God had touched my heart with love for their nation, and how I would do anything for them that they might be blest, I found the prejudice and the opposition which I had seen in them at first gradually yield, and by and by I saw tears stealing into their eyes ; and after I had spoken to them about twenty minutes or half an hour, I said, “ I will sit down now, and you shall go on with your discussion.” They said, “Mr. Wilkinson, you shall be our chairman;" and one proposed it, another seconded it, and it was carried; and I was obliged to take the chair on that occasion ; and I sat for two hours, presiding over that debate. I said to them, “I beseech you, do not say an unkind word of Jesus, for I shall be grieved if you do ; I have so much cause to love Him, and I should be so much grieved if you said anything of reproach or a blasphemous word of Jesus.' They said, “Mr. Wilkinson, you will have nothing to complain of.” And after two hours' debate, the two Jews who opposed me more than all the others put together, and were very clever spokesmen, were the two—the one to propose, and the other to second, a vote of thanks, which they passed unanimously to me, for having come down to see them and to speak to them. Brethren, let us go amongst the Jewish people, and let us speak to them, and we shall find that they will appreciate our kindness, and that, if we go in the spirit of prayer, we shall assuredly have the Divine blessing.

of

A WOULD-BE JEWISH TORQUEMADA. HE

don-like their prototypes of Thessalonica of old *mare moved with envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness because of the blessings which our God and Father in Christ Jesus has been mercifully pleased to bestow upon our humble work.f The print of this sort of Jews, the Jewish World of Bell Lane, devoted half of its issue of Friday, the 8th ultimo, to coarse vituperative abuse of CHRISTIANITY and the CHRISTIAN WORLD. Lest some mealy-mouthed “ Christian” should think, in his notion of Christian charity, that we unnecessarily employ such descriptive terms as the above, we quote here at the outset the following coarse specimen from

p.

2 of that issue :—"A somewhat novel exhibibition, a Mule and Donkey show, took place at the Crystal Palace during three days of the current week. A similar exhibition takes place this day at Exeter Hall under the auspices of the Society Succeeding in Failing in Promoting Christianity among the Jews."

Considering that at the meeting, alluded to in this paragraph, some of the noblest, most pious, and most learned Christians were present-such as Lord Shaftesbury, the Hon. Lord Arthur Hervey, Bishop of Bath and Wells ; Bishop Ryan ; the Rev. Dr. Boultbee, Principal of St. John's College, Highbury; Canons Freemantle and Clayton; Rev. D. Wilson, the venerable Vicar of Islington; and a host of other Clergymen and Gentlemen of note—the contemptible vulgarity exhibited in the above paragraph can better be imagined than described. Some assertions and expressions in the same number of that scurrilous Jewish Weekly are too gross and disgusting even for allusion.

These would be trainers of the young Jewish mind aim at something more practical than mere abusive railing; they would, if they could, become zealous inquisitors. The following incensed cloud of angry smoke was sent up in that self-same issue because of our first article

* Acts xvii. 1-5.

| See our first articles in our last two numbers, as well as the one in this our impression.

in our May number, entitled WONDROUS ARE THE WORKS OF HIM WHO IS PERFECT IN KNOWLEDGE :

“ AN UNFOUNDED STATEMENT.-The current number of the · False Witness' contains a statement, the truth of which we greatly doubt. It runs to the following effect :

"Since the publication of our last number, between thirty and forty of the most respectable and accomplished Jews and Jewesses, in the West End have formed themselves into a class of Bible students, and solicited us to read and expound to them the Epistle to the Hebrews. With unspeakable wonder have we watched the work of the Spirit upon the hearts and souls of the members of that class.'

“ It is important to the metropolitan Jewish community that the statement contained in this extract should not pass unchallenged. Through its import, Christians will be made to believe that a great and momentous ferment is taking root in the minds of intelligent Jews, and that the operations of the conversionist party no longer apply exclusively to the refuse among the Jews, but succeed in reaching the higher classes. Similar to all the statements hazarded by the unscrupulous brotherhood, we are not informed of the place of gathering, and how many times and where the classes meet ; and above all, the names of persons are withheld. By the revelation of these names only is it possible to verify the respectability of the movement, if it exist at all.

" Will some of the educated Jews and Jewesses ' in the West End oblige us, in the name of the faith we all hold dear, to make inquiry as to the truth of the fact above mentioned, and let us know where the conversionists hold their gathering ? Let us but once gain the clue, and we may be depended on to follow it up."

Of course the Bell Lane Jewish World is disappointed that it is “not informed of the place of gathering, and how many times and where the classes meet; and above all, the names of persons attending are withheld.” The educated Jews and Jewesses in the West End have a salutary horror of the virulent diatribes of the baser sort of Jews in the East End, and would rather not have the latter informed of their spiritual experience, of their whereabouts and of their names. The educated Jews and Jewesses of the West End will not easily forget how the Jewish press at the East End, in 1868, vilified and maligned that honourable Hebrew Christian, Joseph D’Aguilar Samuda, when that educated Jew was a candidate for a seat in the House of Commons.*

* Since the above was in type, the following apocryphal paragraph appeared in that veracious weekly, of the 15th ult. :

“ We are informed by a coreligionist that a missionary, who had become cognisant of his distressed condition, called upon him on Friday last, and, unsolicited, made him an offer to take the whole of his family off his hands, educate them well, and eventually provide them with trades and a start in life. The offer

The threat of inquisitorial espionage conveyed in its poisonous tail“Let us but once gain the clue, and we may be depended on to follow it up"—is not the most winning wooing for confidence. Alas, we know too well, from the history of the synagogue as well as from that of the Church, that a Jewish Torquemada is a more horrible monster than a Gentile Torquemada. Even Lindo, one of the most biassed Jewish historians that we have ever read, indirectly corroborates our estimate. He be. gins the fifteenth chapter of “ The History of the Jews of Spain and Portugal," &c. &c., with the following sorry tale of Jewish Torquemadism :

“While the king (John, A.D. 1379] was at Burgos, the Jews artfully obtained from him an order for the execution of Joseph Pico [or, as he is described in Spanish history, Don Juzaf Pichon and Don Jucaf Picho], who was receiver-general of the Alcavales, and high treasurer of the kingdom. He was opulent, and a person of consideration among his people. From the posts he held, he exercised great authority and influence. Hisrians record no crime of him, but attribute it to the envy and jealousy of the chief men of his nation. Joseph was tranquilly at home, secure from such an event, when he was seized, led to execution, and his house destroyed. From the haste with which the royal executioner performed his office, he is supposed to have been deceived or bribed. The king discovering that he had been imposed on, had the guilty parties punished, and deprived the Jews of the privilege they enjoyed of taking cognisance of criminal causes where they might inflict the punishment of death."*

A more minute account of this dastardly instance of Jewish Torquemadism is to be found in Lopez de Ayala's 6 Crónica del Rey Don Juan I.," anno 1870, cap. 8, as also in Zuniga's Anales de Sevilla,” p. 242. Who could fail to fathom the ominous import of such a threat as this, “ Let was made the more tempting by the missionary promising to relieve the present needs of the head of the family, and to procure him a situation whereby his future would be well secured. Money, it was urged, was no object whatever, one little matter only being required, viz., his renunciation of Judaism. The person so baited did not fall into the golden snare, but indignantly ordered the missionary about his business. On which side, we would fain ask, lies the balance of rectitude and conscientiousness ; on the part of the very Christian missionary, or the needy Jew ?"

Why were the names and addresses of the "coreligionist " and the "missionary "withheld ? The former, if the fiction be founded on fact, would be no sufferer of persecution from his people, on account of his wonderful self-denial ; on the contrary, he would be an object of admiration and laudation : whilst the latter, if the information could be corroborated, would become an object of scorn and contempt to all Jews and Christians, and lose his post besides. The fact is, that this announcement, like the majority of statements in the Bell Lane Jewish World, is the duct of one of the inventive geniuses which con. duct that reliable print, such as its special commissioner to wit.

* Another illustration of Jewish hatred and malice is afforded in the same number of the Jewish paper which we have quoted in the preceding note. The article we allude to is mildly headed, A Jewish Tragedy, A.D. 1220.

us but once gain the clue, and we may be depended on to follow it up.” We would remind those turbulent would-be inquisitors that, for a time at least, they must curb their Torquemadian propensities in this, yet free, land.

Would our readers like to know how, and by what means the Bell Lane Jewish World would follow up its Torquemadism? The same impression which contains the inquisitorial menace, furnishes the clue to the honourable straightforward mode of the conductors of that weekly. That issue contains an account of an inquisitorial visit which the “ special commissioner” of the Bell Lane Jewish organ made to PALESTINE PLACE, to spy out something which might supply him with materials for " railing accusation against the brethren.” This trustworthy commissioner tells us of the expedient on which he acted, in order to obtrude himself into the Jewish Converts' Operative Institution in Palestine Place. The following is part of the commissioner's own talo :

“ As I had no desire of being taken for an Israelite, necessity compelled me to resort to a little simulation. Noticing then a Hebrew book, I asked the men what language it was, as it appeared to me from a distance to look like music. This appeared to convince them of my Christianity. Lying on one of the benches I remarked a copy of the Jewish World, and I am given to understand that your Journal is regularly taken in here, the inmates being most eager to learn the Jewish news of the day. Two of these men, I was informed, had come from Bombay, another from Tunis, and the rest from Poland. I entered into conversation with the individual from Tunis, and he appeared to be an exceedingly sharp fellow. He evidently thought me a Jew, and seemed to be glad of the opportunity of engaging in conversation with me."

This is followed by an apocryphal account of a conversation with the Tunisian Jew; and by a string of the coarsest diatribes ever put into print, in the way of reflection. This inquisitor proceeds to tell his readers that he “had the pleasure of an introduction to the reverend superintendent and secretary of the operative institution, Mr. Butler, a mild and gentlemanly individual, who had a good deal to say on conversion.” Further

on:

*He behaved civilly and courteously to me, of course being perfectly unaware of my religion, and submitted to me numerous letters transmitted by converts to the committee of the institution. These precious epistles were couched in the usual stereotyped phrases, and overflowed with the thanks of the writers to the Bethnal Green saints. Mr. Butler presented me with a great number of tracts, and asked me to give them to the ‘friends of the cause.' My butterman has since expressed a very high opinion of the paper.

One of the little books, entitled 'A Plea for Jewish Converts,' written by the rev. gentleman, is a very funny lucubration, and aims at convincing ignorant folks of the genuineness of conversion. The writer therein expresses his horror of the conduct of a Christian gentleman with whom he had conversed, and who had actually gone so far as to doubt the sincerity of apostates. Mr. Butler is exceedingly wroth with this gentleman, and handles lim rather

« PreviousContinue »