Page images
PDF
EPUB

the aforesaid house have and hold, freely and quietly, and in peace, for the maintenance of the converted brethren, and those to be converted from Judaism to the Catholic faith, in aid for the maintenance of these brethren that dwell in the same house, the houses and lands which belonged to John Herberton, in London, and are in our possession, as if our forfeiture (except the garden which belonged to the same John in the aforesaid street, New Street, and which formerly, by our charter, we granted to the Venerable Father Rudolph, Bishop of Chichester, our Chancellor), and all other forfeitures which, in our time, by felony, or from whatever other causes, will fall to us in our city, or in the suburbs within the liberty of our city, London, as we have before said."

This is the first royal interest taken in the cenversion of the Jews. Individual cases were known earlier than Henry's time-even in King John's time. Henry was no loser by this establishment; the house itself belonged to a Jew, who forfeited it because he became a believer in Christ the Redeemer of Israel. He took, moreover, care to indemnify himself more than enough by the exorbitant imposts he put upon the Jewish community from time to time. Would it not be quite a legitimate thing to restore those revenues to the purposes for which they were originally granted ? In these days, when the spoils of the old times are being restored to the representatives of the despoiled, and when Hebrew Christians are being daily added to the Church, it would be but an honest act to restore the property, under trustees, to the representatives of the Anglo-Hebrew Christians of former days.

(To be continued.)

Notes.

(EVANGELISTIC WORK AMONGST

THE JEWS IN ENGLAND. Our gifted brother, the Rev. M. Wolkenberg is engaged at present in preaching the Gospel to our Jewish brethren, in different parts of the country. We give three of the brief notices of his sermons which appeared in the Liverpool Courier, the Leeds Intelligencer, and the Nottingham Journal. The first, under date of April 29th, gives the following epitome of our brother's dis

from Job xxv. 4-6. The preacher said :-Long before God had mani. fested His will on Mount Sinai, when He had enlightened the world on the nature of His moral government, man had already felt embarrassed and perplexed by the existence of suffering and the apparently unjust infliction of the same. If Job was not a real personage, as some have maintained, he was certainly a true and faithful representation of innocent suffering in that and in every succeeding age, and will be so to the end of time. His friends were decidedly mistaken in seeking to connect individual misery wherever it existed with habitual and secret indulgence in sins of proportionate magnitude. Why, then, did Job suffer? Why have millions, innocent like himself, groaned under the weight of affliction before and after him? The only answer vouchsafed by God Himself is an overwhelming display of His omnipotent

course:

“On Sunday evening a special sermon to Jews and Christians was preached at St. Jude's, Liverpool, by the Rev. M. Wolkenberg. There was a large attendance, including a considerable number of Israelites of both sexes, and chiefly of the affluent class. The subject was, “The necessity and the object of a Divine revelation, and the text was taken

wisdom, which cannot fail either wilful transgression, nor even for infrom want of power or judgment. advertent delinquencies, without a Zophar, then, though otherwise mis- propitiatory offering. The attribute taken, was right when he said :- of mercy must not destroy, it must • Canst thou find out the secret of not supersede, though it may prevail God, and canst thou discover the against, that of justice. The two final purpose of the Almighty ? They should blend harmoniously together. are higher than the heavens; what A Divine revelation is therefore abcanst thou do? deeper than hell; what solutely necessary for the adjustment canst thou know?' But, then, he of these difficulties. And does Judaand his friends should have shaped ism give a clear, decisive, as well as their own conclusions with reference authoritative answer to the question, to Job's sufferings by the application How shall man be just with God, of the same principle of human short- and how shall he be clean that is sightedness as contrasted with the born of woman? Why, Dr. Benisch, inscrutable counsels of God. How one of the highest exponents of Jewcan mortal man be just with God ?' ish theological thought in this counis a sufficient explanation of the ex- try, labours hard to prove that istence of misery in the world. Any- Moses knew at least of the doctrine how, it was not the excessive exhibi- of the immortality of the soul, and tion of mercy, but the rigour of God's he says that it was the prophets and justice, which has more or less be- the rabbis who shifted the centre wildered reflecting believers in every of gravity, as it were, from this age. Justice was, according to the to the next world. And yet he calls Book of Job, the predominant prin- the Old Testament a Divine reveciple in God's moral government: lation, silent as it is about the quesand if so, with what tremendous force tion whose solution can alone adeand appalling emphasis does the quately account for the long chain question present itself, when viewed of miraculous interpositions on bewith reference the eternal destinies half of his people! In this age of of the soul? How can man be eter- scepticism he wants the world to benally just, or, what is the same, eter- lieve that the infinite condescension nally happy with God? This mo- of God on Mount Sinai served no mentous question has received as other purpose than to fortify the remany practical answers as there are ligion of a single people by earthly creeds in the world. They all claim promises and penalties; or what to be Divine revelations, for the simple amounts to the same thing, to regureason that it is God alone who can late their temporal affairs for a time solve this mystery. It is beyond the and then to give up the attempt as a grasp of the human intellect, and complete failure! For if we take the even if speciously solved by man, Pentateuch for a guide, nothing is such a merely human solution must more certain than that for the last fail completely of inspiring us with 1,800 years the Jewish people have any degree of confidence when on the experienced all the judgments and threshold of the grave. Man's eter- none of the blessings of the law, and nal fellowship with God, which alone consequently that they have lived all constitutes eternal happiness, is ren- the time without religion in its scripdered impossible by man's innate tural sense. And can there be any. impurity. There is a mutual, deeply thing more wild than such a theory? rooted, and invincible aversion be- The rev. gentleman said the question tween human refinement and human between Jews and Christians was vulgarity; what must it be between one of Old Testament interpretation God and unregenerate man? Re- by two classes of Jews, the Hebrew pentance and amendment are of no heralds of the Gospel and the modern avail in a human court of justice. rabbis, and the correctness of the They cannot avert the consequences

views of these different interpreters entailed by a violation of the laws may be gauged by the effects which which govern the human body. The each had exercised upon the world at Mosaic law knows of no pardon for large. He concluded with an impressive appeal to Jews and Chris- several centuries dwelt visibly in the tians, telling the former that a thrill midst of the Jewish people, and that of exquisite delight should throb their He had selected them as His peculiar hearts at the thought that the proudest treasure out of all nations. Now nations of Europe owed a debt of this is far from self-evident. How do gratitude to their Hebrew forefathers the Jews account for this Divine which they could never repay." preference? God is no respecter of

persons. Why then should He have The Yorkshire Post and Leeds In- lavished His favours upon a single telligencer of the 5th ult., gives the people, and neglected the rest of following epitome of the next sermon mankind ? Supposing even that God by Mr. Wolkenberg :

would be so partial, what benefit have “On Sunday evening last, a special the Jews themselves derived from sermon to the above was, according this unaccountable and one-sided seto previous announcement, preached lection of their race ? Have they as by the Rev. M. Wolkenberg, at St. a nation been socially and politically Mary's, Leeds. The rev. gentleman's happier than the Gentiles ? " Is it not subject was • The Evidences of Juda- an indisputable fact that, for any ism,' and he chose for his text Isa. social, civil, intellectual, or political xli. 21. He said that faith founded advantages they enjoy above their in reason is the golden mean between down-trodden brethren in other counsuperstitious credulity on the one tries, they are indebted to their resihand and unbelief on the other. dence in this Protestant land ? Here, Hence a great Jew, who had left his then, we are confronted with an inmark upon the world as very few surmountable barrier at the very had done before or after him, the threshold of Judaism. Before this Apostle Peter, insisted that every is removed, no other proof in favour one should be able to give a reason of the Divine origin of that creed can of the hope that was in him. His be of any weight. Accept the Gosauthority is not generally acknow- pel as the ultimate end designed in ledged by his Hebrew brethren, but the election of Israel, as the comhis admonition is so self-evident that pletion and fulfilment of the Old it must commend itself to the appro- Testament, and the difficulty disapbation of every thinking man. It is pears. There is no inconsistent only darkness that flees the light, Divine partiality. There is only a and a creed for which nothing more choice of human instruments for the can be said than that it has been be- spiritual restoration of all mankind, queathed to us by our forefathers which has been effected to a large has clearly no foundation in truth. extent by a Jewish agency so utterly Isaiah therefore, though speaking inadequate that nothing short of Omwith the authority of Divine inspira- nipotent power could have operated tion, is ready to listen calmly and through it and rendered it effectual. dispassionately to the most degraded The Jews themselves have, as a naidolaters of his time. But is not Ju- tion, so far derived no benefit from daism so rational as to be above all it, because they have mistaken its reasonable dispute ? What need can object, which has, nevertheless, been there be to prove the existence and realised by the Gentiles, through the the glorious attributes with which self-sacrificing labours of the Hebrew that system invests the God of Is- disciples of Jesus, who had correct rael? It is only the fool that says apprehension of the Divine purposes in his heart there is no God, and as designed in the Old Testament. him it would be a vain attempt to We have thus the best vindication of convince, because it is not his mind the truth of the Hebrew Scriptures; that is at fault, but his heart. True ; for is it not a most striking confirmabut then Judaism maintains that the tion of the Divine origin of the Gossume God, who is exalted far above pel, as well as of Moses and the the highest heaven, and before whose prophets, that both are the acknowglorious majesty all created things ledged source of religious truth to re less than nothing, had also for millions of the human race? And who gave the impetus to that mighty and proceeded to say that Israel movement? Who first set the wave alone had survived the wreck of the of the knowledge of God rolling over ancient world. Oppressed by all mankind, till it has covered a large nations in turns, the fierce wave of portion of the globe? Who but the adversity and the raging billows of Jewish believers in the crucified persecution had for centuries rolled Saviour? The Jews ject the Gos- over them, threatening to engulf pel because it is opposed to their in- them, but here were the Jewish peoherited prejudices, and they find ple as full of vitality as ever they themselves in the presence of inex- were in the days of David and Soloplicable difficulties which undermine mon, and ready to take rank side by the very foundation of Judaism. Is it side with the most advanced nations of right? isit profitable to reject the truth Europe. What then was the task because it is not such as we like? assigned to them? Had they in any

“There were many Jews and Jew- way benefited the world ? Could esses in the church, who were also they point to a single nation that addressed in German, and listened had been restrained from heathenism with great attention.”

and barbarism by Jewish instrumen

tality ? Had not they themselves disThe Nottingham Journal of the 19th carded their own great and glorious ult., gives the following account: destiny by the adoption of the hack

“ SPECIAL SERMONS TO JEWS AND neyed axiom that every one must Gentiles.-On Sunday evening, a live and die in the religion in whicb special sermon was preached in St. he was born? How did they account Nicholas' Church, Nottingham, by for the fact that, so far from conferring the Rev. M. Wolkenberg, on the sub- any benefit upon the Gentiles, the ject, The destiny of the Jewish vast majority of their own brethren people.' The rev. gentleman took residing in other parts of the world for his text Isa. xliii. 21, and after were left far behind in the race of stating how, even in the material social progress and mental culture ? creation, everything had a function How could they logically maintain to perform and an object assigned to the saving efficacy of all creed, or the it by God for its existence, the end possibility of salvation in spite of all of the works of the Creator being the religion, true or false, and at the showing forth of His glory, he pointed same time profess their belief in the out that this testimony was intended Divine origin of Judaism? If they for man who alone had an intelligent would but see the absurdities in appreciation of it. As a rational and which they involved themselves by accountable being, conscious of his this rejection of the Gospel, how they actions and able to discriminate be- detached themselves from the Divine tween good and evil, man's whole anchor of their national and indi. life, whether passive or active, should vidual hope, and how they drifted be one unceasing proclamation, and away from their Scriptural moorings one unbroken reflection of the love, only to lose themselves on a limitless purity, and holiness of his Maker. ocean of doubt and perplexity! Had Men, he held, whether willing or not, then, the Divine election of the not, advanced the glory of God to all Jewish people entirely failed in aceternity, either as terrible monu- complishing the end designed by it ? ments of his anger or as memorials of Compare the present state of the His redeeming love and mercy. Re- world with what it was when the ferring to nations, which he said had Hebrew disciples of the Jew Jesus no existence in eternity, he went on first proclaimed, in His name, the to say that political declension and knowledge of God to the nations of extinction followed moral depravity the earth. Left to themselves, they as inexorably as darkness succeeded would have bequeathed to future the removal of our hemisphere from generations a terrible legacy of festhe direct rays of the sun. He made tering corruption which must have allusion to Assyria, Persia, Greece, ultimately involved mankind in irreand Rome as illustrating his remarks, trievable ruin both of body and soul.

CHAPTER IV.

THE FIRST RESURRECTION AND MILLENNIAL

LIFE.

From this catastrophe the world was and Gentiles has been brought in, saved by a noble band of Jews, who and Israel is restored to their protraversed the length and breadth of mised land, after nearly nineteen the then known world, and, holding centuries of banishment and disperforth the banner of the cross, infused

sion. The “many" have hitherto new life into the dead body of Pagan- slighted or openly rejected and opism. The rev. gentlemen then viewed posed the "glad tidings of great joy. the question in its individual aspect, as announced by angels at the birth pointing out that eternal salvation of Jesus at Bethlehem. The “few," depended upon it, and urged upon his comparatively, have received the Jewish brethren, of whom many of engrafted word, and found pardon both sexes were seen in the densely through faith in the blood of the crowded church, to examine the Lamb and repentance toward God, claims of the Gospel prayerfully and walking by the Spirit in the narrow impartially."

way of holiness, with joyful hope and

expectation of the coming King. THOUGHTS ON

Thus the last conversion has taken REALITIES OF THE FUTURE LIFE.

place, and the last soul has been

saved, and the number of His elect BY REV. W. STONE, M.A.

accomplished, before the binding of Satan, and the beginning of the millennial life, at the second coming of the Lord Jesus in the clouds of

heaven, to introduce and establish “ This is life's eternal spring,

the new blissful dispensation of This, the coming joy, we sing ! Look we ever toward this day,

"peace on earth," and fulfil the proBe it near or far away.

mised Messianic reign. “ 'Mid the sorrow and the strife,

Preparatory to this there has been "Tis the music of our life ;

great tribulation." For the day of And the song hath this refrain,

the Lord's second advent is anOur Redeemer comes again !" nounced, first, as the day coming that

"shall burn as an oven, and all the We understand the millennial life to proud, yea, and all that do wickedly be the intermediate happy state on shall be as stubble ;" and so comearth between the present and the plete shall be the consuming flame, eternal life, as the state of departed that “it shall leave them neither saints is intermediate between the root nor branch." (Mal. iv. 1.) “The present and the millennial.

tares must be first gathered in bundles Passing onward through a period for the burning," before the wheat of about 6000 years from the creation shall be gathered into the Lord's of our first-parents and from the barn. (Matt. xiii. 30.) So, observe, death of Abel the first martyr in the in the remarkable vision presented in human family,—the first body that we Rev. xix. to St. John, just previous know of committed to the dust of to the binding of Satan and the first redeath, and the first soul to the inter- surrection, and the reign of the saints mediate state of paradise, -we come (Rev. xx.), the personal advent of to a new and wondrous phase of the Messiah with “ the armies of heaven" future life. It is the “great and is foreshown in the apocalyptic picterrible day of the Lord.” The last ture, as that of a great and mighty of God's children has reposed in the conqueror, treading down his enemies, tomb, and the last spirit of the faith- “ who would not have him to reign ful" remnant according to the elec- over them," beneath His feet, and tion of grace” has been gathered in to triumphing openly over them, with inherit one of the many mansions in all His faithful band of followers. the Father's house, for a very brief Then, as soon as this act of necessary interval. The Gospel has been judgment is effected, and the earth preached "for a witness" in all in a manner cleared of its worst nations. The fulness of the number dross and refuse, “the trumpet (of the of the chosen from among Jews archangel of the resurrection) shall

S. J. 8.

« PreviousContinue »