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TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS, WELL-WISHERS, AND

FRIENDS. 8 we are rapidly drawing nearer and nearer to the close of another

year of our Hebrew Christian testimony to the power of the Gospel of the grace of God, we become more anxious that the HEBREW CHRISTIAN WITNESS - no matter what Christian brethren espouse his causemay be continuously and creditably established. We would, therefore, solicit the co-operation of such of our readers as are named at the head of this paper in promoting that continuity and creditability. The way some of you have helped us is beyond all praise ;—and for the very reason because your pious natures shrunk from all praise. Like our own David of old, the words of your hearts, if not of your lips, were :-" Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty : for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine ; Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength anto all. Now, therefore, our God, we thank Thec, and praise Thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort ? for all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee."'* We know that you are not of those who burn to have their deeds blazoned and published, grateful for the slightest opportunity to proclaim them from their very housetops. We know to what class you belong, even to such as sit at the feet, and give hoed to the behests of our heart-searching Saviour, when He preaches to us in that soul-ravishing SERMON ON THE MOUNTAIN. Would that the following words may not stand up as witnesses at the great assize, against many would-be righteous, charitable, and pious, now-a-day :-“Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in

* i Chron, xxix, 11-14,

482

TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS, WELL-WISHERS, AND FRIENDS.

heaven. Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth ; that thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret, Himself shall reward thee openly. . Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal ; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.” To the disobedient with respect to these solemn injunctions, we do not address ourselves. We know that the quid pro quo is uppermost in their heart. What shall I have therefore? Who shall know of the generous loan which I made ? Shall I receive honour of men ? Verily, what shall my reward be ? are questions which sparkle in their eyes and smile upon their lips. We repeat that to such as court the praise of men, rather than that of God, we do not address ourselves.

To you, the genuine friends and well-wishers of this work, one of God's instruments for good on earth at this present time, we address ourselves with confidence. We know what spirit actuates you. Were it not that our Heavenly Father hath raised you up as brothers born for adversity, some of whom we have never seen in the flesh, we should long since have succumbed to the great pressure upon health, strength, and fiscal resources. But it has happened unto us more than once-our extremity proved God's opportunity.

We purpose to begin our third year, God willing, as we have hitherto done, in FAITH and HOPE. We would earnestly solicit the GENUINE friends of Israel to strengthen our hands by their fervent prayers that health, strength, and wisdom from on High be granted unto us, that our humble testimony may continue more and more to carry conviction to, and be the means of the conversion of, many a Jew and nominal Christian. We would venture also to ask of our subscribers, well-wishers, and friends, to help to multiply their number, so that we be enabled to carry on this great work free, at least, from pecuniary anxieties. We have hitherto sacrificed everything to the carrying on of this our TESTIMONY. All that we have had accrued to us from other departments of literature we have devoted to this our Magazine : almost all our thoughts, our health, our strength, were all given to this work. You will, therefore, bear with us if we ask you to help us at least to be rid from one burden,—that is, the monetary

The rest—mental and physical—we gladly dedicate to the service of our TRIUNE GOD.

It is not out of place to state here once more the rise and progress of

one.

* Matt. vi. 14-19-20.

TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS, WELL-WISHERS, AND FRIENDS.

483

The HEBREW CARISTIAN WITNESS. We have undertaken the arduous task of conducting and publishing it from purely patriotic sentiments and principles. The Magazine, it is not too much to say, has achieved wonders in the short time of its existence. It has proved a faithful and efficient evangelist in many a Jewish household of the higher class. It has proved itself a bond of union among our believing brethren. It has been the means of organising the HEBREW CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE, at the Mildmay Park Conference Hall, which took place in July last. Copies of our last October number, which contained an important and significant article on the Mosaic Day of Atonement, were forwarded by post to every Jewish Rabbi in the United Kingdom, the English Colonies, and the United States, as well as to other influential Jews. In short, THE HEBREW CHRISTIAN Witness is a modern evangelist with whom no missionary can possibly compete. And yet we have not experienced, hitherto, the slightest encouragement from any of the Jewish missionary societies in this country. Thank God, our solicitude for the salvation of our brethren after the flesh is not because we have any connection with well-supported Associations, but rather because of the sorrow of our heart, when we contemplate the vast amount of ignorance, superstition, and unbelief-in high quarters—which all the missionaries in Europe and America cannot reach. There was scarcely a cheap excursion train from the provinces, during the summer just past, that we did not receive requests for interviews from Jewish readers of our magazine, to whom the publication has been gratuitously forwarded.

Well-wishers and Friends, you would help us materially to multiply the number of our subscribers—and thus set our minds at ease, to some extent at least-by endeavouring to bring THE HEBREW CARISTIAN WitNESS under the notice of some of your friends. If you would each make up your minds to secure six subscribers respectively, you would cooperate in a work which has for its object the Redeemer's kingdom and glory. Your co-operation would be very much enhanced if you could conveniently let the Editor have, as soon as possible, subscribers' names

There is a misapprehension which has done the circulation of our Magazine some harm. Some persons are in the habit, now and then, to assert, “ Oh, THE HEBREW CHRISTIAN WITNESS is a class Magazine !" If it is a class Magazine, it is one of a very high character to begin with, and, moreover, provides for the instruction and information of the most varied kinds in theology, philology, history, poetry, hermeneutics, and curious items of sacred and secular archæology, for which readers of all classes would look elsewhere in vain. Those who have read our Monthly attentively can only speak of it as a class magazine in the very best sense of the term.

Post Office Orders to be made payable at 127, Fulham Road, London, 8.W.

484

THE CROWNING SIGN OF THE TIMES. WE

E venture to believe that our readers will not only bear with us,

but sympathise with us, when we now and then stop in our retrospective meditations on the PROMISES MADE UNTO THE FATHERS, to contemplate prospectively the realisation of those PROMISES. Tokens of the coming realisation are beginning to be vouchsafed abundantly. The Land and People of Israel have of late years been brought into such prominent notice as to challenge the attention of the most confirmed “humanitarians," as the concocters of their own individual religions delight to designate themselves. Not only has “the Gospel of the kingdom" well nigh been “preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations,"* as predicted by Israel's King, Priest, and Prophet, but the Land of Israel—the platform of the fearful events which are to precede the winding up of this dispensation, and the ushering in of the next one-is beginning to attract the attention of the civilised world with an intensity which must be perplexing, to the uttermost, to the mere students of humanology. Explorers from every civilised land are busied in the Land of Israel; archæologists of every shade of religious opinion concentrate all their powers of thought and word upon every fragment of a crumbled column, or morsel of a shattered monument, or a few words of a torn record coming from that land. What meaneth all this in the present age of positivism! Then again, the wonderful enterprise of the Palestine Exploration Society, in whose researches theologians, historians, statesmen, diplomatists, philosophers, poets, and scholars, are alike interested! What meaneth again the extraordinary fact that of late years every Crown Prince of every civilised nation should deem it expedient, or politic, or “the right thing to do," to visit the Holy City! Are all these facts really ominous “ signs of the times,” which portend that we are living in days which may, at any moment, usher in the events predicted in the old, old Book-so much neglected by worldly politicians and savants ? Are we living in days preliminary to “The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people ; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut to pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it ?"| The Christian Watchman thinks so.

The importance of the signs of the times furnished by the Land of Israel is immeasurably enhanced by the recent extraordinary changes in

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the condition of the people of Israel amongst the most civilised nations. Amongst those nations they are everywhere brought most prominently into enviable notice, whether as philosophers, as savants, as literati, as politicians, diplomatists, and jurists. They are not only successful competitors on the hustings and on the exchange, but also in public schools and universities. We repeat, what we have once or twice enunciated before from the pulpit and through the press :—Israel is now to be found everywhere, as distinct as ever, as intellectual as ever, as patriotic as ever, as national as ever ; more opulent than ever, more cultivated than ever, more civilised than ever, more accomplished than ever, more numerous than ever, and numbers greater politicians than ever. Is this wonderful change in the condition of the house of Jacob a fortuitous realisation of the poet Isaiah's lyric effusions--as a writer in a contemporary, misnamed " Theological Review” would lead us to believe *-or an earnest that the son of Amoz spoke as he was moved by the Spirit of God, when he uttered such prophecies as the following :-“But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they who were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with theo ; they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of

* The Jewish Free School Weekly, a sort of nondescript melange of Voyseyism, Romanism, and vagaries after their kind, gives the following item in its impression of the 10th ult:-"In its review on · Renan's Antichrist,' the Theological Review concludes with the following remarks :-'We trust M. Renan may, after a while, be found to have done much to rescue this book from the discredit into which it has fallen. So long as there is danger that the ignorant and unedu. Cated will endeavour to construct from it a scheme of the still distant future, and dream of a millennium rather than work given them to do, it is well that the Apocalypse should be but little read, and that it should form a very rare ingredient in the services of the Christian Church. But when once the anticipated fall of Rome takes its place with Isaiah's triumphant strain over fallen Babylon, as solely concerned with the past, when the hopes of the future written in the Revelation are recognised as a beautiful dream, impossible of realisation, and, if possible, undesirable-its poetry, its wealth of symbolism, and its spiritual adaptability may once more delight those who will search the strains of the last Hebrew prophet, who is also the most Jewish of all Jews. For the distinction between Jews and Gentiles will continue according to the seer, even in the Kingdom of God. The Messiah is the Jewish Messiah. The superiority of the chosen race is asserted at every turn.'"

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