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of blessings received—though much might be urged on these grounds--but on much higher ground; “ first to the Jew" is God's own order, founded in infinite wisdom, in the interest of the Jew as an instrument in blessing the world.
Had the Church, in her missionary operations, gone first to the Jew, she would, in proportion to her success, have annihilated the most powerful opposition to the Gospel, and secured the most able, intelligent, and successful missionaries. For the Jews are in all lands ; have access to all people ; are familiar with the manners, customs, and languages of all nations; and have a physical constitution acclimatised to all countries. They already believe in the same God we believe in ; they believe as divine two-thirds of our Bible, and which constitute the foundation of the remaining one-third. They are waiting for a Messiah. This people are highly accessible all over the world. This Gospel of Christ carried to them through one language--Hebrew, which is not difficult to learn-secures, in their
ony sion, an agency for preaching in every land and language "the unsearchable riches of Christ." “ Thus saith the Lord of hosts, in those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying we will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you” (Zechariah viii. 23).
We would not have the Church of Christ slacken her efforts, either at home or abroad, for the direct and immediate conversion of the Gentiles, since the present generation of sinners—Jews and Gentiles—is passing away into eternity, and if anything be done for the salvation of either Jew or Gentile it must be done at once-now. But surely the one should be done, and the other not left undone. Paul was a missionary to the Gentiles, but wherever he went he offered salvation “first to the Jew.” Why should not all ministers and missionaries to the Gentiles do the same, specially in the case of Jews residing within their sphere of labour ? Why should not the Lord's stewards put the Jew first on their subscription list for this New Year? Why should not ministers and people, in private and in public, give the Jews a prominent place in their prayers ?
Our regular work in preaching Jesus to the Jews needs prayer and help. Our“ House of Call” needs prayer and help. Our Orphanage needs prayer and help. Rome needs prayer and help. The casual Jewish poor need prayer and help, in clothes as well as money. O! blessed God, God of Israel, whose are the silver and the gold, touch the hearts of Thy rich children to give freely and liberally to Thy cause in all directions, and dispose them to observe Thine own instructions,“ to the Jew first and also to the Gentile."
The Lord permitting us, we will give in the next number of the Herald a few striking facts, illustrating and enforcing the importance of observing this divine order.
Notes of a Visit to Mission Stations
BY THE SECRETARY.
[Continued from page 233.] LEAVING Warsaw early in the morning of the 25th of August, I came, by a long journey through Southern Poland, to Cracow. In the compartment of the railway carriage in which I travelled the six passengers were of five different nationalities, as we found to one another's amusement on inquiry. In one corner a member of the Greek Church was counting his beads, in another a Protestant was reading his New Testament, and in another a Roman Catholic priest was occupied with his missal. And the way was enlivened by a sharp argumentative encounter between the Roman Catholic dignitary and a gentleman of Jewish family, on the subject of religious education. The ultimate answer, repeated again and again to all appeals against requiring men of one belief to submit their children to the teaching of another, was that all education given by Catholics must be Catholic. The enormous claim to submission put forth by a minute and elaborate system, in whose arrangements the hand of man so often appears, is a great hindrance to the work of bringing the Jew to Christ. The Jew in such cities as Cracow, in reply to the missionary's appeal, says, “Show me a Christian.” How can he reply? Shall he say, “I point you to the devotees, prostrate with extended hands, on the pavement before the gorgeous altar in the Roman Catholic Church, as we saw them at Cracow ?” The Jew may reply, “Why should I change my religion; Judaism is more simple and spiritual ?” Or shall he reply, “These are Christians, and point to many so-called Protestants of the continent who seldom attend a place of worship, and who call in question the greatest verities of their 'professed belief, and give no signs of Christian vitality ?” The Jew may reply, “They have no more spiritual life than I possess.” Indeed, the missionary must be content in some cases with saying “I am a Christian.” Sạch is the difficulty of the missionary's work in some towns, in which he cannot point to a Christian Church showing in the lives of its members the superior fruits of the Gospel. But all the more on this account is it most urgently necessary that there be missionary testimony to hold up before the Jews a Christianity not coercive, but persuasive ; not, on the one hand, cold and dead, but living and fruitful; and, not on the other, concealed by human tradition, but simple, sublime, and powerful for good, because sent from God.
Cracow was visited by the Scotch deputation in 1839. They say of it, “We were deeply impressed with the importance of this city as a field of labour in the cause of Israel. Their vast numbers, their afflictions, and their readiness to hear the truth, seem to invite the efforts of the Gospel missionary. At the same time the difficulties are very great, from the opposition of a Popish government, the worse than indifference of nominal Protestants, and the want of temporal support for awakened Jews.” They found the Rey. Thomas Hiscock missionary there, and several Jews who had been under his instruction had been baptised. The Rev. L. Hoff and other agents of the London Society have laboured there since with encouraging success. And I had the pleasure of friendly association there with their present missionary, Mr. G. H. Händler, whom I found on my unexpected arrival occupied with interesting Jewish inquirers after Christian truth. As you walk the streets of Cracow you meet Jews at every step, and their number, estimated by the Scotch deputation at 22,000 out of a total population of 49,000, is believed to be now 27,000. In some parts of the town they 'seem to be the sole inhabitants, and in every part a foreigner finds it difficult to escape their importunity as they offer to change your money, or sell you some of their wares. On the bridge that crosses the branch of the Vistula, I was accosted by one who had been in England, and who was glad to converse with one from a country that had made on bim so favourable an impression. Without having any business with me, or receiving anything from me, he accompanied me a long distance for this purpose. He declared himself a Christian Jew. On the walls of the town I observed bills announcing the opening of a German Protestant school. After much delay and difficulty the Government authorisation had been obtained by the missionary, who, with his wife, takes great interest in this part of the work. A paid teacher is employed, and the missionary has also the advantage of the services of an active assistant missionary. But there is room for further agency, and Cracow must be named, with regret, as one of those large Jewish centres which our Society is not yet strong enough to reach.
LEMBERG. The next station visited was at Lemberg, a well-built town, picturesquely situated in a valley, needing but a noble river to make it one of the most attractive places on the continent. Here are magnificent churches and the palaces of bishops of the Greek and Latin Churches; on one height stands a citadel, and on the opposite a denk-hügel or memorial hill, commemorating a political event which no longer has any significance, is being raised by the hands of volunteer workers. From both these heights the view is most pleasing, and amidst the numerous buildings the round top of the principal Jewish synagogue is easily seen. The population of Lemberg is about 90,000, of which about 30,000 are Jews. In 1839 the Scotch deputation reckoned them at 15,000, but since that time some disabilities in respect to the holding of property having been removed their numbers have increased. It is still, however, difficult to ascertain their exact number. Some of the resident Jews are very influential in commerce, and some in literature. As in England, a professional agent is usually employed when property is to be purchased, so in Galicia and Roumania few persons would venture to conclude an important purchase without the intervention of a Jew. Here, also, great Talmudists are found, modern books are translated into Hebrew, and such works are produced as Krochmal's Theology of the Future. The
Jewish population of Galicia is very large. Statistics give the number as 478,000 so far back as 1857, and it has since much increased. This is out of a population of five millions, and in the whole empire of Austria the Jews are said to number 1,300,000.
The Rev. Daniel Edwards, now of Breslau, missionary of the Free Church of Scotland, began his work at Lemberg in 1848, but after two and a half years was obliged by the government to leave the town. About the year 1867 the London Society took up the work, and we had the pleasure of meeting their missionary, Rev. J. Lotka, and of spending Sunday afternoon in the study of the Scriptures at his house, when a young Jew, who is receiving Christian instruction, was also present. The Jews of Lemberg are about equally divided into Orthodox and Reformed. They present à large but difficult field, and demand in a missionary to them an unusual combination of gifts. An eloquent preacher who spoke pure German might gain a hearing, but he would require to know the Talmud well, and to be able to confront and confute its errors by the faithful and skilful use of the Hebrew Bible, and he must at the same time know thoroughly the objections of modern scepticism, and be able to meet them. As at Cracow so here, Roman Catholicism presents Christianity in such a way as to disgust and repel the Jew. This we felt particularly on one occasion, when, in company with Mr. Lotka, we saw a service conducted by six persons, the congregation consisting of about twelve. The genuflexions, the wearing of apparel, the ringing of bells, the muttering, the waving of incense, &c., caused us to leave the splendid but tawdry church saying, with deep distress of mind, “Alas ! that the missionary should first have to remove the bad impression this has produced in the mind of the Jew before preaching the Gospel in its simplicity to him." Mr. Lotka had been accompanying the Secretary of the London Society in a visit to Odessa, and to the Crimean Karaite Jews, of whom we learned interesting particulars. And we were glad to find in the course of our journey that these visits of the Secretaries of the two societies produced a good impression on the missionaries and on all concerned, by showing the interest felt in the work by British Christians, and the desire of the societies that it should be carried on in the most intelligent and efficient way.
Lemberg must be mentioned, with regret, as one of those places with a large Jewish population that our Society is not yet strong enough to reach in the ordinary way by sending a qualified missionary. We have, however, here two Christian Jewesses, who are conducting a school. They began teaching about three years ago, but did not at once receive the permission of government. We were much pleased with those of their scholars we saw, they were intelligent Jewish children of a superior class, but as it was then holiday-time, we did not see the school in full operation. Of their 18 scholars, 14 are Jewish, and 4 Roman Catholic.
While this is being printed we hear, with great pleasure, that the school has increased to 51, of 'which 30 are Jewish children. Some of the children already give promise that the results of careful Christian training will be seen in later years. This is, at present, the whole of the contribution we
are able to make to Christian work amongst the Jews in Lemberg. The British and Foreign Bible Society has a depôt in this town, and employs four colporteurs to carry the Scriptures to various parts of the country. Mr. P., father of our friends the teachers, is depositary. He is an earnest Christian Jew, and has many opportunities of speaking to his brethren. He visits several towns with large Jewish populations, and sometimes remains with his store of Bibles for days in the midst of the great fairs that are held in this part of the world, when thousands of Jews are gathered together. As a bookseller he excites less prejudice than a missionary would have to contend with. He has often introduced the New Testament, and he was able to give me an account of several anxious inquirers he had met with. I was glad to avail myself of his company to pay with me a special(visit to that most Jewish town, Brody, which I went out of my way to see, and of which I must give an account next month.
(To be continued.)
ROME. DR. PHILIP writes :-“In one of my last letters about the work here, I told you that I expected every day the return of our application, with the permission to open our school, from the Minister of Public Instruction, and said that here, in Italy, one requires much patience. We waited till the 11th instant, but as no reply had come yet, and having done all that is required by the scholastic law of the country, I resolved not to wait any longer, and opened the school on the 12th by reading a portion of Scripture and with prayer, though there were only three boys, of whom two were my little boys and one a Roman Catholic. Though I had made it known verbally, yet I could not have had the programme printed without having first obtained the permission from the authorities, which, however, even to this day, has not been sent, but, notwithstanding, I had a programme printed and circulated. Next day one Jewish boy came, the day after another Roman Catholic boy, and the day following another Jewish boy, but no others since. But at the same time I must inform you that in the meantime I have made it a rule not to take any under seven years of age, as they would require the constant attendance of a woman. This, no doubt, will appear to you a very dark side of the subject.
“From these statements you will observe what a counter-current we have to meet now.
Let us allow it to run on and to spend its strength. I have resolved not to give any inducement whatever, nor to recommend any to your Committee, especially at this commencement, either in the way of food, clothing, or even books, except the latter in cases of actual poverty. All this, as you may easily imagine, is a great trial to me, and a subject of my most earnest prayer before the throne of grace. But I shall hold out ; and as I know that many (notwithstanding all the free things in other schools) are not contented for several reasons, and wish to withdraw their children from these schools, I still hope that we shall have a good number of scholars in our school in due time. Several of our evangelical schools here, on account of the inducements held out, -dinners, clothing, &c.,-had, at first, their schools full, but when the inducements diminished, thé