Page images

consisting of father, mother, and six children, who had left Posen on account of the disturbances there. . After a little conversation, he was informed by the children, that they had been in the habit of visiting the mission school in Posen, conducted so excellently by Mr. Bandtke, of whom the children spoke with the greatest affection. It rejoiced my heart, he says, to hear what progress these little ones had made, and what knowledge they possessed of the saving truths of the Gospel. When I conversed with the father about their present low condition, and compared it with God's promises, contained in the Old Testament and in the New, respecting the Jews and their Messiah; when I spoke of man's fall, and his recovery through Jesus Christ, God's anointed Messiah, the children knew and quoted every passage most correctly, both from the Old and New Testament, that referred to this subject. Their knowledge of the Bible is much more extensive than it is found amongst Christian children. I was particularly struck and moved to tears by the earnestness and child-like simplicity of the eldest girl, about 12 years age. “Father, said she, “you may say what you like, but sooner or later I shall be baptized, for in heart and soul I am a Christian already. I am fully persuaded that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, and there is salvation in none other; and it is through him alone, who, as the true pascal-lamb, was sacrificed for our sins, that we can have remission and be justified before God. And this is the reason that all other sacrifices have ceased, according to the prophecy of Daniel, in the ninth chapter. And I assure you, my dear father, that I don't say this because Mr. Bandtke talked me over, as


you maintain, but because it is my inmost conviction that it is Divine truth. What holy men of God have spoken in the Old Testament, has been literally fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. And what the Lord Jesus and his Apostles have spoken in the New Testament, we see fulfilling every day; and I trust that God will preserve me in his truth, and make me to believe it more stedfastly every day.' That's quite enough, now hold your tongue,' said the father, in a serious and half angry tone. ‘Don't think, my dear father,' continued she, mildly and dutifully, 'Don't think that I wish to cause you pain or sorrow, but I only speak ás I feel ; for were it not that I love my parents most dearly, I should long ago have been baptized. And although I know that we ought to obey God rather than man, yet I trust that he will pardon me, for I know that my baptism would greatly distress you; besides which, in my heart I am a Christian, and no one can rob me of this treasure.' When I heard this speech of this girl, and she spoke with much feeling and emotion, I was moved to tears and unable to utter another word. I could only lift up my soul to God, and pray that he would not only preserve this tender plant, but also strengthen and ripen it for glory, to the praise of his own great name.”

Baptism of two Israelites. “On Palm Sunday I had the privilege to receive another son of Abraham into the Church of Christ by baptism. His name is Michelson, 21 years of age, a native of Mitau, in Kurland. He was put out by his father as an apprentice to a corn merchant. When his time was out he went to Russia, and returned after a while with a very great desire to go to England. But his father being now dead, his mother would not let him go. After a while, however, he could not resist the temptation, but went to Memel, and thence with a sailing vessel to Hull.

“He was fifteen months in England, and peddled about the country, as most foreign Jews do in England. In his wanderings he came to Liverpool, where he met with a countryman of his, Mr. Lazarus, who spoke to him about the truths of the Gospel. It was here for the first time that he had ever heard anything about Christianity. He had no conception of it; it was altogether a new subject to him, which began to engross

his thoughts. Upon the advice of Mr. Lazarus, he went to London, where he applied to be received into the Operative Institution, in order to enquire more fully into the matter, and to satisfy his mind as to the truth or untruth of the Christian religion. He received excellent and profitable religious instructions in the Institution, (as he himself said,) during three months and a half, and was pleased and satisfied with every thing there, but was weak enough to be worked upon by some ill-disposed Jews in and out of the Institution, so that he left it along with others, and made up his mind to return to his home. But on his way, he repented very much of the wrong he had done in leaving the Institution in the manner he did. The truth of the Gospel had already made too deep and lasting an impression upon his mind, to let him be easy without a complete possession of it. He made up his mind to go to Berlin and apply to me, which he did. To these serious reflections he was doubly awakened by the providence of God. He had left England in winter, and had not only a very bad passage, but the Elbe being frozen, he was landed at Heligoland, and had to make his way up to Hamburg, under very trying circumstances. He had learned no trade but was anxious to turn his hands to something, and yet he was unwilling to bind himself for any number of years. At his own special wish I placed him with a master who engaged to teach him a trade, at a premium which I payed for him. During all this time he received daily instruction in the saving truths of the Gospel, and attended regularly our services. I am happy to add that he was always in great earnest and very attentive, and read diligently the word of God, so that I baptized him gladly on Palm Sunday, and I trust that he was baptized also with the Holy Ghost.

His master gave him an excellent character, both for diligence and efficiency. From the beginning he showed great anxiety to return to England, and latterly the more so, as he assured me that he could now earn his bread there very well. I therefore dismissed him on the 26th of this month, and pray that God's blessing may accompany him on his future career.

“On Thursday, the 27th, I baptized another most interesting young Jew, Gabriel Schoen, but of another stamp and character altogether. He is a young man of some education, and a painter by profession. He has studied seven years at this Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a native of R—, 23 years old, of a mild and gentle character, and of a serious and pensive mind. He was brought up to the study of the Talmud, which he continued till his thirteenth year. German philosophy had began to spoil him, but he was delivered in time, and led to see its dreary consequences on the soul. In my next letter I hope to be able to give a more detailed account of his history


THE JEWS. “ Pray for the peace of Jerusalem : they shall prosper that love thee.”—Psalm cxxii.


“ WHEN you read to me last night, mother,

How God bids us love the Jew,
Then my very heart within me yearn'd

Both to love and help them too;
But I'm only a little child, mother-

I, alas! can nothing do.


“Oh! if I were old and wise, mother,

A missionary I would be
To seek the lost sheep of Israel,

I would go o'er land and sea ;
But I'm only a little child, mother,

They would not listen unto me.


“ Or, if I were very rich, mother,

To send others in my stead,
Who would tell them about Jesus Christ,

And of all that he sufferëd;
But I'm only a little child, mother,

And you'll smile at what I've said !”


[ocr errors]

• Although you are but a little child,”

Did the mother gently say,
“ And not wise in speech, or rich in gold,

To aid, or to give away,
You can still assist the Jews, dear child,
Let the little children pray!


LONDON : Printed at the Operative Jewish Converts' Institution,

Palestine Place, Bethnal Green.

« PreviousContinue »