Page images

means of the native tribes of the desert, whose camels went to and fro laden with costly merchandise.

This great prosperity, founded by the policy of David, and strengthened by the wisdom of his son, placed within the reach of Solomon the most ample means of building the house of the Lord, already in great measure provided for, and planned, which was, accordingly, begun in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, though not completed till more than seven years afterwards.




THERE has not been, in these latter days of the Church's history, a greater occasion of rejoicing than the Jubilee of the Church Missionary Society. In almost every town and village of our kingdom, the voice of praise has been heard for the past and the present; and the voice of prayer for the future. The Church, in this land, never sent up so united and general a prayer, never offered so united and universal an ascription of praise and thanksgiving, as have now ascended to the mercy seat of God, on such an event as that which has just been commemorated. There have been seasons of pressing calamity and threatening danger, when the whole nation have been called by authority to humble themselves before God, and from all his temples has arisen the unanimous prayer of an afflicted people—and God has heard that prayer. There have been times when the song of thanksgiving has, like the sound of many


waters, pealed from God's house and the Christian's home, for blessings given or calamities removed ; but never has been uttered so general a voice of prayer and praise, unbidden by authority for self-interested motive to turn aside no threatening danger from our land, or to praise God for any benefit conferred on us as a people. The two Archbishops of the Church, many of the Bishops, a large proportion of her Clergy, hundreds of thousands of her laity, have united to celebrate God's goodness to heathen nations—the preaching of his gospel to blind and debased idolaters, the “ taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name.” Looking at the growth of the Church Missionary Society, well may we say, “ What hath God wrought !”

Whilst the Church in England has been thus uniting to celebrate the Jubilee, the congregations gathered from amongst the heathen have shared her joy. How delightful to remember that

“ From many an ancient river,

From many a palmy plainthe thousands of her converts have, in their many languages, with one voice, in the same service and the same songs, exulted in the blessings of salvation, and adored the Great Redeemer of the world. Forty thousand Gentile children in the schools of the Society; thirteen thousand communicants in her one hundred and two stations ; fifteen hundred native teachers, a large number of European missionaries, and many thousands of worshippers, in twenty different languages, all magnified the goodness of the Lord, ascribing salvation, and honour, and praise to him who has

redeemed an innumerable multitude out of every nation, and kindred, and people, and tongue.

A deeply interesting circumstance in this commemoration, is that, as in the first days of the Church, there are congregations of believing Israelites who have rejoiced and do rejoice in the conversion of the heathen. There had been a prejudice so strong, in the minds of Jewish believers, against the Gospel being preached to the Gentiles, that it needed an especial revelation to convince the apostles of the benevolent intentions of their Lord; but when the prejudice was removed, both apostles and disciples rejoiced. At first they were displeased; they of the circumcision contended with Peter, because he had preached to Gentiles; but after his exposition of God's purposes, and his declaration of God's goodness to the Gentile Cornelius," they held their peace and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.''

Paul and Barnabas pass through Phenice and Samaria on their way to the Mother Church of Jerusalem, and as they go, declare the conversion of the Gentiles, and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. Again are there congregations of believing Israelites rejoicing in the conversion of the Gentiles. In London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Warsaw, and other places in Europe, and on the hill of Zion, are there such assemblies—Christian Israelites, under a Christian ministry, rejoicing in the extension of the Church of Christ.

In London, the Rev. J. B. Cartwright preached two interesting sermons on this subject, on Sun. day, October 8, in the Society's Chapel, in order to inform the large number of Jewish believers who worship there, and through them their believing brethren in distant parts of the metropolis, of the intended celebration, and to invite them to join heartily in rejoicing in the conversion of the Gentiles. Contributions have been solicited from Jewish converts, that there may be an offering made of their liberality, in the midst of their deep poverty, as a proof that they rejoice in the possession of the Gospel themselves, and in the reception of it by so many thousands of the unhappy heathen.

The two sermons, preached and published by Mr. Cartwright, are entitled, “ Christian Israelites Rejoicing in the Conversion of the Heathen."* We hope our readers will procure them, were it only for the interest which attaches to them, as the first of the kind which have ever been published. How little could our forefathers have imagined that the days would soon come, when the Prayer Book which they loved would be used in seventeen different languages of the heathen world—when the Gospel would be preached in twenty different tongues by Clergymen of their own Church, assisted by hundreds of converted Natives—when the truths which they had lisped in childhood would be taught to so many tens of thousands of the children of the Gentiles; and even still stranger would have been the thought that there would be, at the same time, hundreds of believing Jews to rejoice in the salvation of the Gentiles. Whilst we praise God for the wonderful works which he hath wrought with his own right hand and holy arm, and say,

* London: Wertheim and Macintosh, Paternoster Row. Price Sixpence.

[ocr errors]

Not unto us, not unto us, O Lord; but to thy name be the glory;" let us unite with all our hearts in the prayer

“Oh! haste the day, foretold so long,
When Jew and Greek, a glorious throng ;
One house shall seek, one prayer shall raise,
One Lord with grateful rapture praise.”



It is related that the Jews in Hungary in the year 1650, wearied and perplexed by the miseries of a captivity protracted through sixteen centuries, resolved to hold a national council for the complete investigation of the question whether the Messiah were already come.

“ The plain of Ageda, about thirty leagues from Buda, was selected for the Assembly.

This place was chosen on account of the war between the Turks and the king of Hungary, both parties having given the nation permission to convene in this part of the country. Three hundred of the most eminent rabbies, and a vast multitude of other Jews assisted at the council; and Zechariah, of the tribe of Levi, was chosen their president and speaker. After the assembly had excluded all who could not prove themselves of Jewish origin, the president thus proposed the following question: We have convened in this place to examine whether the Messiah is really come, or whether we must still expect his appearance ? ' Some professed themselves inclined to believe that He had already come, since the calamities which their nation had suffered during a series of

« PreviousContinue »