Page images
PDF
EPUB

in the centre of the city. They are five or six in number, and from 150 to 200 yards in length. There are no private houses among them, all being shops and places of business. The shops are generally about six feet in front, and the floors are raised three feet from the level of the street, to which there are no steps. There are no windows, either with or without glass, but the door fills up the entire front; half of it lets down, and, extending a little way into the street, serves for laying goods upon. The shelves and doors are made of rough boards, unplaned and unpainted, and the walls within are very uneven and unplastered. The floor is made of lime or clay, over which a mat, made of cane or reed, is spread. The shopman—for there is but one in each shop--sits cross-legged on the floor, and never rises to serve his customer, who stands in the street without; nor need he, for all his goods lie upon shelves within his reach. The streets are not more than from six to eight feet wide, so that when the shops are open it is rather difficult for people to pass each other in the business part of the town. The streets are neither flagged nor paved, but there are laid some large flat stones for people to walk or step upon in wet weather ; which are worn so smooth and sloping, by the number of naked feet which tread upon them, that no one can walk safely and look at the shops at the same time; for between slippery stones and deep holes, one has to look well to his movements, lest he should come down. There were grocers, drapers, braziers, fruiterers, two watchmakers, three or four silversmiths, tobacconists, three or four butchers, cooks, and others. This is the greatest thoroughfare in the

city, where the most business is transacted, though there are other streets much wider, and even paved; but they are in those parts where Christians reside. The Turks never think of making such improvements, so that they are emphatically the people by whom Jerusalem is • trodden down.''

DEATH OF A YOUNG CONVERT.

EDWARD DAVIES, an only child, was born in Hamburgh, about the year 1817, and chiefly brought up in that city. He was apprenticed to a trade, but an unsettled disposition induced him to leave it. After the death of his father he became still more unsteady, so that his mother and his relations were made very unhappy about him. They looked upon him as a wild, unreflecting youth, and, because he would not heed their good advice, he was left to himself and followed his own wild will. In the midst of all this, the providence of God directed his steps to the missionaries of the Society at Hamburgh, and by them the good seed was sown in his heart. He was admitted into the Operative Jewish Converts’ Institution in London, in September, 1836, and from his whole conduct his sincerity soon became evident, and his live proved that the grace of God was doing his work in his heart. He studied his Bible with all diligence and attention, learned his catechism, with some hundreds of scriptural texts, carefully by heart, and was very regular in attendance at family prayer, and divine service in the Jews Chapel. The regular use of the means

of grace, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, soon produced its proper effect on his whole conduct and conversation. He became gentle in his manners, affectionate in his intercourse with his brethren, cheerful in the discharge of his duties and frequent and fervent in prayer. When the regular course of instruction was finished he became anxious to be baptized, and was accordingly admitted into the Christian Church, on the evening of Christmas-day, by the Rev. J. B. Cartwright, at the Episcopal Jews' Chapel, in the presence of a large congregation, including many Israelites who had come to witness this, his good confession. The importance which he attached to the truth of Christianity, and the happiness which he felt in having embraced it, will be seen by an extract from a letter which he wrote to a friend early in January :- “ You will be surprised,” he wrote, “at receiving this directed from London. I have been already here for about seven months, and it has pleased the Almighty to lead me into the way of truth and to the knowledge of our only Saviour, Jesus Christ. I have ended my instruction, and have already confessed our Lord Jesus Christ by the baptism with water, and I trust and hope to God that I shall also be baptized with the Holy Ghost.”

In the following part of the letter, Edward made enquiries after a situation ; but the Lord had something better in store for him, and was preparing him for a mansion above.

The prevailing disease, the influenza, attacked him. When nearly recovered, a fresh cold brought on a very serious inflammation and water on the chest ; and although the best means were adopted

which medical skill could devise, but little hope of his recovery was left. The pain which he suffered was extreme, but he bore it with patience and resignation. His brethren were very kind and attentive in nursing him day and night, and many Hebrew Christian friends came to visit him and to pray with him. The Rev. J. C. Reichardt, who had instructed him before his baptism, also often sat by his bed-side and read such portions of Scripture as were best calculated to comfort him, and prepare his spirit for its heavenward flight.

On Mr. Reichardt's asking him whether he ever recalled to mind some of the

many

texts he had learned, he replied, “Oh, yes. When further asked which passage, in particular, now gave him comfort, he quoted Romans vi. 16, 17. * Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey ; whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness ? But God be thanked that ye were the servants of sin; but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered unto you.” He confessed that he loved the Lord Jesus Christ from his heart, and placed all his hopes for time and eternity on him alone, because he had redeemed him with his precious blood. He desired to receive the sacrament, and in accordance with his request, the Rev. J. B. Cartwright administered it to him, Mr. and Mrs. Reichardt, and the Rev. John Nicolayson, joining in this blessed and solemn ordinance.

The greatest anxiety which he had was about his mother, to whom he had written several times, both before and since his baptism, to inform her of his circumstances and of his having become à Christian; and nothing gave him greater pleasure on his death-bed than the news that she was not only reconciled to the step he had taken, but was also herself favourably disposed towards Christianity, When he became weaker and weaker, he was asked whether he would like to see some of his Jewish relatives who were living in London. He declined seeing them, saying

What can they do for me? They cannot help me, and I fear would only disturb me.”

On Saturday night, the 11th of February, he was in much pain, with difficulty of breathing, yet he repeated every petition that was offered up for him by the Rev. J. C. Reichardt. The morning found him very weak and his appearance somewhat altered. Towards noon, a more decided change took place. Mr. Reichardt being sent for from the chapel, came to his bed-side in time to receive a last farewell look, that bespoke consciousness to the last moment. The soul of this dear departing brother was then commended in prayer into the hands of his God and Saviour, and, while this was being done, he very peacefully, without a struggle, breathed his last, to enter into the joy of his Lord, and to join those who are numbered out of the twelve tribes of Israel, in the heavenly Jerusalem.

Thus Edward Davies departed in peace, after a brief Christian course. His consistent conduct, spiritual life and peaceful death proved the reality of the change which the grace of God had wrought within him.

The Clergyman who baptized him buried him. Twelve believing Israelites followed him to the grave, accompanied by five Clergymen and a company of Gentile believers. On the Sunday

« PreviousContinue »