Page images

of doing so, through their profession of Christianity. A number of publications speedily issued from this office, the most important of which was a specimen of an intended translation of the New Testament into Hebrew. The Rev. Dr. Buchannan had, most convincingly, shown the importance of this great work, and kindly presented the Society with a copy of the manuscript which he had brought from India, and which had been placed by him in the library of the University of Cambridge.* This translation had been made by a learned Jew, with a view to the refutation of the sacred writings of the Evangelists and Apostles ; but it led to his conversion, and now was to be used as a help in the revision of the proposed translation for the spiritual benefit of his nation. This translation, as well as one which existed, but had never been circulated amongst the Jews, contained too many rabbinical words and phrases, and the Committee were desirous that the proposed work should consist, as exclusively as possible, of purely Biblical Hebrew. They desired to use the language of the five books of Moses, and, where the vocabulary of these inspired records failed, the earliest of the books of the Old Testament in succession. Referring to this important work, in their Annual Report, the Committee said, “ This will be a great undertaking, even worthy to be taken up as a national object; and your Committee will now submit their proposed plan of proceeding, that their literary and religious friends may judge of its propriety, or suggest any alterations which may occur to them.' The plan was to engage one or more persons, thoroughly ac

* See page 35 of the present volume.


quainted with the Greek, Syriac, and Hebrew languages, to prepare the basis of the translation ; and as half-sheets of it were composed, from time to time, to submit them to the unreserved inspection of every acknowledged literary character in the United Kingdom, who would lend his assist

Then, a select number of literary men were to meet and decide upon the merits of the various suggestions which might be collected from all quarters. They desired to avail themselves of all the ability that could be brought to bear on the great work“ that it might come out as complete as united wisdom and learning could make it, and that it might be dispersed throughout the world, and handed down to posterity as a monument of national literature as well as Christian love to the children of Israel.”

About fifty gentlemen favoured the Committee with their remarks upon the first half-sheet, and engaged to contribute their literary labours throughout the work.

An edition of the Old Testament in Hebrew was also printed at the Society's press. A large number of the writings of the Prophets was also struck off for distribution amongst the Jews.

A COTTON SPINNING MANUFACTORY also established for the employment of destitute Jews, and it was thought desirable to open a house of Industry, where various trades might be taught, as a means of alleviating the pressure of poverty upon those who had lost all for the sake of Christ. This, however, was not accomplished; but at a subsequent period, a basket manufactory was commenced. The great difficulty which then pressed upon the Society, and still presses,


could say,

was, how to provide employment, so as to be a means of support to poor converts.

Lectures continued to be regularly delivered to the Jews in Ely Place Episcopal Chapel

, and in the Jews' Chapel, in Spitalfields, and many there heard the word of eternal life.

The schools, always a deeply interesting part of the Society's labours, prospered beyond all the hopes of the most sanguine, so that in their fourth report, in May, 1812, the Committee

“ The difficulties connected with their establishment have, happily, vanished. Forty-five boys, and thirty-eight girls have been admitted.” Some of the boys were educated under the care of an excellent clergyman, in the hope of their future employment as

missionaries to their brethren, and many proofs were afforded that the truths which were taught to all, were not merely treasured in their memories, but affected their hearts.

The Committee were also able to refer to as many as forty-one adult Jews, who had been, by baptism, received into the Christian Church ; of whom they could say that, with three exceptions only, they walked worthy of their profession.

Ăn extract from a letter sent by one of the boys, who had been received into the school, and afterwards placed under the care of an excellent clergyman for instruction, will interest our young readers. He says, “ Myself a Jew, of the seed of Abraham, once living in the abyss of sin and misery, and hastening my course in the road to destruction and ruin, was by the mercy of God, led to your place of refuge for the destitute and hopeless, and safely delivered from the chains of Satan : there I was freely taken in; under your


patronage I have been educated in the Christian religion, and by your bounty I have been placed under the care and guidance of your amiable and zealous member, to whom I am more particularly indebted for the care and pains he has taken with me in instructing me in different languages, to fit me for your Jewish missionary : it is the most honourable gift and employment; but, alas! Sirs, it has been conferred on one the most worthless and undeserving of it; upon one who has, hitherto, attended to every thing rather than to what is requisite for his preparation to such an important office I sincerely trust that I do not deceive you and my own heart, when I say that the happy period seems now to have arrived when the light of the glorious Gospel begins to dawn upon my dark and benighted mind. So far brought to a sense of my sinfulness, I can only lament my past folly and ingratitude for your goodness ; but I earnestly hope that it is my heartfelt desire, henceforth to know nothing else but Christ and Him crucified; dependent upon whose assistance, and praying for His grace, I hope to be able to withstand the temptations and outward oppositions with which I may have to encounter, as well as the repugnancy of my own evil heart, 80 as hereafter to fulfil, with a little usefulness, that situation which you have designed for me.”

(To be continued.)



(Continued from page 62.) In consequence of Nathan's asserting his innocence, his sentence was deferred from time to time. A whole year passed, yet was not the trial concluded. Whence, we may ask, arose this delay on the part of the Judges, since, apparently, every thing seemed to testify against the accused? Because the Lord watched over the innocent youth; because the God of Israel disposed the hearts of those that should have condemned him, to postpone the judgment, in order that it might be more signally manifested that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth," that he “will bring to light the hidden things of darkness," that " the Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed ;" “ for he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.

He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence." (2 Chron. xvi. 9; 1 Cor. iv. 5; Ps. ix. 9; lxxii. 12–14.)

Yes, deliverance indeed awaited Nathan, a deliverance far greater than he could have anticipated, and which was brought about in a manner very different to what he either expected or desired.

During the first months which Nathan passed in prison, the continued indolence to which he was compelled, became almost insupportable to him, and the tediousness of these hours was a painful source of discomfort. He therefore inquired of the gaoler whether he could lend him a book to while away the time. The gaoler was

« PreviousContinue »