« 上一頁繼續 »
fore the Assembly separate, lay before the House such a deliverance as may afford a guide to the conduct of those who are willing to carry out their views in another place. (Hear, bear.)
Mr Dunlop.- As I understand, from the Convener of the Business Committee, that Monday is the first day on which we can hope to have this matter brought on, I intend to call a meeting of this Committee on Saturday morning at eight o'clock.
Dr Kertu then read the following report of the Committee of the Jewish Missions:
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIANITY AMONG THE JEWS. “ The General Assembly of last year desired to record their profound sense of the goodness of Almighty God in continuing to bless and prosper the missions of this Church to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. It is with a profound sense of the goodness of God, in still continuing to bless and prosper them, that your Committee would now present their report for another year, which, like the former, has been marked by signal blessings, even by the gathering of some of the lost sheep, in the different stations, into the fold of the Shepherd of Israel.
“ Without entering into such details as the communications in the Missionary Record render unnecessary, a brief notice of what the Lord has wrought by the instrumentality of your missionaries, and of the ways which He has opened up whereby, in discharge of the duty imposed upon them by the Assembly, they have been enabled to take steps for forwarding this blessed work, and also of the still brightening and enlarging prospects which He is opening before us, will suffice to show how great cause this Church has of renewed thankfulness to the God of all grace, and how great and manifold encouragements He is giving us for persevering and abounding yet more and more in the good work of the Lord.
“ Your Committee would first state the progress of the missionary work at the different stations, and the means adopted for extending it.
“ At Pesth, where the providence of God prepared the way of his grace, both have since been in manifest co-operation. The Lord has not forsaken the work of his own hands, but continues to perfect it in some, has begun it in others, and gives good hope that he will extend it to many. After the establishment of the mission, patience had to be exercised in waiting for any fruits. But in due season, as a token for good and ground of hope, the tidings of the conversion and baptism of a Jewish family timely reached the first Assembly that met in this place, immediately after it had passed its first act, viz., that anent the conversion of the Jews. Several other families in the same city have since been added to the household of faith; and the number of individuals who have there been baptized now amounts to about fifty. A far greater number would have become professedly members of the Church, by partaking of outward ordinances; but your missionaries seek only for real conversions, and would reckon as nothing, or worse than nothing, any merely numerical discipleship. The little flock which the Lord has gathered at Pesth has been a wonder to many; for the Lord himself, who called, has kept them. Amidst trials or privations they have continued stedfast in the faith, and it may be said of them that they walk in love, and are ready for every good work. In them it has been seen that the kingdom of God, wherever it comes, is as leaven, however little it may be. Three or four years ago, your missionaries strongly pleaded that some pious families would go out and settle at Pesth, to give, what was then wanted there, a practical illustration of real Christianity. That is not needful now. It has been given in the place itself, and the grace of God has been magnified in those Jews whom the Lord has called from darkness to light, and from death to life. The little leaven has been operating as such, on some small portions of the unleavened mass around it. And while the Jewish Mission has been blessed to the Gentile Church, and has, indeed, been to some life from the dead,--auxiliaries in the missionary work now arise from among the Gentiles. Three Protestant clergymen, of Pesth and Buda, have, for months past, united with your missionaries in a weekly conference for their mutual edification and for devising means for the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom. The
first subject proposed by a minister of the Reformed and Calvinistic Church, was, how may the gospel be effectually introduced among the Jews, by the ministers of that place (as well as by the missionaries)? All the ministers of the Protestant Confessions have since joined these conferences. But that which is truly leaven, has its assimilating tendency and efficacy alike in Jew and Gentile. The hope cherished by your Committee, has not proved vain,—that Pesth, the seat of a university, generally attended by about fifty Hebrew youths, might prove a nursery for Jewish missionaries. Two Pesth converts have been students of theology in Edinburgh during the two past sessions; and the Committee are thankful to the Lord for the faith, the talents, and the grace which He has given them. But the same mission supplies other labourers besides these. In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth. Three of the converts have already finished, or are about to finish, their medical education, and having the spirit of faith, may thus be prepared for going about, as Jesus did, doing good to the bodies and to the souls of men. Others, when fully prepared, may be occupied as teachers, correctors of the press, or colporteurs; and your Committee rejoice in the hope of having an efficient agency of faithful men, vessels of mercy sanctified and meet for the Master's use, whom alone, in any department they purpose, through the grace of God, to employ in the great Master's service. Resolutions, in respect to the employment of such agents, have been cordially and unanimously adopted by the Committee, and approved of by the Commission of Assembly, in consequence of a special investigation on the spot, into the state and prospects of the mission, by five ordained clergymen of the Church, two of whom are members of the Committee (Dr Duncan and the reader of this report), and three missionaries, together with the venerable Mr Saphir, who were all providentially present for some time last autumn in Pesth. The most recent accounts are not less encouraging than any which have preceded them. Writing on the 28th of February last, Mr Wingate says,-At this moment the Lord has been again pleased to fill our hearts with joy and praise. During some weeks back we have had a good many inquiring and under instruction from among God's ancient people. Our German meetings are better attended, and great solemnity is observable in many of them. The English congregations have also been larger. In the forenoon the little church is quite full; nor have we been without the signs of the Lord's glorious presence. Some saints are built up and edified, and some sinners converted to the Lord. Yes, the Lord has heard and answered the cries of his people; and, especially within the last few weeks, we have heard his voice who is the resurrection and the life; and some who were asleep in their graves of sin and spiritual death have been raised to life, and their names may now, we trust, be recorded among the living in Zion.' In a letter, dated last month, Mr Wingate states: The Jewish community here are at present in considerable agitation, talking much about reform; while a middle party are springing up, who seem inclined that a Christian basis should be attempted for the Jews. It is too early to communicate particulars; but we are watching their movements with great interest.' Mr Smith, in a recently received letter, writes:-Oh for one hour with the Committee. I cannot write; but the work is wonderful.'
“ Jassy.—The state of Mr Edwards's health, and especially the danger that his eye-sight might be permanently endangered by his continuous residence at Jassy, rendered his temporary return to this country necessary; and his strength having been greatly renewed by his journey and change of climate, his presence in this Assembly precludes the need of entering into any details, in this report, of the missionary operations in Jassy.
“It is but justice to Mr Edwards to say, that from the first establishment of that mission—the earliest of any–he persevered devotedly in the service of his heavenly Master, till the Committee felt constrained, for the reason assigned, to require his temporary removal. At Jassy, as at Pesth, we waited for the fruits, and somewhat longer at the former than at the latter; but now, in regard to the progress, and still more the prospect, of the mission, it is in thankfulness to God that your Committee now report the following facts:--Five Jews have been baptised; another, who was instructed by Mr Edwards and Mr Philip, was afterwards baptised by a Protestant
minister in Paris. One of the converts having been stationed in Cronstadt in Transylvania, was the means of bringing to the knowledge of the truth one of his breth. ren, who was baptised in the cathedral church in presence of a large assembly, all the Protestant ministers in the place taking part in the service. Exclusive of these, about twenty individuals have applied for baptism, for which most of them have received instruction. A class of six persons, formed in November last, has since received regular instruction in English, and in Scriptural knowledge. Of these, since Mr Edwards's departure, one has applied for baptism, and two others-professed believers—are also desirous of being baptised. From the preaching of the gospel in its simplicity, and an exemplification of the Christian life, more correct views of Christianity have been formed by the Jews; and several young men have owned that they believe Jesus is the Christ, but are restrained by their years from an open profession.
“ Constantinople.—In scarcely any other city in the world—perhaps in none are the Jews more numerous than in Constantinople, being estimated at 80,000, including those in the suburbs. That station has occupied much of the attention of the Committee during the past year. In addition to the school, a dispensary and institution have been established on the strong recommendation of the Rev. Mr Schauffler and the other American missionaries resident there. It hence became necessary that Mr Allan should remove from Damascus to that city, when his presence at the former could be more easily dispensed with, on the arrival of another missionary at that station from the Presbyterian Church of Ireland. Mr Schauffler proposes to remove into the country, in the course of this month, to prosecute his peculiar labours there, in the preparation of an edition of the Bible, and of different works for the Spanish Jews. Meetings for inquiring Jews, and for all of them who come to hear, have been held on three days of each week, besides the regular German service. Though at first many, like their fathers in the days of the apostles, contradicted and blasphemed, yet they afterwards formed a most attentive audience, and solicited the preacher to expound to them the prophecies concerning the Messiah. A deeply interesting account of the conversion and baptism of Dr Leitner, after a long course of instruction, is given by Mr Schauffler in the Record for January last. Some Jews, alarmed at the progress of the youth in your school, and their conversation on religious subjects, opened another, and withdrew for a short season many of the children; but the new school, set up by the infidel men who played cards on the Sabbath-day, soon decayed, and most, if not all, of the children returned.
“ Having the utmost confidence in the opinion and advice of Mr Schauffler, supported as it was by the unanimous voice of the American missionaries, the Committee invited Dr Leitner to superintend the dispensary-his appointment being dependent on the experience of his qualifications, the satisfaction he should give to those in charge of the mission, and the success of the dispensary itself.
“ Hitherto the Talmudism of the Sephardim, resting longer, and darker, and deeper on them than on the German Jews, has been scarcely assailed. There are at least 40,000 of them in Constantinople alone, and hundreds of thousands throughout the Turkish empire. To gain access to them, in the first instance, is indispensable, before any direct missionary work can be done. And it may please the God of mercy that, by mercy shown to those among them who are ready to perish in body and in soul, a way may be opened for the gospel of salvation through the instrumentality of a Christian medical missionary. There was a time when, out of all the towns and villages of Judea, wherever He went, the sick and the diseased were brought to Jesus, many came to be healed, and multitudes hence pressed around Him, and thus came within the reach of the Saviour's voice.
“ The experiment of a dispensary, as a religious institution connected with the mission, so far as it has been tried, has not failed. Dr Leitner began his labours among the German Jews alone, but he was soon invited to receive visits from the Spanish Jews. The sick among them both alike sought for a physician. But as the Sephardim are there far more numerous than the German Jews, the Doctor had no sooner visited one of the suburbs peopled by them, than he was surrounded by so many applicants, that no place was found large enough to contain them, till at last
they carried him to the synagogue--the first Christian physician doubtless who bad, as such, ever entered it. The cries for mercy, the violent entreaties, and the press and crowd, were such as almost to alarm him. In the course of six weeks he had from 500 to 600 patients; the number has since doubled, having been by the last accounts 1130, among whom were several Rabbis. Dr Leitner is considered by Mr Schauffler as a growing Christian-a man of fine gifts for a missionary assistant in the department which he occupies. He is beloved by the Jews, both German and Spanish. This charitable enterprise, he says, 'is highly appreciated and praised by the Sephardim, and promises to be, in the Lord's hands, the opening of a great and effectual door of usefulness among these perishing souls.' The lady of the British Ambassador, who gave a liberal donation last year to us for clothes to the children at your school, has intimated her readiness to head a subscription in Constantinople, to enable your missionaries to extend to the utmost of their ability the blessings of the dispensary.
« The propriety, and even necessity for forwarding the missionary work, of the establishment of an institution in that city for young Israelites, either baptised or preparing for baptism, have been fully shown in different communications from M. Schauttler, inserted in the Missionary Record. Some pupils have been received into it. It is so constituted and conducted, that they are instructed in the common branches of education, as well as in religious knowledge; while, at the same time, they are able by manual labour to support themselves. Though the original expense was great, yet your Committee have the satisfaction of reporting, that for two months previous to the last accounts, it had proved, as originally intended, a self-supporting institution. Like the other departments, it is now under the charge of Mr Allan, before whose arrival it had been formed, and who, after witnessing its operation, calls it a noble institution.
“ All opposition to the circulation of Mr Schauffler's Hebrew Bible having ceased, many are anxious to purchase it. It has been sought for by several rabbis from different quarters; and has been in the course of sale by some agents sent into Roumelia. The demand for it has been increasing every where. *This is the Lord's doing,' says that servant of the Lord,' and it is marvellous in our eyes.'
“ Berlin.—While new means have been adopted for strengthening and extending the missions which had previously been formed, a new mission in the course of last year has been established in Berlin. That city may be considered, in some respects, as a central point for a Jewish mission on the Continent. Eight thousand Jews reside, and nearly an equal number visit it annually. In general they are Rationalists, and have renounced Talmudism. Infidelity is prevalent among them, but there are many inquirers, who read the New Testament. As a nursery for missionaries and other labourers, it may be accounted a more hopeful station than Pesth,-about 150 Jewish students generally attending the philosophical and medical classes in the University. One of these, after finishing his studies there, came several years ago to Edinburgh. Then an unbeliever, he is now not only a convert to the faith of the gospel, but, as a student of divinity in this city, he is preparing, in connection with your Committee, for going forth as a missionary to proclaim the gospel to his brethren. Berlin, which numbers among its professors Neander and Stahl, may yet furnish other theologians of high name, from among the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
“ About 1200 Jews have been baptised at Berlin-not a few of them, it is lamentable to say, with little previous religious instruction, and some with none. There is reason to fear that, in regard to the greater part, the field, as respects conversion, is yet unoccupied. Many are but proselytes of the gate, who have not entered within the spiritual temple. They are scattered over the whole city, throughout a population of 350,000, among whom there are only sixty-two ministers. On the strong recommendation and earnest solicitation of one of them, the Rev. Mr Kuntze, who has long been a tried friend of Israel, and of others who take a deep interest in them, your Committee was led, amidst many other calls, to listen to that which came from Berlin, and which originated with some Jewish converts there, ‘Come over and help us.' After special inquiry had been made on the spot by two members of the Committee, the resolution was adopted of establishing a mission in the capital of Prussia. Notwithstanding some difficulties, arising, as there is the highest authority for asserting, from some legal forms which had to be gone through, Mr Schwartz has been authoritatively admitted to full activity as missionary of this Church. But whatever difficulties may have arisen, our grateful acknowledgments and thanks are due to their Excellencies the Chevalier Bunson, Plenipotentiary to the King of Prussia at the British Court, and Mr Eichorn, Minister of Religious Affairs, and the difficulties have been entirely removed.
"Mr Schwartz has visited many Jews, and has gathered some, who seem to be truly proselytes to the faith of the gospel, into a society for their own edification, and for strengthening their brethren. It is intended that the Rev. Mr Smeaton proceed to Berlin during the ensuing summer, to co-operate with him in his missionary labours.
“ Schools.—The accounts received of the Posen schools during the last year, are encouraging. They are more regularly visited than they were in previous years, and are described as in a flourishing state. In one of them the number of scholars had increased from sixty-six to upwards of a hundred and ninety.
“In a letter to Dr Wilson, recently received, the native visitor of the schools of the Beni-Israel in Bombay, gives the following pleasing and precise intelligence:'I write to you to say that, by the blessing of God, the whole of our community here are well, that all matters are right; and that the schools of the Israelites are all proceeding well according to your injunctions. Mr Mitchell preserves the arrange : ments after a good manner; and now and then he and his lady proceed to examine the schools in Bombay and the outer villages. At present there are in the English institution thirty-nine Israelites brought from the villages, who receive a contribution towards their support. In the Bombay Israelite school there are thirty-four boys and thirty-three girls. He enumerates seven other places, at which, respectively, there are, of scholars of both sexes, 35, 34, 30, 55, 30, 18, and 23, in all 331 pupils.
According to the latest accounts from Bombay, Mr and Mrs Nesbit were on a visit to the schools on the opposite coast. They were much gratified by the progress of the pupils, and the importance of giving them a large share of attention. Mr Murray Mitchell mentions, that the second pupil in point of standing at the institution is an Israelite. This interesting youth, who is an orphan, and who was supported for several years by Dr Wilson, may prove the first fruits of the mission among the descendants of Abraham, so long estranged from the land of their fathers on the distant shores of India. The Committee still admit the peculiar claims of Bombay and Aden to their favourable regard, and they trust that, at no distant period, each of these places may be numbered among your Israelitish missionary stations.
“ Need of more Missionaries.- But, besides these, many other doors of hope stand open for the immediate entrance of Jewish missionaries. Necessity alone induced the Committee to transfer the scene of Mr Alan's labours from Damascus to Constantinople; but in order to maintain, in some degree, the united mission at the former, Mr Daniel is on his way thither to act as an assistant to the Irish brethren. Constantinople demands immediately another missionary--the work which would devolve on Mr Allan being more than any man could undertake. In his last letter he states—' The demands of the mission are not, and cannot be, complied with without farther aid. An auxiliary must be sent without delay. Devoted as Mr Wingate has ever been to his work, and die at his post as he willingly would, his immediate return for the sake of his health seems to be indispensable; but, abundant in labours as he was, this cause, where hitherto it has flourished most, would suffer loss, were not his place immediately supplied. Corfu, where also there is a Jewish school, is still with out a missionary. Not a few other places, where Jews abound in thousands, have claims so strong, that it is painful to leave them unoccupied. Such is the way which the Lord has opened up to the Committee, that it seems scarcely yet entered on, and such is the work, that it seems scarcely begun.
“ In engaging in this holy enterprise, so signally blessed of the Lord, so soon as your Assembly sat under this roof, and ever since, the Committee has not been unmindful of your instructions to cultivate the closest brotherhood with other evangeli