« AnteriorContinuar »
them superior advantages of both education and possession of property, which he hu denied to others, and has entrusted them with these, as talents which they are to improve to His Glory, as they shall give an account when he comes to judge the quick and the dead."
The falling off of the funds above adverted to, is partly owing to the payments which have been made during the past year to the Building Fund of the General Assembly's Institution. We trust that the love of Christ will constrain the friends of his cause to contribute what is needful, more especially when it is considered that, in the hope that adequate support will in due time be forth-coming, the opposition of the heathen, unparalleled to this day in India, has led the Missionaries rather to extend than contract their operations.
The meeting, we may mention, was addressed by the Rev. D. O. Allen, Dr. Stevenson, J. P. Larkins, Esq., Mr. F. Stuart, R. T. Webb, Esq., and Dr. Wilson.— Oriental Spectator.
27.—Annual Mketing Op The Auxiliary Bible Society Op Bombay.
The Anniversary of the Bombay Bible Society was held in the Townhall on the evening of Friday the 20th December.
The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop was called to the chair, and the Meeting was opened by reading a portion of Scripture.
The Annual Report was read by the Reverend Dr. Wilson, one of the Secretaries.
1st. It was moved by the Hon'ble J. Farish, and seconded by the Reverend Dr. Stevenson, that the report which has now been read, be received, printed, and circulated under the direction of the Committee.
2nd. Moved by Major Lester, and seconded by Lieutenant-Colonel Moore, that six copies of the Report be forwarded to the Honorable the Governor in Council, and that copies be transmitted to the Parent Society, whose continued liberality to this institution is gratefully acknowledged, to the Edinburgh Bible Society, and to the Auxiliary Societies of Calcutta, Madras, Ceylon, Singapore and Australia, and to the American Bible Society.
3rd. Moved by the Reverend Dr. Wilson, and seconded by J. P. Lir. kins, Esq., that copies of the Report be forwarded to the friends of the caire at Out-stations, accompanied with the request, that they will use their endeavours to promote in their neighbourhood the objects of the Society.
4th. Moved by Captain Chapman, and seconded by J. S. Law, Esq. that the thanks of the meeting are due to the Patron, President, VicePresidents, and other office-bearers of the Society, for their support ana exertions during the past year, and that the following geutlemen be appointed the office-bearers for the ensuing year:
Patron—The Hon'ble Sir James Carnac, Bart. Governor; President—The Riek* Rev. Thomas Cnrr, D. D., Lord Bishop of Bombay; Vice-Presidents—The Hon bit Sir John Awdry, Chief Justice; The Hou'hle James Farish, Esq., Member of Council; Hon'ble VV. Anderson, Esq., Do. j Hon'ble J. A. Dunlop, Esq., Do.; Sir Henry Roper, Knight, Puisne judge. Committee—SIajor F. P. Lester, J. P. I*'kins, Esq., Mr. N. Spencer, Colonel Griffiths, Captain W. M. Webb, J. Williams. Esq., Colonel J. Moore, Lieutenant N. H. Thornbury, E. Lyon, Esq., G. S. Kinr. Esq., T. Lancaster, Esq.—Treasurers—Messrs. Forbes and Co.—SeerttariesVeuerable Archdeacon Jeffreys, A. M., Rev, John Wilson, D. D.—Assistant-Secrttary—Mr. J. Hurst.
5th. It was moved by the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop, at"1 seconded by Captain Johnson, that the general Regulations of the Society shall in future be as follows:
1. This Society is formed under the name of the " Auxiliary Bible Society of Bombay," for the purpose of co-operating with the British and Foreign Bible So* ciety in promoting the distribution of the Holy Scriptures on the Western side of the Peninsula of India.
3. Conformably to the principles of the Parent Institution, the Bibles and Testaments to be circulated by the Society shall be without note or comment; and those of the languages of the United Kingdom, of the authorized versions only.
3. All persons subscribing 12 Rupees per annum, or upwards, or Rs. 200, or upwards, at onetime, shall be members of this Society.
4. The business of this Society shall be conducted by a President, Vice-Presidents, a Treasurer, two Secretaries, and a Committee, to be elected annually. Every clergyman or other minister who is a member of the Society, shall be entitled to attend and vote at the Meetings of the Committee.
5. The Committee shall meet in the Cathedral, on the first Tuesday of every month, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, and when and where business may require.
6. The general Meeting of the Society shall be held annually about the close of the year.
6th. Moved by the Reverend James Mitchell, and seconded by Captain Bagshawe, that this meeting feel it their duty to be fervent in prayer, that the Holy Spirit may accompany the circulation of the word of God, so that it may have free course and be glorified.
7th. Moved by Mr. Giberne, and seconded by Mr. Lancaster, that Colonel Moore, and Mr. Payne, be appointed a Committee to audit the Accounts of the Society.
8th. Moved by Mr. King, and seconded by the Reverend D. O. Allen, that the best thanks of the Meeting be given to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop for his kind and able services in the chair.
The meeting was closed by reading a portion of Scripture.
The attendance was highly respectable, and a general interest was felt in the proceedings. The speakers were the Lord Bishop, the Rev. Dr. Stevenson, the Rev. Dr. Wilson, J. P. Larkins, Esq., Captain A. Chapman, the Rev. James Mitchell, and the Rev. D. O. Allen. The report -we shall notice after it has been published.—Ibid.
28.—Convert To Christianity From Judaism, In Jamaica.
In the Scottish church of this .city, on Sabbath last, the Rev. Mr. Weirdie announced that he would, on the Sabbath after next, publicly baptize a young man, who had become a convert to Christianity from Judaism, and that at the end of the service a collection would be made in aid of the deputation, which is about leaving Scotland for Palestine, to report on the most proper means to be employed to afford the Jews resident there, an opportunity of embracing the Christian faith. The public renouncement of Judaism, and baptism, and receiving into the Christian Church, of a young man, cannot but excite the most lively interest amongst the Jews and Christians in this city. In former days (and perhaps even at this time by a great many) apostacy has been looked upon with jealousy, and the person has been subject to the derision of those he has left—but we know there is a powerful influence exerting itself over the minds of many of the Jews in this city, inclining them to embrace Christianity, which we trust will be strengthened by this instance of moral courage, which will do much to pave the way for others to follow so glorious an example. The inter, marriages which have taken place—the anxiety for parents to bring up their children to the Christian religion—and the gradual secession of the rising generation from Judaism, is an earnest of the great change which will take place in that body—a change which can no longer be ascribed to ambitious motives to secure place or power, and the glory of which must therefore be given to God alone.—Jamaica Gazette.
29-—Report Op The Deputation From The Ciiirch Of Scotland To The Jews In Palestine And Elsewhere.
My Dear Sir,
We have accomplished what remained of our inquiries into the cities of Israel. Dr. Black and Dr. Keith left us on the 7th of July, and next day, Mr. M'Cheyne and I, in company with Mr. Caiman, who has con. seated to go with us in our journeyings, set out to proceed southward once more. We slept that night at a place called Nab Jounet, "Prophet Jonas," said to be the spot where he was cast ashore. We reached Zidon, now Snide, next morning. We found it a plain, quiet, sea-coast town, frequented only by a few fishing-boats. We found no such company of holy believers as Paul did, (Acts xxvii. 3 ;) but there is a small synagogue of the Jews, into which we entered, though we met with nothing remarkable. They did not avoid direct conversation regarding their hope of salvation, and their Rabbi, lately come from Barbary, afterwards invited us to his house. Next day we came to Tyre, now Sour, and there too found, not an assembly of saints, (Acts xxi. 3,) but a synagogue of Jews. Of these, five families have lately come from Algiers, and the rest are from Safet and other places of Palestine. The Rabbi conversed freely with us at his own house on every point in dispute,—referring to the works of his Commentators, of which he had a few on a shelf beside him. His house was by the sea, commanding from its window a view of the modern town,—a town without traffic, marked out as once renowned, by broken pillars and carved stones that lie on its shore and in its streets. There were two or three boats there when we passed; but there are no remains of Old Tyre; "it is no more found," Ezek. xxvi. 21. We had passed between these two places the ancient Sarepta, now Sarphand, situated on a hill a little way from the coast, where they still point out the widow's house; and our way was thus full of pleasant associations as we traversed not only the territories of mighty cities, but "the coasts," out of which multitudes used to come to Jesus,—the Syrophenician woman was one. After this, our way turned eastward into the heart of the country. It was the borders of the tribe of Asher that we were traversing. The road ascended a hill for many miles; but yet at every opening we looked back and saw the sea, as if at our feet. All was hilly, and some of the hills about fifteen hundred feet high; and yet we remarked, that the hills which bound that tribe on this point, bore marks of having been clothed with trees to their summit. Many of these remain; the olive-tree has been the chief, for it still abounds, showing how exactly true has been Gen. xlix. 20, "Out of Asher his bread shall be fat;" and Deut. xxxiii. 24, " He shall dip his foot in oil;" while, on the other hand, we had seen in the purple fish still found at the foot of Carmel, and in the splendid plains stretching from thence to Acre, how he had "yielded royal dainties." The distinct variety of the land has repeatedly struck us as astonishing. Among these hills of Asher, where they open out into a surface of some extent, we found a large village called Kanah. I have little doubt this is the Kana of Aihcr, mentioned Josh. xix. 2rt. It is beautifully situated amidst the olive-trees, with some considerable spots around it laid out in corn. We then crossed a deep valley, which may be the JipthUh-el of Josh. xix. 14 and 27, the boundary of Zehulon. The descent is very precipitous: we scarcely believed we had plunged into so deep a glen, till we looked up and saw on each side of us hills of about two thousand feet in height. We rode along this pass for about an hour and a half, the road level, but appa.
rently the dried up channel of a brook, amidst a variety of thick-set bushes and trees, wild flowers, honeysuckle, and especially woodbine, (which the Arabs call " the Jessamine of the desert,") scenting the air, and fire-flies streaming their light on all sides. We came up from the valley and reached a village named Jettar, a little after sunset. The villagers told us, that to a pool which is there, herds of gazelles, and also herds of leopards and wolves, often came from the valley to quench their thirst. Our passage through this spot, suggested to me the subject of Zechariah's valley of myrtle-trees (i. 8) wherein he shows Israel hid from view in such a retired bottom, till the Leader comes to guide them up out of it into eminence and safety. At noon, on the succeeding day, we rested at Kafir-birchom, under some spreading fig-trees, and unexpectedly found in it interesting ruins. They are the ruins of an old synagogue, to which the Jews still occasionally repair to pray. There are remains of a very elegant doorway and two windows. The windows are fluted and wide at the foot, in the Grecian style; the doorway has pillars of the simplest form, and above is festooned with vine leaves, grapes, and the pomegranate. We could not ascertain the date of its erection; it is now a ruin. We began now to hear much of the dangers of the road from the Bedouin Arabs: but the kindness of the God of Israel led us on next evening safe to Safet. I cannot ascertain the name of this town in ancient times. It is generally believed to be " the city set on an hill" in full view of our Lord, when he preached the sermon on the Mount. It stand* on the very top of a high hill—at least two thousand feet; it is visible on every side; it commands a magnificent prospect of the Lake of Galilee, the hills Tabor, Hermon, and Gilboa, the mountain of Beatitudes; and opposite isthe noble hill of Naphtali, full of associations of what God h;is done for Israel, (Judg. iv.) with tie plain Zannnim at its foot. The height of the situation renders the climate the coolest in Palestine, quite like a pleasant summer day with us. Among the ruins of several buildings, we saw serpents gliding, and vultures were flying over our heads in great numbers. But we found the Jews of this place very miserable. The town is not yet recovered from the effects of the earthquake which two years ago made it almost a heap of ruins; ruins still meet the eye on every side. It was however the moral state of the people that to us appeared most impressive. Nothing could more fully answer the description of Moses, "thy life shall hang in doubt before thee, and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life." (Deut. xxviii. 60.) I his arises from the circumstance, that in the absence of the Pacha's troops,—who are all withdrawn to his armies in the north,—the Jews, always defenceless and an object of prey, are threatened daily with the attacks of the Arabs. They were keeping watch when we were among them:—four soldiers and ten Jews patrolled the town during night. 'hey had buried their best clothes and precious articles under ground; and many were preparing to flee. We heard, while with them, that the Bedouins had plundered the village Medjel, (supposed to be the ancient Mugdala) on the side of the lake: and next day we saw the place actually deserted and left empty. Such was the state of things around, and these externally sufficient to move compassion. Yet there was more by far to move pity towards the people when you saw their worship, and the indications of their state of soul. On Friday evening, at sunset, you might see the Sabbath-lamp, newly lighted, shining through the windows of every house in the Jewish quarter. Soon after, all were met in the synagogue, the women occupying their assigned compartment, or hover»'g round the door with their children, leaving the care of their souls
to the men,—for they are quite ignorant, and deem it a duty to let other; act for them. We had never witnessed any thing so earnest as the devotion exhibited here. The majority of those present were old men, some of them tottering with age, their white hairs covering their emaciated temples; yet the intense vehemence with which they sent up their prayers was most affecting. They used every notion and intonation of voice that could extort pity; some lifted up both hands to heaven in the most imploring attitude, some clasped their hands, or wrung them together like people entreating for something which they despaired of obtaining ; others, again, bent their bodies, and bowed their heads, and struck their breasts. In many there was the look and the expression of angry expostulation, as if saying to God "Wherefore have we afflicted our souls, and thou takest no knowledge?" (Isa. lviii. 3.) A few, more violent and extravagant than their brethren, remained behind, and continued about half an hour longer in prayer, stamping on the ground, leaping, and striking the wall, so that we at first imagined them insane. When the service was over, they really seemed exhausted by the bodily exertion undergone. At present, there are just one thousand nine hundred Jews in Safet; but there is no doubt the number will rapidly increase so soon as the present cause for alarm is past; there used to be seven thousand. They have four synagogues, and several reading-rooms. We had not much intercourse with them, because of their natural bigotry, and also because they had been specially warned beforehand of the object of our coming. With some we did get into conversation, and found them most interesting in regard to their real belief of what they practise; but in general they kept aloof from us. There was one among those we met of a strange class; he was a Russian, who had become a Jew a few years ago. Of this there are occasional instances, though not many. Next day, we rode out to a village, named Merona, two hours distant, and on the slope of the hill of Naphtali, where are many tombs of the Rabbies and illustrious men that have made Safet a holy city. The tombs are not interesting ; but we found in the village remains of a building, in the very style of that at Kafir-birchom, said to bean ancient synagogue. But more interesting still; we rode on an hour farther, by a path that led into the hill, and farther up,—a delightful road, from the myrtles and other shrubs that lined it,—to a village Jermach. Here are ten or twelve Jews settled, dwelling in the unwalled village, a thing very rare at present in Palestine. We wished to have gone three hours farther to see another village, Bereeah, where it is said there are nearly twenty Jews settled, supporting themselves by cultivating the soil,—a thing new in Israel, though soon to be universal among them. (Ezek. xxxviii. 8, 11, 12.) We had not, however, time to get to it thafr day; and next day was the Sabbath, which we spent at Safet, often looking down upon the lake, and around on the hills which Christ had once made his place of rest. On Monday, we left the city "set upon an hill." Our way was by the banks of the lake of Tiberias, and nothing could be more pleasant, than to be at every step reminded of the words and works of Jesus by the places we passed, 'lhe Plain of Gennesareth first meets you. It is the only plain of any extent along the lake, and must have been above measure delightful in the days when Capernaum raised its head to heaven, amidst the luxuriant gardens, and groves, and fields that are known to have flourished there. Now it is waste,—like Israel, scattered and peeled, in order that even their external stiite may declare the guilt of rejecting an offered Saviour;—here you see not a tree of any beauty, and scarcely a cultivated field, for, " it has been cast down to hell." We soon felt, especially at evening, the peculiar calmness and retirement that invests the lake, and could perceive, we thought