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synagogue, and then pass on to a multitudinous assembly of poor Jews assembled in the Jews' Free Schools, Bell's Alley, fitted up for the occasion as a synagogue.
11.- LAST DAY OF THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
Our last visit is paid to a small synagogue in a square not far from Aldgate church. It is filled by a band, chiefly of aged men, who are preeminently students of the Talmud, zealous for all the traditions of the elders ; numbering among them, also, doctors of great learning ; and, as a body, determinedly opposed to Christianity, and entrenched behind prejudices which will brook no discussion.
The bringing forth of the “ Torah” out of its appointed recess, over the ark and holy place, was the culminating point of interest on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Torah is “the Law,”-in other words, the Pentateuch, or Five Books of Moses, written in Hebrew on an immense scroll of vellum or parchment. It is crowned with silver ornaments, and is borne from its resting-place in solemn procession by the reader, followed by other officers of the synagogue. The whole congregation stand up, and joyful sounds are heard. As it is carried along, the pendent fringes of a robe attached to it are eagerly kissed by the people near to it. It is thus borne round the reading-desk seven times, the “Chagan" or chanter leading the singing of certain compositions, the burden of the last of which is a prayer for mercy, for the sake of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, &c. Part of this chant, when interpreted in another sense than that intended, and regarded as referring to the true and anointed Son of David, is at once touching and gladdening, as it sets forth the coming redemption of the Jews, when the Lord Jesus shall be “the glory of His people Israel :"_“It is the voice crying, Turn ye to me, for on the day ye hearken ye shall be saved ; and I will declare the glad tidings. It is the voice of the Man whose name is the Branch ; and this self-same Branch is David,” (the Beloved One,)“ and I will declare the glad tidings.”
In concluding our reminiscences of the Great Hosanna, the seventh and last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, we must not forget the use of the branches of the Oriental willow. These are supplied and sold to the heads of families by the officers of the synagogue. Each branch must contain five sprigs, and seven leaves on each sprig. These are tied up with the bark of the palm, and are not only borne by the worshippers to the synagogue, but, when the prayers are concluded, everyone beats the leaves from off the willow-branch.
Besides this, at the time of the Torah being borne in procession, each person who joins in it holds the branch in the right hand, repeating “Hosanna.” Several of these branches, which had been thus used, were suspended across the lamps of the synagogue.
FROM A MISSIONARY TO ONE ENTERING THE WORK. Some parts of your last letter went so home to my heart, that I cannot refrain from trying, at least, to answer it. If possible, I should be glad to say a word to cheer and encourage you in leaving home to enter on this great Mission-work. I have a hundred times heard Missionaries accused of exaggeration and over-colouring in their letters and reports to England, and in the books they publish after their return. I have heard it said, that they draw far too bright a picture of their own zeal, of the successes attending their work, and of the character of the native church. It may be so in some cases : but I confess that seven years' experience in India, and a very extensive acquaintance with Missionaries of almost every Protestant church, have led me to believe that very generally the error is on the other side. The fact is, that readers often study Mission-books most superficially, fixing their attention only on what is specially attractive and interesting, and so are themselves to blame for the false impressions they receive. It is also true, that our work is full of routine, and even of monotony ; aud that any book, or speech, that should adequately picture these phases of it, would be voted a bore. One fact I have noted with special pleasure, that the oldest and best Missionaries are those who take the brightest views of Mission-work. Often in our Missionary Conference in Madras, when the young men have spoken in terms of sad discouragement, good Dr. Winslow-a veteran of forty years' service in India-has scattered all their fears by contrasting the present aspect of society throughout the country with what it was when he first stepped on its shores, and by reminding us also of the promises of God's word. Perhaps the reason is this: Men passing at once from the highest civilization, and the most exalted piety, to the barbarity of a heathen land, and to the crude piety of new converts, are apt to think that even less than nothing has been accomplished, and either unjustly to blame their predecessors, or to sink, themselves, into despondency. Whereas those who have toiled long in a heathen land are able to judge truly of the progress which has been made, and to form a more correct estimate of the prospects of the church.
It were, perhaps, untrue, to suppose that Missionaries generally excel their ministerial brethren at home in zeal and consistency. But, unless I am greatly mistaken, they come not a whit behind them. Here and there are men whose names we can mention only with a blush ; but the vast majority are humble, hardworking, devout men, whose one thought is the advancement of the truth, and with whom it is at once a privilege and an honour to be associated. Necessarily, there is much less excitement, and less of that enthusiasm which is fed by intercourse with numbers of zealous men, than at home. And in this respect the change is very trying ; especially to those who have been accustomed to live (more, perhaps, than they were aware) upon such excitement. They are thrown much upon their own resources; and, even when they are most earnest to do
good at once, they find thems·lves hampered on every sive. They understand neither the language of the people, nor their character, nor the plans of working. Perhaps they have but little mental culture, and have never been properly trained to close habits of study. Sometimes such men yield to despondency, and take most gloomy views of the work which has unexpectedly revealed their own deficiencies ; sometimes, after a few inconstant efforts to do better, they become reconciled to the idea of comparative inefficiency, and settle down into the drones of the Missionary hive. Many times, however, in God's strength and grace they battle nobly with these early difficulties and discouragements ; allowing them only to act as stimulants to greater zeal and diligence. Thus they attain to a good degree.
As to differences between Missionaries here and ministers at home, I note especially two. Here individualities have freer scope, and often develop into inconvenient crotchets and angularities. Hence even the best men here are not always the most pleasant colleagues. It is a comfort to be able to respect and honour men you can scarcely like. On the other hand, the Missionary has great advantage over his brethren at home in the acquirement of enlarged sympathies and charities. At home, our preachers, I think, keep far too much to themselves. They think there is nothing good beyond Methodism. Except in a few instances, they rarely form friendships with ministers of other churches, and sometimes look askance upon those of their brethren who do.* Generally, I think, it is otherwise on the Mission-field,—at least, in Southern India, where we have opportunities of frequent intercourse with good men of diverse shades of belief, and from all parts of Europe and America. Even the high Churchman, if an earnest Missionary, learns to relax somewhat the narrow views of his sect, and to recognise the brotherhood of men who have never been favoured with the magic touch of episcopal hands.
I want you to go out to your work, with a consciousness, indeed, of the difficulties and trials you will have to meet, but without dwelling too exclusively upon them. Be, rather, full of hope and courage: you have warrant for both in the state of the work, as well as in the promises of God's word. Expect in your brethren such deficiencies and faults as you are conscious of in yourself; and do not allow your heart to sink, even if you meet with some who deserve not the name of brethren. Be prepared stoutly to defend truth and right against all; but do not suppose there will be any need for you to be an Ishmaelite because you do so. Except in very few cases, your Missionary brethren will honour and love you for the exhortations and reproofs which are given humbly, wisely, and in love. Live near to God. Take first care that your own piety never burn dimly. There is no real happiness in Mission-work, except to the man who engages
* Such cases are, surely, very rare. It is needless to say that they are in direct opposition to the maxim of our nobly unsectarian fathers, which requires us to be “the friends of all, the enemies of none."-EDITOR.
in it from day to day under the constraining influence of growing love to Christ.
Forgive me, if I have indulged so largely the privilege of an elder brother. Much of what I have written is for myself, no less than for you.
GLANCE AT PUBLIC OCCURRENCES. WHETHER Christian IX., in his ' legitimist pretender,” the Duke of election to the throne, is an object Augustenburg, are already recogfor envy or for pity, is a question. nised by many of the minor GerHe has already received the congra man courts, and are apparently adtolations of several of his fellow mitted by the German people sovereigns, with the royal formula, throughout the length and breadth “ Monsieur mon frère;” but, from of the Confederation. The executhe appearance of things, sympa- tive governments of the two princithies would be inore appropriate to pal powers, Prussia and Austria, his case, True, the year 1863 has have signified their intention of adbeen a memorable one in the annals hering to the treaty of London, A.D. of his house. First, his daughter 1852, by which the succession of Fas united, amidst the rapturous re- Holstein, as well as of Denmark joicings of a free people, to the heir proper, is guaranteed. On the other apparent of the greatest throne that hand, nevertheless, the representative exists among the monarchies of Chambers in both countries have earth. Next, his son was unex gone against the claims of King pectedly called to be the sovereign Christian. With this new and seof a people, who, if not powerful at rious complication, it will be strange present, yet inherit historic memo if war do not break out. The conries that are deathless, and an im- cessions and moderation of the new perishable renown. And now, lastly, king are favourable for peace; but comes his own elevation to the head the extravagance of the Germans, of the venerable monarchy of Den- carried away by the sympathies of mark. All this has been realized race in favour of Holstein, is likely by a family who had no prospect, a to drive matters to extremity. The dozen years ago, that any member peace once broken, no one can tell of it should ever wear a crown. where the strife will end, or how Such a history can only be parale many combatants may eventually leled, amongst European dynasties, be engaged. If, in the mêlée, the by that of the still more remarkable armies of Napoleon should find Coburgs. So far, King Christian their way to the Rhine, the “ Famay well be congratulated. But, therland may be the first to rue alas! no sooner has his hand grasped its own intemperate haste. the sceptre, than he has reason to These, surely, are days when the know that “uneasy is the head office of Her Majesty's Secretary of that wears a crown!” There is the State for Foreign Affairs is no miserable dispute with Germany on sinecure. Rarely has a weightier the Schleswig-Holstein question, be- responsibility attached to English queathed to him by his predecessor, diplomacy; and, it is most gratiFrederick VII. This, bad enough fying to add, never, perhaps, was in itself, has now added to it the there a stronger desire felt, both more serious affair of the succession by the government and by the to the Duchy. The claims of the people of this country, that our
formal negotiations and moral influ- for the other, which is never enence should be wisely directed in tertained by a regularly-constituted the interests of liberty, righteous- government for what it regards as a ness, and
The British clique. Hence the sensibility of churches are engaged in a glorious the United States on the point of mission of sending the light of the intervention. If the war had been Gospel to other lands. Happy will with some independent power, they it be, if the Britishi nation can do in could receive the tender of negotiapolitics what the churches are do tions in the interests of peace, withing in religious enterprise, -by pro out any lessening of the national moting peace and good-will among dignity; but, as the existing strife, men ! This will bring to our although of huge proportions, is recountry a glory and stability to garded as a domestic quarrel, the which the great empires of anti- only issue it is likely to have is the quity were strangers. If the Foreign complete overthrow of the weaker Secretary is unusually busy, writ- party. Of the two combatants, the ing despatches, holding interviews North is certainly not the weaker. with ambassadors, giving instruc- Her navy maintains a blockade of tions to plenipotentiaries extraordi- the whole seaboard of the Connary, discussing at cabinet-councils federacy, and her armies swarm on the French Emperor's proposal for a the soil of the revolted States, and European Congress, and the Ame
are drawing closer the military rican, Polish, and Holstein ques- cordon which she has thrown altions,--not to mention Italy and most round the territory of the Greece,- it is well that the Home seceders. Still it is very doubtful Secretary, so far as his special de- whether the new year, even when partment is concerned, has little or it has grown old, shall witness the nothing to do. The almost uni- restoration of peace.
In the in. versal content which reigns here terests of humanity it is greatly to is surely ominous of good. It shows be desired, that 1864 should see the that less is cared for old distinctions end of the American war and of of party, than in the former days of American slavery. One thing bepolitical faction and animosity. It comes increasingly certain,-that proves that the people generally can the execrable “institution,” which appreciate the best of political consti- provoked the war, shall be its victutions, and are thankful to Provi. tim. dence for national prosperity, which, notwithstanding the draw back of the The appointment of Sir John Lancashire distress, is unprecedented Lawrence as Governor General of in the annals of commerce.
India is a token of good for the
future government of that vast and The American war continues in populous realm. The new Viceroy all its colossal proportions, and is is not the opponent of Christian fought out by both the combatants efforts for the evangelization of the with a desperate earnestness which East, but the known friend of Misdoes not forebode a speedy cessation. sions and Missionaries. Too much Civil war is seldom terminated, ex should not be expected of him in cept by the complete subjugation of the high position to which he has one of the belligerents. There is been deservedly called. Christianity less room here for compromise than asks for nothing but fair play. Let in international warfare. When our holy religion have as free a two independent nations quarrel, the scope as commerce ; let the Bible government of each has a respect not have a ban placed upon it, from