Imágenes de páginas

persons) have promised to visit me afterwards to converse with me about these important matters. I have also given away Tremellius's Hebrew Catechism, and other Tracts, and a few New Testaments, to at least 60 very nice boys, who are pretty well conversant in the Talmud, and otherwise very quick and clever, of tho age of 12 or 13 years, of whom some have been with me since to reason with me about what they have read; which gave me occa. sion to direct their young minds to the great Friend of children, and to endeavour to bring Him close to their hearts. Some of them seemed to be much moved ; and promised me to pray God to give them a new heart, that they might be enabled to believe on his Messiah.

A correspondent writes--The 100 New Testaments in Jewish German, which I lately received, have been demanded of me,

I can say with truth, every one of them, with prayers and entreaties, by Jews from Poland. · I have not one left.

An old learned Jew, holding up in my parlour a New Testament in his hands toward heaven, exclaimed fervently,“Sir, you may believe me, I read this book day and night.” This Jew had no official business with me whatever, and stands toward me' in no worldly relation. He, at his own impulse, travels to Grodno and Wilna, proclaims Jesus Christ openly, and distributes New Testa, taments and Tracts,

Many Jews have implored me, for God's sake, to procure for them the Whole Bible in their own tongue, offering me a crown, (equal to 3s.) for each copy.

Į answer to you for the truth of these wonderful facts, as a man of credit and a public servant; and I beseech you to call the at. tention of the Society to them. Twice the holy man of God, Isaiah, says especially, Make a path-make a path ; open the way: take away the obstacles out of the way of my people. In my opinion, Complete Bibles are now of urgent necessity for the Jews; and it would be well if the Society would cause Bibles to be printed speedily. I think I alone could dispose of 500 copies, at 3s. per copy, besides such as should be given to poor people. The Missionaries would then find a field already prepared for the seed ; and the conducting of their business would be far easier, and more blessed in its result.

A Jew of considerable opulence, having been long inwardly

Conversion of a Jewish family


convinced of the falsehood of the present system of religion among his brethren, and of the absurdity of their mode of worship-persuaded also that their present religion is not the religion of Moses and the Prophets, and struck with the purity and simplicity of Christianity, and with the coincidence of the New Testament with the Old-had, about a year before Mr. Thelwall met him, been baptized, with his wife and five children, and become a supporter of Bible, Tract, and Missionary Societies. What adds to the interest attending this circumstance is, that the grandmother of this Jewish Convert was a real Christian and continually offered up prayers to God for the conversion of her company.

The sister of the individualjust mentioned, and her five children, the eldest of whom is 25, were baptized early in last year, by the Minister of the Reformed Church in the place where they lived. Mr. Thelwall saw a good deal of the woman and some of her sons --and says of the former, “ There is in her, I think, better evidence of a real change of heart, and Christian feeling, than in any Jewish Convert whom I have yet conversed with.

AMERICAN MISSIONS. By a late arrival, we have received the Report of the American Board for Foreign Missions, which is full of interesting matter.

Our limits will allow us to notice, at present, only the state of the Mission to Palestine. The Missionaries pow employed, under the direction of the Board, on this Mission are, Mr. Fisk, Mr. and Mrs. Temple, Mr. King, Mr. and Mrs. Bird, and Mr. and Mrs. Goodell; of whom the last three have entered on their labours during the year reported. Malta may be said to be the Head Quarters of this, and all the other Mediterranean Missions. Here Mr. Fisk spent the greater part of 1822, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Temple, being employed in various missionary labours, and in preparations for his ulterior destination, which was Jerusalem. They preached in English four times a week, having on the Sabbath two congregations of 100 persons each ; and in September 1822, Mrs. Temple, with a few other ladies, commenced the first sabbath school in Malta. It began with fifteen scholars,

[ocr errors]

who soon increased to 45, of whom, two were Catholics, three Greeks, and three Jews. The


of the scbool is thus described in a joint letter, dated in June 1823. “On the 8th ; inst. we distributed premiums among our scholars in the sabbath school. It was encouraging to us to find, that the Greeks had committed to memory more than six thousand verses in the New Testament. Qne, a lad about 12 years of age, had committed the entire Gospel of St. Matthew ; and two or three vihers of the Greeks had committed about half of the same Gospel, within about 12 weeks. This is a new and unheard of thing among the people of these countries."

Mr. Fisk likewise assiduously cụltivated an acquaintance with different classes of persons, Catholics, Greeks, Jews, Mahonmedans, as well as with intelligent Englishmen and others. And his time was also considerably occupied in maintaining a correspondence with agents of Bible Societies and friends of missions around the Levant, and in superintending the operations of the press." In November, 1822, he was joined, in consequence of þiś own application to that gentle. man, by Mr. King, the first missionary of the Paris Foreign Missionary Society, by whom he was placed under the direction of the American Board; and a few days afterwards, Mr. Wolff arriving at Malta, these three associates immediate ly began preparations for a journey to Egypt and the Holy Land. All their arrangements being completed, they sailed for Alexandria on the 3d of January 1823, and arrived there on the 10th. In that city they were continually occupied, for ten days or more, in preaching, conversing, reasoning, and exhorting, sometimes in a more private way, and sometimes to a congregation of 130 persons. They sold 100 copies of the Bible, or parts of the Bible, in ten languages, and gave away 50 copies.

One Schoolmaster bought 15 Testaments for his pupils. At Cairo they continued these labours; and, after some deliberation, concluded to visit Upper Egypt. Early in February they began to ascend the Nile; proceeded as far as the ruins of ancient Thebes ; distributed the Scriptures to dif

[ocr errors]

American Mission to Palestine.


ferent classes of persons, but principally to Coptic Christians, who were in the most pressing need of them; and returned to Cairo about the 10th of March, wheu they made immediate preparations to cross the desert on camels, in order to be at Jerusalem toward the close of April. While in Egypt, and before their return to Cairo, they distributed 800 copies of the Scriptures, in whole or in part, and more than 2000 tracts. They preached and conversed in six or seven languages, and were incessantly occupied in various labours.

Messrs. Bird and Goodell, with their wives, embarked from New York, for the reinforcement of the mission on the 9th December, 1822. The visit of the missionaries to New York was attended with the most pleasing results. The kindest attention was paid to them by the friends of religion, and so deep an interest was excited in their undertaking, that a nuinber of individuals formed themselves into an association, and pledged themselves to furnish the means of supporting them, by paying into the Treasury of the Board the annual salary of two married missionaries. Touching at Gibraltar, they were encouraged by the cordial reception which they met with, from pious and intelligent persons of different denominations. On the 22d of January, they arrived at Malta, and entered with all practicable speed and diligence upon the necessary preparations for future labour. In these Mr. and Mrs. Temple have been much engaged, so that they have already translated several tracts into Italian. « For the present," says the Report, "preaching and conversation in English, the translation and publication of tracts, the distribution of Bibles and tracts, the conducting of a correspondence with intelligent persons around the Mediterránean, the care of Sabbath Schools and the acquisition of languages, added to such journies as may promise to forward the cause of Christ, will occupy the labours of the three missionaries now at Malta."

Such labours could prove but very inefficient without the aid of a printing press. Permission therefore, was obtained from the government at Malta, to establish one, and it has already proved its usefulness. On the 17th of June, 1823, this department of missionary service, stood as follows:

“We have printed eleven tracts in Greek, and four in Italian ; and bave three more in the press, two in Italian, and one in Greek, that is, a second edition of the Dairyman's Daughter, the first being exhausted. Our tracts have been sent to Egypt, Syria, the Morea, and the Ionian Islands. A physician at St. Maura, one of the Ionian Islands, who is Mr. Temple's friend and correspondent, wrote him a letter recently, from which we send you the following extract:'I have sold all my Italian Bibles and Testaments, and wait for more from Corfu. Your tracts were received with amazing avidity, particularly the Dairyman's Daughter. Many applications were made for a copy, which I was forced to refuse; but promised I would write for more. The Greeks say it is remarkably well translated. I gave one to the Regent, to two of the Judges, to a Physician, to a Master in the Normal School, and to the Inspector of police. I met one of the Judges carrying his copy in his pocket, talking of it, and showing it to his friends in the street. He told me he had never read such a book; and that it made him weep plentifully. Send me more if you have them, they are excellent adjuvants to the Bible. It would be a great advantage if you could print the Poor Cottager, by the same author. The Greeks are a quick ingenious people; but they stand much in need of instruction. They ask me for the Old Testament in Greek, and are much rejoiced to hear that it is printing.' There are, at the present time, many thousand Greek refugees in the Ionian Islands; and thus we find an excellent opportunity to distribute our tracts among them.”

Two Greek youths arrived in America, in February last, who had been confided to Mr. Fisk for the purpose of being educated there : and it is expected that the missionaries will select other youths hereafter, as circumstances may favour the design, to enjoy the same means of intellectual and moral improvement. The good which might result to Greece from the execution of such a plan is beyond calculation.

« AnteriorContinuar »