« AnteriorContinuar »
and no man comes to help them.” He paused a moment -then with increasing mournfulness resumed—“The boastful inhabitants of yonder place talk much of their abundance. Proudly exulting in their unbought possessions, they cast our forlorn condition in our teeth, and weighing our wretchedness against their bliss, bid us behold in it the issue of our fathers' crimes. I have said I do not know if it be true. I do not know if their land be as abundant as they say. How should I-they have never imparted to me of its fruits? I do not know if they are really the happy creatures they profess to be. How should I? They have never bidden me to their hearths. But if it be that their halls are so wide, and their harvests so rich, and their government so beneficent as they say-ah! surely there should be room enough for these few, poor children! But none will fetch them in.". The father's voice grew hoarse with deepened emotion---the dark eyes of the children moistened with a tear; they knew not why, but that their father wept.
I could have wept too-but I replied, “Perhaps the prince your fathers so much offended, forbad your reentrance on those lands—perhaps its new incumbents hold it on condition never to admit you—or surely they had not so long left you here unfriended.”
“It may be so," the old man answered, fixing a look of lorn despair upon his children-paused a momentthen, as if a hopeful doubt had broken in upon his sadness, added, “I never heard it. I have heard he loved our fathers—they who love the fathers are not used to 'hate the children. It may be so—but when you go back again to yonder halls, if you see that there is any thing to spare-if there be room enough in their chambers and food enough on their boards, ask if they are forbidden to take in my few poor children.”
Readers, I have fulfilled my commission. If you were the possessors of some rich tenement, given by the sovereign, as in former times it often has been in our country, the forfeited property of his traitor subjects, to those
he makes his friends—while you enjoyed the gain of their disloyalty, should you feel no pity for their need? Should you leave their children to perish at your gates? I believe you would not. There is nothing more moving to our natural feelings, than to look on the residue of fallen greatness—if a suffering pauper be pointed out to us as the child of one who was of rank and birth superior to our own, a stronger emotion of pity is excited for his degradation; for we contrast his fortunes with our own, and measure his fall as what ours might be. Still more, if you were the gainers by that change, and held the property that was once his father's, would you not hold out to the deprived and degraded offspring, some portion of your well-spared abundance. You would go out of those pleasant lands to the bleak forest I have described, to look for those poor children that were perishing on the waste, and bring them in to live on your estates, and be at least your servants. Now believe me it is no fiction I have told. Jehovah has a garden that he cultures with especial care, as unlike the heathen lands that lay around it, as the dwelling I have pictured to the country that was about it. He cast out in anger the original inhabitants, and put you in unearned possession of what erst was theirs. A few of their outcast children, innocent of their fathers' sin, ignorant of the real cause of their degradation, and not knowing by what means to be reconciled to their offended Maker, are lying about your streets, and Turking round your doors, and you have taken no notice of them. You have not gone to their dwellings to offer them a partition of the word of eternal truth, on which you feed so richly. And you have not sought out their children to separate them from their miseries and rear them to a better state, before habit has confirmed them in their errors, and reconciled them to their destruction. You know their high original-you trace with lively interest their distant pedigree, and are proud to call yourselves by the name of their fathers—it is your boast and glory to observe the law of Moses, their legislature,
and Christ who was born of them. And yet you hold these ancient people in contempt, individually, if not as a people; and feel no emotion when you see them perishing without those moral and religious advantages you possess in such rich abundance, and have never been forbidden to communicate. On the contrary, you know there would be joy in heaven itself to see the offspring of a Hebrew become a spiritual Christian. The only way in which an inhumanity not natural to our hearts can be accounted for, is thoughtlessness of the circumstances in which we stand respecting these people, or ignorance of the means by which we can amend their condition.
These thoughts were suggested to me when on a late occasion I went to listen, where the holders of the rich blessings of the gospel were assembled to consider of the claims of these poor children, and deeply was my mind struck with the contrast I beheld. They were not indeed unfed and naked in their land of barrenness, for pity had fetched them in--but they were sitting there, the suppliants for a small share of that which once was all their own the children of Abraham were in the dress of charity—their little eyes cast down and often filled with tears, while their wants and claims were urged by those who spoke on their behalf, to wring a poor pittance from the gay Gentile crowd before them--gay in the ornaments of superfluous wealth, that, spared to them, had not been missed—and gay in the consciousness of moral dignity and enjoyment of spiritual good, that, divided with them, had surely not been lessened. The sight was to me the argument—the scene was its own sufficient illustration. Who are those? Who are these? Abraham, four thousand years ago, worshipping our God on the only altar he had upon the earth, the temple of Jerusalem in all its splendour, his own presence shining in the midst, while our unknown forefathers were wandering somewhere in the wilds of uncultured ignorance--rose to my imagination with such impressive reality, every thing that was said or could be said, came short of the spontaneous
emotion of my bosom, that had already ran through the world's strange history for an explanation of the scene before me.
In determining to represent to Christians the duty of instructing Jews in general, and Jewish children in particular, I have left the grounds on which more has been said than I can find to say
they are in better hands than mine. I have left to others the strength of Scripture language, and the mysterious voice of prophecy, and put in the plea of feeling, justice, and humanity; because I am writing for some who may not understand those, but must be accessible to these persuasives. I do not wish to suggest any particular measures or means; but merely to awaken in the bosoms.of my younger readers some share of the shame I feel, that I have never given any of my time, or talents, or superfluous expenditure, towards the children of Abraham—that I have not yet, even by a word of persuasion, sent a messenger out from our Christian halls, to ask one of those few poor children to come in to the habitations of their fathers.
(Continued from page 292, Vol. 4.) On 19th October, 1688, the prince went on board, and the whole fleet sailed out that night. But the next day, the wind turned into the north, and settled in the north-west. At night a great storm arose. We wrought against it all that night and the next day. But it was in vain to struggle any longer, and so vast a fleet run no small hazard, being obliged to keep together, yet not to come too near one another. On the 21st, in the afternoon, the signal was to go in again; and on the 22nd, the far greater part got into port. . Many ships were at first wanting, and were believed to be lost, but after a few days all came in. There was not one ship lost, nor as much as any one man, except one that was blown from the shrouds into the sea. Some ships were so shattered, that as soon as they came in, and all was taken out of them, they immediately sunk. Men are upon such occasons apt to flatter themselves upon the points of providence. In France and England, as it was believed that our loss was much greater than it proved to be, so they triumphed not a little, as if God had fought against us, and defeated the whole design. We on our part, who found ourselves delivered out of so great a storm and so vast a danger, looked on it as a mark of God's great care of us, who, though he had not changed the course of the winds and seas in our favour, yet had pres served us while we were in such apparent danger, beyond what could have been imagined. The princess behaved herself at the Hague suitably to what was expected of her. She ordered prayers four times a day, and assisted at them with great devotion. She spoke to nobody of affairs, but was calm and, silent. The States ordered some of their body to give her an account of our proceedings. She indeed answered little : but in that little she gave them cause often to admire her judgment.”
Nothing can more strongly depict the deep impression on Mary's mind of the awfulness of her situation, than this sort of silence and withdrawing from communication with others at a time when most minds would have sought encouragement and consolation from all around them. Mary seems to have felt where only it was to be efficiently obtained. Her biographer gives us elsewhere an account of these very frequent regular devotions in publick as well as in private, where he says, “Her punctual exactness, not only to publick offices of religion, but to her secret retirements, was so regular a thing, that it was never put off, in the greatest crowd of business or little journeys; then though the hour was anticipated, the duty was never neglected: she took care to be so early on these occasions, that she might never either quite forget, or very much shorten that, upon