Gambar halaman

were interrupted. I advised him to pray, to read the Scriptures diligently, and then to confess the Lord Jesus Christ openly before the world. He was thankful for all he heard, and also for the tract I


him. “ The history of this young man is very encouraging. A single tract given, or a few words spoken, may bring forth fruit, although we may not know it, until that day when all the secrets of men shall be revealed. I also met with another instance on this journey of the good done by the above-mentioned little tract.”


[ocr errors]

This is one of the four holy cities of Palestine, Jerusalem, Tiberias, Hebron, and Safet, are the holy cities. This last is not mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures by name as the others are. It is supposed to have been referred to, and probably pointed towards by our Lord, when he said, “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” The situation of Safet, on the top of. lofty hill, renders this supposition very probable. In the year 1837, on the first of January, a tremendous earthquake buried most of its inhabitants beneath the ruins of their houses. The Rev. Mr. Thompson, of Beyrout, who was accompanied by Mr. Calman, a believing Israelite, and who in Christian mercy visited the surviving inhabitants soon after the fearful visitation, says,

“ All anticipations were utterly confounded when the reality burst upon our sight. Up to this moment I had refused to believe the accounts; but one frightful glance convinced me that it was not in the power of language to overstate such a ruin.

* Matt. v. 14.

“ Safet was, but is not. The Jewish portion containing a population of five or six thousand, was built round and upon a very steep mountain ; so steep indeed is the hill, and so compactly built was the town, that the roofs of the lower houses formed the streets of the ones above, thus rising like a stairway one above another; and thus, when the tremendous shock dashed every house to the ground, the first fell upon

the second, the second upon the third, that upon the next, and so on to the end. This is the true cause of so awful a loss of life." *

In this city, before the earthquake, there were, it is said, five or six thousand Jews. . Most of these poor people perished. There are now again a considerable number, and two missionaries reside here to preach to them the Gospel of our Saviour, and to go forth from thence to other parts of the Holy Land, to seek the lost sheep of the fold of Israel.

One of the missionaries is an Israelite, formerly a learned Rabbi amongst his brethren, a man most deeply learned in Jewish writings; the other is an Englishman, a young man of

ardent piety and devotedness to his Master's cause, who, led by a sincere love to God's ancient people, has given up all the comforts of his country and his home, to labour in this arduous work, amid the desolations of this still ruinous city

The Mission here has not long been commenced. The Jews are as willing to listen and to reason as they are generally found to be else.

* Keith’s “ Land of Israel,” p. 372.


where; and there is much already to encourage the hope that many of these, dwelling amid the ruins of their city, though poor in this world, will become “ rich in faith, and heirs of a kingdom which can never be moved ;' “ fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” In a letter, dated June 5th, 1845, Mr. Lord

By the mercy of God we have had abundant cause of thankfulness to him on the one hand, for having been enabled and permitted by His grace to preach salvation by Christ Jesus openly, so that we trust that all the Jews residing in Safet have heard our message. As of old, however, we must lament the unbelief and hard. ness of heart which leads them to blaspheme and hate the truth, and even to desire, if they were able, to take the very lives of those who tell them of it, rather than continue to hear it preached.

“ We have circulated a great many Bibles, Prayer-books, and New Testaments, &c. One day, in particular, the Jews came for them in great numbers, begging for Bibles or Psalms, and we speedily disposed of all we had, and were obliged to promise them a further supply as soon as we could obtain one.

« On the 13th and 14th of May especially, we were visited by great numbers of Jews; Mr. Tymmim was employed for many hours in preaching the truth to them. One of the chief Chachamim (wise men) also came for Bibles, and listened attentively to what was said. They have much respect for Mr. Tymmim's great learning in Rabbinical lore, and are wholly unable to controvert what he says, or to answer his quotations from their own authorities. The events which took place on these days led to a proclamation being issued, that none should speak with, or have anything to do with us. The day after, as we were walking out, Mr. Tymmim saw several Jews whom he knew, who were sitting under a tree. They asked him to come and discuss with them.

“ On the 19th, having heard that a Cherem, or curse, against those Jews who should visit or hold intercourse with the missionaries, had been issued by the chief rabbi, Mr. Tymmim went to ask him how he dared to do it. There were from .fifty to seventy Jews present, and a most interesting conversation followed, when Mr. Tymmim was enabled to silence them all by quotations from their own books. They could say nothing; they cried and rent their garments; the old rabbi beat his head against the wall, lamenting that he should ever have lived to see the day when so great a rabbi turned Christian, and said he would give up his chain, seal, and office, all, to him, if he would return.

He said also, that he had given notice that a fast, of four weeks should be observed for him, that the evil spirit of madness might come out of him. Mr. Tymmim has more than once been told, that the Jews do not know what to do with him, and that they have consulted together as to whether they shall not poison him. Blessed be the Lord of hosts, who both has preserved and will preserve us from all evil, to the great glory of His own name.”

[ocr errors]

The one,

AMSTERDAM. In the letter of the Rev. C. W. H. Pauli, part of which we gave in the last number, he records farther, as follows, the baptism of two Israelites :-“ Yesterday I had the privilege of again administering the sacrament of holy baptism to two descendants of Abraham. Mr. J. M., is a very respectable gentleman, and possessed of considerable general, and great biblical, knowledge. For many years past he has been investigating the truth of Christianity, and his attention was particularly aroused at the first baptism which I administered here, last December. From that time forward he never missed a service, and visited me regularly. I have had the pleasure of seeing many a devout and believing Jewish brother, but never one more so than Mr. M. Through the grace of God he has been enabled to drink deep of the spirit of our blessed Redeemer, and he did not rest satisfied until he had fully convinced himself which branch of Christ's Church was the one he ought to join,

The other person, who at the same time with the above gentleman received the sacrament of baptism, is a young Jewess who has been forsaken by her father, mother, and, in fact, by all and every friend, a truly lost sheep of the house of Israel ; but she has not been forsaken by one, the good and great Shepherd, who has given his life for his flock, blessed be his name! She is seventeen years old; but the history of her life, though so young, would afford interesting matter for a large volume. I found her in the hands of the Roman Catholics. Her mother resides in

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »