Gambar halaman

tian. The beginning of the story informs us that Eliezer, the son of Dordeja, who carried on a life of profligacy and depravity, was one day told, in the midst of his enjoyment, by a favourite companion of his pleasure, for whom he had traversed deserts and crossed many rivers, that “ Eliezer, the son of Dordeja, was beyond amendment, so that his repentance could never be of any avail to him." These bitter words touched the Rabbi to the quick ; in rage and despair he fled from the house into the desert, and, throwing himself down between hill and mount, exclaimed, “O) ye hills and mountains, intercede for me with the Creator, that I may find mercy!”

Ere we pray for you,” replied the hills and mounts, we have to pray for ourselves. Dost thou not know what is written, “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed ?'

He clasped his hands, looked up to the heavens, looked down to the earth, and cried, “ Ye, O heavens, and thou, O earth, implore the Creator on my behalf for mercy ! ”

But heaven and earth replied, “ Ere we pray for thee, we have to do so for ourselves, for it is written, “The heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment !

“ Then intercede ye for me, sun and moon, with the Father in heaven.”

“ How can intercede for you ?” replied they ; “ have we not to pray for ourselves ? Dost thou not remember the prophecy, “The moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed?'"

The Rabbi next applied to the stars and planets, who also refused upon the same ground


of having enough to do for themselves, as Scripture foretels, “And all the host of the heaven shall perish!”

“I see,” said Rabbi Eliezer, “I have but one resource—it is in myself.”

He then laid his weary head on his knee, and gave himself up to prayer for pardon and mercy, sighing and moaning, weeping and lamenting, till his body sank under heart-rending grief and distracting sorrow, whilst the soul soared up to her heavenly abode, whence a voice resounded, “ Rabbi Eliezer ben Dordeja is summoned to eternal life.”

In reading the above, one is forcibly reminded of the Apostle's question, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation ? "

The mountains, and the seas, and the starry heavens may, indeed, say there is no help from us, and the highest and most glorious of created intelligences must give a like reply. To whoin, then, can the convinced sinner turn? quiry is, “ What must I do to be saved ?” The answer is not, Turn to thyself—trust in thy repentance if it be sincere.—Oh, no! but “ Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Then, when the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up; then, when the earth shall yield the buried prey of death, and the sea give up her myriads of his victims, when the mountains and the hills shall flee

away and there be no place found for them, then, as a pardoned sinner, thou mayest arise with joy and gladness, and shalt ascribe salvation, not to thy repentance, or thy works,

His en.

but to the Lamb of God, slain for thee from the foundation of the world.

A GREEK CHRISTIAN LAD. The present state of the Turkish empire is a subject of great interest to Christians, because of the connexion of its fortunes with those of the land of Israel and with the purposes of God. Every step taken in advance by its Government is a blow struck at the delusion of Mahomedanism: but none was felt to be so heavy a blow as the abolition of the cruel law, which sentenced to death any of the subjects of the Porte who should renounce Mahomedanism and embrace Christianity. Death was the doom of all who should do this, whether they had been originally professors of Christianity or not, but now all who had been led or forced to embrace the religion of the Turks, are at liberty to renounce it and to return, without fear of death for doing so, to their earlier faith.

In 1841, when this alteration in the Turkish law was made, many availed themselves of its permission. In a letter received at the time from the Rev. J. Nicolayson, who was at Constantinople, we have the following account of a poor Greek lad.

We should be glad if we could follow his history further; as it is we give it as an interesting fact. After stating that several instances had occurred of individuals openly returning from Mahomedanism to their original Christian profession, Mr. N. writes :

“One of these is particularly interesting, it is that of a Greek lad of about twelve years of age. About three years ago he was induced by à rich Turkish lady, first to carry a bundle for her down to the boat; and then to accompany her on a visit to Constantinople (proper); thus the child was entrapped. That lady having no child of her own, both she and her husband resolved to adopt this bright boy as their son. They engaged the best teachers for him. He now speaks, reads, and writes the Turkish language in the best style, and reads and chants the Koran in Arabic, just as the Mullas do, pronouncing the most difficult words of the Arabic language admirably, and readily gives the current Turkish commentary on it; though, in examining him, I found that he does not understand the Arabic words themselves. He was very kindly treated by his adopted parents, except whenever he told them he was a Christian, and would not be a Moslem. When the Armenian was executed (as before reported), he was taken to see what awaited him if he were ever to return to Christianity: very different, however, has been the consequence of that Mahomedan cruelty. During the whole time of his detention by that family into which he was led, and thus forcibly adopted, this baptized child continued to keep up a secret correspondence, in his mother tongue, with his Christian father, by means of a greengrocer, at whose shop he used to leave his letters for his real parents, and to find theirs in return. The Premier, Riza Pasha, had given him his own name at his circumcision, to which he had been forced to submit, and his adopted parents were going to marry him into a very high family this

Yet the boy persevered in his determination to return to Christianity, and felt it must be done now or never. Having heard of

very month.

the concession the Porte had lately been obliged to make to the European ambassadors on this point, and learning that the two servants who always attend him were next day to be on sentry when the lady and her husband were to be out on a visit to the city, so that there would only be the eunuchs and female servants in the house, he judged that the most favourable moment for him had arrived, and determined to avail himself of it; he wrote to his father to meet him next day at the well-known shop, to take him hoine. At the hour appointed the father sent a person to meet him there, who conducted him to the landing-place, where both his parents waited for him, and immediately embarked for Pera. He was taken to the British embassy for safety, and Sir Stratford Canning immediately sent to the Porte to say that the boy was with him ; they need not feel uneasy for him, or take any

further trouble about him. It was said that the disconsolate foster-parents carried their complaint to the Porte, but were told to keep perfectly quiet, lest worse befell them. Now what must we think of that influence of Christian education, even such as is given in these Churches, that could make such a mere boy persist in resisting that of the highest Mohamedan education, and also in rejecting with scorn the rich and splendid offers, and high connexions, that were forced upon him, and opened prospects before him for which many a man has bartered bis soul,—and that merely, in this case, to return to the Christian profession, the vows of his baptism, and his poor parents !

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »