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Extracts from a Letter of Dr. Capadose, to the General Assembly's Sub-Committee on the Jews, in answer to a Letter of Inquiry from the Committee, October, 1838.

It is especially the weighty nature of the subject of your letter, the importance of the questions you put to me, and the sincere desire of answering in some degree the confidence with which you honour me, and which humbles me, knowing my deep unworthiness-these are theca uses which have made me almost shrink from the greatness of the undertaking which your brotherly kindness has imposed upon me. Nevertheless, a common good, that of the faith of our adorable Saviour, uniting us in him who has been and still is the expectation of Israel, as well as the desire of the nations, a like zeal for his glory being given to us, a like rising from our hearts to his throne, that he would deign to have pity on that daughter of Zion who has not yet learned to turn her eyes to the Sun of Righteousness, the inexhaustible source of light, of peace, of joy, of warmth, and of life-that same love of Christ, in short, which, through your medium, the honourable Committee of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland have expressed to me, urges me likewise to have recourse to that God who is always pleased to do great things by small means in order that the sovereignty of his grace and of his power may shine forth beside our misery and weakness-this love fills me with a holy courage and a lively confidence that he will deign to make me to answer your important questions in all truth, and under the direction of his Spirit.

O that the issue of your charitable designs, proceeding from faith, may turn to the glory of our adorable Emmanuel, and may be a means of bringing

within the arms of the good Shepherd some strayed sheep of the house of Israel, Amen.

You see, then, dear and honoured brethren in Jesus Christ, that hitherto all that has been done for the evangelization of the Jews in this country, has remained almost without any success. On the one hand, the character of the Israelites of our days, quite careless of heavenly things; on the other the shackles which the government or the police, or even the habits of the country produce, all concur to strike with sterility all the means which hitherto have been put into operation for the conversion of Israel with us; and it is with a heart oppressed with grief that I must say hitherto I do not see that in other countries they have been more fortunate. See at Basle, that excellent society of the friends of Israel, what charity, what zeal, what devotedness, what patience, and what support, and yet what has it done, or rather what has it been able to do since it was formed? My soul has been torn in reading the extract of six Annual Reports from 1831 to 1836. My heart bleeds in thinking on the mournful experience which these friends have had, and you, O brother in Christ, who love Israel, you will conceive what it has cost me to make such an avowal as this, and what I have felt in reading so many examples of the want of sincerity among my poor brethren according to the flesh. All this would disturb my rest, and would make me languish if there were not wherewith to reanimate my courage. On the one hand, we have the promise sure and immovable, that in the last times all Israel shall be saved. On the other hand, the Lord knows his time, his season, and chooses the means, or else calls some immediately out of darkness into his marvellous light. My own experience, and that of a few others -who, as well as myself, while humbling ourselves deeply, and abasing ourselves in the dust, yet dare, through the grace of our great God and Saviour, to say that we are Christians-is, that we have become so without having been in contact with a single one

of those many and excellent means which the Society of London, or other similar societies for the propagation of the Gospel among the Jews employ, and very far from having been zealous for the religion of my fathers. I was absolutely in the same state in which thousands of young Israelites are at this hour. But the victorious power of the cross is like the rod of Moses, and can, when it strikes, make plain a way in the Jordan of insurmountable difficulties. That is what fills me with confidence and courage, even because of difficulties without number.

Humanly speaking, the thing is impossible; but to the sovereign God all things are equally easy-and is it not when the darkness is greatest that the stars shine the brightest? Was it not the longest of nights which the Sun of Righteousness chose for commencing from the valley of Bethlehem his brilliant ascent, which one day will inundate the whole earth with waves of light and life? Let us hope, then, against hope. That was the faith of Abraham. May it be ours both for ourselves and for the children of Abraham!

Let faithful Christian churches know at last their calling; let them remember that there is in them a missionary element (pardon me the expression) which ought to be recognized as an integral part of them. No, it is not necessary that that which has relation to the Church of Christ should be established, should be preferred, should be put into execution from without the Church itself, by any special institution or society. If I picture to myself a faithful church, of which the pastors, or at least the greater part of them, were men of faith, of zeal, and of talents; that in this church there were a regular course of preaching in the prophecies, that they preached methodically on the prophecies concerning the Messiah, that it were announced publicly, for example, that one of the days of the week they would be occupied with the Messianic prophecies in Genesis, the week following that they would take up those in Exodus, and so on-not

however sermons for the Jews specially, but for the whole Church;—if this were realized, I believe, first, that the Church would profit much thereby; and secondly, a constant opportunity of instruction for the Jews would be found. I say that the Church would profit by it; for is not one of the sources of Neology that grievous separation which has been so often made of the Old and New Testaments; or even when, without entirely separating them, ministers preach almost always on texts of the New Testament? The bulk of the Church comes almost insensibly to attribute a greater authenticity to the New than to the Old Testament. One of the means to prevent this great mistake, and to demonstrate that the Gospel is to be found also in the Old Testament, would be, in my opinion, to preach regularly in the prophecies. The Church would also profit by it, in the second place, in that the numbers who should follow their discourses would gain in solidity of knowledge, and would become (at least the zealous hearers) much more capable of refuting the arguments of the Israelites, or at any rate of showing to them the truth of their Christian faith in the testimony of the Old Testament.

And of what value would not that be in the numerous commercial relations of Christians to Jews? How often would not such a Christian merchant who had followed the discourses above mentioned, find an opportunity of speaking of them to his neighbour, the Israelitish merchant; whilst in our days, in order that a Christian may be able to sustain a conversation with an Israelite upon religion, it is necessary that he should study the subject, since generally the sermons which he is accustomed to hear, however excellent they be, are rather for his own edification than fitted to enable him, should he meet an Israelite, to prove to him that his faith rests on the accomplishment of prophecy.

In this manner, in preaching the Gospel, there would be furnished a nursery of missionaries, without having that design, and the Church itself would

always have an open door for the indirect instruction of the Israelite.

I have said, in the second place, that this would be a constant opportunity of instruction for those Jews who wish to be instructed. For, I speak from my own experience: the Jew has a natural prepossession against a missionary-against a man who advertises his desire to make him change his religion; but he respects a pastor of the Church. Now, I ask you, dear and esteemed brother, is it not in the heart of the natural man, especially of the Israelite, that his pride should repel the idea of going to find or hear a missionary whom he always suspects of wishing to deceive him, whilst the very man, if he could without being noticed, mingle with the Christian in the church, would willingly hear a sermon in the prophecies, and would hear it without that prejudice, because the preaching would be rather for the members of the church, and would not have for its express design the conversion of Israel, Pardon me if I have been somewhat long on this subject; but the deep conviction which I have that these same discourses which would be proper for strengthening the faith, might become, without having it as a determinate object, a powerful means of attaching Israel to the knowledge, or at least to the examination of Scripture, has made me the more desirous of being clear rather than concise. Oh, if the churches of Scotland, of England, of Holland, would unite in this, to engage mutually to announce once in the week that there would be sermon, not for the Jews, but for the church or its members, on the prophecies concerning the Messiah, from this or that part of the Old Testament, I am heartily convinced that we would see quietly coming into the assembly a number of Jews, who, if invited by any missionary, would have refused, or gone there filled with prejudice.

But it is time that I terminate this long letter. I think that I have as far as in me is, answered your questions, and I beg you will honour me with some

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