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evince the sincerity of their repentance. This great fast is observed on the tenth day of the month Tishri, or September. In the preceding evening they repair to the synagogue, where they remain saying prayers upwards of three hours: and when they return from the synagogue, they may not taste any kind of sustenance, and are even prohibited from taking one drop of water. They are also forbidden to do any kind of labour, even to kindle a fire, and observe this day as strictly as the sabbath.
At six in the morning they attend the synagogue, and offer those prayers and supplications for the pardon of their sins, which are peculiar to the occasion. In the course of the service various portions of scripture are read, particularly part of Leviticus xxvi., Numbers xxix., and Isaiah lvii. They mention in their prayers the additional sacrifice of the day, and entreat God to rebuild their sanctuary, to gather their dispersions from among the Gentiles, and conduct them to Jerusalem, where they may offer the sacrifice of atonement agreeably to the Mosaic law. In the afternoon service, besides portions from the law and prophets, the greatest part of the Book of Jonah is read in the synagogues. They beseech God to be propitious, and forgive their sins. The fast continues from morning to night, for upwards of twelve hours, without intermission.
In Awb, which answers to July or August, in the fifth month of the ecclesiastical year, the Jews observe a strict fast, occasioned by the destruction of the first temple by Nebuchadnezzar. On this day also the second temple was burnt by the Romans. During this fast they not only abstain from all food, but do not even taste a drop of water. In the evening they go to the synagogue, and, after their usual prayers, the book of Jeremiah is read in a low mournful voice. In the morning they attend the synagogue early, and read a portion of the law. and part of the 8th and 9th chapters of Jeremiah. iney go to the synagogue again in the afternoon, and read passages from the law and the prophets suitable to the occasion. All their prayers on this day tend to remind them of their captivity, and the destruction of their temple, which deprived them of offering the daily sacrifice by which an atonement was made for their sins.
The marriages of the Jews are always celebrated with great pomp and ceremony In London they are usually celebrated at some of the principal taverns or coffee-houses. The author, two or three years ago, attended at the wedding of a Jewish friend's daughter at the City of London Tavern: the ceremony itself was solemn and imposing, and the company extremely numerous and respectable. After some time spent in an antiroom, where sat the intended bride and bridegroom, receiving the compliments and caresses of their particular friends, and during which the truly venerable and presiding rabbi of the German Jews in London, Dr. Solomon Hirschel, assisted by others, at intervals, but apparently without order, uttered some prayers, or repeated some texts of Scripture, and the necessary
marriage articles were signed by the parents of the young couple, we were ushered into the large room of that very elegant tavern. In the midst of the room, a portion was marked out by a thick red cord fastened to four posts. In the centre of this stood the presiding rabbi and his assistants, or readers, under a rich canopy of crimson velvet, supported by four gentlemen, who held long poles to which it was fastened at the four corners.
At length, after some preliminaries, the bridegroom was solemnly led into the room by his friends, and placed under the canopy. Then followed in a slow and lingering step, supported by her mother, and other friends, and covered almost from head to foot with a rich muslin white veil, the bride, who was directed to take her stand by the side of her intended husband. The marriage scrvice now commenced, consisting of words nearly similar to those used among Christians. A small glass of wine was given to the bridegroom, and another to the bride. They each drank a small portion. After this an empty wine glass was held up by one of the persons employed in the ceremony; and certain words implying a vow of constancy being uttered, the glass was cast upon the floor, trod upon, and broken to pieces; by which was meant to be conveyed a wish, that till those pieces should be reunited, the marriage between the parties might never be dissolved.
The whole company then retired to another room: ceremonies and caresses in abundance followed; a most costly dinner was provided for a numerous retinue of ladies and gentlemen, and the evening passed with sacred vocal music, religious invocations, &c. &c.
The rite of circumcision is invariably practised; and it is a season of great joy and merriment.
Their manner of solemnly exposing or exhibiting the law to the people, who, it may be observed, do not perform their public worship uncovered, after the manner of most Christian churches, will be sufficiently elucidated by the accompanying cut of that ceremony.
Ever since the Ascension of the divine Redeemer, Christians have been desirous to persuade the tribes of Jacob that Jesus of Nazareth was the true Messiah, long promised to their fathers, and to induce them to accept of his holy religion. During the apostolic age, these exertions were attended with much success, and many of the Jews, though so unbelieving while their Lord was present with them, were converted to Christ. Still, those who continued in unbelief evinced an uncommon obstinacy, and an inveterate enmity to Christianity, beyond any other people. The same has been the character of Jews ever since. This deep-rooted unbelief has produced a great discouragement in the minds of Christians, and has been the principal cause why so little has been done, since the primitive times, for the conversion of Jews. And the great reason why the conversions have been few is that few and feeble have been the means used
for this purpose. The general truth, that God gives success to all wise and faithful exertions for the salvation of men, is applicable to Jews, as well as to Mahometans and Pagans.
At the present day, distinguished for the exertions of Christians for the spread of the blessings of the gospel, the attention of many is turned to the interesting state of the long-neglected children of Abraham. While a general sentiment is prevailing that the day of the peace of the Church is drawing on, that the Jews will constitute a leading part of the Church at that day, and that they are to be brought to the acknowledgment of Christ before the gospel will overspread the earth, new and judicious, and vigorous efforts are making, in Europe and America, for the salvation of Israel. The success that attends these exertions is
highly encouraging. The Jews' Societies in this country, in
connexion with those in Great Britain, and extensive connexions on the continent, are doing much. It would seem that no religious charity can be more acceptable to the God of Jacob, the God of the promises, and none attended with more sure success, than that whose object is to rescue from blindness and ruin the venerable remnant, "beloved for the fathers' sakes." And let all who feel for the afflictions of those who have long been an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word among all nations," "driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, make their 66 prayer to God for Israel, that they might be saved."