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LETTER FROM REV. LEWIS WAY
whom we conversed in Holland, was a respectable and well inform
ed physician, a man of credit and The following extracts are from learning. I told him, that the oba letter dated at Moscow, Feb. ject of our journey was to carry 24, 1818. Mr. Way had been the New Testament in Hebrew travelling on the continent to ad- to his brethren. His observation vance the objects of the “ London was, • Sir, if that be your design, Society for Promoting Christiani- and your conduct is conformed to ty among the Jews.” At Moscow the contents of that book, you
will he wrote to the Bishop of St. Da- ultimately succeed. vid's, one of the patrons of the way to make converts of our nasociety, stating his prospects, and tion, is to show them personal the manner in which he had been kindness, and
that you conreceived by the Jews and by oth- sider them as entitled to the comers in the course of his journey. mon respect paid to other people The pamphlet containing the let- of different nations. But while ter, and several other important christians are averse to receive documents have been put into our well disposed Jews into their sohands by the kindness of Miss cięty, as is the case with us, how Hannah Adams; from these we can they expect them to listen to shall present our readers with your religion. many interesting facts.
“ I am informed by several per« The first person, says Mr. sons both Jews and Christians, Way, of the Jewish nation with that there are upwards of one hundred families predisposed to been formed under the denominamake a profession of christianity, tion of Reformed Jews,'for whose which they believe and teach se- use a splendid synagogue has been cretly to their families, while some made at the expense of the most of them at the same time attend wealthy and respectable among the synagogue."
Russia. A number of Jews in the high- “I presented the books and meer classes have lately been bautiz- morials of the Society to his Exed in this place, but with few ex- cellency Prince Galitzin, on ceptions it is to be feared chiefly Christmas day, with other copies with a view of obtaining civil pri- for the use of his Imperial Majesvileges and admission into chris- ty. I am happy to assure your tian society,--a difficulty com- Lordship that our utmost expecplained of by Jews in other places tations are exceeded by the kind as much as at Rotterdam.
and Christian reception we have Prussia.
met with here." “The character and condition “I cannot close
letter withof the remnant of Israel, resident out stating that having been honin the capital of Prussia, exhibits pred with a personal interview an appearance altogether dissimi- with his Imperial Majesty at his ļar from that of any other place own apartment, I am enabled to perhaps on the face of the earth. assure your Lordship, that the obThe rabbinical opinions and sys- ject of our visit to the Russian dotem have almost disappeared, and minions has received the unqualithe commercial body is composed fied approbation of their sovereign. of men of more education and lib- And when it is considered that erality of sentiment than the or- not less than two millions of the dinary class of trading Israelites. descendants of Abraham are thus The origin of these distinctions rendered accessible to the operamay doubtless be traced to the tions of our Society, we ought character and writings of Moses surely to be thankful to Divine Mendelsohn, who passed his life Providence for this timely and efin Berlin, and rose by dint of in- ficient co-operation with our hum, dustry and the exercise of no or- ble endeavors for their welfare." dinary capacity to a degree of lit- “ When I left England, I was erary fame and personal distinc- forewarned of many difficulties tion which no Jew perhaps has at- which have vanished on approach. tained since the time of Abarba- I was gravely told that I should nel and Maimon. He is honored meet with enemies at every step; by his Jewish brethren as a Re- and it is but a just tribute of former, but a Christian would see thankfulness for the many mercies more of Voltaire than Luther in we have experienced from Him, that part of his character.”- who has all hearts at his disposal, • The philosophical spirit they to state that we have found this have imbibed from the reasoning “evil report of the land,” to be and principles of Mendelsohn, has perfectly groundiess. From Jew led the greater part of the Berlin and from Gentile, from learned Jews to reject the use of the Tal- and uniearned, from Princes, Mira mud, and a considerable party has isters and Ambassadors, Clergy
and Laity, we have experienced happiness of mankind, why do you uniform respect, and received un- not turn your pious endeavors looked for help and support; and towards making those that are if Societies have not yet been es- Christians already--but merely tablished, or large contributions by name-better acquainted with, levied in the places we have visit- the true dictates of their religion? ed-inuch prejudice has been re- Why do you not persuade your moved, much attention awakeneli, brethren in the faith, that pure and and some seed sown, which will divine as it is, it can lead them to doubtless spring up in its season.” felicity only as it influences every
motion of their heart, and every LETTER FROM AN ELDER OF THE action of their life? REFORMED JEWS, TO REV. Le “The design of your great Mas.
ter was to founů a universal reli
gion, confined to no place or na· The following are extracts of a tion, a religion for the salvation of letter from an Élder of the Re- the world : He grounded his preformed Jews, dated, Berlin, Oct. cepts on the moral nature of man, 21, 1817. The writer was proba- on the two holiest principles planbly one of the disciples of Men- ted in the human mind, faith and delsohn:
charity. " Yea, he commanded “ You, sir, I say it with a joyful even to love our enemies, knowconviction, are a true Christian, ing that enemies can be converted one of those few whose hearts are into friends by confidence in this truly filled with the holy idea of their mual nature, by exerting their Preceptor, who understand love and charity towards them, by the full meaning and weight of his showing a gentle pardon for their Divine doctrine, and who know errors and oftences. Such were how to represent it in their life his noble intentions, such was his and actions to the benefit of their beneficial aim ! fellow creatures.
“ Now, I may ask, sir, can there " Love, charity, those signifi- be found in the life and behavior cant words which the Founder of of most of those who call themthe Christian faith pronounced in selves Christians, the least sign of such an enforcing manner, with such a pure universal love? Nay, you they are not words only as are not the actions of the most of they are with so many other men; them wholly contradictory to that they are the animating principles which was practised by Christ? of your mind ; they have inflamed In every part where the Christian
a noble zeal, to reach religion is predominant, those who the hand of love to your brethren, profess another faith are hated, and to lead them to peace and ev- despised, persecuted, and cruelly erlasting felicity. O what an ex- driven out. Even the Christian alted design is yours ! si priests do not forcibly reject this
“-But, sir, give me leave to evil, but as idle spectators, they ask you one question. I may ven- permit it to grow up every where. ture to lay it down before you, “ Turn your eyes with imparwho love truth and sincerity in tiality to the history of ancient or every shape. You, sii, who are modern Christians, and your beso earnestly bent to promote the nevolence will ask no farther
proof, that what I urge is nothing afterwards his followers ; but this but the strictest truth. Onder is no apology for the persecuting such circumstances can the Chris- spirit of Christians towards the tian religion be spread by convic-Jews in later times. The testition? Can those who misunder- mony which this disciple of Moses stand its mightiest principles hope Mendelsohn has given in favor of for many proselytes ? The unen- the beneficent character of the lightened non-Christian cannot be Christian religion, as taught by its, persuaded of the beneficence of a founder, is truly just and impordoctrine that makes him undergo tant. If this favorable opinion of so many persecutions. He whose the character of Christ's instrucmind is enlarged by knowledge tions should become general feels, it is true, a great veneration among the Jews, and they should for the pure and exalted princi- in future be treated with that kindples of Christ, but he can have no ness which the gospel enjoins, confidence in his followers." it will not be long before the tribes
- I am firmly persuaded that of Israel will be seen bowing the the greatest part of the Jews knee to the Prince of peace, acwould long ago have embraced knowledging him as Lord, to the the Christian faith, if they had glory of God the Father. found a true christian and brotherly love in the Christians ; for the spark of the divine flane that dies slumbering in the human breast can only be awakened by Regulations respecting the Socielove."
ty of Christian Israelites.
In order to insure to the HeWhatever
may be thought or brews who have embraced the said of the opinions of this Re- Christian religion-of what conformed Jew, in other respects, it fession soever it may be--a peacemust be acknowledged that he has ful abode in the bosom of the Rusgiven a correct and humiliating sian empire, we have permitted picture of the inconsistency of them to form among themselves a those who profess to be followers community under the denominaof Christ, and yet indulge the spir- tion of Tue Sociéty or Chrisit of hatred, contempt and perse- TIAN ISRAELITES--but to promote cution towards unbelievers. We among the members of that Societhink also, that he is correct in ty industry, trade, and all kinds supposing that no great success in of useful business, we constitute the attempts to convert the Jews the following regulations. can reasonably be expected, unless 1. Lands for settlement and dothe efforts be made with the con- mestic economy will be assigned ciliating spirit of the Gospel ; and by the crown to the Society of that much more might have been Christian Israelites gratis, and for effected before this time had the an everlasting possession to them Jews been treated by professing and their posterity. These lands Christians according to the pre- will not be assigned to each indicepts of our religion. It is indeed vidual in particular, but to all in true that the Jews, in the days of common : And for this reason they our Savior, persecuted him, and can neither be sold nor pawned,
nor in any other way be brought to apply in necessary cases to the into the hands of others, but must said Committee, according to laws always remain an unalienable pro- which respect all other colonies perty of the whole community. settled in the Russian dominions.
2. On these lands appointed for 5. The Society form an Office them they may, if they please, set for the management of their intertle on their own account, and build nal affairs, consisting of different every kind of establishment, bor- members chosen among ouglr or town, according to their themselves, viz. two Superintendmeans and circumstances. It is ants and four Assistants, approvlikewise left to their choice either ed of by the said Committee, unto build all in common, or each der the name of Office of Adone for himself, provided he does ministration for the Society of not exclude himself from these the Christian Israelites. This connexions of the Society unto Office is permitted to have its own which they must all without ex- seal ; and it is their duty to caro ception belong
as much as possible for good order 3. Those Christian Israelites in the Society, and to reconcile who enter the Society, as also to any misunderstanding, disunion their posterity, will be allowed an or quarrel among themselves, equal, full and entire freedom of which may come before them ; but the Christian confession of faith what respects disputes about prowithout any difference; and each perty, hereditary possessions, and confession permitted to enjoy their similar civil affairs, or individual divine service according to the criminalities, that must, according rules of their church. Consequent to the cominon laws of the empire, ly the congregations of each Chris- be examined and decided by their tian confession, which belongs to respective courts of justice. The the union of the Society, may office has also to erect in the setbuild and establish churches, tlements a police of their own, for schools and institutions for edu- the maintenance of peace, quiet, cation, or other God-pleasing pur- and order ; and it is at the same poses, according to the principles time bound to keep a watchful of their own church.
eye over the conduct and behavior 4. The Society of Christian Is- of every one of the Society's memraelites will stand under our pro- bers. Rebellious, disobedient, and tection, and be dependant only on immoral members, who are only the Committee established in St. an offence to others, they must erPetersburg for the management of pel from their Society, after they their affairs, who are bound to have informed the Tutelary Comwatch for their welfare, and to mittee concerning it, as they are whom alone they have to give ac- also bound to do respecting every count of their concerns. On this member whom they are newly reground not one single government ceiving into the Society. Every of the place where this society one who is expelled, forfeits in may found their establishment, consequence all the rights and adlhas to exercise any power over vantages granted to the Society. them, or mix with their affairs, •6. All civil rights are hereby The preachers who may be ap- granted to every member of the pointed in their settlements are Society of Christian Israelites,