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THE CONVERSION OF AN ISRAELITE.
These sentences flowed spontaneously, when we took our pen simply to notice a small volume recently given to the world by a brother beloved in the Lord.
On the cover of last month's Vessel the work referred to was announced. It is entitled :
"The Triumph of Christ on the Cross, as God-man over Sin and the Sinner: to which is prefixed an account of the early Life, Conversion, and Call to the Ministry, of the Author. BY EDWARD SAMUEL,
A CONVERTED ISRAELITE, "Minister of Ford-street Chapel, Salford, Manchester."
THERE are few subjects which more divide on the one hand, or more deeply interest on the other, the professing Christian Church, than does THE CONVERSION and RESTORATION OF THE JEWS. It is a subject which has given rise to more controversy than any connected with the advancement of the Messiah's Kingdom. It is a subject on which the most talented of the literati have written; of which the most powerful preachers have spoken; from which the most profound Bible students have derived matter for thought and expression; a subject which has stretched the minds of speculators; and confounded hasty adventurers more, perhaps, than any one subject that ever yet presented itself to the minds of thinking men. We are often aston- We have known something of Mr. Samuel ished at the directly opposite views taken by for several years. We have watched his (apparently) most devout and intelligent movements from London to Farnham; from Christians. One brother is most certain Farnham to Hitchin; from Hitchin to Leithere never will be any such literal fulfil-cester; and from Leicester to Manchester, ment of Scripture as a national restoration with some interest. When we saw his work of the Jews; another good brother has been announced, we felt an unusual desire to read favoured with very special light into God's it. We sent for a copy; and in the kindest word; and he is daily looking, with un- spirit, the author forwarded a neatly-bound, shaken confidence, for the dawning of the day, gilt-edged volume, with a well engraved, when "all Israel shall be saved"-that is, truthful, and striking portrait of himself, when God will bring back the wandering which (with the sacred and solemn contents tribes, and restore unto them "the promised of the book,) will render it, we think, one of land." We, in the meantime, read and the most acceptable and truly spiritual prothink for ourselves and we have never yet ductions of these days. We heartily wish been fully removed from the conviction, that, our much loved brother GEORGE ABRAHAMS no scripture is" of private" or "of single in- was constrained by the Lord to give us a terpretation:" but that, spiritually, in the companion volume, of his conversion, call,. hidden experience of the chosen saints; and, and ministerial labours. But he is so above literally, in the restoration and exaltation all these things, that while he lives, we shall of all the predestinated tribes of Israel, never expect to see it. When he is taken shall every New Covenant prophecy and home, we hope some rich productions of his promise receive its exact accomplishment. pen, illustrative of the life and labour of Christ's Grace in his heart, will be found. At present his usefulness is very contracted. He loves the memory of his predecessor, William Huntington; but in literary labours he does not imitate him at all. He must forgive our reference to him; and our prayers for him, that much more expansion of mind, soul, and usefulness in Zion, may yet be granted unto him.
We are not, by these few words paving the way for a controversy in the pages of this Monthly, on a question so profound. Certainly not. Nevertheless, if decidedly profitable papers on this subject, could be written, we should gladly insert them; but we fear that while the darkness of unbelief has fallen upon the literal Jews respecting the advent of Jesus of Nazareth, even so, has so much darkness fallen upon the minds of the spiritual Jews respecting the glorious developement of those brilliant and enchanting prophecies which have yet “to come to pass," as to prevent any man from, at present, meeting the great necessity.
In the meantime, the little first-fruits of the great harvest, are ever and anon being gathered by the hands of the Eternal Spirit; and presented unto God as a sweet smelling savour; and made manifest at the same time, in the church below as an earnest of what she shall yet behold.
To return to "THE TRIUMPH OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS;" by Edward Samuel. We may notice that the first forty pages are filled with a sweet narrative of his own history; after which we have above thirty chapters on those subjects most essential to the believer's edification and comfort.
We purpose rather closely to examine the contents of this volume: but must close this first introductory paper with a short extract. Referring to his earliest days, he says:—
"The history of my short pilgrimage I will divide into three periods: first, my natural
birth; second, my spiritual birth; third, my call to the ministry.
"I was born in a small town called Vinooty, in Russian Poland, on the borders of Prussia, on the 14th of the month Nisan, 1812, on the evening before the passover; of Jewish parents who were strict in their religion, following the example of their parents, my grandfathers. My maternal grandfather being a Rabbi over twenty or thirty thousand Jews, and a great student in the Rabbinical writings and traditions; as of course his office required; to judge between clean and unclean, and in cases of the violation of the sabbath, or other festivals; also in a civil point to the Jews over whom he was, in case of fraud or debts. He was so respected by the magistrates, that if a Jew and Gentile had a cause and took it to them, they would often send them to my grandfather, and abide by his decision. He had a small cottage joining the synagogue, where he studied almost night and day. I remember, when a child, being once on a visit at his house, which was fifteen miles from my home; I went early one morning to my grandfather's study, which was about ten minutes' walk from his private dwelling, (he had not been at home that night, as he usually spent three nights in a week in his study), to have his hands laid upon my head, and pronounce a blessing. On entering the room, saw there was something the matter with his nose; I said, Grandfather, what is the matter with your nose ?' he replied, Last night, while reading, I fell asleep over the candle, burnt my nose, and set my cap on fire.' Such was the zeal of my dear grandfather, that he fasted two days every week, Monday and Thursday, and one whole month in the year, every other day, the sixth month Elul, which corresponds with the latter end of August, and the beginning of September. On the day of atonement, which is a fast day, he used to deliver an oration to the congregation, clad entirely in white, wearing no shoes that day, nor leaving the synagogue the whole day. His oration was so affecting that the whole congregation were in tears. I remember once witnessing it, and although only a child not more than eleven years old, was equally
affected with the rest.
"The day before atonement the most respectable families had used to bring their children to my grandfather, that he might bless them. His custom was to visit our house once a year, and spend a week including one sabbath, and preach on that day. Every day during his stay, the Jews used to bring their little children, that he might lay his hands on their heads, and bless them. In this manner I un. derstand the words of Christ, Suffer little children to come unto me,' not to sprinkle, nor baptize, but to bless them. I remember another incident which made such an impression on my mind that I never forgot; I was not more than nine years of age, when with my eldest brother, and two sisters, on a visit at the aforementioned grandfather's; sitting at the dinner-table, I did something to displease my grandmother, and she being naturally not
very amiable, as I sat opposite her, she stretched her hand across the table, and with great vehemency said, 'Nisan, (which was my Jewish name,) as sure as I am born, you will kick the bucket-a phrase commonly used when a Jew forsakes his religion, and becomes a Christian. My grandfather understanding the phrase, although I did not-methinks I see him now before me-turned his face towards her, with a look of the greatest disapprobation (although he was a mild, and most amiable man,) and whispered something to her which I did not hear. Thus she prophesied the truth; Caiphas prophesied that there was a need for one man to die, that the whole nation perish not; Balaam, that there should be a star rise out of Jacob; and my grandmother, that I should become a Christian-all was true, and all was accomplished, although spoken by ungodly persons; and I bless my dear Redeemer for the fulfilment of all these things. On my return home, I related the circumstance to my mother, who, bursting into a flood of tears, exclaimed, 'I would rather die than live to see that, or, follow you to the grave.' Hearing these words, and seeing my mother so affected, I was anxious to know the meaning. On my first enquiry, I met with a denial, but after many entreaties she told me, with tears still trinkling down her cheeks. Finding the meaning, I began to cry, and saying, Mother, I will never become a Gentile, no, no, not I."
This volume may be had by sending direct to Mr. Samuel, minister of Ford-street Chapel, Salford, No. 1, Moliere Terrace, Lower Broughton, Manchester.
(To be continued.)
THE PRECIOUS PROMISES.
"For he is faithful that promised." Heb. x. 23. What a rock for the child of God to stand upon! The Faithfulness of Jehovah! The unchangeable nature of the Great Promiser
the Lord God Almighty! "He is faithful that promised." This is a sovereign balm for poor tempest-tossed, doubting souls, if the grace of faith is bestowed, lifting the drooping strength to believe, that though all things soul's eye upward, and enabling, or giving it change, he changeth not; for he is "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever;" his love knows no abatement, for he loved us from before all worlds; he loves us now, and will
love us ever.
“And though we have him oft forgot, His lovingkindness changeth not." Oh, what a cordial to a poor down-cast soul, when the unutterable faithfulness of God is realized experimentally within by the divine rays of the Holy Spirit being shed abroad in the heart! What a sweet recollection then of how the Lord has led us in days gone by; how, according to his promise the manna has not failed once, and as our day our strength has always been!
Then how highly favoured the saint is, having a faithful God, and a precious casket full of priceless gems, which he, in his love, hath given him for his use and for his comfort! The Bible contains beds of pearls, and mines of precious things; and the means of obtaining them is sure and certain-" Knock and it shall be opened unto you." In getting earth's treasures which lie embedded in its bowels, much labour has to be employed, and very often, after great exertion, disappointment results; the long sought for treasure is not found. Not so with the labourers in the Gospel mine, for, although hard wrestling and long knocking and earnest seeking has sometimes to be gone through, yet a failure or disappointment is never experienced. The blessing may tarry; yea, the thing asked for may never come at all; yet, in the withholding such, we often see the goodness of God afterwards; so that, that which we seek for is given as an equivalent. Yea, when for our good one thing is withheld, a greater blessing is generally dispensed. The promise is that knockers shall have the door opened to them; and to seekers, finding shall be the result. I shall endeavour to bring up some of the most precious gems; and may the Holy Spirit apply them, and may they be beneficial to the cheering up some and the strengthening of others.
I." All things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come: all are yours, and ye are Christs's, and Christ is God's." 1 Cor. iii. 21, 23. What a jewel! How immensely rich then is every heir of heaven! though poverty stricken, yet richer
than the wealthiest of this earth! 66 things," God, Christ, heaven, eternity, and the promises; yea, "all things," all' that belongeth to the covenant ordered in all things and sure to the Christian. Then how wealthy, not in riches which must be left behind in the valley, but which will be ours throughout eternity, and which will be available for our joy and happiness for ever and ever. "All things!" What a vastness! Depths unfathomable! Heights insurmountable! Lengths immeasurable! Take heart, then, Christian; though thou hast to live in poverty's vale, thou art interested in the will of heaven, and shall one day take possession of your heavenly inheritance, and enjoy it for ever; and, if placed in a better position in this life, a glorious change shall one day be made, earth's baubles giving place to heaven's realities, and a temporary and uncertain habitation vacated for a lasting and eternal home -a mansion in the skies.
II. "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans viii. 28. The brilliant Kohinoor is not so valuable as this Bible gem. This is a strengthening promise, a promise which begets resignation and submissiveness-"My Father knoweth best what is good for me," the child will say. This assurance cheers him in dark and lonesome hours, confirms him in seasons of doubt, solaces him in moments of sorrow,
relieves him in times of distress, and enables
But with humble faith to see
This is happiness to me.'
in my name he will give it you." John xvi, III. "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father 23. Prayer is an exercise which is a delight to the saints; while engaged in it the soul is at times caught up into the third heavens, and there holdeth hallowed fellowship with him whom it loves. In these moments the saint sometimes, yea, often gains a glimpse of love. At the throne he makes known his wants, his needs, his desires, and his troubles with a "Lord, do as thou hast said," and with an assurance that the ear of his Father is open to listen, and his hand outstretched ready to help; for he has said, "They shall call, and I will answer them; (Ps. xci, 15,) and he well knows how powerful the name of Christ is if pleaded in faith; for, "whatsoever (not only certain specific things) but whatever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you." Then, Christian, plead earnestly, plead constantly, plead believingly, and thou shalt prove that he is faithful that promised."
love them freely: for my anger is turned away IV. "I will heal their backslidings; I will from him." Hosea xiv, 4. This is the comforting language of the Lord to those who have left their first love, to those who have wandered from the sheep-fold and sought pasture in a strange land. He does not cut them off, but goes into the wilderness to find them and brings them home upon his shoulders rejoicing. Reader, art thou a stray wanderer ? hast thou sought other folds? and art thou and censuring thyself for thy wickedness? If now crying out on account of thy backslidings, thou repentest for having so wandered, and art wishing to return again to his bosom, hear his invitation-" Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord, and I will not cause my anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful, then if this is thy case, if thou hast seen thy saith the Lord." Jer. iii, 12. Dear Reader, folly and sin in leaving thy Father, and if thou would invite you in the words of the poet,dost sincerely repent, thou mayest return; and "Return, oh wanderer, return,
And seek an injured Father's face;
Thy Saviour bids thy spirit live;
How freely Jesus can forgive." The spark of grace is not extinct, though it may be at a low ebb; for if the grace of God was never there, if not there now, you would not have "those warm desires" to return; therefore, "return and kiss the Son, lest he be angry," and strive again to be restored to his favour, and to the joy which once thou realised. Return, then, return; for he declares he will heal your backslidings.
V. "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever." John xiv. 16. Ever careful was our blessed Redeemer of those whom he came to save, those whom he was not ashamed to call brethren. When he uttered this promise he knew the hour was not far distant when he should be led away to judgment and to death; but yet, although the world in a short time should see him no more, yet his people must not be left comfortless; and hence this promise. And has it been fulfilled? Yes! to the joy, happiness, and peace of thousands. As the Holy Spirit moved upon the face of the waters at the creation, so has it moved upon the darkened mind, unrenewed soul, and hard heart, and caused a marvellous change, a second birth, a birth from above, without which none can enter into eternal rest. Yes, it has illuminated the darkened mind, melted the hard heart, and has, in a word, effected the allimportant work of regeneration; and therefore to those who have thus been called according to his purpose the Comforter was promised. The sweetness caused by its abiding with us in our souls cannot be put to paper; but suffice it to say, it makes bitterness sweet, turns wildernesses into blossoming Edens, imparts holiness, works sanctification, removes doubts, illuminates the desponding, makes darkness light and pain pleasure, gives the doubter assurance and the troubled mind peace, the heavy burdened deliverance, and the weary rest, the faithless a holy trust, the mourner joy, and the sorrowful happiness,
no condemnation" for those for whom this blood is poured out.
But one thing, a kind of stipulation, in this promise we must not pass by,-"Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." No!, "Holiness to the Lord" must be the inscription on the forehead of all those who lay claim to the former part of the promise. Sin must not be indulged in that grace may abound! God forbid that. The mark of the elect vessels of mercy is "Holiness to the Lord," without which evidence it is impossible for any to make their calling and election sure.
Thus have I brought to view six of the exceeding great and precious promises; six gems from the Bible mine; they are worthy of a fuller comment, but this I leave for closet meditation. I have but touched the key-note, which may be swelled into a great burst of song. I have but exhibited their preciousness and greatness feebly; they open a train of thought which those who delight in heavenly things never tire to follow. I think we have got a glimpse of the fulness and faithfulness of these promises; they are all yea and amen in Christ; and oh! sublime and comforting thought! not one of them has ever been, ever will be, or ever can be forfeited. They are as immutable as the Promiser, standing firm.
If these few remarks are acceptable and worthy of insertion, they shall be continued. W. CROWHURST.
and indites our supplications and prayers, THE FIRST PASTOR OF THE SIBLE HEDINGputs words into our mouths and thoughts into our minds, and enables us to make known our desires unto the great Covenant Head, through the Covenant Surety, Jesus Christ, not always in words, but at times in groans that cannot be uttered. Precious Companion is this third Person of the all-glorious and ever-blessed Trinity.
Last month we gave William Scandrett's ordination; and his happy commencement of a useful pastorate.
In this leaf, Mr. Jones says:
"In 1807, the present chapel was erected; opened on the 2nd July, when sermons were preached by Mr. Pritchard, of Colchester; and Mr. Upton, of London. The Trust Deed was signed Sept. 29th, 1808. Witnessed by John Spurgeon, and George Smith, both of Sible Hedingham.
We shall not this month enter upon the troubled waters which crossed the peaceful VI. "There is therefore now no condemna-path of the happy pastor; we will simply tion to them which are in Christ Jesus, who take one leaf from Mr. Jones's book, (enwalk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." titled "Jubilee Jottings,") which leaf is Rom. viii. 1. "Being justified by Christ we Hell's dogs may bark now, but without any and cold-cutting wintry winds. have peace with God" NO CONDEMNATION! beautifully expressive of that happy springtime which often precedes hot persecution, material effect; the armies of Satan may be drawn out in battle array against the saints, but without avail, for there is now no condemnation. The shackles which once bound are snapped; the fetters which once held are dissolved, and now, standing fast in the liberty of Christ, Satan can do but little; at the most, he can but worry; ho must not, nor cannot destroy. No; safe are those of whom it is said, "There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." Glorious emancipation from the curse of the law! Happy release from the penalty of sin! and all effected by Christ, the adorable Redeemer, who came from heaven to earth to work out our freedom, which he brought about by his life (obedience), and consummated by his death, and sealed it with the exulting ory of, "It is finished!" removed the curse and virtually handed down this assurance, "There is now
"Till the beginning of the year 1822, the seventeenth year of Mr. Scandrett's ministry, the affairs of the church flowed on prosperously. That trinity of mischief, "the world, the flesh, and the devil," did not sign articles of peace. No, nor yet an armistice. Some simple-minded people are half disposed to admire the courtesy and blandness of the old enemy, when he transforms himself into an angel of light, hides his cloven hoofs in fashionable boots, and bows and smirks like
any Frenchman; but he is never more bent on a plot than when he is most polite and gentlemanly. The church we are tracing had evidence enough of this, every year of its early, and we may had, its happy history. They had many true and some pretended conversions. Good seed was sown in the field, and bore suitable fruit, but, while men slept, satan came and scattered tares, and there sorry weeds grew also. The usual effects followed; the Ishmaelites mocked at the legitimate members of the family, found fault with the ministry, it was too distinguishing; with the discipline, it was too strict; with the doorway, it was too narrow. It is seen however, that gospel order was respectably maintained, and refractory mutineers were turned out of the ship. "Them that honour ME (says the Master,) I will honour," and, while the people witnessed for him, in asserting his supremacy against all error, and unrighte ousness, he honoured them by comforting establishing, and increasing them. On one occasion,-May, 1814,-twenty-one persons were baptised and received into communion. The word ran and was glorified. From Hedingham it wafted to other places, and power accompanied it.
"Ten persons were dismissed to form a church at Haverhill, where they resided, and thus began a separate hive on the principles of the parent stock, and which the Master of Assemblies hath also blessed. Two or three brethren possessed gifts for helping in the dissemination of the truth-and now and then a slight jar occurred through the preaching propensities of ambitious spirits, whose opinion of themselves was not endorsed by the church. Offences will come, and sometimes it requires great wisdom, and great grace, to deal with them. In no case perhaps does the church more need wisdom than in dealing with inchoate gifts. Good and sincere men may be deceived by their own earnest and worthy desire to be useful. "Fast young men, (there are such about Zion,) will display their heroism in playing at soldiers, and like "fools, rush in were angels dare not tread." Then there are gracious, deep-taught, humble souls, with whom the word of God is as fire in their bones; and yet instead of being forward to give it vent, they are disposed to imitate Jonah, and go to Tarshish, Joppa, or to the world's end, in search of obscurity; rather than to go and preach the gospel. Nor must it be forgotten that, while some members of churches are purblind, and cannot decipher character, there are others who will not see indications of talent in their younger brethren, and whether from envy or jealously, they will frown upon any hopeful tyro who does not submissively bespeak their patronage. Hence arises occasion for the more discreet and spiritual of the household to exercise their gifts of discernment and knowledge, to prevent the church from disgracing itself by sanctioning unworthy candidates for pulpit practice. It is for them also, to correct prejudice, to anoint with prayer and needful encouragement the Timothys of stammering lips, and thus avoid the offence of quenching the
Spirit in disallowing his gifts. The church has to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth labourers; it has to encourage those the Lord sends; and lastly, it has to decline the offers of the self-sufficient, and to check with a firm and kind hand those whose capital consists only of good intentions. May the Lord give his people an increase of zeal, love, perspicuity, and faithfulness, that the order, propriety, and beauty of his house may be exhibited in all its affairs!"
It is now some fifteen years since, accompanied by a fond parent, we used Sunday after Sunday to visit those sanctuaries in the metropolis where the great men of the age were accustomed to preach, and where only it was asserted, "The truth" in all its purity was to be heard. Foremost among those places was the ancient "Zoar," of Whitechapel, the north western sanctuary in Gower-street, and the hill Zion, in Waterloo-road. We never recollect at that time going to either of these places, but we had great difficulty in obtaining a seat. Crowds were always to be found at each place. But where now are the people that used to besiege the doors of Zoar? Where now the hundreds that were wont to assemble within the spacious Gower-street chapel ? And still louder would we ask, where the multitude that listened with astonishment to the seraphic outpourings of Arthur at Zion Chapel, Waterloo-road ? in vain we pause for a reply. Echo only answers-where?
With thoughts akin to those we have just penned we wended our footsteps to Zoar, one Sabbath evening during the present summer. Many years had elapsed since last we had stepped inside that time-honoured and sacred edifice; and but few faces could we recognise among those whom we were accustomed to meet there; and when once more seated within its walls many recollections and reflections crossed the mind which gave cause alike for sorrow and rejoicing. But we are forgetful where we are; buried in the thought we were heedless as to how the service proceeded; until aroused by the preacher, an elderly bald-headed man, (who proved to be Mr. Godwin), having to rise, announced that his text was to be found in John vi. 37. He thus slowly read his text: "And-Jesus said unto-them-I-am-the-breadof-life ;-he-that-cometh-unto-meshall-never-hunger ;-and-he-that-believeth-on-me- shall-never-thirst." Having read it a second time in the same measured style, the preacher thus rudely opened his discourse: "There sinner what d'ye think of that?" He then carefully reviewed the context, and proceeded to view his text in two particulars. 1. The bread of life: 2. Who they were that had an appetite for it, which he discoursed on apparently