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he possibly could without injury to the doctrine of the Scriptures and the example set by the Apostles. That Jesus is the true Messiah he proved both from the Prophecies (the meaning of which the Jewish commentators pervert), and from the divinely established fact of his resurrection. He assented to the opinion, so firmly maintained by the Jews, that the promises of the Old Testament speak of the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, and of their deliverance from their present thraldom; and he believed that Jesus Christ would, at the appointed time, return to accomplish them. He likewise inclined to the belief that Apostolical authority might be adduced for conceding to the Jews the important point that they are still bound, or at least permitted, to observe the law of Moses, after their conversion to the faith of Christ. By a reference to living congregations of Christ in ancient and modern times, he endeavoured to shew them the character of the people of God under the New-Testament dispensation, and to remove the offence taken by the Jews on account of the many schisms in Christendom. As long as he remained among them he was always treated with great affection and respect; of which they afforded a striking proof by bestowing on him the honoured name of Rabbi. At Groeningen he was even permitted to deliver a public discourse in their synagogue.

In 1740 he visited the Jews in England, among whom he likewise met with a favourable acceptance.

In 1751 he was appointed minister of the congregation at Zeyst, near Utrecht, whither many Jews resorted from Amsterdam, and were attentive hearers of his public discourses. In 1756 he was engaged in an an apostolic mission to the Jews in Bohemia. In short, in all countries of Europe he was considered the friend of the Hebrew nation.

Though not much fruit appeared at the time to result from his longcontinued and self-denying labours, we may yet hope that He, with whom the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much, was not unmindful of the tears and supplications of His faithful servant, and that some souls were benefited and saved by his ministry.

In 1758 David Kirchhof, a converted Jew living in fellowship with the Brethren's Church, visited his countrymen in various districts, and found in a town of Little Poland several Jews who believed that the Messiah was already come; but the disturbances occasioned by the enemies of the Gospel compelled him to retire.

The Conductors of the Moravian Missions state, that, although the hopes of the Brethren to be permitted to form congregations of believing Jews remained unfulfilled, they were not left without cheering evidence that it had pleased God to accept their labours. Their testimony to the truth as it is in Jesus was blessed to the conversion of not a few individuals of the stock of Israel, who became successively members of their church, both in Holland and Germany. Of these converts one of the most remarkable was Esther Greenbeck, the genuineness and solidity of whose Christian character may be estimated by the many excellent hymns of her composition which are extant in the Brethren's Collection, and which continue to be in frequent



To the Editor of the Christian Observer.

I LIVE in a large country town, where the doors of the church are always opened for prayers on Wednesday and Friday, as well as on Saints'-days; but seldom so many as twenty persons attend, though the congregation on

Sunday exceeds 1200. I must confess, sir, that I have been amongst the absentees; induced, perhaps, by the example of persons of undoubted piety, or from inconsideration.

That the Liturgy of the Church of England is admirably calculated for the use of edifying, is admitted, not only by the members of that Church, but by many Dissenters. How, then, comes it to pass that the clergyman is left to read it almost alone? It will be readily allowed that great numbers are prevented by necessary and lawful employments from availing themselves of the privilege; but it appears unaccountable that persons of real piety, who have leisure, who love the Liturgy, and who contend for it earnestly as founded upon the faith once delivered to the saints, should neglect "to assemble and meet together, to render thanks to Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for the great benefits we have received at his hands; to shew forth his most worthy praise; to hear his most holy word; and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul."

Perhaps some of your correspondents may be able to state satisfactorily the cause of this apparent inconsistency; and as this is not a solitary case, it may be beneficial to draw the attention of your numerous readers to the subject in this eventful crisis of our venerated Church.



To the Editor of the Christian Observer.

IT has been matter of serious inquiry, by many excellent clergymen in the present day, What means, in particular, appear to have been made chiefly instrumental in causing so great a revival in religion as is said to have recently taken place in the United States of America? Without intending to raise a doubt as to the reality of so desirable an event, I would merely remark, that the religicus position of that country and our own is so different (owing to any extensive preaching of the Gospel being comparatively a novelty in the one, to what it is in the other, of these countries), that the applicability of the identical means to both countries (independently of preaching) may be very questionable. Whatever inquiries on this point may have been made, I am not aware that any such satisfactory information has been obtained as to have given rise to the recommendation of any other plans than those which may be found to have been in operation in many parishes in this kingdom for ages past.

The only use which I would wish to make of these prefatory remarks is, to induce the clergy of this country to consider whether there has not of late years been such a dereliction of duty on the part of heads of families, as may, in a great measure, account for the want of greater success than has attended the preaching of the Gospel in this kingdom.

When we consider that the duties of parents and heads of families are insisted upon in Scripture, as well as those of ministers, it will be profitable to inquire whether the due observance of the former has kept pace with that of the latter. I intend, however, on the present occasion, chiefly to direct the attention of heads of families to the important duties which they ar called upon in Scripture to fulfil. In the xviiith chapter of Genesis, the Lord, after foretelling that Abraham should become a mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth be blessed in him, adds the reason, in the "For I know him, 19th verse, why he should be so peculiarly favoured:

that he will command his children and his household after him; and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment."

I do not doubt the frequency of family prayer in this country; but how few heads of families amongst the laity are there, who regard themselves in the responsible light of priests to their own households. Without doubt, every master of a family will have to give an account to God for the active interest he has taken in the spiritual welfare of his household; and certainly family prayer should form a part of the means which we should use for obtaining a blessing upon it. Which of us can read such a passage as the following, and not think deeply of our responsibility? "Pour out thy fury upon the heathen, that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name." But is family prayer, although accompanied with an exposition of Scripture, all that is required of a master of a family? May he lose sight of training up his household in the fear of God, between the time of collecting his family around him at morning, until the return of a similar blessed sight at evening? Must he not exhort, rebuke, instruct, and admonish, whenever occasion requires or an opportunity offers, throughout the day? Must he not speak to his children; and talk to them, as well when sitting in the house or walking by the way, as at the stated times of family worship, when lying down and rising up? (See Deut. vi. 7.)

Striking instances of the regret occasioned by neglected opportunities of speaking to relatives on these important subjects are to be met with in the case of Eli. See the second and third chapters of the First Book of Samuel; and also the sixteenth chapter of St. Luke, verses 27 and 28: "Then he said, I pray thee, therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house; for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment."

If the duties of heads of families be such as I have adverted to, it may be profitable to inquire how they are generally performed in our own country. Do masters, for the most part, command their households after them, in such a way as that they may be accounted followers of faithful Abraham? But if, on the other hand, they are (too generally speaking) lamentably deficient in this respect, will it not account for the want of greater success attendant upon ministerial labours in this country? Had the fallow ground been more generally broken up by the heads of households, ministers would have had fewer stony-ground and way-side hearers, and the word preached would have been more profitable to them. Whence, then, has arisen this dereliction of duty on the part of heads of households? Have ministers insisted upon the importance of the fulfilment of it as frequently as they should have done, not only from the pulpit and in suitable printed addresses to their parishioners, but also from house to house, in season and out of season? I am constrained to say that I fear they have not; and I would remark, not with a view of finding fault, but of pointing out a defect in the generality of Sunday-school sermons, that few which it has fallen to my lot to hear have contained a particular address to parents and heads of families on this important subject. Should the primitive practice of training up households in the way that they should go, be happily revived in our days, then may we expect greater fruits from ministerial labours; then may we be assured that the God of Abraham will be our God, and that he will bless, not our families only, but our nation also, with his choicest blessings.




For the Christian Observer.

THE further we advance in the investigation of the tracts of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, the more we feel the importance of the inquiry, and the need of a thorough revision of the Society's Catalogue. The eyes both of the friends and the enemies of the Church of England, in every part of the kingdom, are intently fixed upon the proceedings of this important institution; and the great questions at issue can no longer be hushed up in silence, or be disposed of in a truce of hollow neutrality. The Society stands at this moment at the highest elevation among the religious and charitable institutions connected with the Church: its income amounted last year to the unprecedented sum of more than Seventy Thousand Pounds; it numbers among its friends, members, and subscribers, no small portion of the piety, activity, and charitable munificence of the land; and its powers for good or evil are great beyond calculation. Yet we discern within it symptoms of rapid and extensive disorganization. Not a few of its publications are conscientiously objected to by a large and increasing portion of its own members; and both within and without its precincts the complaint is urgent, that the Society has not risen to the measure of its high duties and capabilities as a popular expositor of the doctrines and precepts of the Gospel, as received and inculcated by the Church of England. Of the correctness of this opinion let our readers form their own opinion from the Bishop of Bristol's Tract reviewed in our last Number; and which it would be unjust to his Lordship to suppose to be of a worse quality than many other of the Society's publications-at least of those set forth during the greater part of the last century, and the beginning of the present. It is but equitable to add, that there has been of late a considerable improvement: but the great mass of the publications is not materially altered so that, after deducting those which are unsound or defective in doctrine, those which are written in an unhappy spirit, those which are unprofitably controversial, those which dwell too much upon secondary and neglect weightier matters, and, lastly, those which are feeble, uninteresting, common-place, and not calculated to arrest popular attention, there remains a much smaller portion than we could wish of such tracts as the best friends of the institution would desire to see upon its catalogue *.

The Society seems anxiously to avoid popularity. It sends forth its tracts on indifferent paper, and in an uninviting garb; and too much neglects the aid of the eye to open the way to the understanding and the heart, by means of those pictorial embellishments which other tract societies so laudably employ. It has the air of being commercially under the controul of some bookseller or printer, instead of being its own master, doing its own work, and economising its subscribers' money. We trust that its conductors will not fail to look into the facts stated in our last Number, relative to the exorbitant price imposed upon the public, and even upon the Society's own members when they purchase tracts without an order. For example, the Bishop of Bristol's tract, which is marked in the Society's Catalogue at three halfpence for single copies, or 6s. 6d. by the hundred-which is as nearly as possible three farthings per copy-is charged by Messrs. Rivington to the public, and also to the Society's own members when not armed with an order, four-pence; that is, after the rate of 11. 13s. 4d. per hundred, for what the Society charges 6s. 6d. The Society thus makes it the publisher's interest to sell as many books for himself and as few for his employers as possible. The difference between 6s. 6d. and 17. 13s. 4d. is so enormous, that either the latter is gross extortion, or the former is so ruinously low and losing a price as to be an admission on the part of the Society that its publications are an unmarketable commodity ; a mere drug, which it can get rid of only by such sacrifices as would speedily reduce the Society to a state of insolvency, if the majority

We have not forgotten our purpose of taking a large survey, if it should be found necessary, of the Society's publications, with a view to point out what appears to us to be their chief errors or defects: but in the mean time we think it important to state, that if this task be not undertaken by the friends of the Society and of our Established communion, it will fall into ruder and less scrupulous hands; so that what ought to be only an amicable and monitory animadversion upon a portion of the tracts of a particular institution, will be converted into a bitter attack upon the Church of England.

In proof of the last remark, and as an illustration of the observations which many of the tracts of the Society call forth in the ranks of the Dissenting army, we are about to quote some censures, which appeared a few months since in the pages of a periodical publication whose conductors are strongly opposed to the rites, ceremonies, orders, and legislative establishment of the Anglican Church, though, in the fundamental points of Christian doctrine, they acknowledge her tenets to be Scriptural and Apostolical. As one express object of the Society is, not only to edify the members of the Church of England, but to convert the Dissenters from their errors, it is well to inquire what is their actual practical effect; and the following specimen from the Evangelical Magazine is certainly not very favourable in proof of their salutary virtue. But the great question is, whether the writer in the Evangelical Magazine has any just ground for his censures. They may be overstrained, or harshly expressed, and, as far as regards the Church of England, they may be wholly irrelevant; but still, if they are founded in truth, however exaggerated, the Society ought, for its own sake, to listen to them as attentively as if they had been urged by its warmest friends and in the best spirit.

First, then, comes the following general charge.

"The two striking features of these tracts are bigotry and ignorance ;

of the members thought it worth their while to make even moderate purchases. A member, subscribing a single guinea and purchasing ten guineas' worth of books on the Society's terms, would have as much for his money as, at the rate of the bookseller's retail terms, would cost more than fifty-three pounds! If the Society considers its books as too uninteresting to be saleable, why does it not provide better? But if it reply, that the books are saleable, and that the Society's price to members, of three farthings, is only a reasonable deduction from the prime cost; why lock up what is saleable, if it be intended for the public benefit, by affixing a prohibitory duty of four-pence upon it? Was it ever heard of, that an institution, managing an income of more than seventy thousand pounds, and having a large establishment of officers, instead of purchasing its own paper, having its books printed on its own account, making its own office a depôt for the sale of them-in one word, seeing with its own eyes, and transacting its own affairs-should choose to sacrifice a sum so enormous that the members would scarcely credit its amount, by employing a tradesman, however respectable (and there is not a more respectable house in London than that of the Society's publisher), to interpose a costly agency?

And besides the expense, is it not strange, that, if a member want a three-farthings tract, he must first apply at Lincoln's-inn Fields for an order, and then repair with it to Waterloo Place or St. Paul's Churchyard, unless he prefer going at once to Messrs. Rivingtons and paying four-pence. A member of the Bible Society, or of the Prayer-Book and Homily Society, may go to the offices of these institutions and purchase what he wants at a moment's notice, and without the intervention of a bookseller; but if he wish a few Christian-Knowledge Tracts to accompany them, instead of getting them as of right, and without trouble, he must first proffer a humble request to the Society, specifying every item of his wants; and then, when after one or two journeys he has procured a warrant, he must go or send to Messrs. Rivingtons for the books; and when he offers to pay for them, he is informed that the money cannot be taken at the place where the books are sold, but that he must go back again another journey to the Society's office, and pay for them there. The result probably is, that in future he either leaves out the tracts altogether, or gets a supply from some more convenient source, or purchases what he wants at the price affixed by the bookseller, without applying for an order.

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