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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. UNDER this title there is a most useful publication of the Society. The questions are difficulties started by the Jews. The answers are replies by learned Christians.
Now we should like to have our Questions and Answers,” and we should like some of our young readers to propose their questions and others of them to send answers; and we shall sometimes give them questions, and sometimes help them, if they need it, to find answers.
But we must add that our range of questions must be limited. The subjects of them should be,
I. The BIBLE account of the Jews. The call of Abraham. The covenant with him. The subsequent history of his children, principally through Isaac: The separation of
. his descendants from other nations. The fulfil ment of the promises. The prophecies relating to them which have not been fulfilled, and illusa trations of Scripture from manners and customs, and the Geography of the countries mentioned in the Bible.
II. The Captivities of the Jews. Their
causes and their duration. III. The history of the Jews in Gentile lands
to the present time. IV. The efforts made at different times for
their conversion, gc., go. In short any questions relating to the peculiar people, or to facts and circumstances illustrating
their past and present condition shall have our best attention, and we shall hope to have a page of questions and answers, in which our younger readers will be interested, and which they themselves will chiefly supply.
Contributions to be sent not later than the 12th day of the month, to the Editor, 16, Lincoln's Inn Fields. If sent later than this date, we fear they cannot be noticed in the next forthcoming number.
Now, young friends of Israel, and youthful readers and lovers of your Bible, give some of your thoughts and direct some of your enquiries in this direction. Let us have QUESTIONS and ANSWERS from you. We do not want to know your names, but we want to know your wishes, as to the points on which
desire information, on the important and deeply interesting subjects connected with the history and the destiny of Israel.
Suppose we make a beginning now, and you give answers to the following questions :-(They are purposely very simple, as all that come from the same questioner will be, he likes simplicity, but finds it very difficult to attain it.)
1. Where is the call of Abraham recorded?
2. What was the nature of the covenant made with him ?
3. Tell me in what places of Scripture the covenant is renewed with Abraham, and the peculiar circumstances of any one of these occasions ?
4. What was the GREAT object of the call of Abraham ?
Now these are not difficult questions. Send us answers to them, and out of those will arise
other questions ; and do, in your turn, put questions, and thus call forth instruction, not for yourselves alone, but for others as well. We hope you will also be led by this means to a greater interest in behalf of the Jews.
SAUL OF TARSUS.
( Continued from page 103.). But yet another reason existed (and this is ably brought out by Schrader and Neander), why the great Apostle of Christianity should be a Phari.
Of all the opposition offered to Jesus of Nazareth, that of the Pharisees was the most consistent and entire. They saw in his teaching the abrogation of hierarchical Judaism. If he were a teacher from God, the ceremonial law had passed away—the barrier between Jew and Gentile was broken down—and Judaism became an empty husk henceforward.
None thoroughly understood this but the bigoted Pharisee. The lapse of years, and the warning of heavenly visions, had not kept the greatest of the chosen Twelve from vacillating on this vital point; and there is every reason to believe that the Church at Jerusalem remained to the end practically prejudiced against the free admission of the union of mankind in Christ. Amidst all the difficulties and inconsistencies on this matter, he only would be sure never to go wrong, who having, during his life of Pharisaic zeal, keenly stigmatized as an abomination the anti-exclusive spirit of the religion of Jesus, had thus gained the clearest view of its universality, and in his conversation adopted this view as his own to the full.
But Jew and Pharisee as he must be, other elements must be mingled in him, which few who were Jews and Pharisees united in themselves. A Jew born in Palestine, and receiving a purely Jewish education, would have been a missionary, for the most part, to pure Jews only. It is plainly necessary that he be, though not a Hellenist himself, yet from youth accustomed to the use of the Hellenistic version of the Scriptures, together with the Hebrew original ; nay more, from youth accustomed to the habits of thought and expression of the more cultivated Greeks, no stranger to the literature and rhetorical usage of that language which had been prepared for the work which Christianity had to do. The advantage of a boyhood spent in the haunts of Greek literary culture would be great, even if he himself did not frequent the schools for instruction. A certain pride in the place of his birth would lead a youth of genius to some acquaintance, at least, with the Greek writers who had sprung from it, or were connected with the studies there pursued ; and the first remembrances of his early days would be bound up with his taste, however brief, of the sweets of profane literature. All this would eminently fit him to address a Grecian audience; to know the peculiar stumbling-blocks which the hearer must be taught cautiously to approach, and gently to step over; and skilfully to avoid incurring those charges which might exaggerate, in the Greek mind, the repulsiveness of himself and his message. At the same time, no extraneous culture could educate a Pharisee. In the Holy City alone, and in the schools of the Jerusalem rabbies, was the fountain-head of Judaism to be drawn from.
Thus we have arrived at the complicated, and we may conceive not often united, requirements of pure Judaic extraction, with birth and early education among Hellenists and Grecians, and subsequent training in the rabbinical schools of Jerusalem. If, however, we rested here, one important advantage would be wanting. The great Apostle is sure to incur the deadliest hatred of the Pharisaic party, which he has deserted to pass over to Christianity. That hatred will be unrelenting, and will pursue
him wherever his message is delivered. No calumny will be spared, no attempt withheld, to make him odious to the local magistracies. Should he be found in Judea itself, the jealousy of the Roman procurators, ever ready to awake against turbulence and sedition, will be aroused to effect his ruin. One safeguard, and one only, humanly speaking, would obviate the danger of his career being cut short by conspiracy on the part of his enemies, or the tyranny of an unprincipled governor. If he possessed the privileges of a Roman citizen, his person would be safe from punishment at the hands of the officers of Rome; and an escape would be always open to him from conspiracy or apprehended injustice, in an appeal to the supreme power in the great metropolis.
We have said nothing of personal characteristics. That the Apostle of the world should be full of earnestness and self-forgetting zeal, is too obvious to be insisted on. That a great persuader should, besides convincing men's minds, be able to win and keep their hearts that he who wishes others to weep must weep himself has long ago passed into an axiom. But we prefer filling in this part of the sketch from the facts themselves.