Images de page




received an impressive lesson. I am aware of but two occasions, when either the Jews visited, or our numerous visitors, behaved unbecomingly, or said anything calculated to offend a Christian's ear, during our discussions; and of the two indivi. duals, who had in this respect rather committed themselves, one called afterwards with an apology, and the other was induced to send his son and beg the favour of a New Testament and the “ Old Paths."

“ The Rev. C. Noesgen has recently joined Mr. Lawrence, and a German service for Jews is about to be established in the English chapel at at Danzig.

“ Three Israelites have been baptized at Danzig by Messrs. Lawrence and Tartakover; two other baptisms of Jewish converts took place in that town during 1849. Five were brought to a knowledge of the truth through the instrumentality of Mr. Moritz, during his residence there. Many Jews have arrived from the Russian dominions, who would gladly have stayed and received Christian instruction, could they have received permission from the local authorities. The missionaries have met on their journeys with several converts resident in their district, and have heard of others; but have as yet been unable to ascertain their numbers with any degree of certainty.”


The late Bishop Alexander felt the importance of attempting to educate the rising generation in his diocese, but the efforts which he made to

realize this object were suspended by his sudden removal. Bishop Gobat, however, soon after his arrival in the Holy City resolved to carry out the attempt which had thus been made, to establish a Diocesan School for the education of the children of the congregation, and of such native Christians and unconverted Jews, as would avail themselves of it.

For this purpose a small house was taken at once, and fitted up for a Day School, in the first instance, and for the accommodation of a schoolmistress, who had been sent for from England, and who arrived there in November, 1847. The children of the congregation, chiefly of converts, formed the commencement, with a few Jewish children,--at first some orphans, who had been left at the Hospital, and afterwards some whose parents inclined towards Christianity. Applications were soon made for the admission of children from a distance; and with a view of admitting such also, as well as orphans, and neglected children of Jerusalem, a Boarding School for boys as well as girls became necessary. As soon, therefore, as a larger house could be found, it was engaged and fitted up for that purpose.

This establish ment was opened in 1848. A schoolmaster had already been engaged, and a female assistant to the mistress was obtained from England.

The expenses were thus much increased; but in consideration of the important bearing of the school on the well-being of the Mission, the London Society voted a liberal annual allowance for the expenses of the children of converts and of unconverted Jews, thus brought under Christian education and training.

The Institution continued to prosper, and the



half-yearly examinations in particular gave great satisfaction. We learn, however, from the last Annual Letter of the Bishop, that it had been found necessary in the course of the preceding year, to place the school on an altogether new footing as regards the teachers. Mr. Palmer, a German, experienced in education, was engaged as teacher for the boys, and Mr. and Mrs. Baldensperger were placed in charge of the housekeeping department. Miss Cooper kindly offered to teach the girls; and also to instruct the boys in English, until a master, expected from Malta for this purpose, should arrive. The number of children of natives has also so increased as to render it necessary to procure an Arab teacher from Nablous. From the progress

made thus far, as appears from the following report of Mr. Palmer for the last year, we may hope that this school, in both its departments, will continue to prosper, under God's blessing, and thus render essential service to the Jewish Mission, as well as to the Protestant congregation in general

“As in former years, so this year, the Holy Scripture has been the kernel and star of our instruction, the foundation on which our method of instruction and education rests, and the neverfailing well from which we draw; for it is the inspired Scripture, profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righ. teousness,' which sanctifies all other branches of instruction, as well as education itself. And I must confess with joy, that the Lord has heard and answered my prayers for this company of children ; that He has excited in them a desire after this spiritual food, and that he has not

[ocr errors]

suffered our work to be in vain. Much is already gained when children begin to love the word of God, and to rejoice as often as the Bible lesson comes ; and it is a double pleasure for the teacher when expounding the word of God, to observe the intense interest and the attention of the children; and thus to have an opportunity of observing, as it were, how the Good Shepherd goes after His Lambs ; how he finds them, and takes them on His shoulders. These are comforts, encouragements and refreshments from the presence of the Lord, without which the many melancholy and painful experiences which one is obliged to make at other times, would soon become overwhelming temptations to discouragement. Not to speak of the momentary impressions which the word of God seems often to make on the tender minds of the children, as sometimes expressed by simple observations on their part, I will here only mention the happy experience which I have been permitted to make with a poor peasant boy; who formerly supported himself by begging, when he knew nothing of reading or writing Since he was received as a boarder, and instructed in the saving truth of the Gospel, a great change has taken place in him. He has experienced the power of the word of God in his own heart; a life of faith in, and love to, Jesus has been produced in him by Divine grace, and he now shines as a light in the midst of the children. This the Lord has done, and it is a marvel in our eyes. But, as stated already, the prospect of the teacher who is called to educate, is not always so clear ; it is but too frequently darkened, when he observes how long


and often many children allow the most precious saving truths of the Gospel to be taken away from their hearts; how long sloth and other natural dispositions, as well as bad habits, prevent them from throwing themselves into the arms of Jesus' love ; then indeed the burden of our duties will often appear to be intolerable; are tempted to believe that we spend our strength for nought and in vain. But a searching look into our own hearts, with the application of the touchstone of God's Holy Word to our own state, will often prove that the chief fault is with ourselves ; that we have neglected to be instant in prayer to God for the children; neglected the chief duties of our office; neglected to make their everlasting well-being the chief subject of our meditation and the paramount object of our prayers; and hence the want of our fruits. Thus the teacher has again and again the opportunity of beholding himself, as it were, in the behaviour of those committed to his care ; and an ever fresh call to look up to Him, from whom alone all help and blessing is to be expected.

With respect to the moral dispositions and the capacities of the children, there is the greatest difference to be observed between them when they enter, either as day scholars, or as boarders, and during the first month of their attendance at school; but with respect to the first point, they by degrees attain to something like the same level as far as man can see, and as to their capacities they prove frequently better than the teacher at first expected. However, in general, Jewish children are found to be superior in


« PrécédentContinuer »