Mountain Lake Park, Md.
JULY 28-30, 1903.
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.
PRICE 15c EACH; 2 for 25c, $1.50 PER DOZEN POSTPAID.
[inside front cover]
THE GLORY OF ISRAEL.
Published by the New Covenant Mission, Pittsburgh, Pa., in the interest of Jewish evangelization. The magazine has a wide circle of readers, living in twenty-eight different countries. Rev. E. B. Samuels, of the Mildmay Mission to the Jews, London, England, writes: “The October copy of The Glory of Israel has just arrived, we all enjoy the magazine and think it one of the best Hebrew-Christian periodicals published.”
PRICE, 50 CENTS A YEAR.
Address, 333 42d Street, Pittsburgh, Pa.
THE JEWISH ERA.
Published by the Chicago Hebrew Mission. Is in its twelfth year, ably edited, full of interest . . . . .
PRICE, 25 CENTS A YEAR.
Address, 22 Solon Place, Chicago, Ill.
THE PEOPLE, THE LAND, AND THE BOOK.
(Illustrated Hebrew-Christian Quarterly.)
This magazine has been highly commended by religious and secular periodicals. It treats of the old and historic people Israel, of their native land, Palestine, and of the book, the Bible, Jewish traditions and literature.
PRICE, $1.00 PER YEAR.
Address, B. A. M. SCHAPIRO,
Station D, Box 18, New York, N. Y.
Mountain Lake Park, Md.
JULY 28-30, 1903.
Copyright by the Editing Committee.
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.
Copies of these Minutes can be obtained from the Secretary, Maurice Ruben, 333 42d Street, Pittsburgh, Pa,
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REV. A. R. KULDELL, (Ev. Lutheran.)
President of Conference.
REV. LOUIS MEYER, (Ref. Presbyterian.)
Corresponding Secretary of Conference.
MAURICE RUBEN, (Methodist Episcopal.)
Recording Secretary of Conference.
REV. J. R. LEVECK, (Independent.)
Treasurer of Conference.
REV. H. ZECKHAUSEN, (Meth. Episcopal.)
MARK LEVY, (Protestant Episcopal.)
REV. LEOPOLD COHN, (Baptist.)
A. T. DUSHAW, (Congregational.)
REV. E. B. SAMUEL, London, England.)
REV. S. K. BRAUN, (Baptist.)
REV. H. JACOBS, (Presbyterian.)
PHILIP SIDERSKY, (Presbyterian.)
JACOB MORRIS, (U. Brethren.)
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MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS.
The Conference was called to order by Rev. A. R. Kuldell, chairman of the special committee appointed at the Boston Conference of the Messianic Council, May 22, 1901.
The Chairman stated that the present Conference was the result of the Conference held at Boston. The first item on the program was the election of officers, which resulted as follows: Rev. A. R. Kuldell, Chairman; Rev. Louis Meyer, corresponding secretary; Mr. Maurice Ruben, recording secretary.
The Chairman thanked the Conference for the honor conferred upon him, but wished to refer especially to the good work done by Bro. Louis Meyer in behalf of the Conference, bringing out the fact that he conducted an immense correspondence with hundreds of Hebrew-Christians, and spared neither time nor means to make this gathering possible. Bro. Philip Sidersky was also commended for his many labors. The courtesies of the platform were extended to the Mt. Lake officials, and to the ministers of the gospel present.
The Chairman now led the Conference in prayer. The first address on the program was now given. “The Awakening of the Church to Due Sense of Her Responsibility to obey the order of Christ, to the Jew first.” Dr. Harry Zeckhausen, New York. Bro. Louis Meyer was requested to add to the statistics given in the address, which he did.
Bro. Mark Levy gave an address on “Methods of Presenting the gospel to the Jews First.” A short discussion followed this address, the brethren taking issue with Bro. Levy as to the “expediency” of the “methods” he advocated.
The Conference adjourned with singing and benediction by Chairman.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 1903.
The Conference met at 9 A. M. Devotional exercises led by Bro. Ruben. The minutes of the first session were read and adopted.
The following executive committee was appointed to act with the officers: Dr. H. Zeckhausen, J. R. Leveck, Leopold Cohen, Philip Sidersky. Invitations accepted to dine at the “Faith Home” on Wednesday noon.
Address by Bro. B. Angel on “What can be done to elevate Hebrew Christianity in the estimation of the Jews?”
A discussion followed, in which a number of the brethren took part. Bro. Louis Meyer read a letter bearing on the above subject from Rev. Arnold Frank of the Hamburg Mission.
It was resolved that steps be taken to purify the ranks of Hebrew-Christians of the imposters who prey on the Christian world, and that pastors should be instructed not to admit to their pulpits Jews who have not proper credentials from missions of recognized standing.
Address by Bro. H. Jacobs on “What can be done to elevate Hebrew-Christianity in the estimation of Christians ?”
Conference adjourned after prayer and benediction.
2 o'clock P. M. The Conference met and was led in devotional exercises by Bro. Mark Levy. The minutes of the last session were read and approved.
The following brethren were appointed a “Committee on Resolution:” Leopold Cohen, Bernard Angel and J. R. Leveck.
Address by Bro. S. K. Braun On “The Hebrew-Christians and National Movements of the Jews.”
The speaker traced these movements from apostolic times and dealt with the present national movement of Zionism.
M. Ruben followed, taking up other movements amongst the Jews—The Council of Jewish Women, Societies of Endeavor, Sabbath School Union, and the various fraternal societies.
Address by Bro. Louis Meyer on “Hebrew-Christian Unions, Alliances, and Brotherhoods in the past and their lessons.”
M. Ruben and Philip Sidersky were appointed a “Press Committee.”
After prayer the Conference adjourned.
7.30 o'clock. Devotional exercises led by Bro. Philip Sidersky. Conference called to order by Chairman.
A message in song was given by Mrs. Gondret.
Address by Rev. Amos I. Dushaw on “What can be done to make Jewish Missions more successful?”
Bro. Louis Meyer discussed the address, taking exceptions to some of the statements made by Mr. Dushaw.
Address by Chairman Rev. A. R. Kuldell. After singing the doxology, Conference was dismissed with benediction by the chairman.
THURSDAY, JULY 30, 1903.—9 o'clock A. M.
The Conference met and was led in devotional exercise by Bro. J. R. Leveck.
The minutes of the last two sessions were read and approved.
At the suggestion of Bro. Meyer the Conference resolved to raise a fund to carry forward the work of the Conference. The following subscriptions were made: L. Cohen, $5; H. Zeckhausen. $5; Philip Sidersky, $5; Mark Levy, $5; A. R. Kuldell, $5; M. Ruben, $5; J. R. Leveck, $5; Dr. D. Pagan, $5; A Friend, $5; B. Angel, $3; H. Jacobs, $3; A. I. Dushaw, $2; S. K. Braun, $2.
Bro. J. R. Leveck was elected treasurer.
Conference resolved to have the minutes printed, and to include the addresses and portraits of delegates. Report of committee on Resolutions adopted. The report is as follows: That your Committee are gratified with the progress of the Conference, with the encouragement thus far obtained in a renewed interest among Hebrew-Christians, and the deep interest shown on the part of Christian friends. That we recommend most earnestly the Conference to proceed to carry out the aim and object towards the formation of an Alliance in the near future.
Motion carried to leave with the Executive Committee the selection of a place for the next Conference. The following places were presented: Chicago, Pittsburg, Mt. Lake Park, and Ocean Grove. Motion carried to send letter of greeting to the Friends of Israel at Stockholm, Denmark. Motion to proceed with program of the day. Rev. E. B. Samuel, of the Mildmay Mission to the Jews, London, England, was introduced and was given a cordial welcome. He addressed the Conference, extending the greetings from the London friends, and gave a helpful message. Address by Bro. Leopold Cohen on “What can we do to make Jewish Missions more successful?”
The delegates were directed to pass all papers and addresses to Bro. M. Ruben for future use. After prayer and benediction the Conference adjourned.
2.00 P. M. Closing session of Conference.
Devotional exercises led by Bro. B. Angel. Minutes of the last session read and approved. Secretary directed to give names and addresses of the delegates in attendance and to state their denominational relation. Reports of Committee on Resolution
adopted to tender vote of thanks to the Mt. Lake Park Association, for their generous support towards the expenses of the Conference in addition to the privileges of the auditorium, to the B. & O. R. R. Co. for the transportation of speakers, to the friends who entertained them, and to the many friends who attended the Conference sessions and by their presence cheered the hearts of the Conference.
Resolved to leave with the Executive Committee the selection of a place for the next Conference.
Motion carried to have photograph plates copyrighted.
Report of Press Committee approved. The minutes of the session were read and approved.
Closing remarks were made by some of the delegates and Christian friends in appreciation of the blessings the Conference has been to all.
After prayer and the singing of the doxology, the Conference adjourned with the benediction by the chairman.
REPORT OF THE CORRESPONDING SECRETARY.
REV. LOUIS MEYER, HOPKINTON, IOWA.
When our little company met in Boston, Mass., May 22d, 1901, and talked about the forming of a Hebrew-Christian Alliance, a committee consisting of five members, of which Rev. A. R. Kuldell was chairman and the speaker corresponding secretary, was appointed to take the necessary steps and call, if necessary, a meeting of Hebrew-Christians at some convenient place. It was at once decided by the committee to go very slow, since the task given to us seemed very difficult, and nothing of any importance was done, until in November, 1902, your committee, which by that time had shrunk to two members, the chairman and the secretary, decided to send the following printed circular to all Hebrew-Christians known to us as of good standing in American Evangelical Churches:
REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
REV. LOUIS MEYER. PASTOR.
HOPKINTON, IOWA, November 25, 1902.
A little company of Hebrews who believe in Jesus the Messiah, met in Boston, Mass., May 22d, 1901, and contemplated the forming of a Union, or Alliance, among those who have been led out of Judaism into the full light of the Gospel. The committee, to whom the task of formulating this alliance was entrusted, has been rather slow in doing even preliminary work, for its members were well aware of all the difficulties in the way, but it has now decided to address you, as well as all other Hebrew-Christians of standing in the Church of Jesus Christ, and to ask if you are willing to unite with us in a conference of Hebrew-Christian ministers and business men to take place next July at Mountain Lake Park, Md.
You will be ready to admit that undoubtedly many benefits would come to ourselves, if we Hebrew-Christians thus get personally acquainted one with another and could exchange our personal experiences and ideas. But, we believe, that far greater benefits than those to ourselves would come unto the Church of Jesus Christ and to the cause of Jewish Missions, which is so dear unto the heart of every Hebrew-Christian.
The Church, in seeing a representative gathering of Jewish followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, would rejoice, and her faith in the glorious promises of God would be increased. The cause of Jewish Missions would be considered an unsuccessful and a hopeless work no longer, and, with the help of God, a wave of enthusiasm might be started which would cause the carrying of the Gospel unto the long-neglected sons of Israel, and the eyes of our unbelieving Jews would be opened, if they could see a gathering of representative Hebrew-Christians, and would thus see disproved the false claim of their rabbis that none but the Jewish rabble is converted to Christianity!
But let us, lastly, call your attention to the fact a close alliance of Hebrew-Christians is the only way in which we can oppose, and perhaps control, the numerous frauds and vagabonds who, posing as converts, martyrs, or missionaries, are undoubtedly the greatest hindrance in the way of Jewish Missions.
We hope that, after prayerful consideration of this appeal,
you will write to the corresponding secretary of our committee if you are willing to take part in such a conference of Hebrew-Christian ministers and business men, to take place in Mountain Lake Park, Maryland. between July 17th and 23d, 1903, where we might consider important biblical and practical topics concerning Israel, and also the proposed alliance of Hebrew-Christians.
Yours in the Master's service,
A. R. KULDELL, President,
Pastor St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church, Allegheny, Pa.
LOUIS MEYER, Secretary,
Pastor Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hopkinton, Iowa.
A large number of those circulars were sent out to American Hebrew-Christians; a few were sent to Hebrew-Christian brethren abroad, that we might have their prayers, and their counsel, and, if possible, their presence at the proposed meeting; and about one dozen were sent to Gentile Christians whom we knew as lovers of Israel and as prayerfully interested in the evangelization of our Jewish brethren.
Four hundred and thirty-nine answers reached me from American Hebrew-Christians, of which large number only two were opposed to a Hebrew-Christian Alliance, although but very few declared themselves able to attend the proposed meeting at Mountain Lake Park, Maryland.
Prominent missionary papers on both sides of the ocean republished our circular, and Saat auf Hoffnung, the excellent magazine founded by that grand lover of Israel, Franz Delitzsch, gave it a prominent place, while the Missionary Review of the World, Missions-Tiding for Israel, De Hope Israels, and other papers called the attention of their readers to the effort. Thus the proposed Hebrew-Christian Conference and Alliance were widely advertised, and numerous letters of approval came from all parts of the world.
Encouraged by the general interest, assured of the approval of a large number of prominent Hebrew-Christians in America, the committee decided to call the Hebrew-Christian Conference
to Mountain Lake Park, Md., to meet July 28-30 inclusive, and the following circular was published and sent by the secretary to all Hebrew-Christians who had shown their interest in the movement:
REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
REV. LOUIS MEYER, PASTOR.
HOPKINTON, IOWA, July 1, 1903.
You have, we trust, not forgotten the circular touching a proposed Alliance of Hebrew-Christian Conference to be held in July, which we sent you in November, 1902, and to which you sent a kind reply to our undersigned secretary, so that we need only refer to its contents.
The answers to our circular were numerous and mostly favorable to the proposed alliance of Hebrew-Christians, while a more limited number of our brethren expressed themselves in favor of the proposed conference of Hebrew-Christians, and a still more limited number of our brethren promised their presence and active help at the conference.
In spite of this limited number, the committee was not in doubt whether it should go forward with the necessary arrangements for the proposed conference of Hebrew-Christians or not, since the Lord seemed to open the way for it, and after due deliberation decided that a Hebrew-Christian Conference should be held in Mountain Lake Park, Maryland, July 28-30 inclusive. We have the pleasure of submitting to you to-day the program for the conference, which, however, may yet be changed in some unessential points, and we hope that you will be able to attend the conference, and that you will thus help us to make it a success. But, whether you be able to meet personally with us or not, remember the meeting in your prayers, asking God for wisdom in behalf of those who shall meet, and for the presence of the Holy Spirit that the meeting be harmonious, and may redound to the glory of God, and to the temporal and eternal welfare of Hebrew-Christians. If you desire any information touching railroad and hotel rates, write to Philip Sidersky, Rosenhayn, N. J., who, being near to the proposed place of meeting, has been entrusted by us with all that
refers to rates and boarding. If you desire any further information touching the meeting and the program, write to one of the two who sign this letter.
We are, dear Brother, yours in the Master's Service,
A. R. KULDELL, President,
Pastor St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church, Allegheny, Pa.
Pastor Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hopkinton, Iowa; Secretary of the Committee appointed in Boston, 1901.
In answer to this second circular a number of letters reached me from brethren whose heart is with us here to-day, but who are hindered by sickness or some other weighty reason, among them Miss Gertrude L. Goldstein, Prof. I. J. Peritz, Revs. N. Winegart and A. D. Cohen, whose names appear in the list of our speakers. It is impossible to read to you the more than eight hundred letters which reached me in regard to the Hebrew-Christian Alliance, so that I shall be obliged to select the most interesting ones, giving in most cases only a part of the letter, and in the great majority of letters only the name of the writer.
F. W. A. Koeff, Amsterdam, Holland, the editor of De Hope Israels, says: “As I am a Gentile Christian, I have no right to attend the Conference of Hebrew-Christians. But I take a great interest in the proposed meeting and pray that the Lord may bless you and all the brethren who are able to attend the conference, and that all your doings may redound to the glory of God and to prosperity of His beloved people Israel.”
Colin Young, Superintendent of the Wild Olive Graft Mission, London: “I have read the invitation to a conference of Hebrew-Christians with peculiar interest—as it was a belief of mine thirty years ago that being a Scotch Highlander and never having any connection with a Jewish Society I could have some influence for good amongst them * * * * * * *. You, dear brethren, go on, do not be discouraged with fewness of attenders, division of opinion, mockers outside. Hold fast to the clefted Rock, and be men of God. It is a trying work! But the more I am tried, the deeper the love seems to settle in my heart. It is a work you cannot do in your own strength, or in your own way—`Power from on High,' `tarry.' `Power to the faint.' My prayer is that you may get a rich blessing, but do not yield to the term
`Hebrew-Christian.' What difference is there between a Scotch Highlander washed in the blood, clothed in the righteousness, and indwelt by the spirit of Christ—and a Hebrew-Christian? Ye are all one in Christ Jesus! It is another kind of wall of separation—send the distinction back amongst the ruins of the old wall. Let all who love you gather with you, and in the unity the Lord Jesus will be glorified! * * * * * *.”
Rev. R. P. Mackay, D.D., Toronto, Canada, Foreign Mission Committee of the Presbyterian Church in Canada: “I think it a wise move. The formation of such an alliance would give unity and visibility to the Hebrew work, which would give it strength. * * * * * My sympathy and interest is with you.”
Rev. J. T. Gracey. D.D., Rochester, N. Y., President International Missionary Union: “It seems as if such union would be necessary to strengthen and guard.”
Pastor T. Lindhagen, Stockholm, Foereningen foer Israel's Mission: “Although not of Jewish blood, I sympathize most deeply with your undertaking, and I pray that the spirit of wisdom, power, and love, be poured out in richest abundance upon all who shall meet. As president of the Swedish Mission to the Jews, I am glad to be able to tell you, that our Swedish Hebrew-Christians have founded a Hebrew-Christian Federation, which now has twenty members. * * * * * * * As we hear from the different parts of the earth that the Hebrews who believe in Jesus as the Messiah, are coming together in closer union, we greatly rejoice, and take this approachment as the earnest of better things to come.”
Swedish Hebrew-Christian Federation, Stockholm; L. Philipson, president: “The Swedish Hebrew-Christian Federation, which was founded 1902 and was, by the grace of God, enabled to celebrate its first anniversary in April, has heard with much pleasure of the Hebrew-Christian Conference to be held in Mountain Lake Park in July.
The Federation sends hearty greetings to the conference and regrets that the long distance prohibits the sending of a delegate. Fully conscious that the barriers of earth are no hindrances in the spiritual world, the members of the Federation will be present with heart and mind, and with earnest prayer for the blessing of God, our Saviour, upon the meeting, and with praise that He who was faithful to His ancient people, even now causes movements
like yours. Jer. 31:10; Rom. 11:15. What encouragement those, and many other passages of the Holy Scriptures contain for all who are laboring for the salvation of Israel, but especially for us Hebrew-Christians, whose conversion is but a pledge of the coming conversion of Israel as a nation. Let us labor with united strength, with the prayer of faith, and with deeds of love, that the coming of that glorious day may be hastened!
It would be a pleasure to us, if there should be established an intimate connection between our federation and the American Alliance, which, we hope, will be founded at your conference. Whenever an International Hebrew-Christian Alliance should be founded, our federation will gladly be a member of it.
With repeated brotherly greetings to the Conference, we express our hope that the report of your meetings be published and a copy of it be furnished for our instruction.”
The Executive Committee of the Jerusalem Hebrew-Christian Association; Miss F. M. Cohen, Secretary: “We thank you for remembering us touching your proposed Hebrew-Christian Alliance, and though we are unable to meet personally with you, we will remember all your programme, and join with you in the prayer that, whatever is decided on, may be for God's Glory and the good of Hebrew-Christians everywhere.
If you can let us know the result of your conference later on, we will be most happy to join you in anything that would be best for us all.
With Christian sympathy and fellowship, we are,
THE EXEC. COMMITTEE OF THE H. C. A., JERUSALEM.
Prayer Union for Israel, Australasian Council, Melbourne, Australia: “I read the circular to the Council on Monday, and they directed me to express their very cordial sympathy with the conference and to say that it will be remembered by us in prayer, and we trust will result in great blessing to all concerned.”
Rev. M. M. Ben-Oliel, Superintendent of the Kilburn Mission to the Jews, President of the Hebrew-Christian Alliance and Prayer Union: “Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be one of the brethren of the house of Israel who believe in Christ, at your proposed conference. But I am prevented by old age and infirmity. * * * * * * * * The aims you have set before you, are every one very desirable. I will pray most earnestly that God the Holy Ghost, may be with you and direct your deliberations
and decisions to the glory of God, and the good of Israel, the Church, and the whole world.”
Rev. Isaac Levinson, London, Secretary British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews: “I am very much interested in your proposed conference of Hebrew-Christians, and I think it a very desirable thing. * * * * I wish you success, and I pray that God's blessing may rest upon your undertaking.”
Prediger C. T. Lipshytz, London, Barbican Mission to the Jews: “I hope that your efforts will be crowned with success, for union gives strength in the kingdom of God, too.”
Pastor Arnold Frank, Hamburg, Missionary to the Jews, sent by the Irish Presbyterian Church: “I am deeply interested, for I believe it will be the means of great blessings.”
I received also letters and cards from a large number of British and German Hebrew-Christians, missionaries and pastors, among them D. C. Joseph, long years in Palestine, now in London; Henry Barnett, London: S. B. Rohold, Glasgow; J. de le Roi, the historian of Jewish Missions, Schweidnitz, Germany, etc.
Bishop S. I. J. Schereschewsky, D.D., Tokyo, Japan: “I need hardly say how deeply I am interested in the matters you propose considering, and also in the proposed alliance of Hebrew-Christians. Although it is not in my power to be present, I can still sympathize with you meeting together, and trust that it may bring the solution of many questions and the maturing of the best methods of carrying on the cause of Jewish Missions. Trusting that your minds and hearts may be divinely illuminated, so that you may see clearly what it is best to do for the gathering-in of Israel * * * *.”
Rev. Solomon L. Ginsburg, Pernambuco, Brazil, Missionary of the Southern Baptist Church: “I hasten to inform you that I shall be delighted to join the Hebrew-Christian Alliance. I cannot tell just now if it will be possible for me to be with you in July * * * *. Meanwhile I can only tell you that I am with you heart and soul, and if I can do anything, just let me know.”
Rev. A. B. de Roos, Managua, Nicaragua, Missionary of the Central American Mission: “It is needless to say that I feel sorry not to be able to attend the Hebrew-Christian Conference. How much I would like to be among my brethren and enjoy their fellowship!
But time is short, and out here there is so much need that it will be impossible to leave the field this year, although I am much broken in health. God bless you! Give my love to the brethren!”
Dr. M. J. Franklin, Jerusalem, Palestine, prominent in American Jewish Missions in New York, 1855-70; baptized in Newburgh, N. Y., 1847; graduate of Union Theological Seminary; surgeon in the army 1861-65, etc. “The task you have undertaken and the object you aim at, has enlisted my lively interest; and I rejoice to know that the blessed Redeemer has put it into your heart to take up the work which, under less favorable circumstances and almost insurmountable difficulties, I alone sought to keep alive during the last 30 years of my residence in the United States.”
The following names may be selected from the large number of Hebrew-Christians living in the United States and Canada, who expressed their approval of the proposed alliance:
Adolph Aron, Lincoln, Neb.; business man.
Rev. Moses Bercovitz, San Francisco, Cal.; Pres. Missionary.
Harry L. Brenner, Wilkesbarre, Pa.; evangelist.
Rev. N. Brun, Ashley, N. D.; Lutheran pastor.
Rev. E. P. Block, Stockton, Cal.; Lutheran pastor.
Rev. Amos I. Dushaw, New York, N. Y.; Union Theological Seminary.
Rev. F. G. Bingley, Sioux City, Iowa; evangelist.
Henry Chester, San Francisco, Cal.; business man.
Rev. Fred. Drexler, Chester, Pa.; Baptist.
Rev. L. J. Ehrlich, Morganton, N. C.; Methodist evangelist.
Rev. Jacob Finger, Bakersfield, Vt.; Methodist pastor.
Rev. Elias Edward Gruenstein, Monticello, Iowa; Reformed pastor.
Rev. C. E. Harris, Brooklyn, N. Y.; Methodist retired pastor.
Rev. E. N. Heimann, Chicago, Ill.; Lutheran pastor and missionary.
Henry Hellyer, Toronto, Canada; evangelist.
Jacob Harris, Chicago, Ill.; evangelist.
Rev. J. A. Jetmore, Neosho, Mo.; Baptist pastor.
Rev. John B. Kaloria, Lenzburg, Ill.; evang., pastor.
Gerhard T. Krohn, Chicago, Ill.; business man.
Arthur Ben-Oliel, Chicago. Ill.; business man.
James Ledy, Minneapolis, Minn.; business man.
Mark Le[vy?], St. Louis. Mo.; missionary.
Rev. N. Winegart, Clearfield, Iowa; U. P. pastor.
Prof. I. J. Peritz, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N. Y.; Methodist.
Rev. S. Lefkovics, Ada, Wis.; Lutheran pastor.
Rev. A. Lichtenstein, St. Louis, Mo.; Baptist, missionary.
Rev. Julius Magath, Oxford, Ga.; Methodist, missionary.
Rev. John W. Marcusson, La Grange, Ill.; Presb., retired.
Mrs. Thomas McCorkle, Mrs. Preston, and other Hebrew-Christian ladies.
Rev. I. Neumann, Inglefield, Ind.; evang., pastor.
Rev. Jos. Karl Poch, Yorktown, Texas; Lutheran, pastor.
Rev. S. Ragowsky, Cincinnati, O.; Baptist, missionary.
Rev. J. Resnick, Brooklyn, N. Y.; Lutheran, pastor.
Rev. I. T. Trebitsch, Montreal, Canada; Episc., missionary.
Levi Rosenbaum, Washington, D. C.; Meth., business man.
Miss E. Y. Sams, Toronto, Can.; teacher.
Rev. J. F. N. Wolf, San Francisco, Cal.; Luth., retired.
Rev. A. D. Cohen, Baltimore, Md.; Baptist, retired, etc., etc.
And now, in closing this report of the steps which led up to this conference, let me say that I feel greatly encouraged. We meet to-day, few in numbers, and yet as the letters read to you in part prove, we are the representatives of a large number of American Hebrew-Christians, who are kept away by reason of far distance or adverse circumstances. And as we are meeting, we have the assurance that prayers in behalf of this conference have been, and are, offered in many parts of the inhabited world, and that in answer to these prayers the divine blessing shall be poured out upon us.
Brethren, manyfold are the signs that this movement is of God, and not of men. The Lord is working with us, and prosperity shall attend our efforts!
Let us, therefore, go on, trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for strength, humbly conscious of the fact that in ourselves we are weak, but that His strength is all sufficient, and knowing well that the word of the Lord shall be fulfilled and “He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd doth his flock.''
July 29, 1903. LOUIS MEYER.
Why Should Hebrew-Christians Unite?
BY THE CHAIRMAN, REV. A. R. KULDELL.
In Christ Beloved:
It causes me great pleasure to address this large audience tonight on the subject, “Why Hebrew-Christians Should Unite.” It is true that in comparison with the multitude of Gentile Christians present the number of Hebrew-Christians in this Conference seems quite small, but this little company grows in my mind into a great host, when I think of the longings and aspirations of the great body of Hebrew believers in this and other lands crystalized in this little company here present. Brethren, a great multitude of Hebrew believers in this and other lands are praying during these days for God's guidance and Spirit upon our deliberations. They know how much the usefulness of blessedness of a future Alliance is conditioned by the kind of a foundation we lay for it at this conference. They know the great difficulties in the way. They know the differences between the different evangelical churches through whose instrumentalities we have been brought to Christ, and they know the affection and loyalty with which most of us are clinging to the denominations among whom we have found the Messiah. We all know the discouragements we shall have to meet with both from within and from without, but the fact that so many of our brethren are praying and longing for a closer union between us, and that so many Gentile Christians from different denominations are attending our sessions, and that many others are praying for our success,—is an indication that God's time has come and that we must go forward. Allow me therefore to point out a few thoughts on the subject,
WHY HEBREW-CHRISTIANS SHOULD UNITE. *
1. Because of our own need. We cannot afford to forget the rock from which we are hewn. We have indeed given up our people's unbelief, but we cannot give up our people. We have joined the Church of the First Born, composed of individuals called out of all nations to be a people unto His name, but we have not and dare not give up our nationality. Our nation stands unique in God's plan of the ages. God has not dealt so with any
* The writer has mislaid the original manuscript and can only give a few main thoughts from memory.
nation. Of all the nations ours is the only one that owes its birth to a miracle. To them pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is God over all blessed forever. Amen. Rom. 9. Israel is the everlasting nation. Isa. 44. It is prefigured by the burning bush which was never consumed. Israel's call and election are not of works or merit, but of grace, and God's calling and gifts are without repentance. “Salvation is of the Jews.” They were the seed sowers at the beginning and they shall be the sheaf-gatherers at the end of this dispensation. Zach. 8:13; Isa. 66:19. We are Christians indeed, followers of the Lamb, but we live not under the law, but under grace. If Israel is ever to claim God's glorious promises it will have to do so by faith, but He has given us the faith, do you wonder then that Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost calls the believing Jews “The Israel of God?” Gal. 6:16. We must stand together as the Israel of God.
2. We ought to unite because our nation needs it. The national movements among our people are inaugurated by men who are blind leaders of the blind. Whilst God is able to make even the wrath of men to praise him, yet we know that when the blind leads the blind, both fall into the ditch. As disunited individuals our influence for good is like an atom lost in the breeze, but united into one living, loving, shining mass, our impact will not fail to make the desired impression on our people. Our people needs this union.
3. The Church needs it. Unbelieving Israels' sojourn among the Christian nations has ripened many grave problems whose solution has proved quite unpleasant to Jew and Gentile alike. There is a curse resting upon our people, because of their unbelief. Isa. 43:27, 28; Mal. 2. By God's grace Israel is a blessing, but despising this grace it becomes a curse to the nations. Zech. 8:13. Since they cried out at Calvary: “His blood be upon us and our children, they have become the tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast. They cause irritation wherever they settle for any length of time. They seem to become distressing to the nations as an unassimilated foreign element in an organic body. Statesmen and politicians having tried all kinds of nostrums and the Church, alas, too frequently taking refuge to
quackery, have only aggravated the trouble. False love based upon the denial of the truth as it is in Jesus, will as little turn Israel's curse into a blessing as Christless hatred. We, the men of Israel, who were once blind, but now see; we who were sick and are now healed; yea, we who were dead and are now alive,—we must point the nation, and the Church to the fountain of healing and life even for Israel and its troubles. We ourselves have drank from that Fountain. We have tasted that power and that life. Move together, brethren, from the East and the West, from the North and the South. You need not give up your denominational badges as long as your denominations stand for the living and saving Christ. We do not stand as members of denominations here, but as members of one nation sick and foot sore, wandering and bleeding, Christless and dying. Let us cry with united agony of voice to Him: “Come, Lord Jesus, come and save thine inheritance,” and to his blood-bought Church: “Come to the rescue of our perishing brethren. They need your sympathy, your prayers, your love, your testimony. In blessing them ye shall be blessed.” And to our brethren, the Jews, let us cry: “Israel, thou destroyest thyself, but in Jesus is thy salvation.” Yes, this Alliance of redeemed and consecrated Israelites must come to pass; we ourselves need it, the Jews need it, the Church needs it, and God will bless it. Amen.
HEBREW-CHRISTIAN BROTHERHOODS, UNIONS, AND ALLIANCES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT. *
An address delivered at the Hebrew-Christian Conference, Mountain Lake Park, Md., July 28-30, 1903.
BY REV. LOUIS MEYER, HOPKINTON, IOWA.
Writers on Jewish missions, and individual Hebrew-Christians, without exception speak of Hebrew-Christian unions, alliances, and brotherhoods, as something which started in England and ought to be imitated by us here in America. But a calm consideration
* The facts concerning American brotherhoods, unions, and alliances were gathered partly from books, pamphlets, and reports, preserved in the libraries of Union Theological Seminary, Yale and Harvard, and in the public libraries of New York and Boston, partly from letters of the late J. M. Goldberg, Rev. C. E. Harris, Brooklyn, Dr. M. J. Franklin, Jerusalem, and others.
of historical facts clearly proves that the necessity of such unions was recognized in the United States long before English Hebrew-Christians took the first steps toward union, in 1830, which finally, in 1835, led to the founding of the Abrahamic Society. It is therefore but just that in our historical review of Hebrew-Christian alliances, unions, and brotherhoods, we commence with
It was in August, 1813, when in a private apartment in the city of New York a venerable professor of Columbia College and a minister of New York talked and prayed about the conversion of the Jews. The young minister was Rev. Philip Milledoler, of the Reformed Dutch Church, who afterwards became the indefatigable president of American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews and narrated the circumstances at annual meeting of that society in May, 1843. The outcome of that private talk was the firm resolve to appeal to the Consistory of the Collegiate Reformed Protestant Dutch Church at its next meeting, and to organize, if possible, a monthly prayer-meeting in behalf of Israel. The prayer-meeting , started soon after, was in fact the first Hebrew-Christian Prayer Union of which we have knowledge. Its membership consisted of three Jewesses who believed in Christ and had been baptized, two in Reformed Dutch churches and the other in a Presbyterian church, of the venerable professor of Columbia College, and of Rev. Philip Milledoler. The prayer-meetings were held regularly, and were, we are told, spiritually uplifting and aided in increasing the zeal of its members in behalf of God's chosen people. All its members not only prayed but also worked, and aside from trying to stir up ministers and members of the church, approached individual Jews with the offer of the gospel wherever opportunity came. The fruit of this consecration slowly became visible. The consistory of the Reformed Dutch Church, at its meeting of December 2, 1813, had given its consent to the appeal in behalf of the Jews, and had decided to recommend it to the Classis of New York at its next meeting, which was held October 13, 1814. God made the ministers and members of the Classis willing, and a committee was appointed to take the necessary steps for the founding of a gospel mission to the Jews, the first upon American soil. The committee was very slow in its deliberations, but the prayer-meeting continued to pray and labor in behalf of the cause of Israel. Its
membership increased a little, but it remained a Hebrew-Christian prayer-meeting still, since it contained more Hebrew-Christian members (all Jewesses) than Gentile-Christian. Its most prominent worker, besides Rev. Milledoler, was Mrs. Emma Rosenbaum Kingate.
After long delay the committee of the Classis of New York reported favorably to the founding of a gospel mission to the Jews on September 18, 1816, but it recommended that such mission be made undenominational. A meeting of the various religious denominations was therefore called and held in Garden street, New York, November 6, 1816, and a lively discussion of the question, “Is a Mission to the Jews Necessary?” ensued.
While this discussion was going on Mrs. Kingate and two other Hebrew-Christian ladies were on their knees in the small room behind the store of Mr. Kingate in Greene street, praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the meeting in Garden street. We cannot doubt that it was in answer to these fervent prayers that the heated discussion finally subsided and the unanimous resolution was passed to appoint a committee to draft a constitution for an undenominational society for propagating the gospel among the Jews. This committee called another meeting within a few weeks, and the first missionary society for the evangelization of the Jews was organized upon American soil the thirtieth day of December, 1816, and the celebrated Rev. J. S. C. F. Frey, who had landed in New York, September 15, 1816, was engaged as its first agent and missionary. We need not speak of the work and experiences of this society, except that we state the fact that it was merged into the American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews in 1822.
When Frey became the agent of this society he naturally took a leading part in the monthly meetings of the Hebrew-Christian Prayer Union, but he was bitterly opposed to women taking part in the speaking and even in the praying during the meetings, and since the Hebrew-Christian women were the mainstay of this first prayer union, it soon died when they had to be quiet.
But soon another prayer-meeting in behalf of Israel was to be started, out of which not only the largest, and, we hesitate not to name it thus, the best of all American societies for preaching the gospel to the Jews grew, but also a number of Hebrew-Christian brotherhoods, unions, associations, and alliances. In the early spring of 1817 Rev. Frey received a letter from D. Marc, a
Hebrew-Christian missionary to the Jews at Frankfort-on-the-Main, proposing the establishment of a “Christian Jewish Settlement.” Frey was much impressed and had but little doubt of the success of this rather fantastic plan, yet did not take any steps toward establishing such a Christian Jewish settlement. But Marc wrote letter after letter, finally closing with the awful words, “Remember that the blood of our brethren will be found on the skirt of your garment.”
After this solemn exhortation, Frey could no longer rest, and he resolved to lay the proposition before the Society for Promoting Learning and Religion, in Morris county, N. J.
On April 17, 1819, Frey left his home to attend the meeting of the society, but was overtaken on his way by a heavy thunderstorm, which caused him to seek shelter in the house of Rev. Dr. Edward Dorr Griffin, the celebrated preacher. Their conversation naturally turned to the object which brought Frey to the meeting of the Morris county society. Dr. Griffin became interested in the proposed settlement, and, after a season of prayer, both went to the meeting, where Dr. Griffin used his great influence in favor of the plan of D. Marc. Thus it was unanimously decided to invite Mr. Marc to come to America to act as agent of the Morris county society in executing the plan suggested by him. However, D. Marc declined the invitation, and Revs. Frey and Grover (of Cauldwell) were appointed a committee to consult with ministers and godly men on the expediency of forming a society for the purpose of colonizing and evangelizing the Jews.
Prominent men were speedily interested, and in November, 1810, an informal Prayer Union for Israel was organized, each member of which prayed and labored for Israel and most cordially approved of the proposed Christian Hebrew settlement. Among the members of this prayer union we find Drs. Green, Alexander and Miller, of Princeton; Revs. Mason, Milledoler, McLeod, Spring, Knox, Matthews, and others; but Rev. Phillips was the only Hebrew-Christian beside Frey. December 15, 1819, Frey finally laid his plan of establishing in America a colony for persecuted Jews before a meeting of New York ministers. Since the majority of those present at this meeting were old friends of the cause, it was without great discussion decided to undertake the work, and a committee (consisting of Revs. Mason, Milledoler, McLeod, Spring, Phillips, and Frey) was appointed to draft a constitution. This was finished January 25, 1820, and the American
Society for Colonizing and Evangelizing the Jews was formed February 8, 1820. We will not speak of the difficulties caused by the Jews in the legislature, when an application for a charter was made, but simply state that the members of the society finally agreed to erase the words “colonizing and evangelizing,” against which the chief objections were directed, and the society was incorporated April 14, 1820, as The American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews.
It was no missionary society. The number of Jews in the United States was very small, and the missionary society founded 1816, whose agent was Rev. Frey, seemed to be sufficient for the work. The object of the A. S. M. C. J. was “to invite and receive, from any part of the world, such Jews as do already profess the Christian religion, or are desirous to receive Christian instruction, to form them into a settlement, and to furnish them with the ordinances of the gospel, and with such employment in the settlement as shall be assigned them; but no one shall be received, unless he comes well recommended for morals and industry, and without charge to this society.”
In 1821, Adelbert, Count von der Recke, who had founded a colony of Christian Jews in Duesselthal, near the Rhine, heard of the existance of the American Society for Meliorating the condition of the Jews, and immediately commissioned a converted rabbi, David Christian Bernhard Jadownicky (born in Poland, 1799; Jewish Talmudical School in Berlin, 1813-18; rabbi at Solingen, 1818-20; baptized April, 1821, in Frankfort), to seek the co-operation of the American Society. Jadownicky, arriving November, 1821, laid the letters of the Count von der Recke before the A. S. M. C. J., and was greatly encouraged by the reception he found, but decided not to return to Germany. Frey himself persuaded the young man to prepare himself for the ministry, and thus we find him in 1823 as a student in Princeton, where he tried to form a prayer union for the evangelization of the Jews, but met with little or no success among the students.
In 1823 the A. S. M. C. J. rented a farm three miles from town, where Christian Jews and inquirers were to be trained in agricultural and mechanical operations, and where a school was to be started and talented men were to be trained theologically, and soon the influx of foreign Hebrew-Christians commenced. Erasmus H. Simon, with his wife, came from Scotland; Frederick Gustavus Primker followed soon from the eastern part of
Germany; while John Edward Zadig (born 1799, baptized by Rev. Kraft in Cologne, May 25, 1823), joined them in the fall of 1823.
It was only natural that the “Jewish Converts' Society” was formed in November, 1823. Frey and Jadownicky were also members of this society, whose purpose was mutual edification and the furtherance of gospel work among the Jews, but Mrs. Simon, the author of a book entitled “Evangelical Review of Modern Genius, or Truth and Error Contrasted,” could not become a member, because she was a Gentile Christian of Scotch birth and a woman.
Soon after the founding of the Jewish Converts' Society, Judah Isaac Abraham was baptized and became a member of the society (missionary of A. S. M. C. J., 1825-26, 29 to 30; graduate Andover Theological Seminary, 1829; ordained May 12, 1830; sent out by A. S. M. C. J. as missionary to the Jews around the Mediterranean, July 21, 1831).
Another member of the society was John Christian Jacoby (born in Poland, 1800; baptized 1822; missionary A. S. M. C. J. 1825-26; employed in the postal service 1826-49; missionary A. S. M. C. J. 1850-55; ordained deacon, Episcopal Church, Hartford, Conn., December 14, 1856; missionary to the Jews in New York, 1856-62; chaplain in U. S. army 1862-64; missionary to the Jews in New York 1865-74; died February 9, 1874.)
In 1824 the constitution of the Jewish Converts' Society was changed, and Gentile Christians were admitted to membership, although it seems as if the ladies still remained excluded, for Mrs. Simon never became a member. The new members, among whom we find Dr. McLeod, John Gray, the first editor of Israel's Advocate, and Stephen N. Rowan, later moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, and second editor of Israel's Advocate, brought new strength to the Jewish Converts' Society, whose leader was Jadownicky, who, in 1825, became an agent of the A. S. M. C. J. The meetings for prayer were deeply spiritual, and all members were helpers in the active work of the A. S. M. C. J. But suddenly, in 1826, Jadownicky was accused of heresy and left the United States (settling in Jamaica, West Indies, whence he later removed to Poland, where he died 1853?), and the Jewish Converts' Society ceased to exist after a life of almost four years.
Already in April, 1826, an effort had been made, chiefly by
the Jewish Converts' Society, to cause the A. S. M. C. J. to preach the gospel to the Jews, but the charter was so clearly opposed to this that the effort had to be abandoned. Thus in January, 1827, 500 acres of land were purchased, and the farm was fully stocked for the Jewish converts, who, however, failed to appear. October, 1831, the farm had to be mortgaged. In 1833 it had to be sold for debt. Thus God forced the A. S. M. C. J. to abandon its fantastic scheme and preach the gospel to the Jews, upon which duty it entered with all its power when God in 1841 provided the necessary means and sent the needed missionary, Mr. M. A. Berk. The charter was finally amended in 1843, and a time of prosperity commenced for the society; and as workers and converts began to increase in numbers the necessity of an alliance of workers and converts was speedily recognized. Thus the Brotherhood of Jewish Proselytes was formed in 1844. Its founder was Silian Bonhomme, a French Jew, for many years the faithful traveling missionary of the A. S. M. C. J., and among its members we find the missionaries J. P. Labagh, later an Episcopal clergyman, and James Forrester (both Gentiles), and the following Hebrew-Christians: Felix Pigot, a Prussian Jew, especially recommended by Rev. Ridley Herschell, of London; Joseph Stern and Matthew A. Berk (baptized 1840, converts of A. S. M. C. J.); P. J. Schory, a Hungarian Jew, baptized in Constantinople; Charles Reineman, a convert of A. S. M. C. J. and a student in Marshall College, Mercersburg, Pa.; and others.
We find no traces of any work done by this Brotherhood of Jewish Proselytes except the holding of occasional prayer-meetings. Its life was short, shortened especially by the antagonism of Rev. Frey, the founder of the A. S. M. C. J., who had undoubtedly outlived his usefulness, and having become a most rabid Baptist, thought it his duty to counteract as much as possible the work of all non-Baptists. Thus he not only organized the American Baptist Association for Evangelizing the Jews in December, 1844, and opposed the A. S. M. C. J. in his publication, The Hebrew Messenger, but he also organized a Brotherhood of Jewish Converts, trying to influence the members of the Brotherhood of Jewish Proselytes. The outcome of this struggle was the speedy decline and death of both brotherhoods.
No effort was made to unite the Hebrew-Christians, who from year to year became more numerous, until in 1850 Rev. Edwin R. McGregor, the secretary of the A. S. M. C. J. and editor
of the Jewish Chronicle from 1849 to 1855, founded the Prayer Alliance for Jewish and Gentile Christians. Bonhomme, the founder of the Brotherhood of Jewish Proselytes, became its secretary, and among its members we find many Hebrew-Christians, whose names are very familiar to the student of American Jewish missions: Ephraim M. Epstein, Nahum Ignac Steiner, Sigismund Uhlfelder, Moses Frankel, Abraham Joseph Levy, Aaron Bloch, Charles T. Weisel, James Cohen, Julius Strauss, Abraham H. Dreyer, Johannes Wiplech, Louis Taussig, L. C. Newman, Alexander Block, Dr. Leon Gelbardt, and many others.
The Prayer Alliance made no effort to do missionary work among the Jews, because almost all its members were active workers of the A. S. M. C. J., but its semi-monthly prayer-meetings, described as wonderfully uplifting, undoubtedly added much to the grand work done in those years by the A. S. M. C. J. in a large number of cities in all parts of the United States.
The exact date on which this Prayer Alliance ceased to exist cannot be discovered, but we have reason to believe that it began to decline in the late fall of 1853 and had ceased to exist at the anniversary of the A. S. M. C. J. in May, 1854.
In 1855 scandalous reports affecting the character of Rev. Mr. McGregor, caused not only his retirement from the office of secretary of the A. S. M. C. J., but the suspension of all activity of that society, until the Hebrew-Christians came to its help. Not since apostolic times had there been gathered a nobler band of Hebrew-Christians in any town than there was in New York between 1855 and 1869. We find among them 28 ministers (6 Protestant Episcopal, 14 Presbyterian, 2 Methodist, 4 Lutheran, and 2 Baptists), and a number of physicians and prominent business men, and all were greatly interested in the evangelization of their Jewish brethren.
When the storm gathered over the A. S. M. C. J. and it seemed as if the tried institution was to be swept away, a meeting of Hebrew-Christians was called by Morris J. Franklin (born in Prussia 1831; baptized by Rev. John Forsythe in Newburgh, N. Y., 1847; Union College graduate, 1855; Union Theological Seminary, 1855-57; M. D. 1858; surgeon U. S. Army, 1862-64; physician and druggist in New York, 1865-84; Jerusalem, Palestine, 1884, where he still lives), not for the purpose of founding a Hebrew-Christian alliance, but to resuscitate, if possible, the society of which the majority were children in the Lord. The meeting
was largely attended, and the enthusiasm kindled there gave to the A. S. M. C. J. a new lease of life. However, since no Hebrew-Christian brotherhoods or alliances were in any way connected with the A. S. M. C. J. from 1855 until it finally ceased to exist in 1867, we shall no more refer to it.
In 1855 Gideon R. Lederer (born in Pesth, 1804; baptized July 15, 1844; lay-missionary of the Jewish Mission of the Free Church of Scotland in Pesth, 1844-53; London, 1854; missionary in New York, 1855-76; editor of The Israelite Indeed (later named Nathaniel, 1856-69; died 1879) came to New York and soon began to exert a great influence toward uniting the scattered Hebrew-Christians for larger and better efforts to bring the gospel to their Jewish brethren.
In 1857 Lederer and Ephraim Menachen Epstein, then assistant editor of Lederer's The Israelite Indeed (born in Prussia; baptized in New York; missionary of A. S. M. C. J. 1851-56—during the summers—Andover Theological Seminary graduate, 1856; student of medicine in Kingston and New York, 1856-59; M. D. 1859; ordained by presbytery of Kingston, Can., October 6, 1859; missionary of the Presbyterian Church in Canada (Old Kirk Synod) to the Jews in Monastir, Turkey, October 6, 1859-May 1, 1862; practicing physician at Monastir 1862 until his death), commenced work among the Jews, to which they invited all other Hebrew-Christians as helpers. These meetings were called later the Hebrew-Christian Association meetings, and M. J. Franklin and other prominent Hebrew-Christians gave active help. A real organization, however, was not effected until in January, 1860, the celebrated Rev. John Neander (with Jewish name Marcus Hoch; born in Prussia, 1811; rabbi in Germany, 1833-38; baptized in Lehe, near Bremen, December 9, 1838; missionary to the Jews of the Society of Friends of Israel in Lehe, 1839-43; missionary A. S. M. C. J., 1844-51; missionary of Presbyterian Church to the Jews in New York, 1851-76; pastor of Presbyterian church in Brooklyn, 1854-85; died November 6, 1885), the still living Rev. C. E. Harris (born in London, 1830; baptized in Montreal, 1851; graduate of the Concord Biblical Institute, N. H., now Boston University, 1858; M. E. minister in New York, Brooklyn, etc., now retired), and J. C. Mayer, a Hebrew-Christian business man of New York, who had been closely connected with the A. S. M. C. J., joined Lederer. Thus the Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood was organized, and a room was
rented for it at 116 St. Mark's Place. It was, as Rev. Mr. Harris writes me in his modesty, “an unpretentious association. We held weekly prayer-meetings, sustained mostly by Hebrew-Christians, and consulted for the advancement of Christian work among the Jews. It had but an ephemeral existence, and when I left New York, it disbanded, not in any formal manner, but informally, as it had been originally started.”
Lederer, however. was not yet discouraged, but continued to write and labor in behalf of the founding of a Hebrew-Christian brotherhood, although the war 1861-65, scattered the formerly so numerous Hebrew-Christians of New York. Not until June, 1864, did he succeed in starting a new Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood, chiefly through the help of John M. Goldberg (born in North Germany, September 15, 1825; nationalistic lecturer 1843-55; baptized in London, April, 1857; U. S. 1859; connected with N. Y. State Colonization Society and A. S. M. C. J.; missionary to Jews in New York, Boston, and Providence, R. I.; died April 4, 1903). Again the organization was informal. The meetings were held at the residence of Mr. Lederer, and the members of the brotherhood engaged in active mission work among the Jews. But the interest soon ceased, and the Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood fell asleep in 1865 after an existence of little more than a year.
Little discouraged by this failure, John M. Goldberg continued to labor for a union of Hebrew-Christians, and in May, 1867, God gave him the pleasure of seeing another Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood organized, and the only case on record in America, chartered by the legislature of New York. Rev. C. E. Harris became its president, J. M. Goldberg, its corresponding secretary, and among its vice presidents we find Dr. Howard Crosby and other well-known Gentile Christian ministers. The board of managers, composed of Jewish and Gentile Christians, contained Rev. John Neander, G. R. Lederer, Dr. Franklin, and other Hebrew-Christians experienced in Jewish work. The missionaries of the Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood were Rev. A. C. Tris, a Gentile Christian, still living in Kansas; Rev. Sigfried Kristeller (born in Prussia; baptized in New York; graduate of the Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., 1866; missionary of the brotherhood, 1867-69; M. E. pastor on Long Island, 1869-76; died?). A hall was rented in Cooper Union building, and meetings for Jews were held, at which eight or ten Hebrew-Christians
regularly assisted. Mr. Goldberg wrote me a short time before his death, that a family consisting of six Jews (husband. wife and four children), were the fruit of these meetings.
The anniversary of the Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood was held in May, 1868, in the church of Dr. Howard Crosby, who was a great friend of the Jewish cause on account of the drop of Jewish blood in his veins (his great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth, the wife of William Bedlow, postmaster of New York in 1784, may have been of Jewish descent!), and the report was very encouraging. The old officers were re-elected, and all seemed to point to continued prosperity, when suddenly the interest of the Gentile Christian members of the board ceased (Bro. Goldberg blamed the secret influence of rich Jews for this!), and the Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood disbanded in 1869 after a short but blessed existence. It had not only given an impetus to evangelistic work among the Jews in New York, but had stirred up the Hebrew-Christians scattered over the land and had directly caused the founding of the Western Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood in Chicago in May, 1867.
The Hebrew-Christians in that city requested the New York brethren to help them in their effort, and G. R. Lederer and Rev. S. Kristeller went to Chicago to be present at the organization the second Monday of May, 1867. Some unexpected difficulties arose after their arrival, but finally a meeting of about forty or fifty persons was held in the lecture room of the Second Presbyterian Church. Rev. Mr. Marquis, afterwards the well-known professor of McCormick Theological Seminary, was chairman, and Rev. Mr. Ryder, of Woodstock, Ill., a Hebrew-Christian, acted as secretary. Some Jews, who were present in the audience, made difficulties, but, after some discussion, the Western Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood was organized. Rev. Dr. Harshaw, a Gentile Christian pastor of Chicago, was elected president; Rev. Jacob Lotka, now the London Jews' Society Missionary in Hull, England, was appointed missionary, with Rev. F. C. Schwartz, a Presbyterian minister of Woodstock, Ill., another Hebrew-Christian, as his assistant. The corresponding secretary was Emanuel Van Noorden, who, having been a Presbyterian missionary in Brazil, now lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a printer of religious literature.
The Western Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood opened at once a mission to the Jews in Chicago, and the years 1867-69 showed
greatly increasing interest of Jewish and Gentile Christian members. We are very glad that Dr. Felsenthal, the well-known Jewish rabbi of Chicago, was so troubled by the work of this brotherhood that he delivered a lecture in German against it. January 20, 1869, which afterwards appeared in print as “Criticism of Christian Missions, especially Missions to the Jews.” It is an atrocious pamphlet, but it proves that the brotherhood was doing good work. According to Dr. Felsenthal's lecture, the brotherhood had a president, twelve vice presidents, a secretary, a treasurer, two missionaries, and twelve managers, and it was stated that the purpose of the brotherhood was to start a mission among the Jews, to distribute tracts, books, and papers, and to organize Sabbath schools for Jewish children. The efforts, however, were not to be restricted to the Jewish population of Chicago, but a leaflet, issued by the brotherhood in 1869, proposed that missionaries should be sent to the Jews in Pittsburg, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Dubuque, and San Francisco. No effort, we are sorry to say, was made to bring about a closer union among the members of the brotherhood; no regular meetings for prayer and mutual upbuilding were held; and, thus the Western Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood decayed very quickly. The summer of 1869 saw the death of an organization which, in its beginnings, had given great promise of lasting success. No other effort to organize a Hebrew-Christian Union has been made in Chicago, for the Jewish-Christian Endeavor Society, which a few years ago was started, died really almost as soon as it was born.
After the Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood in New York ceased to exist in 1869, Lederer, Goldberg, Neander, and the many prominent Hebrew-Christians made no more efforts to organize a union until Meyer Lerman (born in Russian Poland, 1837; baptized London, 1858; missionary to the Jews in New York since August, 1867, of the Church Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews since 1878) founded the Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood and Prayer Union, October 10, 1884. It was affiliated with the similar organization in the Church of England and was composed mainly of the converts of Episcopalian missions. Its meetings were held in Mission House every week, and a visitor of a meeting in 1886 describes it as “a quiet, orderly assembly, where Hebrew-Christians were evidently encouraging each other in the faith of the true Messiah, and testifying earnestly, but lovingly, of that true Messiah to unconverted
brethren of their race who were present. Bishop Schereschewsky was the patron of the brotherhood and encouraged the members by occasional letters.
The brotherhood is not mentioned in the reports of the Church Society which appeared since 1889, so that it probably disbanded in that year. It proved a great help to the work of the mission even in its brief existence.
During the past winter efforts have been made in New York and Brooklyn by Dr. Harry Zeckhausen, Revs. Leopold Cohn and Bernhard Angel, and Meyer Lerman, to bring about a closer union of Hebrew-Christians, which finally resulted in the founding of a Hebrew-Christian Brotherhood and Sisterhood on June 11, 1903. Meyer Lerman is its president, and Dr. Zeckhausen is its secretary. The chief purpose of this brotherhood and sisterhood is the upbuilding of Christian character and the better acquaintance of its members with each other. Active missionary work is not intended, as far as we know.
We could not find any traces of efforts to unite the numerous Hebrew-Christians in London prior to 1830, in which year the Union of Hebrew-Christians was formed. Its purpose was two-fold: To further the evangelization of the Jews and to assist those of their Jewish brethren, who were needy on account of their professed faith in Christ. The union published an address to the Jews in England, but achieved nothing, and ceased after a short existence. All its members were brought to Christ through the instrumentality of missionaries of the London Jews' Society, and it was actually an auxiliary of this society.
The same is true of the still existing “Episcopal Jews' Chapel Abrahamic Society corresponding with and relieving the temporal wants of believing and inquiring Jews,” which was founded in 1835. The title describes the purpose of the society very clearly, although it is not restricted to Jews in London in its work of relief. All its members are Hebrew-Christians, and the society has done much good in its sixty-eight years of existence. We would call especial attention to the help which the members of the Abrahamic Society gave to F. C. Ewald, when he opened the Inquirers' Home in 1853. This home, under the supervision of Ewald, then of Heinrich Aaron Stern, then of J. M. Eppstein, and now of Canon Kelk, has proved a wonderful blessing to many hundreds of inquiring Jews.
In 1866 the celebrated Dr. Carl Schwartz founded the Hebrew-Christian Alliance for the purpose of testifying to the Jews that Hebrew-Christians consider themselves still Jews, of reminding the Church of the promises to the Jews which are yet to be fulfilled, of assisting and upbuilding each other in brotherly helpfulness, and finally of undertaking direct gospel work among the Jews. The name of the founder of this alliance was so well known that Hebrew-Christians everywhere became interested, and the alliance soon had eighty members. Its meetings were held every two weeks and were well attended. The Scattered Nation and Jewish Christian Magazine, published monthly by Schwartz, was the excellent organ of the alliance and stirred not only the hearts of the Hebrew-Christians, but also the interest of Gentile Christians and even of unbelieving Jews. Evangelistic addresses were regularly given by members of the alliance in different parts of London, and the administration of the Hebrew-Christian model farm in Palestine was undertaken by the alliance. Branches were founded in different parts of Europe, and the annual meetings and reports regularly increased the enthusiasm, although the great majority of Hebrew-Christians were opposed to the “judaizing” tendency of Schwartz and his alliance.
The sudden death of Schwartz, September, 1870, caused the immediate suspension of this Hebrew-Christian Alliance, and it was clearly proved that it was held together not so much by real interest in the cause, as by the magnetic influence of a great man!
The Rev. Maxwell M. Ben-Oliel made two attempts at uniting Hebrew-Christians, in 1865 and 1871, but both proved failures. In 1882 Rev. J. B. Barraclough, a Gentile Christian missionary of the London Jews' Society, urged the Hebrew-Christians to unite, and through his influence twelve Hebrew-Christians met in the Jews' Chapel and organized the Hebrew-Christian Prayer Union. In July, 1882, a constitution was adopted, and Dr. Heinrich Aaron Stern was elected president. It was decided to hold quarterly prayer-meetings and frequent social gatherings for the cultivation of personal acquaintance of the members. Every member was obliged to pray on Saturday for the salvation of Israel and for the prosperity of the union.
Most of the prominent Hebrew-Christians of England joined the union, and branches of it were founded in every part of the world, so that the number of members on the roll exceeded six hundred in 1892. But from that year on the numbers grew
smaller, until, in 1896. the union scarcely was alive. An effort to revive it in 1897 was unsuccessful, and all signs of life in the Hebrew-Christian Prayer Union ceased.
In the spring of 1901 a fresh organization was started, and on July 3, 1901, the new organization and the remains of the union were amalgamated as the Hebrew-Christian Alliance and Prayer Union. Rev. Maxwell M. Ben-Oliel is its efficient president, who reports that the alliance is in a prosperous condition. Its aims are: United testimony of Christ to the Jews; an example of brotherly love; assistance to Hebrew-Christians in sickness, need, and persecution; and the promotion of brotherly love, social intercourse, and mutual edification among its members.
The Hebrew-Christian Assembly was started in 1898. Its purposes are mutual edification, worship, and the carrying on of open-air meetings among the Jews. The oversight is in the hands of an elective committee, and the assembly is informally connected with the Mildmay Mission to the Jews.
There were some other ephemeral unions in England, like the Hebrew-Christian Patriotic Alliance of Mark Levy, which, however, caused only a passing interest.
Canon A. H. Kelk was the founder of the Jerusalem Hebrew-Christian Association, since he called a meeting of Hebrew-Christians at his house, August 12, 1898. A constitution was drafted by order of this meeting, and the association was organized, August 19, 1898. Its object is to promote the moral, intellectual and social culture of its members, and to inculcate the exercise of mutual sympathy, assistance and protection.
The secretary of this Jerusalem Hebrew-Christian Association was Rev. L. Zeckhausen until his removal to Cracow, who, in 1901, sent out a circular calling the attention of Hebrew-Christians everywhere to the necessity of union.
Dr. Morris J. Franklin, whom we so frequently mentioned in connection with American Hebrew-Christian alliances, is the active and wide-awake president of the Jerusalem Association.
We know of no efforts at union in Germany, France and Holland, although in Amsterdam my uncle, Rev. Theodore J. Meyer, made a futile effort to organize a Hebrew-Christian brotherhood in 1869.
In Sweden, a Hebrew-Christian Federation was started in 1902, which sends us its greetings and its best wishes through its
president. (See the translation of the letter in “Secretary's Report” above).
In having thus surveyed the field, you undoubtedly will be no less surprised than I was, by the multitude of futile and successful efforts at uniting the Hebrew-Christians in different countries. May God guide us and give us wisdom, as we are planning to form a Hebrew-Christian Alliance, that it may indeed be an alliance to His glory!
Awakening of the Church to its due Responsibility to the Jew, or an Historical Retrospect of Missions to the Jews.
BY HENRY ZECKHAUSEN, M. D.
There are signs that Missions to the Jews are in a fair way to become, not only the delight of enthusiasts and the scoff of unbelievers, but also the earnest study of those whose duty it is to care for the furtherance of the Gospel. It is time indeed that this were so, for the sooner that they are removed from the region of the extravagant and the trifling the sooner will results be seen more commensurate with the expectations of Christendom. As a contribution to this change of attitude on the part of our near successors it will perhaps be useful to recall what has been attempted in past years.
It is one of the many vulgar errors which are so hard to eradicate that until the day when the 19th century first saw the light, nothing was done by the Church for the people from whom its LORD came according to the flesh. Bishops and dignitaries have said so; what further testimony is required? Happily, however, the statement is inaccurate. There was never a period in the history of Christianity when some of its upholders did not endeavor to win over Jews to the true faith. Not always wisely perhaps, and certainly not always in the same spirit of love and self-denial that the great Exemplar showed, but still earnestly and almost continuously.
We do not speak now of Apostles and other workers of New Testament times. The description of St. Paul in the Acts and the allusions in his own Epistles show clearly enough that in every city he made the Jews his first, though not his chief, aim. And the writer of that fascinating Epistle to the Hebrews, shows for
his part the intensest interest in all questions concerning Hebrew Christians. Neither shall we trouble ourselves about vexing questions concerning the Ebionites of various forms and names, nor even illustrate from the Talmud the encroachment of the Minim on the pious orthodoxy of the rabbis. We shall rather in the short space of a Conference Paper give a brief account of those workers whose efforts have came down to us in their written works.
Early in the 2d century Ariston, of Pella, a Jewish Christian, published what we would call a Missionary tract in the form of a discussion between a believing and an unbelieving Jew—Jason and Papicus. About the middle of the same century Justin Martyr wrote his well-known Dialogue with Trypho the Jew. It is a treatise which deservedly, in spite of its many shortcomings, takes a high place in the history of conscientious attempts to win Jews to Christ.
About half a century later we come across Tertullian's vigorous defence of Christianity against Jewish attacks in his Adversus Judaeos. His arguments from prophecy, as fulfilled in Jesus and corroborated by the peaceful conquests of His Church and its transforming influence, are essentially the same which a Christian Missionary employs to-day.
It seems only natural that the greatest of the Fathers of the Church, the learned Origen, who mingled with Jews of every kind, and had a very respectable knowledge of Hebrew, should have devoted his attention to meeting the difficulties, as well as the objections, of the Jews. His book Contra Celsum, is a reply to the work of the pagan philosopher, Celsus, who introduces a Jew as disputing with our LORD and His disciples, and adducing arguments and insinuations against Christianity that have been the “stock-in-trade” of Jewish controversialists ever since. Origen's reply to the blasphemous fables about the birth of Christ, fables improved upon in Jewish mediaeval literature, and still believed by the mass of the Jews of Eastern Europe and other countries, is still valid. It is to the effect that such fables preserve the fact that there was something unusual about the birth of Jesus, and that an illegitimate body would not be suitable and probable for a soul that conferred such great benefits upon the world. The moral grandeur of Jesus here begins to receive its due weight in estimating the Gospel narrative of His birth. Just in the same
way does he urge, when the Jew says, “Jesus was a mere magician,” that it was utterly unlikely that such a person would teach his followers to act as if GOD would judge every man for his deeds. When the Jew scornfully says, “that, after all, Jesus wrought nothing wonderful, even though He was challenged in the temple to do so.” Origen replies, “that the whole world contains evidence of His work, in the existence of churches, founded by men who were converts from sin.” In this fashion Origen deals with one objection, or cavil, after another and provides arguments which Christians can use, and have very often been using in their controversies with Jews. This has indeed been so much the case that the tracts “adversus Judaeos” of even such learned Fathers as Cyprian, Augustine, or Chrysoston, do not in the least improve upon Origen.
In the distant East, in the fastnesses of the mountains of Kurdistan, the Syrian Bishop Aphraates also clearly saw his duty, not only to endeavor to preserve his flock from the attacks of the Jews, but also to lose no opportunity of meeting them in fair dispute or to win them for Christ both by voice and pen.
Would to God that all the means used during the succeeding centuries had been as peaceful. We Christians may, with more or less reason, lay at the door of the Jews the instigation of some of the earliest persecutions of the Church, but very few years passed after the acceptance of Christianity by the Emperors before Jews in their turn experienced the bitterness of persecution themselves. Even the Church as such could not wait to use only Christian means for their conversion, but began to compel them herself to become Christians. It is one of the most evident marks of the greatness of Gregory the First, that he urged upon his bishops that only fair means should be used; for it was quite un-Christlike to attempt to win men to God by force. But his is not the only case in which the Pope's subordinates have understood the true spirit of the Papacy better than the Pope himself. Besides, he himself did not always carry out his own principles, for he was not above offering pecuniary advantages to Jews on their conversion, satisfying his conscience with the remark that even if they did not themselves become good Christians, at all events their children would. We fear that this fatal delusion has perpetuated itself down to our own time, and has brought frequent disgrace upon the Christian name.
2. With the period beginning with the 7th century, and ending with the commencement of the Reformation, we enter on a time marked by a deep knowledge of Jewish writings on the part of a few, by the grossest ignorance on the part of many, and, generally, by shameful treatment of fellow-believers in the fundamental truths of true religion. The mention of the mediaeval period makes Christian people feel deeply ashamed at the profanation of Christ's name in the treatment of His Kinsmen according to the flesh. It is very hard for us with our different ideas to judge the individual workers of the mediaeval Church, and we find it almost impossible to understand the actions of, say, the Spanish nobles and ecclesiastics, when they used all possible means for the conversion of the Jews, and at the same time persecuted them. It seems to us to be so very self-evident that to persecute a man for his faith is the best way of hardening him in it, and of counteracting all the good impressions which we might have produced upon him by our appeals to Scripture and the unique personality of Christ.
There was exhibited much zeal during this period for the conversion of the Jews. The advent of the Franciscan and Dominican Preaching Friars early in the 13th century caused a great stir and a revival in the Church. Numerous and learned controversial treatises against the Jews were published and called forth refutations on the part of the rabbis. Christianity, though unfortunately in its Romanist garb, was being pressed upon the attention of the Jews in the South and West of Europe; public disputations with the champions of the Synagogue were held before kings and bishops; a spirit of inquiry was aroused and many converts joined the Church. Not a few of these converts were men well versed in Jewish lore, and it was mainly due to their challenges that the public disputations were held. So Donin, after his baptism, called Nicholas of Paris, debated at the French capital in 1239 with the celebrated Talmudist Rabbi Jechiel, and Paulus Christianus of Mompellier defended his views against the well-known commentator Nachmanides at Barcelona in 1263. Other learned converts, like Peter Alfonsi, Nicholas de Lyra, Petrus Galatinus, and especially Solomon ha-Levi, afterwards Bishop Paul of Burgos, guardian of the infant king of Spain, sought to win their unbelieving brethren by written expositions of the Christian faith, generally composed in the form of dialogues.
* * * The most important of all these controversial works, however, is that published in 1278 by the Dominican Raymund Martini, who was not (as seems pretty certain) of Jewish descent. “Pugio Fidei” (The Dagger of Faith), as the bulky volume is styled, is a work of great erudition, and has ever been a vast armory from which later writers have drawn their weapons.
It is deeply to be regretted that the Spanish character, which contains such contradictions within itself, and the spirit of an age which regarded religious toleration as an insult to God, should have communicated themselves so completely to the Jewish converts of that period. They were swayed by a zeal of God, that was not according to knowledge, and by the prevailing Church feeling that made them the keenest of persecutors and the bitterest of controversialists. The implacable hatred which this attitude of the converts generated in the hearts of their Jewish brethren has not been materially diminished by the lapse of four centuries and the enormous changes that accompanied them. It is one of the gifts to us of the dark Middle Ages!
3. With the name of Reuchlin, who in 1505, published a letter showing that the misery of the Jews is due to their sin against the LORD and their not having yet repented of it, we enter on a new period in the history of the Church's work for the Jews. He marks the stage when the learned men of the day began to refuse to reckon everything in the Talmud as bad, or to listen to the ignorant abuse of a Pfefferkorn. Yet such radical changes took place within a few years that one would expect to find work among the Jews carried on in modern ways. But the proper time had not come. The Reformation indeed gave rise to the principles which urged men to be up and doing for all outsiders, but neither heathen nor Jew derived much advantage from it, the time being needed for the more pressing work within the Church. Two hundred and fifty years had to elapse before there was any radical change in the methods of missionary work among the Jews. During this time they exhibited the same sporadic, even though continuous character, that they had all through the history of the Church. At first indeed Luther thought it was going to be different. In 1521 he wrote on behalf of the Christian faith for the Jews in a style worthy of the burning love that runs through most, though not all, of his writings. He says, “If we lived Christianity, and brought them with kindness to Christ, it would be the best
way. Who would become a Christian if one sees Christians act so un-Christianly towards men? Not so, beloved Christians. Tell them the truth kindly; if they will not have it, let them go.” He is also long before his time in the method he proposes to adopt. He says in 1524, “I would use my Christian freedom if a Jew came before me who was not poisoned, nor utterly envenomed, nor callous, whom I wished to bring to Christ. Although no article is of greater necessity than that Christ is the Son of God, I would nevertheless keep silent about it at first, and so conduct myself towards him that he, first of all, should gain love to the LORD Christ, and say that He was a man like any one else, sent from God, and know what God has done through Him for the well-being of men. When I had brought him to accept this in his heart, I would then bring him even further, until he believed that Christ was GOD. Thus would I act towards him, until I had in all kindness brought him to believe on Christ.” Yet the great Reformer did not carry out his advice sufficiently long. His was too impulsive a nature to fit him for Mission work among the Jews. When his advances were rejected, his arguments objected to, and he personally subjected to ill-treatment by one or two Jews (one had come with the express purpose of poisoning him), he began to regard them as utterly stiff-necked and hopeless subjects for the grace of God to work upon. Thus it is that we find the doughty opponent of Romanism imitating the bitterest pre-Reformation Spaniard, and advising the destruction of synagogues, Jewish houses and schools, the confiscation of their books, the forbidding the rabbis to teach and usurers to lend. This later position of Luther with regard to the Jews is most deeply disappointing and utterly unworthy of him. It threw back the perception of the Church's duty towards them for a couple of centuries. That it was overruled for good cannot, of course, be doubted. But this was not Luther's merit. The principles of the Reformation which he inaugurated fortunately proved too strong for the continuance of his bitter policy, but he himself failed to use them.
Of all the centuries that have as yet elapsed the 17th is the most remarkable for the study of Jewish books by Christian Divines. The Rabinic Commentaries to the Bible, the Talmud, the Midrashim, the Kabbala, as well as the controversial writings of the Jews against Christianity, became intelligible to every scholar,
thanks to the labors of men like John Lightfoot, the two Buxtorfs, Surenhuis, Vitringa, Wagenseil, etc. The Jewish modes of thinking, peculiarities and difficulties got in this way to be more appreciated and understood, and so slowly paved the ground for practical, sympathetic and scientific Mission work among them.
This was splendidly proved in the case of the pious and learned pastor, Edzard, who from 1658 to 1708, labored at Hamburg with such success as to have baptized there several hundred Jews, sometimes 30 or 40 in a year, and of these he tells that scarcely the fortieth part were untrue to their profession. At the same time Edzard was holding lectures on Rabbinic subjects, which many of the ablest theologians of the day attended.
4. We are thus brought to the 18th century which saw the rise, and, alas, the decay and death, of perhaps the most perfect form of missionary work among the Jews that has arisen—a form which at once cared for the intellectual and the practical part of mission work, and by its relation to a University was able to mould the minds of many who took no direct part in its operations. It was the Institutum Judaicum at Halle, founded by Professor Callenberg, in 1727. Assisted by Dr. Frommann, a convert, Callenberg printed portions of Scripture, Luther's Catechism and tracts in Jewish-German, and had them distributed among the Jews. By degrees he had educated and sent out a whole staff of young, enthusiastic missionaries, the best known of whom and most remarkable for his enterprise and courage, was Stephen Schultz. The missionaries of the Institutum visited the Jews in the greater part of Europe and penetrated into Asia as far as the coast of Malabar. Judaism was then perhaps at its lowest in ignorance and superstition, and Schultz and his colleagues did much to arouse them to a study of the Old Testament, besides showing them that the Christianity of the New Testament was not that of the Roman and Greek Churches. What a pity that chiefly through the spread of Rationalism the Institutum lost its own energy and ceased to exist (1792).
But the traces left behind of the Institutum Judaicum were destined to bear good fruit. An organization came in England into existence in 1809 which, based professedly upon the lines laid down by Callenberg, soon overleaped these boundaries, and exhibited to the world the spectacle of a body of men banded together for the sole object of winning the Jews to Christ. We are
alluding, of course, to the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews. The century of Societies had set in, those open confessions that the Church as such had failed to remember the greatness of the work committed to her.
The London Jews' Society at first started upon the basis of the British and Foreign Bible Society as an undenominational affair, appealing to the sympathies of all Evangelical Christians. And, as long as it was only a question of preaching the Gospel to the Jew, the arrangement worked smoothly enough, but when it came to be a matter of baptism, then the question of the place of the baptism came to the front. With the best intentions in the world there was no getting round this cliff. The Nonconformists accordingly retired, leaving the field to the Episcopal Church of England. After a short, but sharp, struggle, the Society, whose moving spirit at that time was the munificent and indefatigable Lewis Way, developed a remarkable activity. The whole of the New Testament was translated and printed in Hebrew, a large number of tracts composed in almost every language and dialect spoken by Jews, and the work developed, spreading rapidly from London to Holland, Germany, Austria, Poland, Sweden, France, Italy, Turkey and Roumania, thence to Syria, Persia and Palestine, Egypt, Tunis and Morocco, to India in the far East and Canada in the West. Owing entirely to its action, the plan was mooted and carried out of sending a Protestant bishop to Jerusalem. The first bishop, Solomon Michael Alexander, had himself been a Jewish Rabbi, and filled the see worthily during the short time that he was permitted to hold it (1842-1845). Today the Society employs a staff of missionary agents numbering 211, of whom 85 are Christian Israelites.
In 1842, the Nonconformists founded the British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel amongst the Jews, and since then Society after Society has appeared, the best known of which are Mr. Wilkinson's Mildmay Mission to the Jews and Mr. Baron's Hebrew Christian Testimony to Israel. According to Professor Dalman, there are 23 such “Societies” in England and America alone, but this is far below the mark, and it is to be regretted that, in England at least, their very number often tends to defeat the object that they have in view.
As to the visible results of the Missions to the Jews during
the 19th century, as expressed in baptisms, we submit the following statistics:
In all the sum of 12,400 baptisms.
The Mission baptisms per year now average 300 in Protestant Churches. The totals of admissions, however, of Jews to the Evangelical Churches during the last century were 72,740, the children of mixed marriages not being counted. England has done, and is doing, her duty towards the Jew. Will the States soon recognize theirs to the million, and more, of the sons of Jacob, whom the LORD has placed in their midst? God is calling them aloud to do so. It is time that they heard His call!
(The writer wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to the Rev. A. Dukyn [sic] Williams' Missions to the Jews (London, 1897), and J. de le Roi's Judentanfen in VT Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 1899). They form the basis of this paper.
HARRY ZECKHAUSER [sic], M. D.
NOTE—At the conclusion of the above address, Rev. Louis Meyer, who has given much time to statistical investigations, made the following remarks touching baptisms of Jews: “It is scarcely right to give `Mission baptisms' as a measure of success of the work. Admirable as the figures collected by Rev. J. de le Roi are, they are necessarily very incomplete. For instance, the number of baptisms in American Societies during the 19th century is given as 1,265, while the American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews was able to report almost 700 baptisms in less than fifty years of existence, so that it would be nearer the right figure of American Societies' baptisms of Jews in the 19th century, if we doubled Mr. de le Roi's figures 1,265 to 2,500. However, Mission baptisms are absolutely misleading except in the
cases of certain societies, whose missionaries count in their reports of baptisms even those who joined other churches or were baptized outside the Mission proper. Very few of the Jews who find Christ through the instrumentality of the Missions, are baptized in the Missions, and the following figures are very instructive. The number of Jewish baptisms in American Evangelical churches from 1895 to 1901, has been 1,072 (as far as we know), and of these Jews 643 were baptized by pastors whose churches were in no manner connected with missions and not even near them, 212 were baptized by pastors who were in some way connected with missions, and only 217 were so-called Mission baptisms. A diligent inquiry, however, showed that of the 1,072 Jews baptized in American evangelical churches from 1895 to 1901, 891, or more than 83 per cent., had received their first ideas of Christianity, their first New Testament, tracts, or teachings, from missionaries, so that these 891 ought to be considered the fruit of American Missions to the Jews between 1895 and 1901, and not only the 217 Mission baptisms.
It is, therefore, more just to the missionaries not to speak of 300 Mission baptisms per year, but to say that out of a total of more than 1,200 Jews baptized in Protestant churches from May, 1901, to May, 1902, more than 900 were undoubtedly the direct or indirect fruit of the efforts of missionaries.
But, after all, let us be most cautious in the use of these figures of Jewish baptisms. Only in Germany, Austria, and a few other countries, it is possible to get complete returns of all baptisms of Jews, and, beside that, baptism does not always mean conversion.”
The Scripture Method of Preaching the Gospel “to the Jew first.”
An address delivered at the Hebrew-Christian Conference, Mountain Lake Park, Maryland, U. S. A.. July 28, 1903, by MARK LEVY, of London, Eng.* (Remarks of Editing Com. on p. 51.)
“Unto the Jews I became as a Jew, to gain the Jews; as under the law to them that are under the law to gain them that are under the law.” 1 Cor. 9:20.
“They are informed of thee that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after their customs.” Acts 21:21.
My earliest recollection of names and things divine was the lullaby the Christian nurses sang in our Jewish home,
“Gentle Jesus meek and mild
Look upon a little child.”
So far as memory serves, my childish mind regarded the One of whom they sang as a good man, whose special object was the care and protection of little children, and instinctively my heart went out to Him in love. But at an early age, on being sent to school in one of our provincial English towns, and having to undergo as a Jew the ordeal of taunt and scorn, principally at the hands of strange boys, whom I was taught to regard as followers of Jesus, my love for Him quickly turned to dislike, which deepened into positive hatred of His name when the terrible persecutions of the Jews, at the hands of professing Christendom, was subsequently brought to my knowledge.
In early manhood, having failed to find spiritual consolation in the synagogue, I commenced reading the New Testament, and quickly realizing the glorious beauty of the character of Jesus, I came to the mental conclusion that He was the Messiah.
At that time there were living in Great Britain scores of clergymen of Hebrew birth. But, personally, I did not know there was a single minister of the Gospel of our own race living to whom I could go in my spiritual distress; for these sons of Judah had practically become Gentilized, and withdrawn their light from the congregations of Israel. The well-known names, in Christian circles, of Edersheim, Saphir, and other celebrated Jewish converts, I had never heard, although born in London, as were my parents.
In my despair I called upon one of the missionaries of the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, but was discouraged in my investigations. Thus all the national sources of aid were hidden from, or denied to, a despairing brother in Israel, because the Jews who had found Christ were lost to their race among the Gentiles and did not “become as Jews to the Jews, to gain the Jews.”
After several years of sorrowful wandering in England, Australia and America, my convertion was accomplished, in God's good time, through the gracious operation of the Holy Spirit, and I was baptized into Christ in the year eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, and confirmed within a few months by the late Rt. Rev. Bishop Whipple, of Minnesota.
Immediately after my baptism I commenced writing home, and received in reply several letters from one of my sisters. The following extracts are given to illustrate the absolute need of presenting the Gospel in a full scriptural light to the deluded, mis-taught and perplexed children of Israel, and in the good hope of preventing the light of the future generations of Jewish Christians being lost to their race:
“If I wrote forever I could not express the deep grief and sorrow your letter has caused our dear mother and myself, and I almost think I would sooner have heard that God had taken you than you should have lived to become what you are; almost sooner know you are not responsible for your actions than that you should be held accountable to your Maker for what you have done. I think you have killed the best half of my life. Why did you do it? I am sure if you had come back to us we could have made you happy; we would have done anything for you, we all love you so. Now all's over forever. I feel as if I am going to a funeral. I dare say you have received mine of February 16th. You see I need not have been afraid of putting my fear into words. When God has taken us all, and in heaven we are all re-united, one face will be missing—the face that has always been so dear to me. As I am writing this I am shedding the bitterest tears of my life. I can't finish as usual by saying, God bless you. Your welfare will always be dear to me, but when you write please omit any reference to your religious matters. As to your advice to us to read the New Testament, I pass it over with the contempt it deserves. I shall strive to think of you as you were in years gone by, not as you are. I still love you, but my faith and hope in you are dead—killed by your cruel letter. If you will come back to us in the old faith, as a repentant Jew, there is nothing I will not do for you to prove my love. I wonder if you really loved us.”
“Our New Year commences on Monday. and the Fast is next Wednesday week. God grant us all happiness and prosperity and keep us from fresh sorrow during the coming year. I shall never cease all my life to regret the step you have taken. Many a time I am seized with a feeling of deep sorrow and regret for your ruined and wasted life. Only our Heavenly Father knows what deep faith I put in you; but our idols are generally shattered.”
These letters from a loyal hearted Jewish girl, sorrowing because she thought a well-beloved brother had cut himself off forever from the congregation of Israel, when he had simply found the Messiah, of whom Moses and the prophets wrote, I would ask you earnestly to bear in mind while considering the following arguments for the scriptural method of presenting the Gospel to the Jews. Remember, also, Jerome says, that well into the fifth century there were in all the synagogues Jews who believed in and loyally followed the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is often stated that neglect and hatred are the great wrongs committed against the Jewish race by the so-called Christian nations. But there is a point whereat a far deeper spiritual wrong is done to the children of Israel than in either of these evils. The Hebrew leaders of the primitive church in their misunderstanding of God's plan for the Gentiles, endeavored to place upon them the yoke of the Law. After much contention the Court of Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem, as a result of the vehement plea of Barnabas and Paul, removed every unnecessary burden. To-day the Gentile leaders of the Church, with the positions reversed, are making an identical mistake in compelling Jews who have accepted the Messiahship of Jesus to forsake entirely their ancient ceremonies.
This unscriptural attitude has caused the light of the Gospel to be almost entirely withdrawn from Jewish circles, and has brought much sorrow to the convert as to his kinsmen, who regard him as a traitor. And when a Hebrew-Christian deliberately turns his back upon the God-given rites and ceremonies revered for centuries by our forefathers, can we wonder at the profound indignation of his brethren, especially when we recall the national persecution of centuries at the hands of the so-called followers of Christ? Does it not truly seem as if he has gone over, body, soul and spirit to those whom his kinsmen have good reason to regard as irreconcilable enemies of his race?
The Hebrew leaders of the primitive Church were not in the will of God when they strove to Judaize the Gentile followers of our Lord. The Gentile leaders of the Church work against the clear light of truth when they strive to Gentilize the Jewish followers of Christ in this our day.
When studying the scriptures for guidance in our national, social and spiritual environments, we must carefully distinguish between references to the different conditions of life, otherwise many commands will appear contradictory, which, taken in connection with our varied activities, are perfectly reconcilable. In Saint Paul we find an unique example of apparent contradictions as he fulfills his ministry as a Jew, a Roman, and a Christian. The failure to take into account his distinguished consistency to these several conditions accounts for much of the misunderstanding concerning his action on varied occasions. Many years after becoming
a follower of Jesus, he deliberately said, “I am a Jew” (Acts 22:3). In the same chapter he asserts his Roman citizenship, and in other scriptures declares he has set his affections on things above, and that his citizenship is in heaven. In his loyalty to Christ he did not despise his Jewish birthright nor undervalue his position as a free-born Roman, but used them to the glory of God and in the interests of his fellowmen. In obedience to a command which Christ himself had given, and which works both ways, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's” (Mark xii:17), in a time of danger and difficulty, although perfectly conscious that God was and is supreme Protector, he invoked the aid of the Roman power, and his very difficulty redounded to the glory of Christ, as he was led a prisoner to testify before kings for His name's sake.
That Paul had not played the hypocrite at Jerusalem, as some assert, is perfectly evident when we read concerning the whole matter, “And the night following the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, for, as thou hast testified concerning Me at Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. (Acts xxiii:11). And on his arrival at the heathen city he distinctly declares when addressing his Hebrew brethren, “I have done nothing against the people or customs of our fathers.” Acts xxviii:17.)
Loyalty to home and country is commanded and sanctified by God, and rejoices and blesses the heart of man. We know that our life upon earth is but as a breath compared with eternity, and that our earthly joys cannot be compared with the glories that await us in the eternal Kingdom. Yet God has told us to redeem the time and given us all things richly to enjoy if they be of good report and indulged in innocently and unselfishly. Therefore we should carefully refrain from undervaluing the national and social joys of those bound by racial and kindred ties, when we present to them the glories of the Gospel. We drink of the water and feed on the Bread of Life to satisfy spiritual cravings; but we do not refuse the sparkling mountain streams—nor the ripened fruits of the earth to sustain physical life—the higher spiritual blessings do not exclude or destroy the lower physical sources of rejoicing. Then, why should Jews be compelled, when they confess love for the Lord Jesus Christ, to unnecessarily and unscripturally present an attitude the reverse of love toward national and social institutions commanded by God and revered for centuries by our Israelitish forefathers!
Great misunderstanding has arisen in the Church because the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants are so often confounded one with another. Abraham “received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of faith which he had in uncircumcision; that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcized; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also (Rom. iv:11). This covenant of the righteousness of faith, of which circumcision is the seal, “the law, which came 430 after, doth not disannul” (Gal. iii:17). Paul, with equal distinctness, declares, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law that upon the Gentiles might come the blessing of Abraham in Jesus Christ (Gal. iii:13, 14). Paul says in the same Epistle, “He has holpen Israel, His servant,” says the mother of our Lord, “that He might remember mercy, as He spake unto our fathers, toward Abraham and his seed forever” (Luke i:54, 55). “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for He has visited and wrought redemption for His people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, to show mercy toward our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; the oath which He swore unto Abraham our father,” declares the aged Zacharias.
One of the first acts of St. Paul after leaving the Council of Jerusalem, where he had pleaded so nobly for social freedom for the Gentiles, was to circumcise Timothy (Acts xvi:3). Martin Luther, commenting on this circumstance, says. “It is just as if I should go among the Jews in order to preach the Gospel and should find that they were weak. I might in that case be willing to submit to circumcision and to eat or even abstain as they do, but I would do all this in no other case, and no longer, than while I could be with them to labor for the Gospel. (International Illustrated Commentary, Vol. 2, page 246.)
Here we find the great Reformer declaring that he himself was willing to be circumcised and observe the ceremonial law, with the object of winning the Jews for Christ. Why then do the Gentile leaders of missionary work among the Hebrews forbid the seed of Abraham, according to the flesh, maintaining this most reasonable position? May not Luther's subsequent disappointment in Gospel work among the Jews have been the natural outcome of his failure to put into operation the practical, scriptural methods?
“So ordain I in all churches,” says Paul in his first Epistle to
the Corinthians, “was any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Hath any been called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let each man abide in the calling wherein he was called (1 Cor. vii:17-20).
Peter's comment on the Epistles of Paul, “wherein are some things hard to be understood” (2 Peter iii:16), is applicable to his references to circumcision in Galatians, which are perplexing. But the fact stands out prominently that he was writing against teachers who were striving to compel the Gentiles to live as Jews. He warns the Galatian Christians that if they receive circumcision as an aid to salvation they were debtors to do the whole law, and were fallen from grace. This reference to the position of Gentile Christians does not lessen the overwhelming proof that Hebrew-Christians in the early Church did circumcise their children, not as a meritorious act related to justification, but as a testimony of national love, as sons of Abraham, to gain their brethren for Christ. They did not despise the “schoolmaster” which had brought them to him.
With equal truth we can say the Passover was instituted previous to the giving of the law: “This day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever” (Ex. 12:14), are words which the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, and not on Mount Sinai. Does not the remembrance of our redemption from Egyptian bondage deepen our understanding and love for our eternal redemption from the bondage of sin in the blood of Christ? As I have taken my seat at the tables of my unconverted brethren at the annual feast of unleavened bread my heart has rejoiced in the knowledge that “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5:7), and I have been enabled to testify that no Paschal blood is now shed in Israel, and to remind them that “the stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner” (Psalm cxviii:22), as they repeat this prophetical scripture during the recital of the ancient ceremony. Had I refused to appear at the national feast my paschal testimony could not have been given, with the possible result of having the soul's blood of my kinsfold laid to my charge in the eternal day.
As a legitimate argument, may I not also mention that our American brethren observe Independence Day, our Canadian brethren Dominion Day, and our British brethren the King's birthday in the homelands and elsewhere, without dishonoring their Christian faith? Why then forbid Hebrew-Christians observing their day of national redemption, even though they be far from the Promised Land, as our fathers were in the days when the feast was instituted?
Then, again, is not the Feast of Tabernacles a memorial of our wanderings in the wilderness and a thanksgiving for the ingathered harvest, which will be anti-tipically fulfilled when Christ comes a second time to gather the children of Israel as a spiritual harvest after their rebellious wanderings of centuries? “I would not, brethren,” says the Apostle, “have you ignorant of this mystery lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part has befallen Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel shall be saved: even as it is written, there shall come out of Zion the Deliverer: He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: and this is my covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins. As touching the Gospel there [sic] are enemies for your sake but as touching the election they are beloved for their father's sake” (Rom. xi:25-28).
Reverting to a national argument in this connection, I would remind you that our American brethren observe Thanksgiving Day and our British brethren their harvest festivals in the sacred fanes dedicated to the worship of Almighty God, without dishonoring their Christian testimony. Why then forbid Hebrew brethren in Christ observing the Feast of Tabernacles, which in the bright millenial age, many nations will be compelled to observe according to the prophecy of Zechariah, “And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech. xiv:16).
It is a fact of deepest interest to note that whereas the first two of the great feasts of Israel, Passover and Pentecost, have their anti-typical fulfillment recorded in the New Testament, its pages contain no record of the anti-typical fulfillment of the third. Tabernacles is the most joyful of the three festivals, and the Jews expect Messiah will come during its celebration, which hope is seemingly
justified by our Lord's cry uttered during the feast, “If any man thirst let him come unto Me and drink” (John 7:37.)
Again, when missionaries of the Cross go to the Orient and elsewhere, do they not become in social and national customs as heathen to the heathen, to gain the heathen; even going so far in China as to shave their heads, wear the queue, eat with chopsticks, and wear the national costume? Why then this unscriptural lack of wisdom concerning the customs of the Hebrews when you seek to win them for Christ?
Very much is made of Paul's reproof of Peter at Antioch. Here he was taking the extreme right of the position while argumentatively fighting for freedom for the Gentiles, as he took the extreme left in his proclamation for the Jews, “I became as under the law to them that are under the law, to gain them that are under the law (1 Cor. ix:20). The burden of his argument is to prevent either Jew or Gentile depending on works of the law for salvation. But his actions would have given a constant lie to his teachings had he forbidden either Jew or Gentile being circumcised or observing the ceremonial law, with the laudable desire of gaining the Jew for Christ. Peter and Barnabas had been carried away by Hebrew Zealots who were seeking to Judaize the Gentiles. Paul's reproof was just and necessary. But in this very connection he declares that “the gospel of the circumcision was committed unto Peter, as the gospel of the uncircumcision was unto him” (Gal. ii:17). These are not idle and meaningless titles! When the Hebrew Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem declared for liberty to the Gentiles, they did not sacrifice their own liberty. Were not the Gentile Christians free to eat or refuse meat offered unto idols, which superstitious act did not in itself defile the food? Who, then, will dare say that Hebrew-Christians are not free to observe the law, which is described as holy, just and good, if used lawfully? The Apostle refrained from idol meat for the sake of weak brethren among the Gentiles. He conformed to ancient ceremonies for the sake of weak brethren among the Hebrews. Years after the report spread that Paul was teaching Jews among the Gentiles to forsake Moses. On his last visit to Jerusalem, “James and all the elders were present; and when he had saluted them, he rehearsed one by one the things that God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. And when they heard they glorified God and they said unto him, “Thou seest, brother, how many myriads (margin) there are among the Jews
of them that believed; and they are all zealous of the law; and they are informed concerning thee, that thou teachest all the Jews that are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs” (Acts xxi:18-21).
It is to be noted that the tens of thousands of Jews herein referred to were not residents of the Holy City, but pilgrims from all lands, who had come to Jerusalem to keep the feast of Pentecost. They were Jews, resident among many Gentile nations, believers in the Lord Jesus, and yet zealous of the law for their brethren's sake. Did Paul reprove them for their national loyalty, as he had reproved Peter at Antioch for his racial bigotry? Nay, verily, he gladly responded to their invitation to prove that he himself was walking orderly and keeping the law, as he had at Cenchrea and elsewhere, not in bondage, but in perfect liberty.
It is folly to argue that this course of action was the occasion of his tribulation at Jerusalem. Everywhere tribulation was his appointed lot, as among the Gentiles at Ephesus. The disturbance in the Temple did not take place until seven days later, when he was accused of “teaching all men everywhere against the people, the law, and the place” (Acts xxi:28), and of defiling the Temple by introducing Greeks therein. Had the charges been true they would have been justified in condemning him, as seemingly, he admits by implication when addressing the angry multitude in the Hebrew tongue, he commences thus: “Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye the defense which I make now unto you?” (Acts xxii:1).
When the Apostle declares that in Christ there can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male nor female” (Gal. iii:28), it is perfectly obvious that he no more intended to unsex the Jew than he did to unsex the Gentile. Did he not declare himself years after his conversion “a Hebrew of the Hebrews?” (Phil. iii:5), “a Jew?” (Acts xxii:3), “an Israelite?” (Rom. xi:1). He writes to the Roman Christians, “I speak to you that are Gentiles” (Rom. xi:13), and salutes and thanks “all the churches of the Gentiles” (Rom, xvi:5). Can the distinction be clearer?
The Epistle to the Hebrews was partly written against the unscriptural position of the Judaizer, who were depending on works of the law for salvation, as books are written to-day against
the teaching of brethren who declare that certain forms of baptism, or belief in certain creeds, are necessary, if we would rest secure in our hope of eternal life. Consciously or unconsciously they belittle the finished work of Christ, and will themselves suffer eternal loss if they depend on outward work for salvation. But because these extremists are wrong, the Church at large does not forbid baptism nor the formulation of creeds. We ask you to be equally wise and just in respect to the legitimate ceremonies of the Hebrews; for Jews who have truly entered into the joys of faith are not likely to be again entangled in the yoke of the law. “Christ being come an high priest of good things to come * * * * * by HIS OWN BLOOD entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. ix:11, 12). Good works, repentance, prayer and fasting, even on the Day of Atonement, are only acceptable in God's sight as related to the sacrifice of Christ. The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, “The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17:11).
It is sometimes said that Hebrew-Christians escape “the offence of the Cross” by becoming as Jews to the Jews, to gain the Jews, which is like saying that a soldier escapes danger who boldly enters the enemy's country. There are to-day scores of men of Jewish birth occupying Christian pulpits, who, taking the opposite course, enjoy happy, social and spiritual relationship with their congregations. Some have become Gentilized, changed their names, and deliberately turned their backs upon their unconverted brethren to escape the universal reproach of the Jew. But what is the position of a Hebrew-Christian who is loyal to his brethren as to Christ? Scorn in the home and national circle; suspicion and misunderstanding in the Christian circle! Which position is nearest to that of the great Apostle to the Gentiles when he declared, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh (Rom. ix:3).
The position for which we contend was conceded to be scriptural by leading Hebrew-Christian missionaries from many lands, who met in London about five years ago, after calm and long-continued discussion. Unfortunately, they were restrained from giving public expression to this most wise judgment through fear
of the Gentile Christian leaders of missionary societies upon whom they depended for support. May God forgive their cowardice.
We argue for absolute freedom and not for compulsion—freedom to exercise our liberty in Christ in favor of our unconverted brethren, and not against them—and urgently appeal to all Christians to proclaim the Apostolic fact that “Hebrew Christians are entitled, under the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, if they so desire, to admit their male children into the covenant of Abraham, and to observe any other of the rites and ceremonies of their fathers, not done away with by Christ and His Apostles or the primitive Church; provided only, it is clearly understood, that neither Jew nor Gentile can be saved by works of the law, but only through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. “For there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Acts iv:12.
*REMARKS OF THE EDITING COMMITTEE.
At the close of Bro. Levy's address it became apparent that he stood alone in his teaching, and only after the most serious consideration the editing committee agreed to insert the paper, deciding, however, to append the following remarks:
1. The brother is in perfect agreement with all the rest of the brethren when he claims that we are justified before God through faith in Christ without the deeds of the law.
2. When the brother reproves the Church because she prohibits her Hebrew-Christian members to observe the ceremonial law for national reasons, he evidently means some other church than that of the United States; for the Evangelical Church of this land never made such prohibitions to our knowledge, nor did she have occasion to do so.
3. We are not convinced that our faithfulness to the ceremonial law would take away the offence of the Cross. It is not the giving up of the law, but our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus that stamps us as apostates before our people.
4. We are therefore convinced that as long as our Jewish brethren persist in their opposition, and we in our faithfulness to Christ, we shall in the future, as in the past, be compelled to go to Him without the camp and bear His reproach, and our relation to the ceremonial law will not alter the case.
5. We to whom Christ is the end of the law for righteousness—we who are made free from the law by Christ, are just as much national Jews as Drs. Herzel and Nordau, and myriads of others who emancipated themselves from the bondage of the law. Our nationality is not conditioned by observance or non-observance of ceremonial law, but by our ancestry. As
to God's glorious promises to our nation, they too are based on grace and not on merit acquired by faithfulness to the ceremonial law. Deut. 7:6-8; 9:5; Hez. 36:22. Yea, when Paul in the Epistle to the Galatians, had cast down all the walls of partition between Jewish and Gentile believers, concluding that in Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision amounted to anything, but a new creature, he still made a difference between Gentile believers and Jewish believers, wishing both of them peace and mercy; and when in his mind the latter stand out as “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16), it is not because of ceremonies that they observed, but because they walked according to this rule (kanon) which he just established, viz., in Christ nothing counts, but a new creature, v. 15.
A. R. KULDELL,
What Can We Do to Make Jewish Missions More Successful?
BY REV. LEOPOLD COHN.
First—The church as well as individuals can do very much toward the success of Jewish missions by observing the order of the Lord Jesus Christ with implicit obedience. “Whatsoever He saith unto you do it,” said Mary. Not whatsoever you think best, or what your rulers think best, but what He saith. “And as soon as they had filled the stone water pots, as the Lord Jesus commanded, the water was turned into wine.” That was the first success attending the obedience to the Lord's definite command. We, too, can fill the stony hearts of the Jews with the living water, confident that he will turn that water into wine, converting their souls and making glad their hearts.
“Ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem and in Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the utmost parts of the earth.” He wants his witnesses to face Judea first, and then the utmost parts of the earth. But the leaders of the Church became “wise in their own eyes” (Isa. 5:21), and in their judgment the Jewish field was too hopeless for strong efforts. But see what child-like faith can do. “Nevertheless, at thy word, I will let down the net.” Luke 5:5. In that very hopeless spot of the sea where they had toiled all the night and had taken nothing, they had a draught of fishes which filled both the ships so that they began to sink. They succeeded and others partook in the blessing, for they had to beckon unto their partners. That was an indication that when the church will cast her Gospel net into this hopeless sea of the Jews, there will be the greatest success that the world
ever witnessed. For, not only will there be a large draught of converts from among the Jews, but also nations and kings will be partakers of their blessings. “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all the kings thy glory.” Isa. 62:2. And again, “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isa. 60:3. Then shall we see those that will “fly as a cloud and as the doves to their windows.” Isa. 60:8. These and many other passages of scripture show plainly that by strictly observing the divine order of preaching the gospel to the Jew first, the Jews will not only be converted themselves, but the heathen, too, shall turn to the God of Israel. The gospel is a mysterious power. Every word and every sound of it is a magnet charged with a potent elixir of strength, but we must submit to the rules laid down by the master of these power currents. The operations of an electric battery are made possible by a careful submission to the accurate demands of its definite laws. In order to derive the full benefit of the voltaic pile, you must send its power through both its wires,—the positive and negative. Neglect one of them and there will be no flow of power. The Gospel is the “power of God unto salvation.” But how is that power to be realized? “To the Jew first, and also to the Greek” is the divine direction. Neglect this direction, and the sacred battery will not work.
Second—We can do very much to make Jewish missions more successful by observing the scriptural rules concerning the men we send out as missionaries. In the selection and installing of a pastor to labor in one of our churches, what nervous anxiety every member feels. What extreme caution is exercised and with what persistent and penetrating investigation the committee goes about its work. The man must be thoroughly equipped for his office. He must be upright, talented, of reputation, must have passed the curriculum of the college and seminary and the examination of ecclesiastical judicatory; must have exhibited power as a licentiate, and must have some Christian experience. He must be sincere, discreet, must have originality, eloquence, a good pulpit figure, and imposing personality, a good voice and articulation, some knowledge of music, be up in the history of the past, the politics of the present, and the prognostication of the future, etc., ad infinitum.
This is for the Church. For mission work, “any old thing
will do,” so that it comes under the general description of “sort for sort,” a reformed drunkard for drunkards, an ex-convict for the jails, a native teacher at $50 a year for the Congoes, a former cotton hand for colored men, and a Jew for Jews. Let a man have the racial qualifications, let him be a Jew, and though he lack every other requisite, the church is ready to commission him to preach the gospel to his own people. They take up a Jew professing Christianity. He may be a fugitive from some European persecution, utterly unlettered, even in his own sacred literature. His formative education may have been under the three balls in Chatham street, yet they freely indorse his preaching to the Jews. Then presently, some evil thing crops up, mistaken doctrine, financial complication or even a perverted moral sense, and with what inevitable result? First, the Jews are repelled rather than attracted. Their infidelity is confirmed, and Christ is dishonored. Second. Christians are discouraged. They say “what is the use in trying to bring the Jews to Christ? It cannot be done.” And so the old falsehood of the devil is resurrected: “Israel is cast off from God.” This, notwithstanding Paul's constant asseveration, ``God forbid.''
The remedy is in the setting up of a new standard of selection. Paul enumerates the conditions in the 9th chapter of 1st Corinthians. These paraphrased into the language of the present might perhaps be thus expressed: First, the surrender and consecration of the man wholly, absolutely to his crucified, risen and living Lord. Second, his thorough acquaintance with Christ as he is portrayed in God's written word, both in Old and New Testaments. Third, the manifestation of God's presence with him and of God's power through him in his life and ministry. I apprehend that in this matter, we should adopt the counsel of Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, who advised him, saying, “Thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness.” The Hebrew word for able men here is men of virtue and strength—“chail,” which literally means, an army. This conveys to us the idea of a soldier. The man must face death, and yet stand in the field of battle. There have been a number of Jewish missionaries both of Jewish and Gentile descent, who at some time had conceived a notion to preach the gospel to the Jews, but soon gave it up under various pretences. One said that the Lord wanted him to go about and
teach Christians different doctrines. Another imagined that the Lord wanted him to go about lecturing on Jewish fables and traditions. Still another thought he could do greater service by applying the time to writing books, as if his book was the only one missing in the world of literature, etc., etc. Their mission fields have been entered in Jewish mission statistics, which, when the indifferent Christians read, they flatter themselves and say, “Well, there are plenty of missionaries to the Jews nowadays,” but, alas! if they only knew how untrue those statistics are, and how the Jews triumphantly point their finger of scorn at such Jewish missionaries, whom they call “Bluffers.” They say, “These bluffers have seen themselves that we Jews have a better religion than they have, therefore they retreated. I had a number of letters from Jews some years ago, in which they wrote something like this: “You bluffer, you will very soon stop your nonsense about your Jesus, like all the others who came for a time and soon went their ways.” The advice of Jethro is to have a soldierly man who will stand at his post, notwithstanding hardships and difficulties, proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Jews, keeping on, pegging away at it even unto death.
The second point in Jethro's advice is, “such as fear God.” There are missionaries to the Jews who would irritate the Jewish people by showing disregard to the law of God. “Unto the Jews, I became a Jew,” said Paul. Otherwise, he will prove himself in the eyes of the Jews to be a man who does not fear God. I have known missionaries who, in order to torment a Jew, lighted a cigar on the Sabbath, and ironically asked the Jew, “Is it Sabbath to-day?” puffing the smoke of the cigar in the Jew's face at the same time. We can imagine what an attraction such a Christian missionary can be to the Jews.
Third description given by Jethro is, “Men of truth.” The missionary must speak nothing else but the truth. I have known missionaries to tell untruths and so-called kind Christians have excused them because, they say, it is a fashion in America to look for big things, to make large advertisements, to attach large titles to business, and so the Christian workers and clergymen, too, may exaggerate a little. But God will not bless things which are not absolutely true. In the scriptures we find along this line only two definitions, the truth and a lie—there is no middle ground. You cannot change a lie by calling it an exaggeration.
The fourth point, “hating covetousness,” or as the Hebrew has it, hating money. Most of the Jewish missionaries would go around to individuals and churches, begging for money. They would appoint themselves a committee of a number of men who apparently are glad to have their names connected with such an office. They do not know the life, character and ability of the missionary. They simply give encouragement to the missionary by their endorsement to go out and gather money, consequently, the spirit of soliciting contributions grows stronger and stronger in the mind and heart of the missionary and the work is sadly neglected. “Ye cannot serve two masters,” saith the Lord. Having set his mind on the money matter, he cannot have his mind to teach, preach and pray. He has no time to study the scriptures, and does not really know what to preach. His sermon consists of foolish harangues and denunciations against the Jewish religion. He tells the audience—if he has any—that Christianity is a license for the Jew to eat pork, to break the Sabbath, etc., etc. The Jewish hatred toward Christianity is thereby increased, they hate, persecute and fight the missionary, who goes about telling the Christians that because he believes in and preaches the Lord Jesus Christ, therefore he is persecuted. A committee, consisting of experienced Hebrew-Christians, should be appointed to investigate all such missionaries, their work, their character and their ability. They should visit the meetings for a long time, and thereby learn of the nature of the work, and those whom they find unfit should be discountenanced. It is ridiculous to send to the Jewish people men who are not worthy of the high calling of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Jews are not heathen. They had a Moses, they had a Samuel and a David, men of God according to his heart. Such they will listen to and will be led by them. There is a Talmudic comment on Malachi 2:7, which reads: “If one is like an angel of the God of hosts, then shall they seek the law at his mouth.”
This is inborn with the Jew. He watches the preacher critically, and if he finds in him any appearance of evil, he will not receive his teaching. But the Jew will always respect a godly man, and will soon follow his example and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
What Can Be Done to Make Jewish Missions More Successful?
BY A. T. DUSHAW, STUD. THEOL.
Any one who has candidly watched the progress of Jewish missions in New York City, must certainly be astonished at the rapid decline in interest, both on the part of Jews and Christians. Missions, where at one time the Jews flocked by the thousand, are either attended by a few boys, or the places are sold out to the Jews to be turned into synagogues. The workers who shined like the stars in all their glory, have gradually become so eclipsed that we don't know of their existence.
I believe that there is nothing like looking the situation right in the face, and see what can be done to remedy it. I furthermore believe that the missionaries of New York would be far more successful if they reported to their supporters the whole truth, viz., that the work amongst the Jews is not what it should be, and that this is due to lack of workers and proper places for doing the work.
In what follows I will discuss as briefly as possible the causes of the decline, and also offer some remedies.
1. Preaching is not the only means of proclaiming Christ. I do not entirely discountenance preaching, but in Jewish work the testimony of helpfulness is needed as well. Furthermore, the preaching takes place in churches; and churches are not the very best places to preach to the Jew, because the average church member is not an exceptional lover of Israel, especially is this true in Jewish neighborhoods. The reasons are rather economic and not religious.
Nice, clean, ventilated halls should be built and the work carried on institutional methods. Then instruction could be given to the young. In these buildings rooms should be had to let to converted Jews. As it is to-day, the moment one accepts Christ, the Jews in free America persecute and turn him out of doors, and his Hebrew-Christian friends cannot in any way assist him. These institutions should also have an employment bureau. We must not forget that the Jews, although persecuted, are the greatest persecutors and the most intolerant people we have under God's blessed Sun, and had they power, tragedies similar to that of St. Stephen would be enacted in the city of New York. It is
therefore our duty to make provisions of some kind for our persecuted brethren.
2. Perhaps the present conditions of Jewish missions in New York City are largely due to the fact that in the past there has not been the proper harmony between the workers. Thus, instead of uniting their forces and presenting one solid front to the enemy, each worker worked independently of the others. This, of course, gave the enemy a good chance to hit hard, and they did. Had there been harmony, one or more men acting unworthy of the calling could not in any way lower the character of Hebrew-Christians in the estimation of other Christians. The Gentile Christian workers are not all perfect. I have met students who were assisted in college for the sole purpose of preparing for work in the missionary field, and after receiving the education, they took up some other profession. But because there is harmony, if only in a measure, the Gentile Christians were not hurt by it, but, alas! how different among Hebrew-Christians. Of course, harmony will mean some sacrifice on the part of every worker, but if the prayer of each will be—
“Oh, to be nothing, nothing, only to lie at His feet,
A broken and contrite vessel for the Master's use made meet,”
how easy it will be to sacrifice our mites. Brethren, let us from this moment bow before the presence of Christ, and vow that in the future, God helping, we will forget self and be ready to minister to one another in the spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant. My heart is too full to say any more on this point. If Christ is all to us, then we can surely lay aside all petty differences for the cause of Him we love, and work together in spirit and in truth, standing by each other in times of trial and in times of victory, remembering that unity is strength.
THE KIND OF MEN NEEDED FOR THE WORK.
3. It is a very difficult matter with us poor mortals to really know who should be a worker and who should not. None of us is truly worthy to be a laborer in the Master's vineyard. It is a privilege conferred upon us. Furthermore, the world is every now and then astonished to see one become a power for righteousness, though not graduated from some great university.
Yet I would not have you forget that the great lawgiver was raised in Pharaoh's palace; that that great prophet who was next to the King in the government was trained in the court of Babylon; that the greatest interpreter of Christ was a student of the Talmudic schools in Jerusalem; that he was versed in Philosophy, and wrote his beautiful letters in Greek; that the one who rescued the pure gospel from the clutches of a superstitious Catholic church was one of the great scholars of his day; and the great men of the nineteenth century, who helped to build up the kingdom of Christ were not all fishermen. I believe that the spiritual love of missionary work would be elevated if the intellectual was higher than what it is to-day. We need sanctified scholarship.
Shall we see the Christian Church be so strict in sending out the right kind of men, and we be indifferent in this respect? Before a man can go out to preach the gospel to the heathen, he is required to have the best intellectual equipment this country can give, whilst to preach the gospel to the keenest and the rudest antagonist, the Church sends anyone. The only qualification is, that he is a Hebrew-Christian, and was possibly a Rabbi in some hamlet in Europe where he discoursed upon the great life important theme, whether an EGG laid on the Sabbath day may be eaten by a pious Jew. Let us require the same qualification of the Hebrew missionary as the Gentile Christians do of their ministers. We ought to send men to our theological seminaries to try to get some of those students to enter the Jewish field. Why should all the best be sent to the heathen world? Let some be sent to the scattered and tattered sheep of Israel. O, that God would open the eyes of the church to the great spiritual need of Israel. If the church had taken the same interest in Jewish work as she does in heathen work, Israel, I believe, would to-day be a nation acknowledging Christ as the Messiah and King of all hearts.
THE KIND OF MESSAGE TO BE PREACHED.
4. First of all, let me tell you what kind of message is not needed to be preached, it is the return to ceremonialism. What would we think of a man who on being dragged out of a pit, should immediately go back in again? Now, after having dragged out so many Jews from tradition, superstition, and from forms which possess no life, would any candid Christian have such return to those dead things? Who wants to sacrifice, or even to compromise the great principles of freedom laid down in the gospels
and epistles, in order to satisfy a few men who are afraid to enjoy the glorious liberty Christ has given them. The Christian lives under the law of Christ, and if he desires to return to the old law, he is a fool, and the expression, “O foolish Galatians,” might be applied to such. Let the Hebrew-Christian “stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made him free, and not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” “Behold, I Paul, say unto you, that if any man be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing,” and to the Colossians he says, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath (days).”
The Christian is a free man, he can eat what he pleases (if it only agrees with him), neither is he bound to any particular day. But if any man wishes to observe the dead law, he is no more under Christ. But if such a one desires to keep circumcision and Saturday for the Sabbath out of respect to his forefathers, let him do so for himself, and not take the stand that it is absolutely essential for every Hebrew-Christian to do likewise.
Had this conception of Christianity triumphed, Christianity would not be to-day the world-wide religion that it is, it would still be confined to Palestine, and its character would be a sort of Pharisaism. Christianity does not concern itself with certain theories, but with great principles, such as man's fall, the redemption by blood, symbolized in the old, accomplished by Christ in the new covenant, the application of redemption through the spirit in the means of grace, &c., &c. Christ is the completion of all that came before, everything led up to him, he is the commencement of a new type of life, yea, he is the new life himself.
Our chief business as missionaries then is, to preach Christ and him crucified, to endeavor to build up the Kingdom of Christ in the hearts of men. Christ is not alone the highest ideal in the world, but also the power to realize this ideal. For he is the way, the truth, and the life.
BY MISSIONARY E. B. SAMUEL, OF THE LONDON MILDMAY MISSION TO THE JEWS.
Mr. Chairman and Dear Brethren:
It gives me great pleasure indeed to be here this morning and to meet so many of you, to whom I feel myself united with both natural and spiritual ties.
And first permit me to convey to you the affectionate greetings of our Jewish Christian brethren from the other side of the Atlantic. As most of you know, we have a Hebrew-Christian Alliance and Prayer Union in London; and we were all exceedingly glad to learn that you were also going to form a similar association here; and when, moreover, our president and committee (of whom I have the honor of being a member) became aware that I anticipated visiting the United States, they desired me to be present at your Conference, if possible, to represent them, and to convey to you all their sincere wishes for your temporal and spiritual success, especially in forming your Alliance. This I do very heartily, for I am convinced that such a union is both desirable and necessary.
There is a verse in the twenty-first chapter of Ezekiel that comes to my mind in the Hebrew which, literally translated, would read, “Unite thyself, turn to the right, make ready (or put thyself in position), turn to the left, whither thy face is set” (or straight on). Each of these phrases is but one word in the Hebrew and seems to have been uttered by the Prophet as a battle cry.
He describes the awful effect of the terrible sword that was furbished and sharpened for slaughter, and then gives the order for battle. Hithachadi: Make thyself one! or fall in. This, brethren, is the first step to be taken, and a necessary one; in our Christian warfare we shall accomplish but little if we are not united. We have many enemies within and without, natural and spiritual: The Gentiles despise us because of our race, the Jews hate us because of our faith, and it is necessary for us to show a united front; for as scattered units we must remain weak in the world, but banded together our strength shall be multiplied and we shall become a power for good. What we cannot do singly we shall accomplish unitedly, for unity is strength.
And why should we not unite? We are of the same race, we
worship the same Lord, we have one faith, one hope, one desire, and one object. Truly. brethren, let us take Ezekiel's battle cry as our motto, and let us unite!
We should, however, not only be in concord among ourselves, but we should especially be joined to our Divine Master, Who, having already conquered for us will lead us from victory to victory. The evil forces of the world are real and great, and mere carnal weapons prove insufficient for them; but if we “put on the whole armour of God,” and fight under the banner of our Spiritual Captain, we are sure to win.
And being united to Christ and to one another, we shall then be willing to obey the remainder of the verse, to turn to the right when necessary, to put ourselves in a position of readiness, or turn to the left when needed. The enemy comes sometimes and attacks us from very unexpected quarters, so we must be mobile, ready to turn in all directions, and whenever emergency requires; we must never permit him to outflank us. Then, as the Prophet continues, we shall be able to make progress and go straight on whither our faces are set. We can turn on every side except backwards, but the object should be to make progress. Onward, ever onward, should be our aim.
The Christian's life ought never to be at a standstill; to remain stationary would mean retrogression, and such a word ought not to be found in the Christian's vocabulary. You will remember, when Isaiah the Prophet enumerates the movements of the godly, he makes no provision for retrogressive movements; he says at the end of chapter xl, “They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” So, though we may have to turn to the right, or turn to the left, let us never turn back. That should be the object of the Alliance. My earnest prayer to God is that together, you here and we on the other side of the Atlantic, may make good progress in our spiritual undertaking for our Divine Lord. Progress, continual progress!
Hebrew-Christians and National Movements Among the Jews.
BY REV. S. K. BRAUN, EASTON, PA.
Among other things the speaker mentioned the Zionist movement and traced it to two causes. 1. The hatred against Israel and 2d, the hatred of Israel's own heart.
1. The hatred against Israel in the heart of the nations, the speaker thought was not justifiable. But God overrules this sad experience to Israel's ultimate good. The national feeling is stronger to-day than at any time of their dispersion and the Hebrew-Christians partakes in Israel's hopes as well as in its national fears.
2. The hatred of Israel is another movement which affects the Hebrew Christian. The interest in Israel's salvation is increasing. Hebrew-Christians particularly are carrying the Gospel of Christ to their own brethren. The Gospel has never been preached in vain among this people. Yea, in proportion to the efforts put forth it is bringing more fruit among the Jews than among the Gentiles. But this very fact causes consternation among the Jews; they fear that their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters would soon fall into the snare of the Hebrew-Christian missionary. Therefore they inaugurate all kinds of movements and enterprises so as to counteract the influence of the Gospel brought by the Hebrew-Christians. The battle is on. The heart often sickens at the sight of our brethren opposing us whilst we know that we only seek their eternal good. But our final victory is assured. The mouth of the Lord has spoken and He will also perform. Amen.
What Can Be Done to Elevate Hebrew Christianity in the Estimation of Christians?
BY REV. H. JACOBS.
The term “Hebrew Christianity,” reminds us of the primitive Church at Jerusalem. When a great persecution arose against the Hebrew-Christians in Jerusalem, they scattered abroad and went about preaching the Gospel to the heathen. The Lord blessed their testimony. The churches founded were mostly Gentile, and while these grew and multiplied, the congregations, distinctively Hebrew-Christians, disappeared more and more. After the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 A. D., we find hardly
any distinct Hebrew-Christian congregations of any great importance.
There were living across the Jordan a sect of believing Jews, who called themselves “Abionites” (derived from the Hebrew word ebyon (poor, needy). They believed in Christ as the Messiah of Israel, but adhered also to all the laws and rites of the Old Testament. They discarded riches and looked upon it as a sin; hence their name Abionites. We do not hear of them after the middle of the second century; they could not compete with the Catholicity of Paul and Peter, and they died the natural death of narrowness.
From that time on we do not know of any distinct Hebrew-Christian church or synagogue. From time to time the converts from Judaism joined the Christian Church, regardless of its nationality, at the place and time of their conversion. Thus, Nenander, the great Church Historian, joined the Lutheran church in Germany. Bishop Shereshewsky, a Russian Jew, joined the Episcopalian church, and so hundreds and thousands have joined the different churches where they found the Christ.
The last fifty years have seen an unusual awakening among the Jewish race, and the converts to Christianity can be counted by the tens of thousands. It is simply a fulfillment of prophecy that Israel shall blossom again, and that they shall seek Jehovah and David, their king. But the Church in general has not caught yet the spirit of Paul, who wished himself “accursed from Christ for his brethren. The majority of Christians are not only indifferent but even suspicious.
On my way to the convention I met a Professor of a Theological Seminary, who, in the course of our conversation, said to me: “Seventeen years ago a Jew was converted and baptized in a neighboring town not very far from where I live, and for ten years I had my suspicions about his sincerity. But now it is seventeen years (the exact number of years Jacob lived in Egypt. Gen. 47:28), and I regret very much my misjudgment, for he is an earnest, strong and ardent Christian.” This is only one case of many.
I would suggest—
1. An organization of Hebrew-Christians all over the land, yes, of all lands, with a chapel at some center, say in Jerusalem. We could not all meet every year, but delegates from different
lands representing different Hebrew-Christian organizations could meet annually or biennially for conference and prayer. This chapel could be used during the year by Hebrew-Christians as headquarters for preaching Christ to our unbelieving brethren.
2. Another suggestion how to elevate Hebrew Christianity is in baptising converts. I know that we are all anxious to see some professing the Lord. It is the same anxiety and eagerness which exists among the pastors of the Christian churches as well, but it is a fact that many are received into the church who ought not to be there, Gentiles as well as Jews. Of course we cannot look into the heart, but it will pay in the end to receive only those who have shown real proof of their conversion. In my short ministry I have had an experience in that line, and I am only giving you the benefit of it. St. Augustine said: “Whatever he experienced, he was sure that somebody else, somewhere, some time, experienced likewise.
3. Thirdly, I suggest that if we expect Hebrew-Christianity to be elevated in the eyes of the Christians, we should begin at home. Let us elevate Hebrew-Christianity among ourselves, let us love one another, let us rejoice in the success, estimate the good qualities, and overlook the infirmities of each other.
Our convention affords an opportunity to exercise such graces, and I am so glad to know that such a spirit is being manifested. As one of the Gentile Christians told me, she wondered how we Hebrew-Christians got along so nicely together, coming from so many different countries, with their various customs, and now belonging to so many different denominations.
Thank God for this spirit of love. But let us keep in mind, brethren, that just as we love and pray for Hebrew-Christians, just so much will Hebrew-Christianity be elevated in the estimation of the Church.
Conclusion—All our suggestions would be writing on the sand if we forgot one thing, it is after all the only thing, the highest and best thing, it is this: To elevate Hebrew-Christianity in the estimation of Christ, the Lord of all. This must be our first concern. If we appropriated all His treasures, if the whole Christ is ours and we are wholly His, then we need not trouble ourselves about elevating our Christianity in the estimation of others. The Lord will take care of it and of us. Amen.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
For Christians in Search of Information.
Books on Jewish Topics.
(They Make Appropriate Presents.)
A CENTURY OF JEWISH MISSIONS.—By Rev. A. F. Thompson. Concise, compact, comprehensive, complete, suitable for libraries, homes, and study classes, gives a complete summary of work among the Jews in all lands. Price, $1.00 net.
ISRAEL MY GLORY.—By Rev. John Wilkinson, London. Hon. Director of Mildmay Mission, London, England. A key to the Scriptures. Every thoughtful Christian will read it with delight. A book for reference and authority. Price in paper cover, 65c; board, $1.00; cloth, $1.25.
DIVINE UNITY OF THE SCRIPTURES. By Rev. Dr. Adolph Saphir, (Hebrew-Christian,) Cloth, $1.50. Full of instruction. The unity of the Old and the New Testament, clearly proven and strikingly illustrated. His identification of Jehovah with Jesus is made manifest and is Scripturally sustained.
EXPOSITIONS OF THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. Cloth. two volumes, $2.00. The best work on this Epistle in print. Fitted under God to write a scriptural and spiritual exposition.
CHRIST AND THE SCRIPTURES. Cloth, 40c. An unanswerable argument for the verbal inspiration of the word of God. As a Hebrew-Christian he had a grasp of Scripture, and of God's purpose such as few Gentile minds can grasp. Orders promptly filled.
TRACTS FOR JEWS.
In Hebrew, Yiddish, German and English. Published by The New Covenant Mission, (Incorporated) Pittsburgh, Pa. Send postage for samples or for a grant for free distribution. We call attention to tract No. 11, a fine booklet of 47 pp.
THE JEWISH VIEW OF JESUS REVIEWED.
By Rev. A. R. Kuldell, (Hebrew-Christian Pastor, of Allegheny, Pa.)
A reply to Rabbi J. Leonard Levy's lecture. Written in a firm, yet tender spirit, showing the truth of God's word as against the infidelity of modern Judaism. Several editions have already been circulated. Who will help towards an edition of 100,000, which our postal mission will undertake to distribute among the intelligent Jews all over the Land. Single copy by mail, 10c. For further information please address,
The New Covenant Mission,
333 42d Street, Pittsburgh, Pa.