Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

land, slaves and strangers-awaiting under the most cruel and oppressive of all despotisms, a king who is to work their deliverance."

In China, the Jews have existed for many centuries in considerable numbers. They have their synagogues, but so far conform to the Chinese customs and worship, and are so peaceable as to meet with but little persecution.

In India, the Jews are numerous. Dr. Buchanan, who visited that country in 1806 and 8, found their residence about a mile distant from Cochin, called Jewstown. They were divided into two classes, the Jerusalem, or white Jews, and the ancient, or black Jews. The former came into India soon after the destruction of Jerusalem. The latter had a tradition that their ancestors came thither soon after the Babylonish captivity. Their complexion differs much from the white Jews, and they are viewed by them as an inferior race. From these Dr. B. obtained a manuscript copy of the Pentateuch, handed down from their ancestors, which differs but little from the European copies.

• In South America and the West Indies, the situation of the Jews is favourable to the accumulation of wealth, and the practice of their religion.

In the United States the Jews enjoy perfect freedom. But few have settled in New England. A synagogue has existed for half a century at Newport, R. I. In New York, are two congregations; in Philadelphia, two; in Charleston, S. C. one very large, on the Portuguese customs; in Richmond, one.

PROSPECTS.

The prospects of the Jews are brightening. Their condition is rapidly meliorating in all parts of the Christian world. The extension of civil liberty and rational Christianity, and the efforts making for their illumination and conversion are fast placing them on the same footing with other nations, and bringing them into the kingdom of God.

From the sure promise of Jehovah, we learn that the branches of the olive tree, which were broken off, shall be grafted in again. And if the trump of the prophecy does not give an uncertain sound, the time is not far distant when the Jews will every where bow to the yoke of Jesus Christ, and enjoy the liberty and blessedness of the children of God.

The Jews, especially the Portuguese Jews, believe that they shall yet all be restored to the holy land, where, under the dominion of Messiah, they shall become an independent and glorious nation. Many Christian writers, also, believe in their literal restoration to the promised land, and the re-establishment, for a season, of their temple worship. In support of these opinions, the following passages are adduced. Deut. xxx. 5. Ezekiel xxxvi. 23–32, xxxvii. 19—28. Isaiah xi. 10-16. Jeremiah xxiii. 6-8. Isaiah, Ixvi. 20. Amos ix. 14, 15. Joel iii. 1. Hosea i. 10, 11. Romans xi. Others give all these passages a spiritual interpretation, and say they will be fulfilled in the conversion of this ancient people of God to the Christian faith.

An interesting inquiry relates to the ten tribes, which were scattered abroad at the Babylonish captivity, and which never returned to the holy land. Are they in existence? If they are, where are they, to be found ?-Some suppose that they are entirely lost among the nations. Others, that they are still in existence, because their entire extinction would be inconsistent with the promise of God, and render impossible the fulfilment of prophecy. But where are they to be found ? Some

suppose that they are the Jews in China ; who have a tradition that their ancestors settled that country 1000 years before Christ. Sir William Jones supposed that they were the nations of the Affghans in Persia, who had generally mingled with the Mahometans. Dr. Buchanan thought he found them among the black Jews near Cochin, who had copies of the books of the Old Testament, writ. ten before the captivity, but none after. Manassas Ben Israel, in a work styled “the Hope of Israel," attempted to prove that the American Indians are the descendants of the ten tribes. This was also the opinion of Eliot, the Apostļe of the Indians, and has been since strongly advocated by Mr. Adair, for many years a trader among the

[blocks in formation]

Indians, by the Hon. Elias Boudinot, and the Rev. Ethan Smith. These writers flatter themselves that they can find among the Indians something like the Hebrew festivals, fasts, and religious rites, the Jewish prophets, priests, and cities of refuge ; the basis of the Hebrew language; many Hebrew words; something of the theocracy, or divine government of Israel ; the doctrine of the divine unity; the Jewish division into tribes; phylacteries, or ancient Hebrew writings, and various traditions, unaccountable on any supposition but this, that they descended from Israel. It is not necessary, however, to seek for the ten tribes in such obscurity. They did not indeed return to Palestine, the Holy Land, but remained, scattered in all the 127 provinces of the vast empire of Ahasuerus. There, and in other parts of the world, they were in the days of the Apostles. Paul in his speech to king Agrippa, affirmed that the twelve tribes were then existing, and serving God day and night, in expectation of the promise made to the Fathers. To the twelve tribes scattered abroad, James directed his epistle ; so that there is no small reason to suppose that by far the greater part of the Jews now in the world are descendants of the ten tribes.

The preservation of the Jews through eighteen hundred years of awful suffering and disgrace," a reproach and a by-word” among all nations, “a bush burning with fire, yet not consumed,” is a most wonderful fulfilment of prophecy, and of course affords incontestible evidence of the truth of the Bible. He who can contemplate it and be an infidel, must renounce all claim to a candid and considerate mind.

37*

TABLE of the Inhabitants of the World, according to Religion

from different authorities.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Catholics, 100,000,000. Southern and middle Europe.

Do. Spain, Portugal, and Italy, exclusively.
Do. France, Austria, Poland, Belgium, and

Ireland, almost entirely, and a large
part of the German states, Switzer-
land has 700,000.

England 500,000. Greek Church, 34,000,000. Russia and Greece. 31 millions in Aus

tria. Protestants, 42,000,000. Northwest of Europe. Lutherans, Sweden, Norway, Denmark,

5 millions. Russia,

21 Germany, Lutherans and Reformed, 15

(Prussia, 6 m. Austria, 3 m. German

states, 6 m.) Other Protestants, Great Britain,

14 Holland,

2 Switzerland,

1 France,

3 The remainder of the population of Europe consists of Jews scattered through all parts; Mahometans in Turkey and southern Russia, and a few Pagans in Russia.

.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

ern

[blocks in formation]

1,800

Throughout all the

states. 1,200 itinerant > 200,000 in the south3,000 local

and western states. 90,000 in the mid. and 20,000

eastern. 10 bishops In the Atlantic States

and on the Ohio. 80

In Pennsylvania, Ma.

ryland, Virginia, N.

and South Carolina 900

Middle, southern, and

western states. 90

In New York and

New Jersey. 850

Chiefly in N. England

Middle states chiefly. 160

Chiefly in the large

cities and in Maryland.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

3

2

A TABLE exhibiting some of the most important versions of the

Holy Scriptures.
The Septuagint, a Greek version of the Old Testament; made

by some Jews in Egypt, about 286 years before the Chris

tian æra.
The Syrian version, made early in the second century.
Two Egyptian versions, made about the same time.
The Ethiopic or Abyssinian version of the Old Testament,

made about the second; and of the New, made about the

fourth. The Armenian version, made about the close of the fourth. The Latin vulgate, made by Jerome, about the close of the

fourth ; adopted as the true by the Roman church. Several Arabic translations made between the seventh and the

tenth centuries. 'The Gothic version, made about the fifth century. The Sclavonic or old Russian translation, made by Cyril and

Methodius, in the ninth century. The Anglo-Saxon version, made from the Latin, in the eighth and ninth centuries.

A. D. The German, made by Martin Luther,

1534 The English, by Tindal and Coverdale,

1535

« PreviousContinue »