The Key of David
By Warder Cresson (Michael Boaz Israel ben Abraham).
A Review of
"Our readers know of the establishment of a bishopric at Jerusalem, supported by the Queen of England and the King of Prussia. A large portion of the 26,000 pounds sterling per annum, collected by the London Society for Evangelizing the Jews, is absorbed in maintaining a number of missionaries and doctors, several assistants, an hospital, &c., in the holy city; besides which, they have erected a chapel, or church, on Mount Zion, where they perform the Episcopal worship in Hebrew,* so as to attract our people. No doubt our readers may be anxious to know something about so vast a scheme for converting Jews; hence we give them the subjoined, originally intended for the "Voice of Jacob," but not sent, from a then resident in Jerusalem. The writer, though once an ardent Christian, has since embraced the faith of Abraham, and this circumstance will lend an additional interest to details which may be depended on for their accuracy."—ED. OC. [The Occident]
To the editor of the "Voice of Jacob."
Those who had any personal knowledge of the state of things in Jerusalem last year, are aware that nearly all provisions, especially all kinds of breadstuffs, were exceedingly high, several times their usual prices. This of course brought a heavy trial upon Israel. It tested their fidelity to a degree beyond what is generally conceived, particularly when it is remembered that there is a society here expressly equipped to convert (or rather pervert) the Jews, by uniting with which they could avoid all necessity and want, by selling the holy unchangeable law of their God. This Israel was not willing to do, as facts themselves proved, although in extreme exigency, without either money, food, or water--the society offering them at the same time a competency of good food, fashionable clothing, ease, and an education in their college, where they would be so taught, as soon to become missionaries. The lowest salary any missionary received from the society is £100 per annum, and some of them three times that sum. Israel had eyes to see, and minds to appreciate the worldly respect and honor, the comfort and the ease £100 per annum would procure every one of them that would renounce the holy faith that the blessed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived and died in, (especially when the title of Reverend should be prefixed to each of their names;) but like holy Daniel, when the fiery furnace and den of lions stared him in the face, and threatened his existence, Israel held fast his fidelity to his God, with but one single exception.
That was a young man, a renegade from Corfu--a noble-looking fellow, near or quite six feet high--a large, full black eye, and fine Italian expression of countenance. He was baptized in the commencement of last year, (1846), and was taken in the family of the Rev. Mr. Veitch. About the time of baptism, or nearly in a parallel line with it, he carried on gambling at Toulon's, the French store in this place, and expressed an ardent desire to come into possession of the bishop's salary, but said he did not want his title. In this way he carried on both branches of business at one and the same time, until finally he got in a quarrel with Mr. Veitch's hostler, and in a wrestle endeavored to cut his throat, and did so until the knife broke, and then went into his room and discharged a heavy loaded gun between his arm and heart, which went so near as to tear away the clothes bare of his body, leaving the load deposited in a hole some considerable distance in the ceiling or wall, just over his head. However, after this noted conversion of Abraham Joshua, he was as quietly and snugly packed off at midnight to Jaffa as well can be imagined. And this was the one glorious conquest of the mission for 1845, at the cost of £26,000 per annum, while every Jerusalem Jew to a man, held fast his fidelity under the greatest existing temptation. What an honor to human nature! How it exalts the power of faith! And what glory it does to Israel's God.
The next object we shall draw a little nearer to examine, is the Dispensary; and this establishment, like the above convert, is not exactly what it professes to be, as we see from Mr. Behren's own declaration, 1845, published in the "Jewish Intelligencer" of December, 1845, page 420. He says as follows: "In consequence of my staying with Mr. Bergheim, many Jews come to see me who otherwise would not venture to call on me, as they now come without incurring the least suspicion from their Jewish brethren, because the dispensary furnishes a sufficient excuse for them." Here we see, under cover of a dispensary expressly and professedly for affording the poor Jews medical relief, they are thus to be secretly and underhandedly taught rebellion and secession from their acknowledged and lawfully authorized head. Is this the way Christians act?--and is this the way the English mission is going to make converts?
We will now review the botanical and medical garden. This, like the last, has either been misnamed or else entirely perverted to a different purpose from its intended object; for not twenty shillings' worth has ever been raised in it of any kind of botanical or medical plants or roots whatever, until the present year, 1846, when a few castor oil plants and poppies were raised at a cost of from £50 to £60 per annum, whilst the produce heretofore (consisting of a few cabbages, salads, "onions and leeks,") has been all, or nearly all, consumed by one of the honorable members of the mission, but not without some jealous feelings and expressions of some of the other members of the mission, who have to buy at their own expense their "onions and leeks" in the Bazaar.
It has also been repeatedly mentioned in the "Jewish Intelligencer," and circulated by other means, that the rabbis of Jerusalem were on the most gracious and encouraging terms with the English mission here, in promoting Christianity amongst their members, (the Jews.) This is by no means the case. It is true, that the Chief Rabbi,* the Rev. Macado Gagin, and the rest of the rabbis, wish to treat every person with that respect and courtesy that he is entitled to; but at the same time they have no union with, neither encouragement for the mission, in the work and way that they are at present engaged in, than they have in the total abrogation and destruction of God's Holy Law, his Sabbath, Circumcision, and the Feasts; for they are not without discernment enough to perceive that, as the mission conquers, Israel must be blotted out of everlasting remembrance. So the rabbis are not anxiously waiting, as many are at this time, to see whether the mission will prove victorious, or the living word of God and Israel; for they well know God's promises will be fulfilled to them.
To conclude, it is really distressing and heart-rending to see men professing to be the self-denying saints of God, holding the Bible in their hands as their whole and sole "rule of faith and practice," inculcating a "holy crucified life to the pleasures, honors, riches, and fashions of this vain world," professing to follow a Savior that "had not where to lay his head,"--to see such professors eagerly seeking more pleasures and honors, dressed better and living better than any other body of men, professing or non-professing, in all the Holy Land. And what makes it worse, these persons are living upon the charity or charitable contributions, and are professing to "serve the Jews," when in truth the Jews are serving them, and are the very persons who are supporting them, and are the foundation upon which their large salaries, from £100 to £1200, rest; so that some of the discerning and honest in heart have wisely concluded that even if the present society should amount to some hundreds, some time hence, or even thousands, (as there are but few societies but can number their thousands,) another society will have to be raised, and funds supplied, and they be sent to Jerusalem to convert them, before there is any resemblance between them and the book they profess to follow as their sole rule of life and practice.
Those who fear God and reverence his holy word, I would earnestly entreat that they would satisfy themselves in relation to the seven following most important questions, before they proceed in giving any farther support to the present English "Mission for Promoting Christianity (so called) amongst the Jews," as follows:--
Question 1st.--Are the Jews to "Remember the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel?" or are they to abrogate it before God sends Elijah the prophet? See Mal. iv. 4, 5.
Question 2d.--Are the people of Israel not "to dwell alone, and to be reckoned among the nations," contrary to God's holy word? (see Num. 23. 9,) by becoming united to the mission and marrying amongst them, and thus their children be no longer Jews, but lost and merged in the common gentile mass, regardless of everything that constitutes the Israelite?
Question 3d.--Are they thus to totally disregard and do away with God's covenant of circumcision, that was to be "for an everlasting covenant" between God and Abraham and "his seed after him in their generations?" See Gen. 17:7-14.
Question 4th.--Is not also the seventh day Sabbath enjoined upon Israel, as a perpetual covenant throughout their generations? See Exod. 31:16.
Question 5th.--Are not the four feasts of the Lord--the Feast of "Remembrance," the "Passover," the "Feast of Weeks or the Pentecost," and the "Feast of Tabernacles," as also the "Day of Atonement," commanded to be kept by Israel as long as their generations exist? See Lev. 23.
Question 6th.--Has not God declared "That the ordinances of the sun for a light by day, and of the moon and the stars for a light by night, that these ordinances shall depart from before him, when the seed of Israel shall cease from being a nation before him for ever?" See Jer. 31:35, 36.
Question 7th.--Are you not guilty, if you promote the present mission of "transgressing the laws," changing the "ordinances," and breaking the "everlasting covenant," as shown above? (See Is. xxiv. 5.) And also of coming under the curse mentioned in Is. v. 24: "Because ye have case away the law of the Lord of Hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel!"
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