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בס"ד

Hebrew National School at Birmingham.

We give this month the two addresses alluded to in our last:

The Rev. D. M. Isaacs, at the request of the chairman, rose to propose the next toast, and in doing so said, the toast he was about to propose to the company was one of the most important of the evening, although it was one of which he was perfectly ignorant until within the previous twenty-four hours. He knew not that to him had been assigned by the committee the high honour of proposing the health of their Christian visitors; and he hoped they would extend to him their kind indulgence while he endeavoured, unprepared as he was, to discharge the duty which devolved upon him. He hoped they would pardon him if he spoke with warmth of heart, if he gave way, on that occasion to enthusiasm; for he could with truth assure them that, to him, the scene he then beheld was calculated to call forth the strongest emotions of gratitude. When he looked at the mayor, and the company over which he then presided, and then turned to the history of his people, he felt more than he could give utterance to. The history of his people for many, very many years, was one of deep affliction, great suffering, and obloquy. There were connected with it many melancholy reflections, and few illuminated passages in the annals of Israel's history equal to that which the splendid scene of that day would supply. If ever he felt the want of words to convey the heart's emotion, it was upon that proud and celebrated occasion, when he beheld before him men of all religious denominations combining together to render, as far as in their power lay, atonement for those injuries which men who had gone before them had inflicted upon the people of Israel. He felt truly happy and honoured in seeing such men around him; at the same time, conscious of the truth of his cause, he could not but feel that his Christian brethren, in honouring his nation, were honouring themselves. Ile had heard the gentlemen of Birmingham spoken of as men famous in arts, and skilled in science; as men possessed of all those acquirements which ornament life; but it was reserved for that day to exhibit them in the possession of a still more important discovery than any they had yet made. They had made the northwest passage to humanity. For that northwest passage they might be justly proud. He hailed that evening with delight, and he only wished that he was endowed with the zeal and spirit of their prophets of old; that he could fully and most heartily speak forth the gratitude of his people for the festival they were then celebrating. Yes, he and they felt truly thankful, truly grateful to the Almighty God for the great change that had taken place, and they felt truly grateful to their fellow-men for the kindness exercised towards them. That was his feeling and that of his brethren—that was their mystery—that was all the overreaching which occupied their hearts. They entertain nothing but feelings of benevolence, of mercy, and thankfulness to all, and it was with an inexpressible delight he found there amongst all parties a corresponding feeling. They would by that day's proceedings exhibit to all England a proof that, in the cause of education, (not that education unsanctified by religion, but that instruction bused upon it,) they could unite and aid each other in inculcating more sublime truths, which would render man dear to his fellowman, and blend all in one common paternal feeling. When he remembered that only a short time ago the name of Jew was a by-word, a disgrace, a signal for scorn, and beheld the scene of that evening, he held all other changes they might desire, possible. He feat that they could approximate to the period on which their inspired men had so often dwelt. When he beheld the Catholic and Protestant, and the Wesleyan, (all alike dear to him, because all the children of the one God,) at the shrine of duty, sacrificing their differences of opinion, and agreeing that they (the Hebrews) should have the power of educating their own children, he hailed the event with inexpressible feelings of delight. They required no aid, no charity from any source that would deprive them of that right which was to them the most valuable of all rights and blessings, namely, the uncontrolled right to educate their own children. He was proud of the name of Jew, now that, in the nineteenth century, he found all classes agreed that education was the most important question to the family of man. He would not detain them longer than to assure them his heart was responsive to the calls of humanity. He hailed the whole race of mankind as brothers; and he prayed the Almighty God that there might be many such meetings as that in England, to enable his brethren to convince them that there were no mysteries in Israel; that they were men like themselves, endowed with the same sympathies, capable of the same exalted sentiments, and entitled to a participation in all those rights and privileges which, as rational and intelligent beings, they could exercise. In this wish he hoped he would not be disappointed, and he, in conclusion, begged leave to propose the toast he had already announced.

The Hebrew portion of the company drank the toast with great applause.

The mayor having called upon Dr. Melson to reply to the toast proposed by the Rev. D. M. Isaacs, of Liverpool—"Our Christian and Hebrew visitors!"

Dr. Melson rose and begged to engage for himself the sympathies of the large assembly which he had been most unexpectedly called upon to address. Previous to his entry into the room he had not been made acquainted with the honour designed him in his promotion to the vice-presidential chair; and it was only whilst Mr. Isaacs was addressing them that the mayor had imposed upon him the duty, of replying to his eloquent friend. He sheltered himself, however, under the knowledge of the fact, that this meeting had been convened, not so much for the purpose of speech-making, as for the expression of feeling; and he challenged any one present to evince a greater expansion of heart than he then felt, a more glowing admiration of the cause which brought them together, or a warmer love for the people of the Israelitish nation, than that which burned in his own bosom. The speaker who had preceded him had said, that no fears need be entertained by either Jew or Gentile from their mutual association on that delightful occasion, and had spoken of streams taking their rise in different mountains and commingling their waters—streams which yet, in their onward flow to the mighty ocean, preserved their several identities. The figure was a beautiful one; and geographers informed them that the Rhone, in its arrowy descent from Mont Blanc, as it fell into the lake of Geneva, mixed not its streams with the waters of that august lake; but, as it fell into it, so it flowed out of it, bearing along with it only the odour of the flowers that grew upon its banks, only the perfume of the breeze that rippled its surface in its transit. And so with reference to this day's associations. The Christian would receive no injury from his association with the Hebrew; nor would the Israelite have to lament the day spent in such intimate association with the Christian community. The wealth of Israel and its respectability from distant parts had entered Birmingham that day, and been associated with the talent and influence of the town. That ancient river, whose flowings they had long been familiar with, and which they had been told rose first in the mountains of Chaldea, would flow on untarnished by the history of that day, bearing with it only the hearty good wishes and the cheering plaudits of an enlightened Christian community. He had looked forward with great anticipation to the ceremonies of that day, and when it broke amidst storm, and tempest, and unusually protracted thunderings, he was led to augur unfavourably as to the result of its solemnities. But as he listened in the Synagogue to the sublime and measured chaunt of their priests—"The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire; the God of glory thundereth," he had learned to reason differently, and was compelled to acknowledge, with one of the greatest of our poets, however

Fondly superstition grieved
The lightning did but sanctify below
Whate'er it strikes.

In conclusion, to the honour of the Jewish poor,—and he could not set down without paying them a compliment they so well deserved,—to the honour of the Jewish poor, he would say, that whether as a magistrate, a hospital physician, or an humble professor of Christianity, he had never admired the character of any people more than he admired theirs. During the two or three years in which he had exercised the functions of a magistrate, it had ever fallen to his lot to inflict a penalty upon a Hebrew, or to commit one to take his trial before the bar of his country. In his hospital practice he had never experienced, an he spoke advisedly, only reiterating what he had often before said—he had never met with more patience under suffering, nor so much gratitude after the hues of health had again mantled over the cheek once pale with sickness, as from the Jewish poor; and, as a Christian, he was bound to aver, that he had nowhere met with a purer exemplification of the principles of love, or the virtues of of fortitude and resignation, than those which had been furnished forth by, he would not say the lowest, but the poorest, of the Hebrew population of that large town. He rejoiced, then, in the institution, the promotion of whose welfare had called them together. He had attended many large meetings in that banqueting room, but none—ne was proud as a citizen of Birmingham while he said it—none in which so large, so wealthy, and so respectable an assembly had been congregated.

Dr. Melson resumed his seat amidst the loudest cheers of the meeting.

Thus terminated the first step in an undertaking which will, we doubt not, bring many blessed results in its train to the Israelites of Birmingham. Let the example be followed by other cities, in order that a knowledge of the Lord may become general among us.