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בס"ד

Literary Notices.

 

Cheap Jewish Library, No. 10, Lina, and 11, Caleb Asher. We lately received from a friend in England the whole series of this valuable publication, as far as it has appeared in England, and in addition to those noticed in our No. 3, we saw for the first time the two tracts mentioned above. We were especially struck with the last named, and think it thus far decidedly the most striking of the whole series. It represents the struggle of a young Jew, Caleb Asher, to support his sick father, together with his mother and sister, with the labour of his hands; but failing in this, he is induced to apply to an old acquaintance, who had become an apostate under the direction of the London Society for converting the Jews, and who then held an appointment under the destroyers of his peace. Though himself disgusted with the double dealing of being at heart averse to Christianity whilst professing it outwardly, he is nevertheless induced to send young Asher to the managers of the Society, whither he repairs the next morning with no better conviction than that as a Jew he could not get profitable employment, which would be easily attainable as a convert. But before he had made a final declaration of his change of faith, a note is placed in his hands from the now repentant apostate, who, feeling himself dying fast from a fatal disease which has long been destroying his vitals, sent for him to hasten to his domicile if he was yet free. The apostate is brought to repentance through the interference of the gentler parts of the creation, who have a deep interest in him as relatives and friends, and he dies avowing in his last moments his belief in the truth of the One God, the adorable Being whom Israel worship. Of course Asher is saved from the dreadful step he had contemplated, and with renewed hope, his worldly prospects also brighten, and he becomes a prop to his dependent relatives, although he remains true to his religion.

The above is but a very meagre outline, as we are not willing to destroy the interest of the narrative for those who have not yet seen the work. But this much we must say, that the dying scene is drawn up in a most powerfully affecting though simple manner, and the author of the tract deserves well of Israel for the truthfulness of the heart-affecting portraiture.

We cannot close without calling the attention of the authors of the series comprising the Cheap Jewish Library to one defect, which is that their characters are not Jewish enough; there is a general outline to be sure which harmonizes with Jewish life; still if we change a few expressions, they all might illustrate the opinions of the gentiles, and their creed equally well. A little more attention to this matter, and a stronger admixture of the observance of our religious precepts, under the difficulties to which the poor especially are exposed, would make these pretty tales vehicles of religious no less than of moral instruction. In the meantime we shall look forward with interest to the succeeding numbers; and we should be really happy could the whole work be brought into general circulation in this country.

Three Letters to the Archbishop of Canterbury, by the Rev. John Oxlee, Rector of Moleworth, Hunts. Philadelphia, (reprinted) by Abraham Collins, No. 220 Spruce Street.

We announced the receipt of these letters in our third number, and promised a synopsis. But as they have been republished as above, we do not think it requisite, especially as they were reviewed in the Voice of Jacob. Persons wishing the work will have the goodness to apply to Mr. Collins direct, the Editor of the Occident being nowise connected with the publication, and it is therefore out of his power, for various reasons, to supply orders which have been or may be addressed to him.

*** Other notices, necessarily omitted this month, for want of room, shall receive an early insertion.