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בס"ד

Confirmation

 

We do not mean to speak of the so-called religious ceremony of  confirmation, which some of our modern friends have instituted as the celebration of the age of entering on the full privileges of Judaism in the youth and maiden; but of an article we wrote in our last number under the head of “Conversion Tactics.” The apostate himself has avowed his intentions in a letter from Philadelphia, which appears in the New York Jewish Chronicle, that delectable journal of apostacy and libel on the Jewish character; he speaks, or at least the editor makes him speak, as follows:

“It is with peculiar pleasure that I write to you at this time. The Lord is doing wonders in Israel. Rejoice, and be glad with me. Next week (D. V.) I shall open a school for Jewish children. Four Jewish families have already promised to entrust their children to my care, and I hope see the number still increase. This is the most effectual way of farthering the cause of Christ. I hope the expenses incurred for this undertaking will be met by our Society.”

Here is a wretched outcast from our own body talk<<91>>ing of farthering the cause of Christ by an avowed duplicity and falsehood; and there sits a reverend gentleman in his chair editorial, and inserts such balderdash as pleasant food for his readers. We think we can see him as the apostate’s letter is put into his hands, and we behold the blush of shame mantling on his reverend cheeks; still he must tell something about the success of the messengers over whom he has a sort of supervisorship; his magazine must speak something about anticipated effect, the past being equal to nought; or else the faithful and pious old men and old women, young gentlemen and young ladies, whose hearts bleed for fallen Israel, will not open their purses and will not pour out the contents thereof into the lap of the seducers; and straightway the missionary’s letter is published, with sundry notes of admiration, so that all may be induced to cry out “well done,” in order that the circulating medium may not be wanted in the veins of the operatives of this blissful institution.

But in sober seriousness, can hypocrisy go farther? can you imagine a greater outrage to be perpetrated in a free country than this attempt of inveigling the unwary into a step against which their very souls would shudder were they but acquainted with the monsters with whom they had to deal? Our language may seem unusually harsh; but we put it to the candour of every man, whether there are words harsh enough to express the utter disgust which an honest Israelite, nay an honest man of any persuasion, must feel, at witnessing such an exhibition of foul play encouraged on the part of men who call themselves Doctors of Divinity, clergymen of various denominations, doctors of medicine, lawyers, booksellers, &c., of men who hold an eminent rank in society, whose word is considered more than another's oath!

Perhaps it may be said that the managers know not what their agents do, and are therefore in nowise responsible; but we do not agree to such a philosophy of morals; they have no right to let miscreants loose upon society, to work all possible mischief, under such a shallow plea; and had we access to the public press, as these reverend, venerable, learned, honourable, and wealthy managers have, we would hold them up, not to the abhorrence of our small number of Jewish readers, but to the deserved contempt and execration of the millions who so blindly follow their lead. And we say it in all sincerity, that it is only owing to our being in so small a minority that they make these vile attempts against us; and that the case would be very different had we the means of making ourselves effectually heard in public affairs. But “we lions are just now no painters,” the huntsman’s knee is planted on our breast, and hence <<92>>we must bear as well as we may whatever of indignity is heaped on us.

Still we can assure the reverend editor and his large committee of President, Honorary, and actual Vice-Presidents, Manager, &c., that thus far their labour of love has been in vain; the community of Philadelphia had been warned, long before the missionary’s letter appeared, of the attempted deception, and we believe that not a single Jewish family does or will send their children to be corrupted by the seducer. Hitherto, moreover, we have not heard of a single conversion in our city wrought by the influence of the American Society M. C. J.; and still there have been here for the last seven or eight years first a Christian Missionary, and afterwards four or five apostates at various times; and many a sermon has been preached and many a dollar collected, the last, of course, all expended to pay travelling expenses and the board and clothing of the various preachers engaged by the Society, and to defray the expenses of printing the Chronicle: all objects laudable enough so far as they go, since all trades must live.

One person, by the by, who figures somewhat largely in the various reports which appear in the (anti)-Jewish Chronicle, “Brother M., a clergyman of the Baptist church,” has lately been committed to the insane asylum, in consequence of his exhibiting pilfering propensities, and doing other acts of mischief, which left the magistrate before whom he was brought on the complaint of another clergyman (who however knew nothing of Brother M.’s ministerial qualities), no other course than either to confine him as a lunatic, or to imprison him as a felon.

We, for our part, believe him insane, and so stated when he was examined. We were unwillingly compelled to appear against him; the cause would exhibit a ludicrous story, which we are not willing to relate now in our pages, devoted as they are to more important objects than merely affording entertainment. Enough—one of the great movers of the conversion lever in our place is a maniac, and must have been so for years, if his eccentric acts can prove this; and we honestly believe that many of those who devote so much money and time to the conversion of the Jews, are monomaniacs on that, if they are even sound on all other points.

In conclusion we would inform the managers of the A. S. M. C. J., that their movements are known and thoroughly understood; and that if they would take our advice, for which we charge them nothing, they would adopt the ancient caution “caveat emptor,” and not purchase any more apostates at the exorbitant price they have to pay, for them, <<93>>while there are so many ignorant and vicious gentiles in New York and Philadelphia, not to mention Boston and New Orleans, who can be bought for a tenth part of what one Jew costs to convert and feed afterwards.

If your object is to save souls, laudable enough as all must confess, there is at least policy in it to buy as many as your money will possibly procure, and to a certainty ten Gentiles are better than one Jew, notwithstanding the arithmetic of the Rev. Stephen H. Tyng, D. D. Let the experiment be tried, as that game is worth the candle.