« PreviousContinue »
praise and glory of the earth. A people who have clung to their faith with tenacity proportioned to the efforts made by others to compel them to renounce it, “a tenacity which seems to have incorporated itself with the very essence of their being:" a people who, wherever placed, in countenance, in mental character, in customs, laws, language, and literature, retain indelible marks of their origin; whose every recollection of the past and hope of the future have but one centre; who, while with marvelous pliancy accommodating themselves to the most diverse soils, climates, gradations of manners, civilization and forms of government; yet, “with infexible pertinacity practise their ancient usages, such as circumcision, abstinence from unclean meats, eating no animal food which has not been killed by a Jew, &c., rarely intermarrying with other nations, observe tke fasts and festivities of their law, and assemble, whenever they are numerous enough, or dare to do so, in their synagogues for public worship.” Generally strangers and sojourners, without the rights of citizenship, however long they may have been established in a land-dwelling apart, though in many of the affairs of life mingling with those around them; adopting the language of each country; yet still preserving the Hebrew as their national, their sacred tongue, in which their services are conducted and their holy books read. As remarkable too, though their history be too often engraved in characters of blood, and their only sign of vitality the cry extorted by the barbarous cruelty of their oppressors-though conly appearing in the annals of the world to be oppressed, robbed, massacred, and plundered,” they still pursue a course of industry, traffic, and accumulation of gain; in barbarous times they were the sole medium of communication between distant countries, often plundered, yet gathering the ruins of their fortune and increasing their stores again to present a mark for rapacity, they are every where seen, and though slaughtered in multitudes, springing from an "undying stock,” the possessors of a “national immortality.”
The Jews in their origin, their progress, and final destiny among the nations of the earth, were designed to be a standing miracle, or an unbroken series of miracles spanning the entire arch of time, from Abraham to the resurrection of the dead. God has never, in the long extended series of prophecy, or in the stupendous chain of his miraculous interpositions, left himself without witness of his being, of his adorable attributes, and of his transcendant interests in the human race. Isaac, the first-born of the circumcision, was as much an offspring of miraculous agency as was the birth of Eve from the side of Adam. That rib from Adam's side, was just as capable of fashioning itself into the graceful form and animated beauty of the woman Eve, as was Sarah of bringing forth Isaac, the child of promise. In calling him Laughter, the proper version of his name, she commemorated her own credulity at the intimation of her being the mother of millions. The birth of Isaac, the burning, yet unconsumed bush, whence God addressed Moses, the plagues by which their redemption from Egyptian slavery was purchased, with their journey through the Red Sea, and the wilderness for forty years, their settlement in Canaan, and all that befell them down to their final catastrophe, and dispersion among the nations, together with their preservation for eighteen hundred years since—all is ev. idently the special hand of God, a series of splendid miracles cooperating in one grand scheme of human redemption and deliver
But the end is not yet. A new series is soon to commence, and the signs of the times indicate that it is not far distant. The God of Abraham has said—Though I make a full end of all the nations, that afflicted Jacob, ‘I will never make a full end of you.' Millions of the Jews, known and proved to be such, yet exist, while not a remnant of their oppressors, known as such, is found in the four quarters of the globe.
But God has not kept them these many ages for nothing. He will use them again, and yet again bless all the nations of the earth by the seed of Abraham his friend. "If the casting of them away has been the reconciling of the Gentile world, what shall the resumption of them be but life from the dead.” We hear a rattling in the val. ley of dry bones. The Jews are intent on rebuilding their city and their temple, and in returning to their own land. We intend to notice the Jews, and especially the converted Jews of this our own day, and their efforts to convert their nation to the belief of him, as the true and long promised Messiah, whom their fathers repudiated and persecuted to death.
THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES—No. I. The political earth, the European earth, the Papal earth tremble ! France, the largest street in the papal city has been thrice shaken, if not four times revolutionized in my memory. The first Revolution terminated in a Napoleon Empire—the second in a Bourbon Kingdom-the third beginning in a republican programme, has already progressed to a Prince Buonaparte Presidency.
Europe sympathises and reels to and fro in these rapid mutations and transitions.
Prussia.—"A mighty change has come over both the people and the court. The King has promulgated a constitution of the most liberal character, embracing all the guarantees for religious liberty. The King has issued a decree dissolving the Assembly, but the Chambers are convoked to meet in Berlin on the 20th of February. A modification of the Brandenberg ministry has taken place, but the King seems determined now to force obedience to the laws."
“The Emperor of AUSTRIA, by a decree dated the 2d of December, has abdicated his throne in favor of his nephew, the father of Francis Joseph, now the new Emperor, having joined in the act of renunciation. The new ministry, by their President, in a speech, declared their course of policy. The address of the Emperor contains pledges to maintain
the liberty of the empire. The military executions for political offences still continue."
Russia.—“The army of the Emperor now amounts to 500,000 men, and makes it evident that he is watching the progress of events in Europe. The army is kept in a high state of discipline, ready to act whenever an emergency occurs. The report of the death of Ibraham Pacha is confirmed. Allah Pacha has succeeded him in the Viceroyalty.”
NORTHERN ITALY.-"We learn from the Opinione of Turin, that the Archbishop of Regnier, late Viceroy of Lombardy, had arrived at Mantua, and that Radetzky was shortly expected there, at the head of a considerable force. It is rumored that a Congress of Austrian Archdukes, Generals, and Princes, is to be held at Mantua to discuss the affairs of Italy."
ROME continues in a very unsettled state. We give this week a description of the Pope's escape from his Capitol in the disguise of a servant, as furnished by the Naples correspondent of the Times:
“Since the assassination of M. Rosi, the Pope remained a close prisoner in the Quirinal; and the Duke o'Harcourt, the French representative was compelled to reside in the palace, for the purpose of affording the protection of his person and flag to the sovereign Pontiff. The business of the government went on in the Pope's name, but without his sanction, and so far did he carry his resolu.. tion not to be dictated to, that he refused even to receive the reports, according to invariable custom, of the officer of the guard. Such a state of things could not long continue, and the members of the diplomatic corps, as it is said, arranged a plan for the liberation of his Holiness, of which the immediate execution was entrusted to the Count de Spaur, the Minister of Bavaria. At an early hour, previously agreed to, the Pope retired into a private room for the purpose of apparently conferring with the gentleman I have just named, and there he disguised himself in the livery of the Bavarian legation. In a few minutes the carriage of the Minister was called, and the Count de Spaur, followed by the Pope, disguised as his servant, descended the grand staircase, entered the carriage, the Pope mounting on the box alongside the coachman. The artifice succeeded---no suspicion arose either in the Quirinal or the outward guards, and the good old man was enabled to breathe the air of liberty. Immediately on arrival at the residence of the Bavarian Minister, another transposition was made. The Pope took off the livery suit and dressed him. self in the usual costume of the minister's chaplain, or aumonier, and M. de Spaur having already given notice of his intention of going to Naples, and received passports from the Government, post horses were soon procured, the Count and his supposed chaplain took their SERIES NI.-VOL. VI.
places in the carriage, and then happily cleared the gates of Rome. It was some time before the mistake was discovered, as of course due care was used by those in the secret,to say that the Pontiff was engaged in his devotion, and could not be disturbed. When the flight became known, the ministry was thunderstruck, and,
as I hear, dragoons were despatched to bring back the fugitive. But either of these measures failed, or the new government hesitated in arresting the person of an ambassador, and the Count de Spaur, with his reverend charge, crossed the frontier in safety, and arrived at Gaeta, a large town, the first in the Neapolitan territory, not far from Terracina. The Pope left the Quirinal on the evening of the 24th, and arrived at Gaeta on the night of the 25th.”
These are more than “the signs of the times.” These are the times theniselves. Now is the time for the students of prophecy to keep their vigils, to trim their lamps and watch!
Who could have anticipated that Pius IX, from the pinnacle of pontificial glory, should have to save, not his mystical, but his own literal body under, not the sign of the cross, but under the livery of a Bavarian legation! From the throne of St. Peter he descends to ascend the coachman's box, and placing himself on the driver's left hand, bids adieu to St. Peter's church, leaving it to take care of itself. The shepherd fleeth! Alas for the flock!-How short the step from the sublime to the ridiculous! With whom left he the crozier when lie put on a pair of Bavarian mustachios?-Well, he was extolled for liberal views; but some of us always suspected the Pope et dona ferentem.-Yes, I suspected even Pius IX as catering to the Italian spirit of the 19th century. But the whale paid no respect to the tub, and the Pope himself embarks in it.
The revolutions, changes, and transformations of 1848, are such as to command us to break silence on subjects we have never before presumed to intermeddle with. We must note the attributes of European society, in order that we may better understand our own times, our country, and the prophecies.
CHURCH ORGANIZATION-N. I. THERE is now heard from the East and from the West, from the North and from the South, one general, if not universal, call for a more efficient organization of our churches. Experience, than which there is not a more efficient teacher, decides and promulges that our present co-operative system is comparatively inefficient, and in'adequate to the exigencies of the times and the cause we plead.- , Bly observation, if not my experience, has long since taught me
that in matters of this sort it is better to follow than to precede the experience of others, and to wait for the exigencies of a community rather than to anticipate them. The development and confirmation of great principles are always first in importance, and should precede any discussion touching the manner of carrying them out to their legitimate result.
The great principles of the reformation for which we contend have been made to pass through a very severe ordeal, and may be regarded as fully established as the principles of the Protestant Reformation. Not, indeed, in the number of persons that have adopted them, or of years in which they have been before the public; for Protestantism has run more centuries than we have decades of years. But all the prominent parties now on the theatre, Romanjst and Protestant, have in their wisdom, learning, and talents, assailed, item per item, the distinctive and prominent elements that enter into its constitution, being, and character.
I know there are Atheists who, despite of all nature and reason, say there is no God. There are Deists, too, who say there is no Mediator; and millions that say Protestantism, in all its essential attributes, is damnable heresy. But will any intelligent member of - these institutions say that because of these exceptions and oppositions the truths of Protestantism are yet in doubt, or are not rationally and scripturally established? We, too, admit that there are many who affect to contemn the cause we plead, and seek to undervalue its importance, if not to question the evidence and authority of some of its distinctive features. But because of the cavils and objections of the sons of tradition and prejudice, shall we allow that either the subject, the action, or the design of Christian baptism is yet a matter of doubtful disputation? Shall we regard the Lord's day as a sort of Jewish Sabbath, and the Lord's supper as a Passover sacrament, ordained for Easter or for two or four solemn occasions in a year, because some parties so regard them; or shall we not rather weekly celebrate the death and resurrection of our divine and gracious Redeemer as did the first Christians? Shall we dispense with the ordinances of the Redeemer because of the absence of a factitious Pastor, or refuse to meet on the Lord's day because we have not a regularly ordained minister to deliver us a sermon on some text of scripture? Shall we, in one word, walk according to the commandments and traditions of men, rather than according to the precepts and precedents of the apostolic church, because many of our contemporaries prefer the things that are to the things that were? We trow not.