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The following instances, we think, will be (painfully) interesting to our Christian friends ; as they will give them an idea to what extent Hebrew Christians have to suffer " for righteousness' sake.”
Soon after our own conversion, some years ago, a Jewish brother became savingly impressed with “ the truth as it is in Jesus; ”. and he also confessed the Lord publicly. He felt it a duty incumbent upon him to make his change known to one of his brothers in Germany, urging him to search for himself whether Jesus was not the Christ. The following is an extract from the reply received by our Christian brother :
“ I feel now called upon, as your elder brother, to address you on a most serious matter; for only yesterday I received a doleful letter from our brother J. enclosed in which was yours, bringing me the sad intelligence of your religious change.”
" Your fanaticism distresses me very much, for I am inclined to think that you are mad. Does your new creed possess more charm than Judaism ? If any one has only sufficiency of intellect to set aside some of the obsolete ceremonies of Judaism, he needs no Jesus, nor any other supernatural conversion. Every reflecting Jew can be his own Messiah, his own reformer, and has no need of the influence of priestcraft. And is it not disgraceful on your part that, no sooner are you infected with this conversion mania, but you seek already to seduce your own brother to commit a similar crime ! “What greater crime does the forger commit ?
He falsifies a name, and you falsify your religion.
I abhor fanaticism in either Jew or Christian. Do read the · Life of Christ,' by Rénan, and you will find that all ackncwledge Jesus to be a mere man. Lessing says: Christianity is based on the declaration of old women.' I believe in God, and form my ideas of the Deity in accordance with my own understanding, and do not cavil with the Jew about his ceremonies, although I think them necessary.
“In your religious tremor you might have asked the advice of your brothers ; and they would have, in tears, counselled you rather to go and consuli a physician, to get some remedy for the frenzy pressing on your brain, but not to go to a priest."
" Oh, how could you be so weak-minded?
“If you would repent of your fault, you would make us truly happy ; come home ; we shall share everything we possess with you. But, if this does not induce you, consider your aged father, whose continual anxiety was to hear of your welfare. Think of the weak state of your dear mother, who suffers much from ill-health, and whose great delight it was to hear of your well-being. What will they say when they hear of your change ?' I fear that our dear mother cannot survive it, and that our dear father will sink beneath the burden of grief and shame. Have your parents deserved that from you? ... If you are not to be prevailed upon to retract your step, I must pray and beseech you to remain a Jew towards your parents; and when you write to them, let them not perceive your fanaticism, or you are their murderer,
Go to convert the heathen, but do not come to Germany. My letter will, no doubt, griove you, but yours has robbed me of all peace, and made me very ill.”
Another Jewish believer in the Lord Jesus Christ gives the following sad story in his journal, headed, “ The sorrow of forsaking father and mother to follow Christ." A fortnight ago I witnessed a scene in a Jewish family which I shall never forget. ... Some years ago I became acquainted with several Jewish families at —, who listened with delight to the message of the kingdom, and soon became Christians at heart; but obstacles, which seemed to them insurmountable, kept them back from making a public profession of their faith. Kind Providence, however, removed the obstacle out of the way of one of those families, and they at once prepared for baptism.
I came to witness the touching scene. Mrs. S-- had a mother living in good circumstances near the spot. By some friend the latter received information that her daughter and son-in-law were about to be baptized, and the aged mother, without delay, hastened to prevent, if possible, the (in her opinion) fatal step ; but she came too late. The lamentations and bitter cries of the old lady were heart-rending, while the tears of her daughter and grand-children flowed like streams. I exerted all possible means to alleviate the pain which the poor mother suffered, but it took many hours before I succeeded. She then grasped her bonnet and shawl, and said, ...'You are to me dead and buried; and the dead and the living have nothing in common with each other.'”
" Truly,” continues the report, “said our Lord to His disciples, 'Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword.' But, blessed be God, we, as believers, both Jews and Gentiles, can joyfully add, and that emphatically, “He is our
If ever it was necessary to carry the Gospel to our Jewish nation, it is now more so. The Russian persecution brings to our shores numerous Jews who readily listen to the Gospel message in this their day of sore adversity. But these come in such a deplorable condition (many of them formerly in good positions, having lost their all), that it becomes an urgent necessity to feed their bodies, while administering to them “ the Bread of Life."
In our next article we hope to give to the Christian public some account of the doings of the Barbican Mission to the Jews: how it came into existence, how we reach our Jewish brethren, the result of our labours, as also about our wants and supplies.
Paul WARSCHAWSKI. Barbican Mission to the Jews,
28, Winston Road, Green Lanes, London, N.
ISAIAH XXXIII. 14. Y purpose is, if possible, to suggest an interpretation of the above
narily received one.
The Septuagint version manifestly alludes to a place. But we must be careful how we appeal to this translation ; tho Alexandrian Jews were full of their own theological opinions, and frequently have departed in this translation from the literal Hebrew to infuse into some passage their own mental and spiritual opinions. The translation is unequal in its character, the book of Isaiah being notoriously the worst. “The apostles used the Septuagint where it was sufficiently accurate to suit the matter in band. But the fact that the New Testament writers used this version on many occasions supplies a new proof in opposition to the idea of its authority; for in not a few places they do not follow it, but they supply a version of their own which rightly represents the Hebrew text, although contradicting the Septuagint." In the books of the Old Testament we nowhere find any reference to a penal hell, in the sense in which the word gehenna is employed in the New Testament writings. Gehenna, as a place of everlasting torment, may be proved as Augustinian, but it is impossible to prove it as Biblical. Gehenna is the final receptacle for the wicked in the New Testament, typified by the Valley of Hinnom in the Old Testament. The Jewish Rabbis were deeply tainted with the superstitions of the surrounding heathen; and both Pharisees and Sadducees were notoriously ignorant of their own sacred writings. The xxxiii. chapter of Isaiah consists of two closely associated sections; the former one ending with the thirteenth verse, the latter continuing to the end of the chapter. The first division deals with the spoilers and the treacherous dealers, with those who conceive chaff and bring forth stubble; of them the Lord saith that they shall be as the burnings of lime, as thorns cut up shall be burned in the fire. Thus, their end is a thorough destruction, even as it is expressed in Malichi iv. 1. Then, in verse thirteen, the Lord warns the people far and near of impending doom, and summons them to surrender. Up to this point I am inclined to think that the prophet has been treating of those only who are without God, and are alien from the commonwealth of Israel, and that in the fourteenth verse he turns to the inhabitants of Sion, to those who are in covenant relationship with Jehovah.
The thought is :-If such terrible judgments should be due to those who know not God, how shall they escape who, knowing the true God, are, nevertheless sinners in Sion, and hypocrites to boot ?
These took their stand for righteousness on the covenant with Abraham; the prophet, however, depicts them as the subjects of fear; presumably not the reverence of a Godly sorrow, but of a fear similar to that which Rahab mentions as having fallen upon the inhabitants of Jerichotheir hearts melted, but they acted not upon their convictions. Now, the prophet addressing those who, together with himself, were in the Abrahamic cover
renant, asks the question, “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire ? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings ?”
David long before had proposed a similar question in Psalm xv., “ Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle ? Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill ?
and again, in Psalm xxiv., " Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord ? or who shall stand in Ilis holy place ?” Then follows a responsory description of the citizen of Zion, who only may dwell in the Presence of the King -our God-Who is a consuming fire." In the Scripture before us a similar answer is evoked to that in each of the above Psalms ; indeed, it is evident that the prophet makes use of the psalmist to intimate that not the physically circumcised necessarily shall
stand in the congregation of the righteous, but those specially shall do 80 who are circumcised in heart.
“Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings ?” The prophet includes himself among the citizens of Zion who professed and called themselves the people of God. Now, does he throw out the question, prompting his people to realise the doom of gehenna ? does he appeal to the faculty of fear? or, rather, does he seek to remind them of gracious promises, appealing to their better feelings by a prospect of a future dwelling, not in gehenna, but rather in the Presence of that God who set Sinai in a blaze (see Exodus xix. 16-22)? But note that the question is put as to who shall dwell with, not in, the devouring fire and everlasting burnings. It is desirable to notice with particular care the word “ with.
This preposition denotes “in company of," " together with,” or “in society of,” all indicating companionship. Now, the boldest would hardly, I imagine, care to carry his orthodoxy so far as to say that sinners will dwell with gebenna ! it is quite grammatical and understandable to say that they may dwell in gehenna! Isaiah, however, notifies that the dwelling is to be, or may be, with the devouring fire and everlasting burnings, not in. As connected with the subject under review, such references as Matt. iii. 6; xviii. 2, 10; Luke xvi. 23, will illustrate how "in " is used with reference to locality; on the other hand, the preposition “with " is more emphatically connected with a personal pronoun, as yoked together with” (2 Cor. vi. 14, 15, 16);
" risen with Christ " (Coloss. iii. 1, 3 ; ii. 12; Rev. xxi. 3). As in the Psalms, the citizen of Zion shall dwell in the tabernacle, in the holy hill, and shall stand in God's holy place, so in this chapter the prophet speaks not of dwelling in a place, but with a person ; yet, the context and associations demonstrate the psalmist and the prophet to have been ideally affected with the same perception. Nor let any hastily deride the thought that these terms illustrate the Deity; for Paul testifies that He is "the King Eternal, incorruptible" (also see 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16; Ps. x. 16); as fire it is spoken of God the Holy Ghost, in Matt. iii. 10; Lake ïïi. 16; and Acts ii. 3. God is called a consuming fire in respect of His infinite purity, and of His fiery and devouring indignation against presumptuous and impenitent sinners (Heb. xii. 29). Compare chapter X. 27, 31; Deut. iv. 24; ix. 3; where, in the lxx. tūp karavaliokov a destroying fire, answers to the Heb. 0752x wx, a devouring fire (see also Deut. xxxii. 22). Parkhurst, under mup, sect. iii. God is depicted as a pillar of fire in' Ex. xiii., xiv., xl. ; Num. ix., xiv.; Neh. ix. 19; Isaiah iv. 5; see also the vision of Ezekiel by the river of Chebar. In Daniel vii. the Ancient of Days is described as sitting on a throne like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire (see also Dan. x. 6; Rev.
If Jesus spake of John the Baptist as being a “burning and a shining light,” how much rather may it not be spoken of Him, the Eternal, the True Light! (see John iii. 18-21). As if to prevent a misconception of this soul-searching question, the prophet immediately enumerates, as David had done before, the characteristics of the citizen of Zion, and interprets the question by declaring of such, “Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty.” Jesus hath put it on record that “the pure in
heart shall see God.” This is in congruity with the question and answer of Psalm xv. and xxiv. Isaiah unequivocally makes a uniform reply that he shall dwell with the Devouring Fire and Everlasting Burnings who walketh in righteousness and speaketh uprightly, as expressed in the fifteenth verse. And the prophet declares that the eyes of him who doeth these things, like as also the “pure in heart,” shall "see the King in His beauty.”
If the Scriptures use fire-the solar fire, for instance-to illustrate the Deity, we can understand how our Lord desires that His people shall, in this age, have, by it, all sinful tendencies and carnality burnt out of them (Malachi iii. 2), in order that, in the future age, they be not consumed; and having come out of the furnace, like tried gold, shall see the King in His beauty. Whereas, the presumptuous and impenitent sinner, not having submitted in this age to have his sins consumed, is, through them, himself consumed in a future age from the Presence of the King (2 Thess. i. 7, 8, 9).
Now we see through a glass darkly, but when He shall appear we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. We shall probably then, and not till then, comprehend the mystery of that God who is a Spirit, of that Light that shineth - the incorruptible and immortal God --the bush that ever burns and never is consumed. Darlington
EDWARD Wood FORSTER.
RETURN OF THE JEWS.
DEAR SIR,- The last Rainbow was duly forwarded to me from home, and after marking the papers of Mr. Mott and Mr. Hechler, with the one on the “ Present Crisis," and the “ Appeal to the Watchmen on Mount Ephraim," I forwarded to Mr. Hechler my mite towards the fund for the grand work. I hope all Rainbow readers will do the same, according as the Lord their God hath blessed them. I then sent the magazine to a relative of mine who like me is an Anglo-Israelite, and frequently writes in the “ Banner of Israel," and wrote to him at the same time to call bis attention to the subject.
There was a short letter in your last impression about Rev. xx. 5.
Even if it should prove an interpolation of the fifth century, so far from harming our pre-millennial views, it will only prove that in an age of rapidly growing apostasy, there were some zealous witnesses for the more ancient and purer faith.
After all it is only a fair corollary from the preceding verses, and not at all in discordance with the sequel. However, it would be well that the question should be thoroughly worked out, since tampering with that Book is such a dangerous matter.
Yours truly, Harrogate, W. W. INCE
THE INTERMEDIATE STATE.
Dear Sir,-By the closing words of J. F. on 1 Thess. iv. 13-18, I