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even a Brahmin, surrounded by crowds of his disciples, reading the Gospel of St. Luke in the Nagree character;* this last fact, though not immediately bearing upon the Jews, well illustrates the efficacy and success of associations combined for the distribution of the Scriptures.
Efforts like these cannot fail to attain the most important results; for the blindness of Israel is still caused, as it was in the days of our Saviour, by their ignorance of the word of God; • ye do err not knowmg the Scriptures.'f A deeper acquaintance with their own holy books is an indispensable preliminary to general conversion; and we must bestir ourselves to multiply facilities by the widest possible circulation of them. The wiser and more Scriptural method of argument now pursued by the missionaries will advance the work; laying aside their reasoning from the Talmud and the Mishna, and perceiving that, with the Jewish people, a right intelligence and belief of the Old Testament is the only foundation for the belief of the New, they have at last adopted toward their Hebrew disputants the method of the inspired apostle; for 'Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures; openly alleging that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.'%
But a more important undertaking has already been begun by the zeal and piety of those who entertain an interest for the Jewish nation. They have designed the establishment of a church at Jerusalem, if possible on Mount Zion itself, where the order of our Service, and the prayers of our Liturgy shall daily be set before the faithful in the Hebrew language. A considerable sum has been collected for this purpose; the missionaries are already resident on the spot; and nothing is wanting but to complete the purchase of the ground on which to erect the sacred edifice. Mr. Nicolayson, having received ordination at the hands of the Bishop of London, has been appointed to the charge; and Mr. Pieritz, a Hebrew convert, is associated in the duty. The Service meanwhile proceeds, though 'the ark of God is under curtains;' and a small but faithful congregation of proselytes hear daily the Evangelical verities of our Church on the mount of the Holy City itself, in the language of the prophets, and in the spirit of the apostles. To any one who reflects on this event,
• Joum. 1832.
it must appear one of the most striking that have occurred in modern days, perhaps in any days since the corruptions began in the Church of Christ. It is well known that for centuries the Greek, the Romanist, the Armenian, and the Turk, have had their places of worship in the city of Jerusalem, and the latitudinarianism of Ibrahim Pacha had lately accorded that privilege to the Jews. The pure doctrines of the Reformation, as embodied and professed in the Church of England, have alone been unrepresented amidst all these corruptions ; and Christianity has been contemplated both by Mussulman and Jew, as a system most hateful to the creed of each, a compound of mummery and image-worship.
It is surely of vital importance to the cause of our religion, that we should exhibit it in its pure and apostolical form to the children of Israel. We have already mentioned that they are returning in crowds to their ancient land; we must provide for the converts an orthodox and spiritual service, and set before the rest, whether residents or pilgrims, a worship as enjoined by our Saviour himself, 'a worship in spirit and in truth,**—its faith will then be spoken of through the whole world. A great benefit of this nature has resulted from the Hebrew services of the London Episcopal Chapel; it has not only afforded instruction and opportunity of worship to the converted Israelite, but has formed a point of attraction to foreign Jews on a visit to this country, and has been largely and eagerly commented on in many of the Hebrew journals published in Germany. In the purity of our worship they confess our freedom from idolatry; and in the sound of the language of Moses and the prophets, they forget that we are Gentiles. But if this be so in London, what will it be in the Holy City? They will hear the Psalms of David in the very words that fell from his inspired lips, once more chanted on the Holy Hill of Zion; they will see the whole book of the Law and the Prophets laid before them, and hear it read at the morning and evening oblation; they will admire the Church of England, with all its comprehensive fulness of doctrine, truth, and love, like a pious and humble daughter, doing filial homage to that Church first planted at Jerusalem, which is the mother of us all. Our soul stirring and soul satisfying Liturgy—in Hebrew—its deep and tender devotion—the evangelical simplicity of its ritual, will form, in the mind of the Jew, an inviting contrast to the idolatry and superstition of the Latin and Eastern churches; its enlarged charity
• John iv. 24.
will affect his heart, and its scriptural character demand his homage. It is surely a high privilege reserved to our Church and nation to plant the true cross on the Holy Hill of Zion; to carry back the faith we thence received by the apostles ; and uniting, ad it were, the history, the labours, and the blood of the primitive and Protestant martyrs, » light such a candle in Jerusalem, as by God's blessing shall never be put out.'
But this privilege will not be unaccompanied by practical benefits to the character and position of our own establishment. Whatever promotes the study and reverence of the Hebrew Scriptures, promotes, in a similar degree, the honour and stability of the Church of England. Her appointed orders, her liturgical services, her decent splendour, her national endowments, are 'according to the pattern that God showed us in the Mount.' The principle of an establishment then received the august sanction of the Divine Wisdom ; and whether we look back to the earliest periods of Jewish history, or forwards to the day of their future glory, as displayed in the concluding chapters of Ezekiel, we shall find that a national and established Church is ever a main portion of the polity of the people of God. The archassailants of our Zion are well aware of this truth, and seek, therefore, to disparage the Old Testament by a contemptuously exclusive preference of the New !—irreverently excluding from their 'Christian' catalogue 'the I^aw, the Prophets, and the Psalms;' they ascribe to the Gospels and Epistles alone the title of the Christian Scriptures! And they are wise in their generation, perceiving, as they do, that the coordinate authority and mutual dependence of all parts of the written Word would manifest that the Saviour of Mankind, no less in the temporal than in the spiritual necessities of his church, 'came not to destroy, but to fulfil.'
The growing interest manifested for these regions, the larger investment of British capital, and the confluence of British travellers and strangers from all parts of the world, have recently induced the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to station there a representative of our Sovereign, in the person of a Vice-Consul. This gentleman set sail for Alexandria at the end of last September— his residence will be fixed at Jerusalem, but his jurisdiction will extend to the whole country within the ancient limits of the Holy Land; he is thus accredited, as it were, to the former kingdom of David and the Twelve Tribes. The soil and climate of Palestine are singularly adapted to the growth of produce required for the exigencies of Great
Vol. Lziii. 14
Britain; the finest cotton may be obtained in almost unlimited abundance; silk and madder are the staple of the country, and olive oil is now, as it ever was, the very fatness of the land. Capital and skill are alone required: the presence of a British officer, and the increased security of property which his presence will confer, may invite them from these islands to the cultivation of Palestine; and the Jews', who will betake themselves to agriculture in no other land,* having found, in the English consul, a mediator between their people and the Pacha, will probably return in yet greater numbers, and become once more the husbandmen of Judaea and Galilee.
This appointment has been conceived and executed in the spirit of true wisdom. Though we cannot often commend the noble Lord's official proceedings, we must not withhold our meed of gratitude for the act, nor of praise for the zeal with which he applied himself to great preliminary difficulties, and the ability with which he overcame them. It is truly a national service: at all times it would have been expedient, but now it is necessary. To pass over commercial advantages—which the country will best perceive in the experience of them—we may discern a manifest benefit to our political position. We have done a deed which the Jews will regard as an honour to their na. tion; and have thereby conciliated a body of well-wishers in every people under heaven. Throughout the East they nearly monopolize the concerns of traffic and finance, and maintain a secret but uninterrupted inter-' course with their brethren in the West. Thousands visit Jerusalem in every year from alj parts of the globe, antl carry back* to their respective bodies, that intelligence which guides their conduct, and influences their sympathies. So rapid and accurate is their mutual communication, that Frederick the Great confessed the earlier and superior intelligence obtained through the Jews of all affairs of moment. Napoleon knew well the value of an Hebrew alliance; and endeavoured to reproduce, in the capital of Franco, the spectacle of the ancient Sanhedrim,
♦ Dr. Henderson says of the Polish Jews—' Comparatively few of the Jews learn any trade, and most of those attempts which have been made to accustom there to agricultural habits, have proved abortive. Some of those who are in circumstances of affluence possess houses and other immoveable property; but the great mass of the people seem destined to sit loose from every local tie, and are waiting with anxious expectation for the arrival of the period when, in pursuance of the Divine pro. mise, they shall be restored to, what they still consider, tAeir men land. Their attachment indeed to Palestine is unconquerable.'—Biblical Besearches and Travels in Russia, 1826.
which, basking in the sunshine of imperial favour, might give laws to the whole body of the Jews throughout the habitable world, and aid him, no doubt, in his audacious plans against Poland and the East. His scheme, it is true, proved abortive; for the mass of the Israelites were by no means inclined to merge their hopes in the destinies of the Empire—exchange Zion for Montmartre, and Jerusalem for Paris. The few liberal unbelievers whom he attracted to his views ruined his projects with the people by their impious flattery; and averted the whole body of the nation by blending, on the 15th of August, the cipher of Napoleon and Josephine with the unutterable name of Jehovah, and elevating the imperial eagle above the representation of the Ark of the Covenant. A misconception, in fact of the character of the people has vitiated all the attempts of various Sovereigns to better their condition; they have sought to amalgamate them with the body of their subjects, not knowing, or not regarding the temper of the Hebrews, and the plain language of Scripture, that ' the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.'* That which Napoleon designed in his violence and ambition, thinking ' to destroy nations not a few,' we may wisely and legitimately undertake for the maintenance of our Empire. The affairs of the East are lowering on Great Britain—but it is singular and providential that we should, at this moment, have executed a measure, which will almost assure us the co-operation of the Eastern Jews, and kindle, in our behalf, the sympathies of nearly two millions in the heart of the Russian dominions.t These hopes rest on no airy foundation; but pleasing as they are, we cannot disguise our far greater satisfaction that, in the step just taken, in the appointment just made, England has attained the praise of being the first of the Gentile nations that has ceased ' to tread down Jerusalem! This is, indeed, no more than just
* Numbers xxiii. 9.
f Look to their present state of suffering in Poland and Russia, where they are driven from place to place, and not permitted to live in the same street where the so-called Christians reside! It not un frequently happens, that when one or more wealthy Jews have built commodious houses in any part of a town, not hitherto prohibited, this affords a reason for proscribing them; it is immediately enacted that no Jew must live in that part of the city, and they are forthwith driven from their houses, without any compensation for their loss being given them'
'they are oppressed on every side, yet dare not complain; robbed and defrauded, yet obtain no redress' 'in the walk of social life, insult, and contempt, meet them at cverv turning.'—HertchePe Sketch, p. 7.
ice, since she was the first to set the evi' and cruel example of banishing the whole people in a body from her inhospitable bosom. France next, and then Spain, aped our unchristian and foolish precedent. Spain may have exceeded us in barbarity; but we invented the oppression, and preceded her in the infliction of it.
It is matter for very serious reflection that the Christians themselves have cast innumerable stumbling-blocks in the way of Hebrew conversion. To pass over the weak and ignorant methods that men have adopted to persuade the Jews—let us ask whether the Christians have ever afforded to this people an opportunity of testing the divine counsel,' by their fruits ye shall know them V What is the record of the Christian periods of the second dispersion ?—A history of insolence, plunder, and blood, that fills even now the heart of every thinking man with indignation and shame! Was this the religion of the true Messiah? Could this be in their eyes the fulfilment of those glorious prophecies that promised security and joy in his happy days; when his ' officers should be peace and his exactors righteousness?' What, too, have they witnessed in the worship and doctrine of Christian states? The idolatry of the Greek and Latin Churches, under which the Hebrews have almost universally lived, the mummeries of their ritual, and the hypocrisy of their precepts, have shocked and averted the Jewish mind. We oftentimes express our surprise at the stubborn resistance they oppose to the reception of Christianity; but Christianity in their view is synonymous with image-worship, and its doctrines with persecution; they believe that, in embracing the dominant faith, they must violate the two first commandments of the Decalogue, and abandon that witness, which they have nobly maintained for 1800 years, to the unity of the God of Israel.
It well imports us to have a care that we no longer persecute or mislead this once-loved nation; they are a people chastened, but not utterly cast off; 'in all their affliction He was afflicted.'* For the oppression of this people there is no warranty in Scripture; nay, the reverse ; their oppressors are menaced with stern judgments; 'I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy, and I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease; for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affiletion.'t This is the language of the prophet Zechariah; and we may trace, in the pages of history, the vestiges of this never-slum
bering Providence. No sooner had England given shelter to the Jews, under Cromwell and Charles, than she started forward in a commercial career of unrivalled and uninterrupted prosperity; Holland, embracing the principles of the Reformation, threw off the yoke of Philip, opened her cities to the Hebrew people, and obtained an importance far beyond her natural advantages; while Spain, in her furious and bloody expulsion of the race, sealed her own condemnation. 'How deep a wound,' says Mr. Milman,' was inflicted on the national prosperity by this act of the " most Christian Sovereign," cannot easily be calculated, but it may be reckoned among the most effective causes of the decline of Spanish greatness.'*
We cordially rejoice that we possess the favourable testimony of the Children of Israel to the justice, respect, and kindness they enjoy in this land ;f but our efforts should the more be directed to promote their temporal and eternal welfare. * They forget,' says the good Archbishop Leightoh, 'a main point of the Church's glory, who pray not daily for the conversion of the Jews.':): We mast learn to behold this nation with the eyes of reverence and affection ; we must honour in them the remnant of a people which produced poets like Isaiah and Joel; kings like David and Josiuh; and ministers like Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah; but above all, as that chosen race of men, of whom the Saviour of the world came according to the flesh. Though a people deep§ in their sentiments of hatred, they are accessible, even when beguiled by neological delusions, to those who address them on their national glory; and many persons living can attest the gratitude of the Hebrews, as of old,|| to those who seek the welfare of their nation. They are not less concerned than ourselves to observe the present religious aspect of Europe, and the awful advances of Popery. Doubtless the great and good prince, alike Christian and Protestant, who now sits on the throne of Prussia, will find that his affection and shelter to the Israclitish people will procure him, in the hour of conflict, no insignificant or insincere allies, knowing as they do, that Protestantism, which delivered its followers from error, has delivered also the Hebrews from insolence and oppression. Nor are our interests in less fearful jeopar
* Hist. Jews, vol. iii. 368.
t Vide Herschel's Sketch, and Rabbi Crool, in hie 'Restoration of Israel.'
t Sermon on Isaiah, L\. l.
§ We have now before us the Jewish Almanac for the present year, in which the era of the expulsion from this kingdom is very significantly marked.
|| ' For he loveth our nation, and hath built us a Synagogue.' Luke vii. 2—5.
dy; both as a Church and as a nation, we have much to hope for in the welfare of the people of Israel; and—since prospority is to be the portion of those who pray for the peace of the Holy City*—' Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.'f
Art. VIII.—Memoirs of Charles Mathews, Comedian. By Mrs. Mathews. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1838.
The stage, it is obvious, has lost, in these latter days, no small part of the interest which it formerly possessed as a source of amusement and a subject of taste. The lateness of the hours now kept in families of almost all classes—the multiplication of light books that furnish entertainment at the fireside—the extended education which brings this kind of amusement within the reach of daily increasing numbers—and the political turn of modern times, which the O. P. riots first brought to bear upon the theatres,— have probably been the principal causes of this decline. The exclusiveness of the private boxes, too, has done much to desolate the rest of the house, where ordinary people will no longer vouchsafe to be seen, now that Lords and Ladies have left off playgoing in public. So aristocratical a person, age is plain John Bull.
But the work before us has an interest, apart from a mere taste for the drama. It exhibits a valuable picture of a highly gifted and kind-hearted man, struggling with the difficulties of a narrow fortune, the discouragements of a weak constitution, and the temptations of a very dangerous profession, —and rising maturely to prosperity and reputation, without a spot upon the honesty or the honour of his straitened youth. He has left a manuscript containing his own history up to the commencement of his public career; and the memoirs of his after life are furnished by his widow, from his letters to herself and others, from fragments in his hand-writing, and from her own vivid recollections. She has brought the narrative, however, in the two volumes now published, only to the year 1818.
Charles Mathews appears, from the authentic record inscribed by his father on
the fly-leaf of a huge family Bible, to have been born on the 28th of June, 1776, at a quarter before three in the morning; the seventh son of a seventh son. His forefathers were Glamorganshire people, whose name was Matthew; but the grandfather changed it to Mathews, for an estate of about 200/. a-year, which was wrested from his issue by a Chancery suit. The father was a bookseller, carrying on his business in the Strand, on the spot which was then No. 18, but which has now been pulled down, to open a view of Hungerford Market. Although a sectarian of the most ' serious' order, and even minister of Lady Huntingdon's chapel at Whetstone, near Barnet, where he had a country-house, he remained, according to the testimony of his son, 'a liberal Christian amongst wretched fanatics—moderate in a crowd of raving enthusiasts,—the mildest of preachers, the kindest of advisers; himself an example to the wholesale dealers in brimstone'—who abused his easiness and charity by spunging upon him at all points. His virtues, however, appear to have been appreciated by better persons. Miss Hannah More visited his shop, and on one occasion she brought thither Mr. Garrick, to whom she introduced her respectable publisher. Little Charles, then under three years of age, was present; and Garrick, taking him in his arms, burst into a fit of laughter, and said,' Why his face laughs all over,—but certainly on the wrong side of his mouth!'
The schooling of the child began at St. Martin's Free School. Shaw, the undermaster, was a thin, shambling, squinting Scotchman, whom the boys were fond of mystifying. Charles used to carry a bit of broken glass to catch the rays of the sun and reflect them in Shaw's face. But he did it, as the school phrase is, once too often; for, being caught in the fact, he was horsed and flogged—the head master roaring out this facetious moral, 'That will teach you, Sir, I hope,not to cast reflections on the heads of the school 1'
There was a short muscular fellow, who daily walked the Strand, crying eels with a guttural voice—threepence a-pound. e-e-e-e-e-e-eels—e-elongating the word, as Mathews tells us, from Craven to Hungerford Street, till people used to say, What a long eel! Charles, having mimicked him to the great satisfaction of many auditors, including even his own serious papa, was ambitious enough to court the approval of the original himself, whom accordingly he one day awaited and saluted with the imitation. But the itinerant had no taste for mimicry, and, placing his basket delibe
rately on the ground, he hunted the boy into the father's shop, and felled him with a gigantic blow. 'Next time,' said the monster, 'as you twists your little wry mouth, and cuts your mugs at a respectable tradesman, I'll skin you like an e-e-'—and snatching up his basket, finished the monosyllable about nine doors off. Charles felt the effects of this punishment for month-. But not the less did he practise his art in echoing the voices of the Methodist preachers; and, elated by the laughter of his mother, who was no sectarian, and of other friends, he was shortly tempted to make a more serious effort—the getting up of Pope's 'Vital spark of heav'nly flame,' as a vocal and instrumental perfoimance at his father's chapel, by way of opposition to the organ of the established church; and the great success of this piece at the chapel seems to have fixed his passion for public applause. But the Steeple-ites (for so the congregation of the establishment were nicknamed by the Methodists) resolved on revenge, and laid a plan for showing up the young Dissenter. One Lawson, a shopkeeper of Whetstone, proposed to treat him to Enfield Races, and drive him thither and back. His mother's slow consent was gained; and 'I do remember,' says he, ' that—
'these "terrible, terrible, high-bred cattle," being the first racing-blood I bad ever seen, had such an inspiring effect, that I was then and there inoculated with a mania that has prevailed until this hour. Yes! lame and worn as I am, I admit no difficulty, I allow of no impediment, I am indifferent as to distance, but to the races I must go, whether Doncaster or Epsom, Leger or Derby. I have left Glasgow with the penalty attached of two nights' travelling, in order to be at New Market on Easter Monday, and have witnessed twenty-five contests for Derby and Oaks since 1803. I have frequently ridden on horseback from London to the neighbourhood of Epsom at night after my performance to sup with friends, rather than encounter the dust of the roads on the "great day," as it is called. This will show that my enthusiasm is not abated.—The races were over, and my anxiety for return was immediate. I apprehended darkness, robbery, upsettings—my mother's alarm, if I should not be at home by the promised hour. I urged all this to my companions, but in vain. Thev had not studied to amuse me only, but themselves also.—It was agreed they must dine there, and go home afterwards. A booth was chosen, and dinner was succeeded by punch. It was no difficult task to intoxicate a boy of my age. 1 was hardly aware of the probable consequences of the tempting but treacherous beverage. They had resolved upon making me dead drunk, and I hiccuped out "No more! no more!"