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50,000 Rest of Africa,
150,000 215,000 14,000 1,000
1,945,000 It cannot be doubted that great numbers of the Jews have become incorporated with the Gentiles in different countries and thus irrecoverably lost. This too has most probably been the case with such of the ten tribes as did not return to their brethren in Judea before the time of our Saviour. The Indian tribes of our own continent, and several of the central Asiatic nations, particularly the Afghans, have indeed been regarded by different individuals as the descendants of
these ten lost tribes, and scarcely a year passes without some new supposed discovery of this people. But though it is a lawful subject of investigation, few sober judges seem as yet to be satisfied with any of their pretensions.
Intimately connected with this enquiry is another, on which there is a like diversity of sentiment, the question whether the temporal restoration is prophesied in Scripture. Mr. Wolff, the Jewish missionary, and other zealous friends of Israel— men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” carry their notions on this subject so far as to expect the Saviour himself will appear again at Jerusalem and be seated on the throne of David.
In England where these questions have lately undergone considerable discussion, the 6 Objections to the Doctrine of Israel's Restoration to Palestine, National preeminence,” &c. have been ably stated by one writer. My own views on this and kindred subjects were thus expressed when amidst the novelty and first excitement of a Jewish mission, I was expecting to have made Jerusalemn my home. Subsequent observation has confirmed my apprehensions. “Never from the lips of the Saviour do we find the slightest intimation of such an event, nor indeed does the New Testament generally, full as it is of the prophetic history of the church, seem to contain any predictions of this temporal return. Such an error, if it be one, must be viewed in no better light than as a sort of compromise with the worldly minded Jews, and as tending greatly to impede the progress among them of that kingdom, which is not of this world. Even in those who may become converts to Christianity, there is reason to fear that it will excite feelings of self-importance
and serve to direct their attention from labors for promoting the conversion of their brethren to the faith of the crucified Saviour. In thus making therefore Judea that land of so many justly hallowed recollections, the seat of missionary exertions, he should do nothing to promote towards it a romantic or superstitious attachment. We would not preach another crusade to the Holy Land, nor say that “ in Jerusalem men ought to worship."
The leading sect among the Jews is that of the Rabbinists, who hold“ the traditions of the elders," an hundred fold increased from the days of their fathers, and collected together in the Talmud. Poland has been the chief seat of Rabbinical learning. The Caraites reject these traditions and profess to follow only the sacred text. They are well spoken of for their morals, and industry, but their numbers are very inconsiderable and their origin doubtful. Mr. Wolff found a small colony of this people in the desert of Hit, three days' journey from Bagdat. They professed to have separated from their brethren as far back as the time of the Babylonish captivity. These claimed to be the parent stock and said they had led out colonies to Cairo and Ispahan, and that their whole number was 5000. In Cairo there are still a consid- . erable number of families. In the Crimea, where they occupy a fortress singularly and beautifully situated, and where they are said to have been established 600 years, they amount to 1100. In Troki in Lithuania, are 160 who claim descent from those in the Crimea. Their professed belief in a future state discredits the idea that they are a remnant of the sect of Sadducees. The Samaritans, equally hated by the Rabbinists, still keep their place to the number of 50
families at Sychem near mount Gerizim where their fathers worshipped. They expect the Messiah-have the Pentateuch only, and have been accused, but falsely as they say, of worshipping the dove.
Within sixty or seventy years, the Chasidim have sprung up, a most fanatical and extravagant sect, who are making considerable progress at the present time. Most of the changes, however among the Jews of late, have been for the better. The efforts of some enlightened men among themselves, and various measures adopted by Christian governments, have tended greatly to overthrow the absurd and tyrannical system of Rabbinism. The Reformed Jews, a party which is composed perhaps of a few of the more serious, but principally it is to be feared, of the sceptical, maintain public worship in their spoken languages, and have a weekly sermon on morality, and are found to promote the temporal improvement of their brethren.
Of late years the attention of Protestant Christians has been much drawn to exertions for the benefit of the Jews. In 1728 an institution for this purpose was formed at Halle which translated and circulated some portions of the New Testanent in Hebrew.
The journals and travels of its first missionary, Prof. Schultze, in Europe, Asia and Egypt, according to a labored article in the Quarterly Review, from which some of the preceding statements have been derived, are highly valuable. In 1808, the London Jews' Society was formed, who have caused the New Testament and other books to be translated into Hebrew and several of the spoken languages of the Jews, and distributed in every land where they are to be found; maintained a school for Jewish children, and now have
thirty or forty missionaries, about one third of whom are converted Jews, employed in different parts of the world, and mostly on the continent of Europe. The Berlin Jews Society with other lesser institutions and benevolent individuals on the continent, in Great Britain, and in the United States have been actively, engaged in various labors for their benefit. Many hundreds of Jews, particularly on the continent of Europe, have within the last few years embraced Christianity. The religion of the gospel, being no longer the religion of their persecutors, is beginning to be stripped of one of its most revolting features. Let then the friends of Israel be encouraged to persevere in their labors. The promise and the providence of God, seem to indicate that the time to favor Zion draweth nigh. It must ixdeed be obvious that there are still many and peculiar obstacles to be surmounted before “all Israel shall be saved." This is one cause doubtless of the diversity of measures that have been adopted for the attainment of this object, and certainly should lead us to put the most favorable construction upon those pursued by qur brethren. Perhaps in all our benevolent operations there is too much of the spirit of the disciples wio said, “ Master we saw one casting out devils but we forbade him, because he followed not with us." Stil I may be permitted to express a decided preference for the sober, judicious policy pursued by the Boston Female Jews Society, to desire that their funds may be greatly increased, and that they may be favored with abler and worthier missionaries than he who with diffidence undertook the survey of which this report is now presented.