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The Project Gutenberg ebook of Some Jewish Witnesses For Christ, by - səhifə 29

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In 1875, Dr. Channing Moore Williams, the American Bishop for China and Japan, having been assigned to the work in Japan alone, Dr. Schereschewsky was elected Bishop of Shanghai. With great modesty and self-distrust he declined the office; but being again chosen in 1877, he was persuaded that it was his duty to undertake its labours and responsibility. He returned as Bishop to Shanghai[462] in the autumn of 1878, and, in the course of the year 1879, translated the whole Prayer Book into Wen-li, or classic style, blending with it as much as possible the English and American Prayer Books, with the hope that all missions of the Anglican communion might use it in China. Although this hope was not gratified, the book was for many years the only one in use in all the American missions, and formed the basis of the colloquial versions which have since superseded it. In 1879 the Bishop went up the river to Wuchang, and began the translation of the Apocrypha. He had only completed one book when he was smitten down during the intense heat of the summer of 1881, and his physicians ordered his removal to Europe, whither he went the following spring. He was under treatment from 1882 to 1886, at Geneva in Switzerland. In 1883 Bishop Schereschewsky, unwilling to retain an office whose duties he could not discharge, resigned his Bishopric.

With wonderful perseverance he now devoted all his energies of mind, which remained unimpaired, to the work of bringing the Scriptures within the reach of the Chinese nation. Fully acquainted with their language in its different forms, and being not only a skilful Sinologist, but one of the most learned Orientalists in the world—and that by the testimony of Professor Max Müller—using a pen as long as he could hold a pen, and then, owing to paralysis, working on a typewriter with the two fingers which he could control, he translated the Old Testament from the original Hebrew into the Mandarin dialect, leaving[463] to a secretary only the reduction of the typewritten words into the Chinese character. For twenty years, day after day, in China, and for a while in Massachusetts, and more recently in Japan, when he was near a printing-press which he could use, he worked under disadvantages which would have put an end to the courage and the labours of almost any other man. Not long before his death he completed his greatest work, the translation of the whole Bible, including the Apocrypha, into the Wen-li dialect. He also wrote Chinese grammars and dictionaries, and translated the Gospels into Mongolian, preparing also a dictionary of that language. He died at Tokyo, on October 15th, 1906.

We may add the following extract from the Bible Society's memoir of the Bishop, written by the Rev. Crayden Edmunds, M.A.:

"His early training, whereby he came to know Hebrew better than any other language, specially fitted him to become a translator of the Old Testament. This peculiar fitness was soon recognised by his missionary colleagues, who about 1865 entrusted him with the translation of the Old Testament into Northern Mandarin. He also worked on the Peking Committee as a translator of the New Testament. His version of the Old Testament, first published by the American Bible Society in 1875, has since been repeatedly issued by both the A.B.S. and the B.F.B.S. A revised edition appeared in 1899. But a still greater work was his translation of the whole Bible into Easy Wenli; he added the New[464] Testament in this case, in order to secure uniformity; both Burdon and Blodgett's, and Griffith John's versions of the New Testament being in a somewhat different style. This Bible the A.B.S. published in 1902.

"The significance of Bishop Schereschewsky's achievements, however, lies not so much in their extent and scholarship as in their testimony to the indomitable courage of the man and his devotion to his work. Six years after his consecration as Bishop he became paralysed, and had to resign his episcopal jurisdiction. His malady increased till it left him with the use of only the middle finger of each hand. Fortunately his intellect remained unimpaired, and with these two fingers he was able to type out his MSS., which were afterwards rewritten in Chinese characters by his secretary.

"But the toil was well worth while. To this man alone has it been granted to give to the two hundred and fifty million Mandarin-speaking Chinese, as well as to the mass of readers in China, the Oracles of God as found in the Old Testament. Reviewing, therefore, his life in the light of these facts, we may surely trace the divine purpose in taking him from one task, for which a successor would without difficulty be found, and setting him free for another, for which his whole previous life had been a unique preparation. As a translator his influence has been far wider than it could have been as a Bishop, and Chinese Christians will ever remember, with gratitude to God, the great scholar who out of[465] weakness was made strong—who laid so well and so truly the foundations of the Bible in their greatest vernacular, and in the more popular form of their written language."

Schlochow, Rev. Emmanuel, was born at Wingiz in Silesia. His father being indifferent to religion, he had no religious education, and became only aware that he was a Jew when his fellow-Christian scholars mockingly reminded him of it at school. This he could not endure, and his father advised him to go to a Roman Catholic priest and be baptized. However, he was then a thorough infidel, and at one time, on account of some disappointment that he had met with, he bought a pistol and was about to commit suicide, when the Scotch missionary Cerf knocked at the door of his room, and not only rescued him from taking away his life, but by God's help enabled him to devote that life to His service. He was converted and baptized in 1848. In 1851 he became connected with the L.J.S., and was sent as a missionary in 1853 to Jassy, where he remained three years. In 1856 he was appointed to Alsace, and had his station at Strassburg, whence he itinerated to France and the Rhine provinces, and met everywhere acceptance among Jews and Christians. In 1874 he went with the Rev. A. Bernstein on visits to several rabbis in Alsace and Lorraine, when they were cordially received and had profitable conversations. He then was transferred to Crefeld, but much suffering from asthma obliged him to retire to Worthing, where he died in 1876, and upon his tombstone in the churchyard[466] there can be read the words in Hebrew, "I know that my Redeemer liveth," so that he still preaches to Jewish visitors.

Schönberger, Rev. C. A., after embracing Christianity, studied at Pesth and Basle and Leipzig, laboured for some time as a Scotch Free Church missionary at Pesth, where many Jews attended his lectures. He was ordained in Stuttgart in 1867, laboured then at Prague till 1872, when he entered the service of the British Society, and was sent back to Prague, and from there he was transferred to Vienna, where he was very efficient and realized the fulness of blessing upon his ministry. Some of his converts became preachers of the Gospel among Jews and Christians. About 1892 he returned to England, and on account of illness resigned his office. After the death of his brother-in-law, Dr. Saphir, he felt that he was called to supply in some measure his influence on behalf of the Jews, and he connected himself with the work carried on by Rabbi Lichtenstein at Pesth, and joining the Rev. David Baron, they both founded a mission in East London, under the name of the "Hebrew Christian Testimony to Israel," where a great work has been going on ever since in their own mission-house in Whitechapel Road, whence the Gospel has been carried by word and literature to Hungary, the Danubian Principalities, and Russia.

Scialitti, Rabbi Moses, an Italian Jew, was baptized on Trinity Sunday, 1663 by Dr. Warmestre, Dean of Worcester, at the Church of St. Margaret, when the[467] Bishop of Chester, Dr. Samuel Collins, the Countess Lucy of Huntingdon, and other persons of high standing were sponsors by proxy. Scialitti subsequently addressed a letter in Italian and English to the Jews, stating the grounds for his embracing Christianity, and exhorting them to go and do likewise.

Schuffamer, Rabbi Elisha, came from Salonica to Jerusalem, and was through the preaching of Dr. Ewald converted to Christianity and baptized in 1848. He then returned to Salonica to fetch his family, but four of his children had died, yet his wife followed him to Jerusalem. There he was employed for a time as layreader, and was afterwards transferred to Cairo, where he had a Bible depôt.

Schulhof, Dr. M., a Jewish convert, was a medical missionary of the British Society. In 1854 he published: "Notes on Diseases in Turkey in reference to European troops and Memoir of the remittant fever of the Levant." Schwartz, Rev. Dr. Karl (Solomon), was born at Meseritz in Posen in 1817. His father, Isaac Schwartz was a merchant, and gave him a strict rabbinic education, cherishing the hope that he would one day become a teacher in Israel. To this end he was sent to Berlin in 1832 to study at the rabbinic Seminary there. In the lectures the professors occasionally compared Judaism with Christianity, to the disadvantage, of course, of the latter. This excited in Schwartz a desire to examine Christianity for himself, so he took the first step by exchanging the Seminary for the Gymnasium. During the course of[468] his studies he was instructed in Christianity and baptized October 18, 1837. He then studied theology for a year at Halle, under Tholuck, and then under Neander, Hengstenberg, and Twesten, for four years at Berlin. At that time he used to give lessons in foreign languages to the inmates of the Berlin House for foreign missions, when his landlady said to him once, "It is all very nice for you to teach these young men foreign languages in order that they may be qualified to preach the Gospel to the heathen. Have you at all thought of your own brethren who live in your own neighbourhood without the light of the Gospel?" This was a word in season. Thereupon he entered into correspondence with the L.J.S., joined the Church of England, and was ordained deacon by the Bishop of London on March 20, 1842, and was sent by the Society to Constantinople. On his way there he sojourned for awhile at Pesth, where his lectures on Isaiah liii. bore good fruit, and it seems that he then got engaged to Maria Dorothea, a daughter of Israel Saphir. He did not remain very long in Constantinople, because his connexion with the Scotch Mission at Pesth caused him to join the Free Church of Scotland, and he was sent by that Church to Berlin, where he was stationed from 1844 to 1849, and he went then to Prague, but settled in the same year at Amsterdam. There he found that the Dutch Jews were not so accessible as the Jews in Hungary, Turkey, and Germany, so he adopted the method of preaching special sermons in churches and inviting the Jews through advertisements[469] to attend them. In 1850 he issued a Dutch paper, giving expositions of Messianic prophecy and the like, for circulation among the Jews. This he edited for several years. In 1856 a mission church was built for him, and his first sermon then was on Zech. iv. 6. In that church he baptized quite a number of Jews. On Sunday, August 1, 1858, Schwartz ascended the pulpit to preach to a congregation of 1,200, on St. John xii. 26, and while bowing down to offer up prayer, a young Jew quietly crept up the steps and stabbed him with a dagger in the left shoulder so that he was saturated with blood, and had to be carried home in a fainting condition. The attempted assassin was put into prison, where Schwartz, after his recovery, visited him but did not succeed in bringing him to a better mind. However, a near relation of his became a Christian after that event; and a Jewess, too, was thereby induced to come to Schwartz for instruction and baptism. After fifteen years' arduous labours in Holland, Schwartz accepted a call in 1864 from the congregation of Trinity Chapel, Newnham Street, London, to succeed Ridley Herschell. In London he founded a home for enquirers; and edited a periodical entitled, "The Scattered Nation." In 1866 he founded "The Hebrew Christian Alliance," and delivered lectures, besides preaching twice every Sunday. In this good work he continued till August 24, 1870, when he died on his knees at the age of fifty-three, and was buried near his friend, Ridley Herschell.

Schwarzenberg, Rabbi Abraham, lived in the little[470] town of Kasimir in Poland, and was employed by a Jewish merchant who at last became a bankrupt, yet on account of his Talmudic learning was chosen as rabbi at Lublin. Schwarzenberg, who was an upright, conscientious man, knowing that his master had deceived many poor people, took offence thereat, and reproached the Jews for not acting according to the law in this matter. After this some one gave him a New Testament which missionaries had left in the town. After reading it he persuaded others also to read it, and exposed himself to persecution. He then went in search of the missionaries, and coming to a Roman Catholic priest he expressed a wish to be instructed and baptized, but the priest told him that he must first of all lay aside the New Testament. Schwarzenberg concluded that he was not a missionary, and went to Lublin, where he had heard there was an Evangelical minister. This worthy man looked upon him with suspicion and received him coldly, so he went to a river and dipped himself three times in the name of the Holy Trinity. At last he heard that the missionaries resided in Warsaw, so he tramped at once to Warsaw, where Dr. McCaul instructed and baptized him in 1828, in his 65th year. In spite of his age Schwarzenberg began to learn German in order that he might intelligently take part in the services of the Church of England. His mode of life was quite that of a Polish Jew, with long fore-locks and dressed in a long kaftan with girdle. He used to say that a converted Jew must have a changed heart, but not a change of dress. He maintained[471] himself by selling fruit in the street, and also worked voluntarily as a missionary. The police had an order to protect him against the Jews, though when he was in a lonely street he was often stoned by them. In this manner he ran the Christian race until 1842, when he departed at the age of eighty to be with Christ.

Segall, Rev. Joseph F., a native of Piatra (Moldavia), came with a number of young friends into possession of missionary literature which a colporteur from Bucharest had left in the town in 1874. This they studied secretly in rotation. After being solemnly impressed by the truth, they wrote a letter to the Rev. F. G. Kleinhenn, asking for admission to some institution in which they might learn more of the Gospel. Mr. Kleinhenn replied that he had no such home, and could not encourage anyone to come to him except on his own means and on his own responsibility. However, one day Segall and his friend Suffrin appeared at Mr. Kleinhenn's house, and he had to take them in. They were then instructed by Mr. Kleinhenn and Mr. Bernstein for some considerable time, and then baptized. The history of the two runs to some extent together. The relations of each tried their utmost to win them back to Judaism, but they had grace given to them not to yield. In the same year Mr. Bernstein, then stationed at Strasburg, was the medium of their being admitted by Dr. Heman, at Basel, into his home for proselytes, to be trained for future usefulness. After finishing their course of study they applied to the L.J.S., passed[472] through its missionary college, and were appointed missionaries. Segall was stationed at Birmingham, and ordained by the Bishop of Worcester in 1877-8 to the curacy of St. Martin. Subsequently he was appointed to the charge of the mission at Damascus, where he also acted as chaplain to the English colony there.

Simon, Erasmus, was one of the earliest converts of the L.J.S. This excellent man seems to have been a native of Holland. In London he made the acquaintance of J. Frey, and heard the Gospel from him and was baptized. In 1820 he was appointed to work under the Rev. A. S. Thelwall at Amsterdam. In 1829 he formed a society called the "Friends of the Hebrew Nation," under the patronage of the Bishop of London. This society rented three houses in Camden Town for Jewish enquirers, and started the "Operative Jewish Converts' Institution." Amongst its inmates were the future founder of the British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews, Ridley Herschell, and Wertheimer, the future well-known bookseller. The former was one of twelve candidates for baptism presented by Simon to Bishop Blomfield, who baptized them in St. James', Piccadilly.

Simson, Martin Eduard, son of a banker, German jurist and statesman, born Nov. 10, 1810, at Königsberg, and died at Berlin, May 22, 1899. He embraced Christianity as a young man, studied law, and in 1833 he became professor of Roman law, and three years later a judge. In 1848 he received the title of "Rath" in the higher court. In 1848 he was sent[473] as a deputy from Königsberg to the National Congress at Frankfurt, and was soon raised to be its president, and had the honour to offer the crown of the German Empire to King Frederick William IV. of Prussia. Subsequently he held high offices of state, and in 1879 he was appointed first president of the German Supreme Court at Leipzig; in 1888 he received the decoration of the Black Eagle of Prussia and was ennobled. In 1892 he retired to private life. He was the author of "Geschichte des Königsberger Ober Tribunals." Of his three baptized brothers, one became professor of Oriental languages at Königsberg, and the other two lawyers at Berlin.

Skolkowski, J., was a native of Calwary in Russian Poland, baptized at Königsberg, and then studied at the L.J.S. Missionary Training College in London. In 1849 he laboured as a missionary in London, Cairo, Lublin, Gnesen, and Posen, and then, in 1869, at Königsberg. "His annual reports," says the Rev. W. T. Gidney, "supplied most interesting details of mission service, together with glimpses of the social condition, pursuits, and religious opinions of Jews, among whom he devotedly carried on the work of preaching Christ and Him crucified, until his retirement in the beginning of 1888, after a long service of very nearly forty years."

Sobernheim, Dr. Joseph Friedrich, an earnest convert in Berlin in the middle of the nineteenth century. The history of his conversion is as follows. A student had pawned a New Testament with a Jew for a paltry sum of money, and when he came to[474] redeem it, the pawnbroker, having in the meantime read it and become a Christian, gave the student a hundred Louis d'or as a token of gratitude because he had through this book come to a saving knowledge of Christ. This Jewish convert was instrumental in the conversion of nine other Jews, among whom was Dr. Sobernheim and his father. He was esteemed as an author of medical works. He wrote: "Handbuch der Praktischen Arzenimittelehre" (Berlin, 1844), "Beiträge zur Phänomenologie des Lebens," ib., 1841. He died in 1846. ("Jewish Intelligence," December, 1864.)

Solomon, Rev. Benjamin Nehemiah, was born at Lemberg in 1791, and in due time became a rabbi. In 1814 he came to London, and through the instrumentality of J. Frey became a Christian, and was ordained in 1817. He then accompanied Lewis Way on his missionary journey through Holland, Germany and Russia, both preaching the Gospel to the Jews everywhere. Lewis Way having obtained for him permission from the Emperor Alexander to work in Poland, he first of all translated the New Testament into Yiddish, for the use of Polish Jews. In 1821 he accompanied McCaul to Warsaw, but from Amsterdam he wrote to Thelwall that the condition of his wife and children in Galicia obliged him to return home. His own father declared to the missionary Smith, in 1827, that he was living as a Christian.

Stahl, Friedrich Julius, son of a banker, jurist and publicist, was born at Munich, January 16, 1802, and died at Bruckenau, Aug. 10, 1861. He became a Christian in[475] his eighteenth year, and was baptized at Erlangen in 1819. Already at the age of fourteen he discussed religious topics with his fellow scholars. The writings of Thiersch had a great influence upon him. After he had become a Christian, he acted as a missionary to his own family and brought his parents and brothers and sisters to the Saviour. He studied law at the Universities of Wurzburg, Erlangen, and Heidelberg. In 1834 he represented the University of Erlangen in the Bavarian Parliament. In 1840 he became professor of law at the University of Berlin, where his lectures drew an audience of all classes. His idea of Christianity was that it should pervade the whole life and also the State. According to Lord Acton, Stahl had a more predominant influence and shewed more political ability than Lord Beaconsfield (Acton, Letters to Mary Gladstone, p. 103, London, 1904). His writings are as follows, "Die Philosophie des Rechts nach Geschichtlicher Ansicht," 2 vols. (Heidelberg, 1830-37); "Ueber die Kirchenzucht" (1845-58); "Das Monarchische Princip" (Heidelberg, 1845); "Der Christliche Staat" (ib., 1847-8); "Die Revolution und die Constitutionelle Monarchie" (1848-9); "Was ist Revolution?" (ib., 1852), of which three editions were issued; "Der Protestantismus als Politisches Princip" (ib., 1853-4); "Die Katholische Widerlegungen" (ib., 1854); "Wider Bunsen" (1856); "Die Lutherische Kirche und die Union" (1859-60). After his death were published, "Siebenzehn Parlamentarishen Reden" (1862), and "Die Gegenwärtigen Partien in Staat und Kirche" (1868).[476]

Steinhardt, son of the landlord for many years of the L.J.S. schools at Bucharest naturally came in contact with the mission there, but no one of the family shewed any inclination towards Christianity, yet the seed sown in the son's heart bore fruit in time. He went to Constantinople and was baptized there. Then he became a city missionary in New York, studied theology, and became, in 1871, pastor of a Swiss congregation in Fountain City, Wisconsin, and in 1882 at Louisville, Ky.

Stern, Dr. Henry A., was born of Jewish parents on April 11, 1820, at Unterreichenbach, in the Duchy of Hesse Cassel. Subsequently the family removed to Frankfort-on-the-Main, where they resided in the quaint old "Judengasse," now a thing of the past. Though educated in this town with a view to the medical profession, Stern, when about seventeen years of age, decided to follow commerce, and to that end repaired to Hamburg. It was there, in the providence of God, that his attention was first drawn to Christianity, by noticing some Christian literature in a glass case near the house of the London Jews' Society's missionary, Mr. J. C. Moritz. The impression subsequently obtained by its perusal was increased when, on arrival in London, in 1839, Stern was induced by a fellow-lodger to attend a Sunday afternoon Hebrew service in Palestine Place, conducted by Dr. Alexander McCaul. Thoroughly awakened, Stern sought the missionary the next day, and, indeed, for many days, until he became a recognized enquirer, and was eventually admitted[477] into the Operative Jewish Converts' Institution. There he was further carefully prepared in Christianity, and baptized on March 15, 1840. For two years longer he remained in the Institution, working at his trade, but it was very evident that Stern, by his learning and gifts, was eminently fitted to be a missionary, and consequently he was taken into the Society's College for a further term of two years.

In 1844 Stern received his first missionary post, and was sent to Bagdad. He left London under the direction of the Rev. Murray Vickers, accompanied by three other young missionaries. They broke their journey at Jerusalem, where Stern was ordained deacon by Bishop Alexander, on July 14 of the same year. Arriving at Bagdad, Stern threw himself into his work with great zeal and ardour.

The Jewish population of Bagdad then consisted of about 16,000 souls. The whole trade of the town was in their hands, and they were supposed to be the most wealthy class of the community. They manifested the greatest anxiety to obtain the books published by the Society. Day after day the house of the missionaries was filled to overflowing with Jews of all ages, ranks and stations, and the streets near were crowded all day by numbers of Jews, Stern being constantly stopped as he walked along them. The bazaars, khans, and the Beth Hamedrash, were visited, and supplied frequent opportunities for proclaiming the Gospel.[478]


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