« 이전계속 »
people alone have the promise that they shall and Austrian princes were the ready execu
tioners of the Papacy. In its concordat with
Prussia is a Protestant country. I do not say a Christian, but a Protestant, country, and as such it must, and does, afford liberty for religious thought and practice. When Frederick the Great was asked to issue an edict against the Jews, he remarked, "No one ever touched the Jews without suffering for it." And when Frederick William IV., the good and pious predecessor of the present monarch, was asked, in the year 1848, to sign a law which was detrimental to Jewish interests, he simply wrote on the margin "1648," meaning to say that it was two hundred years too late. He took a lively interest in the conversion of Israel, and through his royal munificence the bishopric of Jerusalem was estab lished.
never cease from being a nation. Moreover, God has positively declared that He has scattered them, and the truth of that declaration we see with our own eyes; but that He will also assuredly gather them, and that we believe with our whole heart, because we dare not doubt His truthfulness. It may be that one or another of the nations will exercise a great and beneficial influence on the destinies of the world and the development of the Kingdom of Christ. Germany, no one can deny it, influences greatly the course of religious thought and Evangelical theology; whilst England and America excel in Christian practice, and are permitted to carry the Word of God to all nations, and to raise the standard of the Cross even to the ends of the earth. We rejoice in it, and thank God for every work done in His name. But of Israel it is said that "their receiving is to be as life from the dead ;" and again, "It shall came to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing" (Zach. viii., 13). Surely, after these very positive declarations, and they could easily be multiplied, all that sympathise with a trodden-down nation, all that take a hearty interest in a people that have suffered bitterly and borne it wonderfully, all that pray for a blessing on the nations, must admit that the Jewish nation is destined to take a prominent part in the history of the nations of the world, and more especially of the kingdom of the King of Israel.
Jan. 1, 1867.
The most remarkable event of the year has been the Prussian-Italian-Austrian war, which has been prepared since the days of Frederick the Great, has been arrested by the treaties entered into in 1815, and has at last been begun and finished in a few weeks, or rather, days. I do not intend to justify or to blame the means and measures taken on either side, but I look simply at the struggle in its religious aspect, and therefore I must rejoice in the victory obtained by Prussia. The house of Hapsburg has ever been the champion of the Papacy, has at all times resisted the truth, and wherever any member of the Imperial dynasty held the sceptre, all that wished to serve God according to His own word have been exposed to fierce persecutions. It has stained its hands with the blood of the children of God,
Whatsoever may be said against some measures of the present Prussian Government, Prussia is a Protestant land, and every friend of religious liberty must therefore rejoice in the overthrow of Austria, which, from its intimate alliance with the Papacy, would most assuredly have crushed all freedom had it come out victorious from this momentous struggle. In its present humble position it gives great promises, and pretends to be very liberal, simply because it lacks the power to resist the demands of the many nationalities which constitute the empire, merely kept together by the jealousy which sets up one nationality against the other. Had the heretic Prussians been beaten, what would the Ultramontanes in Austria and elsewhere have
Jan. 1, 1867.
said and done to those without the pale of the holy Popish Church?
The Jews in Austria prayed for the success of the land of their sojourning; they did so in accordance with the words of the prophet.
But their brethren very plainly declare that wherever Ultramontanism predominates, fanaticism is fostered, and the Jews suffer from it, and that there is no instance on record of a Protestant population having risen against the Jews, even when the general laws of the land did not favour entire Jewish emancipation. This very gratifying admission ought to teach our Jewish brethren that inasmuch as Chris
ALL desolate she sits upon the ground,
This wan, sad spectre of the glorious past,
Once bless'd with freedom-once with plenty
Low in the very dust her crown is cast!
Isaiah iii. 26; Jeremiah xxxi. 35, 36, 37; Matthew xxii. 39.
And to the exiled sons of Israel show
How merciful their God as well as just.
< Her banished sons for many a weary age, Oppress'd when on their wandering footsteps trod,
Or strangers in their father's heritage,
Weep o'er the fallen "city of their God." Humbled, cast down, but not forsaken still, For dear to Israel's God is Zion's sacred hill.
The ruthless storms that laid thee in the dust,
The stern decrees that reft thy crown away,
Point to the dawning of a brighter day:
Oh let Thy pity raise her from the dust!
tians truly accept the Gospel of Jesus they befriend the Jew, because they are of the same mind with Him who was the true friend of Israel. They will one day acknowledge this glorious truth, and they will humble themselves to the dust because they have rejected Him who was, and is still to be their Holy King, their greatest benefactor, and their warmest friend.
Thus far the warfare between Austria and Prussia. And what of the struggle between Italy and the Papacy? Can anyone suppose that the issues of that are unimportant as regards the welfare of the Scattered Nation?
No! when the sun no longer rules the day,
When moon and stars illume the night no more, When bound no longer by-the Eternal's sway,
This dark sea's raging billows cease to roar, Then shall that nation, Lord, best lov'd by Thee, Before their changeless God a nation cease to be.
When man hath search'd the world's foundations deep,
And spann'd the boundless space of heaven
Then shall their Shepherd cast away His sheep,
He waits but till that faith of days of old
That even the promise of Messiah won, Gathers these scatter'd sheep of Israel's fold
Beneath the conqu'ring banner of His Son,
VESTIGES OF THE "SCATTERED NATION" IN THE CATACOMBS
BY THE REV. DR. MARGOLIOUTH.
THE Catacombs of Rome deserve, at this time especially, a few sober, serious, gladsome, joyful thoughts. Not only because of the present condition, and the future prospects of the Church of Rome, the church which was cradled and nursed in the Catacombs, without parti-coloured swaddling clothes, in the form of gaudy vestments, or an elaborate dazzling paraphernalia, in the form of an extravagant and exaggerated Ritual-when it was, spiritually, well with her-but also, because the contemplation is likely to make the soul's enjoyment, at this happy season of the year, when the Redeemer came to visit us in great humility, doubly enjoyable to the Christian; especially to him who is of the believing remnant of the "Scattered Nation."
May I be permitted to avail myself of the good old Christmas custom, and relate a short tale in illustration of my meaning. It is one of the many legends I have listened to, and treasured up, in the course of my travels in "The Lands of the Morning," whilst an inmate of Eastern tents, and a member of Oriental caravans. I may as well own at once that I am very partial to Oriental "folk lore." Generally speaking, both the poetry and the moral of that department of literature are of a high character. However, let my readers judge for themselves, from the following specimen of the value of the instruction which those oral narratives convey :—
Once upon a time there lived and reigned a very great monarch; his dominions extended over many a land, far beyond the great seas. He was greatly beloved by his subjects, for he was unblemished in his character, his justice was tempered with mercy and compassion, and his truthfulness was as pure and transparent as the noonday. But there was one thing which distressed his subjects very much —that was, his remaining single. Many a fair princess condescended to take the initiative in wooing him, but it was "love's labour lost;" he was not won. One was rejected by reason of betraying symptoms of pride; another by reason of being of a quarrelsome temper; another
for lack of sympathy with the poor and needy; another for meddling and gossiping, with a propensity to speak evil of her best friends; another for her whimsical attire. Whatever the cause might have been, the effect was the same: the king remained unmarried.
It came to pass on a certain day, when the king was taking one of his walks in disguise—” for he acted the angel of mercy and beneficence under a mask-he chanced to come to the most wretched hovel or hut in his large and vast dominion. He entered it and looked around him, but he could see nothing at first, the miserable tenement seemed deserted and utterly empty. But having scrutinizingly examined every nook and corner, he discovered in one, a slight fragile female figure crouching, abject and emaciated, famished and faint, alternately moaning and sobbing, its only covering was a tattered soiled rag. The king's feeling heart, as may be imagined, melted within him; he bent compassionately over the helpless one, took her up tenderly in his powerful arms, carried her to the door to look at the face of the poor thing. His quick eye perceived-in spite of the fearful ravages which poverty neglect, and ill-treatment had made on that countenance-that it was a face of matchless loveliness, and, what was more to the purpose, its physiognomy told of a temper and disposition as amiable as her countenance was beautiful. Her name was Bintallah. The king's heart began to throb and palpitate, with a sensation it never experienced before; his brow was illumined even with a more benevolent halo than that which was habitual to it; he resolved then and there to share his royal diadem with the brow of Bintallah.
It will cause some surprise, therefore, when it is stated that the warm-hearted, and now intensely loving-hearted, royal bridegroom acted very coolly in the matter. Instead of taking Bintallah forthwith to his splendid palace, and afford his chosen bride all the fostering care which her enfeebled frame required, he began his courtship apparently in a very uncourteous
Jan. 1, 1867.
and uncourtly manner. He replaced the F fragile figure-true as tenderly as he took it up-in the same corner in which he found it, deliberately returned to the palace and summoned to his presence the court artist, physician, and architect. The first he commanded to proceed, without a moment's delay, to make a life-like portrait of Bintallah, in her frail, impoverished, and ill-clad condition. The second he enjoined to take with him all sorts of cordials, restoratives, as well as divers nurses and servants, so that as soon as the artist had finished his work, the loved one's creature and other comforts were to be attended to. After which the king intended to come in -L person, undisguised, to carry his queen elect to his palace. The architect was ordered in the meantime to reproduce an exact fac simile model of the hovel, in all its wretchedness, and put it up in a certain corner of the royal demesne. The king's commands were urgent, and no time was lost. Everything was done expeditiously and well. The portrait proved life-like indeed; the hovel resembled, in every particular, the original. The former was placed in the latter. The king then, according to his intention, proceeded in person to the original hovel, from which he carried Bintallah to his magnificent palace, where she was royally tended and cared for; her soiled rags were taken from her, and deposited in the copy of the hovel. She was arrayed in royal apparel, and the king placed the royal diadem on her brow, and made her queen of his great realm. Like Ahasuerus of old, the king made a great feast unto all his princes❘ and his servants, even Bintallah's feast, and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts according to the state of the king. To secure her continual gratitude, and to insure her unalloyed happiness, the king led her twice every day to inspect the hut and its contents. There was not a more grateful, a more happy woman in the world, than was Queen Bintallah; and that because she was taught to remember the low estate from which the good king raised her to so high a pinnacle of glory and majesty in his kingdom. Bintallah was the mother of many children. Both the king and the queen frequently related to the princes and princesses the touching story of the royal mother's origin, which gave exquisite keenness to the bliss of their existence.
It is to produce some faint shadow of such a
glorious picture, as the moral of my little tale points at, that I have chosen the Catacombs of Rome, at this joyful season of the Christian year, as a suitable theme to be brought under the notice of the readers of the "Scattered Nation," be they Hebrew Christians or Gentile Christians. I wish, if possible, to increase and enhance their gratitude for the peaceful enjoyment of their holy religion, by leading them to contemplate the sad vicissitudes of the Church, whose offspring we are, in her younger days. It is of course out of the question to attempt even, in the circumscribed dimensions of such a magazine as ours, a detailed account of the different relics and reminiscences which the Catacombs of Rome force upon our attention. I propose, therefore, at present, to confine myself principally to the "Vestiges of the 'Scattered Nation,'” in those Catacombs-the "Scattered Nation," the mother of all Churches.
There can be but one opinion as to the cradle and nursery of the Western Church. Rome, as the then-when the Redeemer came to seek and to save a lost world-metropolis of the civilised world, must naturally have been the spot which the great Sower of the Word wished to cultivate. Let me try to trace for a few moments the providential means, to that end, designed by Him who 'moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.”
He designed that the Gospel should, in the first instance, be preached principally to the poor and unlearned. It was amongst the lower classes that the Gospel made such wonderful progress at its first promulgation. Such was the case at Jerusalem, and such was the case at Rome. This circumstance, in the latter city, proved the intended divine scheme for the protection of the Church when Christianity had found confessors at Rome. The lowest grade in the social scale of Rome, at the beginning of the Christian era, was a class of men known as arenarii, or sand-diggers. The scene of their occupation was subterranean; they were employed in the quarries which were worked for the beautifying of Rome. The same Augustus who had issued 66 a decree that all the world should be taxed," the same was the cause of the formation of the subterranean places of refuge for those who were persecuted for the name of Him who was at about this time born of that virgin which went up with Joseph, her espoused
husband, to be taxed at Bethlehem. It was the boast of Augustus that he found Rome a city of brick, and that he would leave it a city of marble. The despised arenarii already named were employed in the marble quarries with which the subsoil of Rome and the surrounding campagna abounded. Those quarries extended, in process of time, over scores of miles. They were so intricate and mazy in their labyrinthine windings that an inexperienced rambler stood a chance of being lost. So much for the providential formation of the catacombs, or the Roman subterranean Christian city of refuge. Now for a bird's-eye view of the first introduction of Christianity at Rome, which rendered that city of refuge a most important hiding place from the blasts of fiery persecution.
Let me ask my readers to take a retrospective glance, by the aid of the book of the Acts of the Apostles,* of St. Peter's vast congregation at Jerusalem, on the first feast of Pentecost after the Ascension. You observe that that congregation was composed of representatives from "every nation under heaven." Mark the different costumes: you discover "strangers of Rome, Jews and Proselytes," the former members of the "Scattered Nation," the latter converts to the then Jewish creed. It is no stretch of imagination, when I affirm that when those "strangers of Rome, Jews and Proselytes" returned home, they endeavoured to promulgate amongst the inhabitants of the imperial city "the wonderful works of God," which they had heard in the Holy City. It is certain that Christianity obtained a firm footing in the hearts of many at Rome, long ere the great Apostle to the Gentiles went there. The tenor of his introductory statements in his Epistle to the Romans, proves the truth of that which I affirm. 66 First," writes St. Paul, "I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.... For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; that is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me."† But several years before St. Paul penned his epistle here referred to, a persecution against Jews, believers and unbelievers, seems to have raged at Rome, for the name of Christ, and Claudius decreed their banishment. Thus writes * Acts ii. † Rom. i. 8-12.
Jan. 1, 1867.
Suetonius:- "Judæos, impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantes. Roma expulit." "" * "The Jews, instigated by Christ, raised tumults, were banished from Rome." That is all Suetonius knew about it. But putting his statement together with that of the writer of the Acts of the Apostles, in the beginning of the eighteenth chapter of that book, we can have no difficulty in arriving at a correct notion of the history of that persecution.
When the Roman portion of St. Peter's congregation, on that ever memorable Feast of Pentecost, returned to their homes at Rome, they lost no time in the promulgating the Great Truth which took so strong a hold of their hearts and souls, when they heard it from the lips of St. Peter. The believers being in the first instance from amongst the members of the "Scattered Nation," as it was the case with all the primitive Christian Churches, they were considered by the Roman Gentiles as merely a Jewish sect; so that even when a heathen was baptized into the Church of Christ he would be looked upon by his kith and kin, as having become a Jew. We know, from sad experience, the effect of “The Gospel of Peace" when it finds its way into a mixed community. Bitter persecution on the part of the careless and hardened, is resorted to against the preachers of that Gospel. "The Truth as it is in Jesus" having influenced, in the course of the first twenty years after St. Peter's sermon, many members of different families, both of the "Scattered Nation" and of the Gentiles at Rome, the consequence was, according to our Blessed Redeemer's forewarning, much division † in many households. As the Jews were the originators of the differences, and all through the name of Christ-whom Suetonius calls Chrestus-the Jews, unbelievers and believers, amongst the latter converts from heathenism, were ordered to quit Rome. Hence we read that when St. Paul came to Corinth he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, and his wife Priscilla; because Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome."