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The Project Gutenberg ebook of Some Jewish Witnesses For Christ, by - səhifə 18

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Iliewitz, Alexander, a medical missionary long connected with the Society's work in Jerusalem. It would not be easy to mention a missionary who, throughout a long career of labour, had shown more loving sympathy for his brethren, or more patience and self-denial in labouring for their good, than he did. He was not a theologian, or a Talmudical scholar, and was not fitted for carrying on learned disputations with highly educated Jews. But he had a simple, trustful faith, which made him never tired of proclaiming the way of salvation. A learned rabbi, widely celebrated for his profound knowledge of the Cabbala, complained that he had dared to preach Christ to him. "I did not send for him," said the rabbi indignantly, "to tell me that the Messiah has come.[279] I sent for him to prescribe for my bad feet." He was in a special way the friend and helper of the poor and unlearned. He used to tell a sad story about a young Jew of this kind who died of cholera in 1865. When dying, this poor lad whispered to Mr. Iliewitz as he stood by his bedside, "You have often told me to 'kiss the Son lest He be angry.' He is angry! He is angry!" and so passed away.

His early life was one of continuous trial and struggle. His father died before he was born. At an early age he left home and became apprentice in a surgeon's shop at Berditcheff, where he remained three years. He then removed to Odessa, and afterwards to Galicia, where he stayed eight years with a surgeon. He entered the college at Lemberg, passed the examinations, and received his medical diplomas.

The crisis of his life was now approaching. He was taken ill, and this made him think about his soul. "I knew the Almighty God," he wrote at a subsequent period, "only from nature. I saw how gracious and merciful He was towards me, and therefore I lifted up my hands and eyes to Him, and prayed in my ignorance: O Lord, Thou hast made me so that I could learn many scientific and useful things, grant me now also opportunity to be better informed of Thy Holy Name. In this also the Shepherd of Israel heard me." After his recovery he removed to Pesth, where he met missionaries; he was taught the way of salvation. In 1845 he was baptized, and in 1856 he was sent to Bucharest. Two years later he was transferred[280] to Jerusalem as assistant medical missionary, in which capacity he laboured until within a year or two of his death. He passed away on June, 1895, aged 80. Many will rise hereafter and call him blessed, having received the first seeds of eternal life through him.

Immanuel, Siegmund (Salomon Jacob), born in Hamburg, 1792, died at Minden, 1847. Seeking for true religion, he found it in the Gospel, and embraced Christianity in 1809. When still a student at the Gymnasium of Altona he wrote a treatise entitled, "Animadversiones ad Coluthe carmen de rapta Helena cum specimine Versionis Germanicæ." He then studied theology at Helmstadt, Göttingen and Leipzig till 1813. After being a private teacher at the house of the Russian General Berdiageff he, in 1814, became state teacher at Hirschberg, in Silesia, and in 1821 was appointed Principal of the Gymnasium at Minden, which position he held until his death. He was the first principal to introduce gymnastics into the school curriculum (1831), and to divide the Gymnasium into departments of arts and sciences (1840). Among Immanuel's works may be mentioned: "Die Anfänge der Reformation und die Gründung des Gymnasium in Minden" (Minden, 1822), "Declamation Unterricht auf Schulen" (ib. 1824), "Historischer Unterricht auf Gymnasium" (ib. 1827), "Gutachten über Herrn Lorinser's Schrift zum Schutze der Gesundheit auf Schulen" (Bieldfeld, 1836).

Isaacs, Rev. Albert Augustus. The cause of missions to Jews possessed a very intelligent and warm-hearted advocate in the Rev. Albert Augustus[281] Isaacs, who was himself, as his name indicates, of Jewish parentage, and who throughout his long life, identified himself with every movement for the welfare of his brethren according to the flesh.

Mr. Isaacs was born in the island of Jamaica, on January 24th, 1826, at Berry Hill, a coffee plantation, of which his father was the owner. Jamaica was at that time one of the most prosperous colonies of Great Britain. His father, Isaac Isaacs, had become a convert to Christianity some years previously. We have no authentic particulars of his father's life, although we have an idea that in the story of "The Star of Peace," by "Ben Abram," which ran through the first two volumes of "The Everlasting Nation," the adventures of Isaac Da Costa, in Jamaica and in England, were those of his own father.

Albert was his second son, and was sent to England for his education, which was received at Maze Hill, Greenwich, under Dr. Smithers. The religious instruction in the school, and preparation for confirmation, though slight in themselves, led him to serious reflection, and were the means of deciding him to give his heart to Christ at the age of fourteen, and they influenced his future career. When he left school Albert returned to Jamaica for four years, at the expiration of which time, on the recommendation of Canon Carus, he entered Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, being a contemporary of one who afterwards became master, Dr. Perowne, and of Bishop Moule, of Mid-China. Young Isaacs' residence at Cambridge was marked by a strict adherence to his collegiate studies,[282] which he commenced daily at five o'clock in the morning. His religious life was very fruitful, he being a teacher in the Jesus Lane Sunday School, the founder of the Cambridge University Prayer Union, and the organizer in his college of successful efforts on behalf of the Bible Society and the Church Missionary Society. He himself ardently desired to become a missionary, his sympathies being especially drawn towards East Africa. The door, however, was not open in that direction, and so after taking his degree in 1850, he was ordained in the same year by Dr. Davys, Bishop of Peterborough, and licensed to the curacy of the parish church in that city, of which the Bishop's son, a well known evangelical of those days, was the vicar. If our supposition about "Ben Abram's" story is true, the following information from the last chapter but one of the "Star of Peace" is interesting. We read there that Isaac Da Costa (his father) had so arranged his movements as to be present on an occasion of great interest to himself and others, and with no little pleasure was looking forward to the opportunity of witnessing his son's ordination. He had been unable to say what might be the day of his arrival, as the voyage from Jamaica to New York was made at irregular intervals, and it would appear that he arrived too late to witness that rite, for we read, "All was silent as the night in the little cathedral town in which Da Costa's son had begun his ministerial work. It was late when the last train arrived from the west, and a cab containing the father drove to the lodgings[283] of the son. The sound of a bell vibrated upon the ears of those who were slumbering; but it was not so loud as to arouse them to consciousness. But early in the morning a messenger arrived from the chief hotel to announce the arrival of Mr. Da Costa. Telegrams were not so far available in those days as to enable him to communicate the fact of his arrival. It was Saturday night, and Da Costa had calculated on the enjoyment of the services of the Lord's Day amidst the scenes of his son's labours. As these consisted of four separate services—in whole or in part—he had the evidence that his lot was not cast in idle, although it was in pleasant, places."

Mr. Isaacs remained in the curacy at Peterborough for two years, discharging his ministerial duties with zeal and ability. In 1852 he became an association secretary of the L.J.S., having charge of the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincoln. The following year he was appointed assistant clerical and association secretary for the north metropolitan district. Mr. Isaacs had married the eldest daughter of the Rev. J. M. Johnson, rector of Scoulton, Norfolk, and a niece of Lord Berners. She was a remarkably clever linguist and a student of Hebrew. She died in 1856, after a very brief married life. After her death Mr. Isaacs visited Palestine in the winter of 1856-7, and found the particulars gleaned during that visit of much subsequent use in his advocacy of the cause. He gathered the materials for subsequent books, took numerous views of the country, and bought a property near Jaffa called "The Model Farm,"[284] which, under an edict of the Sublime Porte, was made over to him as a British subject. He visited Palestine again in 1869, and was a traveller also in various parts of the world.

Mr. Isaacs married, secondly, in 1861, the eldest daughter of the Rev. S. H. Causton, Vicar of Highgate, and a niece of Lord Lilford, who died in 1866, leaving two children, Miss Annie Isaacs and the Rev. Wilfrid Henry Isaacs. Thirty years later, in 1896, Mr. Isaacs married Mrs. Peppin, the widow of Surgeon-Major Peppin, and daughter of James Herdman, Esq., of Zion House, co. Tyrone, Ireland, who survived him.

Mr. Isaacs was Jubilee Secretary for the L.J.S. during the year commencing February 15, 1858, and ending on the same date in 1859, which post entailed upon him much additional labour, to which he always looked back with considerable pleasure. He resigned his secretaryship in July, 1859, having served the Society with great acceptance for nearly seven years.

Mr. Isaacs now went to Jamaica on a short visit to his family, and improved the occasion by giving lectures, which were attended by crowds, in order to stir up an interest in the Holy Land. He had given a very great deal of attention to photography, a difficult pursuit for the amateur in those days, and was the first to introduce it into his native country. On his return to England, he occupied successively posts at Laura Chapel, Bath; in London; at Hanford, in Staffordshire; and at the Priory Church, Malvern.[285]

In 1866, he was appointed by Lord Berners, vicar of Christ Church, Leicester, in his old diocese of Peterborough, where for more than 25 years he laboured in season and out of season, carrying on his ministry on staunch Protestant and evangelical lines, and being surrounded by a large band of fellow-workers, who heartily appreciated his teaching and work. The parish was thoroughly re-organized; numerous useful agencies started; the church restored and its accommodation increased; schools and other buildings erected. Mr. Isaacs was known as "the Jew of Leicester," and continued his great interest in all efforts for the conversion of his brethren to Christianity. He also rendered much and conspicuous voluntary aid to other Societies, notably the Church Missionary Society, the Church Pastoral Aid Society, and the Church Association, as well as to all local institutions and enterprises.

Mr. Isaacs took great interest in elementary education, and was returned at the head of the poll, by a majority of nearly 4,000 votes over the second candidate, at the first School Board election in Leicester. He also greatly interested himself in, and was successful in raising the tone of the Police Force, the members of which most thoroughly enjoyed the winter and summer treats which he arranged for them. Mr. Isaacs was also chaplain of the Leicester gaol, a work in which he took the keenest interest, and where he was the means of leading many a sin-stricken soul to the Saviour of sinners; and reforming the lives of those who had been led astray principally[286] through strong drink. The work at Leicester was thus of a very arduous character. Notwithstanding the poverty of his parish, Mr. Isaacs raised as much as £25,000 for various objects during his incumbency. His whole ministry eloquently testified to the power of a simple and faithfully proclaimed Gospel.

In 1891 Mr. Isaacs was appointed to the incumbency of St. Augustine's, Bath, or, as it had long been known, Portland Chapel, which position he held till 1899. It was a post after his own heart, with its associations and traditions handed down from a long succession of faithful Protestant ministers. For a short time he was in charge of Eaton Chapel, in London. Mr. Isaacs frequently took chaplaincies on the continent, especially in Holland and Germany, and in 1902 he became resident English chaplain to Christ Church, Düsseldorf, and ministered to the congregation there up to the day of his death, on Sunday, November 15, 1903.

His home-call was very sudden, and found him in full work, just as he would have desired. He had no previous illness.

The funeral took place on Thursday morning, November 19, at the beautiful Friedhof cemetery at Düsseldorf, where he rests. Amongst the company present were Mr. Mulvany, the British Consul, with Mrs. and Miss Mulvany, and about 120 other friends, mostly attendants at the Consulate Chapel. The memorial sermons were preached on the following Sunday in the Consulate Chapel by the Rev. T. H. Sparshott. When Mr. Isaacs went there the congregation[287] numbered only about thirteen persons. He soon gathered round him, however, an attached people, upon whose affections he obtained a strong hold, and his ministry was very gratefully welcomed. Not only did he increase the attendance at the Sunday services till an excellent congregation was built up, but on Thursday afternoons, at his own residence, he held Bible readings and social gatherings, which were warmly appreciated by a large number of young men and women. Those who understand the intense loneliness of British residents in a continental city, especially one somewhat off the beaten route of tourists, will readily comprehend how much such kind hospitality and friendly intercourse must have meant to strangers in a strange land.

Mr. Isaacs' travels familiarized him with Palestine, and he wrote "The Dead Sea" (1857); and "A Pictorial Tour in the Holy Land" (1858). He was also the author of the well-known "Biography of the Rev. Henry Aaron Stern, D.D." (1886); and the editor of four volumes of "The Everlasting Nation" (1889-92). Amongst his other publications may be mentioned "Emma Herdman, Missionary Labours in the Empire of Morocco" (1900); "The Fountain of Siena, an Episode in the Life of John Ruskin" (1900); "In the Lord," a series of articles, published in the "English Churchman" (1901); a series of articles entitled "The Tabernacle and the Temple," published in the "Protestant Alliance" magazine (1902); followed by a second series in the same magazine, (1903), entitled "The Protestants of the[288] Bible"; and "The New Vicar" (1903), published posthumously.

Besides his literary gifts, Mr. Isaacs possessed considerable gifts and talents in art and in music, being a keen judge of both. He had some knowledge of colloquial French, Italian, and German, and not long before his death gave a short address in German at a mission hall on "I am the way, the truth and the life," which was listened to with marked attention. He had promised to give a second address on the Wednesday which followed his death.

Mr. Isaacs was a man of keen intellect, marked ability, deeply taught by the Spirit of God, and a faithful servant of Christ during his long ministerial career of fifty-three years. His Jewish descent, his acquaintance with the language and customs of the Jews, his sympathy with them and zeal for their conversion made him a strong and an acceptable advocate in the cause of Jewish missions. He was a Life Member of the L.J.S., and frequently attended the meetings of the Committee, where his long and varied experience, and prudent counsels were fully appreciated.

It will be easily gathered from the above that Mr. Isaacs' life was extremely rich in incident and experience. He was blessed with wonderful strength and health, which he attributed greatly to total abstinence from alcohol and smoking, and enjoyed the friendship of many prominent people, amongst whom may be mentioned Prince Münster.

Mr. Isaacs in his own person was a proof of the[289] success of Jewish evangelization, and of its far-reaching consequences, and we would close this brief biography of our departed friend with the last words from his "Star of Peace":—

"When Isaac Da Costa arranged for the baptism of his children he was, in the providence of God, opening the floodgates of blessing for himself and family. The consequences were to be widespread as well as important. Up to that time, not one of his family in any of its branches had ever been brought out of Judaism into the full revelation in Christ of the Law and the Prophets. But when he closed his eyes, he left behind him the record of every member of his family but one, both on his own and on his wife's side, having embraced the Christian faith, and thus set their seal to the truth and inspiration of God's Holy Word."

Jacob, John, a Jew from Poland, was baptized in England, in the seventeenth century. In 1679 he wrote a tract under the title, "The Jew turned Christian, or The Corner Stone," which was translated into Dutch and published in Amsterdam, under the title, "Jesus de waare Hoeckstein." In this he magnifies the grace of God as manifested in and through Christ Jesus, by which alone fallen man can find acceptance in God's sight and realize perfect peace and salvation.

Jacobi, B. T., was born in Königsberg, 1807. His father went to England, and became a Christian there. During his absence his wife, not knowing at all about her husband's religious change, embraced Christianity, and was baptized with her four children.[290] Jacobi studied theology, and was appointed Chaplain, at the George Hospital, Königsberg, having also the pastoral charge of the Workhouse, and giving religious instruction in a High School. From 1858 he was also acting as missionary of the British Society, and quite a number of Jews of the higher class were won by him for the Saviour. He was permitted to celebrate his ministerial Jubilee in 1877.

Jacobi, Karl Gustav Jakob, born at Potsdam, 1804, died at Berlin, 1851. He was a distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of Königsberg and Berlin from 1825, and, together with Abel, made his epoch-making discoveries in the field of elliptic functions. Most of Jacobi's papers were published in Crelle's Journal, "Für die Reine und Angewardte Mathematik," and in the "Monatsberichte" of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, of which he became a member in 1836. Of his independent works may be mentioned: "Fundamenta Novæ Theoriæ Functiones Ellipticorum," Königsberg, 1829; and "Canon Arithmeticus," Berlin, 1839. Jacobi's lectures on dynamics were published in Berlin in 1866 and 1884. The Berlin Academy of Sciences published his "Gesammelte Werke," 8 vols., 1881-91.

Jacobi, Heinrich Otto, born at Tutz, West Prussia, and educated in a Jewish school in Berlin. He was baptized by Pastor Hossbach. After teaching in several schools, he became Professor of Greek Philology at the Fried. Wilh. Gymnasium of Berlin in 1860. He wrote several treatises in the Greek language, and received the degree of D.Ph. from the University of Königsberg,[291] even without passing an examination. He died in 1864.

Jacobsohn, S. S., born in German Ostrowo, 1810. He went to Berlin and studied painting in the Academy of Arts. After being an earnest enquirer for a year, he was baptized by Pastor Kunze in 1831. Two years later he entered the service of the Berlin Jewish Society, and laboured among the Jews until 1871, with great patience and love toward them, so that many acknowledged that he was a true Christian. He published a tract entitled, "Immanuel, die Erscheinung des Messias in Knechtsgestalt, seine Erlösungsthätigkeit und die Ausbreitung seines Reiches nach Jesaia" (Berlin).

Jacobson, Heinrich Friedrich, born in Morenwerder, 1804, died in 1868, as a true pious Christian, lamented by all who knew him. He became Ordinary Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Königsberg in 1836. He was author, among other works, of "Geschichte der Quellen des Katholischen Kirchenrechts der Provinzen Preusen und Posen," (1839); likewise "Geschichte der Quellen des evangelischen Kirchenrechts," of the same provinces, (1844). His chief work was, "Das Evangelische Kirchenrecht des Preusischen Staates und seiner Provinzen," (Halle, 1862-66).

Jacobson, Jacob, was born at Goldingen, in the province of Courland, Russia. He tells his own story thus:—

"My parents early taught me to value the precepts, rites, and ordinances of Judaism, which they most[292] rigidly observed. They therefore early placed me under the care of a Talmudical tutor, to be instructed in the Jewish faith, which consisted in the religious observances established by the authority of the Rabbis, and the promised reward to those who adhere to them.

"As I grew older, and began to reflect upon the nature and principles of Judaism as practised in the synagogue, my understanding showed me that such formal worship could not be in accordance with the will of God, that something or other was deficient in the system, there being nothing solid to influence the heart and give vitality to the worshipper. I could not help experiencing at times something like a vagueness in my mind with regard to my religious perceptions.

"By the providence of God I was led to leave home; and, although it was contrary to the wishes of my parents, I set out on my journey, and in due course arrived in England, in the City of London. After my sojourn there for some time, I was incidentally brought into contact, for the first time in my life, with one of those messengers who are sent out by the British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews, whose work is to disseminate the Word of Life. It was by him that the Gospel was, in the first instance, proclaimed in my ears. Though some impression was made on my mind in consequence of his preaching, I nevertheless resisted it, on account of the deep-rooted prejudice I had imbibed against the Christian religion, and I refused his kind invitation to go to his house.[293]

"God, who guides the destiny of men in a most marvellous way did, by His gracious design, cause me again to meet the same missionary, who once more entreated me to accept Jesus as the Messiah, and to search into the truth of the Christian religion. As on the former occasion, I again resisted with increased strength, and again declined his kind invitation. Still, the impression which was left on my mind on this second occasion, led me to reflect upon the question at issue between Jews and Christians, and whether this Jesus, whom our forefathers had rejected, was the same who should redeem Israel. Thus I was for some time perplexed and undecided, and in my perplexity I at length resolved that I would go to the missionary's house, not with any desire to be converted, but simply for further information.

"I thus became directed to read the Word of God, in order to verify the predictions which refer to the Messiah, and their fulfilment in the Person of Jesus Christ. I then began to read the New Testament, and to compare this with the Old, and, in course of time, the doing so terminated in my conviction that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, who gave Himself a sacrifice for sin, and was cut off but not for Himself. After some inward struggle of mind, my agitated feelings may be better conceived than described, and in spite of all hindrances that presented themselves, I was enabled, by the grace of God and the enlightening influence of the Holy Spirit to decide for Christ, and He became my Lord and[294] Saviour. I avowed myself by public baptism a believer in the Triune God.

"After some years of Christian life, I was called to the service of God, in making known the same Saviour and the same Gospel I had received to our benighted Jewish brethren, and, by the grace of God, I have been engaged in so doing for fifteen years, in Newcastle and the district. The Lord has graciously blessed my humble efforts, and unto Him I ascribe the glory."

Jacoby, Dr. Ludwig, was the founder of German Methodism at St. Louis, Mi., U.S.A., and helped to spread it in Germany, in the latter half of the 19th century. His biography is found in the Rev. Fr. Kopp's characteristic pictures from the history of Methodism.

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