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and Laity, we have experienced' happiness of mankind, why do you uniform respect, and received un- not turn your pious endeavors looked for help and support; and towards making those that are if Societies have not yet been es- Christian's already--but merely tablished, or large contributions by name--better acquainted with levied in the places we have visit- the true dictates of their religion? ed—much prejudice has been re- Why do you not persuade your moved, much attention awakened, brethren in the faith, that pure and and some seed sown, which will divine as it is, it can lead them to doubtless spring up in its season.” felicity only as it influences every
motion of their heart, and every LETTER FROM AN ELDER OF THE action of their life? REFORMED JEWS, TO REV. L.
* The design of your great Master was to found a universal reli
gion, confined to no place or naTue following are extracts of a tion, a religion for the salvation of letter from an Elder of the Re- the world : He grounded his preformed Jews, dated, Berlin, Oct. cepts on the moral nature of nian, 21, 1817. The writer was proba- on the two holiest principles planbly one of the disciples of Men- ted in the human mind, faith and delsohn :
charity. Yea, he commanded “ You, sir, I say it with a joyful even to love our enemies, knowconviction, are a true Christian, ing that enemies can be converted one of those few whose hearts are into friends by confidence in this truly filled with the hely idea of their moral nature, by exerting their Preceptor, who understand love and charity towards them, by the full meaning and weight of his showing a gentle pardon for their Divine doctrine, and who know errors and oftences. Such were how to represent it in their life his noble intentions, such was his and actions to the benefit of their beneficial aim ! fellow creatures.
· " Now, I may ask, sir, can there “Love, charity, those signifi- be found in the life and behavior cant words which the Founder of of most of those who call themthe Christian faith pronounced in selves Christians, the least sign of such an enforcing manner, with such a pure universal love? Nay, you they are not words only as are not the actions of the most of they are with so maüy other men; them wholly contradictory to that they are the animating principles which was practised by Christ? of your mind ; they have inflamed In every part where the Christian you with a noblezeal, to reach religion is predominant, those who the band of love to your brethren, profess another faith are hated, and to lead them to peace and ev. despised, persecuted, and cruelly erlasting felicity. O what an ex- driven «ut. Even the Christian alted design is yours!
priests do not forcibly reject this " --But, sir, give me leave to evil, but as idle spectators, they asl you one question. I may ven- permit it to grow up every where. ture to lay it down before you, “ Turn your eyes with imparwho love truth and sincerity in tiality to the history of ancient or every shape. You, sir, who are modern Christians, and your be so earnestly bent to promote the nerolenee will ask no further
proof, that what I urge is nothing afterwards his followers; but this but the strictest truth. Under is no apology for the persecuting such circumstances can the Chris- spirit of Christians towards the tian religion be spread by convic- Jews in later times. The testition ? Can those who misunder- mony which this disciple of Moses stand its mightiest principles hope Mendelsohn has given in favor of for many proselytes ? The unen- the beneficent character of the lightened non-Christian cannot be Christian religion, as taught by its persuaded of the beneficence of a founder, is truly just and impordoctrine that makes him undergo tant. If this favorable opinion of so many persecutions. He whose the character of Christ's instrucmind is enlarged by knowledge tions should become general feels, it is true, a great veneration among the Jews, and they should for the pure and exalted princi- in future be treated with that kindples of Christ, but he can have no ness which the gospel enjoinsconfidence in his followers." it will not be long before the tribes
I am firmly persuaded that of Israel will be seen bowing the the greatest' part of the Jews knee to the Prince of peace, acwould long ago have embraced knowledging him as Lord, to the the Christian faith, if they had glory of God the Father. found a true christian and bror therly love in the Christians ; for
ALEXthe spark of the divine flame that lies slumbering in the human breast can only be awakened by Regulations respecting the Socielove."
ty of Christian Israelites.
In order to insure to the HeWhatever may be thought or brews who have embraced the said of the opinions of this Re- Christian religion of what conformed Jew, in other respects, it fessicn soever it may be a peaceinust be acknowledged that he has ful abode in the bosom of the Rusgiven a correct and humiliating sian empire, we have permitted picture of the inconsistency of them to form among themselves a those who profess to be followers community under the denominaof Christ, and yet indulge the spir- tion of THE SOCIETY OF CHRISit of hatred, contempt and perse- TIAN ISRAELITES-but to promote cution towards unbelievers. We among the members of that Societhink' also, that he is correct in ty industry, trade, and all kinds supposing that no great success in of useful business, we constitute the attempts to convert the Jews the following regulations. can reasonably be expected, unless 1. Lands for settlement and dothe efforts be made with the con- mestic economy will be assigned ciliating spirit of the Gospel ; and by the crown to the Society of that much more might have been Christian Israelites gratis, and for effected before this time had the an everlasting possession to them Jews been treated by professing and their posterity. These lands Christians according to the pre- will not be assigned to each indicepts of our religion. It is indeed vidual in particular, but to all in true that the Jews, in the days of common : And for this reason they our Savior, persecuted him, and can neither be sold nor. pawned,
mor in any other way be brought to apply in necessary cases to the into the hands of others, but must said Committee, according to laws always remain an unalienable pro- which respect all other colonies perty of the whole commanty- settled in the Russian dominions.
2. On these lands appointed for 5. The Society form an Office them they may, if they please, set- for the management of their intertle on their own account, and build nat affairs, consisting of different every kind of establishment, bor. members chosen from among ough or town, according to their themselves, viz. two Superintendmeans and circumstances. It is ants and four Assistants, approvlikewise left to their choice either ed of by the said Committee, unto build all in common, or each der the name of Office of Adone for himself, provided he does ministration for the Society of not exclude himself from these the Christian Israelites. This connexions of the Society unto Office is permitted to have its own which they must all without ex- seal; and it is their duty to care ception belong.
as much as possible for good order S. Those Christian Israelites in the Society, and to reconcile who enter the Society, as also to any misunderstanding, disunion their posterity, will be allowed an or quarrel among themselves, equal, full and entire freedom of which may come before them; bụt the Christian confession of faith what respects disputes about prowithout any difference; and cach perty, hereditary possessions, and confession permitted to enjoy their similar civil affairs, or individual divine service according to the criminalities, that must, according rules of their church. Consequent to the common laws of the empire, ly the congregations of each Chris- be examined and decided by their tian confession, which belongs to respective courts of justice. The the union of the Society, may office has also to erect in the setbuild and establish churches, tlements a police of their own, for schools and institutions for edu- the maintenance of peace, quiet, cation, or other God-pleasing pur- and order ; and it is at the same poses, according to the principles time bound to ke:p a watchful of their own church.
eye over the conduct and behavior 4. The Society of Christian ts- of every one of the Society's memraelites will stand under our pro- bers. Rebeļlious, disobedient, and tection, and be dependant only on immoral members, who are only the Committee established in St. an offence to others, they must exPetersburg for the management of pel from their Society, after they their affairs, who are bound to have informed the Tutelary Comwatch for their welfare, and to mittee concerning it, as they are whom alone they have to give ac- also bound to do respecting every count of their concerns. On this member whoin they are newly reground not one single government ceiving into the Society. Every of the place where this society one who is expelled, forseits in may found their establishment, consequence all the rights and adhas to exercise any power over vantages granted to the Society. thein, or mix with their affairs. 6. All civil rights are hereby The preachers who may be ap- granted to every member of the pointed in their settlements are Society of Christian Israelites, and that not only in their own col- give necessary passports to the onies, but every where throughout members of the Society, which the empire. Accordingly they passports must be signed by the may, after paying the duties es- Superintendant, and furnished tablished by the Tarriff
, carry on with the seal of said office. Such trade in or out of the country, and passports will be of value only for follow mechanical business, arts, travelling within the empire; but and professions: they may possess in order to travel beyond the fronhouses, keep shops, and establish tier, or to come from foreign counevery kind of fabric or manufac- tries into the empire, the members tory without the necessity of be- of this Society may be furnished ing enlisted in any guild or cor- with passports from the general poration : they are also freed from legitimate authorities. all service, as will be defined in 10. All who enter the Society the sequel under a particular par- are hereby liberated from all sorts agraph.
of civil and military services. 7. The members of the Society But if any of them should himself of Christian Israelites are permit- wish to enter this or the other sertied upon their appointed lands to vice, he may be appointed to it. brew beer, distil brandy, and pre- All settlements and houses of the pare all sorts of waters and liquors Christian Israelites who belong to not only fo: their own use, but this Society will be likewise freed also for sale to travellers, who from all kinds of quartering solmay pass their settlements: bnt diers, keeping posts, and giving they are neither permitted to ex- Irorses, and from all other similar port such liquors from their col duties of the country. But if some onies, nor to sell them out of their person should be sent to the setborders.
tlements by the Committee ap8. No person whatever, either pointed for the Society on any buof the crown or private, not be- siness, enquiry or visitation, he longing to the Society of Christian must be duly received. Israelites, is permitted to set up 11. Every colony of the Socieinns, public houses, or other build- ty of Christian Israelites is perings for similar purposes upon mitted to have continually one of their lands---nor is any stranger their members residing at St. Penot belonging to the Society, per- tersburg, under the name of Trusinitted to settle among them with- tee, or Agent, to execute their out their particular permission. commissions, and dispatch all their But if the Society express a de- business with the Committe sire to receive some person among pointed for the management of them for a time, they are permit- their affairs. ted to do so, provided the persons 12. All who enter the Society of received by them have regular Christian Israelites have freedom passports, and the governors of from all duties for twenty years their concerns, or the Office of granted to them: when this time Administration, be surety for is expired, each of them will have them.
to pay the same duties which all 9. The Office of Administration Russian nations are bound to pay for the Society of Christian Is- according to their different staraelites obtain hereby a right to tions, viz, tradesmen, the regular
per centof their capital; artists and also informs that “advantageous professional men the civil duties. and convenient places for settle
13. Foreign Hebrews, who after ment, with adjoining lands, will they have embraced the Christian be appointed to the converted religion, should wish to enter the Hebrews, in the Northern and Society, settle on the same ap- Southern governments of the empointed lands, and to partake of pire," and that Prince Galitzin, the right granted to them, have as Minister, is to be at the head perfect liberty to do so. They of this establishment. may leave Russia again whenever In the third Ukase his Majesty they should please, as is likewise names the President and Direcpermitted to all other members of tors who will constitute the Tuthe Society, provided they first telary Committee,-leaves it to pay their debts and three years them to appoint secretaries and duty to the crown, from the capi- clerks, and to add to the number tal they have raised in Russia, ac- of the Committee, if a greater cording to the account which the number shall be found necessary. Superintendant of the Society « The members of the Committce will conscientiously give con- are declared to enter upon their cerning it.
labors simply out of zeal for the 14. It is left to the discretion cause, and consequently receive of the Tutelary Committee to no salary. To the Secretaries and draw up, on the principles here Clerks however, they are to aslaid down, the more circumstan- sign such salaries as they think tial rules, both respecting the lo- proper. For this and other necal management, public institu- cessary expenses his Imperial tions, and all other affairs which Majesty orders for the present may contribute best to the order 10,000 rubles to the Committee's and happiness of all, but especial- disposition-of which they will ly with respect to institutions for have to account to Prince Galite moral cultivation and education zin, who will report the same to of youths according to the true the Emperor." principles of Christianity.
The following extract from a ALEXANDER. letter to the Rev. Dr. Steinkoff, St. Petersburg,
dated at St. Petersburg, April 20, Easter Sunday, March 25, 1818. 0. S. 1817, will slow that the
Committee have commenced their The foregoing Ukase was ac- labors, and that the measure companied by two others of the adopted by the Emperor has exsame date, relating to the same cited great expectations. object. The one which we have “ The peculiar aspect of the given complete is the second of times in which we live, the fathe three. The first is entitled - vorable impressions towards « Order to the Governing Senate” Christianity prevalent among ma--in which the Emperor proclaims ny Jews almost in all nationshis noble purpose, and names the the singular advantages enjoyed views and motives by which he in Russia for promoting a work has been influenced to take such of this kind, seem to encourage extraordinary steps in favor of the the hope that it is perhaps the will Christian Israelites ;--in which he of the God of Israel that the great,