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In introducing the following Lectures to the notice of the public, it may not be inappropriate to publish the Act of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, but for which these Lectures in all probability would not have been delivered. Sixteen overtures having been sent up to the General Assembly of last year, (1838,) from various Presbyteries and Synods, praying the Assembly to take into their consideration the claims of the descendants of Abraham, the Rev. Mr. Lorimer of Glasgow, Rev. Mr. Dempster of Denny, Principal Dewar of Aberdeen, George Buchan, Esq. of Kelloe, and other gentlemen were heard upon the subject. Thereafter the General Assembly unanimously approved of the object, appointed a committee to consider what steps should be taken in the matter, and to report to the Assembly. Agreeably to this appointment, a Report was given in on a subsequent day, and the following Act was the result.
ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND ON THE CONVERSION OF THE JEWS.
Edinburgh, 26th May, 1838. The General Assembly having heard the Report of the Committee on the Conversion of the Jews to the faith of Christ, approve of the same, acknowledge the high importance of using means for the conversion of God's ancient people, and recommend the object to the attention of the Church, and that the Ministers, in their preaching and public prayers, more frequently avail themselves of opportunities of noticing the claims of the Jews, and without calling for a general collection, appoint the following Ministers and Elders, viz.:-The Moderator, Dr. Gardiner, Dr. MacGill, Dr. Lee, Dr. Duff, Dr. Cook, Dr. Russell, Dr. Brunton, Dr. Gordon, Principal Dewar, Dr. Simpson, Dr. Dickson, Dr. P. Macfarlan, Dr. Duncan, Dr. Thomson, Perth, Dr. Brown, Dr. Smyth, Glasgow, Dr. Mearns, Principal Haldane, Dr. Chalmers, Dr. Welsh, Dr. Clason, Dr. Fleming, Edinburgh, Dr. Muirhead, Cramond, Dr. Forbes, Glasgow, Dr. Keith, St. Cyrus, Mr. Candish, Mr. Wilkie, Edinburgh, Mr. Buchanan, North Leith, Mr. Buchanan, Glasgow, Mr. Hunter, Edinburgh, Mr. Bonar, Larbert, Mr. Henry Grey, Edinburgh, Mr. Lorimer, Glasgow, Mr. C. J. Brown, Mr. John Bruce, Edinburgh, Mr. Young, Mochrum, Mr. Clugston, Forfar, Professor Jackson, Mr. Carment, Mr. Abercromby Gordon, Aberdeen, Mr. Gray, Perth, Mr. Burns, Kilsyth, Mr. Doig, Toryburn, Mr. Kirkwood, Holywood, Mr. Dempster, Mr. Clarke, Inverness, Mr. Jonathan R. Anderson, Mr. Alexander N. Somerville, Glasgow, Mr. Bonar, Kelso, Mr. Purves, Jedburgh, Mr. Alexander Moody, Edinburgh, Mr. John Duncan, Glasgow, Mr. Smyth, Greenock, Mr. Landsborough, Stevenson, Mr. M.Naughtan, Paisley, Mr. M.Cheyne, Dundee, Mr. Brotherstone, Mr. John Thomson, Dysart, Mr. Davidson, Aberdeen, Mr. Stevenson, Newton of Ayr, Sir Charles D. Ferguson, The Procurator, Claud Alexander, Esq. of Ballochmyle, Henry Dunlop, Esq., Lord Provost of Glasgow, Robert Wodrow, Esq., Henry Knox, Sen. Esq., Alexander Dunlop, Esq., Alexander H. Simpson, Esq., Paisley, George Buchan, Esq., of Kelloe, James Bridges, Esq., John Wright, Esq., John Robertson, Esq., William Collins, Esq. Glasgow, W. F. H. Laurie, Esq., Edinburgh, George Lyon, Esq., Archibald Bonar, Esq., James Crawford, Junior, Esq., W. Howison Craufurd, Esq., of Craufurdland, James Howden, Esq., to be a Committee, of which Dr. MacGill shall be Convener, with power to appoint Sub-committees-the said Committee to receive, and prudently expend, any contributions, which may voluntarily be made by individuals, associations, or parishes, towards this object. Appoint the Committee to collect information respecting the Jews, their numbers, condition,
and character—what means have hitherto been employed by the Christian Church for their spiritual good, and with what success- whether there are any openings for a Mission to their nation, and where these are most promising-and, generally, with full power to take all prudent measures, at home and abroad, for the advancement of the cause, and report to next Assembly.
Edinburgh, 30th May, 1838.- At a meeting of the Committee of Assembly on the Conversion of the Jews—the Rev. J. G. Lorimer of Glasgow in the Chair. The meeting was constituted by prayer; and, thereafter, it was resolved that two Sub-committees should be appointed—one in Edinburgh, another in Glasgow-for more effectually carrying out the objects of the Church. The Sub-committee in Edinburgh to be composed of the members of Committee in the eastern parts of Scotland, and the Sub-committee in Glasgow to be composed of the members of Committee in the western parts. The Rev. R. S. Candish to be Convener of the Edinburgh Sub-committee; Archibald Bonar, Esq., to be Treasurer, and W.F. H. Laurie, Esq., to be Clerk. The Rev. Mr. Lorimer to be Convener of the Glasgow Sub-committee; Henry Knox, Sen., Esq., to be Treasurer, and Robert Wodrow, Esq., to be Clerk. Mr. Laurie to be Secretary to the General Committee. The Committee remitted to the Sub-committees to carry into effect the instructions contained in the Assembly's Act, and to report, from time to time, to the General Committee.
Such is the Act of the Church of Scotland in reference' to God's ancient people—the first Act it is believed in which any Christian Church as a church has expressed her deep interest in and her earnest resolution to promote their salvation. And a copy of the Act was transmitted to every minister of the Church of Scotland-to ministers of the Synod of Ulster, and to many ministers in England and also in the Colonies accompanied by the following observations, which, both owing to their own value and as explanatory of the Act, are here inserted.
Glasgow, 28th June, 1838. Rev. SIR,—As Convener of the Committee appointed by the General Assembly to take into consideration the state of the Jews, and the means which should be employed with a view to their conversion, I beg leave to transmit to you a copy of the Assembly's Act on the subject, and to subjoin a few remarks which it naturally suggests.
I. And, first of all, I may say, that it may well be regarded as nọ small token of the Divine favour to this Church, that a measure of this kind, as well as others of a like 'nature, should have been gone into with so much cordiality. It is indeed a refreshing spectacle, and cause of thankfulness to God, to see the Church of our fathers, at a time when so many have risen up against her, occupied with those works of Christian charity which constitute at once the duty and characteristic of a true church of the Redeemer; and, after seeking to diffuse the knowledge of His name among the outcast population at home and the heathen abroad, now adding to its other la bours of love the endeavour to gather in the lost sheep of the house of Israel to the fold of the Shepherd and Bishop of souls.
II. It is not, however, to be disguised, that this undertaking is one, in the prosecution of which many difficulties may be expected, and where there will, therefore, be need of the spirit of patient perseverance. For, however sure we are, from the infallible word of promise, of the final conversion of God's ancient people, yet it does not belong to us to affirm with certainty when that promise will be fulfilled; and the attempts which have already been made to promote Christianity among them, have proved that the Jewish mind is tenacious of its prejudices, and still imbued with that self-righteous spirit, which is indeed natural to all, but which in their case has always been so predominant, as to render the doctrine of Christ crucified peculiarly obnoxious, and to cause them to “stumble at that stumbling-stone." They are, besides, a people scattered abroad among all the nations of the earth, requiring, therefore, many labourers; men en