|Vol. I, No. 7
Tishry 5604 October 1843
Pennsylvania Society for Evangelizing the Jews.
A number of gentlemen of this city, composed of Christians without respect to denomination, anxious for the extinction of the Jewish name, have associated, as we learn from the columns of the Jewish Chronicle of Sept. 1st, "to promote Christianity among the Jews, by employing missionaries among the Jewish population in this state, and promoting their conversion by such other means as opportunity may present."
What means the last mentioned may be we have no chance of ascertaining, as the meagre account before us is quite silent on the subject. But we trust that no money will be collected from the enthusiastic conversionists which abound in all communities, and consequently also here, to be used as a bounty for the purchase of apostates. We do not think it very likely that our advice will be greatly heeded by the members of the society, but we nevertheless cannot avoid giving them this counsel: to preach their doctrines without giving money or countenance to the persons whom they may perhaps obtain from among us by dint of persuasion, for in this manner only can their sincerity be tested; and we will accord them a perfect honesty of purpose, if they can be induced to change their religion, when they know beforehand that they will be left to provide for themselves by some manual labour or handicraft work like the original Christians, who have to obtain a living by their own exertions. It is but too likely that upon these terms few candidates for baptism will be found; but our pious Christian friends ought to value one such pure soul much higher than a hundred purchased ones.
In order to inform the Jews of the names of those who take so deep an interest in their spiritual welfare, we subjoin the names of the Officers and Directors of the Society.
Rev. Stephen H. Tyng, D. D.
Well, Jewish reader, here is a long list of persons who wish you well, as they say. If, after this, the walls of the Synagogue do not tremble, it is not the fault of the powerful association of intellect and wealth which has combined against it. Still, we dare to hope that, though the walls of our house of prayer may be shaken, they will not fall very speedily and thus leave something to do for these zealous friends of Israel in a succeeding year. We speak satirically of this new champion, because the subject cannot be treated with seriousness. So much money and time have been uselessly spent, that an unprejudiced observer would have thought that the age had grown too wise for such abortive attempts; but, as is the case in the papal states, zealots have much to learn even in this land of liberty. We are unwilling to utter all we think of the unneighbourly conduct of the clergymen who are leaders in this crusade; but this much we will assert without fear of contradiction, that, unless we are greatly mistaken they are with one or two exceptions totally unacquainted with Jews, having no intercourse whatever with any of our fellow-believers in this city; and hence they are perfectly unable to speak understandingly of the spiritual wants of the Jews, and are therefore very indifferent guides to their flocks in this new atttempt against our religion.—We fear them not, they may rest assured; and in taking our leave of them for the present, we tell them candidly that we shall watch them narrowly, and boldly expose their proceedings to the scorn of an enlightened Christian public through the daily press whenever they attempt aught which bears the stamp of unfairness. We say this not as a threat; but as evincing the utter insignificance which we attach to this and the Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews already existing in New York for many years which latter obtained large funds, and effected nothing which could raise Christianity in the eyes of Israelites, or shed lustre upon the zeal of its founders in the estimation of the enlightened followers of the popular religion.