|Vol. VII, No. 4
Tamuz 5609, July 1849
The American Society For Meliorating The Condition Of The Jews.
The shameless intrusion of a brace of apostate missionaries, claiming to act under authority of the above society, in the peaceful domicile of the Rev. Abraham Rice at Baltimore, induces us once more to make a representation to the managers at New York, of the gross outrage they authorize their hirelings to commit, by intruding into Jewish houses, where their presence is neither wanted nor agreeable. We would respectfully put the question to the worthy Christian gentlemen who compose the board of managers, and whose pious zeal for Israel is always at fever heat, or higher, to reflect on a single consideration, which is: “How would they relish it, and how should we be received were we to enter any Christian house, and preach up our own doctrines to ears no more willing to hear Judaism, than we are to hear Christianity?” Fair play is a jewel; and, in the name of justice and equity, we demand of them that respect for our prejudices, even admitting it to be nothing else, which they claim for theirs.
We know nothing of a dominant church in this country; we are as much empowered by law to be Jew, as they are to be Christian; wherefore we insist upon it that they no longer insult us, by sending to us those odious apostates whom they employ for hire. We care little how many they employ; nor how many persons go voluntarily to hear them preach their hypocritical assent to not-understood dogmas; let them, if they can, proclaim their belief in the various churches; but we insist upon it that our homes should be sacred against such intrusion. At the same time, we urge upon Jews the propriety of not holding intercourse in any manner with these renegadoes; not to ask them to sit down under the shadow of their roof; not to bid them welcome, nor to receive from them books, tracts, or pecuniary assistance. Such base deserters are of right excommunicated from the society of the faithful; they have chosen their portion: they disclaim Israel; wherefore let Israel disclaim them—emphatically and unequivocally.
Such a reception of the missionaries would soon teach the over-zealous managers of the various evangelizing societies, that they cannot hope for any success through such base means; and this would go far to induce them to forego sending such as they have done into Jewish houses, for the purpose of insulting believing Israelites. The folly of the step, must <<224>>be apparent to them; since they have not produced in any of their annual statements, even the last, a single convert through their efforts. What then is the use of the expenditure of from three to six thousand dollars per annum, to feed half a dozen forsworn Jews in idleness and sin? But let them see that every honest Israelite’s door is shut to them, and they will learn that it is hoping against hope to obtain an entrance through such wicked men, and we shall then be spared the intrusion of which we now complain.
The managers of the Society in New York know as well as we do, that what we state is the strictest truth, and that many a falsehood has been reported by their agents; but it suits them to obtain funds by pious frauds from their deluded and ignorant adherents, who had better spend their means in converting their bishops, clergymen and elders, by teaching them the principles of the gospel which they so sadly neglect. Let us take care of ourselves: we are as competent to do as they can be. But, again, we urge upon our people to shun the apostates, and to give them no handle to say that a single Jew gave them the hand of friendship. It is a mistaken liberality to do so; they will not understand the motives of a kindly reception; wherefore we say, let them pass, they are unworthy of any notice.
We could say much more; but we will forbear for the present.