|Volume VII. No. 12
Veadar 5610 March 1850
were somewhat too hasty assert last month that the
ball for the benefit of the "House of Israel"
Synagogue did not <<613>>answer
the purpose of the projectors; as we learn since
from the Treasurer that the surplus is about two
hundred and fifty dollars. But we were led into the
error by several members of the congregation, who
professed to be well informed. The loan of which we
spoke as being in contemplation, was all taken by
gentlemen belonging to the Mikvi Israel
Congregation, as follows: $550 by Mr. J. L. Moss;
$500 each, by Messrs. Abraham Elkin, rind Abraham
Hart ; $250 each, by Messrs. Gans, Leberman & Co.,
and Messrs. W. Florance and I. J. Phillips; $125
each, by Messrs. M. Cauffman, Joseph Jacobs, Henry
Lazarus, and Abraham S. Wolf; and $100 each, by
Messrs. Isaac Nathans,and Joseph Newhouse; in all,
$3000. The loan is to be reimbursed gradually,
within five years, and there can be no doubt but
that it will be accomplished.—The usual Annual Ball
for the benefit of several charities, took place on
the evening of the 23d of January. The company, was
as usual, highly respectable, and the enjoyment of
the festivities of the night, passed without any
interruption. The net surplus is about five hundred
and forty dollars. The Managers were Messrs. A. S.
Wolf, President; M. Cauffman, Treasurer; Henry S.
Allen, Secretary; Mayer Arnold, Simon W. Arnold, A.
Hart, L. J. Levy, W. Z. Florance, Joseph Newhouse,
Henry Samuel, John Samuel, D. H. Solis, Isidore
Binswanger, J. L. Moss, E. Nussbaum, Alfred
Benjamin, A. T. Jones, and S. Solis.
Dr. Raphall finished his course of lectures on the evening of the 27th of January; at the conclusion, the class was requested to remain, in order to pass some expression of public opinion respecting the reverend lecturer, by Col. C. C. Biddle, who nominated the Hon. Joseph R. Ingersoll as Chairman, and Rev. W. H. Odenheimer as Secretary. Mr. Ingersoll, on taking the chair, made a handsome though brief address; after which, Col. Biddle read some very complimentary resolutions, which on being unanimously adopted, were presented by the chairman, with some remarks, to Dr. R., who replied to the same in suitable terms. As, however, Dr. R. has been often honoured in Great Britain by such manifestation of public approbation, we do not think it necessary to insert the proceedings at full length.
New York.—We learn that Mr. S. Lazarus having resigned the Presidency of the Shearith Israel Congregation, Mr. Solomon J. Isaacs has been chosen in his place; and a better selection could hardly have been made, as Mr. I. has a long experience in public affairs, and a proper zeal for the welfare of religion.—The Anshai Chesed Congregation were about to elect a Rabbi and preacher; and we trust that the choice will fall upon one every way worthy to lead the people aright, and to <<614>>influence them only to promote the good of our religion. Dr. Schlessinger has been preaching frequently; among others, he delivered a sermon in the Netherland Synagogue in Pearl Street; we also learn that the congregation passed some complimentary resolutions to the reverend gentleman, in return for the instruction afforded them.—On Sunday, the 10th of February, a meeting was held in the Wooster Street Synagogue (that of the Rev. Mr. Isaacs), to raise contributions in behalf of the families of those killed by the explosion of a steam engine in a large factory on the 4th ult., in Hague Street, New York; the collection amounted to two hundred and thirty-two dollars. We record this act of beneficence with the greater pleasure, since we are not aware that any of our persuasion were among the unfortunate people who lost their lives by that dreadful casualty. The world may be assured, that the Jew’s heart is in the right place, and show him distress, and he will not stop to inquire to what country or faith the sufferer belongs. One thing is certain, that should the collection in all the Christian churches in the city have equalled that in Mr. Isaacs’ Synagogue, the immediate distress of bereaved parents and widowed wives, and children suddenly rendered orphans, will be amply relieved.
Sabbath Convention.—We learn that "a convention bas been called, to meet at Peterboro, Madison Co., N. Y., on the 27th and 28th days of February, to consider the import and obligations of the Sabbath, and the proper day and manner of its observance. Among the numerous signers of the call, we find the name of Gerrit Smith, Esq., of Peterboro, who several months ago commenced keeping the seventh day of the week, commonly called Saturday, for the Sabbath; also the name of the Rev. J. W. Morton, late a missionary to Hayti from the Reformed Presbyterian Church of the United States, who was suspended by the synod of that church for having advocated and practised the observance of the seventh day. It is understood that the convention will be conducted in the most liberal manner, and that opportunity will be given for all parties to express their views upon the subjects brought under consideration."
We regret our inability to be present, as we should be delighted to cooperate in any measure which could render the Sabbath more respected. The movement originated with the Seventh Day Baptists, as the call appears in their paper, the "Sabbath Recorder."
Virginia.—We love this old commonwealth; it is the home of generous feelings, and the seat of true liberty of conscience; this has been frequently proved, especially by the late act to repeal all punishments <<615>>for not observing Sunday on the part of those who keep the seventh day Sabbath; for though at one time misled to enact an exceptional law, that State repealed it as soon as the injustice was made manifest; and next to not committing an error, it is to acknowledge the wrong and amend it; in truth, it is more generous to do so, especially in public bodies, who are often swayed by contrary notions to those of abstract justice. When the convention to amend the State Constitution, met in 1829 or ’30, under the Presidency of Mr. Monroe, once President of the United States, the clergy of various Christian denominations were invited to open the daily sittings with prayer. This act of exclusion roused the zeal of the Rev. Abraham Hyam Cohen, then the minister of the Jewish Congregation, and he succeeded in having the rights of the Jews respected. We now see the fruits of this well-directed remonstrance. The offence is not repeated again, and we see that the Rev. Mr. Eckman, the newly arrived minister of the Portuguese Synagogue, has been invited to open the meeting of the House of Delegates.
We copy from the "Richmond Inquirer," the prayer which has been printed by request, as will be seen.
"At the request of Mr. West of Tyler, we publish the following prayer or the Rev. Julius Eckman of the Portuguese Congregation, pronounced last week in the House of Delegates :
"Before the commencement of the legislative proceedings of this day, I again, in the name of this honourable assembly, lift up my eyes to Thee, our Father who art in heaven, most humbly beseeching Thee to vouchsafe to be with us during the labours of this day; that Thou mayest direct our judgment, enlighten our minds, and incline our hearts, that we may think, speak, and act, according to Thy will and to our good.
"May truth be our guide, justice our rule, and the welfare of mankind our only aim; so that this State, upon which Thou hast lavished so many blessings already; whose sons, by Thy grace, have rendered signal services to our Union in particular, and to the cause of liberty in general; that this State may continue to rise, to shine, and flourish.
"May tranquillity, order, safety, and prosperity reign within, and no troubles, vexations, or grievances, break in from without.
"May it please Thee to crown our endeavours here with success; to the contentment of our hearts; to the satisfaction of those who entrusted us with so important a charge; to the advancement of plenty and ease, of happiness and peace.
"May the tree of liberty, which has been planted here so early, and which has now taken, root so deeply, be like a tree planted by the rivers<<616>>of water, that bringing forth fruit in its season, whose leaves do not wither; but may its branches spread forth more and more, till all mankind may find shelter under its shadow. Amen."
Montreal.—On Wednesday evening, 16th January, Dr. A. H. David delivered a lecture at the Natural History Society of this city, being, in the words of the lecturer, "a brief exposition of the excellence and interesting nature of the study of the science of Natural History." After some observations on the importance of the study, the lecturer remarked that although this science in its boundless extent and variety, included several matters within the comprehension of the least cultivated understanding, yet, there were others to which the strongest minds are not more than adequate, and it is only by subdividing the subject into different branches, that we can remember and survey the whole. Dr. David then proceeded to make some most interesting and instructive observations on the three generally received classes of created objects, speaking respectively, on the characteristics of the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. He remarked on the obscurity which sometimes obtains, as to the place which an individual ought to occupy in the scale of a particular kingdom, and even in respect to the question, under which of these kingdoms it should be classed? He recommended the study of Natural History as affording matter of never-ceasing enjoyment and instruction, characterizing it as a study of enjoyment and of mind. He compared the works of the ancient naturalists, with those of the moderns, remarking, that the former contain but a few doubtful facts and principles, mingled with speculations, amusing fables, and idle conjectures; while in the latter, no facts are admitted as such, that are not well defined and clearly established. In impressing on his hearers the utility of a study of the vegetable kingdom, he cited, from the history of Virginia, the instance of some soldiers, who, mistaking stramonium for spinach, partook plentifully of it, and became natural fools for ten or eleven days, during which period, they played such absurd antics that they were obliged to be confined. The lecturer, at some length, sustained the truth of the assertion, that a lover of Natural History cannot be a bad man. He remarked, in words nearly as follows,—"and whether, in the language of the poet, we gaze at the sun or at the meanest insect which sports its little hour, and is gone—all bear the mighty impress of the hand of Him who created the heavens and the earth, and upholds them by his power." The worthy Doctor was frequently and warmly applauded in the course of his remarks, and his audience left highly gratified with the intellectual treat he had afforded them.