Dr. Abraham Capadose (1795 – 1874)

Abraham Capadose was born on 22 August 1795 in Amsterdam. Both his parents, Isaac Haim Capadose and Esther Mendes da Costa, came from prominent Portuguese Jewish families. He qualified as physician and Leyden in 1818 and practiced in the Netherlands.

This is shortened version of an auto-biography published in 1855 in ‘A VOICE FROM THE PIOUS DEAD OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION’. The text has been modernized to make reading easier.

‘By birth a Portuguese Jew, I was, nevertheless, far from being a zealot in the cause of the religion of my ancestors. My education was moral rather than religious, inspiring me with horror of vice, and love for what the world regards as ‘virtue’; but the goodness of God alone preserved me from open impiety later in life.

As I was destined by my parents for the profession of physician, I began to acquire the knowledge necessary for that vocation, although I was drawn more to the theoretical sciences and philosophy. My acquaintance consisted of young persons, nominally Christians, and our debates at the academy generally turned upon the antinomianism of Kant, or the philosophy of Plato – in short, upon all kinds of abstract questions.

The Lord had given me a friend (Isaac da Costa) in the bosom of my kindred. Both of us Jews, and intimate friends from our infancy, we had similar views on many subjects, and the same circle of acquaintance. A ‘savant’ of the academy of Leyden, the celebrated Bilderdeck, a man of extraordinary genius, a distinguished poet, an excellent historian, a profound philosopher, and above all, a true Christian, assembled around him at that time a few studious young men. Da Costa and I were among the number. He honoured us with peculiar affection ; and his conversations contributed not a little, under God, to direct my mind to contemplate more serious issues. Though he never spoke to me of Christianity before my conversion, he nevertheless exercised a great and salutary influence over my heart. The vivacity and fervour of his soul, the nobleness of his sentiments, the force of his logic, the depth and extent of his knowledge – joined to an ardent desire of being useful to youth – all concurred to enrapture us. But no love of a spiritual religion had yet entered my heart.

It is true that in early childhood, at the age of nine years, I felt the need of prayer and asked my Jewish parents for a prayer-book in the French or Dutch language, that I might understand what to pray for. I urged my brother and sister to do the same. This seems the more remarkable, since I had seldom seen those around me pray. From that time I never ceased from this duty, through all the changes of life, and I may add, that this prayer was my only worship up to the time of my conversion. The prayer ended with these remarkable words: ‘I wait thy deliverance, Lord !’

I have kept the prayer book, and never look at it without being melted, and adoring the goodness of the God of my deliverance, who deigned to give me, in a more mature age, what the child of nine years never stopped praying for every night, though ignorant of the meaning of his request.

During the time of my studies, these moments of peculiar emotion returned, leaving very deep traces in my mind. I remember that a poor woman often sang psalms in the street on Saturday evening, to excite the compassion of passers-by. More than once I left my books, when the singing of pious hymns reached my ears, being irresistibly drawn to the window, and there I remained fixed under the weight of sensations I could not define. The same thing occurred to me when, one Sabbath morning, I heard the melody of psalms rise from under the vaulted roof of a neighbouring church.

I went frequently to the theatre. One evening, when ‘Joseph in Egypt’ was performed, I had no sooner heard the first words of the morning hymn, in imitation of the Hebrew, than, full of patriotic emotion, I felt my tears flowing. Alas! it was only a play – an illusion before me, and profound sorrow soon followed this sweet dream in which I had been absorbed.

At the synagogue, which I continued to attend for the sake of decorum, nothing affected me in the least. On the contrary, those heartless ceremonies, that want of respect, those shouts, those discordant songs, and the use of a language unknown to more than three-quarters of the assembly, all this spiritless and lifeless display so disgusted me that I no longer attended regularly, for I always loathed hypocrisy.

My friend and I, both of us enemies to half measures, and not being able to satisfy ourselves with this modern Judaism, which had invented the art of taking up or laying aside, according to convenience, the different requirements of the Mosaic law, we firmly resolved to become true Israelites, rigid observers of every article of the Law, intimidated by no authority, and compelling even Christians to respect the Jewish nation.

National pride, that sentiment which led me as a boy to say to my good mother, on seeing her afflicted, ‘Be consoled, mother, when I am grown up I will carry you to Jerusalem,’ increased amazingly at this epoch, and took the place of every other emotion.

It was in this disposition of heart, and with these resolutions, that we undertook the assiduous reading of the Bible. But, disgrace! Wretchedness of the unconverted soul! We could go no further than Genesis. Incessant irony, a spirit of mockery, and often even (Lord, do not judge us for this) blasphemy was upon our lips while engaged in prayer. And this was carried to such an extreme that I ended up persuading my friend, that it was better to give up our reading than to do it in this way.

Our plans for eminence in the Jewish religion vanished like smoke. The end of my professional studies was at hand – this was in 1818. I took my degree in medicine, and left the academy where my time had not been completely wasted. I returned to my native city, Amsterdam, full of high expectations for the future: a fair and honourable career seemed to open before me. I had an uncle, one of the top physicians of Holland, a literary man, and justly esteemed by the best families. He was confident in public, not only as a physician, but also on account of his social relations. Without children, he took me home to be his son and successor. I was soon introduced to a rich circle of families ; very worthy and honourable, no doubt, but to whom Christianity was nothing more than an exterior profession, attended by an altogether worldly life.

Although for some years I had been more often in the company of Christians than in that of my co-religionists, I am sure that no one ever spoke to me of Christianity. My friends and young colleagues, with whom I often passed several evenings of the week, did not appear to have the smallest idea of religion. I remember that once, the conversation falling on Christianity, they made a show of their unfaithfulness, and spoke with very little respect of the Lord Jesus Christ. I expressed my astonishment, adding that I, a Jew, did not believe in Jesus Christ, but that in my opinion, every Christian, who did not believe that Jesus Christ is God, and still continued to offer prayer and homage to him, was an idolater.

One of these young physicians was happily converted some years later: he reminded me of the conversation of that evening, and assured me how confused he had been, that so severe and yet so deserved an rebuke should be uttered by the mouth of a Jew.

Nevertheless, in the midst of daily increasing occupations, though surrounded by all the comforts of life, I was far from being inwardly happy. The desire of knowledge, the thirst after scientific truths, increased within me, as worldly pleasures daily grew more sickening. But all my researches, all my studies, all my endeavours to satisfy the internal want that tormented me, continued fruitless, and left a frightful void in my soul.

During long sleepless nights, occasioned by a chest condition I suffered from since my youth, I asked myself, in the midst of sad reflections, why I was on the earth? ‘What is man?’ I said to myself. ‘Should I not be a thousand times happier if I were only an inferior creature, an inhabitant of the air, a worm of the earth ? It is true I should move in a narrower sphere, but then I should not undergo what I am now suffering in mind and body.’ Often, at the close of my evening prayer, which I uttered aloud, my heart added, ‘would that this were the last day of my life!’

My mode of life dissatisfied me. Eager in quest of truth, seeking everywhere a certain principle, there was not a day of my life passed without, alas! the deplorable necessity of acknowledging the uncertainty of the science to which I was devoted. I enjoyed, indeed, the confidence of my patients, and by the grace of God, was what is called a fortunate physician, yet I passed my days in painful constraint.

My uncle, the worthy old gentleman in whose house I was residing, fatigued by the numerous occupations of the day, was not pleased to see me consecrating the evening hours to study. Impatient to give myself up to some occupation more suited to my taste, I was free only at night, and thus acquired the habit of sitting up till a very late hour. Nevertheless, all this midnight labour left still existing in my heart the frightful void which so embittered life. It was not that I felt any disquietude for my sins ; assuredly not, for in that case I should have shuddered to demand death: I was under the weight and curse of sin, without suspecting it, or even seeking a remedy.

One day, going to see my intimate friend, who was just married, I found that he had received a letter from our celebrated professor. ‘Will you listen to his letter,’ said he, ‘and hear with what fine verses he addresses to me?’ ‘Willingly,’ I replied. The lines, in which he described with energy and fervour the glorious hopes of Israel, were in truth sublime. They ended with this apostrophe: ‘If you, dear friend, will take the name of Christ, I’ll yield my spirit contented. My life were a small gift to give for your soul’s sake!’

At these words, pronounced in a low tone, I felt my indignation aroused. It appeared to me that my friend had not been sufficiently shocked at them. ‘Take care,’ I said, ‘ there is a plan formed to seduce us.’

The whole day my mind remained absorbed and lost in meditation. I could not conceive how a man of such profound science could believe in the Christian religion, nor how one who, for so many years, had kept up the closest intimacy with me, without ever speaking to us of Christianity, who even appeared to have so much respect for the Old Testament, should suddenly resolve to speak to my friend in this tone. My heart, naturally inclined to mistrust, saw here only an adroit attempt to seduce us from our religion, and I suffered from the thought that my friend did not partake thoroughly of my indignation.

From that day I took up the word of God with the intention of examining it. My friend did the same and afterwards, whenever we walked out together, our conversation turned on passages of Scripture that especially fixed our attention. Having begun with the Gospel according to Matthew, I was struck, in the commencement, on seeing how this evangelist, very far from reversing the authority of the Old Testament, RESTED UPON IT, on the contrary, as his basis, and proposed nothing more than to prove the unity of the two Testaments in the accomplishment of the prophecies.

In this way many months passed, when, more and more encouraged to pursue research that daily afforded us greater interest, we resolved to effect what we had attempted some years earlier, though with a very different disposition of heart. It was to meet as often as possible, to read together and communicate our doubts and reflections to each other. To this effect we retired to a corner of the paternal mansion; and it is not without vivid emotion, nor without adoring the goodness and wisdom of God, that I recall the remembrance of those happy moments, those hours so agreeable and so blessed, that we passed together, as it were in the presence of the God of our fathers.

Our zeal and interest increased as we advanced. My mind, wearied with fruitless researches, beheld a vast and untried field open before it, into which it entered with an ardour and irresistible attraction that I recognised later as the expression of my heavenly Father’s love, by which He draws to his dearly beloved Son the souls he would save. This meditation on the word of God became at length the most urgent want of my heart. It was not enough that I knew the truth, I felt the need of possessing it and living on its substance. Although I could not then discern clearly what was passing within me, nevertheless I remember to have had moments of rapture at the thought that I could perceive in my path visible marks of divine assistance and protection. One day, when my friend and I were together, occupied with our accustomed researches, my brother surprised us. He saw on the table, alongside of the open Bible the only work of human origin we perused with the word of God. He opened the book and read the title. It was ‘a defence of the Christian faith,’ by Professor Heydeck. He read only these words, ‘defence of the faith.’ ‘What are you engaged in every day together?’ he asked, replacing the book, ‘do you desire to become Rabbis?’ Then changing the subject, he left us. Here we saw the protecting hand of God, for if my brother had read the whole title, we should have been discovered. At least, the suspicion of our families would have rested on us.

On another occasion I was in my uncle’s library, and ever eager to meet with something relating to that which occupied me incessantly, I ran my eye impatiently over a multitude of books, to find one that would tell me something in regard to Christianity. At last I discovered a large folio, entitled ‘The Works of Justin Martyr.’ Although this writer was at that time entirely unknown to me, the title of Martyr excited a hope that I should find in it something relating to Christianity. I opened it, and the first paragraph on which my eye rested was the ‘Dialogue with Trypho the Jew.’ I read it hastily, and found there a succinct exposition of the prophecies relating to the Messiah, which was very useful to me. Here was very evidently another interposition of Providence, and my heart was deeply touched with it.

One night I was reading the prophet Isaiah, when I came to the fifty-third chapter, the perusal of it made so vivid an impression upon me, and showed me so clearly, and, as it were, feature by feature, what I had read in the Gospel of the sufferings of Christ, that I actually thought some other Bible had been substituted in the place of my own. I could not be persuaded that this fifty-third chapter, which may be justly styled a Gospel in brief, formed a part of the Old Testament. On reading this, it seemed impossible for a Jew to doubt that Christ was the promised Messiah.

Whence came so strong an impression? I had often read this same chapter, but this time I read it with the light of God’s spirit. From that hour I fully recognised in Christ the true Messiah, and our meditations on the word of God took a new turn. This was, as it were, the beginning, the aurora of a glorious day to our souls. The light continually spread more of its vivifying rays, enlightened our minds, warmed our hearts, and afforded me even then indescribable consolation. I began to solve the wherefore of many of the enigmas of life, that had occupied my mind, rather to weary and sadden, than to tranquillize and instruct me. Everything around me appeared to possess new life, the end and interest of my existence were entirely changed. Happy days, blessed by a sense of the Master’s presence ! I shall never forget them! It seldom happens, when I review the journey of the two disciples to Emmaus, that the recollections of those days when my friend and I met
and walked together, do not come up afresh into my memory. Like them we can say, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while he talked to us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?’

I have remarked above, that, by the guidance of God, we had abstained from communicating to any person what was passing in our hearts, and that, limiting ourselves to reading and comparing the word of God, we neglected every other book, excepting the work of Heydeck, which we consulted regularly. This author had been a rabbi in Germany; but having embraced Catholicism, he was elected professor of the oriental languages at Madrid, where I believe he still resides. The work we had before us, written in the form of letters, possessed much of the spirit and knowledge of the Scriptures, and contained a defence of Christianity against rationalism. The perusal of this was doubly useful to us, since we had occasion to remark how powerful the logic and how forcible the proofs were, when contending against the opinions of Voltaire and Rousseau, and how weak they were when defending Catholicism against the principles of the Reformation.

Whenever I had a leisure moment in the morning I always absented myself to read the word of God, for I did not dare to do so in my uncle’s presence. One day I had been more particularly engaged with this passage of the eighth chapter of Isaiah, ‘Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’ I descended from the library, and found a Jew-
ish physician, a friend of my uncle, waiting in the antechamber. He was turning over the leaves of a new edition of the Bible. ‘Here,’ said he, ‘is a fatal passage, that we can hardly wrest from the Christians.’ It was the very passage of Isaiah on which I had been meditating. My mind was vividly touched, and I recognised again the hand of God.

‘Ah! why,’ I replied, ‘should we not acknowledge the truth?’

In the mean while my uncle entered. It was dinner time. ‘What question are you debating?’ he asked. The physician informed him, and knowing how versed my uncle was in the rabbinical writings, he inquired what our rabbins said of this passage. ‘Alas! a heap of nonsense,’ replied my uncle, rising up. We entered an adjoining room where dinner was served. My heart beat strong, and I inwardly blessed the Lord for permitting me to hear even these words, much as they indicated his want of reverence for the Divine oracles, from the mouth of a man whose rabbinical science gave him authority among the Jews.

All these circumstances, guided by the wisdom and goodness of God, concurred to convince me more and more that the truth was in Christianity alone. But what, at the outset, was only the desire of my understanding, had become that of my heart. Knowledge no longer satisfied me – I felt the need of love. Then it was that the rays of the Sun of Righteousness, which rises upon us gradually, conveyed to me, with the light that illumined me, that vivifying and celestial warmth which gives us the life of God. I acknowledged that it was through love the Saviour came to seek me. I now began to feel the weight of my sins, or, to use a better expression, my total misery. But this sentiment was absorbed in that of divine love. I had found Christ my life, the central point of all my affections and all my thoughts, the only object capable of filling the immense void in my heart, the key of every mystery, the principle of all true philosophy, of every truth ‘the Truth’ itself.

By degrees, as the Spirit of God confirmed my faith, I felt more unhappy in the position in which I found myself, losing in my uncle’s society so many precious hours and evenings that I could have desired to employ in further researches into the only subject that interested me on earth.

Every day I felt more and more deeply the necessity of coming to an open declaration of my sentiments, but my uncle, that uncle who had loaded me with kindness, who cherished me as a son, who saw in me the support of his old age how could I resolve to avow to him what, considering his age and choleric temperament, could not fail to make an impression and occasion a shock, the consequences of which were incalculable? I can attest, to the glory of God, that my certainty, in case I made my profession, that I would lose a considerable inheritance, a certainty which the event has now confirmed, formed no part of the grounds of my hesitation. The idea that, by a word, I might give a fatal blow to this worthy old gentleman, deprived me of the strength and courage needed to unfold my sentiments. Assuredly, with more faith I should have overcome every obstacle, but in the state in which I then was, I could only sigh and groan in secret. During these seasons of inward struggle and conflict, my sighs rose continually to the God who had called me, I pleaded with him to come to my aid and to open the way before me.

Acknowledge how attentive the God of compassion was to my cry, and how he listened to the voice of my supplication. My uncle was in the habit of reading the public journals aloud after dinner. One day, when I was seated at my customary place opposite to him, in a state of indescribable depression, I heard him reading a notice from a Hamburg journal, which ran as follows: ‘We have just been witnesses of an interesting fact. A rabbi, after having publicly announced in the synagogue, that an attentive examination of the prophecies had given him a clear conviction that the true Messiah had come, has publicly confessed the Christian faith in our city, and been received as a minister of the Gospel of Christ.’

Whereupon my uncle added these words, which my position rendered so remarkable: ‘You know my way of thinking. If this man has acted thus from any self-interest whatever, he deserves contempt. If it is through conviction, he has a claim to respect.’

Christians! who empathise with the lively emotions of the heart of a fellow-being, I will not attempt to describe to you all that passed in mine at this solemn moment ! In a transport of joy, I replied, ‘Yes, uncle, God has given you these sentiments. Know that he whom you love with paternal tenderness, and whom you call by the name of son, is in the same position as this rabbi!’

I pronounced these words with such a tone of voice, and with so much agitation, that my poor uncle, speechless and alarmed, thought me deranged, and going out for a moment, as if to allow me time to return to myself, he re-entered and spoke of other matters. But my mind was too much absorbed and excited to listen to what he said. I was occupied with the God of my deliverance, for, on this occasion, I had felt him to be near. It was the presence of the Adonai (Lord) of my fathers that sustained me, and who from that day afforded my soul a consolation it had never experienced, a joy and energy it had never known.

Nevertheless, I saw clearly that my uncle, although troubled by this scene, had not attributed to my words the importance they merited. I resolved, then, in God’s strength, to reiterate my declaration on the morrow. We were alone at the table, according to custom, my uncle appeared somewhat preoccupied. He was, notwithstanding, on very good terms with me. After dinner I began, but this time with calmness and decision, by saying, I remarked, with regret, that my avowal of the preceding evening had not been clearly understood, which laid me under the obligation to repeat it, as if in God’s presence, with the hope that he himself would one day acknowledge the truth.

There was no longer any possibility of illusion, and a most trying scene followed. He beat his breast cursed his existence, and cried out, in the bitterness of his soul, that I was bringing down his gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. These reproaches pierced my heart, but the Lord strengthened, consoled, and gave me grace to show this dear, venerable old gentleman, marks of love and tenderness, which calmed him a little. The next day he communicated all to my parents, and it appeared that there was an understanding between them to treat me with tenderness. Who could tell, but that, by carefully avoiding all conversation upon this topic, these ideas might pass away? Nevertheless, my family were not slow to perceive that this was impossible. I began even to embolden myself, sometimes preaching the Gospel to them, and whenever occasion offered, I no longer dissembled my sentiments.

My intimate friend, who had lost his father some months previous, enjoying more liberty, was at this time a great source of consolation to me. At last, my uncle, seeing that mildness did not succeed in effacing my religious convictions, and fearing still more the open manifestation of my faith, had recourse to other means, which led, however, to results opposite to his expectation.

There was not a sarcasm, humiliation, contempt, or severity even, that I had not to endure from him. I do not complain of these trials. On the contrary, I ought to consider this treatment, severe and painful to the flesh, in the light of real blessings from God, since it confirmed my faith, and was to me a new testimony of the truth of the Gospel, the open and full confession of which has ever been attended with every kind of persecution.

My family, also, were not in the least appeased, seeing me persevere in my resolution in spite of all that had been attempted to divert me from it, and the severity practised towards me went on increasing. This was the period of severest trial to my soul. Rarely did I meet with one of my relations, whether at my uncle’s house, or in that of my parents, without enduring painful reproaches from them.

It may be conceived that this state of things could not last, and but strengthened my ardent desire to confess my Saviour. We were already the subject of public conversation. Very many of our habits were altered. We no longer frequented the same society, and were very seldom seen participating in the pleasures of our friends. The cause was at length suspected, and called forth expressions of grief and regret on the part of our people. They set some value upon us. We were favourably known, and to national pride was added the flattery of the idea that I possessed, as a religious companion, a man such as Isaac da Costa as my friend, who, though young, had superior talents, and was versed in many sciences. Above all, he was a poet, whose writings had been published and received with universal applause.

I will not pass over in silence an interesting interview that we had about this time with a respectable Rabbi, a man of fasting and prayer, emaciated by hard diet, and esteemed for piety by the whole Jewish nation. He desired an interview, and gave us calmly some written objections. It was not difficult to refute them. Perceiving that his arguments did not persuade us, he attempted an appeal to our feelings. ‘Gentlemen,’ said he, rising up with solemnity, ‘in a few days all of our religion, in every quarter of the globe, will put on sackcloth and ashes, to celebrate the great day of propitiation. Then every Israelite, who humbles himself before our God, sincerely confessing his sins, is sure to obtain grace. I conjure you, gentlemen, to reflect seriously upon it ; and if, as Israelites, you humble yourselves with remorse for the design you have dared to form, you will be pardoned by our God.’ We were touched, vividly touched, by his zeal ; but we reminded him, that, at any rate, the blood of the Messiah alone could wash us from all sin.

As he was on the point of departing, he added these remarkable words: ‘Well, gentlemen, I have acted in accordance with the command of duty. Now that we are about to separate, apparently never to meet again, I cannot conceal from you that I thank God for permitting me to find, even in our day, persons who believe the Bible.’ We then separated, not without emotion on both sides.

At length the moment of final decision had arrived. I could defer no longer. My friend, whose position was very different from mine, and who had met with hardly any opposition, his father dying before our secret transpired, desired to wait some time longer, but my decision was taken. He joined me, and I acquainted my family with my resolution.

They wished that I would postpone it, or at least that I would go into Germany, or elsewhere. Perhaps I might have yielded to this wish, but the fear of any appearance of shame in the step I was about to take, led me to reject every proposition of the kind. Only we promised not to join any church in the city where our families resided, and, as it were, in the face of our uncle, who was chief of a commission charged by the king to take care of the interests of the Jews of Holland.

Our choice naturally fell on the city of Leyden, which had such sweet recollections in our hearts, and where that dear and excellent professor dwelt, with his worthy spouse, whose writings and conversation had exercised so marked an influence over our minds. We set out for Leyden in September – my friend, his interesting wife, who shared our convictions at heart, and myself. We were received with open arms, and an affection truly parental, by these worthy friends, who had taken so much interest in our conflicts. Who more deserving than they, to participate in the celestial joy that flooded our hearts?

The 20th of October, 1822, was the day so ardently longed for, when we were solemnly received as members of the Christian church. There, on our knees, before the God of our fathers, the true God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we had the ineffable happiness, we, unworthy, miserable sinners, to confess, in the midst of the Christian church, the blessed name of that great God and Saviour who had sought us when lost. Glory be to his holy name !

The text selected by the pastor, as the subject of his discourse, was Romans 11:5. ‘Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.’ Election of grace! This is the conclusion of what you have just read, it is an abridgment of the history of my conversion, it is that of all other gratuitous grace – grace that conducts, grace that enlightens, grace that enables one to suffer for the name of the Lord, grace that consoles, grace that draws to Christ, grace that gives faith, grace that justifies, grace that regenerates, that sanctifies, finally, grace for grace, and to the glory of God, whose free and gratuitous election, made before the foundation of the world, is the only source and principle of all grace, of all felicity.

The day previous to our public entrance into the Christian Church, we took leave of the synagogue by letter. I addressed to the magistrates of the Portuguese Jewish nation a letter, in which, while authorizing them to consider me as no longer a member of the synagogue, I protested that I remained an Israelite, but an Israelite who had found his Messiah, and who ceased not to offer the sincerest wishes that his brethren according to the flesh might speedily return to the Lord their God, and to David their king.

A few days after my public renunciation of Judaism, I received a letter from my uncle, in which he announced to me, that, after what had passed and some new arrangements made in his household, I could not, on my return to Amsterdam, dwell under his roof, that he did not forbid my visiting him, but this was only under the express condition that I should never speak to him of my sentiments. On my return to Amsterdam I hired a small apartment on a third floor, where, alone with my God, I experienced a heavenly joy and peace that passed all understanding.

My dear brother, with whom I often conversed on the subject nearest my heart, and who weighed the considerations I urged with great seriousness, at length fell sick, and died suddenly, crying to me in a strong voice, and with great earnestness, ‘Call, call my mother, call my sister. I am dying but I believe in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe in Jesus Christ, my Saviour. He is Master King of Kings. All must come to him. Europe, Asia, Africa, and America belong to him. He must reign over the whole earth. Announce in the synagogue that I die in his name.’

If, by Divine direction, these words should fall into the hands of any of the children of Abraham, but who have not Abraham’s faith, of those Israelites, my dearly beloved brethren according to the flesh, who are now poor, but with the riches of the Divine word in their hands, miserable, but having the blood of the prophets in their veins, despised and wandering over the whole earth, but with the promise of eternal glory, if they should be converted, may these lines remind them that this word, these promises, this blood of the prophets, urge them to examine attentively what these prophets have spoken, and by whom their promises must be fulfilment for them.

Yes, may they speedily, by God’s grace, acknowledge that this precious Bible, which they preserve, and upon which their faith as well as our own is founded, contains prophetically the entire history of the Messiah: his origin, his nature, his birth, his life, his death, his resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God his heavenly Father, his spiritual reign, his return to glory and finally his reign as KING OF ISRAEL, PRIEST, AND PROPHET.

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