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"Then occurs the synagogue itself, a building of about sixty feet by forty, covered by a fourfold and handsome roof, having a portico with a double row of four columns, and a balustrade before it.
“Within this edifice, the roofs (as usual in Chinese domestic architecture) are sustained by rows of pillars besides the walls. In the centre of all is 'the throne of Moses,' a magnificent and elevated chair, with an embroidered cushion, upon which they place the book of the law while it is read. Over this a dome is suspended; and near it is the Wan-suy-pae, or tablet, with the Emperor's name in golden characters, enclosed within a double line of scrollwork. This, however, is surmounted by the inscription, in Hebrew letters of gold :—
HEAR, O ISRAEL:
THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD.
BLESSED BE THE NAME
OF THE GLORY OF HIS KINGDOM
FOR EVER AND EVER.
After this, a triple arch bears the following inscription, likewise in Hebrew :
BLESSED BE THE LORD FOR EVER.
THE LORD IS GOD OF GODS, AND THE LORD:
A GREAT GOD, STRONG AND TERRIBLE.
Then a large table, upon which are placed six candelabra in one line, with a great vase for incense, having handles, and a tripod-standing, half-way along the line. These candelabra are in three different forms, and bear three different kinds of lights. Those nearest the vase bear torches, the next on each side have candles, and those at the extremities, ornamental lanterns. Near this table is a laver for washing hands.
"Lastly, the Beth-el or Teen-tang (house of heaven), square in outward shape, but rounded within. Into this none but the rabbi may enter during the time of prayer. Here, upon separate tables, stand twelve rolls of the law, corresponding to the tribes of Israel, besides one in the centre in honour of Moses, each enclosed in a tent of silken curtains. On the extreme western wall are the tablets of the Ten Commandments, in golden letters of Hebrew. Beside each of these tablets is a closet containing manuscript books, and in front of each closet, a table, bearing a vase and two candelabra.
"The congregation, when assembled for devotion, are sepa
rated from the Beth-el by a balustrade, some standing in recesses along the walls. Against a column is suspended a calendar for the reading of the law.
"Such is the edifice in which the children of Israel at Kaefung-foo worshipped God within the last century.
"Some writers have regarded this as rather a temple than a synagogue, but without sufficient reason, for the special characteristics of a temple are decidedly wanting. In China, as elsewhere, it may be truly asserted, as in the Hebrew Liturgy, that the worshippers have neither altar nor offering. The homage paid to ancestors may partake somewhat of a sacrificial nature, but it is carefully dissevered from even local association with the adoration paid to Almighty God. The candelabra, the laver, the solitude of the rabbi in the Beth-el, and his use of incense there, as well as in the courts, together with the courts themselves, these suggest clear reminiscences of the Jerusalem Temple, but they do not prove that in China there has ever existed a rival temple to that of the city which the Lord did choose, to put his name there,' as was erected by Onias and his colony in Egypt, or by the Samaritans at Gerizim.
"It does not resemble the great synagogues of Amsterdam, Leghorn, or those of the Gallician province in Poland, on which considerable wealth has been lavished; still less does it copy the modesty of the primitive synagogues, in which the people assembled to hear the law and haphtorah, to recite the eighteen blessings,' or to join in some very simple form of supplication; but the very dissimilarity attests the high antiquity of this community's seclusion.
“Among their religious forms and customs, may be enumerated the putting off of shoes on entering the house of prayer, and wearing a blue head-dress while there (a circumstance by which the Heathen distinguish them from the Mohammedans, who wear white). In reading the law, the minister covers his face with a transparent veil of gauze, in imitation of Moses, who brought the law to the people with his face covered, and wears a red silk scarf, depending from the right shoulder and tied under the left arm. By his side stands a monitor to correct his reading, if necessary, who is likewise attended by a monitor. The prayers are chanted, but without musical instruments. The congregation wear no talith or garment of fringes during the service. They observe circumcision, pass
over, tabernacles, the rejoicing of the law, and, perhaps, the Day of Atonement: for it is said that on one day of the year they fast and weep together in the synagogue. They keep the Sabbath quite as strictly as do the Jews in Europe. They make no proselytes, and never marry with Gentiles. They use their sacred books in casting lots, and their literary men pay the same homage to the memory of Kung-foo-sze (Confucius) as their neighbours do. They never pronounce the ineffable name of God, but say Etunoi (Adonai), and in writing Chinese they render that name by Teën (heaven), just as the Chinese do, instead of Shang-te (Lord above), or any other ancient appellation of the Deity.
They have no formulary of belief, but hold to the unity of God, and to the doctrines of heaven, hell, a sort of purgatory, the resurrection of the dead, the day of judgment, and the hierarchies of angels.
"Of the Lord Jesus Christ they had never heard, only of one Jesus a son of Sirach. They expect Messiah, and frequently repeat the words of dying Jacob, 'I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.' To the question, what they understood by salvation, they made no reply. When shown a crucifix in the mission church, they regarded it with no symptoms of displeasure, from which Brotier concludes that they know nothing of the Talmudic prejudice against the Crucified,' but it would seem that if they have no canonical Talmud with its Agadoth, they have some ridiculous legends of old tradition. They related to me,' says Gozani, 'such foolish tales,' (mingled with even the law of Moses), 'that I could scarcely refrain from laughing.' And in another place, 'They spoke to me about heaven and hell in a very senseless manner.'
"Their alienation from idolatry is particularly striking, after so long an exposure to the superstitions of the country, guided as they are by Imperial influence. They refuse to take an oath in an idol temple; and the conspicuous inscriptions upon the walls and arches proclaim their stedfastness in this matter, even upon that delicate point of the Emperor's name, which in the synagogue they have surmounted by the most significant of possible warnings against confounding any reverence whatever with that due to the blessed and only Potentate.'
Nor must we omit to remark their interesting practice of praying westwards, towards Jerusalem. When we find European Jews praying eastwards, and their brethren in China
turning to the west, both towards one intermediate locality, that one must be the station which an ancient psalmist considered above his chief joy.' 'If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgetful.' And it must have been westward that Daniel turned when 'his windows being open in his chamber towards Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime,' for he remembered the prophetic prayer of Solomon, 'If they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee . . . . . .and pray unto thee toward their land which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have builded for thy name; then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause.'"-From Finn's "Jews in China."
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
Preceptive Illustrations of the Bible. A new series of 52 prints, designed to aid Scriptural instruction in schools, and as a help to home education. T. Varty, 31, Strand.
"Sounds which address the ear are lost and die
In one short hour; but that which strikes the eye
The best critics of this attractive work would probably be a group of intelligent children, whose questions and remarks would soon satisfy an affectionate bystander of the value of the contribution which the author has rendered to the cause of Scriptural instruction. It scarcely needs our Judæan propensities to imagine how such a conversation would often tell upon the youthful mind, in favour of the Jew. There would be the simple remarks on the landscape, the building, &c.; and with eager delight would one and another prove his acquaintance with the sacred story. Then we should hear-" He was a Jew," and so was he;" "what happy people must they have been ;" "not like some of those we see in the streets;-how is it that they are so changed?" "Why are they preserved?" "Will they ever be happy again?" 'Shall we ever see such as Abraham, and Samuel, and David, and Timothy were?" "Ought we not to ask God in our prayers to bless them?” "Can we do anything to tell them of Jesus, for he too was a Jew and could save them."
For ourselves, we are thankful for this addition to our pictorial literature. The series combines vivid representations of Scripture facts, with practical lessons, of primary importance in the formation of youthful character,-enforced by precepts of Scriptural authority. Those of us who can remember how in our infantile days, during the intervals of worship, we were refreshed and taught by the rude engravings in the old folio Bible, will be quite prepared to agree with the author, that these far superior illustrations of Bible History" will be found a most valuable help in home education, and a never-failing resource on the Sabbath: when all the playthings are removed, and when the Christian mother would wish to put some little restraint on the exuberant gaiety of her children, without making them feel the Lord's day a day of dulness and gloom. In these illustrations she will find subjects of profitable amusement; and many an early lesson of holy morality may be given, many a text treasured up for the future; whilst the leading events of our blessed Saviour's life of love, and the examples of the saints of old, pictured before them, may under God's blessing lead them early 'to choose the good and reject the evil.' We will only add that in these beautiful plates there appears to have been the most praiseworthy attention paid to the peculiar features of locality, architecture, and dress, connected with the several representations. They have, moreover, an especial attraction for the juvenile eye, in being singularly well coloured; and the fearful error is avoided of presenting the Deity to view in some material form—an error perpetuated by many of the most celebrated works of human
May our dear little ones be taught, even from the breast, to love the God of Israel-to study His character, as developed in the Scriptural History of His dealings with mankind—and by grace, to attain to that piety of which the Jewish and Christian records present to view such lovely types. And oh for the fervour of youthful prayer, on behalf of long-neglected Israel !
The Crisis of Being. Six Lectures to Young Men. By D. Thomas, Stockwell. B. L. Green, Paternoster Row. WE have often thought of the solemn responsibility which rests upon the rising youth of this generation, whose advantages, intellectual and moral, are cared for to an extent unpre