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The New York Jewish Chronicle And Its Agents.


Our readers will, we think, absolve us from any factious complaints about our conversion contemporary of New York, and the doings of the society of which it is the organ. But to be for ever silent, no matter what it may publish, would neither be the part of wisdom nor of justice. We cannot say that we read with a great deal of care the monthly statements of missionaries, put forth by the Jewish Chronicle and the Intelligence, knowing, as we do, upon what flimsy foundations the hopes of these travelling gentlemen are built, and how readily they obtain, notwithstanding this, the absolute credence of the worthy pious people who support them. But our eye was attracted to an article in the September number, purporting to be part of the journal of a travelling apostate, who is paid by the Society in New York, to collect funds and establish branch societies in various cities of the Union. The piece, short as it is, is untrue in every respect, save that the minister may have attempted to speak to the Jews for aught we know. Here is the extract:

“23d.—To-day I had an interview with a Protestant Methodist minister, formerly stationed here, who told me, that at one time he was led to preach to the Jewish people in this city, and to visit their families, to which he had abundant access. Dr. D., a Jew of this city, (Charleston,) now dead, told him that if Christians had been trying to preach the gospel to the Jews in former days, instead of persecuting them, they would have long ago become Christians; but that he, for his part, felt the truth in his own heart. He died in Christian faith and hope, but had never boldness enough to confess Christ to his Jewish brethren. His sister has since become a Christian, and the wife of a Methodist Episcopal minister.”

The person referred to as Dr. D. is no doubt our late friend and correspondent, Dr. De La Motta, as he was the only Jewish physician in Charleston whose name commenced with D; and we state upon our own authority, which could be verified by the oath, if need be, of numerous Christians no less than Jews, that never died a person more firm in the truth of the Jewish faith, than did Dr. D. His death was sudden; he had been in a very precarious state from several attacks of apoplexy, for several years, and was apparently so much better on the day of his death, that he had invited company to dine with him, when a renewed attack laid him prostrate, and he expired tranquilly the same day. We doubt whether he spoke on the subject of religion, if he spoke at all; so sudden was the course of the fatal disease. We have not received any particulars of his death from his family; therefore we may perhaps be misinformed on some point; but sure we are, that the Protestant Methodist minister, whoever he be, never saw him in his last moments, and that if he did, he could never have had the slightest authority for daring for insinuate even, that Dr. D. wavered in his faith for one moment during his entire life. His sister left his house several years before his death to go South, where she became acquainted with her husband, and embraced his religion long before the Doctor’s death; and we have the best reason to believe that her conduct gave him the severest pain. Intimate as we were with him for years, we never heard from him that he had such a sister, and only from a stranger and a resident of another city and state, did we learn these particulars. We are surprised that the reverend and learned gentleman who edits the Chronicle, should give currency to a statement concerning the private affairs of a respectable family, no wise fit for the public eye at best, without being convinced of its being the strictest truth. We trust that he will give the substance of this article a place in his November number, and make thus some atonement to the memory of a deceased honourable and regretted Israelite; and we assure him that we would do so to any Christian, should we ever transgress so far the bounds of propriety as to drag his name before the public. The giving the initials merely, is no shield against our censure, for where a man is well known you might as well print his name in full.

We offer an apology to the family of the Doctor for noticing this matter at all, and we assure them, that nothing but respect to truth could have induced us to transgress our rule, of not bringing private affairs before the public. But there is a limit to all things, and this occasion we thought demanded it of us to speak in defence of one whose lips are now closed, and who would have defended our memory if it had been similarly assailed.