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REVISED AND EDITED
BY JOHN BAYFORD, ESQ. F. S. A.
37, PATERNOSTER ROW, AND 295, HOLBORN;
THE Missionary labours of Mr. Wolf have excited a very general interest. The account he gives of his many conversations with the Jews in different places, is curious and striking. He exhibits the Jewish character somewhat in a new light, in the relation he gives of their manners, their opinions, and their general habits of thinking. And he adds another. testimony to this most important fact, that in the present day, Jews are every where found well disposed freely to discuss, and candidly to investigate the truth of the Christian religion.
The Journals of Mr. Wolf have been published from time to time in the Jewish Expositor, as they reached this country. They appear worthy of being collected into a volume; and the Memoir of his former life, and of his conversion from Judaism, which, at the request of his friends, he wrote before he left England, naturally forms a preface to the Journal. In preparing them for the press, the Editor has interfered but little with the original
manuscripts, and no further than by the correction of the more striking errors in grammar and idiom, which indeed are very few, when it is considered that at his landing in England, Mr. Wolf was wholly unacquainted with the English language.
Considerable difficulty has attended the decyphering of many of the names, both of persons and of places: and the Editor fears he may have been less successful than he could have wished. He entreats the indulgence of the Reader where he has failed, either in this or in any other respect. But he trusts, that on the Whole the account he now presents to the Public, of Mr. Wolf and of his missionary exertions, will not be found without interest.
London, April 29,1824.
NEAR Bamberg in Bavaria is a little village, called Weilersbach, which is inhabited by fifty Catholic, and fifteen Jewish families. I was born in this same village, in the year 1796. My father was the Rabbi of these Jews. My parents left this village within fifteen days after I was born, and came to Halle in Prussia, where my father exercised again the office of a Rabbi. I had a strict Jewish education: my father began to teach me all the Jewish ceremonies, when I was four years old; and told me, that all the Jews were expecting the Messiah, every day and every hour, that his advent could not be far off, and at that time we should dine on the great fish, called Leviathan. I believed all my father told me, and I considered Christians as worshippers of a cross of wood, and no better than idolaters. I began to read the Hebrew prayer-book when I was six years old, and recited it every day, without being able to understand its contents. My father sent me at this time to a public Christian school, to be in