Wolff, Joseph, Dd, Lld
Wolff, Joseph, DD., LL.D.
not inappropriately called a meteor or comet on the missionary heaven, was born of Jewish parentage, in 1795, 2 Bavaria. Endowed with almost unprecedented linguistical talent, a quick power of perception, lively temperament, and great prudence, he became acquainted at a very early age with the most prominent men in — different countries of Europe. In 1812 he was baptized at Prague by a Benedictine monk. While at Vienna he was introduced to the highest ecclesiastical dignitaries; lived for some time with count Stolberg in his castle of Tatenhausen, and went to Rome to be educated there as a missionary. His heart was filled with the desire to proclaim-the glad tidings of the Gospel to both Jews and Mohammedans. Although he enjoyed the favor of the most prominent men in Rome, especially that of pope Pius VII, and formed acquaintances which were of the greatest interest in his life, yet he could not reconcile himself to Romanism. While at Rome he spent his time in studying Oriental languages. Some liberal views which he had expressed on sundry occasions made him suspected in the eyes of the Inquisition, and he had to leave the college and the Eternal City. After many adventures, he went to London, and here he joined the Church of England. Soon he became acquainted with men like Henry Drummond, Charles Simeon, Lewis Way-the founders of the London Society for the Jews. They, perceiving Wolff's special fitness for missionary work, effected his entrance to Cambridge University, where he continued his Oriental studies under Prof. Lee. After two years (in 1821) he gave up his studies, and commenced his adventurous life as a traveler. Amid the richest and most remarkable experiences, he traveled over Europe, Asia, America, and a part of Africa. In these journeys he became acquainted with kings and princes, as well as with the most learned men of all ecclesiastical relations; everywhere professing Jesus as the Christ; and although he had often been imprisoned and his life had been endangered several times, yet in the greatest perils he showed an undaunted courage and great presence of mind. Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Bokhara, witnessed his ardent zeal. He preached everywhere-at one time in this language, at another time in a different one; distributed the Holy Scriptures in the various languages of the East; and wherever he went he understood how to interest the most prominent men and women in his behalf. In 1837 Wolff arrived in America to be ordained by bishop Doane of New Jersey. After spending some time in this country, he left New York Jan. 2, 1838, for England Here he at first occupied a small incumbency at Linthwaite, in Yorkshire; but as the climate was too cold for the health of his wife (lady Georgiana Walpole, daughter of the count of Oxford), Wolff exchanged that pastoral charge for the curacy of High Hoyland, in the county of York, and there he remained for nearly five years. At the beginning of the year 1843, Wolff heard of the imprisonment of colonel Stoddart and captain Conolly in Bokhara, and this induced him to proceed to that place in order to ascertain their whereabouts. From what he learned on this his most dangerous journey, he was convinced that Stoddart and Conolly were dead. In 1844 he returned to England and received the parish in the Brewers. Here he labored for the remainder of his life, and died May 2,1862. Before his death he fulfilled the promise made by him many years before to the Armenian and Greek patriarchs of helping them to establish hostels in Cambridge and Oxford: the Rev. George Williams, senior fellow of King's College, Cambridge, assisted and co-operated with him in this undertaking. Wolff published, Researches and Missionary Labors among the Jews, etc. (Lond. 1835): — Missionary Journal,-an-d Memoir, written by himself (revised and edited by J. Bagford, ibid. 1824): — Missionary Journal, vol. 3 (ibid. 1829): — Journal giving an Account of his Missionary Labors from the Year 1827 to 1831, and from 1835 to 1838 (ibid. 1839): — Narrative of a Mission to Bokhara in the Years 1843-45 (2 ed. ibid. 1845, 2 vols.): — but the most interesting are his Travels and Adventures of the Rev. Joseph Wolff (ibid. 1861). The latter forms the basis of Dr. H. Sengelmann's Dr. Joseph Wolfein Wanderleben (Hamburg, 1863). (B. P.)