תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

-29. vi. 39, 40, 44-51. viii, 44. xi. 2327. xii. 31–34, 47, 48. xiv. 1-4, 30. xvii. 1-3, 19–26. Aits i. 6—11. ii. 36. iii. 19 -26. vii. 55, 56. xxvi. 22, 23.

It is scarcely possible to view this collected light of Prophecy, and doubt the, restoration of the antient chosen people of God to the land which he gave to their fathers for an everlasting inheritance. Their conversion to the church of Christ seems to be predicted with equal clearness. But these are distinęt events, which the darkness and bigotry of former ages have considered as necessarily inseparable; or rather, they have presumed it certain, that their conversion must precede their return to Jerusalem.

From this idea originated the Apoftate Julian's attempt to rebuild the Temple--the negotiation of the Infidel Conspirators with the Ottoman Court', and the design, professed by the formidable power which aims its frantic efforts against the truth of all Revelation, to re-establish the Jews in their own land d, as a dire&t contradi&tion to the Prophecies concerning

< See Barruel, vol. i. p. 185. . See the project for the restoration of the Jews by the French, in the St. James's Chronicle, July 14, 1798.

them,

them. Let it however be understood, that fome of the ablest Commentators of the Protestant church have lifted up their voice against this opinion, and have maintained, that the restoration of the Jewish people will precede their conversion Granting therefore, that the Power of France Mhould execute this project, instead of invalidating, it will confirm the truth of Prophecy, and afford another signal example of the over-ruling providence of God. The wicked and blaspheming “ Alfyrian was the rod of his anger," and executed his judgments upon his people. The tremendous Antichristian Northern Power, which has been raised up to be the scourge of nations, shall“ fulfil his will, though in his heart he means not fo." The restoration of the Jews may be a part of their commission " ; and there are some reasons which make this not a very improbable supposition, though, in

In support of what I conceive to be the right interpretation of Scripture, it inay be observed, that the Jews are more likely to return to their own land previous to their converfion ; because, when they become Christians, they will no longer be considered as a distinct people. The Jewith Christians in the first ages of Christianity were foon blended with'the Gentile Christians; and it seemed to be the express design of the Apostles, to banish all idea of fuperiority' or difference.

See Mr. King's si Signs of the Times.”

my judgment, the weight of probability is against it. The Jews have long looked to the destruction of the Papal and Mahometan powers, as events to happen not long before the manifestation of their Messiah : and Chriftians look to the destruction of Antichrist, with the expectation of his second advent. Both therefore look for the coming of our Lord soon after these great events; and the remarkable agreement between Jewish and Christian opinions upon this subject will, perhaps, authorize a conje&ture, that the accurate fulfilment of the Prophecies, given by the Christian difpenfation (and which, however, correspond with the predictions of their own. Prophets) concerning these great events, may be a means of their conversion, or at least prepare this stubborn people to see their Messiah in the rejected Jesus of Nazareth. Now should the tri-coloured standard of Infidelity be placed in Constantinople, as it has already been in Rome, we must acknowledge, that these events will appear to be striking proofs of the downfal of the Papal and Mahometan Powers, though we look to their total destruction by some indisputable mark of Divine vengeance, for the complete accomplishment of the Prophecy concerning them. And in the time allotted for this last form of our Anti

christian

.christian adversary, the Jews may be collected into their own land—“the sanctuary may be cleansed,” and the church of Christ may be “ purified by tribulation,” and made ready to receive her Lord. ..

I offer these conjectures with the doubt it becomes us to feel respecting events yet future; but at such an awful period as the present, I cannot help adding an earnest, though feeble Warning to the nations among whom they dwell, to make no vain attempt to hinder the return of the Jews by whatever means it appears designed to be effected, “ left they be found to fight against God,” and bring upon themselves “utter destruction.” The cruelties that have been exercised upon the Jews for many ages have been a scandal to the Christian name; but we may derive no small confolation from the fact, that the Protestant Church of England has had no part in their perfecution; on the contrary, it has ever viewed them with the eye of compassion, and looked to the termination of their calamities with faith, and the hope of union. The nation at large has treated them with the same spirit of kindness since their return, in the reign of Charles II ; their numbers have greatly increased, and their situation has been as happy

as

as the circumstances of their exile would permit b.

But whether the conquest of the Mahometan power will enable and incline the Infidel tyrant to re-establish the Jews in their own land, or to "plant the tabernacle of his [own] palaces between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain,” it is yet impossible to find solid ground even for conjecture. These are circumstances, concerning which we must remain ignorant, till time discovers the manner of accomplishing the certain event of their restoration. If, however, the supposed reference of the Prophet Daniel to this Infidel power h be admitted as a just interpretation, it will appear probable, not only from prophecy, but from the actual state of the world at this time, that the Power of

& The Jews were all banished from England in the reign of Edward I. about A. D. 1290; nor did any of them attempt to return till the time of Oliver Cromwell, whom they petitioned for a repeal of the Act against them, and fent the excellent and learned Rabbi, Manasseh Ben Israel, as their representative to London. But they could not then obtain a legal settlement; and it appears, from the National Records of the Jews, that fo late as 1663, there were not * more than twelve Jews in England. It is well known they have never been subjected to any hardships since their return to England, but have enjoyed many privileges. See Tovey's Anglia Judaica, published in 1738. See Introductory Chapter, vol, i. p: 359..

France

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »