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Jews as are scattered through the countries subject to their influence: Antichrist meanwhile will collect the unconverted Jews from those parts of the isles of the Gentiles, or the regions of Europe *, which are under his immediate controul, for the purpose of bringing them back in an unbelieving state to their own country: but whether he, or whether the maritime power, will absolutely begin the work of restoring the ancient people of God, cannot, I think, be certainly gathered from Scripture f. His plan will be a plan of pure
By the isles of the Gentiles the Jews understood all those countries which they could not reach from Palestine except by sea. Hence the name was given to Europe in contradistinction to Asia, which to them was strictly continental. See Mede's Works, P. 272. and Mr. Lowth's Comment. on Isaiah xi. 11.
+ That the maritime power, mysticaily termed by Isaiah the ships of Tarshish, will be the first, or (as the original expression is rendered by the Lxx. and in the Latin translation of the Arabic version) umong the first, to attempt the conversion, of the Jews; and that they will afterwards bring back to Palestine such as shall be converted by their instrumentality, seems to be revealed with sufficient plainness: but it is no where, I believe, positively declared, that they shall begin the work of restoring the Jews. Since part of them are to be brought back by Antichrist in an unconverted state, and part by the maritime power in a converted state, it certainly is possible that Antichrist may begin to restore the one division previons to the restoration or even the conversion of the other division. Most probably however the two events will be nearly, if not altogether, contemporary. The prophecy contained in Isaiah 1x. 8, 9, relates solely to the restoration of the converted
velian policy: and considering the frailty of human nature, it is much to be feared that the plan of the maritime power, strenuously as that power will exert itself in converting no less than in collecting the Jews, will be somewhat alloyed by worldly motives, and will not be adopted simply from a desire to promote the glory of God. Most probably politics will have taken such a turn at that eventful period, as to make it seem to be the interest of both those great powers to attempt the restoration of the Jews. At this time, namely at the close of the 1960 years, and when the last vial begins to be poured out, Europe will be agitated by the storms of war. The symbolical earthquake of some extensive political convulsion will divide the great city, or the Roman empire, into three parts; and the cities, or kingdoms, of the nations will fall, when the mystic Babylon is now about to come in remembrance before God to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. The division of the great city into three parts seems to denote a triple division of the federal empire of Antichrist, not improbably made in imitation of the three prefectures of the ancient Roman empire; for Zechariah mentions three such parts as being
Jews, because they are declared to be brought unto the name of the Lord; and we are taught that the ships of Tarshish shall be among the first to undertake this great enterprize.
engaged in the last war in Palestine *. In the midst of these wars and revolutions, Antichrist will begin his grand expedition for the purpose of conquering Egypt and the Holy land, and of restoring his vassal allies the unconverted Jews. Uniformly successful in the beginning of his project, he will apparently reach the place of his destination and fix the apostate Jews in Jerusalem, before the maritime power shall have been able to convert, to collect, and to bring by sea to their own land, the other great body of the Jews; although that power is represented as being foremost in the work of converting certain members of Judah, and as afterwards restoring them when they have been so converted. Thus doubly brought back by two. mighty contending nations, and thus plunged into the midst of perils and of war during the space of thirty years (for so long a period will probably intervene between the first effusion of the seventh vial at the close of the 1260 years when they begin to be restored, and the destruction of Antichrist at Megiddo), the Jews must inevitably suffer many calamities; and we are taught accordingly by Ezekiel, that such will assuredly be the case. The whole of this is perfectly consonant with the ordinary course of the divine justice. National wick
* I of course wish this to be understood as a mere conjecture. It is very possible, that the three parts engaged in the Antichristian war may have no connection with the three divis sions of the great city. VOL. I.
edness can only be nationally punished : and the long impenitence of the Jewish people will not at the last, even during the very time of their restoration, be either overlooked or unrequited.
When the army of Antichrist is miraculously overthrown, the Lord, who forgetteth not mercy even in the midst of judgment, will not make an entire end; but will spare some of the least guilty of his enemies, reserving them for the noblest purposes.
Zechariah teaches us, that even so much as a third part shall be spared. These may be supposed to be less hardened in wickedness than their associates; and to have engaged in the expedition, either through the inveterate prejudices of a Popish education (the expedition having been blessed and sanctified by the false prophet), or through the tyrannical compulsion which we have already beheld Antichristian France begin to exercise over her degraded federal allies. Nor will they only be spared : plucked as brands out of the burning, they will likewise be converted by the mercy of God to a zealous profession of genuine Christianity. When two parts are cut off, and die, in all the land; the third part shall be left therein. And the Lord will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call op his name, and he will hear them. He will say, It is my people : and they shall say, The Lord is
Thus wonderfully preserved and converted, they will become proper instruments to accomplish the yet unfulfilled purposes of the Most High. Scattered over the face of the whole earth, they will carry every where the tidings of their own defeat, of the marvellous power of the Lord, and of the restoration of Judah. Meanwhile we inay suppose the awful apparition of the Shechinah still to remain suspended over Jerusaleın, visible from its stupendous height to an immense distance, and bearing ample attestation to the veracity of the fugitives *. Nor will they carry their message in vain. Judah is indeed restored: but the lost ten tribes of Israel are still dispersed through the extensive regions of the North and of the East. Tliese, according to the sure word of prophecy, however they may be now concealed from mortal knowledge, will be found again, and will be brought back into the country of their fathers. All nations, and all tongues, shall come and see the glory of the Lord; for he will set among them a sign, even the sign of the Son of man, the sign of the illuminated Shechinah; and will send unto them those that have escaped from the slaughter of the Antichristian confederacy; that they inay declare his glory among
* I apprehend it was from passages of this import, that Mr. Mede supposed that the Jews would be converted by a supernatural manifestation of Christ. Had he said the ten tribes, instead of the Jews, I believe he would have approached very near to the truth.