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—29. vi. 39, 40, 44—51. viii, 44. xi. 2327. xii. 31-34, 47, 48. xiv. I—4, 30. xvii. 1—3, 19—26. Acts i. 6—11. ii. 36. iii. 19 —26. vii. 55, 56. xxvi. 22, 23,
It is scarcely poffible to view this collected light of Prophecy, and doubt the reftoration of the antient chofen people of God to the land which he gave to their fathers for an everlafting inheritance. Their conversion to the church of Chrift feems to be predicted with equal clearness. But these are diftinct events, which the darkness and bigotry of former ages have confidered as neceffarily infeparable; or rather, they have prefumed it certain, that their converfion must precede their return to Jerufalem.
From this idea originated the Apoftate Julian's attempt to rebuild the Temple-the negotiation of the Infidel Confpirators with the Ottoman Court, and the defign, profeffed by the formidable power which aims its frantic efforts against the truth of all Revelation, to re-establish the Jews in their own land a, as a direct contradiction 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. 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 reftoration of the Jewish people will precede their converfion. Granting therefore, that the Power of France fhould execute this project, instead of invalidating, it will confirm the truth of Prophecy, and afford another fignal example of the over-ruling providence of God. The wicked and blafpheming " Af fyrian 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, fhall “fulfil his will, though in his heart he means not fo." The restoration of the Jews may be a part of their commiffion; and there are some reasons which make this not a very improbable fuppofition, though, in
• In fupport of what I conceive to be the right interpretation of Scripture, it may be obferved, that the Jews are more likely to return to their own land previous to their converfion; because, when they become Chriflians, they will no longer be confidered as a diftinct people. The Jewith Chriftians in the first ages of Chriftianity were foon blended with the Gentile Chriftians; and it feemed to be the express design of the Apofiles, to banish all idea of fuperiority or difference.
f See Mr. King's “Signs of the Times.”
my judgment, the weight of probability is against it. The Jews have long looked to the deftruction of the Papal and Mahometan powers, as events to happen not long before the manifeftation of their Meffiah: and Chrif tians look to the deftruction of Antichrist, with the expectation of his fecond advent. Both therefore look for the coming of our Lord foon after these great events; and the remarkable agreement between Jewish and Chriftian opinions upon this fubject will, perhaps, authorize a conjecture, that the accurate fulfilment of the Prophecies, given by the Chriftian difpenfation (and which, however, correfpond with the predictions of their own Prophets) concerning thefe great events, may be a means of their converfion, or at least prepare this ftubborn pcople to fee their Meffiah in the rejected Jefus of Nazareth. fhould the tri-coloured ftandard of Infidelity be placed in Conftantinople, as it has already been in Rome, we must acknowledge, that thefe events will appear to be ftriking proofs of the downfal of the Papal and Mahometan Powers, though we look to their total destruction by fome indifputable 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 adversary, the Jews may be collected into their own land-" the fanctuary may be cleanfed," and the church of Chrift may be purified by tribulation," and made ready to receive her Lord.
I offer these conjectures with the doubt it becomes us to feel refpecting events yet future; but at fuch an awful period as the prefent, 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 defigned to be effected, " left they be found to fight against God," and bring upon themselves "utter deftruction." utter deftruction." The cruelties that have been exercised upon the Jews for many ages have been a fcandal to the Chriftian name; but we may derive no fmall confolation from the fact, that the Proteftant Church of England has had no part in their perfecution; on the contrary, it has ever viewed them with the eye of compaffion, and looked to the termination of their calamities with faith, and the hope of union. The nation at large has treated them with the fame spirit of kindness fince their return, in the reign of Charles II; their numbers have greatly increafed, and their fituation has been as happy
as the circumstances of their exile would ́permit .
But whether the conqueft of the Mahometan power will enable and incline the Infidel tyrant to re-establish the Jews in their own land, or plant the tabernacle of his [own] palaces between the feas, in the glorious holy mountain," it is yet impoffible to find folid ground even for conjecture. These are circumstances, concerning which we must remain ignorant, till time difcovers the manner of accomplishing the certain event of their restoration. If, however, the fuppofed reference of the Prophet Daniel to this Infidel power 1 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, Manaffeh Ben Ifrael, as their representative to London. But they could not then obtain a legal fettlement; 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 fince their return to England, but have enjoyed many privileges. See Tovey's Anglia Judaica, published in 1738.
See Introductory Chapter, vol. i. p. 359.