« AnteriorContinuar »
GENERAL AND CONNECTED
A general Statement of what may be collected from
Prophecy relative to the restoration of Israel and the overthrow of Antichrist.
THE restoration of Israel and the overthrow of Antichrist are so closely connected together, that it will be found impossible to treat of the one without likewise treating of the other. In a former work * I have briefly considered them both : but, the object of that work being an examination of the prophecies which relate to the whole period of the 1260 days, it was necessary to discuss what is only the catastrophè of the great drama with a proportionable brevity. Yet even that part of the sụbject appeared to be of so much importance, as justly to merit a distinct and more ample consideration. Hitherto I have confined myself almost entirely to the prophecies of Daniel and St. John: now I purpose to take a wider range, and to collect into one point of view the various scattered predic
* A Dissertation on the prophecies that relate to the great period of 1260 years,
tions, which foretell that the whole house of Israel shall assuredly be restored, and that the power of Antichrist shall at the same period be broken for ever. But first, that the subject may be rendered more clear and less intricate, I shall give a general statement of what may be gathered from them relative to those two great events *. '
The era of the restoration of Judah seems to be very definitely marked by Daniel. He teaches us, that at the close of the three times and a half or the 1260 days, God will cease to scatter his holy people, or (as Mr, Wintle renders the passage) will accomplish the scatterings of his holy people; in other words, that he will begin to bring them back into their own land f. And, in order (as it
* I think it superfluous to croud my margin with references, as all the prophecies, upon which this general statement is founded, will be given at large and commented upon hereafter.
+ " Until how long shall be the end of these wonders ? “ It shall be until a time, times, and a half; and, when he " shall have finished to scatter the power of the holy people, * all these wonders shall be finished," (Dan. xii. 6, 7.) Since then all the wonders contained within the period of the three times and a half are finished when the scattering of the holy people is finished, the most natural meaning of the passage seems to be, that the period of their scattering will come to a close, and consequently they themselves will begin to be restored, when the three times and a half shall have expired. But they have not yet begun to cease to be a scattered people; therefore the period of their scattering has not come to a close ; and, since
this were) that we may not possibly misunderstand him, he further informs us, that this shall come to
this period expires when the period of three times and a half which contains the wonders expires, we can scarcely avoid inferring, that we cannot as yet have arrived at the termination of the three times and a half. In short, as it appears to me, the only certain badge of this termination is the commencement of the restoration of Judah. But see the matter fully discussed in my Dissert. on the 1260 years, Chap. III. and in my reply to Mr. Bicheno,
Some, I believe, have imagined, that the holy people; whose scattering is to be finished at the end of the 1260 years, are pot the Jews, but those pious witnesses who are appointed to prophesy in sackcloth during that period. The whole context however of the prediction shews this opinion to be erroneous. The revealing angel introduces it by informing Daniel, that he will make him understand what shall befall his people in the latter days,' or (as the original expression ought rather in that passage to be translated) during the succession of days, (Dan. 1. 14.) Such being the case, since the prophecy reaches to the very time of the end, and to the overthrow of Antichrist, we must necessarily suppose, that it will conclude with foretelling the restoration of the Jews; otherwise the most remarkable event in the history of Daniel's people would be omitted. Indeed the very expression to scatter shews, that they alone can be intended; for in none of the predictions relative to the tyranny of Popery are the witnesses ever said to be scattered, nor in fact were they ever scattered in any such remarkable manner as the Jews. ..
I am no way singular in drawing the preceding conclusion from this prophecy of Daniel.
" The Jews,” says Mr. Mede, “ shall be carried captive oder " all nations, and Jerusalem trodden down of the Gentiles, until " the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled; that is, until the mo