Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

s been considered the main strength of the army “ in which they have served *.”

I have stated, that the restoration of Judah will commence at the close of the 1260 years, and have intimated it to be probable that it will not be

* Besides these Muhammedan Israelites, if indeed the Afghans be Israelites, it appears, that there are in the East many of the same ancient stock of Jacob. '“ There is reason to believe,” says Mr. Buchanan, “ that scriptural records, “ older than the apostolical, exist on the coast of Malabar. “ At Cochin there is a colony of Jews, who retain the tra. “ dition that they arrived in India soon after the Babylonian “ captivity. There are in that province two classes of Jews, “ the white and the black Jews. The black Jews are those, “ who are supposed to have arrived at that early period. “ The white Juws emigrated from Europe in later ages. " What seems to countenance the tradition of the black Jews “ is, that they have copies of those books of the Old Testa. “ ment which were written previously to the captivity, but none of those whose dates are subsequent to that event-“ The latest information respecting them is contained in a " letter lately received from a learned missionary in the south of the peninsula, who had resided for some time in " the vicinity of Cochin. He states, that he had constantly “ been informed that the Jews at Cochin had those books only “ of the Old Testament which were written before the Baby“ lonian captivity; and that thence it is generally believed by " the Christians of the Decan, that they had come to India “ soon after that event. He adds, that the M.S. was on a 66 material resembling paper, in the form of a roll; and that " the character had a strong resemblance to Hebrew, if not Hebrew.” (Meinoir of an eccles. establishment for British India, p. 117, 118.) Are we to esteem these people Jews, or a remnant of the ten tribes ?

[ocr errors]

com

completely effected till a period of 30 additional years shall likewise have expired. This conjecture is founded upon a remarkable chronological passage in the book of Daniel. The prophet teaches us, that 75 years will intervene between the expiration of the 1260 years and the commencement of the millennium : and these 75 years he divides, without specifying any reason for such a division, into 30 years and 45 years. What particular event will happen at the era of the division, we undoubtedly cannot determine with any degree of certainty ; because Daniel has left it wholly undetermined ; but we must conclude, that the point of the division will be marked by some signal event; otherwise how can we rationally account for such a division having been made? Now, when we find, by comparing prophecy with prophecy, that the restoration of Judah will precede the restoration of Israel, and that the restoration of Israel will not even so much as commence till the restoration of at least the main body of Judah * is completed, and till the power of Antichrist is broken: it is at least

* It appears from the mention of some countries, into which (according to Isaiah) the fugitives from the Antichristian army will wander, that several scattered Jews will be left behind in Europe both by the maritime power and by Antichrist. These will be converted and hasten to join their brethren, both in consequence of the report of the fugitives, and of their bea holding from afar the glory of the Lord manifested over Je. rusalem in the awful sign of the Shechinah. See Isaiah lxvi. 18, 19.

highly highly probable, that the 30 years will be occupied

in the conversion and restoration of Judah, in the great earthquake or political convulsion that divides

the Latin empire into three parts, in the wars of Antichrist with the kings of the north and the south, in his grand expedition against Palestine and Egypt, and in the contemporary naval expe- · dition of the maritime power undertaken for the purpose of bringing back the converted Jews; that the 30 years will close with the complete overthrow of Antichrist in the valley of Megiddo, an event than which we cannot conceive one better calculated to mark a signal chronological epoch; and that the 45 years will be employed in the wanderings of those who, escaping from the rout of the Antichristian army, will carry every where the tidings of God's supernatural interference, and in the subsequent conversion and restoration of the whole house of Israel. I wish this to be understood only as conjecture; for it would be folly to speak positively before the event.

When the 45 years shall have expired, when the whole family of Jacob shall have been converted and restored, and when the stick of Judah shall have united itself for ever with the stick of Joseph; then will commence the season of millennian bles- .. sedness *. We have reason to suppose, that the!

ancient

* What Mr. Mede has said upon the subject of these num. bers is to me altogether unsatisfactory. He dates them from

the

ancient people of God, now converted to the faith of Christ, will be greatly instrumental in spreading the glad tidings of the Gospel among the heathen

nations.

the profanation of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes, thus making the first number terminate about a. D. 1120, and the second about A, D. 1166 ; and he refers them altogether to the suspicions, which then began to be entertained by many, that the Pope was Antichrist (See Mede's Works, B. 111. P. 717724.) But what great blessedness was there iu living about the year 1166? Mr. Mede answers, that then the Wal. denses hegan to be persecuted, and the promise to be fulfilled that “ blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.” Such an answer, I must confess, appears to me little better than a quibble. In fact, it can only be by a very strained construction that we can make these numbers relate to the times when the wise first began to understand. According to the general context of the whole passage, they obviously extend beyond the 1260 years, and reach to the very end of the days, to the commencement of some period of great blessedness. Bp. Newton, much more judiciously than Mr. Mede whom he scruples not to pronounce mistaken, connects these numbers with the 1260 years, making their overplus reach beyond them. At the close of the 1290 years, if I mistake not, he places the complete restoration of the Jews, and the destruction of Antichrist : at the close of the 1335 years, the full conversion of the Gentiles, and the beginning of the Millennium. See Dissert. XVII. towards the end. Mr. Wintle, like myself, inclines to prefer Bp. Newton's opinion to that of Mr. Mede. See Note on Dan. xii. 11. See also Mr. Lowth in loc. Mr. Fleming's opinion, though it differs from that of Mr. Mede in computing the number 1290 from the final desolation of Jerusalein in the year 135, and the number 1335 from the end of the number 1290, appears to me to be equally objectionable; or, I should rather nations, already prepared to receive it by so many supernatural interpositions of Providence, and by beholding with their own eyes the glory of the Lord permanently manifested over Jerusalem. According to the united testimony of many of the prophets, Israel, after his restoration,' will be sown among the Gentiles; and will thus be made, in a wonderful manner, from first to last, the seed of the Church. This preaching of the Gospel by the converted Israelites, unlike the preaching of it by that first handful only of seed, the Hebrew Apostles of our Lord, will, I apprehend, be totally unattended by persecution or opposition: for all trials of that nature would be incompatible with the predicted peace and blessedness of the millennian church. God will incline the hearts of the Gentiles to receive the word gladly. Great shall

say,

say, much more objectionable, because it is founded upon an absolute error. By the accomplishing of the scattering of the holy people (Dan, xii. 7.) he understands the commencement of their complete scattering by Adrian in the year 135; whereas the expression means the very reverse, namely the terminatim of their scattering or the beginning of their restoration. In this sense accordingly it is understood both by Mede, Newton, Lowth, and Wintle. Our common English translation indeed employs two different words, accomplish and finish; but the self-same word in the original is used in both places, and in both alike ouglit to have been rendered by finish :-" when he « shall have finished to scatter the power of the holy people, « all these wonders shall be finished.Fleming's Apoc. Key, p. 74.

be

« AnteriorContinuar »