« AnteriorContinuar »
of Joseph....his office of converting the Gentiles....the fate of Egypt and
Assyria. Zech. x. 3---12.. P. 352.
The miraculous overthrow of the Antichristian confederacy....the conversion
of certain Jews in Jerusalem....the preservation and conversion of the third
part of the Antichristian confederacy...the previous sacking of Jerusalem
by Antichrist....the manifestation of Messiah to destroy Antichrist....the
extermination of false religion....the destruction of Antichrist...the preva-
lence of true religion...the nature of the plague with which the faction of
Antichrist will be afflicted....the part which Judah will act...the final con-
version and prosperity of Judah. Zech. xii. xiii. xiv. P. 355.
The restoration of the Jews at the close of the times of the Gentiles. Luke
xxi. 20.-24. P. 369.
The restoring of the kingdom to Israel. Acts i. 6. P. 373.
The present rejection and final conversion of the Jews, when the fulness of
the Gentiles shall have come. Rom. xi. 1-.-33. P. 374.
The visible manifestation of Christ to confound Antichrist. Rev. i. 7. P.379.
Conclusion. P. 380.
A 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 catastrophe of the great drama with a proportionable brevity. Yet even that part of the subject 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 predictions, 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 t.
* A Dissertation on the prophecies that relate to the great period of 1260 years.
t 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.
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 * And, in order (as it were) that we may not possibly misunderstand him, he further informs us, that this shall come to pass at the same time that an expedition into Palestine is undertaken by Antichrist, who is there destined to perish; and that this expedition shall take place at a period denominated the time of the end, which, as may be easily collected from other parts of the book of Daniel, denotes the period of 75 yeurs which commences at the expiration of the 1260 years, and extends to the beginning of the Millennium *. Thus are we in a manner doubly informed, that the Jews will begin to be restored, when the 1260 years shall have drawn to their close.
*“ 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 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 bange 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. 111. 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 not the Jews, but those pious witnesses who are appointed to prophesy in sackcloth during that period.
The whole context however of the prediction she ws this opinion to be erro·, neous. 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. x. 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 Fews; 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 Fews.
I am no way singular in drawing the preceding conclusion from this prophecy of Daniel.
“ The Jews,” says Mr. Mede, “shall be carried captive over all nations, and Jerusalem trodilen down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled: that is, uintil the monarchies of the Gentiles should be finished. Fór these times of the Gentiles are that last period of the fourth kingdom prophesied of, a time, times, and half a time : at the end whereof the angel swears unto Daniel (Chap. xii. 7.), that God should accomplish to scatter the power of the holy people. This is that fulness of the Gentiles, which being come, St. Paul tells lis, the Deliverer shall come out of Zion, and all Israel shall be saved. Rom. xi. 26. (Treatise on ‘Daniel's Weeks. Works B. III. p. 709). I make no question but these times of the Gentiles, with which the Fews' tribulation shall end, are either the times of the four monarchies in general (that is, the times of that prophesied dominion of the Gentiles), or, (which is all one in
As for the order and manner of the conversion of Israel, his general restoration, and the final expedition and over, throw of the Antichristian faction, we have reason to believe, so far as can be collected from prophecy, that they will be as follows.
Either before or about the expiration of the 1260 years, the eyes of one gredt division of the scattered Jews will be opened ; and they will joyfully embrace the faith of that Redeemer, whom they have so long rejected and despised. In effecting first their conversion (possibly before the end of the 1260 years), and afterwards their restorationt (certainly when the 1260 years shall have fully expired), some mighty maritime nation of faithful worshippers will be principally instrumental. To this great division of Judah, destined to be brought to the knowledge of the event) those last times of the fourth kingdom of a time, times, and half a time.” Works B.W. epist. 12. p. 753. See also epist. 8. p. 744.
“ Mr. Lowth,” says Mr. Wintle, “ has recounted a number of passages in the prophets, which indicate the restoration of the Jews in the latter days, or when the fourth monarchy shall expire.—At this decisive period, or after the 1260 years of the reign of Antichrist (Popery) and the addition of another short term for the restoration of the Fews, will be the end of these wonders or marvellous things inquired after in the last verse." (Wintle on Dan. xii. 7.) “ Though the reign of Antichrist seems here fixed for 1290 years, which is a term of 50 years more than was mentioned at Ver. 7, this excess in the opinion of some is the time allotted for the collecting of the Fews from their captivity among all nations, or the several countries of their dispersion ; and at the close of Ver. 7 there does seem to be a further period alluded to for this purpose, after the time, times, and a half, or the 1260 years.” Wintle on
Dissert. on the 1260 years, Chap. III. + Dan. xii. 1, 6,7. relates to the restoration, not the conversion, of Judahi The former commences at the close of the 1260 years.
Dan. xii. 11.
truth while yet in the land of their dispersion, the maritime worshippers will be sent, the appointed messengers of God, in swiftly-sailing vessels : and, reverently obedient to the divine command, they will bear them safely in a mighty fleet, as a present to the Lord of hosts, to the place of his holy name, even mount Zion. The Jews therefore, who are thus converted and brought back by sea, must clearly be such Jews, as shall be scattered either through the dominions and colonies of the maritime power, or through those of other smaller maritime nations in alliance with and professing the same faith as the great naval power itself.
At the period when these matters are transacting, the Ottoman empire will have been overthrown, and the great confederacy of Antichrist will have been completed. It will consist of the Roman beust under his last or Carlovingian head, the false prophet or the ecclesiastical power of the Papacy, and the subordinate vassal kings of the Latin empire. To these Daniel adds a state, which he describes under the character of a king that magnified himself above every God, and which from the account of its actions is plainly the grand contriver and director of the whole confederacy*. Hence we are naturally led to conclude, that this state will at that period be identified with the last head of the beast t. The state in question I have elsewhere shewn to be Antichristian France : and recent events have but too amply confirmed the conjecture, that its chief would sooner or later acquire the empire of Charlemagne . As yet indeed he has not assumed the title of Emperor of the Romans ; but he has become virtually and effectively the Emperor of the West, the lord of the destinies of France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. With our own eyes we may now behold the rapid forma
* Having thus specified the members of which the Antichristian confederacy is composed, I shall refrain hereafter, in order to avoid needless repetition, from particularizing them. Whenever therefore I speak of the Antichristian confederacy, or the Antichristian faction, the reader is desired to understand me as speaking conjointly of all these different members.
+ See my Dissert. on the 1260 years, Vol. 11. p. 359-365. (2d. Edit. p. 400 -408.)
See my Dissert. on the 1260 years, Vol. 1. p. 317–351. (2d. Edit. p. 346