« AnteriorContinuar »
Christ or Messiah, and your consequent restoration to your own land, so as never to be removed from it again, according to the promise and covenant of Jehovah, made through his prophets to your ances·tors. I cannot more fuitably close the whole of my own labors in your service, than by earnestly exhorting, and beseeching you by the mercies of God given to mankind by Jesus Christ, by that glorious dispensation of the love and mercy of God erected in and administered by him, your and my Messiah, to give the preceding sheets a serious, difpassionate, unprejudiced, perusal, fuch as proceeds from an impartial love and investigation of truth. And may God, by his good provideuce, and direction of his natural events, or second causes, dispose your minds to the discovery, and your hearts to the acknowledgement, of this great truth, that the crucified Jesus was your promised Meffiah. The important æra of this discovery and acknowledgement, at least by many of you, is, I apprehend, nearer at hand, than is generally imagined by the learned,
There is a remarkable prophecy of Danie! xii. 7. concerning “a time, times, and “ half a time,” which, in the language of prophecy, implies a year of years, two years of years, and half a year of years, forming in the whole a period of 1260 years,“ when “he,” God “shall have accomplished to “scatter the power of the holy people,” by whom is probably meant the house of Ifrael. This prophetic period, and indeed the event to which it relates, seem to exactly correspond with those contained in John's Apocalypse, xi. 2. “The holy city hall “ they,” the Gentiles, “tread under foot “ forty and two months” of years; which, on computing the months at thirtydays to a month multiplying 42 by 30, and, according to the rule of prophecy, taking a day for a year, produce the same period of 1260 years. Now, if we fix the commencement of this period of 1260 years at A. D. 6362 when it is generally admitted that the Saracen General Omar, fet up his standard at Jerusalem, and consequently the holy city then began to be trodden under foot by
the Gentiles; if farther we reckon the years by the Jewish solar year of 360 days to the year, the expiration of it will fall in" A. D. 1877, as this year falls short of the Gregorian year by five days, and every leap year by fix days. But if we compute by the Jewish lunar year, of 354 days and 6 hours, which is short of the Jewish solar year by five days and three quarters, and of the Gregorian reckoning by ten days and three quarters, and every leap year by eleven days and three quarters, it will terminate in A. D, 1857. Lastly, if we reckon the forty and two months of years by the weekly month of 28 days, of 336 days to the year, which the Jewish lunar year exceeds by eighteen days and fix hours, and the Gregorian year by twenty-eight days and three quarters, and in every leap-year by twenty-nine days and three quarters, it will expire in A. D. 1793 or 1794.
But, be that as it may, if I Tould live to be an eye-witness of its expiration, and consequently of the conversion and restoration
of the house of Israel to their own land, in whole or in part, and my God should vouch safe to grant me the blessing of health at the time, I declare, that it is my intention to be “one of ten men,” who, according to a prophecy before cited, “Thall take hold “out of all languages of the nations, of “ the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, I “ will go with you; for we have heard that “God is with you.” Yea, verily, I mean to accompany you into your own land, where, as I would wish to be considered as a member of your civil community, as one of your people, when they acknowledge Jesus to be the Meffiah, I doubt not but you will give me a possession in your future division of the land. Nay, I repeat what I have before faid, that if a considerable number of you, my country-men, the British Jews, or of the foreign Jews, should, on their conversion, be at a loss for a leader to conduct you thither, I intend, under God's direction, to undertake that to me most agreeable office, and
endeavour to remove every obstacle which may be thrown in the way of your return.
My heart is deeply imprest with sentiments of benevolence towards you, and with a grateful sense of the goodness of your and my Jehovah, the one God and Father of all, in disposing me, by a train of his natural events, to become his humble instrument in facilitating the great work of your conversion.
Two of these his second causes particularly concurring to this point were somewhat remarkable, with the first you are already acquainted, namely, the present made me of the aforesaid valuable treatise by a deceased friend. This formed the embryo of a design, which the other, an accidental interview with a Jew and his wife ripened into action, an occurrence which I cannot dispense with relating to you. The Messiah was the subject of a conversation, which was conducted with great mutual charity.