« السابقةمتابعة »
conversion and restoration of Judah, and the erpedition and destruction of Antichrist, will occupy a period of not less than 30 years. The swift messengers of the great muritime” power will begin the work of converting the Jews, that is to say such Jews as are scattered through the countries subject to their influence. Antichrist meanwhile, will collect the unconverted Jews from those parts of the isles, or the regions of Europe*, which are under his immediate controul, for the purpose of bringing them back in an unbelieving state to their own country: but whether lie, or whether the maritime power, will absolutely begin the work of restoring the ancient people of God, cannot, I think, be certainly gathered from Scripturet. His
plan by the isles of the Gentiles the Jews understood all those countries which they could not reach from Palestine except by sea. Hence the name was given to Europe, in contradistinction to Asia, which to them was stricly continental. See Mede's Works, Book 1. Disc. 49. p. 272.
+ That the maritime power, mystically termed by Isaiah the ships of Tarshish, will be the first, or (as the original expression is rendered by the Lxx and in the Latin translation of the Arabic version) among the first, to attempt the conversion of the Jews; and that they will afterwards bring back to Palestine such as shall be converted by their instrumentality, seems to be revealed with sufficient plainness : but it is no where, I believe, positively declared, that they shall begin the work of restoring the Jews. Since part of them are to be brought back by Antichrist in an unconverted state, and part by the maritime power in a converted state, it certainly is possible that Antichrist may begin to restore the one division previous to the restoration or even the conversion of the other division. HH3
plan will be a plan of pure Machiavelian policy: and, considering the frailty of human nature, it is much to be feared that the plan of the maritime power, strenuously as that power will exert itself in converting no less than in collecting the Jews, will be somewhat alloyed by worldly motives, and will not be adopted simply from a desire to promote the glory of God. Most probably politics will have taken such a turn at that eventful period, as to make it seem to be the interest of both those great powers to attempt the restoration of the Jews. Thus doubly brought back by two mighty contending nations, and thus plunged into the midst of perils and of war during the space of
30 yeurs (for so long a time will, I think, intervene between the first effusion of the seventh vial at the close of the 1260 years when they begin to be restored, and the destruction of Antichrist at Megiddo), the Jews must inevitably suffer many calamities; and we are taught accordingly by Ezekiel, that such will assuredly be the case.
When the army of Antichrist is miraculously overthrown, the Lord, who forgetteth not mercy even in the midst of judgment, will not make an entire end; but will spare some of the least guilty
Most probably however the two eveuts will be nearly, if pot altogether, contemporary. The prophecy, contained in Isaiah lx. 8, 9, relates solely to the restoration of the converted Jews, because they are declared to be brought onto the name of the Lord: and we are taught, that some power, mystically termed the ships of Tarshish, shall be among the first to un. dertake this great enterprise.
of his enemies réserving them for the noblest purposes. Zechariah teaches us, that even so much as a third part shall be spared. These may be supposed to be less hardened in wickedness than their associates ; and to have taken a part in the expedition, either through the inveterate prejudices of a Popish education (the expedition having been blessed and sanctified by the false prophet), or through the tyrannical compulsion which we have already beheld Antichristian France begin to exercise over her degraded allies. Nor will they only be spared : plucked as brands out of the burning, they will likewise be converted by the mercy of God to a zealous profession of genuine Christianity.
Thus wonderfully preserved and converted, they will become proper instruments to accomplish the yet unfulfilled purposes of the Most High. Scattered over the face of the whole earth, they will carry'every where the tidings of their own defeat, of the marvellous power of the Lord, and of the restoration of Judah. Meanwhile there is some reason to suppose, that the awful apparition of the Shechinah will still remain suspended over Jerusalem, visible at once from its stupendous height to a whole hemisphere, and bearing ample attestation to the veracity of the fugitives * Nor.
* I apprehend it was from passages of this import, that Mr. Mede supposed that the Jews would be converted by a fupernatural manifestation of Christ. Had he said the ten HH4
will they carry their message in vain. Judah is indeed restored : but the lost ten tribes of Israel are still dispersed through the extensive regions of the north and of the east. These, according to the sure word of prophecy, however they may be now concealed from mortal knowledge, will be found again, and will be brought back into the country of their fathers. All nations and all tongues shall come and see the glory of the Lord; for he will set among them a sign, even the sign of the Son of man, the sign of the illuminated Shechinah; and will send unto them those that have escaped froin the slaughter of the Antichristian confederacy, that they may declare his glory among the nations. Convinced by ocular demonstration that God doth indeed reign in Zion, and at once divinely impelled and enabled both to seek out from among them and to find the long-lost sheep of the house of Israel, they will þring by land, in vast caravans, all the brethren of Fudah for an offering unto the Lord, as the great maritime power had already brought the converted Jews for a present unto the Lord to his holy mountain. Then shall the stick of Joseph be united for ever with the stick of Judah : Ephraim shall be no more a separate people: but the whole house of Jacob shall become one nation under one king, even the mystic David, Jesus the Messiah.
tribes, instead of the Jews, I believe he would have approached Pery near to the truth,
The various prophecies, which speak of the restoration of the ten tribes, certainly cannot relate to the restoration of those detached individuals out of them, who returned with Judah from the Babylonian captivity. This is manifest, both because their restoration is represented as perfectly distinct from the restoration of Judah, and because it is placed at once subsequent to that event and to the overthrow of Antichrist. In fact, the converted fugitives from the army of Antichrist are described as being greatly instrumental in bringing about the restoration of the ten tribes. Hence their restoration is plainly future ; and hence we cannot, with any degree of consistency, apply the predictions which foretel it to the return of a few individuals from Babylon with Juduh. Of the Jerus, who were carried away captive to Babylon, only a very small part, according to Houbigant not more than a hundredth part, returned to their own country. Those, who 'were left behind, will doubtless, at the time of the second advent, be brought back along with their brethren of the ten tribes ; just, as those individuals of the ten tribes, who returned with Judah from Babylon, and (adhering to him notwithstanding the Samaritan schism) were afterwards scattered with him by the Romans, will be brought back with their brethren the Jews. So far, but no further, the otherwise distinct restorations of Judah and Joseph will in some measure be mingled together. This circumstance is