Page images

very accurately noted by Ezekiel, even when predicting the twofold restoration of Judah anil Joseph, and their subsequent union under one king. He speaks neither of Judah nor Joseph simply; but styles the one division Judah and the children of Israel his companions, and the other division Joseph and all the house of Israel his companions : thus plainly intimating, that some of the children of Israel shall return with Judah; but that members of all the tribes, not of the kingdom of the ten tribes only, but of all the tribes, sha return with Joseph*.

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

** See Bp. Horsley's Hosea, p. 59, 60.

.event; otherwise how can we rationally account for its 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 highly probable, that the 30 yeurs 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 northern hailstorm, in the wars of Antichrist with the kings of the South and the North, in his grand expedition against Palestine and Egypt, and in the contemporary naval expedition 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 one 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 escaped from the rout of the Antichristian army and who will carry every where the tidings of God's supernatural inter ference, and in the subsequent conversion and restoration of the whole house of Israel. I wish this to be understood only as a conjecture; for it would be folly to speak positively before the event.


[ocr errors]

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 blet sedness. We have reason to suppose, that 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, 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 be the day of Jezrael. For, if the fall of the Jews be the riches of the world, and thediminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? Nay, instead of opposing or slighting the truth, so eager


shall the heathens be to receive it, that out of all the languages of the nations ten men shall lay hold of the skirt of only one Jew, declaring, with a holy vehemence, their full determination to go with him, inasmuch as they have heard that God is with him of a truth. In short, the whole world shall press eagerly to Jerusalem to behold the glory of the Lord, and to receive instruction from the lips of his servants. All nations shall flow, like a mighty torrent to his holy mountain, assured that he will teach them of his ways, and cause them to walk in his paths; that the law shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

It is not impossible, that some may feel a curiosity to know what nation is intended by the great maritime power destined to take so conspicuous a part in the conversion and restoration of Judah. On this point their curiosity cannot be gratified; ! at least, not with any degree of precision. Yet,

although we presume not to say, that this or that particular modern nation is intended; we may, by comparing prophecy with prophecy, ascertain both the region in which that nation is to be sought, and the religious character of that nation. The result of such a comparison is briefly as follows; that the maritime power must not only be sought for generally in the West, but particularly in the isles of the Gentiles or Europe; and, not only generally in the isles of the Gentiles or Europe, but particularly in the believing isles af the Gentiles or


[ocr errors]

protestant Europe *. Further than this I cannot find that we have any authority to advance, and therefore I shall not attempt to advance further : but I shall content myself with resting in the conclusion, that the maritime power will be that stateof protestant Europe which shall possess a decided naval superiority at the time when the 1260 years shall expire. This mighty maritime power, and perhaps other smaller protestant maritime powers its allies, described by the prophet under the general name of the isles of the Gentiles t, will be the agents in converting and restoring those Jers who are not under the influence of Antichrist.

From what has been said concerning therevents which are to take place at the close of the 1260 years, the following positions may, I think, be collected.

1. The Jews most certainly will be restored. 2. They will as certainly be converted to Christianity. 3. They will begin to be restored as soon as the 1260 years shall have expired 1. 4. They


* This comparison is drawn out at length in my Work on the restoration of Israel, and the overthrow of Antichrist.

f. Isaiah 1x. 9. That part of the išles of the Gentiles is of course here spoken of, which is not subject to the controul of Antichrist.

+ Since Daniel declares, that the Jews will begin to be restored at the end of the 1260 years, and since our Lord no less expressly predicts that “ Jerusalem shall be trodden down of r the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled ;'

« PreviousContinue »