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As yet we have beheld no signs of the restoration of Judah: nor, to all appearance, shall we behold any, till the three times and a half draw very near to their termination*.
similar manner, the Bishop remarks, that the character of the maritime people destined to take the lead in the restoration of Judah "seems to describe some Christian country, where the
phophecies, relating to the latter ages, will meet with par"ticular attention; where the literal sense of those, which
promise the restoration of the Jewish people, will be strenu"ously upheld; and where these will be so successfully ex"pounded, as to be the principal means, by God's blessing, of "removing the veil from the hearts of the Israelites." It cannot but be pleasing to the serious reader to observe the different estimation in which prophecy is now held throughout the protestant kingdom of England, from what it was by the Jews previous to the sacking of Jerusalem. We are informed by Josephus, that in his days it was no uncommon thing to hear his hardened countrymen ridicule the oracles of their ancient prophets, which they had already defied by crucifying the Messiah. Καλεπαλείο μεν εν πας αυτοις θεσμός ανθρώπων, εγελατο δε τα θεία, και τας μεν προβήλων θεσμες ὥστες αγυρίικας λογοποιΐας ἐχλευαξον (Joseph. de Bell. Judaic. 1. 4. c. 6.). What a singular resemblance there is between this state of the Jews and that of the French at the time of their boasted Revolution.
* Since this was written, Buonapartè has begun to assemble the Jews in a grand council at Paris. Whether it will lead to their restoration, time alone can determine: at present we have certainly no right to say that it will. The avowed plan of the usurper is to incorporate them with his other subjects: his real plan, may be something different. It is said that the Jews of Frankfort have impiously hailed him as their expected Messiah. Though I do not suppose the individual Buonapartè to be Antichrist, it is worthy of notice that Popish commentators have
But, when that famous period shall have expired, then will commence the wars of Antichrist with the kings of the south and the north, and the restoration of the unconverted Jews through his instrumentality. Then will the Lord call unto the land spreading wide the shadow of its wings, which is beyond the rivers of Cush, accustomed to send messengers by sea, even in quick-sailing vessels upon the surface of the waters. Then shall the swift messengers go unto a nation, dragged away and plucked, unto a people wonderful from the beginning hitherto, a nation expecting, expecting, and trampled under foot, whose land rivers have spoiled. Then shall all the inhabitants of the world, and dwellers upon earth, see the lifting up, as it were, of a banner upon the mountains; and shall hear the sounding, as it were, of a trumpet. In spite of the opposition of the athe-·· istico-papal confederacy, the great maritime power of the day shall take the lead in the restoration of the converted of Judah: while the enemies of the Lord, notwithstanding their invasion of Palestine, and notwithstanding their temporary success against Jerusalem, bent only upon the accom plishment of their own schemes, and unconsci
adopted the belief of some of the fathers, that, whenever Antichrist should appear, the Jews would acknowledge him as their Messiah, and attempt to procure their restoratlon by his instrumentality. See Calmet's Dict. Vox Antichrist-Cornelius à Lapide's Comment. in Dan. vii, Rev. xiii. Nov, 20. 1806,
ously subject to the influence of Satanical delusion *, will madly rush on to their own destruction in the valley of Megiddo, in the region between the two seas, the region whose limits extend 1600 furlongs.
On the whole, it is reasonable to conclude, that the time is not very far distant, when the symbolical heaven and earth shall pass away, and when the personal Word shall begin to tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Never were there more awful times than these of the third woe-trumpet. All civilized government has been in a state of commotion; and the powers of Europe have been shaken to their very centre. The end however is not yet. The calamities of the harvest are but the harbingers of those which shall take place under the last vial during the period of the vintage.
For ourselves, we have only to labour, through the grace of God and the assistance of his Holy Spirit, that we may be prepared to meet the Lord at his coming. Death, whensoever it shall arrest our progress, will assuredly be the end of the world to each of us. We pervert the study of prophecy, if we make it only a mere curious speculation. We ought rather so to read the oracles of God, as to profit by them in all holiness of life and conversation. Neither a hearty reprobation of the cruelties and corruptions of Popery; nor an ab
*Rev. xvi. 13, 14.
horrence of the impious imposture of Moham medism; nor a detestation of the diabolical principles of Antichrist; are alone sufficient to prepare us for the kingdom of heaven. We must beware, lest we have a name that we live, and are dead. We must be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain that are ready to die; lest our works be not found perfect before God* It will be but small comfort to each of us as individuals, that our country is preserved amidst the wreck of nations to fulfil the future high 'purposes of the Almighty, if we through our own negligence fall short of the promised reward. In fine, our eternal interests will be but little benefited by the study of prophecy, unless we pursue it in the manner which the apostle himself hath proposed to us. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that "hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is "at hand t."
* Rev. iii. 1, 2.
f Rev. i. 3.
WHEN the first edition of this Dissertation was published, I had not had an opportunity of perusing the recently printed work of Archdeacon Woodhouse on the Apocalypse; but it would be unpardonable, considering the plan which I have adopted, to suffer a second edition to make its appearance without noticing it. The thanks of every biblical student are due to the learned author for his very clear and convincing Dissertation on the divine Origin of the Apocalypse, and likewise for many valuable remarks and much sound criticism contained in his notes on the book. I feel myself peculiarly gratified and interested at finding several of my own positions maintained and established by a writer, with whom I have not the honour of being acquainted, and whose work I had not read at the time when my own was published. Thus, we are both agreed, that Mohammedism constitutes one half of a grand apostasy from the purity of Christianity*; that the apocalyptic
* The position, that Mohammedism is a Christian apostasy, is so ably treated by the Archdeacon, that I cannot refrain from strengthening what I have already said on the subject with his quotations and arguments.
"Mohammed did not pretend to deliver any new religion, but to revive the old "one. He allowed both the Old and New Testaments, and that both Moses and "Jesus were prophets sent from God (Prideaux's Life of Mohammed, p. 18, "19.); that Jesus, son of Mary, is the word and a spirit sent from God, a re"deemer of all that believe in him (Sale's Koran, p. 19, 30, 65. Ockley's "Hist. of Saracens II.). Mohammed represents himself as the Paraclete or "Comforter sent by Jesus Christ, John xvi. 7. (Koran, p. 165.). So, in "Mohammed's ascent to heaven, as invented in the Koran, while the pa