Page images

ror, and repent thein of their sins. They will look upon him whom they have pierced, and mourn for him as one that mourneth for his only son *.' They will acknowledge their fault to their converted brethren, and will be reconciled to them. And they will jointly form only one flock, under one shepherd, David their king.

Thus, so far as matters of this kind are capable of proof, the opinion of Bp. Horsley, or at least something very like his opinion, seems to be proved t. “ I have an unfashionable partiality, says he in his letter to Mr. King, “for the opinions “ of antiquity. I think there is ground in the “ prophecies for the notion of the early fathers, " that Palestine is the stage, on which Antichrist, “ in the height of his impiety, will perish. I am “ much inclined too to assent to another opinion “ of the fathers; that a small band of the Jews will join Antichrist, and be active instruments

of his persecutions I. And I agree with you,

" that

* Zechar. xii. 10.
+ Vide supra Comment. on Proph. VII.

I The reader will find the various sentiments of the fathers relative to Antichrist, collected together by Calmet in his Dictionary. Among other matters he mentions the supposition,

that the Jews will be the first, who will declare for him, acknowledge his dominion, and enjoy the principal employ

ments in his government. Ile will win upon them by sis de. “ lusions, his caresses, and false miracles, and by all the ap.

pearances of goodness, piety, and clemency; so that this

" unhappy

“ that it is not unlikely, that this small part of

the Jews will be settled in Jerusalem, under the protection of Antichrist. But it is not to the

6 settlement

[ocr errors]

" unhappy people will take him for the Messiah, and will “ flatter themselves with the expectation of seeing the king“ dom of Israel restored, by his means, to its former splen6 dor.

In my Dissertation on the 1260 years, I have conjectured that the primary revelation of Antichrist took place in the year 1789, when the French revolution commenced.

It is somewhat remarkable, that Peter Dailly was of opinion, that, according to his observations, Antichrist must appear in this very year 1789; but I know not on what bis observations were grounded (Calmet's Dict. Vox Antichrist). It is equally reinarkable, that the present head of the Antichristian faction has recently been hailed by the Jews of Frankfort as their long expected Messiah.

Some of the Romish doctors in the time of Rabanus Maurus were of opinion, that Antichrist would be a king of France, and that he would seize upon the whole Roman empire. Though the argument is, I think, built on the untenable prin. ciple that what prevented the revelation of the man of sin was the Roman empire continued in the empire of Germany instead of the imperial power seated, in Rome, the result is at least a curi.

Ous one.

“ On trouve parmi les ecrits de Raban Maur, d'abord “ Abbe de Fulde, puis Archevêque de Mayence, auteur fort “ celèbre du neuvieme siecle, un traité sur la vie et les mæurs " de l'Antichrist. Nous n'en citerons qu'un endroit singulier. “ C'est celui, ou l'auteur, apres avoir prouvé par St. Paul,

que la ruine totale de l'empire Romain, qu'il suppose être celui d'Allemagne, precedera la venue de l'Antichrist, il conat slut de la sort. Ce terme fatal pour l'empire Romain n'est


that the prow

settlenient of this apostate band,

phecy of the 18th chapter of Isaiah relates.The people, brought as a present to Jehovah to

mount Zion, will be brought thither in a converted state. The great body of the Jewish

people will be converted previous to their resto" ration ; and, being converted, will be assisted,

by Christian nations of the uncircumcision, in settling themselves in their ancient seats. I agree with you, that some passages in Zecha

riah in particular, make strongly for this notion " of a previous settlement of worse than uncona verted Jews. But I am not without hope, from

pas encore arrire. Il est vrui, que nous le voyons aujourdhui ertremement diminuée, et pour ainsi dire dètruit dans sa plus grande étendue : mais il est certaine que son eclat ne sera jamuis entierement eclipse, parce que, tandis que les rois de Frunce, qui en doivent occuper le tróne, subsisteront, ils en seront toujours le ferme appui. Quelques-uns de nos docteurs assurent, que ce sera un roi de France, qui à la fin du monde

dominera sur tout l'empire Romain.Encyclopedie meihodique theologue par M. l'Albè Bergier. 1788. Antichrist.

That Antichrist is not to arise after the destruction of the Roman empire in its last or broken form, as the Romanists maintain, is manifest from this circumstance. The Roman empire in that last form is to be destroyed by Christ himself; and the kingdom of the Messiah, not some new kingdom of Antichrist, is to be erected upon its ruins. Antichrist will indeed possess the Roman empire; but it will be, as the representative of the last head of that empire. It will be destroyed under his dominion, not previous to his rise. See Dan. ii. 34, 35, 4+, 45. vii. 9, 10, 11, 19-27. Rev, xvii. 9, 10, 11. xix. 11--21. VOL. II.


[ocr errors]

" the same passages, that the great body of the converted Jews returning will find those first “ settlers, broken off from the Antichristian faction, in a state of deep contrition, and ready to " receive their brethren with open arms. So the " whole race shall be offered to Jehovah at mount " Zion, and not one of Israel shall be lost. And

so far, but no farther, I can admit an inchoate “ restoration of the Jews, antecedent to their con“ version; and a settlement of a small body of “ them, in the Holy Land, by the Antichristian


In some points of less moment I cannot quite agree with his Lordship; but I am persuaded, that his opinion itself is perfectly well-founded--He seems to consider the destruction of Antichrist as being past, and the unconverted Jews as being penitent, at the time when their converted brethren arrive under the protection of the maritime power. Whereas Ezekiel leads us to conclude, that the goats will war upon the rams; and, not content with acquiring a settlement themselves, will do all in their power to prevent their return-He likewise inclines to believe, that only a small body of the Jews will be restored in their unbelieving state by Antichrist; and that by far the greatest part of them will be brought back by the maritime power in a believing state. But, when we consider the almost exclusive influence which Antichristian France already exerts over the papal Roman empire;

when we further consider, that at the close of the 1260 years it will have succeeded in completely organizing a vast confederacy of the whole of that empire* : we can scarcely suppose, that its power will be so limited as to extend only to a small body of the Jews. After the formation of this tremendous confederacy, it is not easy to conceive how the protestant maritime power will be able to take under its protection any Jews excepting such as are out of the reach of the confederacy; such, for instance, as will then be scattered throughout Britain, Sweden, the maritime parts of Russia, America, Africa, and the coasts of Asia. Those therefore, who are within the reach of the confederacy, that is to say, those who are scattered through the papal Roman empire, cannot be thought to constitute only a small body; unless some very remarkable emigration of the Jews from popish into protestant countries should previously take place, which can scarcely be esteemed probable. This opinion seems to be confirmed by what Zechariah says on the subject. He represents the Jews, who will be converted after their return,

* See Joel iii. 2. Zechar. xii. 2. Dan. ii. 34, 35, 44, 45.vii. 11. Rev. xvi. 14.xix. 18, 19, 20. The general expres • sion of the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the earth, that is, the Latin earth or habitable world (ovteuern) as the Romans were wont to term their extensive dominions, certainly teaches us, that the confederacy will comprehend the whole empire of the revived beast, or the whole papal Romun empire.

« PreviousContinue »