A History of Christian Zionism: Philo-Semitism and the Expectation of Israel’s Restoration

Dr. William Watson

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Although Christianity began as a Jewish sect, by the second century is was overwhelmingly composed of Gentiles, with little emotional attachment to Judaism. By the mid-second century Marcion was denying the Torah and Justin Martyr, who claimed “we are the true Israel” and “You are sadly mistaken if you think that, just because you are descendants of Abraham according to the flesh, you will share in the legacy...”[1]  Increasingly early Christianity began to cast away from its Jewish roots. This rift reached critical mass in the fourth century when Constantine condemned Judaism as “dangerous” and “abominable”, John Chrysostom condemned Christians who attended synagogue and participated in Jewish holidays, Ambrose of Milan condemned Theodosius for protecting the rights of Jews, and Augustine developed amillennial theology.[2]  Anti-Semitism came to dominate medieval theology, in spite of the fact that the apostle Paul warned Christians “do not be arrogant…it is not you who supports the root [Israel], but the root who supports you.”[3]  When Gentile Christianity began to disparage Jews, they began to from the roots on which they had been grafted.  It wasn’t until the Reformation, that Christians started to read those Jewish scriptures for themselves, especially in England after the publication of the Geneva Bible.  In doing so, they began to believe once again in the promises God made to Israel.

 

Early sixteenth century eschatology departed little from the Roman Catholic consensus of the medieval period.  If there was a literal millennium, it was understood to have begun with Constantine, and the thousand years of peace was supposed to have been due to Papal dominion over Christendom.  Jews had little to no role in the last days, other than their expected conversion to Christianity.[4]  The view of the Reformers were similar to Medieval Catholics, rejected a mass conversion of Jews in the last days:

 

Of the great mass of the Jews…I have no hope for them, nor do I know of any passage of Scripture that does. We cannot even convert the great mass of our ‘Christians’…far less is the conversion of all these children of the devil possible. Co the fact that some draw from chapter eleven of the Epistle of the Romans the notion that all Jews are destined to be converted at the end of the world means nothing. There St. Paul means something very different indeed.[5]

 

or of any hope that Jews would return to their own land:

all the prophecies which say that Israel and Judah shall return to their lands and have material and unending possession of them have been fulfilled long ago. The hopes of the Jews are utterly vain and lost. …This was fulfilled by King Cyrus and the Persians before Christ’s birth, when the Jews came back to their land and to Jerusalem… But the hope of the Jews that another physical return is still to take place…this is a dream of their own, and not one letter in the prophets or in the Scripture says or signifies anything of the kind… When the prophets say of Israel that it is all to come back or be gathered…they are speaking of the new covenant and of the new Israel.[6]      

 

Calvin had similar views: “God so blinded the whole people that they were like restive dogs. I have had much conversation with many Jews: I have never seen either a drop of piety or a grain of truth or ingeniousness – nay, I have never found common sense in any Jew.”[7] 

 

Until the sixteenth century Christians were nearly unanimous in their belief that their own countrymen were the chosen people and that the millennium would be based in their own country.  It wasn’t until Theodore Beza’s idea of a future conversion of the Jews made it into the notes in the Geneva Bible, that Israel once again was considered to be physical Jews.  According to Peter Toon, this caused “the doctrine of the conversion of the Jewish people [to be] widely diffused in England, Scotland and New England.[8]

 

This likely influenced Edmund Bunny, sub-dean of York cathedral, when he wrote The Scepter of Iudah in 1584 calling Christians to love God’s people the Jews and The Coronation of David in 1588 hoping for their soon restoration to their land.[9]  In 1585 Cambridge fellow Frances Kett called for Jews to return to their land, but was declared a heretic and burned at the stake.[10] 

 

In 1608 Thomas Draxe wrote The Worldes Resvrrection, or The generall calling of the Iewes, that

God, who had amongst all the nations of the earth elected and selected the Iewes to be his        onely peculiar and beloued people, with whom he made such a singular couenant of mercy          and slauation. …it is a maruelous worke of God…that the Iewess (howsoeuer wandering and dispersed in al countries almost) should stil continue such a distinct and vnconfounded nation.[11] 

 

Draxe repeatedly reminded his readers that God “is vnchangeable in his decree & couenant, & whose compassions faile not.”  He would never “cast away…his people” with whom he made “so sollemne a couenant…hath not cast of his people…it is grounded onely in GOD who is vnchangeable, and not in man…Gods couenant is an euerlasting couenant, and his mercy extendeth vnot a thousand generations.”[12] Draxe insisted that Christians should

 

acknowledge our selues debters vnto the Iewes, and deeply engaged vnto them, we must be so farre off from rendering or returnin vnto them euil for good, that we must pray for their recouery, and do our vttermost dilligeence…to allure and win them to…the Gospell. …we must not rashly condemne the Iewes, nor expel them out of our Coastes and countires, but hope will of them, pray for them, and labour to win them by our holy zeale and Christian example. …we must not vex and reuile them,  least God when he receiueth them againe into fauor, hee deseruedly exclude and cast out vs, for our contempt & vnthankfulnes. … Let us  not dispise the Iewes… If God loue the Iewes for their Fathers sake and for his couenant   made with them…we must herein follow and imitate the Lords example.[13]

 

In An Alarm to the Last Judgement Draxe expected that the Jews after returning to their own land would “continue gloriously on the earth for one generation, that…all the world may take full notice of their general calling.”  Then would come the “final desolation of the Turke…in a place called Armageddon.”[14]

 

Hugh Broughton, in his 1610 commentary on Revelation admitted that Jews wished to return and rebuild their temple, but he denied that it had any part in biblical prophecy, for “Christ himself is the temple: Therefore to check Thalmudiques [observant Jews], which to this day look for a third temple…he [the author of Revelation] sheweth court of sacrificing is given to the heathen.”[15]  Broughton insisted that a temple was no longer needed for “Christ the King by his death would end sacrifice and offerings.”[16]  However, Broughton had a fondness for the Jews.  He was a leading Hebrew scholar, studied the Talmud, and shifted blame for the death of Christ away from the Jews.  A woodcut of “The Whore of Babylon” in his book A concent of scripture (1590) was titled “The empire of Rome, that crucified our Lorde and serveth Satan in might and hypocrisy.”[17]

 

English Puritans emphasized the Hebrew Scriptures far more than any other Christians since the early church.  They studied intently the Hebrew Scriptures, and began to name their children using Hebrew names. According to one Victorian Jewish scholar,

 

among the Puritans there were many earnest admirers of ‘God’s Ancient People’, and Cromwell himself joined in this admiration. It was by this Biblical Hebrew movement that public opinion in England had been prepared for a sympathetic treatment of the idea of a readmission of the Jews in England.[18] 

Another Jewish scholar of the Victorian period noticed, that

 

The interest of Englishmen in the Jewish people and a Jewish Palestine dates back to the Common-wealth. The same school of thought which permitted the Jews to return to England speculated further upon the Jewish restoration to Palestine; and this religious interest, fed upon the Bible and upon Protestantism, has survived in great strength down to our own day...[19]

 

More recently Stephen Spector has noticed this new attitude towards Jews in the seventeenth century:

 

Many Puritans no longer applied Old Testament narratives solely to themselves as reembodied Israel. Rather, they now believed that the covenant remained in effect for the Hebrew’s physical descendants. And the Jews return to Zion was, for them, the necessary prelude to the coming of the Messiah.[20]

 

Sixteenth and seventeenth century Historic Premillennialists expected the conversion of the Jews and their return to their own land.  Elizabethan Puritan Thomas Brightman believed that in the last days “the Jews would rebuild Jerusalem,” which would “hasten a series of Prophetic events that would culminate in the return of Jesus.”[21]  A few years later Cambridge don Joseph Mede expected “a mass conversion of Israel.” 

 

           

  The two studies of Revelation which established Puritan eschatology: Broughton’s (1610) and Brightman’s (1611)

He also resisted the accusation that by believing in a future millennium, that he was “of the same mind with the Jews.”  Instead he emphasized how much biblical Christians actually had in common with the Jews.  As  a boy he had taught himself Hebrew from a book before entering Cambridge, and having spent the rest of his life there, had the daily benefit of several of the greatest Christian scholars of Hebrew.[22] 

 

Giles Fletcher, Elizabeth’s ambassador to Russia in 1588, speculated that Tartar tribes near the Caspian Sea may be descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel, for if the lost tribes are to return to their land in the last days, then “these Israelitisch ten Tribes are somewhere extant, and by Gods Providence, as a People kept intirely and inconfused with other Nations…not quite destroyed…because all Israel shall be called…”[23]

                      

           Draxe’s “calling of the Iewes” (1608)                               Dury’s “Israel’s Call” (1646)

In 1621 Sir Henry Finch, barrister, MP, and associate of Sir Francis Bacon, wrote The World’s Great Restauration, or Calling of the Jews, a study of biblical passages dealing with a spiritual return of the Jews to piety (interpreted as a conversion to Christ) and a physical return of the Jews to Judah and Jerusalem (interpreted as a sign of the impending apocalypse). Finch did not want his readers to confuse the promises God made to the Jews with those made to Christians, so he insisted these verses referred to physical Israel, and not the Christian Church which had been the common interpretation:

 

Where Israel, Iudah, Tsion, Jerusalem, &c. are named in this argument, the Holy Ghost meaneth not the spiritual Israel, or Church of God collected of the Gentiles, no nor of the Iews and Gentiles both (for each of these haue their promises seuerally and apart) but Israel properly descended out of Iacobs loynes. … These and such like are not Allegories, setting forth…deliuerance through Christ (whereof those were types and figures) but meant really and literally of the Iewes. …that one day they shall come to Ierusalem againe, be Kings and chiefe Monarches of the earth, sway and gouerne all…[24]

He supports his thesis from almost every book in the Bible, an example being Ezekiel 37-39:

 

The first step is the Iewes conuersion…a kind of resurrection… The second step is a further progresse of their conversion, under a parable or similitude of two sticks… The uniting of them both into one… The bringing of them to their owne contry from all the places where they were scattered… The inhabiting in their country for euer… The perpetuity of God’s Couenant… The enemies  are reckoned vp, the Grand enemy is Gog…that is to say the Turke; for Magog is the Scythian Nation, from whom came the Turkes … The destruction of this enemy… God’s fighting against them from heauen…their fall in the land of Israell…the utter abolishing of the Turkish name…the wonderfull slaughter that shall bee made of them…meate for the fowles of the heauen and the beasts of the earth… After the defeat of Gog and Magog… The fruitfulness of the land, by the waters flowing aboundantly out of the Temple… The bounds of  the land shall be full as large, if not larger then before.[25]

 

 From the book of Daniel he identifies the enemies of Israel who will fight in the battle of Armageddon:

 

The Saracens [Arabs] pointed at under the name of King of the South. Who in the time of the end, meaning towards the end of the glory of the Roman Empire, hauing Mahomet for their Captaine, assaulted the Roman territories out of Arabia, and other mere Southerly countries. Lastly, the King   of  the North. That is, the Turke, whom the furthest northere parts sent into the world through the Caspian gates…declining vpon the Iewes of the East and North countries, conuerted to the Christian faith… [the enemies will be] beset before with vs Christians of the West, and behind by the new Christian Iewes [experience] utter ouerthrow by warre in the land  of Iudea.[26]

 

His expectation of a revived Jewish State, which would one day dominate the world, caused his arrest and trial, in which he was forced to acknowledge the sovereignty of King James, rather than that of a future Jewish king.  That didn’t stop William Gouge, Cambridge fellow and lecturer, from republishing Finch’s book, which resulted in his own imprisonment.[27]

 

John Archer, minister to an English congregation in the Netherlands, also believed in a return of the Jews to their own land.  In 1642 he wrote:

 

Israel and Iudah shall be one People forever, under one king David, that is Christ typified by David … so the Cities of the Tribes shall be built again, and inhabited by natural Israelites, especially Ierusalem, which shall bee the most eminent city them in the world, or that ever was in the world… when the Lord is one king over all the Earth, then shall Ierusalem be built…the Israelites shall have the greater glory… from the Israelites shall glory descend to the Gentiles, as the Gospell first did… upon the taking in of the Israelites again to be God’s people…and shew that all Israel will be saved.[28]

 

Archer then explains what would happen to Israel upon returning to their own land:

 

That time of trouble will be such as never were, Dan 12.1. namely…the twelve tribes…converted to Christ, shall have sore trouble…the remains of the Papacie  (after Rome’s ruine) will have spread and got some head again, and joine with the enemies of the twelve Tribes in the East [those who returned to Jerusalem], and so generally both Mahumitans, Heathens, and Papists will combine together, to ruine the Jews, and all other Gentiles who be true Christians, to save from which ruine, Christ will come from heaven and ruine with fire all those Nations of the wicked, Rev 16-13 to 17.[29]

 

All of these authors expecting a restoration of Israel relied on a literal interpretation of prophetic passages, however the metaphorical interpretation had dominated from the fifth to the fifteenth centuries.

 

According to Thomas Goodwin, president of Magdalen College Oxford in the mid-seventeenth century,  to allegorize away the events of prophecy distorts the Word of God:

 

But why should we take it for a spiritual looking…that place does not hold out, that is not the thing intended…take this one Rule, that all Texts are to be understood literally, except they make against some other Scriptures, or except the very Coherence and Dependence of the Scripture shewes it otherwise…[30]

 

Goodwin observed that a belief in a literal Millennial reign of Christ and His Saints

 

hath been a Truth received in the Primitive Times. Iustine Martyr…spake of this as a think that all Christians acknowledged…it is the Antichristian yoke that doth hide this Truth, Men dare not whisper any truth, but of such as are held in the Church of Rome: But when there comes to be liberty of Churches, and that men may freely search into this truth, knowledge will be increased. …if we put upon Allegorical senses, we may put off any Scripture; but if we taek them literally, why should we not?[31]

 

Goodwin, although a Historic Premillennialist, insisted that at least the last half of Revelation had to speak of future events.  In his Exposition of the Book of Revelation published posthumously he wrote that the first ten chapters had already taken place, but the rest of the book is future.  Both the 3 ½ years of the witnesses preaching and the 3 ½ years of the Antichrist’s glory he considered in the future and would occur just before the return of Christ, marking out the last seven years tribulation:

 

The prophetical part of it begins at the 4th Chapter. …the 8th Chapter…signifying the Ruin of the Western Empire…the 9th Chapter…the Ruin of the Eastern Empire, which was first broken by the Saracens, and at last utterly destroyed by the Turks. …The Killing of the Witnesses…of Chap.11 … The Time of their three Years and an half not yet come. …this killing of the Witnesses is to be executed by, and under the Power of the Beast of Rome: And so could not be meant of any of the former Churches… The Time of the Beast’s enjoying this full Victory but three Years and an half.[32]

 

There was a flurry of apocalyptic works published in 1642 due to the end of press censorship in England. That same year Robert Maton published Gog and Magog, as well as Israel’s Redemption, both of which he had been working on while at Oxford back in the 1620s.  In the latter work he expected

 

That the Kingdome of the Jews shall againe be restored unto them…the dispersion foretold by Christ was to happen after his passion…until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled…a miraculous recovery of Gods people: of the recovery of Judah, not from Babylon, for from the foure corners of the earth...this must be referred to the Jewes…how can that belong to the Gentiles which was prophesied onely of the Jewes…believe Gods revelation touching the Jewes return…[and] that general destruction, which shall come upon all Nations that fight against the Jews, whom the Saviour shall them redeeme.[33]

 

Also in 1642 John Archer wrote

 

That time of trouble will be such as never were, Dan 12.1. namely, to the converted Israelites, but not to the Gentile Christians, for these have been troubled by the Heather Roman Emperors a long while, and after that by the Beast, which succeeded them, viz. the Papacie…shall have quietness: but the twelve tribes…being converted to Christ, shall have sore trouble…the remains of the Papacie  (after Rome’s ruine) will have spread and got some head again, and joine with the enemies of the twelve Tribes in the East [those who returned to Jerusalem], and so generally both Mahumitans, Heathens, and Papists will combine together, to ruine the Jews, and all other Gentiles who be true Christians, to save from which ruine, Christ will come from heaven and ruine with fire all those Nations of the wicked, Rev 16-13 to 17.[34]

 

Peter Bulkeley immigrated to New England after being ejected by Archbishop Laud in 1634, founding Concord in 1637, he served as their first pastor until his death in 1659.  In The Gospel-Covenant he implored his readers to “seeke the peace of Jerusalem, the prosperitie of Sion.”[35]  Although this could refer to the Church, not literal Israel, he also rejected the Preterist position that these prophecies have already been fulfilled, and held a futurist belief in the restoration of Israel in the last days:

 

This deliverance out of their present captivitie…By virtue of the Covenant made with their fathers, they shall be delivered out of the bondage in which they are now holden. [It] comes after the manifestation and revealing of Christ in the flesh…to Christ coming in person to Jerusalem…and therefore cannot be referred onely or principally to their deliverance out of  that Easterne Babel. Because that was many yeares before Christs coming.[36]

 

 

Bulkeley’s Reasons for Rejecting Preterism

1)    “The promise is made here to Judah and Israel…it is not to be shewed by any History in Scripture, that the ten Tribes of Israel were ever restored since their Captivitie, or united to Judah againe. …both of them shall be called againe, and united together…to what time is this prophecy to be referred? I suppose to these last times, wherein both Judah and Israel whall be called again:

2)    “And it cannot be meant of the time of their returne out of Babylon…there should be a change in worship [but] after they came out of Babylon the ceremoniall worship still lasted: the time of Reformation is not yet come; therefore this prophecie speaks not of this time

3)    “Because in the time of this Prophecies accomplishment, all Nations must be gathered to Jerusalem, to joyne the Church of the Jewes in the worship of God. But all Nations were not gathered to them at their coming out of Babylon.”

4)    “there shall be a more full degree of calling home the Jewes, then was in either of the times

               mentioned before, and they shall come in, in more abundance, Rom 11.12.”[37]

 

Unquestionably a Futurist looking for the conversion and restoration of Israel, Bulkeley concludes,

the promise here in my Text, being made to Judah and Israel both, therefore this prophecy belongs to the times yet to come, when both of them shall be turned to the Lord. … So in Zech. 12.10.They shall looke upon him whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for him. This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled, because this mourning for him was never seene in that Nation to this day. … There is remaining in that people, a strange affection unto their own Land, many aged persons…take wearisome journeys…that they may dye at Jerusalem. … In Rom 11. The whole Chapter, the Apostle purposely speaketh of the rejection of the Jewes, but withal shews that it was neither total nor final…then he comes to speake of their calling againe.[38]

 

Bulkeley: “What shall we doe to help forward their calling and conversion?

1)    “Take away the stumbling block, which hinders their coming in; and these blocks are…       The one is the Idolatry of Christian Churches, especially that of Rome… the other is the carnalnesse and licentiousness of the lives of Christians…leet them see a spirit of grace shining upon us, and appearing in our lives…

2)    “Intreat the Lord for them… let us speak unto God in their behalf, and say Lord restore thy ancient people…It is from them that the meanes of salvation is come to us, the Law is called their Law… Christ himself tells us, That salvation is of the Jewes, Joh.4.22. We owe them this therefore… consider who they are, even the children of Abraham our Father…they are our brethren, and our flesh; and how should it pitie us to see the children of our father in the dungeon, and prison pit? Oh pray for them, that the blessing of Abraham their father may come upon them.[39]

 

Bulkeley then made it clear that the Abrahamic Covenant to the Jews is eternal and unconditional:

…his people, they may be assured, that the virtue, the blessing, and efficacy of the Covenant hall  never be disannulled, but it shall goe on to you and your children forever; by your Covenant, you   have such hold of God, that you may be assured, he will be a God, not to you onely, but to a thousand generations after you: not that there may be an interruption for a time, but the strength of the Covenant will take hold againe, so as there shall not faile…the Covenant will bring them in againe…[40]

Robert Maton studied at Oxford in the 1620s then became an obscure vicar in the 1630s, but when press censorship ended in 1642 he published several works against the metaphorical interpretation of prophecy.  There were too many promises of a coming Messiah and a restoration of the Jews to their homeland for it to be written off as metaphorical.  Not only did the Jews take it literally, but so did the Apostles and early church fathers.[41]  Maton also wrote against the Preterist position (that these prophecies spoke of an event at the time of the author), and insisted that the promised restoration of Israel was “not from Babylon, but from the foure corners of the earth: and that together with Ephraim, with the ten Tribes from Assyria, which as yet never came back, and therefore this is not yet fulfilled.”  In response to the view that Christians replaced Jews as God’s people, that the promises of Abraham belong to them instead of to     the Jews, Maton responded “how can that belong to the Gentiles which was promised onely of the Jews.”  He concluded that “we must not forsake the literal and proper sense of the Scripture, unless an evident necessity does require it.”[42]  Maton reminded his readers that the “faith of the Jews” (and even of the apostles) was that he would “restore again the Monarchie of Israel.”  After all, didn’t the Apostles ask Jesus “whether hee would at that time restore againe the Kingdome to Israel, to which he answered, It is not for you to know the times and seasons.”[43]  Maton, 400 years ago, cited the same passages as modern Dispensationalists: from Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Amos, Zechariah, Romans, Daniel, and Revelation.[44]

 

Ephraim Huit (Hewitt), founder the first church in Connecticut in 1639, believed “the comming of the Son of Man in the Cloudes” would save the elect from “trials” and allow Jews to regain their role in God’s plan:

 

“deliverance from outward trials is expressed by the Lords coming in the clouds…in the deliverance of

   his Church, from Egypt, and preservation in the wildernesse is described by his riding on the heavens…

 “Secondly, this coming of the Son of Man in the clouds is…some memorable event, not long before the

   general judgement, whereof it was a foregoing signe, and must therefore teach some other appearance.

“Thirdly, upon this comming of the Son of Man in the cloudes, the kingdom is given to the Iewes…but 

   upon the Incarnation of our Lord, the kingdom was taken from the Iewes, and given to the Romanes…

“the summoning of the Elect by the sound of a trumpet…but this trumpet is heard only by the Elect, so

   that to me it seems to intend some voice, and call of the Lord, whereof the reprobates are incapable:

“our Lord Mat 24.30. & his beloved disciple Iohn Rev 1.7. do couple this coming of the Son of man in

   the Cloudes with that holy wailing of the Iewes in their conuersion…Zac 12.10.”[45]

 

Huit paraphrased Daniel 12: 1 “in those days shall the Messiah the Lord and Guardiant of his Church shew his power in the redemption of thy Countreymen, the which times however exceedingly troublous, the like no time ever afforded, nor people endured, yet shall they be delivered as many as be the Lords elected people.”  Huit implied a partial resurrection prior to the “general judgement and resurrection.”

  “In the days of affliction the Lord stands for the defense of his Church. …these things cannot be

      meant by the generall judgement and resurrection.

  “First the children of Daniel’s people onely are delievered, the Iews onely are capable of this rising

     again, who in the generall judgement have no preeminence.

  “Secondly, this time is a great time of trouble even to them that rise to life, but the state unto which   

     the godly do arise in the generall judgement, is replenished with rest and peace.

  “Thirdly, in this resurrection many shall arise but not all…but in the generall judgement even all

      shall arise how profane so ever they be.”[46]

 

Huit then described the invasion of a reestablished Judah by the King of the North and the King of the South, identified as Turks and Saracens.  The Jews “in those times of their restore are said to be very troublous,” but would be finally saved when Christ and “gods Church as a Bride royally attired descends from Heaven.”[47]

 

The Westminster Assembly chosen by Parliament to restructure the Church of England in 1643 may have been overwhelmingly Calvinist, but it also included many Premillennial Philo-Semites, among them: Scottish preacher and diplomat instrumental in allowing Jews to reside once again in England after 365 years of exile John Dury, Cromwell’s chaplain and author of an exposition on the book of Revelation; Thomas Goodwin, chairman of the committee to draft the Westminster Confession and author of an early dispensational scheme; William Gouge, moderator of the Westminster Assembly and author of the preface  to the second edition of Mede’s Clavis Apocalyptica; William Twisse, and master of Queen’s College  Cambridge; and drafter of the Shorter Catechism Herbert Palmer.[48]

Westminster Assembly Divines who wrote Eschatology, were Premillennial and/or Philo-Semitic:

           William Bridge                      John Dury                        Herbert Palmer                 James Ussher[49]     

           Jeremiah Burroughs[50]           Thomas Goodwin             Peter Sterry                      George Walker

           Joseph Caryl[51]                       William Gouge                William Twisse           

                       

    Thomas Goodwin (1600-1680)        William Twisse (1578-1646)            Herbert Palmer (1601-1647)

                   

   Jeremiah Burroughs (1600-1646)           Joseph Caryl (1602-1673)        Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656)

Philo-Semitic Apocalyptic literature abounded during the Interregnum.  In an anonymous work Doomes-day published in 1647 the author insisted “that the day of doom is even now at hand, according to the prophecies of the prophets; that before that day there shall be a restauration of Israel, even those people the Jews, according to certain and credible information, are at this time assembling themselves together into one body from out of all countreys, whereinto they have been driven with a resolution to regaine the holy land once more out of the hand of the Ottoman”.[52]  He claimed that Jews were gathering in what is now central Turkey, preparing “for the conquering of the Holy Land.”

 

Rumors like this stoked the imaginations of those looking for the return of Christ.  The restoration of the Jews to their own land was seen as an essential sign of the end.  The author also expected “the downfall of the Whore of Babylon”, or Roman Catholicism.  He also believed the Antichrist was “that man of Sin, the Pope, who sitteth in the Temple of God and is worshipped as God” who will soon taste “the fierceness of God’s wrath.”  He warned his readers, that “the day of Doome shall happen…Christ shall come again on earth, and there personally reigne with his Elect a thousand yeares…the day of Doome is even now at hand, and that the second coming of Christ is each day and houre expected…”[53]

 

   

That same year Elizabeth Avery published Scripture-Prophecies Opened, which are to be accomplished in these last times, which do attend the second coming of Christ.[54]  The author’s expectations of a return of the Jews to the Holy Land as a sign of the impending apocalypse is only a couple years before the impact of Menesseh Ben Israel, who reached out to Oliver Cromwell and the new Commonwealth government, in order to promote a toleration and official reintroduction of Jews into England.  His mission to London greatly increased Puritan interest in a restoration of the Jews to their land.

 

John Dury preached to the Long Parliament in 1645 Israel’s Call to March out of Babylon unto Jerusalem.  Although he applied it to England’s purging of the vestiges of Romish Babylon in England, he also cited Isaiah 65 concerning the Jews “that in the end they should be renewed and recalled again, and glorifie God together with the Gentiles.”[55]  Dury, was ecumenical, but his motive was fear of Roman Catholic power.  He traveled the continent in the 1630s during the Thirty Years War working to unite Protestants against the forces of Antichrist, enlisting Hartlib and Mede in his efforts.  This combination of millenarianism and anti-Roman ecumenicism also sheds light on his attempt to reach out to the Jews. Since Dury expected the Jewish conversion to be eminent, he spoke of “the Church, both of Jews and Gentiles.”[56]  Since Ben Israel was a refugee from the Spanish Inquisition, he was seen as similar to those Protestants; all were refugees of Papal oppression, Jews, French Huguenots and Germans Protestants suffering in the Thirty Years War.[57]

 

Moses Wall, who translated Mennasseh Ben Israel’s book The Hope of Israel into English in 1652, wrote a defense of his belief in God’s continued promises to the Jews:

 

I doe firmly believe, and fear not to profess it; That the Jews shall be called as a Nation, both Judah and Israel, and shall return to their owne Land, and have an earthly Kingdome againe. For the proof of which ...I shall cite anything which Mennaseh Ben Israel brings for himself, beleeve me, that I have it not from him, but from my owne observations out of Scripture, some years since. [cited Micah 4:8 and Zechariah 10:6-10]  Say not this was done in the returne of those few in the captivity of Babylon; for those of the ten Tribes that then returned, were but some gleanings of them; and of Judah itself, there returned but about one halfe: [cited Ezekiel 37:16-25]  Sir, in good earnest, hath this scripture been fulfilled?  Hath Judah and Ephraim been but one stick in God’s hand, but one Nation, so that they shall be no more two Nations , [cited Romans 11:12-28 and Isaiah 66:7-8] you are pleased to put the term Millenarian upon me; …you adde in the Post-script, not to looke for a Fifth Monarchy, because Christ reigns now. I answer, that though he reignes de jure, yet not de facto. For expressly in Scripture the Devil is called kosmokrator [ruler of world] he is the grand Tyrant, and great Usurperyet I am farre from denying Christ a kingdome now in being, Spirituall, and Invisible, but I looke for a visible one yet to come.”[58]

 

An associate of John Dury, Peter Sterry, and Henry Jessey was Dr. Nathaniel Homes, an Independent Millenarian London preacher. In 1653 he wrote Apocalypsis Anastaseos. The Resurrection revealed: or Dawning of the Daystar on “the raising of the Jewes, and ruine of all Antichristian and Secular Powers,” and the Millennial reign of Christ upon the earth.  He reminded his readers that St. Paul referred to “the Call of the Jewes” and “the Resurrection of the Saints” as mysteries, yet Homes tried to explain them.[59]

 

Homes was a Futurist expecting a restoration of the Jews to their own land, and opposition by

 

…the Turks, which people I take to be GOG and MAGOG in Ezekiel, represented there as the great enemies of the Jewwes invading the land of Jewry. And the Hebrew Doctors conceive that War of GOG and MAGOG to be yet to come. Here it may bee objected that the Turke is Lord of the Land of Canaan already; I grant it. But when the time for calling of the Jewes shall come, which Mr. Mede conceived should bee wroght in a strange manner, by the appearing of Christ unot them, as hee appeared unto Paul at his conversion…then I say, upon this their conversion, they shall gather themselves together from all places, towards the Land of Canaan… Upon which coming of the Jewes into the Land of Canaan, the Grand Seignieur will bee moved to raise all his power, gathered together our of all Nations under him, to oppose them, and at first shall prevaile…but in the issue the Jewes shall prevail…this implies the calling of the Jewes a little afore…[60]

 

Homes interpreted Matthew 24:34 “this generation shall not pass away until all these things take place” not within the lifetime of a those then alive, but as the genealogical line of the Jewish people not ending:

 

…the main stick is in the words, THIS GENERATION, and ALL FULFILLED; That is, the Nation of the Jewes, as a people most distinguishable from all Nations, shall not be extinguished, in Notion and Nation till all those things afore spoken by Christ be fulfilled. But if Christ shall appear to them personally before the ultimate day of Judgement, for they must be converted suddainly, aat once, in a miraculous manner…and then so by conversion congregate them together again, according to the tenour of all the Prophets…whereas many other Nations have passed away, and been extinguished… this Nation of the Jewes shall not bee so extinguished, or annihilated, but shall continue as a distinct Nation, at least in note and name, till all these things be fulfilled…[61]

 

Homes expectation of the restoration of Israel is a product of his belief that God’s covenant to Abraham was eternal and unconditional:

 

it is said afore in that Genesis 17 that this Covenant…should be in their flesh for an iverlasting Covenant; because…God would continue a Seal of his Covenant for ever (till the Restitution of all things) as the Covenant itself shall be for ever. …he gave them…the whoe Country of Canaan, and that for an everlasting possession, ,,they were never universally and absolutely expelled out of it; and shall there keep possession till they be most gloriously restored to the possession of it.[62]

 

Captain John Browne in his Brief Survey of the Prophetical and Evangelical Events of the Last Times believed that after the rapture the Jews would take center stage once again in God’s plan but the Beast or Antichrist would conquer Jerusalem and Judah:

 

And now we come to declare what he (the vile Person or Beast) will doe after the Saints are taken up; that is, he and his Army, after a short space, will recover their Spirits again, and being impowred by the devil he takes Jerusalem…And then he will set himself in the Temple of God, and exalt him self above all that is called God, 2Thess.2.4. and Dan.11.36…now persuaded, by the Dragon and   the vile Person, to joyn with him, in utterly rooting out this people of the Jews out of that plentifull Country… And now we apprehend will be the time, when all the world will wonder after the Beast, whose deadly wound by a Sword was healed…set up the abomination which makes desolate,,,then would be the time that they [Jews] would have most need to fly [to the wilderness], in regard to the great tribulation that would immediately follow, such as was not from the beginning of the world to that time.  the holy City shall they tread under foot two and fourty months [3½ years]…in the midst of the week [in the middle of seven years] he shall cause the Sacrifice…to cease…and they [Jews] shall be given into his hands until a time, and times, and the dividing of time [3½ years]… So that from the time of the Saints being taken up…to the time that the Beast and the false Prophet will be taken alive and cast into the lake of fire, and the said Devill or Dragon bound up with a chain, will be a short time… So that the longest time of the Prophecies concerning him, for the said time of the Saints being taken up, to his end, will not be four years. A short time in respect of eternity, but a long time       in respect of the miseries and plagues that will fall upon the Inhabitants of the Earth.[63]

 

One of the strangest examples of the philo-semitism among the Puritans is a treatise published in

1653 by Thomas Totney, who called himself ThourauJohnTany and Tannijahhh, and believed God had chosen him to call the Jews out of their captivity and to return to them to Jerusalem.

 

I proclaim from the Lord of Hosts, the return of the Jews from their Captivity, and the building of   the Temple in glory in their owne Land.  Hear O ye Jewes my Brethren, I am a Jew of the Tribe of Reuben but unknown to me till the Lord spake unto me by voice [and] changed my name from Thomas to Theaurau John… Now unto ye Iewes, my Brethren, am I sent to proclaim from the Lord  of Hosts, the God of Israel, your Returne from your Captivity, in what Nation soever ye are scattered.  From thence ye shall be gathered into your owne Land Jerusalem shall be built in Glory...[64]

 

Totney was called before the Westminster Assembly, his work was declared blasphemy, and he was declared mad.[65]  A similar work was produced the following year by J.J., who could very well have     been Totney, but called himself “Philo-Judaeus”.  To charges that God abandoned the Jews, he insisted:

 

We do never find (Christian reader) that the Lord did ever cast away any of his people. …when Titus the Roman Generall carried them away captive…scattered even at this very day throughout the four corners of the earth: And thus cast off shall be, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in; [but] Israels restauration cannot be far off…many scoffers there now are, saying, When will the Jewes be called? and, Where is the promise of his coming? Who likewise shall have their reward. … This should make believers…when the Hebrews shall by providence come into this Nation. …so necessary is it that Israel should be called before his coming to judge the world… Jerusalem must be trodden down  by the Gentiles. … So according to humane censure Israel is past recovery; but according to the supernatural promises of God, they were never so near their restauration as now. …when the Lord sees that there is no man to help, his own arm will raise and put new life into these dead and dry bones of Israel. …in the mean while I desire thee to remember desolate Zion in all they approaches to God…[66]

 

Philo-Judaeus began his treatise with a poem:

 

Wise men do marvel why thou lov’st the Jews, Invalid Nation, sick through th’worlds abuse;

Whose fathers deem’d th’Egyptian bondage sore, But thou believ’st their present bondage more;

And when thou read’st of Joseph’s diligence, Thou didst affect such glorious providence.[67]

He then bewailed that Jerusalem was “the chief residence of a Turkish Infidel; called languishing Zion,      and the by-word of Nations; and to the heart-breaking of the Israelites, hath for its religion erected in it the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet.” He seems to insinuate that the Muslim Dome   of the Rock was this abomination.  But then as he considered how God overturned the monarchy in England, that he could also overturn Turkish rule over Jerusalem and establish a Jewish state:

 

We have in this latter age seen so many and great examples of the almighty power of God in the change of our Government…yet there are some men amongst us, that (notwithstanding the testimony of holy Writ) do believe that the present sad estate of Judah will never change for the better; and that our faith concerning the return of (supposed) lost Israel is grounded upon an uncertain and sandy foundation.[68]

 

Philo-Judaeus denied the Preterist interpretation, “For, to say, that which was promised concerning Israel, is already happened, is false.  …S.Paul saith, it shall not come until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.  The author also reminds us that the end will not come until the gospel is spread to the entire world, but “this new American world remaineth in total obscurity…our best Geographers call a great part of it Terra incognita.[69]  He used a third argument against Preterism, when he cited Isaiah 11:11:

 

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover  the remnant of his people which shall be left from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. … So that you see when the Lord…was pleased to cause the Captivity of his people to return once before, who were them but a remnant of the house of Judah. …this second return shall be beneficial to both houses …from the vast incongruity that there is between the places where this remnant of Israel [the 10 Tribes] shall be found, and the Countries where these two Tribes [Judah and Benjamin] are dispersed at this day.[70]

 

Next Philo-Judaeus lamented how the English have treated the Jews, citing Jeremiah 30:17 “they called thee an outcast, saying, this is Sion whom no man seeketh after.” 

 

Oh that it might work upon us here in England! For we, above the barbarous Nations, do not regard them… It had fared better with the Arabians, those subtle inhabitants of Kedar, if they had done that which was their duty, and as the Lord commanded them, which was to hide the Jews, and to be a covert until them in the day of slaughter, and not to have delivered them into the hands of the spoiler; but oh miserable, that we that pretend to have the greatest knowledge of God in Christ… should rather add to their affliction, and mocking at their tribulation, should pass by [like the Levite did to the Samaritan], that is, he would not use any possible means to help him out of his misery, nor we the Jews out of theirs: we do exceed the Turk in his instant cruelty, he will, I am afraid, arise up in judgment against us…while the Turk possesseth their houses, which indeed are those worst of the Heather… Yet, I say, this people shew them more mercy and favour then we do, and suffer them not only as sojourners to live peaceably amongst them, but have given them [many areas like] a great part of Salonica: So that I am fully perswaded, that if it were not for such good natured Pagans, our Christian charity is so base and horrid, that we would scarce leave a Jew upon the face of the earth. It has been better for us, if our predecessors had not driven them out of England; doubtless the Lord will not leave punishing of us, until we do leave remembering of their faults, freely to forgive them and to forget, even by receiving of them again to inhabit amongst us…[71]

 

Philo-Judaeus concluded by showing that in spite of God’s promises, Jews have been treated shamefully:

 

God hath not as yet finished his whole work upon Mount Zion; it is but yet a little while, and He that will come, shall come, and will not tarry. …and now to be servile and subject to the proud and scoffing wills of uncircumcised infidels! … Ah poor Israel… But for England, I shall say nothing but hard-hearted… You that think you have a share in my glory, you…often meet many of my poor sick despised Countrymen; …but doe as this man did [the good Samaritan], as soon as you see them, have compassion on them. And as God shall shew mercy in the days of blackness, even so let Christians shew mercy to the poor ignorant Jews. …it would trouble any Christian heart but to know of their troubles, how that on a sudden you shall have a decree come forth by one prince or other, that within 2 or 3 days time all Hebrews shalbe banished …now the King of Poland will have them prohibited from coming or dweling any longer in Ukrain…merely for no other end then to extort mony or goods from them…the Nobles in some parts of Germany made up their sports and pastimes by the abusing some Jews or other. Even so are the Jews become despicable in the eyes of may prophane Christians; but the living God hath sworn by himself, that he will renew his covenant with them.[72]

 

He believed that God curses those who curse Israel, “a heavy curse did fall upon Tyre and Sidon, because they sold the children of Judah, even the Lord’s own people, unto the Grecians.”[73]  Yet he was convinced that God’s promises did not end for the Jews, but their suffering would end:

 

God will be a wall of fire around them…he is able to know and to hear the groanings of his people… in that day he would set over them but one Shepherd, even my servant David.  … Indeed today, not only Turks and Infidels, but also Christians do serve themselves of them, and prey upon them. But because of these things, , let not men affirm them to be utterly rejected, until they have well and cautiously understood that blessed Apostle of our Lord S.Paul, who cries out in Rom.11…What then? Hath God cast away his people?...No, it is impossible, or it cannot be…there stumbling was not such as could cause a total falling away…though they fall, they shall arise. …God will at the last exalt his people Israel above other nations…from that time forward they shall know, and that of a truth, that the Lord their God is with them, and so to abide forever. …although the Lord shall scatter us with the rest of the Nations…yet he will not destroy them. …although a woman possibly may forget her sucking child, yet he will not forget them. …the Jewes are engraven on the palms of his hands…the Lord will not be always angry with them, but he will remember the covenant which he made with their fathers: God will leave a remnant to possess the desolate and waste places…[74]

 

Philo-Judaeus implored the English to come to the assistance of Jews in their restoration.  He claimed to speak to England as Mordecai had to Esther, “if though holdest thy peace at this time, then shall their enlargement and deliverance arise from another place to the Jews, but thou and thy fathers house shall perish.”  In his own words, he elaborated, “if we shall now forbear to put our helping hands to so glorious and just an employment …then let us be sure that their salvation will come from some other Nation.[75]  He begged the English “to help the Israelites now whilst we may doe it.”[76]  This attitude surely influenced English dispensationalists like Lord Balfour, who centuries later led a movement within British foreign policy to aid in the restoration of Israel. 

 

He insisted that this restoration would be miraculous:

 

Alike nature with the Phoenix, of whom the writers say, that our of its ashes in the same place ariseth another: So, when the Lord doth but breathe upon bones wherein is no marrow, there will not only be  added sinews and flesh, bot to the admiration of the Nations, from these helpless remnant there shall arise an exceeding great Army. …for in Ezek.37. saith the Lord, I will make the house of Judah and   the children of Israel his fellows one nation, and they shall no more be divided. Now here is a double promise, first a return of their captivity, and then of their scepter; they shal now be a nation, which lately were not a nation…[77]

 

He warned his readers, “they doe not by such kind of slanders offend the Jews, lest you offend the apple of Gods eye.”[78]  He lamented that “the superstitious…to the shame and stain of Christian religion in many places of Italy and Germany, if anything go amiss, or any fire happen, it is common with many nominal Christians to exclaim of the Jews, and say it came by means of them.”[79]  Philo-Judaeus believed that the Jews would be good for England,

 

I am sure it will be no damage, but profit for to let them live amongst us. It will be a rare exchange to give them our carnal things, and we to reap benefit by their future spiritual and extraordinary gifts and graces, which I am sure they will enjoy, when the Lord shall graft them in again. … Doubtless this will be very pleasing and acceptable to our God; God may perhaps haave mercy on us for their sakes, when he shall overthrow the Nations in his fury. … Was not the harlot saved, for that she did hide some of God’s people from the fury of the King of Jericho? Was not Meroz cursed bitterly, because the people thereof did not come forth to help the Lord and his people? And by this wwe may see how that God will punish a City of a Nation as wel for neglecting to help forward his work, as he will those that strive to oppose it.[80]

 

He wanted his Christian readers to realize it is the “Hebrews, whose debtors we truly and indeed are.”  He believed God cared for Jews as much as for Christians, “God doth take special notice of all his carriage as well towards them as the Christians.”  He embraced Jews as brothers, “we all had one Father, and are we not all Brethren?”[81]  He believed both Jews and Christians would be saved in the last day, and God would

 

withhold that day of gloominess wherein he will judge the world till all the servants of the most High, both Jews and Gentiles, are sealed, and when God hath called them home unto his kingdom of marvailous light, and given them the assurance of their faith and hope, and how they shall then be secure from those great plagues that are about to come upon the world.[82]

 

Instead of hating the Jews, Philo-Judaeus pleaded with fellow Christians to pray not only for restoration of the Jews to Jerusalem, but also for their spiritual conversion, which would hasten the coming of Christ.  That year Parliament approved allowing Jews to dwell in England, which gave the author an idea:

 

Now to such as long for the appearing of Christ, sure I need not use many expressions to exite them to use their whole strength in helping forward this so long expected Conversion of the Jews. …when the Hebrews shall by providence come into this Nation, they may see such a lusstre and beauty in your conversation, and such liveliness of your affections, as it may allure them to embrace your faith. …so necessary is it that Israel should be called before his coming to judge the world… Until their hearts be melted, Jerusalem must be trodden down by the Gentiles. …according to humane censure Israel is past recovery; but according to the supernatural promises of God, they were never so near their restauration as now…when the Lord sees that there is no man to help, his own arm will raise and put life into these dead bones of Israel. … I believe the Jews must be won by Love…and to exite their affections to embrace our Messiah.[83]

 

The author saw in Manesseh ben-Israel and in other Jewish attempts to establish a relationship with England a softening of the Jew toward Christianity.

Never was there more searching of the Prophets then there is at this day amongst them, never more frequent calling upon God, never were there such longings after him whom their souls will dearly love, as today; as yet never any of their predecessors, as I can find, for above these sixteen hundred years, were so willing to converse and commune with us Christians about their Messiah, Time was, and that of late years, if a Christian did but mention Christ unto them, they would shun his company, though sometimes to their own damage. Therefore let us rejoice at this, and willingly spend some time to further the building of this Temple not made with hands; and the Lord will questionless reward us.[84]

 

Yet even if they do not convert, Philo-Judaeus was delighted that “there is no Nation under heaven likelier then we to help them,” for the recent political changes in England have increased religious freedom and toleration, and “would be a hiding place and a Covert for some of them, but until God hath brought in the fullness of the Gentiles!”[85]  But he also worried about Muslims reacting to the restoration of Israel, “perchance if the Turk should fail in his design against the Christians, he may, by Satans acting…use the Jews in a rigid manner, although for the present he lets them live peaceably under his yoke.[86]

 

In December 1655 Rabbi Manasseh ben Israel met at Whitehall with Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell and a group of English clergy, merchants, and lawyers.  Ben Israel requested “the Hebrew Nation” be allowed to resettle in England, “have publick Synagogues…a burying place out of the Town...to Traffick as freely in all sorts of Merchandize, as other strangers.”[87]  The consensus of the English present determined:

 

       Reasons given by a Parliamentary Committee for Allowing the Jews to Return to England

 

1. It is Gods will there be dealing courteously with strangers, and persons in affliction, Exod:23,8.

2. Especially respect is to be had to the Jewes, Isa.14.3,4. Because their debtours we are, Rom.15.27…

     Because their Brethren of the same Father Abraham; they naturally after the flesh, we after the Spirit.

     Because we believe those natural Branches shall return; and it shall be riches and glory to the Gentiles…

     Because many Jews are now in very great streights in many places…being driven away from thence…

     Also the Jews…under the Spanish if they are professed Jews, must wear a badge…are exposed to many

        violencies…which to avoid many dissemble themselves to be Roman-Catholicks; then if in anything

        they appear Jewish, they forfeit goods, if not life also.[88]

It seems to some that it would be very acceptable to the Lord, if favour be shewed them…No Nation hath been more faithful, frequent, and fervent prayers for the Jews, then in England. None are more likely to convince them by scripture, and by holy life, then many in England…Many of the Jews being now very cruelly dealt withal, and persecuted by the Turks… Other Jews in several Nations persecuted by Papists, unles they will turn Papists…even after their rejecting Jesus Christ, and the Lords rejecting them, yet the Apostle saith of them, That they are beloved for their Fathers sakes, Rom.11.28. And for the Lords Covenant sake with their Fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…the Lord will restore them, as he saith, Levit.26.41,44,45. Micah:7,19,20.[89]

 

An anonymous pamphlet believed to have been written by John Dury and Henry Jessey (a Baptist pastor proficient in Hebrew and Rabbinic literature and correspondent of Manessah ben Israel).  They asked Christians to “Pray for the Salvation of Israel that it may come out of Sion shortly; and give the Lord no rest till he establish and till he make Jerusalem praise in all the earth”.[90]  It began with a report from Petrus Serrarius (a Dutch millenarian) on the conditions of Jews “in Judea”, and intented to stir sympathy for Jews living in Jerusalem, and for Christians to do all they could to assist Jews who wished to return to their own land. There was an ulterior motive: that kindness to the Jews may contribute to their conversion.  One way or another though, the author wanted Christians to do all they could to befriend and help the Jewish people.  Notice the concern shown by this Christian author for the plight of the Jews:

 

God will be merciful unto the House of Israel, because he still loveth them for the Father’s sake, and that his Gifts and Calling to them being without Repentance, he will bestow mercy upon them …whereby all Israel shall be saved…consider seriously what God is now doing towards the effecting of this great work, that is, what preparations are being made at this time towards it: and what the way is by which he will bring them and us together, as one flock into one sheepfold…the work of our Generation [is to] mourn for Jerusalem, and expect that she shall be made the glory   of the whole earth. …we ought to observe these following Informations concerning their present State, whereby it is evident that God doth begin to appear for them by extraordinary Providences …moving both Christians and Turks to have compassion upon them, and by this means opening a dore of hope unto them to find relief and to us an occasion to impart through love unto them the mysteries of the Gospel: for this Design is upon the heart of many of Gods servants, both here and elsewhere, who entertain some acquaintance with them, and endeavor to ratifie their Love unto them by works of Mercy…[91]  

 

According to the authors, a major sign of the end was “the distress of Nations” or “days of tribulation”:

 

As the distress of Nations doth increase in the world, so the affliction and misery of the Jews; They being scattered among these Nations…they having no possessions which they are permitted or willing to own as their Inheritance among the Nations, and not being able to return to the Inheritance which they expect as a Nation in the Land of Canaan, there the land being theirs by Gods Promise, their Affliction and Calamity must needs be greater then that of other Nations, but how much they are more unsettled then they: For when the Nations with whom they live, are so unsettled, that they can no longer abide among them, nor retire to any other abode…the time of their deliverance doth draw near: and the greater the distress and trouble of the Nations will be, the nearer will be their deliverance at hand: For Christ tells us, That Jerusalem must be trodden down by the Gentiles, till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. … Which things we conceive are now actually begun; and when they end, the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled…this distress of the Nations has already begun in Europe…our Saviour doth promise that for the Elects sake the days of tribulation shall be shortened; therefore we may conceive that it will not be long before they shall be restored.[92]

 

They then recorded Serrariaus’s report:

The state of the Jews at Jerusalem of late was such, that they could not live and subsist there without some yearly supply and contribution from their Brethren abroad…but there love of the place doth oblige them to remain there, although in great poverty and want. And their Brethren abroad among the Nations, have been willing to uphold the there at Jerusalem, that the place whould not be left destitute of some considerable number of their Nation, to keep as it were possession, or at least a footing in it, and to show their hopes, till a full restitution come.[93]

 

What followed was a detailed account of funds coming in from Jewish communities in Poland, Lithuania, Prussia, and Russia, but turmoil caused by the Thirty Years War depleted this supply. Then in Jerusalem

 

the Turks without Mercy laid upon them all, they send two of their chief Rabbis to their Brethren in Europe, to acquaint them with their state, and to desire some help from them. …finding at Amsterdam little relief from the Portugal Jews, became accidentally acquainted with some of our Christian friends, who pittied their Condition, and were of their own accord moved to procure some relief unto them among other Christian friends…[94]

 

There was again a detailed account of substantial funds provided by Dutch Christians, but when the Jews of Jerusalem heard that the money was from Christians they were at first upset, until they discovered that it was not solicited but “freely offered”.  They were surprised that Gentiles would care for Jews, and Serrarius noticed, “other Nations, when they are distressed by any enemy, they have some Neighbour people to flie to as friends, but these have none at all; therefore they must look up to God alone for their deliverance.”[95]

 

The authors believed that as they got closer to the end, things would get much worse

 

The distress of Nations, which is coming upon the whole face of the earth, is a manifest preparation …driving them out from among the Nations, where they cannot abide any longer, and forcing them to draw closer together for their mutual relief: partly by awakening in them more earnest desires and thoughts of the Promise, that they sall return unto their own Inheritance: by which means, as soom as they shall perceive the waters of the great Euphrates ddryed up, they well be moved to resolve upon a march unto their own land from all quarters… The distress then of the Nations driving them to these places, is a preparative for their return.[96]

 

Another sign of the end were the miracles God performed through the Jews in Jerusalem. Serrarius reported:

 

God did appear for them in their utmost extremity…about the year 1651 when there was for a long time no rain fallen upon Jerusalem and the land about it, so that they were all in great extremity, both Jew and Turk, and like to perish; the Turks,,,did conceive that God was angry with them, because the Jews were suffered to live among them; therefore in great rage with drawn swords they went to the Jews, and threatened them, that if within three days they did not obtain rain from heaven, they should all be put to death. Whereupon the Jews having appointed a solemn fast…prayed till noon, and after noon the clouds gathered, and with thunder they poured such a flood of rain, that all the cisterns were filled and did run over: by which means they were saved from death.[97]

 

Another miracle was in 1655, when the money arrived from the Dutch Christians for there had been a famine and great poverty among the Jerusalem Jews

 

the new Turkish Basha…after his arrival in Jerusalem [lowered the amount of tax required but] made an agreement with the Jews…with this hard condition, that if the agreement was not then performed, they must all become his slaves, and that he should do with them what he would.[98]

Another perceived miracle was the recent blossoming of the land:

 

Whereas the land of Canaan heretofore was exceeding barren, and more unfruitful then any of the other neighbor Countries; it is now reported to be become within the space of five or six years exceeding fruitful, yielding ten times the increase of that which formerly it did yield: and if this report be true,,,then we may make this certain conjecture upon it, that God is not only fitting them to return unto their own Land by the forenamed Tryals, but he is fitting also their land to receive them [he then cited verses on how God would allow the land to blossom, when his people return to it].[99]

 

The authors noted how open the Jews seemed to be to the Christian message:

 

The sense which their more understanding Rabbis have of the Messiah, is not so far distant from     the Principles of Christianity as we ordinarily have imagined, and that the frame of their Spirits, at this time is made more susceptible of the Truth of the Gospel, then at anytime heretofore. … Mr. Serrarius then writes thus. When in a certain time we were speaking together concerning the Messiah… one of the Jews in Amsterdam who stood by, said instantly, I know what you mean, as if you would make us believe, that your Christ were still alive. But Rabbi Nathan reproved his rashness … Then it was asked of Nathan, what he understood by the place of Isaiah 53.4,5. He hath born our griefs and carried our sorrows, and he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastise-ment of our Peace was upon him, and with his stripes wa are healed… He answered plainly, That he spoke of the Messiah; and when we did wonder at the Answer, and had replied, that commonly that place of Scripture was otherwise understood by the Jews: He said, That by the Cabala it was most evident, that the place could not be understood of any other [gave contextual reasons why it was Messiah].[100]

 

Petrus Serrarius claimed to have heard a Jew interpret Isaiah as Christians did, and that they openly prayed with Christians and prayed that the Messiah would come:

 

When I heard these things, my bowels were inwardly stirred within me, and it seemed to me, that I did not hear a Jew, but a Christian…admitted into the inward mysteries of our Religion. Another time when we were together…wwe thought good to read Christs Sermon on the Mount…telling him this was the law of our Christ, that he should read it, and then let us know what he did judge thereof…and when at that meeting we had, made prayers for the Jews as well as for ourselves, that God would blot out our sins and theirs… These things did very much move him, and he made no doubt to affirm them openly, that if there were but ten men at Jerusalem, who should thus with one heart pray for the coming of the Messiah, that without all doubt he would suddenly come…[101]

 

Dury and Jessey concluded enthusiastically:

 

that the Lord doth prepare a way for them to be converted unto Christianity; which is yet more evident by some other Circumstances…that some of those afflicted Jews at Jerusalem begin now to confess, That their Fore-fathers did wickedly in putting Jesus of Nazareth to death, and that he was a just man, and that the Spirit of the Messiah was with him… Now if these Confessions begin to be made among some of the chief of them, as some of us know that they are; it is a clear token, that God is preparing and fitting them for Mercy…as the opening unto them the Bowels of our Charity in these opportunities of their distress and perplexity, that they may find some relief…God is now setting a work toward them: the work may be carried on with success, till the Lord come into his Temple. …all whose hearts are touched with compassion to them in the bleeding condition, and have longing desires for their deliverance, are exorted to testify the same by their prayers, and by the opening of their heart and hand liberally towards them, And how blessed shall they be that shall have a hand in helping to make Jerusalem a Glory in the whole Earth![102]

 

Several years later Serrarius sent another letter from Scotland about how “lost tribes of Israel” had just arrived in Scotland in a ship “whose sails were white branched Sattin, their Ropes and Tackling Silk, and they only ate rice and honey.”[103]  The letter further claims that 1,600,000 Asian Jews have gathered in Arabia, along with 60,000 European Jews, and had defeated the Turks several times in battle.  The report was too good to be true: “The Jewish host are said to increase daily, and that many of them believe in the true Messias, and that it was the Saviour of the World that was crucified in Jerusalem.”[104]  A second letter was attached, claiming that their numbers were so great that when the Turks began to engage them for battle “a pannick fear took them and terror seized on them.”  The Israelites then declared “that they should return unto their own Land of their Fore-Fathers, which others had usurped and taken from them.”[105]  It is difficult to believe Serrarias, however, as all his claims seem driven by his eschatological hopes, not actually events, however, there events were surely exaggerations from the events surrounding Sabbati Zevi, a self-proclaimed Jewish Messiah.

 

John Birchensha in The History of Scripture tried to compute the year of Christ’s coming through a study of the weeks of Daniel. He expected the Abomination of Desolation would take place after the Jews returned to their own land shortly before Christ’s coming to begin the Millennium, which included the Saints reigning with him until the last resurrection to judgment.[106] 

 

Another tract was published in 1671 under the name of Philo-Judaeus (attributed to Gorion ben Syrach) claiming that “a Great Prophet” had arisen “in the southern parts of Tartaria…sent to gather the Jews from all parts…promising to them the Restoration of the Land of Canaan…”[107]  Reports were coming out of Aleppo and Constantinople that the Jews were gathering to restore themselves in Jerusalem. At that same time Sabbati Zevi was in those places declaring himself as Messiah.  These letters seem to be from Jews, but it drew the interest of Christians who were eschatologically-minded.  The first letter declared:

 

I am that Shilo you so long expected, and now is the fullness of time come, that I should appear to you, be therefore of good courage & follow me, and I will bring you to the Land of your Fathers, I will lay the Foundations of Jerusalem, and raise its Walls thereof, rebuild the Temple of the Lord and make it more glorious than Solomons…[108]

 

A major barrier to the Jews return was the Ottoman Empire.  A common theme in many apocalyptical works of the seventeenth century was the expectation of their collapse, the return of the Jews to Jerusalem, and the conversion of those Jews to Christianity.  William Sherwin cited Mede, expecting at any time “the utter ruin of the Turk [because] the Turk [is] holding the Land in his possession where the material Temple of God formerly stood, keeping out the Jews, which shall be converted, and possess it…”[109] 

Sherwin believed God promised the Jews certain things:

   1. “They shall be brought back again to Jerusalem and to inhabit Judea. …

   2. He will pour upon them the Spirit of Grace, and they shall look upon him whom they have pierced. …

   3. He will make them strong to overcome their enemies, and they shall inhabit Jerusalem again, and build

               their own wastes. …”[110]

 

The poetry of John Milton was filled with apocalyptical themes, including his expectation that the Jews would return to Israel.[111]  In 1671 he wrote in Paradise Regained: “Rememb’ring Abraham, by some wondrous call; May bring them back repentant and sincere, … While to their native land their haste.”[112] 

 

Praise-God Barebones, a London leather seller who rose to become a Parliamentarian during the Interregnum, even having the Parliament of July-December 1653 named after him, was also very Judeo-centric, giving Jews preeminence over Gentiles, even during the millennium:

 

Israel, the seed of Abraham; a nation born in a day, will have the preheminence, being Gods nation: and the gentile saved nations will walk in their light, to wit, the light of the new Jerusalem. Rev.21.24.[113]

 

Barebones identified the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14 sealed to the Lord as Jews, not Gentiles:

 

made up of all the tribes of Israel : twelve thousand from every tribe…preheminence will be to Israel Gods nation…and have preheminence (above gentile believers, than living and changed and also partakers thereof) in the world to come…which were redeemed from the earth, being found alive at the coming of the Lord Christ, according to the mistery shewed by holy Paul. …taken, one of the two in the field : at the mill : (women as well as men)…[114]

 

He added that God had made an everlasting covenant giving the Promised Land to Abraham’s seed, “to thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance” andGod will remember his covenant forever, to a thousand generations.”[115]

 

William Hooke, pastor in New Haven wrote the preface to Increase Mather’s The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation (1669).  He expected the return of all Israel “unto their own Land”, rejecting the Preterist view that prophecy refers not to the future, but to events occurring at the time of composition, “Some have conceiv’d there shall be no other calling of them [Jews], than what was their return out of the Babylonish Captivity…but Isaiah speaks of a Remnant left, which should be recover’d a second time. Chap.11.11.[116]  He wrote “the Lord will shortly appear…build up Sion and save all Israel.”  He identified the 144,000 in the book of Revelation as “tribes of the children of Israel”, that the Jews’ “eyes begin to be opened to see Christ to be the true Messiah”, the dwindling power of the Ottoman Empire had already begun so that “the power of the Turk shall be lessened…to make way for the Jews to prepossess their own Land.”[117]

 

Hooke insisted that what he wrote

is a truth which in some measure has been known, and believed in all ages of the Church of God, since the Apostles days…there are many things that stick and sway with me, so as to cause me to be very slow in condemning Chiliasm as erroneous…I find it passed for current and unquestionable truth in the very next age to the Apostles. However now there are that dare affirm, that the notion of the Chiliad is Heretical, yet in the Primitive times, we read of none but Heretics that questioned the truth of it. Justin Martyr…did firmly believe in the Instauration of Jerusalem, and the thousand years according to the Doctrine of the holy Prophets and Apostles; and moreover he saith, no thoroughly Orthodoxal Christian ever doubted of it…(as Mr. Mede observeth) this is such a Testimony of Antiquity as is absolute.[118]

 

William Alleine wrote The State of the Church in Future Ages in the early 1670s, expecting at any time “the final ruin of the Beast, the call and conversion of the Jews, and their return from their dispersion.”[119]  He believed the age of the Gentiles would soon be over, and Jews would be in the center of God’s plan:

There are some Prophecies which seem to intimate as if the time of the Jews dispersion will come to a period, much about the same time in which the times of the Churches enemies bearing rule and sway in the world, will be run out. Our blessed Saviour foretelling…that Jerusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, Luk.21.24. By this our Saviour seems to intimate that the time of the Gentiles, and the times of the Jews dispersion in all nations, will come to an end together, or much about the same time.[120]

 

Increase Mather in his preface to the same work cited the millennial beliefs of Church fathers like Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Lactantius, and Papias. To Eusebius and others who accused Millennialists of “Novelism”, inventing a new idea, Mather responded

 

Heathens pleaded Antiquity against Christians… Papists are wont to change Reformers with Novelism. What though these truths have lain obscured a great while, during the dark ages of Antichrist? Yet God has his time to bring his truths to light, and he is not wont to do it all at once,    nor all in one age, but by degrees. Certainly new discoveries of old truths ought not to be branded  with the odious name of Novel opinions.[121]

 

In the discourse Increase Mather tied together the time of “the fullness of the Gentiles” with “the conversion of the Jews…[when] all Israel will be saved…[even] those ten Tribes which revolted from the house of David…called Samaria…Ephraim…were by the Assyrians carried into perpetual captivity. The very persons sometimes called Jews, are at other times called Israelites.”  Mather did not think that “all Israel” could refer to Gentile Christians, for Jesus told his disciples, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles…but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”[122]  Clearly rhe prophecy “All Israel will be saved” was tied to Old Testament prophecies of the reunification of “natural Israel”, “Israel after the flesh”, “the natural posterity of Jacob.”[123]

 

In a later book, Dissertation Concerning the Future Conversion of the Jewish Nation (1709), Increase Mather insisted that he taught “what Christians of all ages have believed,” in spite of the fact “some few of late have opposed the commonly received doctrine, as a scriptureless notion.”[124]  He sought to refute Richard Baxter, who claimed the Conversion of the Jews took place in the first century, citing John 1:11, “He came to his own and his own received him not” and Paul’s “sorrow” in Romans 9, that his “kinsmen according to the flesh” had rejected Jesus.[125]  He also refuted Baxter’s claim that “the fullness of the Gentiles”, mentioned by Jesus in Luke 21:24 and Paul in Romans 11:25, took place at the conversions under Constantine in the fourth century, by claiming that the fourth of the gentile kingdoms continued from pagan Rome through papal Rome.[126]  Mather believed Preterists like Grotius were “endeavoring to persuade the world that [the pope] is not Antichrist… They jump with the papists in believing the Antichrist to be one particular man, Simon Magus or Caligula.”[127]  Grotius was suspect, because Mather believed he had converted to Roman Catholicism, a result of his rejection of a papal antichrist.[128]

 

William Torrey, pastor of Weymouth Massachusetts for most of the late seventeenth century, wrote A Brief Discourse concerning Futurities or Things to come in 1687, which was published posthumously. He cited Jeremiah and Ezekiel on the restoration of Israel, insisting that there will be “a Time when God would gather them (i.e. the Jews) out of all Countries, and bring them to their own land…which is yet future.”[129]  After citing Zechariah and Daniel, Torrey then asked

 

When shall the Coming of the Son of Man be? It shall be when the little Horn, viz. the Beast is slain…and is no other than his Coming with Clouds…at that time when the Turk shall be destroyed …by Restitution of all Things…the Conversion or Restoration of the Jewish Nation…to restore them to their own Land; to restore the Kingdom of Israel…a Term of Time between the third-Wo Trumpet and the general Judgment…the thousand Years of Christ’s Kingdom in this World.”[130] 

 

He believed that Israel would be restored before the battle of Armageddon, when “they shall look upon him whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10), their return causing the nations of the world to invade a restored Judea, but then be defeated by the coming of the Messiah:

 

Rev.16.14…the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty…the same battle spoken of by the Prophet Ezekiel, Chap.38.&39; for that was to be in the latter day…at, or after, the return of the Jews to their own Land; which is yet future. And the Prophet Joel also speaks of the same Battle Chap.3.2…I will gather all Nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat….this will all be at the same Time, the Calling of the Jews; at the same Place Judea…at Armageddon. …But when is it? When they shall look upon him whom they have pierced… But when? When they are gathered out of all Countries, and brought to their own Land.[131]

 

Although he does not state how long it is that the risen saints are in heaven, but it is at least long enough for Judea to be founded, the armies of the world to organize the invasion, the battle to be fought, and the conflagration to occur.  Concerning the battle of Armageddon, Torrey writes,

 

Gog and Magog spoken of by Ezekiel are to be Contemporaries with the Jews either at the Time or not long after their Return to their own Land…”when this Battle is over,, there will be a peaceable and prosperous State of the Church.[132]

 

Torrey’s order of events is repeated several times in his conclusion: the Jews return to their land and a nation is born in a day, then “there shall be such a Time of Trouble as never was”, then Gog and Magog invade, then God destroys the nations that have come against Israel and set his feet on the Mount of Olives and set up the thousand years of peace.[133]

 

The expectation of a revival of Israel is repeated in an anonymous tract of 1688, The Jews Jubilee… Resurrection of the Dry Bones…of Israel.  The author met with a group of London Jews and discussed the Valley of Dry Bones of Ezekiel 37: “We did agree in most of our sentiments…of the House of Israel, who were once the only Favourites of God…but for sins and transgressions of your Forefathers, God did let loose their Enemies upon them.”  Using Ussher’s chronology, the author speculated on the date of the end times. Citing Daniel 8:13 “Unto 2300 days: then shall the Sanctuary be cleansed,” and Ezekiel 4:6 “I have appointed thee each day for a year,” he told the Jews present the timetable for the end.  Daniel’s numbers:

 

will be expired about ten or eleven Years hence, or thereabout, which will be the year of our Lord 1698 or 1699, or it is possible it may extend to 1700, which I believe will be the utmost extent…  I do believe you will be in your own Land 7 years before this highest number of Daniels will be accomplished and expired, which will be between this and 1691, or 1693 at farthest; for you will be employed 7 years, if not more, in cleansing the Sanctuary from all the Fifth and Pollution that the enemies of God, namely, Antichrist and the Turks, will leave behind…”[134]

 

The author concluded his presentation to the London Jews imploring them “to prepare to go home to your own land…for there you will be invested with that great Glory that is so often prophesied of by your Prophets… then a Nation shall be born at once…”[135]

 

Cotton Mather, son of Increase and successor at 2nd Church Boston also saw a future for the Jewish people:

 

The Jewish Nation is Exalted above other Nations…a Distinct Body of the Jewish Nation shall be Exalted unto a most particular Acquaintance with our Lord Jesus Christ; Indeed…(they should have a Visible Apparition of Him; Ponder 2 Tim. 1.16. Zech. 12.10.Matth. 24.30 and Rev. 1.7.) then they shall Know Him: yea, then shall they be so Converted and Advanced by our Lord Jesus in the World… the Jews will then have no Moon, that is, no Turk, to afflict them in & with a Night of Oppression…[136]

 

Perry Miller’s “Errand into the Wilderness” hypothesis does not hold up. Most seventeenth and early eighteenth century colonial preachers did not see America as “the New Jerusalem”, but expected the Jews to return to the biblical Jerusalem in preparation for the last days.[137]  There were some who applied an apocalyptic theme to their colonial experience, but it was of the Church as the woman fleeing into the wilderness for a time, not a new millennial Zion.  Smolenski is correct that “no millenarian ideology informed the Puritan exodus”, but that did not mean they had “no millenarian ideology” at all.  Instead they applied it to the Jews returning to their land, with Christ and his saints setting up a kingdom there. 

 

Philo-Semitism continued throughout the eighteenth century, as can be shown in the works of Isaac Newton, William Whiston, and many others. Another development in the early eighteenth century was amillennial Preterism, which was called the “New Way” or “New Hypothesis” by those on both sides of the issue.  It was not Premillennialism but Preterism that was new. 

French mystic Peter Poiret expected one day that “Ten Men of all Nations shall take the Skirt of a Jew, saying, we will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you. … God hath not absolutely cast off his People, nor retracted his Word and Promises.”[138]  Those nations who oppressed Jews will be judged:

 

the Punishment of the great Nations, of Bablyon, Egypt, and other lesser countries…who were enrich’d with the spiritual Treasurees of the Jews…abused God’s Graces…while they insulted over the Miseries of the Jews, whose Graces had been divided to them as a Spoil, is not as yet poured out upon them; nor shall they escape it…for Jesus Christ shall descend in Glory…[139]

 

As to the future of the Jewish people, Poiret points out from Romans 11:

 

Has God therefore disannulled his Promise of Election, and has he cast off the People which he had promised to chuse? … The Apostle says he has not. …this People is not nor ever can be cast away. … Yet is not the Jewish Nation so absolutely fallen, nor so rejected of God, as never to rise again, and as that God will never chuse any of their Race more to be his People… God will chuse them and take them in again for his People…[140]

 

Pierre Jurieu, French Huguenot and grandson of Pierre du Moulin, insisted that the promises to the Jews must be future.  After citing numerous promises throughout the book of Isaiah that the Kingdom of Israel would be restored gloriously, and would no longer be forsaken, then:

 

We ask, when these oracles have been fulfilled? Was it when this people was brought back our of the Babylonian captivity? But how can a man speak at this rate? [They] formed a petty state in Syria … could anyone say that their Empire should be as large as the whole world, that all the Kings of the Earth should pay them homage? …the government of the Maccabees was not of this nature. …all these blessings have relation unto the blessings of the Messiah. Let anyone tell us what blessings the Nation of the Iews hath received by the Messiah? For almost two thousand years, this miserable Nation is scatter’d throughout the Earth, it is the excrement, the curse & off-scouring of all; it sighs under a long cruel captivity.[141]

 

Because these promises have not been fulfilled, Jurieu concluded they were future, or God deceived them:

 

“Twill without doubt be said, that the Iews shall have the fulfilling of these great promises, through their return and calling, which will be at the end of the World. Indeed ‘tis a Position in true Christianity, that the Jews shall be called again. A thousand Oracles (some of which we have cited) promise this. The Miracle, by which God doth preserve this Nation, proveth it, as I think most irresistibly. For [it] cannot be imagined, that God should for two thousand years preserve this people, scattered among the Nations… This plainly speaks, that God preserves them for some great work.[142]

 

Having encountered what today is called “replacement theology” (Christians have replaced Jews as God’s people), Jurieu responded that God is not through with the Jews, but will keep his promises to them:

 

The Messiah belongs to the Jews, he was promised to the Jews, this Nation from its very original hath been fed with the hopes of the Messiah’s coming… At last he comes, and this people sees their Temple burnt, their capital city razed, their Service abolisht, their posterity disperst throughout the world, and made the execration and contempt of mankind, Thus the Messiah, the glory of their Nation, brings them nothing but shame, desolation, and infinite miseries, which have no parallel in any other people. … There must come a time, that shall be the reign of the Messiah and the Iews, in which this Nation shall be exalted (as hath been promised to them) above all Nations, they must reign in their Saints… in the Oracles before us [the Bible], the Gentiles are evidently distinguisht form the people of Israel: Israel rules over the Gentiles; the Nations must rejoice in her light: All Nations must come day and night unto mount Sion, and to the City of Jerusalem. The Kings of the Gentiles must be her Protectors…Gentiles must serve her. In a word, let all these Oracles be viewed, and it will be seen that the people of Israel must be the ruling, the chosen, the Holy people… The Threatenings have had their accomplishment upon the Iews, and shall the promises have theirs only upon the Gentiles? This is not probable at all.[143]

 

The most renowned promoter of Apocalypticism in the late seventeenth century was surely William Lloyd, the bishop of St. Asaph and later of Worcester.  In 1690 he spent an evening with Archbishop of Canterbury William Sancroft, Oxford chemistry professor Robert Boyle and others, trying to convince them of his timetable for the Last Days.  He saw “the calling of the Jews to be near at hand, but that the kingdom of Antichrist [the papacy] would not yet be utterly destroyed till 30 years, when Christ should begin the Millenium.”[144]  Bishop Lloyd believed the last week of Daniel 9 was “years not days”, and belonged to Daniel’s people the Jews and Daniel’s city Jerusalem, and that “the angel foretelling what should follow after the death of Messiah the Prince, which was to be after LXIX of the LXX weeks.”[145] 

 

Samuel Petto, English Calvinist and Congregational pastor, wrote in 1693 of his expectation that the Jews would return to their own land.  This would happen as both the Papacy and the Turks continued in their decline.[146]  According to Petto, “it will be a sudden, unexpected thing, a Nation to be born in one day.”[147]  Petto identified the Turks and their allies as Gog and Magog, the Turks being “the King of the North” and the Arabs “the King of the South”, who would invade Israel “after the restoration ore return of Israel.”[148]

 

Isaac Newton “believed in the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, the restoration of Jerusalem and of the temple there.”[149]  His study of the Bible brought him to expect a restored Israel in the last days:

 

The mystery of this restitution of all things is to be found in all the Prophets [but] few Christians in our age can find it there. For they understand not that the final return of the Jews captivity and their… righteous and flourishing kingdom at the day of judgment is this mystery. Did they understand this they would find it in all the old Prophets who write of the last times as in the last chapters of Isaiah… ‘I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen whether they be gone and will gather them on every side and bring them into their own land…the nations whom the dragon deceived…did compass the beloved city and were devoured by fire from the throne.’ …This was God’s covenant  with Abraham when he promised that his seed should inherit the land of Canaan forever, and on this covenant was founded the Jewish religion…it ought to be considered and understood by all men who pretend to the name of Christians.[150]

 

Two years later Whiston published The Accomplishment of Scripture Prophecies in which he expressed a great confidence in the return of the Jews to their own land, which will always be theirs forever:

 

The Ancient Prophecies of the Messias are of two sorts; and as some of them concern his first coming to suffer…are comparatively few; so the rest of them concern his second coming to advance his Kingdom and restore the Jews: and these are by much the greater number…his coming was so frequently declar’d to be for the Salvation, Deliverance and Restoration of Israel…[151]

 

The Seed or Posterity of Abraham, Isaak and Jacob should conquer and obtain the Land of Canaan …instated in them for an indefeasible Inheritance: So that tho’ they should many times be expell’d thence and carry’d Captive for their Sins, yet should their Title endure; and they should at last return to it, and be resettled in it… This glorious and everlasting Covenant made with Abraham, Isaak and Jacob…the Land of Canaan’s being their unalienable Possession and Inheritance, is in the Scripture very frequently and very emphatically expressed.[152]

 

Whiston then cited God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:7; 13:14-17; 15:18-21; 17:7-8, where God promises the land to Abraham “for an everlasting covenant…an everlasting possession.”  Then how these promises were extended to Isaac in Genesis 24:7; Jacob in Genesis 26:4; 35:12; 48:4; Moses in Exodus 3:8,17; Deuteronomy 30:1-5; 34:4; and repeated throughout the Hebrew scriptures.  Whiston concluded:

 

According to these Promises, that this Land of Canaan should be to the Children of Israel and everlasting Possession…then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee… I believe it is not far off…God will ultimately and completely, as he promised, Give to the seed of Abraham all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession.[153]

 

Responding to Whiston’s Historical Premillennial system was Peter Allix.  In 1707 he came out with several tracts ridiculing any hopes the Jews may have that they were still God’s people.[154]  Daniel Whitby went a step further in rejecting the millennialism prevalent in the seventeenth century.  He is considered the first “to have systematized postmillennialism.”[155] His “New Hypothesis” allegorized the millennium and claimed that Christians had replaced Jews as God’s people.  All promises given to Israel were supposedly transferred to Christians. Having read hundreds of authors in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, I have never found any so explicitly Preterist, even anti-Semitic, as Whitby.  In 1703 he came out with his Paraphrase and Commentary on the New Testament claiming that the Jews were no longer God’s people, and even those who sought God were excluded:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The unbelieving Jews, wanting the faith of Abraham shall be deprived of the blessings to his seed; for they who seek to enter, and shall not be able, because the Master has shut the door… from whom the kingdom of God was taken away…[156]

 

As a Preterist, he believed that Christ’s Second Coming came when Roman Legions destroyed Jerusalem:

 

till the Son of Man be come with his Roman army to destroy that nation, and to burn up their cities. …he by the Roman army will destroy them, and their capital city…there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth : so shall it be with the Jews, the children of the kingdom. …when you see the abomination of desolation…i.e. the Roman army compassing Jerusalem…her desolation draweth near…it relates not to the final judgment, but to the time of the destruction of the Jews by the Roman army…the disciples ask their Lord, where shall this be? And Christ answers… where the carcase (i.e. the Jews) are, there will the eagles (i.e. the Roman army, whose ensign was the eagle) be gathered together.[157]

 

He went as far as to call Jews “Christ killers”, and to advocate that Gentiles not Jews were God’s people:

 

Christ’s prediction of the dreadful judgments which should befall that nation, for murdering their Messiah…to punish the unbelieving and obdurate Jews…[and] erect a kingdom among the Gentiles, and then coming, as it were, back to punish the Jews, according to these words of his, the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached throughout the world for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the end (of the Jewish polity) come. Matt.24.24. This parable doth certainly respect the Jewish nation… upon this account are styled his enemies, and devoted to destruction by him.[158]

 

He even seemed to refer to Jews as the Antichrist:

 

The son of perdition: this also perfectly agrees to the Jews, not only because Christ was to smite them with the breath of his mouth…and to smite the land with a curse…but because they are set forth as vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction, Rom.9.22, as men appointed to wrath, 1Thess.5.9 ….this agrees exactly with the great whore, who is to go into destruction, Rev.17.8,11.[159]

 

Whitby’s replacement theology and antisemitism was first refuted by Marsin, who called Whitby a “Worldly Esau.”  She claimed that he hatred Israel, believed Christians had replaced Jews as God’s people, and that “their Doctrine must needs be false, who assert that the Promises are now made good to themselves.”  She called them “goats”, who would be separated from the sheep on judgment day and “cast into outer darkness.”[160]  By the end of Whitby’s life this Preterist and father of Replacement theology denied both the immortality of the soul and the Trinity. Even Whitby referred to his Preterism as a “New Hypothesis.”  The preponderance of seventeenth century sources show Premillennialism to be far more common than Preterism, which also was most often held by heterodox thinkers like Whitby.

 

There were other Preterists who were anti-Semitic.  In 1716 pastor of Old South church Boston Joseph Sewall believed when Christ first came it was for “the Abolishing the Dispensation of Moses”, in spite of the fact that Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.  He also claimed that “Christ’s coming [was] to Destroy Jerusalem”.[161]  This is so different from Hebrew scriptures which repeatedly speak of the Messiah coming to rescue Jerusalem.  It is also a change from seventeenth century Puritanism, expecting a restoration of the Jews to their own land, but in the eighteenth century we have a leading New England Puritan calling for their destruction.

 

In spite of the growth in Preterism on the part of some, the expectation of a future Jewish restoration     was more popular.  William Lowth, Oxford fellow and prebend of Winchester cathedral, published Commentary of the Prophets in several editions between 1714 and 1725.  On Isaiah 11:11 he wrote,

 

Those glorious time of the church which shall be ushered in by the restoration of the Jewish nation; when they shall embrace the gospel, and be restored to their own country from the several dispersions where they are scattered.[162]

 

In 1716 Belfast Presbyterian John Abernethy believed the study of prophecy was “an Important Duty and a great Means of Reviving decay’d Piety,” for “every sincere Christian has the Welfare of Jerusalem at heart, and is anxiously concern’d for her Peace and…time of her Deliverance from Oppression.”[163]

 

Somerset vicar Nathaniel Markwick cited many biblical passages to support the idea that the Jews were still God’s special people and the promises to them were still valid, among them Leviticus 26:44-45: “I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my Covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. But I will for their sakes remember the Covenant of their Ancestors…” and insisted that this “prophecy is not yet fulfilled.”[164] His view of the restoration of Israel was quite Zionistic: “All Israel shall be redeemed and restored to their Land in the Right of him who cannot be disseized, under the Promise of him that cannot lie.”[165]  Markwick believed “the present Gentile church” was only a stopgap measure, a temporary parenthesis to God’s real plan where Gentiles would be merely “Servants and Handmaids to the Jews, in a right religious Harmony and Compliance.”  They were 

 

a substituted or surrogate Church, to keep up God’s Name and Worship in the World, and to continue till the Jew, called by the Lord…be called again, to the bringing in of the Fulness both of Jew and Gentile.[166]

 

When Antichrist does come, Markwick believed

 

they who struggle with, and shall infallibly overcome him, are the main Body of Israel, in Conjunction possibly with some few Thousands of the Gentile Church, being faithful adherents   of God’s Word… that small Remnant of true Christians, which an universal Corruption…shall have left remaining.[167]

 

Philip Doddridge, Northampton Congregationalist pastor, published The Family Expositor, a popular six-volume commentary on the New Testament in 1739 in which advocated futurist premillennialism.  In his commentary on Matthew he expected the Turks “continue possessed of the Holy Land, till the Restoration of the Jews” which would take place at “the fullness of the Gentiles.”  He believed “the Sign of the Son of Man in Heaven at the Last Day” was when the angels “shall assemble his Elect for the four Winds…so unexpected and surprising shall the Coming of the Son of Man be” that people will be “eating, drinking, marrying Wives”,[168] and called the time between Christ’s two comings “the Gospel dispensation.”[169]

 

In 1742 Samuel Johnson, not Dr. Johnson of the Dictionary of the English Language but a contemporary who was a Devonshire vicar, wrote An Explanation of Scripture Prophecies.  He attempted to synthesize passages concerning the Last Days in the book of Revelation, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Joel, with Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 and Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians.  He mentioned at least four ages: Patriarchal, Mosaical, Gospel, and Millennial.[170]  He expected a return of the Jews to Israel and a rebuilding of a third temple in Jerusalem which would be desecrated by the Antichrist.[171]  He believed the Bible foretold of an opposition to the new Jewish state by the Turks, whom he referred to as Gog and Magog, culminating in a massive invasion in an “attempt to recover the Land of Canaan out of the hands of the Jews,” and resulting in “the Ruin and Downfall of the whole Ottoman Empire.”[172] 

 

John Willison, Scot minister of Dundee, wrote in 1742 what would later be titled A Prophecy of the French Revolution and the Downfall of Antichrist.  He expected at any time the fall of the Papal Whore of Babylon, “the Overthrow of Mahomet and Antichrist,” the Fullness of the Gentiles,[173] and that “the Jews would be gathered out of all the Countries where they are dispersed, and brought into their own land.”[174]

 

In 1747 A Treatise of the Future Restoration of the Jews and Israelites to Their Own Land was published. The focus of the work, attributed to Dr. Johnson’s “old friend” Samuel Collet, is the right Jews have to the land God gave them:

 

The following Treatise being designed to shew, that you, who are now dispersed among the Nations, will, in a short time, with the rest of the Israelites, be restored to your own Land…it pleased God to make choice of your great Ancestor Abraham, with his Posterity…to give them the Land of Canaan for an everlasting Possession…exalt them above the rest of the World…you have a Promise of a Restoration to your own Land…and in the last Ages be established over the whole Earth…[175]

 

In spite of being forced off their land for over a thousand years, Collet believed the land was still theirs:

 

Promises made by God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that he would give to their Seed the Land of Canaan for an everlasting Possession. …the Jews have been expelled that Country for almost seventeen hundred Years, and continue even to this time dispersed among all the Nations of the Earth…the Land of Canaan lies in a manner desolate. [God promised] that he would give it to them for ever. After this God established an everlasting Covenant with Abraham, and with his Seed, to be a God unto them, and to give them all the Land of Canaan for an everlasting Possession; which Covenant at the same time limited to Isaac, and his Posterity, exclusive of Ishmael, and his Descendants…this Promise was once more limited to Jacob and his Posterity, exclusive of Esau and his Children.[176]

 

Collet also believed the restoration of Israel would be followed by an invasion by Gog (the Turks), which would culminate in the battle of Armageddon, but be resolved with the coming of Christ and his saints to set up the Millennium.[177]

 

That same year at Christ-Church Cathedral Dublin Robert Hort, chaplain to the Anglican archbishop of Ireland Josiah Hort, preached A Sermon on the Glorious Kingdom of Christ on Earth emphasizing the Jewish claim to the Promised Land:

 

the Land of Canaan, is promised to Abraham and his Seed, as their future Inheritance and Reward. The Promise is frequently repeated; it is confirmed by an Oath; it is joined with the Promise of the Messiah, and the Land is particularly distinguished. It appears to me a strange Interpretation of the solemn Covenant of God; to say, that nothing more is intended by it than that the Posterity of Abraham, some Hundred Years after, should possess the Land of Canaan; …the Inheritance of the Land of Canaan is promised to the Patriarchs themselves in Person, as well as to their Seed. They therefore must in Person possess this Land, after their Resurrection…[178]

 

Hort them criticizes the Amillennial interpretation:

 

There yet remains to be considered another Interpretation of the Covenant; namely, that by the promised Inheritance, Heaven is to be understood. But this also appears to be without Foundation.

… Now if I must believe, after all, that Heaven is here intended, and that the Land of Canaan… shall not be the Inheritance of these Men…I know not what Certainty there can be in the holy Scriptures, interpreted in this arbitrary manner.[179]

 

John Gill, was pastor of the Baptist congregation in Southwark (south London) for most of the eighteenth century, the same church that would be pastored later by Charles Spurgeon in the nineteenth century.  In his nine volume Exposition of the Bible written in the 1740s, Gill taught that “the fullness of the Gentiles” in Romans 11:25 “related to the latter day, when a nation of them [Jews] shall be born again at once… they shall come up out of the lands whereby they are dispersed   [for God’s] covenant will never be broken [as] God never revokes [his Covenants].”[180]

 

In his three volume systematic theology Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity written late in his life, Gill expounded on key doctrines.  Concerning the resurrection and second coming, Gill taught

 

…of the resurrection in both its branches together, of the just and of the unjust: though the one  will be a thousand years before the other, and many events will intervene between them; as the conflagration of the world, the making of the new heavens and the new earth, and the dwelling and reigning of Christ with his saints therein, and the binding of Satan during that time; all which will follow the personal appearance of Christ…his second coming will be with all his saints, 1 Thess. iii.13. …after the destruction of Antichrist and the Antichristian states…the slaying and burning of the fourth beast, follows in a natural order the coming of the Son of man to take possession of his kingdom…coming in the clouds of heaven, fixes it to his second and personal coming…[181]

 

Gill explained what would happen to the Jews, the saints, and the world in the great tribulation and return of Christ:

 

the Jews, on whose behalf Christ will stand at the time of their conversion in the latter day; previous to which it will be a time of great trouble: both to the saints, when will be the slaying of the witnesses: and to the antichristian states, when the vials of wrath will be poured out upon them, which will bring on the spiritual reign; after which will be the personal coming of Christ…all the saints will come with him, and descend with him on earth: when his feet shall stand on the mount of Olives…[182]

 

Thomas Newton, the Bishop of Bristol, also believed God’s care continued for the Jewish people:

 

The Preservation of the Jews is really one of the most signal and illustrious acts of divine Providence. …what but a supernatural power could have preserved them in such a manner… God’s promises to them are not yet made good in the full extent….we have all imaginable reason to believe, since so many of those prophecies are fulfilled, that the remaining prophecies will be fulfilled also; that…the Jews will in God’s good time be… restored to their native city and country…the great Empires, which in their turn subdued and oppressed the people of God, are all come to ruin… let it serve as a warning to all those, who…are for raising a clamour and persecution against them. … I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them.[183]

 

Isaac Watts is best known for his hymns still sung in churches.  Zion is often mentioned, but could be interpreted as other than a future Israel.  Either way he showed a respect for the Jewish roots of his faith.

 

Gentiles by nature, we belong to the wild olive wood;

Grace took us from the barren tree, and grafts us in the good.

With the same blessings grace endows the Gentile and the Jew;

If pure and holy be the root, such are the branches too.[184]

The hymns of Charles Wesley expect a regathering of Jews to Jerusalem and a rebuilding of their temple:

 "O that the chosen band might now their brethren bring, And gathered out of every land present to Sion’s King.

   Of all the ancient race not one be left behind, But each impelled by secret grace his way to Canaan find!

 We know it must be done for God hath spoke the word, All Israel shall their Savior own to their first state restored.

   Rebuilt by His command Jerusalem shall rise, Her temple on Moriah stand again, and touch the skies.

 Send Thy servants forth to call the Hebrews home, from west and east and south and north let all wanderers come.

 Where’er in lands unknown Thy fugitives remain, Bid every creature help them on Thy holy mount to gain."[185]

                         (Almighty God of Love, words & music Charles Wesley, 1762, based on Isaiah 66:19-20)

 

Herbert McGonigle, Chairman of the Wesley Fellowship, commenting on Almighty God of Love, said

This hymn, which can be said to represent the views of both John and Charles Wesley, is well worth studying relative to how the Wesleys read scripture in terms of Israel’s future in God’s plans.

 

Another hymn by Charles Wesley asks Christians to pray for the Jews, that their hearts would be open, return to their land, and gain new life:

 "Father of faithful Abraham, hear our earnest suit for Abraham's seed!

  Justly they claim the softest prayer from us… Come then, Thou great Deliverer, come!

  The veil from Jacob's heart remove; Receive Thy ancient people home!  

  That, quickened by Thy dying love, The world may their reception find life from the dead for all mankind."[186]

Father of faithful Abraham, words & music Charles Wesley, 1762, based on Romans 11:15-27

 

Grantham Killingworth, Norwich Baptist, believed God still had plans for the Jewish people:

It shall come to pass, that the unbelieving Jews, God’s chose people, shall be a willing people in the day of his power: for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. And therefore whatever he has promised and declared, by his holy prophets, will most assuredly be accomplished in his own time…[187]

 

He also believed an individual, future Antichrist who would defile the temple in Jerusalem, which the Jews will rebuild when they return to their land:

 

Long before the appearance of Elijah the prophet, the Tribe of Judah will be gathered together    from their various dispersions, returned into Palestine, and settled there in ease, peace and plenty, enjoying every temporal good: for the Lord shall save the tents of Judah first; and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in their own place, even in Jerusalem, Zach. xii.66,7. … In Jerusalem the Tribe of Judah will build a most magnificent temple… And in this temple of God, will the great Anti-Christ, or man of sin, the son of perdition sit, to shew himself, and be worshipped as God. Ezek. xl.4. to ch.xlviii. 2Thess. ii.3,4 …he shall corrupt by flatteries, and all kinds of deceit; he shall, thro’ his policy, cause craft to prosper, so as peaceably to obtain power…pretending the most disinterested regard for the publick good…for advancing the honour and interest of the supreme hed of the empire, vast armies shall be committed to him, so that he shall become great from a small people, and do according to his will. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power…[188]

Killingworth then described how the Antichrist would then raise an army, invade Israel, and declare himself to be God in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.  The Jews, however, will not worship him, so he will attempt to annihilate their entire race, “but God will provide them a place of safety … This is the tribulation which our blessed Lord refers to, Matth. Xxiv. 15-29.”[189] 

 

John James Bachmair identified the Papacy as the Whore of Babylon, his papal system as the Antichrist, Mohammed as the False Prophet, the Turks and Arabs as “the kings of the east” who would invade Judea in the battle of Armageddon, and Louis XIV as ‘the little horn.”[190] Bachmair believed that

 

at the coming of the Messiah of all the Jews will be collected together, out of all the nations among whom they are dispersed; that they will come again unto their own country; that the city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt; that their temple will be restored; and the Messiah will reign over them a thousand years, subdueing all the nations on earth, and making the Jews a sovereign nation over the whole world.[191]

 

Joseph Priestley, both a scientist and theologian, also believed that

 

the Jews shall return to their own country about the time of the commencement of the millennium; that they shall possess it many years in peace, and be a very flourishing nation, seem to be very distinctly foretold in many prophecies of the Old Testament, which plainly refer to a return of this people after a much longer and more complete dispersion of them than that which attended the Babylonian captivity. Besides, several of these prophecies were delivered after their return from Babylon, and therefore must refer to another return, subsequent to it, which therefore has not taken place.[192]

 

Late into the eighteenth century Philo-Semitism continued.  Thomas Reader’s Israel’s Salvation: or, An Account…of the Grand Events which await The Jews is a prime example.  The Jews would convert, “return to their own Land”, prosper and live peacefully there until the invasion of Gog and Magog.  The Messiah would then return for the battle of Armageddon, rescuing them and bringing in the Millennium. Note in this open “Letter to the Jews” the high degree of honor Reader holds for them, for they possess:

 

a glory, as never belonged to any other nation under heaven, let me freely speak to you of those gifts and callings of God in your favor…your dispersion upon the face of the earth has been long, and very tedious, especially in some countries; yet, while the Lord has made a fast end of the nations which destroyed your ancestors, his eye and his hand have been visibly upon you…when I consider the love which he shewed to your ancient patriarchs and prophets, whose honored descendants had the lively oracles committed to them, even all the deeds and writings which contain the hopes of the whole world…transmitted to me through me of your nation… Those promises still stand…the undeceiving pledge which God has given you of the certain happiness of your unborn posterity… your future glory. … I have often joined with other Christians in earnest prayer to God for you. …    I have been much supported by the certain expectation of what God yet designs to do for you…[193]

 

He went on to cite passages throughout the Bible concerning the land God gave to Abraham and the Jews:

This covenant being absolute, must be irrevocable; …more firm and stable than the most durable things in nature. … the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall      not depart from thee, neither shall the4 covenant of my peace be removed;[194]

 

and concluded “that the Jews must indisputably be restored, both to their ancient temporal and spiritual glory.”[195]  He insisted “Canaan was promised for ever, to the seed of Abraham”, even setting a date,  “A.D. 1866.”[196]  The world at Israel’s return will be “a time of great moral darkness in the world.” Antichrist as the Turks “will tread down Jerusalem, till their time come to be visited of God in a way of vengeance”, but “they cannot prevent the Jews repossessing their own land.”[197]  Like Hal Lindsey in Late Great Planet Earth, Reader warned invaders not “to wage unequal war with omnipotence,” that “the land of Canaan is at present under the Turkish yoke; but the victorious Russians will probably dispossess them about A.D. 1866.”[198]  Reader also sounds like Joel Rosenberg in believing that Gog will include Russia, Persia and other nations of the Middle East who want to “root out the Jews from the earth; who now eminently stand in the way of their universal dominion over the souls, bodies, and substance of men…but in fact they are gathered to the battle of that great day of God almighty, Rev.xvi.13,14.”[199]

 

John Baillie, dissenting minister of Newcastle, preached a sermon in 1792 on “The Conversion and Universal Restoration of the Jews”:

Surely if the history of any nation claims our attention, how much more that of a nation, stamped by sacred authority, and stiled, by way of eminence, The People Of God! A people from whom every nation under heaven have derived all their sacred and divine knowledge, and in whom all the antions of the earth shall be blessed. …the descendants of Abraham, the friend of God, now scattered and dispersed and fallen…will one day be collected from all the ends of the earth, and shall rise to a degree of eminence and felicity, far surpassing that of the most splendid period of their history.[200]

 

Baillie then speculated on the time of the end.  To do so one had to determine “the exact time of the rise of the Beast and False Prophet” which Baillie believed was 756, when Pepin, king of the Franks and father of Charlemagne, defeated the Lombards and gave the Pope temporal control of Italy.  Baillie then added 1260 years to that date based on the length of Antichrist’s reign in the Book of Revelation 11:2 and 13:5 (42 months of days, or 42x30=1260), and got 2016 for the end of Antichrist and the beginning of Christ’s reign on earth.[201]  He believed at that would be the time when Christ would return and the “faithful worshippers of the true God, and Martyrs…ascending out of their graces…to reign with Christ for a thousand years.[202]  Then the time would come when the Jews would “surprise the universe with a new thing, A Nation is born at once.[203]

 

James Rutherford, a Scots-Irish Baptist pastor in Dublin, identified the pope as Antichrist and Mohammed as the false Prophet.  Together they would dominate the world in the last days, until the Jews returned to their land, preparing the way for the Battle of Armageddon and the return of Christ with his saints.[204]

 

James Bicheno, Baptist pastor of Newbury in Berkshire in the 1790s, observed a widespread expectation that the Jews would be restored to their own land:

 

the resurrection of the Jews from the dead, is allowed, on all hands, to be their rising to civil and political existence, when they shall be restored from their dispersions and bondage to their own land and to liberty; and the spirit which is promised, Ezek. xxxvii.14…the spirit of political and civil life.[205]

 

Bicheno then wrote on what he expected to occur next in the prophetic calendar:

The next signs of the times which I shall notice respects the Ottoman empire. In Dan. xi. 40-45 we have a prophecy of the calamities which the people of the fourth monarchy, or rather the Papal church, should suffer from the king of the South, or the Saracens; and from the king of the north, the Turks, …for the children of thy people, (the Jews) there shall be a time of trouble, such as there never was since there was a nation, even at that same time; and at that time, they people (the Jews) shall be delivered…preparatory to the return of the Jews to their won country, which the Turks now possess, and at which time such troubles will afflict the nations as have never been known.[206]

 

Bicheno went on to identify two threats to the Ottoman Empire, the Wahabis of the Arabian peninsula and the Russians from the north, whom he identified as Gog, Magog, Meshech and Tubal of Ezekiel 37 in the same manner as did Hal Lindsay in the twentieth century.[207]

 

Three years later Bicheno published The Restoration of the Jews, in which he expected their return to Israel at any time to prepare for the Last Days.

The proximate signs of the coming of Jesus Christ being nigh at hand, marked out in the scripture prophecies…The kingdoms which have given their power to the beast [papal] will be revolutionized- The Power of the Turks will be overturned- And, in the midst of these conclusions, troubles and revolutions, the Jews will be put in motion, and return to take possession of their ancient country.  Of all these singular and astonishing events which the prophecies have taught us to look for, and to consider as the signs of our Lord’s near approach, there is no one which will be more calculated to strike the attention of mankind… as the Restoration of the Jewish people…it will, with irresistible force, command the serious attention of all true Christians. How near the Restoration of the Jews may be, is impossible to say.[208]

 

Bicheno believed the promises made to Abraham were permanent and eternal, and that the survival of the Jews as a people was miraculous:

 

 

it was to be an “everlasting covenant;” and he promised that although for their sins he might hide his face from them for a moment, yet, still, with everlasting kindness should not depart from them, nor the covenant removed. And that the Apostle Paul believed…they were not cast off for ever, is plain to every one who reads with attention the eleventh chapter to the Romans. …God hath, as by a continued miracle, preserved the Jews a distinct people, so that, different from what has happened to all other conquered nations, though scattered, hated and persecuted, more than any other people on earth, they have yet tenaciously adhered to their religion and rites… But, doubtless, they are preserved for very important ends. …not only that they will sometime be restored, but that they may be restored soon. That whatever happens, great opposition will be made of it…it will be an illustrious fulfillment of prophecy…striking attention, and deeply affecting the minds of all serious Christians.[209]

 

Bicheno believed that this restoration would take place at any time, even before their conversion:

 

The Jews, after their present long captivity, will be gathered from all nations, and again be restored to their own country, and be made a holy and happy people. That their restoration shall be effected at a time of great and general calamities and revolutions; and at the time of the fall of the fourth monarchy, and of the Turkish empire in particular. – That the commencement of their deliverance will be before their conversion. – That it is most likely they will be first put in motion by some foreign power, and this power is some maritime one in these western parts of the world. …they themselves, aslo, will endure great suffereings, so that great numbers of them, it is probable, will perish. When these things come to pass, or, at least, when they have made some progress, mankind will witness incontrovertible proofs of the truth of revelation, as were never before so generally seen. How long it is to the time when “the dry bones of the house of Israel” will begin to move…no one can say how near, or how distant, the time may be, when God will fulfill his promises to the Jewish nation.[210]

 

Although the early church expected Jesus to fulfill the promises of the Hebrew scriptures to return to Jerusalem to establish his millennial kingdom, by the second century the Church became increasingly Gentile.  By the fourth century hopes began to be placed in a spiritual kingdom centered in Rome.  Due to the influences of Constantine and the post-Nicene fathers the church became increasingly anti-Semitic, considering the hopes of a Jewish Messiah as baseless. With the fall of the Roman Empire hope was placed in the Roman Catholic Church.  This anti-Semitism continued throughout the Medieval Church. Even the early Reformers, Luther & Calvin, in spite of correcting many false doctrines, continued to maintain a Medieval eschatology.  It was not until Theodore Beza recognized references to Israel in the New Testament as the Jewish people, instead of the church, that things began to change.  When the Geneva Bible was translated into English in 1575, early Puritans looked at these passages in a new light, the way they would have been understood by the first Christians.  This allowed for a rebirth in the hope of Israel’s Return to the Land which God gave them.  Events on the continent of Europe, like the Thirty Years War and Huguenot Wars caused English clergy to consider the Tribulations mentioned in the Book of Revelation.  The efforts of Jewish rabbis, like Sabbatai Zevi and Manasseh bin Israel, contributed to an expectation that the Jews might return to their own land, setting up a scenario for the Last Days.  The decline of the Ottoman Empire also contributed to this expectation of a restored Israel.  In spite of the emergence of Preterism, that the prophecies of the Bible had already been fulfilled, these affections by Christians for the Jewish people, and their expectations of their restoration in the land of Israel continued. These expectations were common well before the mid-nineteenth century, when John Nelson Darby used them to construct the system to which he has been given so much credit.  They also prepared the English people to support the efforts of Theodore Herzl and Baron von Rothshild, who began the Zionist movement at the turn of the twentieth century for the ultimate establishment of the state of Israel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix

17th-18th Century Authors who were Philo-Semitic and/or expected a Restoration of Israel

Edmund Bunny (sub-dean of York)       1585                William Sherwin (London dissenter)     1665

Francis Kett     (Cambridge fellow)       1585                John Milton     (apologist and poet)     1671

Giles Fletcher   (ambassador to Russia) 1595                Praisegod Barebones (MP, dissenter)    1675

Thomas Draxe (vicar in Essex)                        1608                Pierre Jurieu     (Huguenot émigré)       1689

Thomas Brightman (Cambridge fellow)            1611                William Lloyd (Anglican bishop)         1690

Sir Henry Finch            (barrister & MP)         1621                Samuel Petto    (Suffolk dissenter)        1693

William Gouge* (Cambridge fellow)     1621                M. Marsin        (Quaker? woman)         1701

Joseph Mede    (Cambridge don)           1627                Isaac Newton   (Cambridge don, Mint) 1706   

Thomas Goodwin* (presMagdalenOxf)            1641                William Whiston (Cambridge don)       1708

John Archer     (Eng pastor Amsterdam)          1642                William Lowth (Oxford felo, prebWinc)1714 

Robert Maton (Oxford Puritan divine)            1642                John Abernethy           (Belfast Presbyterian)            1716

Isaac La Peyrere (Huguenot)                1643                Philip Doddridge (Northampton dissenter)1731

John Dury*       (Puritan, royal chaplain)         1645                Nathaniel Markwick (Somerset vicar)  1733

Peter Bulkeley (Puritan pastor Concord)          1646                Samuel Johnson (vicar, not Dictionary)   1742

William Twisse*(rector/vicar in Berks)                                    John Willison (Scot minister of Dundee) 1742

Herbert Palmer* (presid.QueensCamb)                         John Gill (London Baptist pastor)        1744

Elizabeth Avery           (5thMonarchist woman)           1647                Samuel Collet (‘old friend’of Dr.Johnson)1747

Moses Wall      (translator of benIsrael)           1652                Robert Hort (chaplain toAbp of Ireland) 1753

Peter Sterry*   (Cambridge fellow)                               Thomas Newton (Bishop of Bristol)    1754

Thomas Totney (accused madman)      1653                Charles Wesley (Methodist hymnist)   1762

Nathaniel Homes (London Puritan)     1653                Grantham Killingworth (NorwichBaptist)1772

Josephus Philo-Judaeus (tractarian)      1654                Joseph Priestly (scientist & theologian)  1772

Paul Felgenhauer (Bohemian Chiliast)  1655                John James Bachmair (German grammar)1778

Petrus Serrarius (Dutch divine)             1656                Thomas Reader  (Taunton dissenter)    1788

Henry Jessey    (Baptist divine)                        1656                 John Baillie        (Newcastle dissenter) 1792

   * Member of the Westminster Assembly of Divines            James Bicheno   (Berkshire Baptist)     1797



[1] Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, dialogue 11,44.

[2] Phyllis Goldstein, A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism (Brookline, MA: facing History, 2012), chapter 2.  David Brog, Standing With Israel: Why Christians Support the Jewish State (Florida: Frontline, 2006), chapter 1.  James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews (Houghton-Mifflin, 2001), chapters 14-21.

[3] St. Paul, Romans 11:18 in The New Testament.

[4] Robert Crowley, The opening of the words of the prophet Joell…concerning the Signes of the last day (London,1567);  Hugh Broughton, A  Revelation of the Holy Apocalyps (n.p.,1610);  Thomas Cooper; The Blessing of Japeth, Prouing the Gathering in of the Gentiles, and the Final Conversion of the Iewes (London,1615)

[5] Luther’s Works (St. Louis edition) 20: 2030  in Ewald Plass (ed.); What Luther Says (Concordia, 1959), II, 687.

[6] Ibid. 14:47-48.

[7] “Daniel” Lecture XI, in Calvin’s Commentaries.

[8] Peter Toon, Puritans and Calvinism (Lancahire, PA: Reiner,1973), 24; in Edward E. Hindson, The Puritans’ Us of Scripture in the Development of an Apocalyptical Hermeneutic, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of South Africa, 1984), 84.

[9] Edmund Bunny, The Scepter of Iuday (1585) and The Coronation of David (1588) in Silver, 173; and Thomas Ice “Lovers of Zion”.

[10] Frances Kett, The Glorious and Beautiful Garland of Mans Glorification Containing the Godly Misterie of Heavenly Jerusalem (1585) in Stephen Spector; Evangelicals and Israel: the Story of American Christian Zionism (Oxford University Press, 2009), 25; and in Thomas Ice, “Lovers of Zion: A History of Christian Zionism”.

[11] Thomas Draxe, The Worldes Resvrrection: or the generall calling of the Iewes, A familiar Commentary upon the eleuenth Chapter of Saint Paul to the Romaines (London, 1608), preface; cited in Thomas Ice, “Lovers of Zion”.

[12] Ibid.,1-3; repeated in similar words, pp. 4,12,16,41,98,101,103. Also his An Alarm to the Last Judgment (London, 1615), 77.

[13] Ibid., 64,93,99.

[14] Thomas Draxe, An Alarm to the Last Judgement (London, 1615), 80-87, 109-110.

[15] Hugh Broughton, A Revelation of the Holy Apocalypse (n.p., 1610), 33.

[16] Ibid., 8.

[17] Hugh Broughton, A concent of scripture (London, 1590); cited in Edward E. Hindson, The Puritans’ Use of Scripture in the Development of an Apocalyptical Hermeneutic, unpublished doctoral dissertation (University of South Africa, 1984), 132.

[18] Nahum Sokolow, History of Zionism, 1600-1918, v.1 (London: Longmans,1919), 14.

[19] H. Sacher; “A Jewish Palestine” Atlantic Monthly, July 1919; Nahum Sokolow; History of Zionism, 1600-1918 (1919), 40.

[20] Stephen Spector; Evangelicals and Israel: the story of American Christian Zionism (Oxford University Press, 2009), p.17.

[21] Donald Wagner, “Christians and Zion: British Stirrings” in Daily Star October 9, 2003.

[22] Jeffrey Jue, Heaven Upon Earth, 127-129.

[23] Giles Fletcher, Israel Redux: or the Restauration of Israel (London, 1677), 3; publication of MSS written by Fletcher in the 1590s.

[24] Henry Finch, The Worlds Great Restavration. Or The Calling of the Iewes (London, 1621), 6-7. See Victoria Clark’s Allies for Armageddon: The Rise of Christian Zionism (Yale, 2007), 27-29 for King James 1’s response to Finch’s work.

[25] Ibid., 52-54.

[26] Ibid., 57.

[27] “Henry Finch” and “William Gouge” in Dictionary of National Biography.

[28] John Archer, The Personal Reign of Christ upon Earth (London, 1642), 26-27.

[29] Ibid., 49.

[30] Thomas Goodwin, A Glimpse of Sions Glory (London, 1641), 13-14.

[31] Ibid. 15-17.

[32] Thomas Goodwin, “Exposition upon the Book of the Revelation” in Works of Thomas Goodwin, 2nd vol. (London,1683), contents.

[33] Robert Maton, Israels Redemption or the Prophetical History of our Saviours Kingdom on Earth (London,1642), 2,7,16-17,41,67. See also Maton’s: Gog and Magog, or the Battle of the Great Day of God Almightie (London,1642).

[34] John Archer, The Personal Reign of Christ upon Earth (London, 1642), 49.

[35] Peter Bulkeley, The Gospel-Covenant; or The Covenant of Grace Opened. Wherein are explained; 1. The differences betwixt the Covenant of Grace and Covenant of works. 2. The different administration of the Covenant before and after Christ… (London, 1646), dedication.

[36]Ibid., 3-4.

[37]Ibid., 4-6.

[38]Ibid., 8, 15-18.

[39]Ibid., 20-21.

[40]Ibid., 21-22.

[41] Robert Maton, Israel’s Redemption or the Propheticall History of our Saviours Kingdome on Earth (London, 1642), Reader’s Preface, 3-7.  When attacked by Alexander Petrie for his literal interpretation, he responded with Christ’s Personal Reign of Earth, One Thousand Years with his Saints (London, 1652).

[42] Ibid., 16-17, 48. Cited in Mark R. Bell, “The Revolutionary Roots of Anglo-American Millenarianism: Robert Maton’s Israel’s Redemption and Christ’s Personal Reign on Earth” in Journal of Millennial Studies (November 1999), 3.

[43] Ibid., 2-4.  Maton cited Acts 1:6-7 in the New Testament.

[44] Ibid, 22-40.

[45] Ephraim Huit, The whole Prophecie of Daniel Explained, by a Paraphrase, Analysis and briefe Comment (London, 1643), 196.

[46] Ibid., 346-347.

[47] Ibid., 204, 347ff (second time as pagination error caused a repetition).

[48] For Palmer see “William Sherwin”, Dictionary of National Biography.  DNB or a search in EEBO will verify their premillennial views.  Complaints were made at the assembly about the large number of millenarians present: Robert Baillie, The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie. Ed. David Laing, vol. ii (Edinburgh, 1841), 313; in Jeffrey Jue, Heaven Upon Earth, 225.

[49] Ussher maintained a close correspondence with Mede, and Mede told Ussher, “For my Clavis, I am afraid that…your Lordhship values it far more than it deserveth.” Mede’s Third Letter to Archbishop Ussher, Mede’s Works, iv, 783, epistle xxix.

[50] See his Exposition of the Prophesie of Hosea (London, 1643), on Hosea 1:10 “great shall be the day of Jezreel” mentions “Christ’s Personal Reign” according to Samuel Hutchinson in Declaration of a Future Glorious Estate (London,1667), 8.

[51] “all the Saints shall reign with Christ a thousand years on Earth…before the time of a general resurrection” Joseph Caryl quoted in Samuel Hutchinson, Declaration of a Future Glorious Estate (London, 1667), 23.

[52] Anon., Doomes-day: or, The great Day of the Lords Iudgement, proved by Scripture; and two other Prophecies, the one pointing at the yeare 1640, the other at this present yeare 1647, to be even now neer at hand. With The Gathering together of the Jews in great Bodies under Josias Catzius for the conquering of the Holy Land (London,1647), 2.

[53] Ibid., 6.

[54] Elizabeth Avery; Scripture-Prophecies opened, Which are to be accomplished in these last times (London, 1647).

[55] John Dury, Israels Call to March ovt of Babylon unto Jerusalem (London,1646), 2.

[56] John Dury, Ibid., 6.

[57] Jeffrey Jue, 70-76.

[58] Moses Wall in a letter to a critic, Nov 5, 1650 in Lucien Wolf (ed.); Mennasseh Ben Israels Mission to Oliver Cromwell (London: MacMillan, 1901), p.61.

[59] Nathaniel Homes, Apocalypsis Anastaseos. The Resurrection Revealed: or the Dawning of the Daystar. About to rise and radiate a visible incomparable Glory, far beyond any since the Creation, upon The Universal Church on Earth, For a Thousand Yeers (London, 1653), preface.

[60] Ibid., 52.

[61] Ibid., 83-84.

[62] Ibid., 141.

[63] John Browne, A Brief Survey of the Prophetical and Evangelical Events of the Last Times (London, 1653) 45-47.

[64]TheauroamTannijahhh [aka Thomas Totney, aka Tany], High News for Hierusalem. I Proclaim from the Lord of Hosts, the return of the Jews from their Captivity, and the building of the Temple in glory in their owne Land (London, 1653).

[65] Anon., A List of Grand Blasphemers (London, 1653).

[66] J.J. Philo-Judaeus, The resurrection of Dead Bones, or the Conversion of the Jews. (London,1654), preface. Although I have not been able to identify this author, his knowledge of Jewish rabbinic literature shows him to be an impressive scholar.

[67] Ibid, prefatory poem.

[68] Ibid., 2.

[69] Ibid., 7-9.

[70] Ibid., 41-43.

[71] Ibid., 14-16,18.

[72] Ibid., 16-23.

[73] Ibid., 123.

[74] Ibid., 24-28,116.

[75] Ibid., 119.

[76] Ibid., 123.

[77] Ibid., 45, 53.

[78] Ibid., 78.

[79] Ibid., 83.

[80] Ibid., 92-93.

[81] Ibid., 118.

[82] Ibid., 121.

[83] Ibid., preface.

[84] Ibid. 117.

[85] Ibid., 91.

[86] Ibid., 92.

[87] “The Proposals of R. Manasseh ben Israel” in Henry Jessey, Narrative of the late Proceeds at Whitehall (London, 1656), 12.

[88] Henry Jessey, A Narrative of the late Proceeds at Whitehall concerning the Jews (London, 1656), 2-3.

[89] Henry Jessey, A Narrative of the late Proceeds at Whitehall concerning the Jews (London, 1656), 4-5.

[90] [John Dury and Henry Jessey], An Information concerning The Present State of the Jewish Nation in Europe and Judea. Wherein the footsteps of Providence preparing a way for their Conversion to Christ, and for their Deliverance from Captivity, are discovered (London,1658), preface.

[91] Ibid., 1-2.  For more on Serrarius see: Ernestine G.E. Van der Wall, “The Amsterdam Millenarian Petrus Serrarius (1600-1669) and the Anglo-Dutch Circle of Philo-Judaists” in Jewish-Christian Relations in the Seventeenth Century (Kluwer, 1988).

[92] Ibid., 3-4.

[93] Ibid., 4.

[94] Ibid., 5-6.

[95] Ibid., 7.

[96] Ibid.

[97] Ibid., 8.

[98] Ibid., 9.

[99] Ibid., 10.

[100] Ibid., 11-12.

[101] Ibid., 14.

[102] Ibid.

[103] Peter Serrarias, The Jewes Message to their Brethren in Holland; and a New Letter touching their further Proceedings sent to the kingdom of Scotland (n.p., 1665), title page.

[104] Ibid., 1-2.

[105] Ibid., 3.

[106] John Birchensha, The History of the Scripture (London, 1660), contents.

[107] Josephus Philo-Judaeus [Gorion ben Syrach], News from The Jews, or a True Relation of a Great Prophet (London, 1671)

[108] Ibid., 2.

[109] [William Sherwin], Prodromos: The Fore-runner of Christ’s Peaceable Kingdom upon Earth (London, 1665), 5-6.  See also Joseph Mede, Clavis Apocalyptica.

[110] Ibid., 19.

[111] John Milton, Nova Solyma, the ideal city, or Jerusalem regain’d (London, 1648), Appendix F Literary Essay by Walter Begley, 350 [although published anonymously, it is widely believed to have been written by Milton]; Samson Agonistes in Sokolow, 41.  See also Durie’s Israel’s Call to March to Jerusalem (1646) and The Commonwealth of Israel (1650).

[112] John Milton, Paradise Regained, III, 434-437 in Spector, 17.

[113] Praise-God Barebone, Good Things to Come, or, A Setting forth some of the Great Things… (London, 1675), 59.

[114] Ibid., 70-71.

[115] Ibid., 99.

[116]William Hooke, “To the Reader” in Ibid.

[117] Ibid.

[118] Increase Mather, The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation (n.p.[Boston or New Haven], 1669), Author’s Preface.

[119] William Alleine, Of the State of the Church in Future Ages: or an Inspection into the Divine Prophecies, touching The State of the Church, in the latter Ages of the World (London, 1684), 54.

[120] Ibid., 55-56.

[121] Ibid.

[122] Ibid, 3-4.

[123] Ibid., 4-7.

[124] Increase Mather, Dissertation Concerning the Future Conversion of the Jewish Nation, (1709), 1.

[125] Ibid., 2.

[126] Ibid., 7.

[127]Ibid. 8. He cites Brightman to support his position; disagrees with Baxter and Lightfoot, but respects them generally.

[128] Ibid., 8

[129] William Torrey, A Brief Discourse concerning Futurities or Things to come, viz. The next , or second Coming (Boston, 1687), 10.

[130] Ibid., 11,15.

[131] Ibid., 19-21.

[132] Ibid., 55.

[133] Ibid., 56-59.

[134] Anon., The Jews Jubilee: or, conjunction and resurrection of the Dry Bones of the whole house of Israel (London,1688), 1-2.

[135] Ibid., 30.

[136]Ibid., 9,12.

[137] Jeffrey Jue, Heaven Upon Earth, 208-209.

[138] Ibid., 219, 223. He was quoting Zechariah 8:23.

[139] Ibid., vol.4, 282.

[140] Ibid., vol.6, 234-235.

[141] Pierre Jurieu, The Accomplishment of the Scripture Prophecies (London, 1689), i, 297-298.

[142] Ibid.

[143] Ibid., i, 299-301.

[144]Anonymous letter of person with Bishop Lloyd in meeting with Robert Boyle June 10, 1690. Gloucestershire RO D3549, 2/4, 13.

[145] Lloyd’s notes, Gloucestershire Record Office D3549, 2/4, 24.

[146] Samuel Petto, The Revelation Unvailed: or, An Essay towards the Discovering I. When many Scripture Prophecies had their Accomplishment, and turned into History. II. What are now Fulfilling. III. What rest still to be fulfilled (London, 1693), 124, 129, 131, 162,

[147] Ibid., 133.

[148] Ibid., 137-138.

[149] Eugen Weber, Apocalypses (Harvard, 1999), 165 quoting Frank Manuel, Isaac Newton: historian (Mass: Cambridge, 1963).

[150] Isaac Newton, “Of the Day of Judgment and World to Come”, Yehuda MS.6 folio 12r-19r, Jerusalem University Library.

[151] William Whiston, Accomplishment of Scripture Prophecies. Being Eight Sermons…at the Cathedral (Cambridge,1708), 39.

[152] Ibid., 118-119.

[153] Ibid., 120,123.

[154] Peter Allix, An Examination of several Scripture Prophecies, which the Reverend M[r].W[histon] hath applied to the Times after the Coming of the Messiah (London, 1707); and Two Treatises: I. A Confutation of the Hopes of the Jews  II. An Answer to Mr. Whiston’s Late Treatise on the Revelations (London, 1707).

[155] “Daniel Whitby”, Wikipedia.org ; Crawford Gribben called him a “gradualist and pro-Enlightenment postmillennial” in Protestant Millennium, xii.  See also several other popular websites by searching “Preterism”.

[156] Daniel Whitby, Paraphrase and Commentary on the New Testament (London, 1703), on Matthew 8:11.

[157] Ibid., on Matthew 10:22, 22:7, 24:12, 24:42.

[158] Ibid., on Matthew 25:14.

[159] Ibid., on 2 Thessalonians 2:3. This is confirmed in Robert Fleming, Discourse on the Rise and Fall of Antichrist (Belfast, 1795), footnote page 17; a reprint of Fleming’s Apocalyptical Key (London, 1702)

[160] M. Marsin, An Answer to Dr Whitby, proving the Jews are not to be called into the Gospel of the Christian warfare…till after the Lord, with Messiah’s Second coming… (London, 1701), 27-28. In Matthew 25 sheep are separated from goats on judgment day.

[161] Joseph Sewall, The Certainty & Suddenness of Christ’s Coming to Judgment, Improved as a Motive to Diligence (Boston,1716),4.

[162] Philip Doddridge; “Comment on Romans 11:12” in James Bicheno, The Restoration of the Jews (London, 1800), 9.

[163] John Abernethy, A Sermon Recommending the Study of Scripture-Prophecie, As an Important Duty (Belfast,1716), title, 8,10,12.

[164] Nathaniel Markwick, Six Small Tracts; I. A somewhat more express explicit Enarration, or Character (London, 1733), 71.

[165] Ibid., 49.

[166] Ibid., 72.

[167] Ibid., 111.

[168] Philip Doddridge, The Family Expositor: or, Paraphrase and Version of the New Testament (London, 1739), 2:384,389, 393.

[169] Ibid., 2:399.

[170] Samuel Johnson, An Explanation of Scripture Prophecies, both Typical and Literal (Reading, 1742), 294-295.

[171] Ibid., 296.

[172] Ibid., 297-299.

[173] John Willison, A Prophecy of the French Revolution, and the Downfall of Antichrist; being Two Sermons (London, reprint 1793),13-18.  Willison died in 1750.

[174] Ibid., 19.  Repeated in Willison’s The Balm of Gilead for Healing A Diseased Land; with The Glory of the (Air, 1800), 121.

[175] [Samuel Collet], A Treatise of the Future Restoration of the Jews and Israelites to Their Own Land (London, 1747), iii-v. Boswell cites Collet as Dr. Johnson’s “old friend” in Life of Samuel Johnson (Boston, 1832), v.2, note on page 522.

[176] Ibid., 9-10.

[177] Ibid., 27-28,57-63.

[178] Robert Hort, A Sermon on the Glorious Kingdom of Christ upon Earth, or the Millennium. Preached at Christ-Church, Dublin, on…Advent, 1747. (London, 1753), 31, 33.

[179] Ibid., 33-34.

[180] Gill, Exposition of the Bible, (London, 1744) Romans 11:25-29.

[181] John Gill, A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity; or a System of Evangelical Truths, deduced from the Sacred Scriptures (London,1796; 1st published in 1770), v. II, 394-395. This is his multi-volume work of systematic theology.

[182] Ibid., 395-396.

[183] Thomas Newton, Dissertation on the Prophecies (London, 1754), 215-217.

[184] Isaac Watts, Abraham's blessing on the Gentiles, hymn written in early 18th century based on Rom 11:16,17.

[185] Charles Wesley, Almighty God of Love, 1762, hymn based on Isaiah 66:19-20.

[186] Charles Wesley, Father of faithful Abraham, 1762, hymn based on Romans 11:15-27.

[187] Grantham Killingworth, Paradise Regained: Or the Scripture Account of The Glorious Millennium, &c. (London, 1772), 13.

[188] Ibid., 10.

[189] Ibid., 11-12. This is all from Ezekiel 38-39, Daniel 9 and Revelation 13.

[190] John James Bachmair; The Revelation of St. John historically explained; not compiled from (London, 1778), 255, 275, 300.

[191] Ibid., 336.

[192] Joseph Priestley, “Of the Future Condition of the World in General” section V of Doctrines of Revealed Religion (1772) in The theological and miscellaneous works of Joseph Priestley (London, 1817), v.2, 368.

[193] Thomas Reader, Israel’s Salvation: or, An Account from the Prophecies of Scripture of the Grand Events which await The Jews, to the end of time (London, 1788), introductory “Letter to the Jews”, 5-7.

[194] Ibid., 23-24; quoting Isaiah 54:10.

[195] Ibid., 25.

[196] Ibid., 34.

[197] Ibid., 44.

[198] Ibid.,61. Hal Lindsey, Late Great Planet Earth (Zondervan,1972). He too identifies the king of the north as Russia: Reader,95.

[199] Ibid., 90. Joel Rosenberg, Epicenter (Tyndale, 2008).

[200] John Baillie, Two Sermons: The First…; The Second on Time, Manner, and Means of the Conversion and Universal Restoration of the Jews (London, 1792), 47-48.

[201] Ibid., 61-64.

[202] Ibid., 65.

[203] Ibid., 68.

[204] James Rutherford, Dissertations on Biblical Principles (Newcastle, 1794), dissertation iii, 215-233.

[205] J. Bicheno, The Signs of the Times; or, The Dark Prophecies of Scripture Illustrated by the Application of Present Important Events, part II (Philadephia, 1797), 26.

[206] Ibid., 29.

[207] Hal Lindsay, The Late Great Planet Earth (Zondervan, 1970).

[208] J. Bicheno, The Restoration of the Jews, The Crisis of all Nations; or, An Arrangement of the Scripture Prophecies, which relate to the Restoration of the Jews, and to some of the most interesting circumstances which accompany (London,1800),4-5.

[209] Ibid., 6-7.

[210] James Bicheno, The Restoration of the Jews, The Crisis of All Nations; or, and Arrangement of the Scripture Prophecies, which relate to the Restoration of the Jews…drawn from the present situation… (London, 1800), 110-111.