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and St. John commences at the same era, namely, the rise of the persecuting powers; and that its duration is twelve hundred and sixty years.
“ Here then are three great events hastening to their period; the extinction of the Papal dominion, the subver. sion of the Mohammedan power, and the accomplishment of the Divine indignation against the holy people;' or the return of the people of Israel, to seek the Lord their God, and David their king."*
The sobriety and good sense of this excellent author, are sufficiently apparent in the following observations, with respect to the restoration of the Jews.
“ That many of the Jews, when liberated from their state of oppression, will return to Judea, appears probable, from the general tenor of prophecy, and from their own natural and unconquerable attachment to that country; but we know not for what purpose they could all return thither; and it is perfectly unnecessary to contend for the fact, or to impose it as a tenet of faith. We perceive no reason why they should leave the nations in which they live, when these nations are no longer Heathen. Nor is it possible, in numerous cases, to ascertain who are Jews, and who are not. It is also true, that before Judea could nourish the whole body of Jews, even in their present reduced state, the ancient fertility which was taken away according to prophecy, (Deut. xxviii. 23 and 38,) must be restored by miracle. But we have no warrant to look for a miracle, under the finished dispensation of the Gospel. We possess the more sure word of prophecy,' (2 Peter, i. 19,) and look not for signs and wonders. We expect
Christian Researches, p. p. 220, 221, 222,
no miracle for the Jews, but that of their conversion to Christianity, which will be a greater miracle, than if the first temple were to rise in its gold and costly stones, and Solomon were again to reign over them in all his glory.”*
The state of that unhappy people has, of late, engaged a greater portion of the care and prayers of the Christian Churches, than it ever did at any former period of time. To their instrumentality we are much indebted for many of the choicest blessings we possess. By them the eternal fountain of truth was long preserved pure, so that its waters have descended to us clear and unmingled. From them the Saviour sprang who has redeemed us to God by his blood ; and on that stock, from which they have been dissevered, we have been grafted. These considerations should give to our prayers a fervour and a frequency, that the Deliverer may come out of Zion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob, that all Israel may be saved.
The London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews, was instituted in the year 1809, and consisted of Christians of various denominations. “ Its great object was to promote the spiritual and eternal welfare of the Jews, by endeavouring to lead their attention to Jesus Christ, as the Messiah promised to their fathers, and the Saviour of the world.
“ The means used by the Society have been effectual, through the Divine blessing, in convincing of the above truth, more than forty adult Jews, who have been admitted into the Christian Church by baptism.-Schools containing eighty-nine children of Jewish parents are supported by them; and the children are educated in the prin.
• Christian Researches, p. p. 246, 247.
ciples of the Christian faith.- A translation of the New Testament into Hebrew, for the use of the Jews has been undertaken, and is in a state of forwardness. The Gospel of St. Matthew is published, and that of St. Mark is in the press. A large episcopal chapel has been erected at Bethnal Green for the Jews; the Society having previously purchased the lease of another chapel, in Spitalfields.-A printing-office and basket-manufactory have been established, to give employment to the Jews, who are deprived of their means of subsistence on account of their attending Christian places of worship.”*
The different views of those who constituted the Committee, with respect to matters of Church order and discipline, as well as the difficulties arising from the pecuniary state of the Institution, having caused considerable obstructions to the accomplishment of the great end for which the Society was instituted, it was resolved at a meeting of the dissenting subscribers of the Society, held on the fourteenth of February, 1815, that the dissenters should withdraw from the management, and leave it in the hands of their brethren of the Established Church. An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society was held, on the twenty-eighth of February, for taking the offer of the dissenting part of the Society into consideration. At this meeting it was “ Resolved, that the meeting is most deeply sensible of, and most cordially and affectionately acknowledges the zeal and liberality with which the efforts of the Society have been aided and supported by Christians of various denominations, throughout the United Kingdom from its original foundation.
• Address of the Society to the Public.
That the present meeting most deeply regrets the diffi. culties which have arisen, with respect to the union of the members of the Established Church and other Christians, in the management of the Society, in matters of church order and discipline ; and also, that the execution of the rules proposed, on the twenty-seventh of December last, has not appeared practicable ; that under circumstances of such difficulty as the Society is now placed in, unity of design, and principle, and operation, is peculiarly and indispensably necessary for its future management. And as the dissenting members have, with a spirit most truly conciliatory, offered to leave the institution in the hands of their brethren of the Established Church, this meeting does, with the same spirit of Christian meekness and charity, approve and accept the offer; and the members of it who are of the Established Church most earnestly beseech their dissenting brethren still to favour them with their pecuniary support, and, above all, to aid them with their prayers, that they may be enabled, with the blessing of God, to extricate the Society from the state of difficulty in which it is now placed, and to pursue the great design for which it was instituted, with renewed efforts of Christian faith, wisdom and zeal, to the glory of their common Lord in the salvation of Israel.
“ The motion, that the above Resolution be adopted, having been put and seconded, the meeting was addressed by several gentlemen, some of them of the Established Church, and some of them dissenters, on the subject of the Resolution. The dissenting gentlemen expressed their determination, though they had withdrawn from the management, still to continue their aid to the institution, both by their influence and example ; and they thus evinced themselves to be actuated by principles of the most exalted Christian philanthropy and liberality, which we trust will be both felt and imitated in every part of the kingdom. Perhaps the history of the Christian Church presents few examples of a point of so much difficulty and delicacy having been decided with so happy an union of those sentiments, which most highly adorn the Christian character. The Resolution passed unanimously.
“ The public is requested to observe, that though the above Resolution places the entire management of the affairs of the London Society in the hands of the members of the Established Church, the Committee will thankfully receive the contributions of other Christians. They particularly request the dissenting subscribers throughout the kingdom to continue, and even increase, their aid ; and thus to emulate the spirit of their brethren in the Metropolis."*
Society to the Public. 2 E