TEN SERMONS on the SECOND ADVENT
APPENDIX. THE BEGINNING OF THE END.
"When it is evening, ye say it will be fair weather, for
the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul waether today, for the sky
is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but
can ye not discern the signs of the times?" - Matt. xvi. 2, 3.
These are the words of the Lord Jesus, when the Pharisees and Sadducees asked for "a sign from heaven." He declared (verse 4) that no such sign should be given; and that nothing should be added to the signs of the prophetic word.
There were then Jews, who did discern these signs of the Word, and were looking and waiting for His first coming. At Christ's second coming there shall be signs from Heaven, great and terrible, but we have already and now the signs of the "sure word of Prophecy." We desire in this Appendix to show from these signs of the Scriptures, that we are fast approaching the time when there "shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven."
THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST
will consist of a series of events of which the visible and personal appearing of Christ will be the great central point. His first coming consisted of many events, and extended over a period of about thirty-three years. A Jew read of this coming in Micah v. 2., "thou Bethlehem Ephratah... out of thee SHALL HE COME forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel:" and he also read of this same coming in Zech. ix. 9, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King COMETH unto thee," etc. But there was nothing in these prophecies to tell him that there were to be more than 30 years between these two events, which were both Christ's coming. So likewise in the prophecies of Christ's second coming, we read, "I will come again and receive you unto myself" (John xiv. 3); and, "The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee." There is nothing to tell us how long an interval will elapse between the reception of the Saints by Christ, and their coming with Him in glory, though some interval is clearly implied. And so when we read that the saints are to be caught up "to meet the Lord in the air" (I Thess. iv. 17), there is nothing to tell us how long they shall be with Him there, before they return with him in glory; whether it is to be momentary or prolonged. We learn, however, from many Scriptures that at least seven years will run their course, for this period is spoken of several times in its various parts of 1,260 days, 42 months, and 3 1/2 years, etc. Whether it will be extended beyond this we are not told. All the events that are recorded in the book of "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" are connected with, and form part of that Revelation, and go to make up the Second Advent; while the personal appearing of Christ will of course form a definite act in that series of events, as definite as the lightning's flash.
If this consideration be borne in mind it will solve many difficulties, and remove many perplexities. So with
THE RETURN OF THE JEWS.
This will not be accomplished in a day or a week. But as we have seen in Sermon No. viii., there will be a preliminary, or partial, or natural gathering; and there will be also a "second" complete and miraculous gathering. The return from Babylon occupied more than forty years. The re-building of the street and the wall, was to be in "the strait of times" (Dan. ix. 25, margin), i.e. the smaller interval of the two named, viz., in "seven weeks," or seven sevens of years, i.e. forty-nine years. The dispersion of the Jews likewise was not completed until the destruction of Jerusalem, till forty years after Christ foretold it in Luke xxi. So that we might expect the gathering of the Jews to their City and land to be accomplished gradually in the course of years, and by apparently natural causes: when the Anti-christ shall be revealed in his time, and first by flatteries and deceit, then by violence and persecution shall lead up to his own destruction by the glory of Christ's coming with His Saints - the saints having been previously caught up to meet Him in the air.
In a work by the Rev. Dr. S. H. Kellog, of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., entitled, "The Jews: or prediction and fulfilment,"* there is a mass of evidence, and a collection of facts showing how in the past history of the Jews the most minute predictions have been literally fulfilled, and pointing the most powerful argument to a like literal fulfilment of prophecies in the present, and in the near future. We must refer those who wish to go more deeply into the subject to Dr. Kellog's book, while we give a brief resume of his facts and figures in the following notes.
* London, James Nisbet & Co.
In showing that predictions as to the future of Israel are already beginning to receive their fulfilment, it is not necessary to assert or to assume that God has begun to deal with the Jews in the proper sense of the term. God has not now two distinct peoples on the earth under two distinct covenants; any more than He had in the early years of the Church when the Jews were being dispersed. In the Acts of the Apostles we see how "the Church of God" was being formed, and side by side with that, "the Jew" was being scattered and dispersed, and his Temple destroyed according to the Word of God. All through this dispensation predictions have been receiving their fulfilment. Prophecies are in the same way being now fulfilled in our own day, and this is fast leading up to the time when God will again put forth His hand to deal with His people Israel and remove His church to be "for ever with the Lord."
In order to appreciate the facts which Dr. Kellog marshals as to this present fulfilment, it is necessary to read carefully such prophecies of the past 1800 years as Deut. xxviii. 25, 63, 64, and think of the millions of Jews destroyed in the siege of Jerusalem, and in the revolts of A.D. 116 and 135, etc. So also Deut. xxviii. 29, 43, 48, all have been literally fulfilled, and verse 58, 59, where God said He would make their plagues "wonderful" and "of long continuance," and that "the stranger shall get up above thee very high and thou shalt come down very low" (verse 43). For 2000 years God has watched over them to destroy them, and now if we see predictions being fulfilled under our eyes, it is because God is watching over them to accomplish His word, although He may not yet have actually commenced to deal with them as with His people again.
As to the past fulfilment of Deut. xxviii. we have to remember that under Pagan Rome their lot was hard, and under Papal Rome it was harder still. Constantine began the oppression, and Justinian continued it by expressly excluding the Jews from his code. Ever since then the Jews have been the objects of unreasoning and pitiless hatred; the victims of repeated confiscations, violence, torture, massacres, and banishments. From the time of the Crusades the Jews have been legally plundered, and brief respites have been dearly paid for. In 1290 they were expelled from England, in 1395 from France, and in 1492 from Spain. The Reformation only mitigated their sufferings, for the Protestant Princes subjected the Jews to live in separate quarters; to wear a distinctive dress; to submit to exceptional legislation: while they were the subjects of systematic indignity, insult and oppression. Ho. iii. 4, Lev. xxvi. 31, Is. lxi. 4, xxxii. 13-15, Mic. iii. 12, have all been literally fulfilled and so has Lu 21 24, which says that "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Attempts have been made falsify this prediction. In A.D. 362, Julian the Apostate tried it in vain. In 1799 Napoleon I. tried to settle the Jews there, but he failed. Pagans have held Jerusalem, Christians have held it, Mohammedans have held it, but the Jews never since that word went forth; and will not, "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
Now look at seven great predictions, which stand in direct contrast to all those we have just named. A contrast so great, that nothing else could explain the facts which we see transpiring before our eyes, or reveal the causes of the marvellous transformation in the condition of the Jews during this present century.
I. THE BREAKING OF THE GENTILE YOKE.
Jer. xxx. 8. "It shall come to pass in that day,* saith the Lord of Hosts, that I will break his (i.e. the Gentile's) yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him." When we think of the 1800 years and more during which that heavy yoke has been borne and the bonds with which the Jews have been bound, is it too much to see in recent events the beginning of the end of the oppression of Ages? Look at the following entirely new facts in the light of that oppression.
* i.e. the day of Jacob's trouble, verse 6.
1. In 1783 Austria first abolished the body-tax, removed vexatious restrictions, and opened the schools to the Jews.
2. In 1784 Louis XVI. of France abolished the body-tax.
3. In 1787 Frederick William of Prussia repealed some of the laws which Frederick the Great had made.
4. In 1788 Louis XVI. appointed a commission to re-model the laws respecting the Jews. The revolution stopped this work, but it included the Jews in its Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
5. In 1805 Alexander I. of Russia revoked the Edict of Exclusion and millions returned there.
6. In 1806 they were made citizens of Italy and Westphalia (as they had been some years before of Holland and Belgium), and were formally recognized by Napoleon I. as a religious body.
7. In 1809, Baden; and 1813, Prussia and Denmark gave the Jews civil liberty.
8. In England, successive Acts in 1830, 1833, and 1835 removed certain restrictions, but it was not till 1858 that the Jews had full equality.
9. In 1870 Bismarck completed the unification of Germany, and made the Jews free all through the Empire.
10. In 1867 Turkey gave the Jews, for the first time, the right to possess land in Palestine.
11. In 1870 with the fall of the temporal power of the Pope, freedom came in Italy.
12. In 1878 The Berlin Congress made the freedom of the Jews in Roumania a special condition.
It is too much to conclude that in all these things, Jer. xxx. 7, has begun to be fulfilled.
II. RESTORATION GRADUAL
Ezek. xxxvii. 7-14. The restoration is not to be the one work of a moment, but it is marked by successive stages. (1) "a noise," (2) "a shaking," (3) "the bones came together, bone to his bone," (4) "the sinews and flesh came up upon them," (5) "the skin covered them above," (6) "the breath came into them and they lived," and (7) they "stood up upon their feet."
Now as the Restoration of Israel cannot be the work of a moment or a day, or of a mere brief period, Is it too much to ask whether we may not call these present movements, the "noise" and the "shaking," even if not the coming together of bone to bone; For
1. In 1806 Napoleon summoned the great Sanhedrin for the first time in Europe, and
2. In 1860, "The Alliance Israelite Universelle" was formed in Paris.
3. And in later years many other organizations have been formed which may surely be regarded as similar signs.
III. THE TRANSFER OF WEALTH.
Isa. lx. 6-10. "Surely the Isles shall wait for thee, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them" &c. (verse 6). So also Isa. xxxiii. 1. Speaking to the Gentiles God says "Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee; when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee." And as to when this shall take place, we learn from verse 10.
Now we cannot properly appreciate the following facts unless we continually bear in mind the condition of the Jews during the last eighteen centuries. There is no lack of evidence to show the gradual accumulation of capital in Jewish hands.
1. The Rothschilds' loans amount to four millions sterling to England, one to Austria, one to Prussia, two and a half to France, one to Russia, and a quarter to Brazil, Ten millions altogether.
2. The Jews are the money lenders of Europe.
3. In 1869 in Russia 73% of the immovable property had passed into Jewish hands, and a quarter of the Railway property was in the hands of the Russian Railway King, Samuel Solomonowitz de Poliakoff.
4. The official returns of Prussia, 1861, showed that 38,000 Jews out if 71,000 were engaged in commerce, while only 1 Jew in 586 was a day labourer!
5. In 1871 out of 642 Bankers in Prussia all but 92 were Jews. Thus while the Jews were only 2% of the population, 85% of the Bankers were Jews.
6. In 1871 in Berlin, the Jews were only 5% of the population. But the employers of labour were 39% of the Gentiles, and 71% of the Jews. While the Merchants were 55% of the Jews and only 12% of the Gentiles.
7. In Vienna, the Bourse is almost entirely in Jewish hands.
8. In Lower Austria, out of 59,122 returned as Merchants, 30,012 were Jews.
9. In Algiers in 1881 nearly the whole trade was in the hand of the Jews.
IV. A NAME AND A PRAISE.
Zeph. iii. 19, 20. "Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord." Of course the fulness of this prophecy will be realised only in Millenial days. But whether there be any connection between the present facts and the prophecy, the facts exist, and look very much as though the first drops of that mighty shower of blessing were already beginning to fall upon the Jews. Fame and a name and a praise do not necessarily follow on emancipation. It has not followed in the case of negroes in the United States; and in the West Indies; nor in the case of the serfs in Russia.
One of the effects of the emancipation of the Jews was their admission to schools and colleges, and we note the results:
1. In Berlin recently out of 3,609 students 1,302 were Jews.
2. In the High Schools of Vienna lately out of 2,488 students 1,039 were Jews.
3. In Lower Austria recently out of 2,140 advocates 1,024 were Jews.
4. In Germany the Jews are one in 75 of the population but in the German Universities the Jews are one in 10.
5. In Hungary (1878-9) the Jews were 4% of the population, while in many of the Schools they are 75%. In the whole kingdom 18% of the students at the Schools are Jews; 36% at the Colleges and 25% of the Faculty of Law!
6. We cannot count the names of Jews who are renowned in the Literary, Educational and Musical worlds. In Berlin out of all 23 newspapers there are only 2 not under Jewish control. At a gathering of Editors lately in Dresden 29 out of 43 were Jews. In Austria at the last census, out of 370 persons who returned themselves as Authors 225 were Jews (nearly 2/3).
7. In England out of 20,000 clergy of the Church of England, 200 are Jews - and thus one in 100 Jews are Clergymen as against one Gentile in 1,300!
8. In the political world, we cannot enumerate the many names of renown, in all countries. While the number of seats held in various parliaments is out of all proportion compared with the smallness of their numbers to the whole population.
V. INCREASE IN NUMBERS.
Isa. lx. 22. "A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in His time," so also Isa. xxvii. 6: Jer. xxx. 27 and Ezek. xxxvi. 37. These of course refer to Millenial days: but, when we remember how terribly the number of Jews decreased during seventeen centuries, and contrast the wonderful increase in recent years, it seems almost miraculous, and certainly leads us to reflect whether these prophecies are not beginning to be fulfilled. For 1800 years God has done as He said He would:- "watch over them to destroy and afflict." If this sudden and marvellous change has taken place, has He not ceased to "watch" for this purpose, and begun to "hasten" their increase?
1. In 1708 the Jewish population was estimated at 3,000,000. To-day they are not less than 12,000,000.
2. In Germany, as to Births, the proportion of Jews to Gentiles is as 5.5 to 3.8. And as to longevity, at Frankfurt (1846-1858) one quarter of the Gentile population died before reaching seven years of age, while one-quarter of all the Jews not till 28 1/4 years of age. One-half of all Gentiles born, died before reaching 36 1/2 years, while one-half of all Jews born survived to 53 years of age. Three-quarters of all Gentiles born died before 60 years of age, but Jews not before 71.
3. In Prussia (1816-1867) the whole population increased 91%, but the Jews 112%.
4. In Austria-Galicia (1820-1870) the population increased 25%, but the Jews 150%.
VI. GENTILE DECLINE. In Isa. xxxiii. 1; li. 22, 23 and Jer. xxx. 10, 11, we read that when God thus takes the cup of trembling out of the hand of the Jew, He will put it into the hand of the Gentile: He will also make a full end of the nations whither the Jews have been driven. What is the principle that has led to Jewish emancipation? "Equality." What is the principle animating all the present forces of disintegration? Equality! This is the very canker which to day is beginning to eat into the vitals of the Gentile nations. The wedge which when driven home will split up and break up the nations of the world. And
VII. THE JEW IS TO BRING THIS ABOUT
as the Instrument, see Micah v. 8,9 and Zech. xii. 6.
1. The Jews are the fathers of modern Rationalism in the person of Spinoza and Strauss (see Archdeacon Lee on Inspiration, pp. 463-6).
2. As to Socialism, Communism, Internationalism, Nihilism, and Anarchy, we read that in 1848, the Jews, Carl Marx and Leibknecht organized the International Working Men's Assn. Marx drew up the laws of the present movement in 1864.
3. In Germany, a Jew, Ferdinand Lasalle, in 1863, founded the German Socialist party. And the Text books of Socialism are Marx's Critique of Capital, and Lasalle's System of Acquired Rights (i.e., that capital is robbery)!
4. The Russian Nihilists have among them ten times as many Jews as of all others put together.*
* See The Nineteenth Century for January, 1881. "The dawn of the Revolutionary Epoch."
In conclusion, All these things are new. What we now see, has not been seen before, or till now! It is the beginning of the end! All these facts seem to tell us that many Scriptures are beginning to be fulfilled, and that before long God will remove His heavenly people and deal again, first in judgment, and afterwards in mercy with His earthly people Israel. Restoration can be the only result of all these combined movements. If the Jews are to repossess Palestine, Turkey must lose it. In 1822 Turkey lost Greece. In our day she has lost Roumania, Servia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, then more of Greece, then Tunis, while Egypt, Armenia and Arabia are on the move.
THE EASTERN QUESTION
is the one question with which all the newspapers of Europe are filled, all minds are occupied, and to which all eyes are turned. All the nations of Europe are arming themselves for its settlement, but it will never be settled till God takes it up, and how near may be the time when He will do so we, cannot tell. But as we know that summer is near when we see the buds and the leaves, though we know not the day, so we may tell that the time cannot be far distant when God will take up the Eastern Question, and with it the Jewish Question* and settle both for ever.
* See an important article in The Century Magazine for February, 1883, entitled "The Jew and the Eastern Question."
Many circumstances point to it.
1. The equal rights of men call for it.
2. The principle of restoring nationalities. The cry of Germany for the Germans, Italy for the Italians, Greece for the Greeks, etc., etc., demand Palestine for the Jews.
3. Jewish movements point to it. The Jewish Chronicle (Dec. 17, 1880), says "We are inundated with books on Palestine, and the air is thick with schemes for Colonizing the Holy Land once more."
4. "The Palestine Exploration Fund" has turned the eyes and hearts and thoughts, yea and the feet of thousands of God's servants towards the stones and dust of Emmanuel's Land, and caused the words of Ps. cii. 13, 14 to have a new and most solemn and important significance:-
"THOU SHALT ARISE AND HAVE MERCY UPON ZION: FOR THE TIME TO FAVOUR HER, YEA THE SET TIME IS COME. FOR THY SERVANTS TAKE PLEASURE IN HER STONES AND FAVOUR THE DUST THEREOF."
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