The Jews.

1867 203 It has often been shown from Scripture, in this periodical, that the Jews are to be helped back to their own land in unbelief; that the plan will seem at first eminently successful; that they will have the temple once more in Jerusalem; but that the Antichrist will present himself and be received, and, setting up the abomination of desolation in the holy place, will bring on the last great conflicts of this age, the chief of the Eastern world opposing, as the Beast and the Western kings will be his allies, all to be destroyed by the Lord Jesus, the Western powers first, and the Eastern a little later. It is needless to go over ground repeatedly traversed when treating of Isaiah, Daniel, and the Apocalypse in detail, not to speak of detached essays.

The reader will carefully bear in mind that without discussing minute points, this supposes a partial gathering of the Jews to their land, especially (it would seem from Isaiah xviii.) by the help of a friendly maritime power. But this utterly fails to bring in divine blessing; and the nations, who were kindly disposed, return with more than their old fury to disperse and destroy. To this the Lord draws attention. All that looked so promising comes to nothing. Then Jehovah appears in behalf of His people, judges the apostate Jews with their Gentile partisans as well as their foes, and brings in the real promised blessing and His kingdom over the earth. Compare also Zech. xii. — xiv. It is only at the close of this time of crisis or at the beginning of the day of the Lord, that His gathering of scattered Israel takes place, in contradistinction from the earlier return of Jews by the aid of the Gentiles which may take place at any time. These things had been seen and stated frequently as the sole warrant of Scripture.

But it may interest many of our readers to know that there is at present a movement on foot, on purely worldly and political grounds, which aims at accomplishing that which the word of God distinctly attributes to man, destined to run, I will not say, the usual career, but a most extraordinary course of sin, pride, and blasphemy, and to end in the bitterest disappointment and by the sternest judgments of Almighty God. This will be evident to the attentive readers of the following "Note" which, after being discussed among some of the great and wise of this word's politicians, has been communicated to leading men in various countries:

"The disturbing circumstances in which Europe is at present placed ought not to render the fact forgotten that the Eastern question, which has already agitated its governments and peoples, has the strongest tendency to rise anew, perhaps at no distant date, to complicate a situation already sufficiently grave.

"The day when this question will demand a definitive solution will, in all probability, see the whole of Europe plunged in inextricable difficulties.

"The efforts of diplomacy can lead to but sterile expedients. The present epoch, however, whose spirit of justice and of humanity tends to reject the system of violent conquests by fire and sword, holds at its disposal another and more powerful agency, that of pacific conquest by means of civilization.

"What is there, then, to do in order that grave complications be prevented, and that the East may be regenerated by the infusion therein of the spirit of the civilization of the West?

"One of the most powerful means would be the creation of a great society, which should have a character eminently international, and which should propose for itself the task of conciliating the specific interests of the various European powers with those of civilization. This society would open to the Occident sources of wealth both new and abundant; it would become for the East an efficacious means of moral regeneration. Finally, it would operate to the great honour and profit of all the nations associated therein.

"This association may present itself to the universal public in the manner as follows:

"The International Society of the Orient has for its object:

"To favour the development of agriculture, of industry, of commerce, and of public works in the East, and, above all, in Palestine.

"To obtain from the Turkish government certain privileges and monopolies, either at Constantinople or in other parts of the empire, chief of which shall be the concession and gradual advancement of the lands of Palestine.

"To distribute at cash prices such of those lands as the company will have acquired or received in concession, and to effect the colonization of the more fertile valleys of the Holy Land.

"The Turkish Empire contains resources of all kinds, which need but to be developed by a powerful company to yield large results. But the Porte possesses neither the means nor the energy necessary to originate and lead to a successful conclusion these works of public utility which are imperiously demanded for the internal development of the Ottoman Empire; restricted to its own resources it can neither augment its revenues nor create new; it is incapable of giving an energetic support to agriculture or to trade, from which alone can proceed wealth and public prosperity.

"It remains, then, to the West, where the creative forces superabound, and which possesses the requisite capital, to profit by the advantages which Turkey presents, and to take in hand a work capable of so immense results. Operations conducted with ability in this undeveloped country are naturally in the highest degree productive. But success in such an enterprise demands the formation of combinations which will have, at the same time, the approbation of the great powers and the support of the Sublime Porte. Thus, and that the society may be enabled to concentrate its energies, it will be proper to utilize certain special circumstances in which Turkey at the present moment finds itself situated, and at the very threshold Palestine offers itself to the mind as eminently fitted to become the next field of operations.

"It is known that Palestine needs only labour in order to produce abundantly. It is a country one of the most remarkable and most fertile of the globe. In it one meets the products of all the latitudes, and the emigrant of Europe finds these in the climate of his own country. Commerce and private industry, which will come to complete the work of agriculture, must attract thither, in great numbers, merchants, colonists, and capitalists, both Christian and Israelite.

"The resurrection of the Orient, seconded by an awakened religious sentiment, will be aided by the co-operation of the Jews themselves, of which the valuable qualities and remarkable aptitudes cannot but be in the highest degree advantageous to Palestine.

"The society, after having established its commercial bureau at Constantinople and in other cities of the Turkish empire, will construct a port at Jappa, and a good road or railroad from that city to Jerusalem. Upon the route of this railroad the lands would be conceded by Turkey to the society, which would be enabled to sell them to Israelitish families. These, in their turn, would create and foster new colonies, aided by their Oriental co-religionists, whose love for their ancient nation is still as ardent as in times long past. Special committees would send hither, at their expense, Jews of Morocco, of Poland, of Moldavia, of Wallachia, of the East, of Africa, etc.

"The results sought for and achieved by the society, by means of a sincere entente nationale, the co-operation of Turkey and the establishment of Western population in Palestine, will be beyond a possibility of failure, and that, too, in a future less distant than we can think as follows:

"The reconstruction of the Holy Places at Jerusalem, which would be accomplished as an international work, and in a manner worthy of Christianity.

"The end of the conflict, which incessantly renews itself between the great powers, in regard to the Holy Places.

"The transformation of the ancient Jerusalem into a new city, which will rival in importance the finest cities of the West.

"The creation of European colonies, which will become in time the centres whence Occidental civilization will spread in Turkey and penetrate to the remote Orient.

"Under the nominal sovereignty of the Sultan, the society will administer with intelligence and equity the territories which will be transferred to it. In the same manner, for a long epoch, an English company administered and governed the Indies.

"There is ground for believing that the Sultan, recognizing the financial support which will be lent him by the enterprise, will accord to the Holy Land a special administration. Under the able direction of the Porte, this administration would offer a genuine security to the population emigrating thither, and full guarantees for the capital there invested. Thanks to the combination which will open to her so valuable resources, Turkey will not be obliged to contract new loans in order to pay the interest of its antecedent debts.

"The infant colonies will be rendered neutral, diplomatically, as has been done with the Swiss confederation, and by a treaty somewhat analogous to the convention signed at Geneva in behalf of ambulances, hospital corps, and the wounded of armies. It is less difficult than might be supposed thus to neutralize Palestine by an agreement of the great powers. There even exists a remarkable precedent in the neutralization of the Lower Danube, obtained officially from the seven powers signing the Treaty of Paris. Moreover, the commission of the Lower Danube has originated a flag and a small fleet: it possesses revenues and a numerous personnel: it seeks at present to control a loan of three millions, all in the manner of an independent state.

"To prepare the organization of the International Society of the Orient, it is important that many minds be led to preoccupy themselves with these great and noble questions. To this end it is indispensable to institute a committee composed of men of influence and honour; of divers nations, having at heart the advancement of the same views in the interest of all.

"The elements of that committee are at present fully prepared.

"Its programme, at once economic, financial, benevolent, scientific, etc., is at the same time international; it can wound the susceptibilities of no nation. Influential names in France, England, and elsewhere are ready to connect themselves therewith.

"Henry Dunant,

"Founder of the International Convention, in behalf of the wounded in time of war.

"Geneva, March, 1866."

[* For this "Note" we are indebted to the "Prophetic Times,"

Vol. IV., No. 11, pp. 178 — 180: the first number of this Transatlantic periodical which has crossed our path. — Ed. B.T.]