British-Israel has always been problematic..
Sixty Anglo-Israel Difficulties Answered
Chiefly from the Correspondence of the late
London: S. W. Partridge and Co., 9, Paternoster Row. 1877
John Wilson, 1877. Sixty Anglo-Israel Difficulties Answered
"Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of His creatures." - James 1:18
Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee know the certainty of the Words of Truth; that thou mightest answer the Words of Truth to them that send unto thee?" - Proverbs 22:20-21.
O THE THOUGHTFUL READER.
IT is matter for congratulation that the subject of "Our Israelitish Origin," which has now been continuously before the minds of many Christians for some seven-and-thirty years [since 1840] has borne every test that has yet been applied to it, and of which the following "ANSWERS TO SIXTY DIFFICULTIES" are sufficient evidence.
Most of them were discussed after Mr. Wilson's lectures, others were answered by letter, his courtesy, patience, and sympathy with the enquirer rendering him unusually accessible to any honest seeker after truth; and thus the subject generally has, to a wide extent, become an eminently educative power. We should each seek, as far as time and opportunity allow, to be able to give historical, geographical, ethnological and linguistic reasons for the faith that is in us on this subject, if we wish to hold our own with such as will otherwise infallibly bring their own versions of such matters to our discomfiture.
The mere acceptance of this glorious truth is both easy and rapid to minds which have not been warped by various prejudices and ignorances, and have been trained to some systematic acquaintance with all Scripture, such as is provided for in the daily reading, and perhaps may best be acquired in the diligent use of the Scriptural Illustrations of "THE GOSPEL TREASURY OF THE FOUR EVANGELISTS," to the preparation and perfecting of which (especially the 8vo. edition) Mr. Wilson gave seven consecutive years of the ablest part of his life, that when it might be ended his work for Israel should continue. This statement is necessary, inasmuch as a great want is felt by many of the very identical kind of help in teaching which these books supply, while those, into whose hands the late proprietor's copyrights have come, know not their true value in this respect. (See "TITLE DEEDS OF THE HOLY LAND," p. 8, and "OUR ISRAELITISH ORIGIN," 5th edition, p. 436.)
WRITTEN AND EDITED BY THE LATE JOHN WILSON:
ANSWERS TO SIXTY ANGLO-ISRAEL DIFFICULTIES.
Every new phase of genuine Truth has to struggle with the opposition of those who have been built up in contrary opinions; or, it may be, in no opinion, and dislike having their peace disturbed, or the perfection of their wisdom called in question. But controversy may be overruled for good. Even a Jew could ,say, "Doth, our law judge any man before it hear him, and know what he doeth?" and from the darkness and diversity of views prevailing upon the subject of LOST ISRAEL, it is evident that some fresh light was wanting. Those who have fully investigated the views contained in the following pages have found them increasingly satisfying to their own minds, as well as best adapted to meet the difficulties of those opposed to the truth of Divine Revelation.
Great mischief arises from not recognizing our own place in prophecy. The time has passed for trifling with the Word of God. It has been in our hands for hundreds of years. We have had ample time to think about its contents. The most learned and able men that well-endowed universities can produce are maintained at great expense to teach its meaning. Many of us they have had under instruction from early infancy to latest age. And one day in seven, as if in the performance of a solemn duty, without contradiction many of us listen quietly to whatever they have to say about the Sacred Scriptures, and the subjects of which they treat.
In such circumstances it might well be expected that our people should at least know something about the first book in the Bible, and the Covenant made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, concerning which, God has been so earnest as to speak upon oath, which He wrote in the very names of the great Receivers of the Promises, reiterated again and again; and at length pronounced by Jacob upon the head of EPHRAIM, who was given the BIRTHRIGHT and the privileges belonging to the Firstborn (Gen. 48:16-21).
The children of Ephraim were not "Jews," although they were their brethren. At one time these were rivals, but they separated thousands of years ago; and the children of Ephraim have long been lost among the Gentiles.
Yet upon this "lost" people were to come the accumulated blessings promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The blessings were to "come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the head of him that was separate [the Nazirite] from his brethren." Here, then, appears to be a wonderful blank! Where are the children of promise, the offspring of Ephraim and Manasseh? Manasseh was to be "great;" but truly his younger brother Ephraim was to be "greater than he, and his seed" was to "become a multitude of nations."
We are told (Heb. 11:21), "By faith Jacob blessed both the sons of Joseph," giving them, through the Cross, the blessing of which he was the divinely appointed heir, and for which he suffered so much from the folly of his parents, and the hatred of his brother. But where is this "multitude of nations"? Where is this "Fullness of the Gentiles"? Where are Ephraim and Manasseh, who were to be patterns of blessing for all the tribes of Israel?
We all know that the people called ANGLO-SAXONS have possession of those things which constitute the Birthright [ABCOG: written in 1877]. They have the means of ministering blessing to all nations. In their National Liturgy they claim to be the Lord's "people" - "the sheep of His pasture" - "the remnant of the true Israelites, among whom is Salvation." Being made disciples of Christ as "being born [ABCOG: begotten] again of the incorruptible seed of the Word," they are made "sons of the living God" and in the right of "the Man that is a Jew" (Zech. 8:23) they are children of Abraham by faith. If the Birthright had been given to Judah, and nothing had been said about the Sons of JOSEPH being constituted heirs of the promises, there would seem to be something in this...
But the fact remains that the fulfillment of the Promises to the Jews, whether natural or spiritual, can never answer to the conditions indicated in Gen. 48, 49. The lost children of Joseph must themselves inherit the blessing.
Observe, also, that the children of JOSEPH were brethren of the Jews, and thus were descendants of SHEM; while the English are said to be descended from Japheth. If this be so, we must look elsewhere for the children of promise.
Yet supposing the Aborigines of the British Isles to be, like the Lapps, descendants of Japheth, or, like some of the Irish Phoenicians (Fenians), the offspring of Canaan, this would not prove the present inhabitants of the British Isles to be descendants of either Japheth or Ham; because shortly before the Christian era the north of Europe received a new population of Semitic origin, and repeatedly thereafter.
We are not a beardless race like the descendants of Japheth. Like the Jews, we are of Caucasian, that is of Semitic origin. Japheth was to dwell in "the tents of Shem," but Shem was to be master of the tents. The Birthright also belonged to Shem (Gen. 9:26), and as "the Lord God of Shem" the Most High bestowed the Blessing. But our teachers have comparatively nothing to say upon the Birthright, the culminating point of Patriarchal Revelation. They pass it by altogether, and do not seem to understand the emphatic manner in which reference is made to the Cross as the Ensign under which the Blessing was to come upon the children of Joseph.
So blind have we been that we have even confounded Judah with Joseph, and have regarded "All Israel" as Jews, notwithstanding the marked distinction made by God between even the two sons of Joseph, and much more between them and Judah (Gen. 48:19).
So ignorant of Scripture have our poor people been left, that multitudes have become the prey of even Mormon imposture, which one would think is sufficiently palpable when pretending to reply to the questions, "Where are the children of Ephraim"? " Where are the people who were to inherit the promises"? These Mormons say, "Look to the North American Indians. There is the promised multitude of nations. True, they are not at present under blessing but under curse, indicated by their dark skins. [ABCOG: Do Mormons still teach this?] But these are to become white when they embrace the creed of Joseph Smith." That is, when the white-faced followers of Joseph Smith come to inherit their lands, and take the place of the pretended multitude of nations, which is fast perishing from off the earth.
And yet the Book of Mormon does not at all pretend what the apostles of Mormonism took for granted - that the Indians are descended from Ephraim. It says they are of a family of Manasseh, who more than a hundred years after the two half-tribes of Manasseh were lost, came out of "the land of Jerusalem," and having travelled away to America, became the progenitors of the Indian tribes.
Our guilt is doubtless as great as our folly in refusing to acknowledge the truthfulness of God in fulfilling to us the Promises made to our Fathers; and it is high time to throw away the absurd fallacy of our being descended from Japheth, as if we were the aborigines of these European countries any more than our kindred in America are descended from those of America.
About 1,328 years ago (549 A.D.) the Angles obtained their final settlement in this "place appointed" for them from the days of old (2 Sam. 7:10). Previously they came from where Israel were lost. And let it never be forgotten that WHERE THE PEOPLE WERE LOST TO WHOM THE PROMISES WERE MADE, THENCE THE PEOPLE HAVE COME TO WHOM THE PROMISES ARE BEING FULFILLED.
God calls upon us to consider prophecy and its fulfillment, and to say whether or not it be truth. But if we give no heed to the Faithful Promiser, how can we expect to escape without damage in the great changes which are taking place in the earth?
Most of the objections, difficulties, and hindrances to understanding the truth with regard to our Israelitish origin arise from the very widespread ignorance of even the broad facts of Scripture, English, and Jewish history, to say nothing of language. Many mistakes might easily be corrected by a judicious reference to the historical parts of the Bible, and to such well-known works on our own early national existence as Dr. Henry's " History of Great Britain," and Sharon Turner's "History of the Anglo-Saxons;" while Josephus and Prideaux should not be entirely overlooked when considering matters RELATING to the Jews.
It is repeatedly asserted by the prophet Isaiah that the Lord hath not merely "created" Israel as He hath done all men, but also that He hath "formed" them to show forth His praise; hath, as it were, with laborious carefulness fashioned them for the manifestation of His glory in the latter time. The wisdom of the Great Teacher of Israel in their training, as recorded in Scripture, even after they were led into captivity and seemingly abandoned, is manifest; for this happened to them only that they might be taken up by the Lord in another way, so that He should be able to say, as in Isa. 41:9, "I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away." The great work of "forming" a people for Himself was still to be going forward according to promise, "for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Rom. 11:29).
Now, it is remarkable that in all researches after the Lost Tribes this important truth has been overlooked, that the Infinitely wise God in all their wanderings would continue to be the Instructor of Israel; so in place of looking for the Promised Seed where we ought, we, in the pride of our Gentileism, have been looking for them among the most degraded, uneducated, and savage races on the face of the earth, altogether by nature incapacitated for taking the part appointed prophetically to Israel. But "shall the work say of Him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of Him that framed it, He had no understanding?" No, the "work" will justify the wisdom of the Worker. "The thing framed" will witness to the wonder-working power of Him that framed it. The "dry bones" are here - nay, "flesh and sinews" have come upon them, and "skin" begins to cover them above. Let but "the breath" of the Lord breathe upon them; let the Word of God pass freely over them, declaring His purposes regarding themselves, and they will stand up "on their feet an exceeding great army" prepared to follow the Captain of their salvation in triumph over all the powers of darkness.
These views have been adopted cautiously, after many years' study of the Holy Scriptures and Providence. Although we have carefully discussed many controverted points, we have, happily been kept out of mere disputation, and have felt ourselves free to follow Truth. If we seem to fail in this on any important point, it is rather perhaps because sometimes our readers may be disposed to tell our meaning before we utter it.
For, notwithstanding, all that is said about ISRAEL and EPHRAIM, it is quite possible that some of our friends, as well as others who are directly opposed, may still think of our work as especially relating to "the Jews;" whereas the prime object is to show that God has been keeping His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to whom He was known by the name of "God Almighty." He was also known to them by His name JEHOVAH "(He who causes to be or bringeth to pass)," and by oath He confirmed to them His Covenant. (WATCHMEN of EPHRAIM, Vol. 1)
The promises to the fathers were made sure to Ephraim, the younger son of Joseph, who was constituted the Heir in Christ, from whom chiefly was to descend that "great nation" pointed forward to in the name of Abram, the first great receiver of the promises, and also that "multitude of nations" referred to when his name was enlarged to ABRAHAM.
On the disruption of the tribes at the death of Solomon, Judah, Benjamin, and fragments of other tribes, with many of the priests and Levites, adhered to the throne of David, and were called "the house of Judah;" but Ephraim and the other tribes to the north, and east, and west of the Jordan, under the name of ISRAEL, or ALL ISRAEL, remained a distinct kingdom until the captivity of Israel, which began about B.C. 740, and was completed thirty years after - B.C. 710.
Israel had been called near to the Lord, had been led about, instructed, and given abundant evidence of the justice and mercy of God, and of His determination to accomplish all He had promised. EPHRAIM had been a ringleader in rebellion, to such a degree as that the Lord had said, B.C. 742 , "Within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken that he be not a people." This curse was to take effect B.C. 677. Before that time Ephraim was to be "lost among the Gentiles," and so it came to pass.
There was one hopeful feature in Ephraim's case. The last view we have of him in Scripture previous to his expatriation was as bringing forth "the fruit of the Kingdom." The army of Israel had made war upon the Jews, and brought immense spoil and many prisoners to Samaria. Against the host thus returning from the war a prophet of the Lord went forth, and the Word of the Lord spoken by him was taken up by "the men of Ephraim expressed by name" who, acknowledging their own sins against the Lord, protested against adding to their guilt by being the wilful instruments of punishing their brethren of the house of Judah. The soldiery seem to have bowed to the Word of the Lord as well as the civilians, so that they left both the prisoners and the spoils in the hands of "the men of Ephraim," who clothed those who were naked among them, arrayed them, gave them to eat and to drink, anointed them, carried all the feeble among them upon asses, and having brought them "to Jericho, the city of palm trees," they returned to Samaria (2 Chron. 28). The Lord must have seen something of this when He said, about the same time, or just after, "How shall I give thee up, Ephraim?" (Hos. 11:8). And although the decree had gone forth, and Ephraim must be cut off as a people, we may be quite sure that in thus bringing forth the "fruits" called for, in the judgment of the nations, preparatory to being given to inherit the Kingdom (Matt. 25), this practical exhibition of repentance towards God, and kindness to the poor and needy of that people whom the Lord condescended to make His brethren according to the flesh, was not overlooked by the Great Messenger of the Covenant when sending forth the Word of His Grace; and may well believe it was directly pointed to when He said to the Jews, after speaking of the very different kind of treatment which they had given to the Lord's messengers, " Therefore say I unto you, the Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it." This saying of our Lord is like that in Jer. 3: "The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words towards the north, and say, "Return, thou backsliding Israel, I will not cause Mine anger to fall upon you, saith the Lord." The Apostle [Paul] witnesses that upon the Jews of his generation wrath" was "come to the uttermost" (I Thess. 2:16). But this was not to be the case with Ephraim: "I will surely have MERCY upon him, saith the Lord" (Jer. 31:20).
The Word of the Lord, to which Ephraim had at length shown a disposition to give ear while yet in the Land, was sent after him into the North Country, after the nation to which he belonged had been "given a bill of divorce and sent away" (Jer. 3:8). We are, therefore, not to look for Israel as still under the law, like the Jews; nor even as bearing their own name of Ephraim or Israel. They were cast out among the Gentiles, and were to become "a multitude of nations," or as the phrase is rendered by the Apostle Paul, "THE FULLNESS OF THE GENTILES " (Rom. 11:25).
Let us then proceed in the direction in which the Word of the Lord went forth from Jerusalem. Following the course of that great Apostle of the Gentiles, we find that every successive journey was more and more towards these "isles afar off" where we find a people dwelling "alone," who are also "without number among the nations." Upon the "multitude of nations" to whom they have given birth in all "the ends of the earth" has fallen the pleasant lot of ministering to the wants of all the nations of the earth. God has done for them, and enabled them to do "great things" for themselves and for others. But in nothing have they been more signally favored than in this, that to them has been committed that which was taken from the Jews, "the keeping of the Oracles of God," the ministration of the Bread of Life to all people, the causing to be proclaimed in all languages the wonderful works of God.
The people upon whom this privilege has fallen came from the borders of the Caspian Sea, whither the Assyrians carried the people upon whom it was promised the blessing should come. The destiny promised to the Firstborn was special, and it is specially that of the English. All things agree to confirm the word that God "hath remembered His mercy and His truth toward the House of Israel." "We are indeed His People and the sheep of His pasture." May this be proved, not only by the Lord's kindness to us, but by our making a right use of our privileges; by our truly fulfilling our destiny in being for blessing unto all the nations of the earth.
Saxo Grammaticus, who wrote about the middle of the twelfth century, asserts that a certain man named DAN was the founder of the Danish monarchy, and that his brother was called "ANGUL." And at the Royal Academy in 1877 a most graphic picture by Keeley Halswelle (No. 1,394) was exhibited representing the oft-told, though sometimes discredited tale of Gregory the Great looking with tender compassion on some beautiful children "every one like the son of a king" exposed for sale in Rome. Inquiring of his companions who they were, he was told they were ANGLI, and is thought by many to have perpetrated but a poor pun when he exclaimed, "Non Angli, sed Angeli."
Now the fact is, in those early days (A.D. 588) Roman Churchmen were far better scholars than they were after "the Dark Ages" of ignorance and superstition had set in; and it is likely that the Hebrew word (Engel) was familiar enough to him as the name for a CALF, YOUNG BULL, or BULLOCK; but the Roman power having by previous heathen conquest acquired the Four Standards of Israel (the Man, the Lion, the Eagle, and the Bull, called "living creatures" in Ezek. 1, and "beasts" in Rev. 4), the Church thought the symbols of too great value to be left unused, appropriated them to the Four Evangelists, and called them by the same name angeloi (Gk.), angeli (Latin.), angels (or messengers), possibly from their " feet," which are said to be those of "a calf" (Engel), the word still used in Germany for "an angel."
There is much more in this than at first meets the eye, causing one's thoughts to flash backwards and forwards along the lines of Prophecy and Providence in relation to that people, after whom the south part of this island is called ENGLAND, the world's carriers and messengers, and whose voice is popularly but in this case correctly, translated by that of JOHN BULL, possibly the rough wit of some Meso-Goth on hearing the word Euangelion (Gk.) for the first time, the first syllable of which would sound like the contraction (in hebrew) of John (and means the same), and Engel as pronounced in Germany. For those among them who "feared the Lord, and spake often one to another (Hebrew, a man to his runi, the Icelandic for one who knows the secret), a Book of Remembrance," the Gospels, the Good Message, the New Testament or Covenant was written "before Him" (Mal. 3:16; John 14:26).
Yes, let us be thankful that the English name, even as "Engli," is inscribed in Mal. 4:2, and that the last message of the Old Testament has come to us from the Lord, saying, "But unto you fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; AND YE SHALL GO FORTH AND GROW UP AS CALVES (Ka-Engli), OF THE STALL" - strong for the Lord's work. "Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb, for All-Israel, the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."
A great change was indeed necessary. "The ox (the standard of Ephraim) knoweth his owner, and the ass (that of Issachar) his master's crib); but Israel doth not know; My people doth not consider" (Isa. 1:3). "Ephraim is a heifer that is taught... I will make Ephraim brake the ground." (Engle) (Hos. 10:11, B.C. 740). "Worshippers of golden calves" (Englim, chap. 13:2). "Thy calf, O Samaria," &c. Engli-ka. chap. 8:5). But a great and gradual change is recognized by the Prophets. Thus JEREMIAH 31:18, B.C. 606, -
"I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus:
ZECHARIAH also, B.C. 518 (chap. 9:12), -
"Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope:
And many hundreds of years before that, JACOB with the eye of faith had foreseen the ultimate result, along with the CAUSE of Joseph's power, when he prophesied, -
"His bow (Kashto) abode in strength,
It is worthy of observation that, of the nations from the north of Europe which came into Britain, the ANGLES alone, who came last, and ultimately gave their name to this country, left no known portion of their people on the Continent. They seem to have merely passed through the country of the Jutes and Saxons, and to have almost entirely transported themselves into this island, after whom the whole southern portion of it came ultimately to be termed ENGLAND. It would, however, be an error to suppose that they only occupied Yorkshire. Partly by direct emigration, and partly by the scattering occasioned by the incursions of the Danes and Norman conquest, the same race which peopled at first the central parts of the island, called in the times of the Heptarchy EAST ANGLIA, Mercia (from the Gothic "Merc," a boundary), and Deira (or Northumberland), spread southward to the Saxon quarters, and even. westward Into Wales, as well as northward into Scotland... In their quarters are found the principal and most ancient seats of learning, such as Oxford and Cambridge; also the chief manufacturing districts, whether of clothes, metals, earthenware, or chemical preparations; as well as the greatest marts, with the exception of London, for the import of the 'fullness of the earth' by sea, and for sending forth to all quarters of the globe the productions of English ingenuity and industry... Nor is it to be overlooked that from these same quarters London itself is supplied with some main portions of its population which have carried literature, science, and art to such perfection, as well as mercantile and missionary enterprise to the bounds of the habitable globe." - Wilson's "Lectures on our Israelitish Origin," 5th edition.
It is interesting to note the various kinds of evidence which connect the SAXONS with India. The BEHISTUN ROCK at Kermanshah, in Persia, said to be erected by Darius Hystaspes (of Ezra 4.) the year before his ratification of the decree of Cyrus for rebuilding the Temple at Jerusalem (B.C. 521), contains the figures of nine men tied together, and another in a high cap, under whom is written in three languages - the key discovered in 1837, whereby the Nineveh inscriptions have been read, - 'THIS is SAKUKA, THE SACAM OR SAXON.'" - Vaux Persia, and "Christian Observer," 1876.
"The White Island, SACAM or SAXAM, as pronounced by our Saxon ancestors, as well as by certain adjacent parts of the Continent - such as Saxony - is stated in the Puránás (or very old writings) named "Varaha and Matsya," to be in possession of the Saks, who conquered it at a very early period." Asiatic Researches, 11.
"From a Druidical record we know that a people using Hebraic language visited Britain when Druidism was the dominant religion, proving alike by their language and their religion their connection with the Sakai and the Buddhists of the East. At the time of Caesar's invasion (B.C. 56) we find a people bearing a name precisely similar to that adopted by the Buddhists in the most ancient period of record, as at Kanari - the CASSI or KASHI (i.e., bowmen)." - Dr. Moore's "Saxons of the East and West". From the same author's "Ancient Pillar-Stones of Scotland," we learn of the death of Aittie, a Buddhist missionary, the Runic or Pali inscriptions round whose tombstone at Logie-Elphinstoe, Aberdeenshire, reads thus: 'When Baal ruled Jutland and the coast before thee, Iatti was smitten;" and on the other side, -
"In the tomb with the dead is Aitti,
The "Ynglengla Saga" tells that in Suithiod (Sweden) Odin established the same laws which had been observed by the Asae; and that in memory of distinguished men, sepulchral mounds, now called by the people kin-barrows (atte hogar) were to be erected; and memorial stones (bauta stenar) besides to every man who had shown himself valiant.
Many are the hindrances existing in the minds of men, from whom, in an ordinary way, it might be expected that they would give this subject at least an honest hearing, There are the whisperings of infidelity where one least expects; there are the mental warpings acquired while groping through the fogs of ignorance unaided by such assistance as a liberal familiarity with the various stores of knowledge, in a measure necessary to the right apprehension of the question in its various ramifications, would supply. There are the consistencies and inconsistencies of the various schools of prophetic interpretation bringing in their claims; there are vested interests to be considered; to say nothing of the lazy selfishness of human nature, which querulously asks, "Cui bono?" [Who benefits?] Let us take a few of these, and briefly reply to the more general.
from Sixty Anglo-Israel Difficulties Answered. Chiefly from the Correspondence of the late John Wilson, compiled by his daughter. London: S. W. Partridge and Co., 9, Paternoster Row. 1877
John Wilson, 1877. Sixty Anglo-Israel Difficulties Answered