185 years ago today - May 19, 1839

Popular author Edward Bickersteth preaches a series of sermons where he considers "the signs of these latter days, which are preparatory steps to the establishment of Christ's kingdom." Steps to this end are overcoming Catholic influence ... "that the mystical Babylon, or the Papal kingdoms, may fall, and the Jews return";

Preaching to the Gentiles. "The Preaching to the Gentiles fulfils that plain prophecy: 'I saw an angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come, and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.' And delightful, most delightful, is it, to witness the extended preaching of the Gospel through the world."

"The Preaching to the Jews... another sign of these times"

In subsequent sermons he talks of modern fulfillment of "the mind of Christ" from Isaiah. "The Gentiles, indeed, chiefly receive him and bring forth fruits, ... They are grafted into the Jewish olive-tree." ... "What are all the Churches of Christ among the Gentiles but the seed of Abraham? What is the Saviour's prayer for his people, both from [sic] Jew and Gentile? - that they all may be one. And when Israel is restored, and when the saints are gathered, and when the heavenly Jerusalem is completed, what will be the enraptured triumphs of the Jewish church, looking back on the time of its widowhood, and seeing that, in that very time, the Lord was doing so much for her!"

"...beginning to appear of the restoration of Israel. The silence of eighteen centuries is broken; the prejudices of eighteen centuries are giving way. Jews and Christians are beginning to sympathise in one hope"

[Grunder, Rick, Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source]

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