The Rev. William Smith, first provost of the College of Philadelphia and founder of the settlement of Huntingdon in Pennsylvania, was an American episcopalian and advocate of Westward expansion into the Ohio Valley during the colonial and revolutionary eras. Dr. Smith was fascinated by America’s role in bible prophecy. Since Identity students often treat the “Isles Afar” as referring to the British Nation, the Rev. Smith’s learned insights on the same phrase is worthwhile to mention. There is also a related question regarding what constitutes, in terms of geographic boundaries, ‘the world’. Here, Smith also offers sound thoughts. The quotes below are taken from Smith’s 1760 Sermon addressing Christian Education, delivered to the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge. Continue reading “Rev. William Smith: “Isles Afar””
This is a third entry in a series on Bishop Titcomb’s probable evidence for British Israelism. Chapter 2 of his book, Message From the 19th-Century, posits unfulfilled promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel as confirmed in both the Old and New Testament. These promises, according to Titcomb, belong to the latter Messianic dispensation. Continue reading “Rt. Rev. Titcomb: From the 19th-Century. Chapter 2”
A curious reading of Esay. 7:14-16 was found upon considering the perpetuity of a Davidic line with Britain. As we might recall, the Rt. Rev. Jon Titcomb essentially rejected this view as too conjectural, requiring more belief in Legend than Scripture. So no Messiah is mistaken other than Jesus, Dr. Adam Clarke dislikes a secondary rendering. However, Mr. Joseph Benson is less restrictive, admitting with other 18th-century commentators a verse which speaks of two figures– the Christ-child, born of Mary, but also the son of Isaiah, leaving his infancy during Ahaz’s reign. Other commentators like Thomas Scott invite a double-meaning but leave more mystery. In so far as Clarke’s estimates David’s progeny extinct by reason of their diffusion among late-Jewry applicable, we may dismiss Clarke’s more rigid reckoning.
Though not the Cambridge scholar as the Rt. Rev. Jon Holt Titcomb, Mr. Edward Hine was likely the greatest Victorian exponent of British Israelism, popularizing Identity teachings to large audiences and societies both in England and touring extensively in the States. Note: Hine’s Forty-seven Identifications of the British Nation with the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel (1874) is an exhaustive example of the Evidental method later used by Titcomb.
Evidently, among some Identitarians and neo-reactionaries there’s a wish to return America, or the United States, to a political (rather than merely cultural and emotional) Union with Britain. In other words, these critics would abandon, if not disparage, American Patriotism. Countering such criticisms, Hine viewed America’s continued Independence as necessary to the Identity account of Anglo-Saxon history, fulfilling Bible prophecies given to Manasseh. Defending the importance of America’ s Republicanism and her Sovereignty, Hine asserts the gravity of this particular identifier,
This is a second part in a series on Jon Holt Titcomb’s Message to the Nineteenth-Century. The Rt. Rev. Titcomb served as the first Anglican bishop of Rangoon (British Burma) in 1878 and later coadjutor to English chaplaincies across Europe in 1885. He was a late-Victorian and great advocate of the Israel-Identity teaching.
Titcomb begins chapter 1 with a certain caution respecting Identity methodology. Titcomb’s warnings remain relevant, and might be marked-well even for today’s BI milieu. Quoting Dr. Wright– while speaking as a Cambridge don himself– Titcomb says,
This Christmas Eve our Anglican lectionary provided morning readings from Ps. 89 and Isa. 9– the Advent season culminating in the Promise for Messianic Kingship. Among my favorite commentators, Bishop Titcomb’s opinon regarding the British Throne was quickly consulted. I was shocked to find Titcomb’s skepticism about the Davidic seat belonging to Queen Victoria and her progeny. This is surprising since the Pillar of Jacob tends to be a central BI belief– a key argument for the primacy of the British Crown over Christendom. My question remains, after examining the best commentary on Christmas Eve readings (Ps. 89 & Isa. 9), if the British Throne as part of the Davidic Promise needs to be entirely dispensed? Continue reading “Psalm 89:3-4, v. 29, 35-36 “His Seed Shall Endure Forever””
As we reviewed chapter 4 in Titcomb’s book Message to the Nineteenth Century, a friend asked if the Rt. Reverend was a ‘universalist’. My answer was ‘not in any technical sense’. As a Bishop in the Church of England, Titcomb most likely believed in the universal fall of mankind by Adam’s first transgression as well as the universal offer of redemption by Christ who was the propitiation for sins of all men. So, if orthodox Protestantism be universalist in this sense, then so be it– Titcomb was a universalist!
Nonetheless, the term ‘universalist‘ can be (carelessly) thrown about in Identity circles without knowing the more stricter sense of it. Indeed, when I hear the accusation of ‘unversalism’, I immediately think of the Unitarian-Universalist church belief. Of course, Univeral-Unitarian belief resulted in the merger of Unitarians and Universalists in the 19th century. Unitarians tended represent the extreme political-Left of the Protestant church, and still do today.