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Elpis Table of Contents



Elpis Israel

Being An Exposition of the Kingdom of God
With Reference to The Time of the End, and The Age To Come.
Written 1848 | Special Edition -- Revised -- 1904




"ELPIS ISRAEL" has appeared in a number of editions, and to four of them the author wrote prefaces containing allusions to political events current at the time they appeared. It is not necessary to reproduce these, but the following extract from the first edition, published in London in 1850, explains how the work came to be penned:-

"The events in 1848 caused many in the United States to revisit their native lands. Among these was the author of this volume. Believing he could irradiate the light of the prophetic word upon the political tragedies of the time, and, by so doing, be of use to those who desire to know the truth, he determined to intermit his labours in America, where he had been operating for about sixteen years in the same vocation, and to see if a 'door of utterance' might not be opened in England for the same purpose. He was the more induced to take this step by a desire to be nearer the scene of action, that he might avail himself of the more frequent and copious details furnished by the British than the American press, to the end that he might as speedily as possible obtain a comprehensive view of the crisis; which is the most important that has yet happened to the world, because it is pregnant of consequences for good and evil, which will leave their mark upon society for a thousand years. Having made his arrangements accordingly, he arrived in London, June 28th, 1848; and in July following he received an invitation to visit Nottingham, and to deliver a course of lectures upon the times, in connection with the prophetic word. The interest created during his short stay there was great and encouraging, and became the occasion of invitations to visit other towns and cities also. During this tour he visited Derby, Belper, Lincoln, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Paisley, and addressed thousands of people, who heard him gladly. Those who opened the way for him were neither the rich nor the noble, but intelligent men of industrious and steady habits, who desired to know and disseminate the truth according to their means. (Acts 3:6.) As the author's labours were gratuitous, they were the better able to afford him facilities; and he would add here the testimony of his experience, that not only is the gospel, when preached, 'preached to the poor,' and received by them, but it is the poor also who devote themselves to its proclamation, and who do most for its support. If it had not been for the poor and humble during the last 1849 years, the gospel would have perished from the earth; for the rich have not been the persons to leave the comforts of their homes, and to go forth, without fee or reward, to enlighten their fellow men, for the truth's sake. It is a gratification to the author to be able to say that he his left his home, 4,000 miles in the south-west; that he has travelled twice through Britain; delivered 170 addresses to the people; sat up early and late conversing with them on the things of the kingdom, and written this work, that he may leave a testimony behind him, and as yet has received no more than four shillings over his travelling expenses. He mentions this that the reader may be able to acquit him of being a trader in religion; and that what he says in this book concerning 'spiritual merchants' may not lose its point under the supposition that he also is one of the wealthy and thriving firm. Rich men have not yet learned to 'make themselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when they fail, they may receive them into everlasting habitations.' (Luke 16:9; 1 Tim. 6:17-19). All the opposition the author has had to contend against since his arrival in Britain has proceeded from them: but he is gratified in being able to state, that they have failed to obstruct him, and their waywardness has recoiled on their own pates.

The interest created in the thousands who listened to the author's discourses has originated the work now offered to the world. A request was publicly made to him in Edinburgh and Glasgow that what had been spoken should be printed, and that, as it was not to be expected that he should publish at a mere venture, committees would be formed to promote a subscription. Although the author had concluded to return to America in October or November, he could not find it in his heart to leave his work unfinished, seeing that such a volume was now desired. Trusting, therefore, to the good faith of those who had become interested in the truth, he acceeded to their request, and on his return to London entered upon the labour, which has proved sufficiently laborious by the close application required to do much in a limited time. Having at length finished the manuscript, the author made a second tour in June, 1849. In addition to the former places, he visited Birmingham, Newark, Dundeen, Aberdeen, and Liverpool. The result of his labours was a list of upwards of a thousand subscribers, which encouraged him to go to press on his return to London in September. But, on revising the manuscript, he found some things omitted, others touched too lightly, and other parts too diffuse; so that, upon the whole, he condemned it as unsuitable, and imposed upon himself the task of writing it over again -- which, after four months, he has accomplished, and now offers it to the public for its 'edification, exhortation, and comfort.'

The nature of the work is indicated on the title-page. It is a work showing what the Bible teaches as a whole, and not the elaboration of a new or fantastical theological theory, or the new vamping of an old one. It demonstrates the great subject of the Scriptures, namely: 'the Kingdom of God and of His annointed,' without which they would be as a nut whose kernel had perished. It is a book for all classes, lay and clerical, without respect of persons, for all are concluded under sin, being all ignorant of 'this gospel of the kingdom.' Judging from the lucubrations of public writers of the ministerial class, the nature of the times demands something out of the ordinary periodical and public routine to awake 'the churches' to spiritual life, lest they sleep the sleep of death. They are truly in a Laodicean state (Rev. 3:17), and already spued out of the mouth of the Lord. They say they are 'rich and increased in goods, and have need of nothing;' but some of their doctors have discernment enough to see that they are 'wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.' But, alas for them, they know not how to remedy the evil! They do not perceive that the fault is in their systems, which have made them what they are, and which they are pledged to support on pain of 'suffering the loss of all things.' The great desideratum of the crisis is the Gospel of the Kingdom. The State-clergy and the Dissenting ministry are ignorant of the Gospel; and ' like priest like people.' 'The churches' are full of darkness, for the Gospel doth not shine into them, being neither believed nor preached among them. Here, then, is a book peculiarly adapted to the times. It will show the people what the Gospel is -- what is the obedience it requires and enable them to discern the times; that the Lord may not come upon them at unawares, and take them unprepared. It is a book, not for these times only but for all the years preceding 'the time of the end,' and thence to the epoch of the restoration of the kingdom and throne of David. It is named ELPIS ISRAEL, Or Israel's Hope; for the kingdom of which it treats is that which is longed for by all intelligent Israelites, and for which, said Paul, 'I am bound with this chain.' Elpis Israel's subject-matter is national, not sectarian. It treats of a nation, and of its civil and ecclesiastical institutions in a past and future age. It is designed to enlighten both Jews and Gentiles in Israel's Hope, that by conforming to the proclamation of their king they may be prepared for the administration of its affairs in concert with him, when all nations shall be as politically subject to his dominion as Hindostan and Britain are to Queen Victoria's. It is designed to show men how they may attain to eternal life in this theocracy, and obtain a crown which shall never fade away. To accomplish this, the reader must, in justice to himself and the truth, study it with the Bible at his right hand, for he will find but few pages in which frequent reference is not made to its authority, and without which nothing can or ought to be determined."

Chapter 1


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