Sir Henry Finch (1558-1625) and the first english advocates of the restoration of the jews to palestine

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The subject of this paper belongs to the history both of the Jews and of England, and it refers to the sphere of religion as well as to that of politics. It is the fate of many matters that overlap different orbits in this way that only on rare occasions one or another of the respective students takes care of them, and that they become thus a kind of scientific no man's land. This happened in the present case.

Not earlier than 1861 the first attempt was made to deal with the history of the Christian movement for the Restoration of the Jews to Palestine by the outstanding theologian, David Brown. He, however, treated the matter from a merely theological angle. After the publication of this quickly forgotten book more than half a century had to pass before the matter was again taken up. Zionism had in the meantime entered upon its decisive phase. With the preliminaries and the issue of the Balfour Declaration a vivid interest in the historical antecedents of the British pro-Zionist policy was aroused. In 1917 Albert M. Hyamson presented the first account of the " British Projects for the Restoration of the Jews ". While this survey was concerned mainly with the events of the nineteenth century, Nahum Sokolow in his " History of Zionism " (1919) traced and investigated the Christian current tending to the restoration of Israel, particularly the British sector of this movement, as far as the beginning of the seventeenth century. There was, however, according to Sokolow's intentions, in his general history of Zionism no room for special inquiries about the origin and the first stage of the movement.

During the twenty-five years which have since elapsed the restoration of the Jews has taken shape in an amazing way. The building of the Jewish National Home in Palestine is in progress,2 in spite of the unparalleled trial which the Jewish people has to face at present. At the same time a special crisis has developed within the complex of the British policy towards Palestine. Thus many reasons justify right now an attempt to examine thoroughly the origin of the interest that the non-Jewish world has taken in the re-establishment of the Jewish people in the Holy Land.

must ask for permission to begin with a preliminary survey of the develop? ments in the Christian world which finally culminated in the appearance of the first English advocates of " the Restoration of the Jews ".

The re-emergence of the Holy Land and, particularly, of Jerusalem to their former or even more splendid glory constitutes not only the never abandoned hope of Israel but also an essential part of the Christian eschatology as developed by the founders of the Church. The principal expectations, based chiefly on the Book of Daniel and the Revelation of St. John, were the return of Jesus and his victorious struggle against Antichrist whose fall would lead to the Millennium, the heavenly kingdom of peace bound to last a thousand years and to

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