shadowy messianic figure, but she died in 1814 after a false pregnancy. Her followers convinced themselves that the birth of Shiloh had occurred in a spiritual sense and they continued to adhere to her teachings.

The passion for prophecy spread through British society. Samuel Horsley, Church of England Bishop of Rochester, interpreted the French Revolution in apocalyptic terms. In 1800, he discerned in 'the raging sea of Anarchy and Irre-ligion...the dreadful Apocalyptic Beast...inits ancient form'. By i806,hehad become convinced that Napoleon would return most of the Jews to Palestine and proclaim himself the Messiah, before being revealed as the Antichrist.13 Spencer Perceval, prime minister from i809 until his assassination in i8i2, poured over biblical prophecy in an effort to understand the unfolding world events. Millenarian beliefs infused the work of Samuel Frey, a German-born Jewish convert who studied at Janicke's Berlin mission school, immigrated to London in 1801 and established the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews in i809. In Ireland, 'prophecy men' spread millenarian visions through Ulster and Connaught in the mid 1790s, while in the same decade Trinity College, Dublin, emerged as a centre for prophetic speculation based on analysis of biblical chronology.

In Germany, Pietist communities embraced prophetic teachings amid the upheavals of revolution and invasion. Many believed that the Enlightenment had represented the false teachings of the Antichrist, and that the triumphs of the revolutionary and Napoleonic armies marked the raging of Satan on earth, which was the prelude to the return of Christ and the advent of the millennium. According to the historian Hartmut Lehmann, a quarter of Protestants in Wurttemberg at the end of the eighteenth century adhered to some form of millenarianism.14 In 1800, a Protestant clergyman in Wurttemberg, Johann Jakob Friederich, published a work of prophecy, in which he claimed that God had called the poor and oppressed of the world to make their way to the holy land. There they were to build on Mount Zion a temple, which would be more beautiful than could be imagined. From this temple, a fountain would flow, the waters of which would cure all diseases and irrigate the land, transforming Palestine into a garden. Those living in the holy land would be safe from the final raging ofthe Antichrist, and would welcome Christ on his return in glory. In calling the faithful to make their way to Mount Zion, God also promised to the pilgrims, including the blind, the lame, the elderly and women about to give birth, His divine protection.15

Among those who heeded this call was Marie Kummer, a daughter of a Pietist lay preacher, who in 1801 joined a group of thirty pilgrims on the journey to Mount Zion. The pilgrims got as far as Vienna before they were

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment