Time for favour: Scottish missions to the Jews, 1838-1852

Ross, John Stuart (2004) Time for favour: Scottish missions to the Jews, 1838-1852. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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This study is an original and extensive investigation of the development and influence of Scottish Presbyterian missions to the Jewish people in the period 1838-1852. Brief popular accounts of this story have been written, most notably David McDougal’s chronicle In Search o f Israel (London, T. Nelson, 1941). In addition several scholarly works have touched on the Jewish mission tangentially, these include the contributions of Addley, Palmer, Yeaworth, Kool, Chambers and Roxborogh. The first four scholars hold largely uncontroversial views of the Scottish Jewish mission, whereas the latter two require detailed response. Don Chambers’ 1971 Cambridge Ph.D. thesis Mission and Party in the Church of Scotland 1810-1843, holds that the Jewish mission was eccentric and a-typical of the mission schemes of the Church of Scotland. John Roxborogh’s 1999 study Thomas Chalmers: Enthusiast for Mission curiously neglects Chalmers’ enthusiasm for missions to the Jews. Both authors are challenged by a fresh evaluation of original sources: Roxborogh in chapter two and Chambers in chapter seven. The period 1838-52 was critical for the development of Scottish missions to the Jewish people. Although sympathetic interest in the Jews had become entrenched in the Church of Scotland in the preceding centuries, opportunity to practically engage in mission was not afforded until the formation of the London Society for the Promotion o f Christianity among the Jews in 1809. The subsequent withdrawal of the Scottish Presbyterians from the LSPCJ inhibited further involvement in mission until the decision of the 1838 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to establish a committee for the conversion of the Jews. The first phase of the mission terminated in 1852 with the expulsion of the missionaries from the Austrian domains, specifically from Hungary and Moldavia. In chapter one the roots of the mission are traced to certain general religious influences and the spiritual heritage descending from the Reformation via the ‘Second Reformation’ of the seventeenth century to the eighteenth century revival movements. Attention is paid in chapter two to the formation in 1838, by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, of a Jewish missionary committee. The influence of both the Edinburgh Christian Instructor and the establishment in 1809 of Scottish auxiliaries of the LSPCJ is considered. The roles of Robert Wodrow and Thomas Chalmers are evaluated. In chapters three to five the membership, remit and strategic contribution of the 1839 ‘Mission of Inquiry’ is analysed. A critical analysis of the key motivations behind nineteenth century Scottish mission to the Jews forms the substance of chapter six. The influence of Edward Irving, and the revival of interest in the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy is traced. An investigation is made of the millennial controversy between the premillennial theories of the Bonar brothers and the postmillennial views of David Brown. It is argued that eschatological factors were balanced by strong ethical considerations, particularly indebtedness to Israel as the source of the Scottish church’s rich spiritual heritage. In chapter seven, financial and other popular support for the cause is considered. Chapters eight to ten contain a detailed examination of the establishment of the European missionary work, particularly that of Daniel Edward at Jassy and Lemburg, and John Duncan and his team at Pesth (Budapest). The influence of the Disruption (1843) is traced, as well as the impact of the Hungarian revolution of 1848 and the subsequent expulsion of the missionaries in 1852. The relative success of these ventures is assessed. The study concludes, in chapter eleven, by demonstrating the influence of the mission on the revival of evangelical spirituality in the Hungarian Reformed Church, the establishment of the Jewish missions of other Presbyterian churches and the founding of the British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BM Judaism
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Natalie Williams
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2022 11:45
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2022 01:02
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/2019

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