John Wilson was born at Kilmarnock, Scotland, in 1779. He commenced his inquiry into the Israelitish origin of the Anglo-Saxons in the year 1837. Studying at great length in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, he succeeded in tracing the Anglo-Saxons as far back as Media.
In the following year he gave a series of lectures which proved to be most successful. Owing to their popularity, he published his lectures in book form in 1840, under the title “Our Israelitish Origin”, in which he traced the migrations of the peoples of Israel, as they made their way across the continent of Europe to these Isles. He brings evidence to bear from Diodorus and from Ptolemy, supporting the earlier-history of the Israelites. He studied the works of Raulinson, Herodotus and Josephus, and quoted extensively from Sharon Turner.
The lectures given by John Wilson attracted the attention of very distinguished men, among them being none other than the eminent Sharon Turner himself, also Piazza Smyth (Astronomer Royal for Scotland and one of the first interpreters of Great Pyramid prophecy), the Rev. F.R.A. Glover (compiler of the genealogical chart of Her Majesty) and Dr. George Moore, author of “The Lost Tribes, or Saxons of the East and West.”’
It was at one of these lectures that Edward Hine had his heart and eyes opened to the glorious heritage which is ours. Upon the realization of the tremendous responsibilities of this God’s Servant Nation, he devoted, from that time forward, a large part of his life to the study of this wonderful truth, lecturing for several years in England, Ireland and Scotland, later touring America for about three years.
Wilson’s first book to be published was “Seven Identifications”, followed by “Twenty-seven”. Those were soon increased to “Forty-seven Identifications”. Not long after, he started a monthly publication, “Life from the Dead” (1873); this was followed by “Leading the Nation to Glory”, which was afterwards named “The Glory Leader”.
In Mr. Wilson’s house, near St. Pancras, the “Anglo-Israel Association” was founded (1874). This was followed by “The British-Israel Identity Corporation”, about 1880, of which Edward Hine was the founder. A weekly publication named “The British-Israel and Judah Prophetic Messenger and Universal News” was started, which later was renamed “The Messenger”, and later still changed its name once more to “The Covenant People,”
After the death of Edward Hine, “The Banner of Israel” became the weekly journal of the Anglo-Israelites throughout the world. This journal, together with “The Covenant People”, was incorporated in “The, National Message” which came into circulation two years after the inauguration of the British-Israel World Federation (1921).
Let us conclude with a few words of these two worthy gentlemen, quoting first the Rev. John Wilson:
“Upon this Nation, and the ‘multitude of nations’ to whom they have given, and are giving birth in all ‘the ends of the earth’, has fallen the lot of ministering the Word of the Lord to all the nations of the earth. God has done for them, and enabled them to do, great things for themselves and others. But in nothing have they been more signally favoured than in this, that to them has been committed that which was taken from the Jews … the keeping of the oracles of God – the ministration of the Bread of Life to all people – the causing to be proclaimed in all languages, the wonderful words of God. Soon may the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, giving a clearer understanding of the words which have been uttered; so that all our lives and voices shall be attuned to welcome our returning King, who is about to come forth in glorious majesty to reign.”
Quoting from “Twenty-Seven Identifications”, Edward Hine writes: “It is not my province to write a book… I am without ambition that way; my great desire is to serve my country, giving forth, such flashes of light to the people as shall convince them that they are heirs to the greatest temporal, political and social blessings our God has ever vouchsafed to any one particular and distinct nation.”
A chapter in his “Flashes of Light” headed: “The English Nation, the only nation upon earth preserved by an Oath from God,” concludes with these words: “Hence it becomes a very material thing to England to be identical with Israel, for, while all Gentile nations may, and most of them must, in a few years collapse, we English, on the contrary, never will, because if so, God would be unfaithful, but, blessed be His great Name, that He never can be.
“Let us proudly salute these two grand pioneers of British Israel Truth.
Editor’s Note: I recall a Bible study held at a conventional church leader’s home a few years ago, when he ridiculed John Wilson, an important teacher of the Israel Truth. When, later, when I confronted him, it was obvious he knew nothing about either Wilson or the Israel Truth, but was just repeating what those church leaders, who believe the Jews are Israel, preach to denigrate the true faith. Fortunately, there are those who have proved the truth through diligent study and like John Wilson, have a much greater understanding of God’s Great Plan and the Gospel of the Kingdom.