You hear so many strange things about British Israelites. Who are they? Where did this Anglo-Israel teaching have its origins? Are they a crazy racist cult, a new American sect? Opponents of Anglo-Israel, having little or no Scriptural evidence to refute our teachings, prefer to frighten sincere seekers for truth by trying to smear British-Israel with the biggest tar brush possible. A favourite method seems to be that of claiming that the Anglo-Israel teaching originated with the writings of the deranged Richard Brothers, who was for a time confined to a lunatic asylum in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century. Now, I feel sure that you the reader would prefer the truth, and so we will trace the origins of our message.
Let us be clear about one thing, there was a knowledge of and writings about the Israel Identity of the Celto-Anglo Saxon and related peoples long before poor Richard Brothers ever stumbled upon this truth. Let’s consider the following:
- As long ago as the 6th Century A.D. an early British historian named “Gildas the Wise” wrote at the era when the pagan Saxon were invading Christian Celtic Britain. He wrote that these events were taking place so our Lord might demonstrate in this land His accustomed manner to these His Israelites whether they loved Him or not.
- In 1314 A.D. the nobility of Scotland signed the Scottish Declaration of Independence at Arbroath Abbey. In it they stated their belief in the Israel Identity of their people: “We know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients gather, that the nation of the Scots passing from the greater Scythia through the Mediterranean Sea and the Pillars of Hercules (Straits of Gibraltar) and sojourning in Spain … and convey there one thousand two hundred years after the outgoing of the people of Israel”
- Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) wrote to Rev. John Foxe, the famous Martyrologist. “God may be glorified, His church, our Queen and country preserved, the enemies of truth vanquished, that we might have continued peace in Israel. Our enemies are many but our protector commandeth the whole earth”
- French Huguenot Counsellor Le Loyer wrote in his “The Ten Lost Tribes Found” (1590) “The Israelites came to and founded the English Isles”
- John Saddler M.A., M.P. – in 1649 in his learned work “Rights of the Kingdom or Customs of our Kings and Parliaments” advocated the Israelitish origins of the English.
- In 1761 Alexander Cruden published the first edition of the famous Bible aid, “Crudens Concordance”. The dedication page of this original edition contained these words: – “that it may be said by the present and future ages, that King George III has been a Hezekiah to our British Israel”.
- In 1813 – Ralph Wedgwood in his publication “The Book of Remembrance” demonstrated that England is Ephraim.
- In 1815 – Rev. James Hartley Frere wrote a book entitled “A Combined View of the Prophecies of Daniel, Esdras and St John” in which he showed that the British were Israel.
- In 1816 – Rev. B Murphy published “Precursory Proofs that the Israelites came into Egypt and Ireland; he went on to publish “The Advocate of Israel and the Isle of Erin”.
- In 1828 – Rev. J W Brooks wrote an article which he signed Abdul which was published in the Jewish Chronicle and in which he proved the Welsh to be of Israel descent.
- In 1840 – Rev. John Wilson M.A. a Scottish Presbyterian minister authored the classic book “Our Israelitish Origin” in which he combined the record of history and Bible Prophecy with the most up to date discoveries of archaeology. His writings and lectures helped to make the Israel Message widely known. (slightly abridged)
Editor: In his well-researched booklet, Pastor Campbell mentions many high profile men and women who embraced the Israel Truth, including a number of the Royal family, some professors, a prime minister of New Zealand and a number of men of the cloth, two of which were on board during the early days of The Association of the Covenant People, Rev. Dr. William Pascoe Goard and Rev. Merton Smith, both of whom made a huge impact with British-Israel, England during the early part of the twentieth century. As an aside no mention was made of the mentor of these two crusaders, Professor Edward Farraday Odlum, our founding president. One individual he did mention was Dr. Mordecai Ham – a convert of the famous evangelist Billy Sunday. Dr. Ham led Billy Graham to Christ back in 1934.
Finally, I want to share this testimony of David Davidson, M.C., C.E., M.C.I. He was a most prolific writer of his study of the Great Pyramid, the “Bible in Stone”. Here is how he came to Christ and the Israel Truth in his own words:
“I studied “critical theology” and God became remote.
I studied “skeptical theology” to find God less than man.
I studied a “freak theory” and found it TRUTH.
In the TRUTH of British Israel I found the Bible the living Word of a living God.”