What nation will you find, whose
So rich an interest in Almighty love?
theirs alone to dive into the plan
That truth and mercy had
reveal'd to man.
In one of the most pathetic apostrophes in poetical literature, Cowper
implores Israel to teach the nations of the world, above all England, the lesson
of its own tragic experiences:
Oh Israel! Of all nations most
Thy diadem displaced, thy
Cry aloud, thou that
sittest in the dust,
Cry to the proud, the cruel, the unjust!
'Knock at the gates of nations, rouse their fears,
Say wrath is coming, and the storm appears,
But raise the shrillest cry in British ears!
The desire for the blend of Jerusalem with England inspired Blake to the famous
Jerusalem thy sister calls!
Why wild those sleep the sleep of death
And close her from thy ancient walls?
The Hebrew Melodies must not be allowed to overshadow the similarly inspired
Sacred Songs by Thomas Moore, Byron's friend and biographer, published in 1816.
Moore, like Thomas Corbet an Irishman, succeeded in imparting a national note to
the religious idea. His Advent of the Millennium is both a document of the
Millenarian Revival and a song of a new restorationist generation:
Then, Judah, thou no more shalt
Beneath the heathen's chain ;
Thy days of splendour
And all be new again.
Summary: Judah is exhorted to recognize the Lost
Ten Tribes as their kith and kin. The Righteous amongst the Ten Tribes are urged
to remonstrate with their "Mother" meaning their community. We cannot diconnect
ourselves from our peoples. Our "legitimacy" depends on their behavior as well
as our own. The Lost Tribes will have enjoyed great wealth and material
prosperity much of which will have been wasted due to idolatrous and ungodly
practices. They will have worshipped the "baal".
Baal worship in Ancient Times was indeed practiced throughout much of Western
Europe. Britain was referred to as the "Honey Isle of Bel".
The Israelites will be lured out into the "Wilderness" and there they shall be
reformed and reconciled with the Almighty.