British Imperialism - WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES
"Think not to say within yourselves, We have
Abraham to our Father" (Matt.3.9).
By GEORGE GOODMAN
THE THEORY STATED
It is difficult to state this theory accurately, as there are many
varieties of it, but for my purpose I am giving it in the words of Dr.
J. Mountain, who is the ring-leader of the cult in Tunbridge Wells.
He puts it thus:
"We Anglo-Saxons are the lineal descendants of the Ten Tribes,
we are the Natural Posterity of Israel, and we inherit the wonderful
promises made to them. These promises we possess nationally.
But we can become individually Israel's Spiritual Posterity only by
being born again of the Holy Ghost."
I reply to this under three heads:
i. It is contrary to Fact.
ii. It is contrary to Scripture.
iii. If true, it would involve a curse and not a blessing.
BRITISH ISRAELISM IS CONTRARY TO FACT
1. The Anglo-Saxons are an uncircumcised race.
This, according to Genesis 17:14, would absolutely debar them
from any national blessing. For Spiritual Israel (Christians)
circumcision is nothing (Gal. 6:15).
2. The British are a mixed race. The Anglo-Saxons
have not kept separate as the Jews have, but have freely mingled
with other peoples. It is well known that we are not pure Anglo
3. Israel has always written from right to left; Anglo Saxons
always from left to right. There is no record of Israel changing its
method of writing in so radical a manner.
4. The Angles and Saxons were both a large-boned
and very fair-haired race, as unlike the Semitic races as it is
possible to conceive. The story of St. Augustine and the captive
"Angles" is well known and confirms this.
5. The Anglo-Saxon origin and history is well known through
their remarkably well preserved records, known as The
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. For details see Encyclopedia Britannica
under that heading. It is not Semitic.
6. The laws of the Anglo-Saxons show no affinity to those of
the Israelites. See the article on the subject in the Encyclopedia
Britannica, under the heading "Anglo-Saxon Law." In order to
confirm this, I have had a letter addressed on the subject to
Professor R.W. Chambers, M.A., D. Litt., who holds the chair of
the English Language Studies in University College, london. His
reply is as follows:
"I do not believe that there is any reason for regarding the West
Germanic peoples as descendants of the Tribes of Israel which
were scattered from Palestine during the early captivities.
i. The racial characteristics are quite different. The present day
Jew is typically different from the Englishman, Dutchman, or
German. If he resembles them it is generally because he is not of
pure Jewish descent.
ii. There is no trace of Judaism in Germanic folk lore.
iii. The Germanic languages are absolutely distinct from the
iv. So are the old Germanic laws."
7. The "Chief" profit of Israel was that to them were
committed the oracles of God (Rom.3:1,2), that is, they preserved
the Old Testament Scriptures. The Anglo-Saxons never had this
honour. They distribute many Bibles, but the Anglo-Saxons were
never custodians of the "Oracles."
8. If we are the Ten Tribes, our Kings are not those to whom
the promises were made.
The Royal tribe was Judah, which is not one of the Ten Tribes.
British Israelites have talked a great deal about the genealogy of
our present Royal House. If our kings are to fulfil the national
promises, none of the ten tribes can produce such a king. To see
the Ten Tribes with a king from another tribe would be an
anomaly and untrue to history.
9. Dr Mountain argues that Israel is the "holy nation" referred
to in 1 Pet. 2:9; although he adds: "St. Peter was addressing not
only a Christian community, but also a Christian community of a
I do not pretend to follow his logic, for Israel is certainly not a
Christian community of a high order, nor are the Anglo-Saxons or
the British. Those whom Peter addressed are described as being
"born again" (1:23), "obedient children" (1:14), "living stones" in a
"spiritual house" (2:5), and "strangers and pilgrims" (2:11). Is this
the British nation?
But if Israel is the "holy nation," then the British Nation cannot
be identified with it, for it is certainly not holy. Not a tenth of the
nation ever acknowledges God by entering a place of worship.
As to the British Empire, it is a conglomerate mass of heathen,
Mohammedan, Atheistic, and Roman Catholic peoples, as unholy
as can well be conceived. If any can glory in this mass of "flesh"
he is strangely blinded.
10. The British have not come under the New
Covenant. (See Dr. Mountain's contention later). I set out the
New Covenant in full:
"This is the Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind,
and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and
they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man
his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord;
for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be
merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities
will I remember no more" (Heb.8:10-12).
Would that this were true of our godless nation! But, in fact, it
is not, as all may observe.
BRITISH ISRAELISM IS CONTRARY TO SCRIPTURE
We need to remember that Abraham had two seeds, a
Natural and a Spiritual; the latter being Christians. The "seed" is
Christ (Gal.3:16), and all believers, whether from Jew or Gentile,
are Children of Abraham (Gal.3:26-29). In Christ the distinction
between Jew and Gentile is abolished (Gal.3:28 and Eph.2:14). So
then, if the British are Israel they must be so after the flesh. The
nation is certainly not Spiritual Israel. What then?
We Are Not the Nation of Israel
1. Because of Israel it is said: "Lo, the people shall dwell
alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations"
(Num.23:9). To say the British Nation or Empire is not reckoned
among the nations in view of its history and particularly the
League of Nations, is absurd.
2. Again it is written: "For the children of Israel shall abide
many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a
sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and
without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and
seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the
Lord and His goodness in the latter days" (Hosea 3:4,5). This is
obviously not true of the Anglo-Saxons, whose line of kings is well
known, but exactly suits the history of those we indiscriminately
call Jews (who include Israel), who remain scattered, without a
king, temple, sacrifice, or priesthood, as is well known.
3. Israel's national blessing is all connected with Jerusalem
and the Land. It is plainly foretold that their national blessing will
(a) By union with Judah. "I will make them one nation in the
land" (Ezek. 37:21, et seq., Jer.3:18). Specially consider the figure
of the two sticks becoming one in the prophets hand.
(b) By dwelling in the land. "They shall dwell in the land that I
have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have
(c) Their King is to reign on David's throne in
Jerusalem (Isa. (:7; Jer. 3:17; Ezek. 48:35).
(d) This will not take place until the fulness of the Gentiles
shall be come in (Rom.11:25 and Luke 21:24), and the Times of
the Gentiles fulfilled. Our Lord's words are: "Jerusalem shall be
trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be
(e) They will remain a scattered people until then. This was to
be their punishment for their disobedience. "The Lord shall scatter
you among the nations" (Deut.4:27; 28:64; 32:26; and many
(f) Their gathering will be accomplished only when
Christ comes. His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, and
then they shall look on Him whom they pierced, and a nation shall
be born in a day (Zech. 12:9-14; 13:1,2; 14:4-9). Anything less
like the history and condition of the British Nation or Empire it is
impossible to conceive.
4. The Spiritual Seed will long before have been
caught up to meet the Lord in the air, as described in 1 Thess.
4:14-18. This will not include the Natural Seed, for it is written:
"Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham are they all
children ... They which are the children of the flesh, these are not
the children of God" (Rom.9:7-8).
IF THE BRITISH ARE ISRAEL, IT INVOLVES US
IN A CURSE AND NOT A NATIONAL BLESSING
Dr. Mountain suggests: "These promises we possess
nationally." In reply we would remind him, and point out to all,
1. The promises made to Israel included an awful
Curse on disobedience.
The two chapters, Deut. 4 and 28, are among the most
terrible in the Bible. In such solemn words as these God speaks: "I
call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall
soon utterly perish from off the land; ... and the Lord shall scatter
you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among
the heathen whither the Lord shall lead you."
This is followed by gracious promises, on repentance and
turning to the Lord, which nationally has never taken place again.
In Deut.28:58 we read: "If thou wilt not observe to do all the words
of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this
glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; then the Lord
will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even
great plagues, and of long continuance ..." "And the Lord shall
scatter thee among all people, from one end of the earth unto the
2. This judicial punishment they are still under, as we read:
"Blindness (hardening) in part is happened to Israel, until the
fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11:25).
And again: "Even unto this day when Moses is read the vail is
upon their heart; nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the
vail shall be taken away" (2 Cor. 3:15-16). Israel has not yet
turned to the Lord, and remains to the present under the curse
nationally - individuals being, however, saved from among them
by faith in Christ. How then can present national blessings be
possessed under the flagrant disobedience in our land?
3. That this wrath has come upon them we also learn from the
Apostle Paul. He says of them: "Who both killed the Lord Jesus,
and their own prophets, and have persecuted us ... to fill up their
sins alway, for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost" (1
Thess. 2:15,16). Read also Matt. 23:36-39.
4. On what ground then is this national blessing
supposed to have come upon us? On the ground of merit? Surely
our national sins and the godlessness of the immense majority of
the people forbid such a thought. Moreover, the thought is
contrary to Scripture. "For as many as are of the works of the law
are under the curse" (Gal.3:10).
Hear Dr. Mountain's answer. Pressed into a corner by a Mr.
Panton's able exposure of his false teaching, he says: "It is the
Anglo-Saxon race, or the descendants of the Ten Tribes, who have
come under the New Covenant by the acceptance of the Christian
What a daring and atrocious denial of the facts. Has the
Anglo-Saxon race "accepted the Christian Faith" and "come under
the New Covenant?" Dear reader, do you believe it?
If the Anglo-Israelite doctrine depends on our receiving this as
a fact, well and good, we know that it is false.
Even if it were true it will not do. For if Anglo-Saxons have
"accepted the Christian Faith," then they are Christians and are
found "in Christ," where there is neither circumcision nor
uncircumcision, Jew or Gentile. A Heavenly, and not an earthly,
people. In other words, they have become the "Spiritual Seed" by
the faith of Christ.
But the whole argument of the British Israelite is that we are
the Natural Seed, and are enjoying blessing as such. If we are the
Spiritual Seed, of course the fullness and blessing of the New
Creation and the Covenant of Grace are ours, but this is not the
question. How do we come into this National Blessing. That is
By "acceptance of the Christian Faith," says Dr. Mountain. By
becoming Christians? Or do "acceptance of the Christian Faith"
and "coming under the New Covenant" mean something
Then as to the British Empire, that mass of heathen,
Mohammedan, and Romist peoples: we are told they, too, are
enjoying blessing as part of the "multitude of nations."
Again pressed by Mr. Panton, Dr. Mountain says: "The fact is
that they (peoples of the Empire) cannot become part of the
Comity of Israel, except by surrendering individually to the
governance of Christ."
In other words, by becoming individually Christians. Then the
peoples of the British Empire are not in their present state enjoying
any national blessing now!
The whole British Israel theory, if Dr. Mountain is its true
exponent, hangs upon this, that the British people have accepted
the Christian Faith, and come under the New Covenant, which
would mean that they are born again. Alas! It is impossible to
Why go about advocating that which can only encourage men
to hope in the flesh? Let us rather warn of the wrath due to sin,
and point to Christ the Lamb of God and call to faith in Him.
British Israelism is a false and dangerous theory, that can only
lead men to hope in the flesh, to expect "national" blessing, while
they continue in personal rejection of Christ and
disobedience to God.
THE TEN TRIBES
There is no evidence that the Ten Tribes were lost. They
returned with Ezra and Nehemiah and shared with the whole 12
Tribes the final dispersion that took place in A.D. 70. The
following Scriptures show this.
1. The Decree of Artaxerxes included all the tribes.
"Artaxerxes, king of kings, ... I make a decree that ALL THEY OF
THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL, and of his priests and Levites in my
realm, which are minded of their own free will to go up to
Jerusalem, go with thee" (Ezra 7:13).
2. Israel as well as Judah is expressly named as
coming up. "Now these are the chief of the province that dwelt in
Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his
possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites,
and the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants. And at
Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah, and of the
children of Benjamin" (Neh. 11:3,4).
3. All Israel are represented in the Sacrifices offered on the
occasion. "The children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and
the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this
house of God with joy, And offered ... for a sin offering FOR ALL
ISRAEL, TWELVE HE GOATS, according to
the number of the tribes of Israel" (Ezra 6:16,17).
"The children of those that had been carried away, which were
come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of
Israel, TWELVE BULLOCKS FOR ALL ISRAEL"
4. That Israel cast in its lot with Judah in large
measure even earlier is stated in 2 Chron. 15:9: "And he (Asa)
gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out
of Ephraim and Manasseh ... for they fell to him out of Israel in
abundance, when they saw that the Lord his God was with him."
See also 2 Chron. 11:16 and 35:18.
5. Frequent references to the Twelve Tribes appear
later in Scriptures, e.g.,
At Pentecost - "Let all the house of Israel know assuredly ..."
(Acts 2:36, see also vs. 9-11).
By Paul before Agrippa - "Unto which promise our twelve
tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come" (Acts
James addressed his epistle to those dispersed of the Twelve
The final vision of the New Jerusalem showed it to have twelve
gates, on which are the names of the Twelve Tribes of the
Children of Israel.
There is no distinct national blessing for only ten of the tribes.
6. Our Lord said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the
house of Israel" (Matt. 15:24); and "Go not into the way of the
Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go
rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt.10:5,6). If
Israel had not returned to the land could this be true?