|Faith Strengthened||Chapter 3||Part 1|
A member of the Greek Church, once addressed me in the following words:--"Do you know wherefore you have no longer a king of your own people? It is because you have rejected the faith of Jesus Christ and His kingdom, for He was the king of Israel. On this account the empire of Israel has been destroyed."
I relied to him: "It is known, and evident from the words of the prophets, that in consequence of our manifold iniquities, our kingdom was destroyed in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, when this king led Zedekiah, king of Judah, captive to Babylon.
"This event took place more than four hundred years before the existence of Jesus. The Jews were then successively subjects of the Babylonians, Medes, and Greeks. Long before the birth of Jesus we had been kept in servitude by the Romans. You may see that proved in your Gospel of Luke, 3:1, 'In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea,' etc. See also John 19:15, 'Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.' Now, as to your ascribing to Jesus the government of Israel, we are at a loss to know who made him king, and where he ruled over Israel. You, members of the Greek Church, were the parties who first acknowledged Christianity in the kingdom of your Messiah, and you still continue in your faith in Him; and, nevertheless, your government has been destroyed, and you have no longer a king of your own people: for a Mohammedan ruler, the Turkish sultan, who is now in possession of the Holy Land, extends his sway over Greece."
There are many other Christian states which formerly elected their own kings, and now are subjected to the Ottoman power. On the other hand, you see the Mahommedans not only disbelieving the doctrines of Jesus, but even mercilessly persecuting the followers of his faith, and notwithstanding this, the empire of the Turks enjoys undisturbed prosperity.