Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why America is in Bible Prophecy

AMERICA'S CRISIS BY URIAH SMITH.
p. 1, Para. 1, [CRISIS].
INTERNATIONAL TRACT SOCIETY PACIFIC PRESS
PUBLISHING CO. 1895.
p. 2, Para. 1, [CRISIS].
THE Government of the United States of America is a
subject of Bible prophecy. Why not? The chief theme of
prophecy, next to the coming, work and second advent, of
our Lord Jesus Christ, to set up His everlasting kingdom,
is the story of the rise and fall of cities, nations and
kingdoms on this earth. Why should not our own nation come
into consideration as well as others?
The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Tyre and Sidon, Nineveh
and Jerusalem, the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia,
Greece, and Rome, and the ten kingdoms which arose out of
old Rome, all have had their place on the prophetic page.
Their rise, history, decline, and fall, were all plainly
foretold, and every prophetic utterance concerning them has
thus far been fulfilled to the very letter. May we not,
therefore, look for like particulars respecting a
government so prominent and influential as our own? And if
so, ought it not to be a theme of paramount interest to
those who have the opportunity to become acquainted
therewith? .
Scanning the field of prophecy, and noting the character
of the nations which all agree are mentioned in the Bible,
two reasons at once appear why they are thus made prominent
in the prophetic page: First, if they have been nations
which have had a leading influence in the affairs of men;
and, secondly, if they have been so closely connected with
the people of God, and the great events in the development
of the plan of man's redemption through Jesus Christ, that
the history of the true church, and the Lord's work in the
earth, could not be written without making mention of them.

From these facts, as a basis of inquiry, again we ask, Why
should not the United States have a place in prophecy?
Every reason which has ever existed to cause the history of
any nation to be foretold, exists in a tenfold stronger
degree to show that this nation should also receive its
share of testimony from the pen of inspiration. Under the
aegis of a nation guaranteeing perfect civil and religious
liberty, religion has had free course and a large following
in our own land, and intelligence is so widespread that out
of its sixty-five millions of inhabitants over forty-five
millions can read and write. In rapidity of development,
both in territory and population, this nation has never
been equaled by any nation in the world. In the variety and
extent of its resources, the amount and skill of its
agricultural and mechanical productions, it leads the
world; and from the point of view which takes in its power
for self-defense and its resources for the future, it is
the richest and the strongest nation on the face of the
earth to-day. Surely, in the prophetic survey of the great
civil and religious developments in the world's history,
down to the setting up of the everlasting kingdom of the
Son of God, which is the objective point of all prophecy,
such a government cannot be overlooked.
Under the impulse of a probability, which partakes so
largely of the nature of certainty, one can hardly restrain
one's self from an examination of the volume of revelation
to see what nations are noted therein, and to determine
their location and chronology.
In the prophecy of Daniel, chapter 2, under the form of a
great image, the four leading kingdoms of the world, from
B.C. 606, are symbolized, namely, Babylon, Medo-Persia,
Greece, and Rome, and the divisions of Rome, as represented
by the nationalities of modern Europe. Next follows the
kingdom of God. Dan. 2:44.
In the seventh chapter of the same prophecy the ground is
again essentially covered, with further particulars, which
could not be well represented by the image. Thus, the lion
there represents Babylon; the bear, Medo-Persia; the
leopard, Grecia; and the great and terrible nondescript
beast, Rome. The ten horns of this beast signify the ten
kingdoms that arose out of Rome, and the little horn that
came up among them represents the Papacy, which, in the
sixth century, reached the position described in Dan.
7:24,25; 2 Thess. 2:4. The next link in that chain is again
the kingdom of God. Dan. 7:18,27.
In Daniel 8 we have Medo-Persia and Grecia expressly
named, and a little horn, waxing exceeding great, and
passing through two phases, to represent again the Roman
power, this prophecy also reaching down to the overthrow of
all earthly governments.
Coming to the book of Revelation, the vision of chapter 12
opens with a view of ancient Pagan Rome, under the symbol
of a great red dragon. This dragon gives his seat and power
to the leopard beast of chapter 13, which represents Papal
Rome; and verse 3 brings to view the time when the latter
was wounded to death, which was the temporary overthrow of
the Papacy by the French, in 1798. Then follows another
symbol of a beast with two horns like a lamb, of which we
shall have occasion to speak more fully hereafter.
The reader will, of course, understand that in a work of
the studied brevity of this tract, many propositions will
be simply stated, not proved. Abundant evidence for all the
positions taken is furnished in larger works, issued by the
Religious Liberty Association, Battle Creek, Michigan,
which those who desire to study the subject further, are
earnestly invited to read.
The symbols of Revelation 8 and 9 expositors generally
agree in applying to the Barbarians who overthrew Rome, and
the Saracens and Turks under the rise and progress of
Mohammedanism.
Now, we inquire, what portion of the world's territory is
appropriated by these symbols, or, in other words, was
included in the area of the kingdoms which they
represented? Babylon and Medo-Persia covered all the
civilized portion of Asia in ancient times; Greece took in
all Eastern Europe, including Russia; and Rome, with the
ten kingdoms into which it was finally broken up, between
the middle of the fourth and the close of the fifth century
A.D., embraced all Western Europe and Northern Africa; the
Saracens and Turks appropriated to themselves especially
Western Asia and Northern Africa. In other words, all the
portions of the eastern hemisphere, which have borne any
prominent part in the world's progress and civilization,
from the earliest times to the present, are taken up and
appropriated by the symbols already mentioned, respecting
the application of which there is scarcely any room for
doubt, and no very great difference of opinion among
intelligent expositors.
But the reader should bear in mind that there is one
symbol, the second symbol of Revelation 13, which is not
yet applied, and that there is one mighty nation in this
western hemisphere, worthy, as we have seen, of being noted
in prophecy, which is not yet brought in. That is, all the
symbols but one are applied, and all the available portions
of the earth, with the exception of our own government, are
covered by the nations which these symbols represent. To
state it in other words, of all the symbols presented, one
alone, the two-horned beast of Revelation 13, is so far
unapplied, and of all the countries of the earth respecting
which any reason exists why they should be mentioned in
prophecy at all, one alone, our own government, remains
unidentified.
Do the two-horned beast and the United States belong
together? Does the former symbolize the latter? If they do
thus belong together, all the Biblical symbols find an
application, and the whole ground is covered. If they do
not thus belong to each other, it follows (1) that the
United States is not represented in prophecy at all, by any
of the symbols which represent the nations of the earth,
which is not probable; and, secondly, that the symbol of
Rev. 13:11-17 finds no government to which it can be
applied, which is not possible.
Let us then look a little further at this symbol of Rev.
13:11-17, and see if our government has developed any
features in its past history, or present character, which
answer to the specifications brought to view in the symbol.

1. John calls this "another beast," showing that the
nation was a different one from any which had thus far been
represented by any of the preceding symbols. But those
symbols, as we have seen, cover all the available portions
of the eastern hemisphere; hence we must look for the power
intended by this symbol to the western hemisphere. And when
we turn to this locality, the eye is at once attracted by
our own country, the great American colossus here arising.

2. When the nation intended by this prophecy first came to
the prophet's attention, it was "coming up." And the point
of time is clearly indicated. It was when the preceding, or
papal power, represented by the leopard beast, went into
captivity (Rev. 13:10), or when, as already mentioned, the
Papacy was temporarily over-thrown, in 1798. Was our own
nation then coming up? -- Most emphatically. The
Declaration of Independence was issued only twenty-two
years before, and the war for national freedom reached its
successful termination only fourteen years before. Hence,
in the two important points of chronology and location, are
we held to this country, and no other, for the application
of the symbol of the two-horned beast.

3. It comes up out of the earth. The preceding, or leopard
beast, and the four great beasts of Daniel 7, came up out
of the sea, that is, arose in territory thickly populated;
for waters denote peoples and nations and tongues. Rev.
17:15; Isa. 8:7. Coming up out of the earth would signify,
by contrast with coming up out of the sea, the development
of the power in question in a territory new, and previously
unoccupied by civilized nations. This, again, points
directly to the New World, and to our own country.

4. It had two horns like a lamb. Such horns well symbolize
the innocent, peaceful, and lamblike professions of this
government. The two great principles of civil and religious
liberty, -- "a State without a king, and a church without a
pope," -- have been the great attraction which has drawn
the world to America. And this pertains equally to both
branches of the really dual government, State and national,
which here exists.
5. When first brought to view, it was "coming up". That
is, it was in a state of visible, tangible growth and
expansion. And it was also coming up in a quiet and
peaceful manner, for the words "coming up" (in the Greek,
anabatnon) mean "to grow up like a plant out of the earth."
In just this way the United States has arisen. Expanding as
it has, from less than three millions of people, when its
independence was declared, in 1776, to over three millions
and a half square miles of territory, and over sixty-five
millions of people, in a little over a century, it presents
an instance of national growth that has no parallel in the
annals of the world. It has come up, not by conquering and
subjugating other peoples, but in a quiet and peaceful
manner, so much so that George Alfred Townsend, without any
reference to the prophecy, in trying to describe it could
think of no better figure than that which the prophet
himself used nearly eighteen hundred years before. In his
work entitled "The New World Compared with the Old," page
635, contrasting the rise of this country with that of the
other nationalities in the western hemisphere, Mr. Townsend
says, "Like a silent seed, we grew into empire."

6. "He exerciseth all the power of the first beast before
him." That is, it will be no second-rate power, but as
strong a nation as has ever been seen, since empire began.
Our own country, as already mentioned, answers admirably to
this condition.

7. "He causeth the earth, and them which dwell therein, to
worship the first beast." The first beast, as already
noticed, is the Papacy; and to worship any power is to obey
it in some particulars which are peculiar to itself, and in
opposition to the demands of other powers. In the present
case it is further explained by the words of verse 16, that
(the two-horned beast) causes all to receive a mark, which
is the mark of the beast (Rev. 16:2). The mark of any power
is that by which it asserts its claim to supreme authority,
and by which its followers are distinguished from those of
every other power.
In the case of the Roman Catholic Church, in reference to
which these expressions are used, the worship and the mark
are found in the observance of the first day of the week as
the sabbath, which that church claims as its special badge
of authority. See Roman Catholic catechisms.

This comes into direct conflict with the authority of God,
who, for reasons set forth in his word, demands the
observance of the seventh day. It is impossible for anyone
to obey them both; for they are intentionally placed in
antagonism and opposition. Therefore, by his course with
reference to these two days, as to which he will observe as
the Sabbath, every one, with full intelligence in regard to
the issue before him, decides whether he prefers to obey
God in opposition to the church, or the church in
opposition to God. And it is therefore a striking and
corroborative fact that the Sabbath commandment is the only
one in which the earth -- the land, in contrast with them
(the people) who dwell therein -- as set forth in Rev.
13:12, can be caused to obey (Lev. 26:34,35; 2 Chron.
36:21), and thus worship the beast. And the contest is now
on in this country between these two institutions.

8. The nation represented by the two-horned beast is a
Protestant nation; for it causes its people to worship the
first beast, the Papacy, by religiously regarding some
institution of the Papacy, as noted above. Now, if it were
a papal nation, its citizens would voluntarily render that
worship, or if enforced by the government, it would enforce
the worship of itself. But here it is one power enforcing
the worship of another power, and that other power is the
Papacy; for it is the first beast. Therefore, this power
that enforces the worship is a Protestant power, which is
another feature by which it is shown that the two-horned
beast applies to our own country.

9. "He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come
down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men." It is
another striking fact that in this country modern
Spiritualism originated, through which many wonders have
already appeared, and others, to the full extent of the
prophecy, may just as easily follow; for Spiritualism is a
masterpiece of evil to deceive; and it, according to the
prophecy, is one of the great factors which is to lead the
nation on in the oppressive work which it is finally to do.
Verse 14.

10. It is, lastly, to cause the people to make an image to
the beast; and to do this, it says to them that dwell on
the earth that they should make an image, etc. By this it
plainly appears that the form of the government in question
is republican, for appeal is made to the people to carry
out whatever measure it is desired to secure, and by their
votes the question is decided.

Let us now group together these features, and note their
significance:--
1. The power in question must be located in the western
hemisphere.
2. It comes into view at the time the first beast goes
into captivity, namely, about the year 1798.
3. It rises in a quiet and peaceable manner, like a plant
out of the earth, and in territory previously unoccupied by
civilized nations.
4. It makes a profession which is perfectly just,
innocent, and lamb-like.
5. Its progress is so rapid as to strike the beholder with
wonder.
6. It is the equal of any other nation in power.
7. It enforces an institution of the Papacy -- the firstday
sabbath -- which, when so enforced, constitutes the
worship and mark of the beast.
8. It is a Protestant power.
9. It is a nation in which appear great and super-human
wonders to deceive the people.
10. It is republican in its form of government. p. 14,
Para. 11, [CRISIS].
And of these ten specifications two things can be said:

First, that they will apply perfectly to our own country,
the Government of the United States; and, secondly, that if
we try to apply them to any other government, they will be
found to be utter failures. The two-horned beast,
therefore, symbolizes the Government of the United States,
and cannot be applied to any other nation. Behind these ten
lines of defense the argument for this position lies
impregnably intrenched.
But a painful sequel follows; for, according to the
conditions of the prophecy, some of them already alluded
to, this same power is to commit itself to ways that are
dark and inscrutable, and, contrary to all its profession
of justice and innocence, enter upon a systematic and legal
course of religious persecution against those who would
obey the truth of God, according to His word. While the
beast has the horns of "a lamb," it speaks "as a dragon."

Into these somber features the whole current of this
prophecy at last resolves itself. If the first beast
represents the Papacy, as is the conviction of all genuine
Protestants, and if that system is utterly subversive of
the word of God, being the anthropological horn of Daniel
7, the man of sin and son of perdition spoken of by Paul in
2 Thess. 2, and the antichrist of John, then to worship
that beast is to apostatize from God; and the two-horned
beast, by enforcing that worship, shows itself to be an
enemy of God and the opposer of true religion. If Sunday,
as a rest day, which Rome claims as a mark of her power to
rule the church, is the antagonist and rival of the Sabbath
of the Lord, as is proved by the Scriptures, then the twohorned
beast, by compelling people to receive such mark,
arrays itself on the side of evil, and forces men into a
position of antagonism with Jehovah.
The image which he causes the people to make is an image
of the beast. We can determine what an image of the Papacy
will be by considering what constituted the Papacy itself
in its days of power. As brought to view in the prophecy,
it may be defined as an ecclesiastical hierarchy,
exercising the self-assumed prerogative of defining heresy,
and having the control of the civil arm to punish the same.
An image of this would be an ecclesiastical organization,
having control of the civil power to carry out its own
decisions and purposes. This would of course be a virtual
union of Church and State. This the founders of our
government intended to guard against, but for just this
thing, by a lamentable oversight, they have left the way
all open. Such an organization in this country would be a
reproduction of the first beast in character, and surely
reenact its tyrannical works. The image is not only an
image of the beast, but it is an image made to the beast,
indicating on the part of those who make the image, an
abject deference to, and collusion with, that beast; which,
to say the least, is most astonishing in a professedly
Protestant country.
When people began, years ago, to study these
specifications of the prophecy, they were able to draw only
one conclusion, and that is that the country represented by
the two-horned beast would, in the end, virtually renounce
its Protestantism, its republicanism, ignore its
professions of lamb-like innocence, and, fired with the
spirit of the Papacy, which is the spirit of the dragon
(Rev. 12:13), which is the spirit of the devil (verse 9),
would enforce the worship of the Papacy, would cause its
people to receive the papal mark, would virtually unite
Church and State, under an image of the Papacy, and give
that image power to enforce the worship of itself under
pain of death (Rev. 13:14,15).

This view of the two-horned beast was adopted by Seventhday
Adventists as far back as the year 1851, and the
conclusion was consequently adopted and taught that Sundaykeeping
would here be enforced by law, contrary to the
requirements of God, that in this land there would be a
virtual return to a union of Church and State, and that
scenes of religious persecution, like those which disgraced
the nations of Christendom in the Dark Ages, would be here
reenacted.
This view of the application of the two-horned beast was
taken, and persecution, as here indicated, was predicted,
in the publications issued by the people above named, as
early as the year 1854. The original articles are found in
the Advent Review, Vol. 5, Nos. 9 and 10, dated March 21
and 28, 1854. These were immediately issued in pamphlet
form, and another edition was called for as early as 1857.
The same views were afterward incorporated into larger
works, and have been constantly before the world in
Seventh-day Adventist publications, and set forth in their
public lectures, from that day to this. But when first
advocated, and for many years thereafter, not the least
indications appeared pointing to any fulfillment; yet there
was the prophecy; its application to the United States
could not be questioned; and it followed as surely as the
prophecy was true, that this country would commit itself to
religious persecution before the end of its career. The
position was consequently boldly assumed, in the face of a
storm of incredulity and apparent commiseration for
believers in so improbable a delusion, that such an
unnatural and seemingly impossible work was yet to be done
in this country.
The whole aspect of the scene has now changed!
Spiritualism has shown itself to be the wonder-working
power brought to view in the prophecy. After a few years an
unwonted interest sprang up on the question of securing a
better observance of the first day of the week by law. Socalled
"sabbath committees" were organized in this country
and Canada; and professed Christians began to think that
they were numerous enough to demand some political
victories in behalf of religious dogmas. Like a clap of
thunder from a clear sky, in February, 1863, an association
was formed having for its purpose the securing of an
amendment to the Constitution of the United States,
acknowledging Christ as the Ruler of the nation, and the
law of God as the law of the land. This is now known as
"The National Reform Association." The avowed aim of this
association is to enforce by law the observance of Sunday
as the Sabbath, and to elect no man to office who is not
one of their kind of Christians. A general clamor for
Sunday reform and Sunday laws is arising from all parts of
this country, and in foreign lands as well. The Woman's
Christian Temperance Union has fallen into line, with the
same idea of securing a reformation by law. A new party,
called the American party, has come into existence to
champion the same idea in the field of politics.
Another organization, called the Sabbath Union, is also in
the field for a like object, and lastly, the great
Christian Endeavor movement has arisen, and formed what is
called "The Christian Citizenship League," through which
the combined strength of all the churches is to be turned
to this one end. At the convention of this organization
held in Boston in July, 1895, W. H. Mcmillan said
"Here is a power that is going to wrest the control of
affairs from the hands of political demagogues, and place
it in the hands of Him who is King over all, and rules the
world in righteousness. Our political leaders have been
counting the saloon vote, the illiterate vote, and the
stay-at-home vote, and all other elements that have
hitherto entered into their canvassings of probabilities;
but they have not yet learned to count the Christian
Endeavor vote. I want to serve notice on them now that the
time is drawing near when they will discover that a
political revolution has occurred, and they will be found
coming home from Washington and our State capitals without
a job."
These sentiments were cheered to the echo in the mighty
convention above referred to. Thus these religiopoliticians
know what weapon to use to secure their ends.
The average office holder, threatened with a loss of votes,
is the most abject sycophant on the face of the earth. For
a vote he will sell himself to any unrighteous decree that
religious bigots may demand, and the political demagogue
will do deference, on all fours, to a religious boycott.

The object which these Christian (?) politicians have ever
kept, and still keep, in view, was well defined in a speech
by a Mr. Havens in New York, some years ago, when he said:-

"For my part I wait to see the day when a Luther shall
spring up in this country who shall found a great American
Catholic Church, instead of a great Roman Catholic Church."

And what would this great American Catholic Church be but
the perfect image of the great Roman Catholic Church, which
the prophecy says will be erected here? p. 21, Para. 1,
[CRISIS].
As long ago as July 30, 1864, the Banner of Light, a
Spiritualist paper, of Boston, Mass., said

"A system will be unfolded sooner or later that will
embrace in its folds Church and State, for the object of
the two should be one and the same."
And now these sinister predictions begin to assume shape
before our eyes. Like blood poisoning in the human system,
this idea is permeating the whole religious world, and the
multitudes who have set their hearts upon it are working
for it, not though the gospel, which, when rightly used, is
the power of God unto salvation, but through the human
instrumentalities of the ballot box and a threatened
boycott of all those who oppose their schemes. "Christ,"
they say, "shall be King of this nation," not simply in a
spiritual sense, but politically and actually; and they
dream of a great theocracy, the control of which shall be
in the hands of the professed ministers of Jesus Christ.

Their great rallying cry, drawn from an expression used by
Justice Brewer, of the Supreme Court, in arguing that
Trinity Church, of New York, had a right to send abroad to
secure a minister for its services, is that "this is a
Christian nation." And their purpose evidently is to keep
this fiction before the eyes of the people till they can
force the issue of making this a "Christian government," by
subjecting the State to the dictation of the Church. p.

To this end the Legislatures of the different States have
been besieged by petitions for more stringent Sunday laws,
or for more severe penalties where they already exist. But
most of all have these religious reactionists clamored at
the doors of Congress for national legislation in their
favor; and Congress has so far yielded to their
importunities as to legislate, in direct violation of the
Constitution of the United States, in reference to the
Sabbath question. This was done in connection with the
appropriation to the World's Fair. Our national legislators
went so far as to publicly interpret the fourth commandment
to mean Sunday; and so subservient did Congress show itself
to be that these religious demagogues now openly boast that
they have Congress in their hands, and can force it to do
their bidding. They seem incapable of drawing any lessons
from the history of the past; and every day their dream of
Christianity triumphant, on political lines, expands, and
their intoxication from the prospect of coming power
increases. They will soon be in the position to fulfill
Rev. 18:7. See Isa. 29:8-10.
What do these things mean? -- They mean that the complete
fulfillment of the prophecy we are examining is at our very
doors. And what are to be the practical results of this
movement, as it progresses? They are already beginning to
be seen in the persecution brought upon observers of the
seventh day. In reference to our application of the
prophecy, showing that persecution would be the result of
this religio-political movement, people have pretended to
scout, in a facetious manner, any such idea. Thus the
Christian Statesman, the organ of the National Reform
Association, as long ago as March, 1874, speaking of
Seventh-day Adventists, said:-
"From the beginning of the National Reform movement they
have regarded it as the first step toward the persecution
which they, as keepers of the seventh day, will endure,
when our sabbath laws are revived and enforced. One can but
smile at their apprehensions of the success of a movement
which would not harm a hair of their heads; but their fears
are sincere enough for all that."
But religious bigotry stops only with the limit of its
power, and these people, now finding on many State statute
books, Sunday laws, the offspring of the old adulterous
union of Church and State, which existed in the darkness of
the Middle Ages, have seized upon these laws, and through
them are beginning to set the machinery of oppression in
operation against Sabbath-keepers. The method of procedure
is usually for some professedly pious church member or
minister to act himself as spy, or procure someone else to
act for him in that capacity, to detect a seventh-daykeeper
at some quiet and useful work on Sunday. Then
follows complaint, indictment, conviction, the prison, and
the chain-gang.
Would the reader believe it? just such scenes as here
described have been acted over and over again within a few
years just past, in this country, which professes to
guarantee to every man the liberty to worship God according
to the dictates of his own conscience. Sabbath-keepers hold
that that law which came from the lips and hand of Jehovah,
saying, "Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but
the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God," -- a
law as much higher than any law of man as the heavens are
higher than the earth, -- plainly grants them the right, on
all days but the seventh, to engage in any legitimate
occupation requisite for their own sustenance, which
involves no necessary disturbance, or any infringements
upon the rights of others.
The seventh day being the only day which they can really
keep as the Sabbath, there is no other day than the seventh
which they can even seem to keep without the appearance of
evil. But the law-makers, influenced by the fact they
themselves regard the first day of the week as the Sabbath,
or Lord's day, or by the fact that the majority of people
so regard it, frame the statutes so that all men must act
toward the first day of the week just as if it was the
Sabbath, and that they keep it as such, by refraining from
labor on that day. For the Sabbath-keeper to pay all the
outward regard to the first day that he would to the
Sabbath, would be to indulge in a degree of hypocrisy which
his conscience will not allow; and the State, by enforcing
it, restricts his liberty of conscience, and oppresses him
by depriving him of one-sixth of the time available for his
support. And this is done because another class of people
regard the day as the Sabbath, which he does not. It is
class legislation on religious lines, placing one class at
a disadvantage, to the advantage of another class. This is
contrary to the Constitution of the United States, and the
constitutions, or bills of right, of the different States
of which the nation is composed.
The inconsistency of legislating on religious questions,
in a government which declares that nothing of that kind
can be done, is at once seen, and the treachery of
oppressing people for opinion's sake, in a government
guaranteeing liberty of conscience, is keenly felt. Hence,
every conceivable invention is resorted to, to make it
appear that this is not a question of religion at all, but
only a police regulation, or a civil requirement necessary
for the public good, and so to be enforced upon all alike.
Such sophistry is too transparent to be entitled to a
patient hearing; for Sunday, in its origin and history, in
its very intrinsic nature, in root, fiber, branch, and
blossom, in foundation stone and finial, is a religious
institution, and nothing but a religious institution; hence
any law enacted in reference to it can be nothing else than
a religious law, call it by whatever other name one may. No
responsible jurist ever puts in this plea, that it is
merely a civil institution. That is an invention of the
ministers, who are urging this movement forward, and by
which they hope to blind the eyes of the people; and
whenever they gain anything on this plea, in behalf of
Sunday, they immediately glory over it among themselves, as
a victory for the "sabbath" and "Lord's day"! Shame on such
moral turpitude, and doubly so when practised by a
professed follower of Jesus Christ.
"But," it may be urged, "obey the law until it is
repealed." This would do in matters that did not violate
the conscience. But no man true to God could say to Him,
"Lord, I would obey You, but my fellow-men will not permit
me to do so; therefore I will yield to them and disobey You
until they shall see fit to repeal the law; then I will
return to Your obedience." On this ground there never could
have been a reformer, and the world would to-day be lying
in the darkness and death of paganism. Who will thus plead,
that man should be placed before God, and man's law before
the law of Jehovah? The Lord says, "Thou shalt have no
other gods before Me."
The men who founded this republic did not intend that any
trouble should ever arise in this land over a question of
conscience; but they left the evil principle of a religious
law in the framework of their political structure, which,
though then dormant, was sure to spring to life whenever
the opportunity should occur. Through the late unfolding of
truth it is now found that God has requirements upon men
with which the laws of the land are in conflict. What ought
to be done? -- Man ought to obey God, and no court or any
judge should entertain any case resting on a law which is
found to be invasive of any God-given and unalienable right
of man; and the Legislatures of every State where such laws
exist, should, at the very first possible moment, wipe them
off from the statute books. Then there would be no trouble.
But, as long as they are allowed to remain, religious
bigots, unfeeling judges, and those who have feelings of
personal enmity to gratify, will use them to oppress those
whose convictions of duty run contrary to such laws, and
who will be true to what they consider right.
It will be said again, that, in a country like this,
majorities must rule and the minority submit. The answer
again is, Yes, in all matter except those of conscience.

Questions of that kind are not to be decided by majorities
or human authorities. Christ's rule is, "Render unto Caesar
the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that
are God's."
And now, to repeat, persecution has begun. That it is
persecution, pure and simple, is evident from the fact that
all kinds of work, pleasure, and festivities, even of a
questionable character, on the part of non-Sabbath-keepers,
are passed by without any opposition or protest, while he
who observes the seventh day is detected, by those who are
willing to stoop to the dirty work of spies and informers,
then arrested, convicted, and punished, not for any wrong
against his fellow-men, nor the committing of any nuisance,
or anything calculated to demoralize or corrupt society,
but simply because he believes (and practices accordingly)
that the day of the week which is to be kept as the Sabbath
is a different day from that which the majority of the
people regard as such.
Seventh-day Adventists indulge in no spirit of defiance
against the laws of the land; they will obey them in every
particular wherein they do not conflict with their duty to
God; and they are careful to be no cause of disturbance to
their neighbors. Yet they are treated in a way to show, as
herein alleged, that it is a work of persecution, for every
persecution that has ever been waged against dissenters has
had the plea of the law behind it.
It is certainly a remarkable sight to behold the officers
of the law creeping around houses like thieves, and peering
into windows and doors like spies, to find a complaint
against a Seventh-day Adventist for Sunday work of which
they would not otherwise be aware, while the rush and roar
of business, contrary in much greater degree to the letter
of the Sunday laws, are passed by unheeded. Ninety arrests
have been made, some of them under circumstances of great
oppression and cruelty. The prisoners have served an
aggregate of nearly fifteen hundred days in jail and in the
chain gangs. Two men have lost their lives as the result of
the oppressive measures brought against them, as veritable
martyrs to their convictions of truth as any that have gone
down in death in the dungeons of the Romish Inquisition.

The secular papers of the land have generally spoken out
in loud condemnation of the monstrous injustice and wrong
of these things; but the religious press, with a few noble
exceptions, has treated the matter with indifference and
silence. And, more than this, none of those National
Reformers who smiled at our apprehensions in this
direction, have any word of remonstrance to utter, as they
see the reality beginning to come.
For more than forty years we have been predicting such a
condition of things in this country. Reader, you may
perhaps have failed to be convicted by the logic of the
Scriptures and the statements of history that have been
presented; but will you now yield to the logic of the
facts? If our position is true, which events now
transpiring are demonstrating to be the case, the great
crisis of human history is upon us, and the decisions of
eternity are hanging in the balance. Here and now, in the
movements with which it is the lot of the men of this
generation to be connected, is to be decided the great
controversy which commenced with the defection of the archrebel
before time began. Shall God or Satan, good or evil,
be vindicated, and triumph at last? The power behind truth
and righteousness is grandly symbolized in the book of
Revelation, by One riding forth upon a white horse,
followed by the armies of heaven. The opposing powers are
symbolized by the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet,
this last being the same as the two-horned beast, the
symbol of our own government. These three stand for the
three prevailing religions of the world, -- Paganism, the
Papacy, and apostate Protestantism. Rev. 16:13; 19:11-15.

The heavenly Rider prevails; the beast and false prophet
are cast alive into an all-devouring lake of fire, in which
they are consumed, but those who remain loyal to God stand
at last on the crystal sea of heavenly victory (Rev. 15:2,
3), and sing the song of everlasting triumph, called the
song of Moses and the Lamb.
To all who read these pages we earnestly say, These things
are worthy of your careful attention; will you give them
candid and thoughtful study? Where do you stand? Which side
of this controversy will you espouse? What destiny will you
choose?

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