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The Empires of the Bible from the Confusion of Tongues to the Babylonian Captivity

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    THE BETTER VIEW

    In view of these indisputable facts and connections, extending from the beginnings of history to the present day, how is it possible to understand history without the Bible? Without the Bible, history is altogether one-sided: and it is one-sided on the wrong side. without with the Bible it is all imbued with life and philosophy. And thus alone can it be truly said that “history is philosophy teaching by example.” Without the Bible the origin of man on the earth can not be known. Without the Bible the origin of monarchy and the State can not be certainly known. Without the Bible the real reason of the succession of the empires can not be known. Without the Bible the real meaning of Alexander’s marvelous career, as well as important events in the reigns of many other kings, can not be known. For it is simply the abiding truth that runs through all the history of the world, that “The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whosoever He will.” This abiding truth is the true explanation of a multitude of singular facts and occurrences in the history of the world; and this alone is the source of the true philosophy of history.EB xxiv.1

    History compiled and studied in this view is a far more intelligible thing than is the history that is composed and studied only from the side of what is usually considered as history—history without the Bible, or history without God. History considered thus is far more than possibly can be any record of marches, battles, and sieges in the rise and fall of powers, and the portrayal of the careers of the world’s conquerors.EB xxv.1

    However, history in the true and complete idea will not exclude these other things. The marches, the battles, the sieges, the rise and fall of the powers, and the careers of the world’s conquerors—all these things will necessarily be included in the history; because they are inevitably and materially a part of his history; but history, from the true standpoint and in the true philosophy, will be of wider and more far-reaching meaning than any or all of these things. The student will live in a higher realm. The thoughts to which his mind will be directed will be laden with far more weighty substance; will be fraught with far higher, deeper, and wider meaning; and the lessons learned will be of far greater value, than any that can possibly be found in history in the commonly accepted sense—history without the Bible, history without God.EB xxv.2

    In the study of history in this true way, instead of the student getting merely a knowledge of a series of dates and events, and of a systematic record of occurrences that are past, that ever will past, and that can never have any particular place or bearing in his own conduct—instead of this, he obtains a knowledge of living principles which give him the philosophy of all those occurrences, and which becomes a living thing and sure guide in his own personal daily conduct, and also in his consideration of the national and world occurrences of his own day.EB xxv.3

    One great and valuable result of the study of history in this view is that the student is lifted from the consideration of merely human occurrences and the exploits of men, to the grander plane of the contemplation of the divine purpose running through human occurrences. It lifts him from the plane of mere hero-worship to the contemplation of the wisdom of God. For,unquestionably, it can not be denied—it can scarcely even be doubted—that one specific result, if not the chief one, of the study of history as history is commonly considered is to full the mind of the student with the very spirit of hero-worship, and the forming of his character after the image of the world’s conquerors. And what is the character of the world’s conquerors ? It is doubtful whether this character is anywhere more clearly portrayed, or the truth concerning it more briefly and forcibly told than in that awful picture, entitled “The World’s Conquerors.” A long line of them is portrayed: a line so long that it fades in the distance. Mounted and panoplied they are marching in their might, with a tread that seems to make the earth tremble. In the center of the very front is Caesar. Following so closely that with him they almost form a rank, are seen the faces of Alexander, Napoleon, Attila, Rameses II, Charlemagne, and others fading away until the features can not be distinguished. And as this long line of mighty ones moves proudly along, on each side of the proud array is an equally long, fading double line of stark dead men: the ghastly evidence of the fact that these are the world’s conquerors!EB xxvi.1

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