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    CHAPTER XVII. THE WORK OF THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST

    THE Beast was made in the Roman Empire. It was made in the union of an apostate Church with the Roman State.GNT 184.1

    In Chapter XVI we have seen that the only place where the Image of the Beast could be made, is in the United States; and the Image of the Beast, when made, must be a union of an apostate Church with this American State.GNT 184.2

    In the preceding chapter it was made plain that in that apostate Church in the Roman Empire, there had “arisen in the Church a false theocratical theory,” which aimed at “the formation of a sacerdotal State, subordinating the secular to itself in a false and outward way,” and that the bishops who held this false theocratical theory were determined “to make use of the power of the State for the furtherance of their aims.”GNT 184.3

    Ever since 1863 there has been, in the United States, an organization of Church leaders holding precisely this same “false theocratical theory;” and, precisely as those of old, determined “to make use of the power of the State for the furtherance of their aims.”GNT 184.4

    This organization, from its beginning, has been known as the National Reform Association. They hold that—GNT 185.1

    “Every government, by equitable laws, is a government of God; a republic thus governed is of Him, through the people, and is as truly and really a theocracy as the commonwealth of Israel. The refusal to acknowledge this fact is as much a piece of foolish impiety as that of the man who persists in refusing to acknowledge that God is the author of his existence.”GNT 185.2

    The qualifying phrase “equitable laws” in that statement signifies only laws that conform to the will of these National Reformers. They declare that “a true theocracy is yet to come, ... and humanity’s weal depends upon the enthronement of Christ in law and lawmakers;” and that “Christ shall be this world’s king,—yea, verily, THIS WORLD’S KING in its realm of cause and effect,—king of its courts, its camps, its commerce,—king of its colleges and cloisters,—king of its customs and its constitutions... The kingdom of Christ must enter the law through the gateway of politics.”GNT 185.3

    We have also seen that, in the making of the Beast, when the bishops had succeeded in getting the power of the State fully under their control for the furtherance of their aims, they held that the kingdom of God had come. The Church leaders in this nation to-day, who hold this same “false theocratical theory,” hold, likewise, that when they succeed in getting the power of the State under their control, to be used at their will, for the furtherance of their own aims, the kingdom of God will be come. For, they hold that—GNT 185.4

    “When we reach the summit, ... the train will move out into the mild yet glorious light of millennial days, and the cry will be raised, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ.’”GNT 186.1

    These leaders in the false theocratical movement of to-day, also, like those in the fourth century, are determined “to make use of the power of the State for the furtherance of their aims.” Consequently from the inception of their movement, they have called for, and worked for, an amendment to the United States Constitution that would place all of what they call “Christian laws, institutions, and usages, upon an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land;” and then, having “inscribed this character on our Constitution,” by the national power “enforce upon all who come among us the laws of Christian morality.”GNT 186.2

    And while calling for a Constitutional amendment, by which to make their purposes effective, they have been ready at all times to secure the recognition and the power of the government, by whatever means, Constitutional or unconstitutional, it could be accomplished.GNT 186.3

    Accordingly, when, in 1892, the Supreme Court of the United States specially declared in a decision that “this is a Christian nation,” the National Reform combination instantly and gladly seized upon it, and made use of it in every possible way, for the furtherance of their aims. They declared, with glee,” ‘This is a Christian nation.’ That means Christian government, Christian laws, Christian institutions, Christian practices, Christian citizenship.”GNT 186.4

    As in that original apostasy and false theocracy that made the Beast, the chief thing ever held in view was the exaltation of Sunday; so in this modern apostasy and false theocracy, the exaltation of Sunday has ever been the one chief aim. And as in the making of the Beast, Sunday legislation was the means by which the Church secured the power of the State by which to enforce upon all, even those that were not of the Church, submission to the doctrine and discipline of the Church; so, in this making of the Image of the Beast, Sunday legislation is employed for precisely the same purpose, and in precisely the same way.GNT 187.1

    Accordingly, when, by the Supreme Court declaration, February 29, 1892, that “this is a Christian nation,” the national government was brought so entirely into accord with their will, they exclaimed at once:—GNT 187.2

    “This decision is vital to the Sunday question in all its aspects.... And this important decision rests upon the fundamental principle that religion is imbedded in the organic structure of the American government—a religion that recognizes, and is bound to maintain, Sunday as a day for rest and worship.”GNT 187.3

    In the preceding chapter we saw that, in the original false theocracy, no sooner was there made sure to the Catholic Church the recognition and support of the State, than she pushed herself upon the State with her demands for the establishment and enforcement of Sunday by law, and all in opposition to the Sabbath of the Lord; so, in this modern false theocracy, no sooner was published the declaration of the Supreme Court that “this is a Christian nation,” than these pushed themselves upon the national government, and, under threats of political perdition upon all who refused, this false theocracy secured here the recognition and establishment of Sunday, and all in opposition to the Sabbath of the Lord.GNT 187.4

    FOR, July 10, 1892, in the regular proceedings of the United States Senate, the Fourth Commandment was read from the Bible, as giving “the reasons” for the legislation under consideration, with respect to the Chicago World’s Fair: “for the closing of the Exposition on the Sabbath day.” The proposed legislation was that day adopted. But, for fear that the Exposition would be really closed on the Sabbath, instead of on Sunday; two days afterward that which had been adopted was amended, so that the words, “Exposition on the Sabbath day,” were stricken out; and, in their place, were inserted the words, “the mechanical portion of the Exposition on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday.”GNT 188.1

    And this was done expressly, in the words of the legislation, that in the application of the fourth commandment to the closing of the Exposition on the Sabbath, this amendment was to explain and decide that the management of the Exposition should not close it “on the last day of the week, in conformity with that observance which is made by the Israelites and the Seventh-day Baptists;” but “should close it on the first day of the week generally known as the Christian Sabbath.” This legislation passed into law by the approval of the House of Representatives and the executive of the nation.GNT 188.2

    Thus, as in the work and establishment of that false theocracy of the fourth century, Sunday was by legislation, and by law, substituted for the Sabbath of the Lord; so in the work and establishment of this false theocracy of the nineteenth century, there has been by legislation and by law, the substitution of Sunday for the Sabbath of the Lord. That, in the fourth century, and in the Roman State, was the making of the Beast. This, in the nineteenth century, and in this American State, is, step by step, and point by point, precisely like that of the fourth century: the very repetition of it: and, therefore, nothing else than the making of the Image of the Beast.GNT 189.1

    At the beginning of this chapter we stated that “the Image of the Beast, when made, will be a union of an apostate Church with the American State.” And now that all may see for themselves how certainly it is apostasy for Protestants to be engaged in this which we have related, we quote the following authoritative statement as to what Protestantism truly is in “the very essence:”—GNT 189.2

    “The principles contained in the celebrated Protest of the 19th of April, 1529, constitute the very essence of Protestantism. Now this Protest opposes two abuses of man in matters of faith; the first is the intrusion of the civil magistrate; and the second, the arbitrary authority of the Church. Instead of these abuses Protestantism sets the power of conscience above the magistrate, and the authority of the word of God above the visible Church. In the first place, it rejects the civil power in divine things, and says with the apostles and prophets, ‘We must obey God rather than man.’ In the presence of Charles the Fifth it uplifts the crown of Jesus Christ.”—D’ Aubigne’, “History of the Reformation,” Book XIII, Chap. VI, par. 18.GNT 190.1

    As is well known by all, in the Sunday legislation throughout the United States to-day the claim is made that it is only in behalf of the “civil” Sabbath.GNT 190.2

    No more baseless claim was ever presented for anything than this in behalf of Sunday as a civil Sabbath. Sunday, as a rest day, has not anywhere about it any suggestion of anything civil. Its present standing, its whole genealogy, its origin—all demonstrate the truth that Sunday legislation can not possibly be anything else than religious.GNT 190.3

    The Sunday movement of to-day is but a revival, or a continuation, of that which has been. All the Sunday legislation of the newer States has been in imitation of that of the original thirteen States which at first were the thirteen Colonies. And the Colonies had Sunday legislation because they all (except Rhode Island, which, too, did not have Sunday legislation) had a union of religion and the State.GNT 190.4

    In such legislation the Colonies only continued the same thing from their original homes in Europe. Their original homes in Europe inherited it from the time when the Papacy ruled Europe. And the Sunday legislation at the time when the Papacy ruled Europe, was but the continuation of the Sunday legislation that was originated in the making of the Papacy, in the fourth century.GNT 191.1

    Since, then, the Sunday legislation of to-day connects, by its undisputed and unbroken genealogy, with the Sunday legislation of the making of the Papacy in the fourth century, it is perfectly plain that the nature of that original legislation marks the character of Sunday legislation forever. Accordingly, the study of that question in the days of the making of the Beast, is also, and in itself, a study of the Sunday legislation of the present time, and of the making of the Image of the Beast.GNT 191.2

    In a previous study we saw how that, in the false theocratical scheme of the bishops of the fourth century, when the Church had been exalted to imperial favor, and had become one with the State, this was held to be the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the earth. And, because of this, Sunday was set up in this false kingdom of God, in imitation of the establishment of the Sabbath among the people of Israel, after their deliverance from Egypt and the establishment of that true theocracy. And, “all things whatsoever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we,” said the bishops, “have transferred” to the Sunday.GNT 191.3

    All this shows that Sunday legislation was, in its very essence, and in its every idea and purpose, religious, and only religious. And what it was originally it remains forever. Framing into a statute a religious rite or institution, can never make the religious thing civil: it makes the statute religious. Such legislation is religious legislation only, and is in itself a union of Church and State in the likeness of the Papacy.GNT 192.1

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