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    CHAPTER 1. PROBABILITIES CONSIDERED

    THE United States — what are they? Two hundred years ago, this question could not have been answered; it could not even have been asked. Now it can be answered by the dwellers in every quarter of the globe. Then a few small settlements of earnest men, flying from the religious intolerance of the Old World, dotted a narrow strip of coast line on our New England border. Now a mighty nation, with a vast expanse of territory stretching from ocean to ocean, and from regions almost arctic on the north to regions equally torrid on the south, embracing more square leagues of habitable land than Rome ruled over in its palmiest days, here holds a position of independence and glory among the nations of the earth.USLP 7.1

    And the sound of this new nation has gone into all the world. It has reached the toiling millions of Europe; and they are swarming to our shores to share its blessings. It has gone to the islands of the sea; and they have sent their contributions. It has reached the Orient, and opened as with a password the gates of nations long barred against intercourse with other powers; and China and Japan, turning from their beaten track of forty centuries, are looking with wonder at the prodigy arising across the Pacific to the east of them, and catching some of the impulse which this growing power is imparting to the nations of the earth.USLP 9.1

    Less than one hundred years ago, with three millions of people, the United States became an independent government. It has now a population of thirty-eight and a half millions of people, and a territory of three and a half millions of square miles. Russia alone exceeds this nation in these particulars, having forty millions more of people, and four millions more square miles of territory. Of all other nations on the globe whose laws are framed by legislative bodies elected by the people, Brazil, which has the largest territory, has not quite three millions of square miles; and France, the most populous, has not probably, considering her late reverses and misfortunes, a greater number of inhabitants than our own country. So that in point of territory and population combined, it will be seen that the United States now stand at the head of the self-governing powers of the earth.USLP 10.1

    Occupying a position altogether unique, this government excites equally the astonishment and admiration of all beholders. The main features of its history are such as have had no parallel since the distinction of nations existed among men.USLP 11.1

    1. No nation ever acquired so vast a territory in so quiet a manner. 2. No nation ever rose to such greatness by so peaceable means.USLP 11.2

    3. No nation ever advanced so rapidly in all that constitutes national strength and capital.USLP 11.3

    4. No nation ever rose to such a pinnacle of power in a space of time so incredibly short.USLP 11.4

    5. No nation in so limited a time has developed such unlimited resources.USLP 11.5

    6. No nation has ever existed founded on principles of justice so pure and undefiled.USLP 11.6

    7. No nation has ever existed in which the consciences of men have been left so untrammeled and free.USLP 11.7

    8. In no nation and in no age of the world, have the arts and sciences so flourished, so many improvements been made, and so great successes been achieved, as in our own country during the last fifty years.USLP 11.8

    9. In no nation and in no age has the gospel found such freedom, and the churches of Christ had such liberty to spread abroad their principles and develop their strength.USLP 11.9

    10. No age of the world has seen such an immigration as that which is now pouring into our borders from all lands the millions who have long groaned under despotic governments, and who now turn to this broad territory of freedom as the avenue of hope, the Utopia of the nations.USLP 12.1

    The most discerning minds have been intuitively impressed with the idea of the future greatness and power of this government. In view of the grand results developed and developing, the discovery of America by Columbus, not four hundred years ago, is set down as the greatest event of all secular history. The progress of empire to this land was long ago expected.USLP 12.2

    Sir Thomas Brown, in 1682, predicted the growth of power here, which would rival the European kingdoms in strength and prowess.USLP 12.3

    In Burnaby’s Travels through the middle settlements of North America, in 1759 and 1760, published in 1775, is expressed this sentiment:—USLP 12.4

    “An idea, strange as it is visionary, has entered into the minds of the generality of mankind, that empire is travelling westward; and every one is looking forward with eager and impatient expectation to that destined moment when America is to give the law to the rest of the world.”USLP 12.5

    John Adams, Oct. 12, 1775, wrote:—USLP 12.6

    “Soon after the Reformation, a few people came over into this New World for conscience’ sake. Perhaps this apparently trivial incident may transfer the great seat of empire to America.”USLP 12.7

    On the day after the Declaration of Independence, he wrote:—USLP 13.1

    “Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men.”USLP 13.2

    In 1776, Galiani, a Neapolitan, predicted the gradual decay of European institutions, to renew themselves in America. In 1778, in reference to the question as to which was to be the ruling power in the world, Europe or America, he said:—USLP 13.3

    “I will wager in favor of America.”USLP 13.4

    Adam Smith of Scotland, in 1776, predicted the transfer of empire to America.USLP 13.5

    Governor Pownal, an English statesman, in 1780, while our Revolution was in progress, predicted that this country would become independent, and that a civilizing activity beyond what Europe could ever know, would animate it; and that its commercial and naval power would be found in every quarter of the globe. Again he said:—USLP 13.6

    “North America has advanced, and is every day advancing, to growth of state, with a steady and continually accelerating motion, of which there never has yet been any example in Europe.”USLP 13.7

    David Hartley wrote from England in 1777:—USLP 13.8

    “At sea, which has hitherto been our prerogative element, they [the United States] rise against us at a stupendous rate; and if we cannot return to our old mutual hospitalities toward each other, a very few years will show us a most formidable hostile marine, ready to join hands with any of our enemies.”USLP 13.9

    Count d’Aranda, one of the first of Spanish statesmen, in 1783 thus wrote of this republic:—USLP 14.1

    “This Federal Republic is born a pygmy, so to speak. It required the support and forces of two powers as great as Spain and France in order to attain independence. A day will come when it will be a giant, even a colossus formidable in these countries.” 1These quotations are from an article by Hon. Charles Sumner, entitled, “Prophetic Voices about America,” published in the Atlantic Monthly of September, 1867.USLP 14.2

    Of these prophecies, some are now wholly fulfilled, and the rest far on the road to fulfillment. This infant of yesterday stands forth to-day a giant, vigorous, active, and courageous, and accepts with dignity its manifest destiny at the head of powers and civilizations.USLP 14.3

    Such, in brief, is the answer to the question proposed at the opening of this chapter. Another question immediately follows: Does the prophetic pen which has so fully delineated the rise and progress of all the other great nations of the earth, pass this one by unnoticed? What are the probabilities in this matter? As the student of prophecy, in common with all mankind, looks with wonder upon the unparalleled rise and progress of this nation, he cannot repress the conviction that the hand of Providence has been at work in this quiet but mighty revolution. And this conviction he shares in common with others.USLP 14.4

    Gov. Pownal, from whom a quotation has already been presented, speaking of the establishment of this country as a free and sovereign power, calls itUSLP 15.1

    “A revolution that has stronger marks of divine interposition, superseding the ordinary course of human affairs than any other event which this world has experienced.”USLP 15.2

    De Tocqueville, a French writer, speaking of our separation from England, says:—USLP 15.3

    “It might seem their folly, but was really their fate, or, rather, the providence of God, who has doubtless a work for us to do, in which the massive materiality of the English character would have been too ponderous a dead weight upon our progress.”USLP 15.4

    Geo. Alfred Townsend, speaking of the misfortunes that have attended the other governments on this continent (New World and Old, p. 635), says:—USLP 15.5

    “The history of the United States was separated by a beneficent Providence far from this wild and cruel history of the rest of the continent.”USLP 15.6

    Again he says:—USLP 15.7

    “This hemisphere was laid away for no one race.”USLP 15.8

    If Providence has been thus conspicuously present in our history, we may look for some mention of this government in that Book which records the workings of Providence among mankind. On what conditions have other nations found a place in the prophetic record? First, if they have acted any prominent part in the world’s history; and secondly, and above all, if they have had jurisdiction over, or maintained any relations with, the people of God. And both these conditions are fulfilled in our government. No nation has ever attracted more attention or excited more profound wonder, or given promise of greater eminence or influence. And certainly here, if anywhere on the globe, are to be found a strong array of Christians, such as are the salt of the earth, and the light of the world.USLP 15.9

    With these probabilities in our favor, let us now take a brief survey of those symbols found in the word of God, which represent earthly governments. These are found chiefly, if not entirely, in the books of Daniel and Revelation. In Daniel 2, a symbol is introduced in the form of a great image. In Daniel 7, we find a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a great and terrible nondescript, which, after passing through a new and remarkable phase, goes into the lake of fire. In Daniel 8, we have a ram, a he goat, and a horn, little at first, but waxing exceeding great. In Revelation 9, we have locusts like unto horses. In Revelation 12, we have a great red dragon. In Revelation 13, we have a blasphemous leopard beast, and a beast with two horns like a lamb. In Revelation 17, we have a scarlet-colored beast, upon which a woman sits holding in her hand a golden cup full of filthiness and abomination.USLP 16.1

    What governments and what powers are represented by all these? Do any of them symbolize our own? Some of these certainly represent earthly kingdoms; for so the prophecies themselves expressly inform us; and in the application of nearly all of them there is quite a uniform agreement among expositors. The four parts of the great image of Daniel 2 represent four kingdoms, Babylon, or Chaldea, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The lion of the seventh chapter also represents Babylon; the bear, Medo-Persia; the leopard, Grecia; and the great and terrible beast, Rome. The horn, with human eyes and mouth, which appears in the second phase of this beast, represents the papacy, and covers its history down to the time when it was temporarily overthrown by the French in 1798. In Daniel 8, likewise, the ram represents Medo-Persia, the he goat, Grecia, and the little horn, Rome. All these have a very clear and definite application to the governments named; none of them thus far can have any reference to the United States.USLP 17.1

    The symbols brought to view in Revelation 9, all are agreed in applying to the Saracens and Turks. The dragon of Revelation 12, is the acknowledged symbol of Pagan Rome. The leopard beast of Revelation 13 can be shown to be identical with the eleventh horn of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, and hence to symbolize the papacy. The scarlet beast and woman of Revelation 17, as evidently apply also to Rome under papal rule, the symbols having especial reference to the distinction between the civil power and the ecclesiastical, the one being represented by the beast, the other by the woman seated thereon.USLP 17.2

    There is one symbol left, and that is the two-horned beast of Revelation 13. On this there is more difference of opinion; and before seeking for an application, let us look at the ground covered by those already examined. Babylon and Medo-Persia covered all the civilized portion of Asia. Greece covered eastern Europe including Russia. Rome, with the ten kingdoms into which it was divided, as represented by the ten toes of the image, the ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, the ten horns of the dragon of Revelation 12, and the ten horns of the leopard beast of Revelation 13, covered all Western Europe. In other words, all the civilized portion of the eastern hemisphere is absorbed by the symbols already examined, respecting the application of which there is scarcely any room for doubt.USLP 18.1

    But there is a mighty nation in this western hemisphere, worthy, as we have seen, of being mentioned in prophecy, which is not yet brought in; and there is one symbol remaining, the application of which has not yet been made. All the symbols but one are applied, and all the available portions of the eastern hemisphere are covered by the applications. Of all the symbols mentioned, one, the two-horned beast of Revelation 13, is left; and of all the countries of the earth respecting which any reason exists why they should be mentioned in prophecy, the United States alone are left. Do the two-horned beast and the United States belong together? If they do, then all the symbols find an application, and all the ground is covered. If they do not, it follows, first, that the United States are not represented in prophecy; and, secondly, that the two-horned beast finds no government to which it can apply. But the first of these suppositions is not probable; and the second is not possible.USLP 18.2

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