Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font


    THE imposing miracles wrought before the people having riveted upon them the chains of a fatal deception, leading them to suppose they have witnessed the great power of God, and must therefore be doing him service, when they have only been dazed with a mighty display of Satanic wonders, and are led captive by the devil at his will, they are prepared to do the further bidding of the two-horned beast, which is to make an image to the beast which had the wound by a sword and did live.USLP 101.1

    Once more we remind the reader of the impregnable strength of the argument already presented in previous chapters, fixing the application of this symbol to these United States. This is an established proposition, and needs no further support. An exposition of the remainder of the prophecy will therefore consist chiefly of an effort to determine what acts are to be performed by this government, and a search for indications, if any exist, that they are about to be accomplished. If we shall find evidences springing up on all sides, that this government is now moving as rapidly as possible in the very direction marked out by the prophet, though these are not necessary to establish the application of the symbol to this government, they will serve to stifle the last excuse of skepticism, and become to the believer an impressive evidence of our proximity to the end; for the acts ascribed to this symbol are but few; and while yet in mid career, he is engulfed in the lake of fire of the last great day.USLP 101.2

    We may, however, notice in passing, another evidence that the government symbolized by the two-horned beast is certainly a republic. This is proved by the language used respecting the formation of the image. It does not read that this power, as an act of imperial or kingly authority, makes an image to the beast; but it says to them that dwell on the earth, that is, the people occupying the territory where it arises, that they should make an image to the beast. Appeal is made to the people, showing conclusively that the power is in their hands. But just as surely as the government symbolized is a republic, so surely is it none other than the United States of America.USLP 102.1

    We have seen that the wonder-working Satanic agencies, which are to perform the foretold miracles, and prepare the people for the next step in the prophecy, the formation of the image, are already in the field, and have even now wrought out a work of vast proportion in our country; and we now hasten forward to the very important inquiry, What will constitute the image? and what steps are necessary to its formation?USLP 102.2

    The people are to be called upon to make an image to the beast, which expression doubtless involves the idea of some deferential action toward, or concessions to, that power; and the image, when made, is an image, likeness, or representation of the beast. Verse 15. The beast from which the image is modeled, is the one which had a wound by a sword and did live, or the papacy. From this point is seen the collusion of the two-horned beast with the leopard or papal beast. He does great wonders in the sight of that beast; he causes men to worship that beast; he leads them to make an image to that beast; and he causes all to receive a mark, which is the mark of that beast. These palpable evidences of co-operation with the papal power, led Eld. J. Litch, about 1842, to write concerning the two-horned beast thus: —USLP 103.1

    “I think it is a power yet to be developed or made manifest, as an accomplice of the papacy in subjecting the world.”USLP 103.2

    To understand what would be an image of the papacy, we must first form a definite idea of what constitutes the papacy itself. Papal supremacy dates from the time when the decree of Justinian, constituting the pope the head of the church and the corrector of heretics, was carried into effect, in 538. The papacy, then, was a church clothed with civil power, an ecclesiastical body, having authority to punish all dissenters with confiscation, imprisonment, torture, and death. What would be an image of the papacy? Another ecclesiastical establishment clothed with similar power. How could such an image be formed in this country? Let the Protestant churches in our land be clothed with power to define and punish heresy, to enforce their dogmas under the pains and penalties of the civil law, and should we not have an exact representation of the papacy during the days of its supremacy?USLP 103.3

    It may be objected that whereas the papal church was comparatively a unit, and hence could act in harmony in all its departments in enforcing its dogmas, the Protestant church is so divided as to be unable to agree in regard to what doctrines shall be made imperative on the people. We answer, There are certain points which they hold in common, and which are sufficient to form a basis of co-operation. Chief among these may be mentioned the doctrine of the conscious state of the dead and the immortality of the soul, which is both the foundation and superstructure of spiritualism, and also the doctrine that the first day of the week is the Christian Sabbath.USLP 104.1

    It may be objected again that this view makes one of the horns, the Protestant church, finally constitute the image of the beast. If the reader supposes that the Protestant church constitutes one of the horns of the two-horned beast, we reply that this is a conception of his own. No such idea is here taught. And we mention this objection only because it has been actually urged as a legitimate consequence of the positions here taken. And then the question is asked, If the Protestant church constitutes one horn, may not the Catholic church constitute the other? Under the shadow of that hypothetical “if,” perhaps it might. But neither the one nor the other performs such an office. In chapter six of this work, it was shown that the two great principles of Republicanism and Protestantism were the proper objects to be symbolized by these two lamb-like horns. But there is the plainest distinction between Protestantism as an embodiment of the great principle of religious liberty, and the different religious bodies that have grown up under its fostering influence; just as plain as there is between Republicanism, or civil liberty, and the individual who lives in the enjoyment of such liberty. The supposition, therefore, that the Protestant church is to furnish the material for the image, involves no violation of the symbolic harmony of this prophecy.USLP 104.2

    Let us look a moment at the fitness of the material. We are not unmindful of the noble service the Protestant churches have rendered to the world, to humanity, and to religion, by introducing and defending, so far as they have, the great principles of Protestantism. But they have made a fatal mistake in stereotyping their doctrines into creeds, and thus taking the first steps backward toward the spiritual tyranny of Rome. Thus the good promise they gave of a free religion and an unfettered conscience is already broken. For, if the right of private judgment is allowed by the Protestant church, why are men condemned and expelled from that church for no other crime than honestly attempting to obey the word of God, in some particulars not in accordance with her creed? This is the beginning of apostasy. Read Chas. Beecher’s work, “The Bible a Sufficient Creed.” “Is not the Protestant church,” he asks, “apostate?” Is not the apostasy which we have reason to fear, “already formed?” But apostasy in principle always leads to corruption in practice. And so Paul, in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, sets forth the condition of the professed church of Christ in the last days. A rank growth of twenty heinous sins, with no redeeming virtues, shows that the fruits of the Spirit will be choked and rooted out by the works of the flesh. We can look nowhere else for this picture of Paul’s to be fulfilled except to the Protestant church; for the class of which he speaks maintain a form of godliness, or the outward services of a true Christian worship.USLP 105.1

    And is not the church of our day beginning to manifest to an alarming degree the very characteristics which the apostle has specified? Fifteen clergymen of the city of Rochester, N. Y., on Sunday, Feb. 5, 1871, distributed a circular, entitled “A Testimony,” to fifteen congregations of that city. To this circular the Rochester Democrat of Feb. 7 made reference as follows:—USLP 106.1

    “The ‘Testimony’ sets out by stating that the foregoing pastors are constrained to bear witness to what they ‘conceive to be a fact of our time; viz., That the prevailing standard of piety, among the professed people of God, is alarmingly low; that a tide of worldliness is setting in upon us, indicating the rapid approach of an era, such as is foretold by Paul in his second letter to Timothy, in the words, “In the last days perilous times shall come.”’ These conclusions are reached, not by comparisons with former times, but by applying the tests found in the Scriptures. They instance as proof, ‘the spirit of lawlessness which prevails.’ The circular then explains how this lawlessness (religious) is shown. Men have the name of religion, but they obey none of its injunctions. There is also a growing disposition to practice, in religious circles, what is agreeable to the natural inclinations, rather than the duties prescribed by the word of God. The tendency to adopt worldly amusements, by professed Christians, is further stated in evidence.”USLP 107.1

    This testimony is very explicit. When men “have the name of religion, but obey none of its injunctions,” they certainly may be said to have a form of godliness, but to deny the power; and when they “practice in religious circles what is agreeable to the natural inclinations, rather than the duties prescribed by the word of God,” they may be truthfully said to be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” And Rochester is not an exception in this respect. It is so all over the land, as the candid everywhere, by a sad array of facts, are compelled to admit.USLP 107.2

    That the majority of the Christians in our land are still to be found in connection with these churches is undoubtedly true. But a change in this respect is also approaching. For Paul exhorts all true Christians, in his words to Timothy above referred to, to turn away from those who have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof; and those who desire to live pure and holy lives, who mourn over the desolations of their Zion, and sigh for the abominations done in the land, will certainly heed this injunction of the apostle. There is another prophecy which also shows that when the spirit of worldliness and apostasy has so far taken possession of the professed churches of Christ as to place them beyond the reach of reform, God’s true children are every one to be called out, that they become not partakers of their sins, and so receive not of their plagues. Revelation 18:4.USLP 108.1

    From the course which church members are everywhere pursuing, it is plain to be seen in what direction the Protestant churches are drifting; and from the declarations of God’s word it is evident that all whose hearts are touched by God’s grace and molded by his love will soon come out from a connection in which, while they can do no good to others, they will receive only evil to themselves.USLP 108.2

    And now we ask the reader to consider seriously for a moment what the state of the religious world will be when this change shall have taken place. We shall then have an array of proud and popular churches from whose communion all the good have departed, from whom the Holy Spirit is withdrawn, and who are in a state of hopeless departure from God. God is no respecter of persons nor of churches; and if the Protestant churches apostatize from him, will they not be just as efficient agents in the hand of the enemy as ever pagans or papists have been? Will they not then be ready for any desperate measure of bigotry and oppression in which he may wish to enlist them? After the Jewish church had finally rejected Christ, how soon they were ready to imbrue their hands in the blood of his crucifixion. And is it not the testimony of all history, that just in proportion as any popular and extensive ecclesiastical organization loses the Spirit and power of God, it clamors for the support of the civil arm?USLP 108.3

    Let, now, an ecclesiastical organization be formed by these churches; let the government legalize such organization, and give it power (a power which it will not have till the government does grant it) to enforce upon the people the dogmas which the different denominations can all adopt as the basis of union, and what do we have? Just what the prophecy represents: an image to the papal beast, endowed with life by the two-horned beast, to speak and act with power.USLP 109.1

    And are there any indications of such a movement? The preliminary question, that of the grand union of all the churches, is now profoundly agitating the religious world.USLP 110.1

    In May, 1869, S. M. Manning, D. D., in a sermon in Broadway Tabernacle, New York, spoke of the recent efforts to unite all the churches in the land into co-operation on the common points of their faith, as a “prominent and noteworthy sign of the times.”USLP 110.2

    Dr. Lyman Beecher is quoted as saying:—USLP 110.3

    “There is a state of society to be formed by an extended combination of institutions, religious, civil and literary, which never exists without the co-operation of an educated ministry.”USLP 110.4

    Chas. Beecher, in his sermon at the dedication of the Second Presbyterian church, Ft. Wayne, Ind., Feb. 22, 1846, said:—USLP 110.5

    “Thus are the ministry of the evangelical Protestant denominations not only formed all the way up under a tremendous pressure of merely human fear, but they live, and move, and breathe, in a state of things radically corrupt, and appealing every hour to every baser element of their nature to hush up the truth and bow the knee to the power of apostasy. Was not this the way things went with Rome? Are we not living her life over again? And what do we see just ahead? Another general council! A world’s convention! Evangelical Alliance and Universal Creed.”USLP 110.6

    The Banner of Light of July 30, 1864, said:—USLP 110.7

    “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. The time is rapidly approaching when the world will be startled by a voice that shall say to every form of oppression and wrong, ‘Thus far shalt thou go and no farther.’ Old things are rapidly passing away in the religious and social, as well as in the political, world. Behold all things must be formed anew.”USLP 110.8

    The Church Advocate, in March, 1870, speaking of the formation of an “Independent American Catholic Church,” a movement now agitated in this country, said:—USLP 111.1

    “There is evidently some secret power at work which may be preparing the world for great events in the near future.”USLP 111.2

    A Mr. Havens, in a speech delivered in New York, a few years ago, said:—USLP 111.3

    “For my own 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 who shall teach men that they can be good Catholics without professing allegiance to a pontiff on the other side of the Atlantic.”USLP 111.4

    There is every indication that at no distant day such a church will be seen, not indeed, raised up through the instrumentality of a Luther, but rather through the operation of the same spirit that inspired a Fernando Nunez or a Torquemada.USLP 111.5

    Larger font
    Smaller font