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The United States in the Light of Prophecy by Uriah Smith

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is the apostasy we have to fear, and is it not already formed?...
Will it be said that our fears are imaginary? Imaginary? Did not
the Rev. John M. Duncan, in the years 1825-6, or thereabouts,
sincerely believe the Bible? Did he not even believe substantially
the confession of faith? And was he not, for daring to say what the
Westminster Assembly said, that, to require the reception of that
creed as a test of ministerial qualification was an unwarrantable
imposition, brought to trial, condemned, excommunicated, and his
pulpit declared vacant? There is nothing imaginary in the statement
that the creed-power is now beginning to prohibit the Bible as
really as Rome did, though in a subtler way.

"Oh! woful day! Oh! unhappy church of Christ! fast rushing round
and round the fatal circle of absorbing ruin!... Daily does every
one see that things are going wrong. With sighs does every true
heart confess that rottenness is somewhere; but, ah! it is hopeless
of reform. We all pass on, and the tide rolls down to night. The
waves of coming conflict which is to convulse Christendom to her
center are beginning to be felt. The deep heavings begin to swell
beneath us. 'All the old signs fail.' 'God answers no more by Urim
and Thummim, nor by dream, nor by prophet.' Men's hearts are
failing them for fear and for looking after those things that are
coming on the earth. Thunders mutter in the distance. Winds moan
across the surging bosom of the deep. All things betide the rising
of that final storm of divine indignation which shall sweep away
the vain refuge of lies."

In addition to this, we have spiritualism, infidelity, socialism, and
free-love, the trades unions, or labor against capital, and communism,
all assiduously spreading their principles among the masses. These are
the very principles that worked among the people, as the exciting cause,
just prior to the terrible French revolution of 1789-1800. Human nature
is the same in all ages, and like causes will surely produce like
results. These causes are now all in active operation; and how soon they
will culminate in a state of anarchy, and a reign of terror as much more
frightful than the French revolution as they are now more widely
extended, no man can say.

Such are some of the elements already at work; such the direction in
which events are moving. And how much further is it necessary that they
should progress in this manner, before an open war-cry of persecution
from the masses, against those whose simple adherence to the Bible shall
put to shame their man-made theology, and whose godly lives shall
condemn their wicked practices, would seem in nowise startling or
incongruous? But some may say, through an all-absorbing faith in the
increasing virtue of the American people, that they do not believe that
the United States will ever raise the hand of persecution against any
class. Very well. This is not a matter over which we need to indulge in
any controversy. No process of reasoning, nor any amount of argument,
can ever show that it will not be so. We think we have shown good ground
for strong probabilities in this direction; and we shall present more
forcible evidence, and speak of more significant movements hereafter. As
we interpret the prophecy, we look upon it as inevitable. But the
decision of the question must be left to time. We can neither help nor
hinder its work. That will soon solve all doubts and correct all errors.

Chapter Eight.

He Doeth Great Wonders.

In further predicting the work of the two-horned beast, the prophet
says: "And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him,
and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first
beast, whose deadly wound was healed." This language is urged by some to
prove that the two-horned beast must be some power which holds the reins
of government in the very territory occupied by the first beast; for,
otherwise, how could he exercise his power?

If the word "before" denoted precedence in time, and the first beast
passed off the stage of action when the two-horned beast came on, just
as Babylon gave place to Persia, which then exercised all the power of
Babylon before it, there would be some plausibility in the claim. But
the word rendered "before" is [Greek: enopion] (_enopion_) which
means, literally, "in the presence of." And so the language, instead of
proving what is claimed, becomes a most positive proof that these beasts
are distinct and cotemporary powers.

The first beast is in existence, having all its symbolic vitality, at
the very time the two-horned beast is exercising power in his presence.
But this could not be, if his dominion had passed into the hands of the
two-horned beast; for a beast in prophecy ceases to exist when his
dominion is taken away. What caused the change in the symbols from the
lion, representing Babylon, to the bear representing Persia? Simply a
transfer of dominion from Babylon to Persia. And so the prophecy
explains the successive passing away of these beasts, by saying that
their lives were prolonged, but their dominion was taken away; that is,
the territory of the kingdom was not blotted from the map, nor the lives
of the people destroyed ed, but there was a transfer of power from one
nationality to another. So the fact that the leopard beast is spoken of
as still an existing power, when the two-horned beast works in his
presence, is proof that he is, at that time, in possession of all the
dominion that was ever necessary to constitute him a symbol in prophecy.

What power then does the two-horned beast exercise? Not the power which
belongs to, and is in the hands of, the leopard beast, surely; but he
exercises, or essays to exercise, in his presence, power of the same
kind and to the same extent. The power which the first beast exercised
was a terrible power of oppression against the people of God. And this
is a further indication of the character which the two-horned beast is
finally to sustain in this respect.

The latter part of the verse, "And causeth the earth and them which
dwell therein, to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was
healed," is still further proof that the two-horned beast is no phase
nor feature of the papacy; for the first beast is certainly competent to
enforce his own worship in his own country, and from his own subjects.
But it is the two-horned beast which causes the earth (the territory out
of which it arose and over which it rules) and them which dwell therein,
to worship the first beast. This shows that this beast occupies
territory over which the first beast has no jurisdiction.

"And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from
heaven on the earth in the sight of men." That we are living in an age
of wonders none deny. Time was, and that not two score of years ago,
when the bare mention of achievements which now constitute the warp and
woof of every-day life, were considered the wildest chimeras of a
diseased imagination. Now, nothing is too wonderful to be believed, nor
too strange to happen. Go back fifty years, and the world with respect
to those things which tend to domestic convenience and comfort, the
means of illumination, the production and application of heat, and the
performance of various household operations; with respect to methods of
rapid locomotion from place to place, and the transmission of
intelligence from point to point, stood about where it did in the days
of the patriarchs. Suddenly waters of that long stream over whose
drowsy surface scarcely a ripple of improvement had passed for three
thousand years, broke into the white foam of violent agitation. The
world awoke from the slumber and darkness of ages. The divine finger
lifted the seal from the prophetic books, and brought that predicted
period when men should run to and fro, and knowledge should be
increased. Then men bound the elements to their chariots, and reaching
up laid hold upon the very lightning and made it their message-bearer
around the world. Nahum foretold that at a certain time the chariots
should be with flaming torches and run like the lightnings. Who can
behold in the darkness of the night, the locomotive dashing over its
iron track, the fiery glare of its great lidless eye driving the shadows
from its path, and torrents of smoke and sparks and flame pouring from
its burning throat, and not realize that ours are the eyes that are
privileged to look upon a fulfillment of Nahum's prophecy. But when this
should take place, the prophet said that the times would be burdened
with the solemn work of God's preparation.

"Canst thou send lightnings," said God to Job, "that they may go and say
unto thee, Here we are?" If Job were living to day, he could answer,
Yes. It is one of the current sayings of our time that Franklin tamed
the lightning, and Prof. Morse taught it the English language.

So, in every department of the arts and sciences, the advancement that
has been made within the last half century is without precedent in the
world's history. And in all these the United States take the lead. These
facts are not, indeed, to be taken as a fulfillment of the prophecy, but
they show the spirit of the age in which we live, and point to this time
as a period when we may look for wonders of every kind.

The particular wonders to which the prophecy refers are evidently
wrought for the purpose of deceiving the people; for verse 14 reads,
"And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles
which he had power to do in the sight of the beast." This identifies the
two-horned beast with the false prophet of Rev. 19:20; for this false
prophet is the power that works miracles before the beast, "with which,"
says John, "he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast,
and them that worshiped his image," the identical work of the two-horned
beast. We can now ascertain by what means the miracles in question are
wrought; for Rev. 16:13, 14, speaks of spirits of devils working
miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole
world to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty, and
these miracle-working spirits go forth out of the mouths of certain
powers, one of which is this very false prophet, or two-horned beast.

Miracles are of two kinds, true and false, just as we have a true
Christ and false Christs, true and false prophets, and true and false
apostles. By a false miracle, we mean not a pretended miracle, which is
no miracle at all, but a real miracle, a supernatural performance,
wrought for the purpose of deceiving, or of proving a lie. The miracles
of this power are real miracles, but are wrought for the purpose of
deception. The prophecy does not read that he deceived the people by
means of the miracles which he claimed that he was able to perform, or
which he pretended to do; but which he _had power_ to do. They,
therefore, fall far short of the prophecy who suppose that the great
wonders wrought by this power were fulfilled by Napoleon when he told
the Mussulmans that he could command a fiery chariot to come down from
heaven, but never did it, or by the pretended miracles of the Romish
church, which are only shams, mere tricks played off by ungodly and
designing priests upon their ignorant and superstitious dupes.

Miracles, or wonders, such as are to be wrought by the two-horned beast,
and withal, as we think, the very ones referred to in the prophecy, are
mentioned by Paul in 2 Thess. 2:9, 10. Speaking of the second coming of
Christ, he says, "Whose coming is after ([Greek: kata], at the time
of) the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and
with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because
they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
These are no slight-of-hand performances, but such a working of Satan as
the world has never before seen. To work with all power and signs and
lying wonders, is certainly to do a real and an astounding work, but one
which is designed to prove a lie.

Again, the Saviour, predicting events to occur just before his second
coming, says, "For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets,
and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were
possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Here, again, are wonders
foretold, wrought for the purpose of deception, so powerful that, were
it possible, even the very elect would be deceived by them.

Thus we have a series of prophecies setting forth the development, in
the last days, of a wonder-working power, manifested to a startling and
unprecedented degree, in the interests of falsehood and error. All refer
to one and the same thing. The earthly government, with which it was to
be especially connected, is that represented by the two-horned beast, or
false prophet. The agency lying back of the outward manifestations was
to be Satanic, the spirits of devils. The prophecy calls for such a work
as this in our own country at the present time. Do we behold anything
like it? Read the answer in the lamentation of the prophet: "Woe to the
inhabiters of the earth, and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto
you having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short
time." Stand aghast, O Earth! Tremble, ye people, but be not deceived.
The huge specter of evil confronts us, as the prophet declared. Satan is
loosed. From the depth of Tartarus, myriads of demons swarm over the
land. The prince of darkness manifests himself as never before, and,
stealing a word from the vocabulary of Heaven to designate his work, he
calls it--_Spiritualism_.

1. Does spiritualism, then, bear these marks of Satanic agency?

1st. The spirits which communicate claim to be the spirits of our
departed friends. But the Bible, in the most explicit terms, assures us
that the dead are wholly inactive and unconscious till the resurrection;
that the dead know not anything; Eccl. 9:5; that every operation of the
mind has ceased; Ps. 146:4; that every emotion of the heart is
suspended; Eccl. 9:6; and that there is neither work, nor device, nor
knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where they lie. Eccl. 9:10.
Whatever intelligence, therefore, comes to us professing to be one of
our dead friends, comes claiming to be what, from the word of God, we
know he is not. But angels of God don't lie; therefore these are not the
good angels. Spirits of devils will lie; this is their work; and these
are the credentials which at the very outset they hand us.

2dly. The doctrines which they teach are from the lowest and foulest
depths of the pit of lies. They deny God. They deny Christ. They deny
the atonement. They deny the Bible. They deny the existence of sin, and
all distinction between right and wrong. They deny the sacredness of the
marriage covenant; and, interspersing their utterances with the most
horrid blasphemies against God and his Son, and everything that is
lovely, and good, and pure, they give the freest license to every
propensity to sin, and to every carnal and fleshly lust. Tell us not
that these things, openly taught under the garb of religion, and backed
up by supernatural sights and sounds, are anything less than Satan's

2. Spiritualism answers accurately to the prophecy in the exhibition of
great signs and wonders. Among its many achievements, these may be
mentioned: Various articles have been transported from place to place by
spirits alone. Beautiful music has been produced, independent of human
agency, with and without the aid of visible instruments. Many
well-attested cases of healing have been presented. Persons have been
carried through the air by the spirits in the presence of many others.
Tables have been suspended in the air with several persons upon them.
And, finally, spirits have represented themselves in bodily form and
talked with an audible voice. A writer in the _Spiritual Clarion_ speaks
as follows of the manner in which spiritualism has arisen, and the
astounding progress it has made:--

"This revelation has been with a power, a might, that if divested
of its almost universal benevolence, had been a terror to the very
soul; the hair of the very bravest had stood on end, and his
chilled blood had crept back upon his heart at the sights and
sounds of its inexplicable phenomena. It comes with foretokening,
with warning. It has been, from the very first, its own best
prophet, and step by step it has foretold the progress it would
make. It comes, too, most triumphant. No faith before it ever took
so victorious a stand in its infancy. It has swept like a hurricane
of fire through the land, compelling faith from the baffled scoffer
and the most determined doubter."

3. Spiritualism answers to the prophecy in that it had its origin in our
own country, thus connecting its wonders with the work of the two-horned
beast. Commencing in Hydesville, N.Y., in the family of Mr. John D. Fox,
in the latter part of March, 1848, it spread with incredible rapidity
through all the States. The estimates of the number of spiritualists in
this country at the present time, only twenty-six short years from its
commencement, though differing somewhat from each other, are
nevertheless such as to show that the progress of spiritualism has been
without a parallel. Thus, Judge Edmonds puts the number at five or six
millions (5,000,000 or 6,000,000); Hepworth Dixon, three millions
(3,000,000); A.J. Davis, four millions, two hundred and thirty thousand
(4,230,000); Warren Chase, eight millions (8,000,000); and the Roman
Catholic Council at Baltimore, between ten and eleven millions
(10,000,000 to 11,000,000). Of those who have become its devotees,
Judge Edmonds said as long ago as 1853:--

"Besides the undistinguished multitude, there are many now of high
standing and talent ranked among them--doctors, lawyers, and
clergymen, in great numbers, a Protestant bishop, the learned and
reverend president of a college, judges of our higher courts,
members of Congress, foreign ambassadors, and ex-members of the
United States Senate."

This statement was written more than twenty years since; and from that
time to this, the work of the spirits has been steadily progressing, and
spreading among all classes of people.

And from this nation, spiritualism has gone abroad into all the earth.
Queen Victoria is almost an insane devotee of the new philosophy. The
late Emperor and Empress of France, the late Queen of Spain, the Roman
Pontiff, and the Emperor and Grand Dukes of Russia are all said to have
sought to these spirits for knowledge. Thus it is working its way to the
potentates of the earth, and fast preparing to accomplish its real
mission, which is, by deceiving the world with its miracles, to gather
the nations to the battle of the great day of God Almighty.

Here we pause. Let this work go on a little longer, as it has been
going, and as it is still going, and what a scene is before us! Having
seen so much fulfilled, we cannot now draw back and deny the remainder.
And so we look for the onward march of this last great wonder-working
deception, till that is accomplished which in the days of Elijah was a
test between Jehovah and Baal, and fire is brought down from heaven to
earth in the sight of men. Then will be the hour of the power of
darkness, the hour of temptation that is coming upon all the world to
try them that dwell upon the earth. Rev. 3:10. Then all will be swept
from their anchorage by the strong current of delusion, except those
whom it is not possible to deceive--the elect of God.

And still the world sleeps on, while Satan, with lightning fingers and
hellish energy, weaves over them his last fatal snare. It is time some
mighty move was made to waken the world and rouse the church to the
dangers we are in. It is time every honest heart should learn that the
only safeguard against the great deception, whose incipient and even
well-advanced workings we already behold before our eyes, is to make the
truths of God's holy and immutable word our shield and buckler.

Chapter Nine.

An Image To The Beast.

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.

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 farther 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.

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.

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?

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:--

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

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?

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.

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 religions
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.

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 ncwother 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 Tim. 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.

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:--

"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."

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.

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. Rev. 18:4.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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_"

Dr. Lyman Beecher is quoted as saying:--

"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."

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

"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."

The _Banner of Light_ of July 30, 1864, 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. 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."

The _Church Advocate_, in March, 1870, speaking of the formation of an
"Independent American Catholic Church," a movement now agitated in this
country, said:--

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

A Mr. Havens, in a speech delivered in New York, a few years ago,

"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."

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.

Chapter Ten.

The Mark Of The Beast.

The principal acts ascribed to the two-horned beast, which seem to be
performed with special reference to the papal beast, are, the causing of
men to worship that beast, causing them to make an image to that beast,
and enforcing upon them the mark of the beast. The image, after it is
created and endowed with life, undertakes to enforce the worship of
itself. To avoid confusion, we must keep these parties distinct in our
minds. There are three here brought before us: 1. The papal beast. This
power is designated as "the beast," "the first beast," "the beast which
had the wound by a sword and did live," and, the "beast whose deadly
wound was healed." These expressions all refer to the same power; and
wherever they occur in this prophecy, they have exclusive reference to
the papacy. 2. The two-horned beast. This power, after its introduction
in verse 11, is represented through the remainder of the prophecy by the
pronoun "he;" and wherever this pronoun occurs, down to the 17th verse
(with possibly the exception of the 16th verse, which perhaps may refer
to the image), it refers invariably to the two-horned beast. 3. The
image of the beast. This is, every time, with the exception just
stated, called the image; so that there is no danger of confounding this
with any other agent.

The acts ascribed to the image are speaking and enforcing the worship of
itself under the penalty of death; and this is the only enactment which
the prophecy mentions as enforced under the death penalty. Just what
will constitute this worship, it will perhaps be impossible to determine
till the image itself shall have an existence. It will evidently be some
act or acts by which men will be required to acknowledge the authority
of that image and yield obedience to its mandates.

The mark of the beast is enforced by the two-horned beast either
directly or through the image. The penalty attached to a refusal to
receive this mark is a forfeiture of all social privileges, a
deprivation of the right to buy and sell. The mark is the mark of the
papal beast. Against this worship of the beast and his image, and the
reception of his mark, the third angel's message of Rev. 14:9-12, is a
most solemn and thrilling warning.

Here, then, is the issue before us. Human organizations, controlled and
inspired by the spirit of the dragon, are to command men to do those
acts which are in reality the worshiping of an apostate religious power,
and the receiving of his mark, or lose the rights of citizenship and
become outlaws in the land; and to do that which constitutes the
worship of the image of the beast, or forfeit their lives. On the other
hand, God says by a message, mercifully sent out a little before the
fearful crisis is upon us, Do any of these things, and you "shall drink
of the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out without mixture into
the cup of his indignation." He who refuses to comply with these demands
of earthly powers exposes himself to the severest penalties which human
beings can inflict; and he who does comply, exposes himself to the most
terrible threatening of divine wrath to be found in the word of God. The
question whether we will obey God or man is to be decided by the people
of the present age, under the heaviest pressure, from either side, that
has ever been brought to bear upon any generation.

The worship of the beast and his image, and the reception of his mark,
must be something that involves the greatest offense that can be
committed against God, to call down so severe a denunciation of wrath
against it. This is a work, as was shown in chapter 4, which takes place
in the last days; and as God has given us in his word most abundant
evidence to show when we are in the last days, so that no one need to be
overtaken by the day of the Lord as by a thief, so likewise it must be
that he has given us the means whereby we may determine what this great
latter-day sin is which he has so strongly condemned, that we may avoid
the fearful penalty so sure to follow its commission. God does not so
trifle with human hopes and human destinies as to denounce a most
fearful doom against a certain sin, and then place it out of our power
to understand what that sin is, so that we have no means of guarding
against it.

That we are now living in the last days, the volumes both of revelation
and nature bear ample and harmonious testimony. Evidence on this point
we need not here stop to introduce; for the testimony already presented
in the foregoing chapters of this series, showing that the two-horned
beast is now on the stage of action, is in itself conclusive proof of
this great fact, inasmuch as the power exists and performs its work in
the very closing period of human history. All these things tell us that
the time has now come for the proclamation of the third message of Rev.
14, to be given, and for men to understand the terms which it uses, and
the warning it gives.

We therefore now call attention to the very important inquiry, What
constitutes the mark of the beast? The figure of a mark is borrowed from
an ancient custom. Says Bp. Newton (Dissert on Proph., vol. iii, p.

"It was customary among the ancients for servants to receive the
mark of their master, and soldiers of their general, and those who
were devoted to any particular deity, of the particular deity to
whom they were devoted. These marks were usually impressed on their
right hand, or on their foreheads, and consisted of some
hieroglyphic character, or of the name expressed in vulgar
letters, or of the name disguised in numerical letters according to
the fancy of the imposer."

Prideaux says that Ptolemy Philopater ordered all the Jews who applied
to be enrolled as citizens of Alexandria to have the form of an ivy leaf
(the badge of his god, Bacchus) impressed upon them with a hot iron,
under pain of death. (Connection B.C. 216.)

The word used for mark in this prophecy is [Greek: charagma]
(_charagma_), and is defined to mean, "a graving, sculpture, a mark cut
in or stamped." It occurs nine times in the New Testament, and with the
single exception of Acts 17:29, refers every time to the mark of the
beast. We are not, of course, to understand in this symbolic prophecy,
that a literal mark is intended; but the giving of the literal mark, as
practiced in ancient times, is used as a figure to illustrate certain
acts that will be performed in the fulfillment of this prophecy. And
from the literal mark as formerly employed, we learn something of its
meaning as used in the prophecy; for between the symbol and the thing
symbolized there must be some resemblance. The mark, as literally used,
signified that the person receiving it was the servant of, acknowledged
the authority of, or professed allegiance to, the person whose mark he
bore. So the mark of the beast, or the papacy, must be some act or
profession by which the authority of that power is acknowledged. What
is it?

It would be naturally looked for in some of the special characteristics
of the papal power. Daniel, describing that power under the symbol of a
little horn, speaks of it as waging a special warfare against God,
wearing out the saints of the Most High, and thinking to change times
and laws. The prophet expressly specifies on this point: "He shall
_think_ to change times and laws." These laws must certainly be the laws
of the Most High. To apply it to human laws, and make the prophecy read,
"And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear
out the saints of the Most High, and think to change human laws," would
be doing evident violence to the language of the prophet. But to apply
it to the laws of God, and let it read, "And he shall speak great words
against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and laws of the Most High"--then all
is consistent and forcible. The Septuagint reads, [Greek: nomos]
(_nomos_), in the singular, "the law," which more directly suggests the
law of God. So far as human laws are concerned, the papacy has been able
to do more than merely "think" to change them. It has been able to
change them at pleasure. It has annulled the decrees of kings and
emperors, and absolved subjects from allegiance to their rightful
sovereigns. It has thrust its long arm into the affairs of nations, and
brought rulers to its feet in the most abject humility. But the prophet
beholds greater acts of presumption than these. He sees it endeavor to
do, what it was not able to do, but could only think to do; he sees it
attempt an act which no man, nor any combination of men, can ever
accomplish; and that is, to change the laws of the Most High. Bear this
in mind while we look at the testimony of another sacred writer on this
very point.

Paul speaks of the same power in 2 Thess. 2; and he describes it, in the
person of the pope, as the man of sin, and as sitting as God in the
temple of God (that is, the church), and as exalting himself above all
that is called God or that is worshiped. According to this, the pope
sets himself up as the one for all the church to look to for authority,
in the place of God. And now we ask the reader to ponder carefully the
question how he can exalt himself _above_ God. Search through the whole
range of human devices; go to the extent of human effort; by what plan,
by what move, by what claim, could this usurper exalt himself above God?
He might institute any number of ceremonies, he might prescribe any form
of worship, he might exhibit any degree of power; but so long as God had
requirements which the people felt bound to regard in preference to his
own, so long he would not be above God. He might enact a law and teach
the people that they were under as great obligations to that as to the
law of God. Then he would only make himself equal with God. But he is to
do more than this: he is to attempt to raise himself above him. Then he
must promulgate a law which _conflicts_ with the law of God, and demand
obedience to his own in preference to God's. There is no other possible
way in which he could place himself in the position assigned in the
prophecy. But this is simply to change the law of God; and if he can
cause this change to be adopted by the people in place of the original
enactment, then he, the law-changer, is above God, the law-maker. And
this is the very work that Daniel said he should think to do.

Such a work as this, then, the papacy must accomplish according to the
prophecy; and the prophecy cannot fail. And when this is done, what do
the people of the world have? They have two laws demanding from them
obedience: one, the law of God as originally enacted by him, an
embodiment of his will, and expressing his claims upon his creatures;
the other, a revised edition of that law, emanating from the pope of
Rome, and expressing his will. And how is it to be determined which of
these powers the people honor and worship? It is determined by the law
which they keep. If they keep the law of God as given by him, they
worship and obey God. If they keep the law as changed by the papacy,
they worship that power. But further, the prophecy does not say that the
little horn should set aside the law of God and give one entirely
different. This would not be to change the law, but simply to give a new
one. He was only to attempt a change, so that the law as it comes from
God, and the law as it comes from the hands of the papacy, are precisely
alike, excepting the change which the papacy has made therein. They have
many points in common. But none of the precepts which they contain in
common can distinguish a person as the worshiper of either power in
preference to the other. If God's law says, "Thou shalt not kill," and
the law as given by the papacy says the same, no one can tell by a
person's observance of that precept whether he designed to obey God
rather than the pope, or the pope rather than God. But when a precept
that has been changed is the subject of action, then whoever observes
that precept as originally given by God is thereby distinguished as a
worshiper of God; and he who keeps it as changed, is thereby marked as a
follower of the power that made the change. In no other way can the two
classes of worshipers be distinguished. From this conclusion, no candid
mind can dissent; but in this conclusion we have a general answer to the
question before us, "What constitutes the mark of the beast?" THE MARK

We now inquire what that change is. By the law of God, we mean the moral
law, the only law in the universe of immutable and perpetual obligation,
the law of which Webster says, defining the terms according to the sense
in which they are almost universally used in Christendom, "The moral law
is summarily contained in the decalogue, written by the finger of God on
two tables of stone, and delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai."

If, now, the reader will compare the ten commandments as found in Roman
Catholic catechisms with those commandments as found in the Bible, he
will see in the catechisms that the second commandment is left out, that
the tenth is divided into two commandments to make up the lack of
leaving out the second, and keep good the number ten, and that the
fourth commandment (called the third in their enumeration) is made to
enjoin the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath, and prescribe that the
day shall be spent in hearing mass devoutly, attending vespers, and
reading moral and pious books. Here are several variations from the
decalogue as found in the Bible. Which of them constitutes the change of
the law intended in the prophecy? or, are they all included in that
change? Let it be borne in mind that, according to the prophecy, he was
to _think_ to change times and laws. This plainly conveys the idea of
_intention_ and _design_, and makes these qualities essential to the
change in question. But respecting the omission of the second
commandment, Catholics argue that it is included in the first, and,
hence, should not be numbered as a separate commandment. And, on the
tenth, they claim that there is so plain a distinction of ideas as to
require two commandments. So they make the coveting of a neighbor's wife
the ninth commandment, and the coveting of his goods the tenth.

In all this they claim that they are giving the commandments exactly as
God intended to have them understood. So, while we may regard them as
errors in their interpretation of the commandments, we cannot set them
down as _intentional changes_. Not so, however, with the fourth
commandment. Respecting this commandment, they do not claim that their
version is like that given by God. They expressly claim a change here,
and also that the change has been made by the church. A few quotations
from standard Catholic works will make this matter plain. In a work
entitled, Treatise of Thirty Controversies, we find these words:--

"The word of God commandeth the seventh day to be the Sabbath of
our Lord, and to be kept holy; you [Protestants], without any
precept of Scripture, change it to the first day of the week, only
authorized by our traditions. Divers English Puritans oppose,
against this point, that the observation of the first day is
proved out of Scripture, where it is said, the first day of the
week. Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10. Have they not spun a
fair thread in quoting these places? If we should produce no better
for purgatory, and prayers for the dead, invocation of the saints,
and the like, they might have good cause, indeed, to laugh us to
scorn; for where is it written that these were Sabbath days in
which those meetings were kept? Or where is it ordained they should
be always observed? Or, which is the sum of all, where is it
decreed that the observation of the first day should abrogate or
abolish the sanctifying of the seventh day, which God commanded
everlastingly to be kept holy? _Not_ one of those is expressed in
the written word of God."

In the "Catholic Catechism of Christian Religion," on the subject of the
third (fourth) commandment, we find these questions and answers:--

"_Ques._ What does God ordain by this commandment?

"_Ans._ He ordains that we sanctify, in a special manner, this day
on which he rested from the labor of creation.

"_Q._ What is this day of rest?

"_A._ The seventh day of the week, or Saturday; for he employed six
days in creation, and rested on the seventh. Gen. 2:2; Heb. 4:1,

"_Q._ Is it then Saturday we should sanctify in order to obey the
ordinance of God?

"_A._ During the old law, Saturday was the day sanctified; but _the
church,_ instructed by Jesus Christ, and directed by the Spirit of
God, has substituted Sunday for Saturday; so now we sanctify the
first, not the seventh, day. Sunday means, and now is, the day of
the Lord."

In "Abridgment of Christian Doctrine," we find this testimony:--

"_Ques._ How prove you that the church hath power to command feasts
and holy days?

"_Ans._ By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which
Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict
themselves by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other
feasts commanded by the same church.

"_Q._ How prove you that?

"_A._ Because by keeping Sunday they acknowledge the church's power
to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin."

In the "Catholic Christian Instructed," again we read:--

"_Ques._ What warrant have you for keeping the Sunday, preferable
to the ancient Sabbath, which was the Saturday?

"_Ans._ We have for it the authority of the Catholic church and
apostolic tradition.

"_Q._ Does the Scripture anywhere command the Sunday to be kept for
the Sabbath?

"_A._ The Scripture commands us to hear the church (Matt. 18:17;
Luke 10:16), and to hold fast the traditions of the apostles. 2
Thess. 2:15. But the Scriptures do not in particular mention this
change of the Sabbath."

In the "Doctrinal Catechism," we find further
testimony to the same point:--

"_Ques._ Have you any other way of proving that the church has
power to institute festivals of precept?

"_Ans._ Had she not such power, she could not have done that in
which all modern religionists agree with her--she could not have
substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week,
for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which
there is no scriptural authority."

And finally, W. Lockhart, late B.A. of Oxford, in the Toronto (Cath.)
_Mirror,_ offered the following "challenge" to all the Protestants of
Ireland; a challenge as well calculated for this latitude as that. He

"I do, therefore, solemnly challenge the Protestants of Ireland to
prove, by plain texts of Scripture, the questions concerning the
obligation of the Christian Sabbath. 1. That Christians may work on
Saturday, the old seventh day. 2. That they are bound to keep holy
the first day, namely, Sunday. 3. That they are not bound to keep
holy the seventh day also."

This is what the papal power claims to have done respecting the fourth
commandment. Catholics plainly acknowledge that there is no scriptural
authority for the change they have made, but that it rests wholly upon
the authority of the church; and they claim it has a token or mark of
the authority of that church; the "_very act of changing the Sabbath
into Sunday_" being set forth as proof of its power in this respect. For
further testimony on this point, the reader is referred to a tract
published at the _Review_ Office, Battle Creek, Mich., entitled, "Who
Changed the Sabbath?" in which are also extracts from Catholic writers,
refuting the arguments usually relied upon to prove the Sunday Sabbath,
and showing that its only authority is the Catholic church.

"But," says one, "I supposed that Christ changed the Sabbath." A great
many suppose so; and it is natural that they should; for they have been
so taught. And while we have no words of denunciation to utter against
any such for so believing, we would have them at once understand that it
is, in reality, one of the most enormous of all errors. We would
therefore remind such persons that, according to the prophecy, the only
change ever to be made in the law of God, was to be made by the little
horn of Dan. 7, and the man of sin of 2 Thess. 2; and the only change
that has been made in it, is the change of the Sabbath. Now, if Christ
made this change, he filled the office of the blasphemous power spoken
of by both Daniel and Paul--a conclusion sufficiently hideous to drive
any Christian from the view which leads thereto.

But why should any one labor to prove that Christ changed the Sabbath?
Whoever does this is performing a thankless task. The pope will not
thank him; for if it is proved that Christ wrought this change, then the
pope is robbed of his badge of authority and power. And no truly
enlightened Protestant will thank him; for if he succeeds, he only shows
that the papacy has not done the work which it was predicted that it
should do, and so that the prophecy has failed, and the Scriptures are
unreliable. The matter had better stand as the propheqy has placed it,
and the claim which the pope unwittingly puts forth, had better be
granted. When a person is charged with any work, and that person steps
forth and confesses that he has done the work, that is usually
considered sufficient to settle the matter. So, when the prophecy
affirms that a certain power shall change the law of God, and that very
power in due time arises, does the work foretold, and then openly claims
that he has done it, what need have we of further evidence? The world
should not forget that the great apostasy foretold by Paul has taken
place; that the man of sin for long ages held almost a monopoly of
Christian teaching in the world; that the mystery of iniquity has cast
the darkness of its shadow and the errors of its doctrines over almost
all Christendom; and out of this era of error and darkness and
corruption, the theology of our day has come. Would it then be anything
strange if there were yet some relics of popery to be discarded ere the
reformation will be complete? A. Campbell (Baptism, p. 15), speaking of
the different Prostestant sects, says:--

"All of them retain in their bosom, in their ecclesiastic
organizations, worship, doctrines, and observances, various relics
of popery. They are at best a reformation of popery, and only
reformations in part. The doctrines and traditions of men yet
impair the power and progress of the gospel in their hands."

The nature of the change which the little horn has attempted to effect
in the law of God is worthy of notice. With true Satanic instinct, he
undertakes to change that commandment which, of all others, is the
fundamental commandment of the law, the one which makes known who the
Law-giver is, and contains his signature of royalty. The fourth
commandment does this; no other one does. Four others, it is true,
contain the word God, and three of them the word Lord, also. But who is
this Lord God of whom they speak? Without the fourth commandment it is
impossible to tell; for idolaters of every grade apply these terms to
the multitudinous objects of their adoration. With the fourth
commandment to point out the Author of the decalogue, the claims of
every false god are annulled at one stroke; for the God who here demands
our worship is not any created being, but the One who created them all.
The maker of the earth and sea, the sun and moon, and all the starry
host, the upholder and governor of the universe, is the One who claims,
and who, from his position, has a right to claim, our supreme regard in
preference to every other object. The commandment which makes known
these facts is therefore the very one we might suppose that power would
undertake to change, which designed to exalt itself above God. God gave
the Sabbath as a memorial of himself, a weekly reminder to the sons of
men, of his work in creating the heavens and the earth, a great barrier
against atheism and idolatry. It is the signature and seal of the law.
This the papacy has torn from its place, and erected in its stead, on
its own authority, an institution designed to serve another purpose.

This change of the fourth commandment must therefore be the change to
which the prophecy points; and Sunday-keeping must be the mark of the
beast! Some who have long been taught to regard this institution with
reverence will perhaps start back with little less than feelings of
horror at this conclusion. We have not space, nor is this perhaps the
place, to enter into an extended argument on the Sabbath question, and
an exposition of the origin and nature of the observance of the first
day of the week. Let us submit this one proposition: If the seventh day
is still the Sabbath enjoined in the fourth commandment; if the
observance of the first day of the week has no foundation whatever in
the Scriptures; if this observance has been brought in as a Christian
institution and designedly put in place of the Sabbath of the decalogue,
by that power which is symbolized by the beast, and placed there as a
badge and token of its power to legislate for the church, is it not
inevitably the mark of the beast? The answer must be in the affirmative.
But all these hypotheses can easily be shown to be certainties, See
History of the Sabbath, and other works on the subject, published at
the _Review_ Office. To these we can only refer the reader, in passing.

It will be said again, then all Sunday-keepers have the mark of the
beast; then all the good of past ages who kept this day had the mark of
the beast; then Luther, Whitefield, the Wesleys, and all who have done a
good and noble work of reformation, had the mark of the beast; then all
the blessings that have been poured upon the reformed churches have been
poured upon those who had the mark of the beast. We answer, _No_! And we
are sorry to say that some professedly religious teachers, though many
times corrected, persist in misrepresenting us on this point. We have
never so held; we have never so taught. Our premises lead to no such
conclusions. Give ear: The mark and worship of the beast are enforced by
the two-horned beast. The receiving of the mark of the beast is a
specific act which the two-horned beast is to cause to be done. The
third message of Rev. 14, is a warning mercifully sent out in advance to
prepare the people for the coming danger. There can therefore be no
worship of the beast, nor reception of his mark, such as is contemplated
in the prophecy, till it is enforced by the two-horned beast. We have
seen that _intention_ was essential to the change which the papacy has
made in the law of God, to constitute it the mark of that power. So
_intention_ is necessary in the adoption of that change to make it on
the part of any individual the reception of that mark. In other words, a
person must adopt the change, knowing it to be the work of the beast,
and receive it on the authority of that power, in opposition to the
requirement of God.

But how with those referred to above who have kept Sunday in the past,
and the majority of those who are keeping it to-day? Do they keep it as
an institution of the papacy? No. Have they decided between this and the
Sabbath of the Lord, understanding the claims of each? No. On what
ground have they kept it, and do they keep it? They suppose they are
keeping a commandment of God. Have such the mark of the beast? By no
means. Their course is attributable to an error unwittingly received
from the church of Rome, not to an act of worship rendered to it.

But how is it to be? The church which is to be prepared for the second
coming of Christ must be entirely free from papal errors and
corruptions. A reform must hence be made on the Sabbath question. The
third angel proclaims the commandments of God, leading men to the true
in the place of the counterfeit. The dragon is stirred, and so controls
the wicked governments of the earth that all authority of human power
shall be exerted to enforce the claims of the man of sin. Then the issue
is fairly before the people. On one hand, they are required to keep the
true Sabbath; on the other, a counterfeit. For refusing to keep the
true, the message denounces the unmingled wrath of God; for refusing the
false, earthly governments threaten them with persecution and death.
With this issue before the people, what does he do who yields to the
human requirement? He virtually says to God, I know your claims, but I
will not yield to them. I know that the power I am required to worship
is anti-Christian; but I yield to save my life. I renounce your
allegiance, and bow to the usurper. The beast is henceforth the object
of my adoration; under his banner, in opposition to your authority, I
henceforth array myself; to him, in defiance of your claims, I
henceforth yield the obedience of my heart and life. Such is the spirit
which will actuate the hearts of the beast-worshipers; a spirit which
insults the God of the universe to his face, and is prevented only by
lack of power from overthrowing his government and annihilating his
throne. Is it any wonder that Jehovah denounces against so Heaven-daring
a course the most terrible threatening that his word contains?

Chapter Eleven.

The Beginning Of The End.

We have now found what, according to the prophecy, is to constitute the
image which the two-horned beast is to cause to be made, and the mark
which it will attempt to enforce. The movement which is to fulfill this
portion of the prophecy, is to be looked for in the popular churches of
our land. First, a union must be effected between these churches, with
some degree of coalition also between these bodies and the beast power,
or Roman Catholicism; and, secondly, steps must be taken to bring the
law of the land to the support of the Sunday Sabbath. These movements
the prophecy calls for. And the line of argument leading to these
conclusions is so direct and well-defined that there is no avoiding
them. They are a clear and logical sequence from the premises given us.

When first the application of Rev. 13:11-17 to the United States was
made, over twenty years ago, these positions respecting a union of the
churches and a grand Sunday movement were taken. But at that time, no
sign appeared above or beneath, at home or abroad, no token was seen, no
indication existed, that such an issue would ever be made. But there
was the prophecy, and that must stand. The United States government had
given abundant evidence, by its location, the time of its rise, the
manner of its rise, and its apparent character, that it was the power
symbolized by the two-horned beast. There could be no mistake in the
conclusion that it was the very nation intended by that symbol. This
being so, it must take the course, and perform the acts, foretold. But
here were predictions which could be fulfilled by nothing less than the
movement above named respecting Church and State, and the enforcement of
the papal Sabbath as the mark of the beast.

To take the position at that time that this government was to pursue
such a policy and engage in such a work, without any apparent
probability in its favor, was no small act of faith. On the other hand,
to deny or ignore it, while admitting the application of the symbol to
this government, would be in accordance with neither Scripture nor
logic. The only course for the humble, confiding student of prophecy to
pursue in such cases, is to take the light as it is given, and believe
the prophecy in all its parts. So the stand was boldly taken; and open
proclamation has been made from that day to this, that such a work would
be seen in these United States. With every review of the argument, new
features of strength have been discovered in the application; and amid a
storm of scornful incredulity, we have watched the progress of events,
and waited the hour, of fulfillment.

Meanwhile, spiritualism has astonished the world with its terrible
progress, and shown itself to be the wonder-working element which was to
exist in connection with this power. This has mightily strengthened the
force of the application. And now, within a few years past, what have we
further seen? No less than the commencement of that very movement
respecting the formation of the image and the enactment of Sunday laws,
which we have so long expected, and which is to complete the prophecy,
and close the scene.

Reference was made in chapter nine to the movement now on foot for a
grand union of all the churches; not a union which arises from the
putting away of error and uniting upon the harmonious principles of
truth, but simply a combination of sects, each retaining its own
particular creed, but confederated for the purpose of carrying out more
extensively the common points of our faith. This movement finds a strong
undercurrent of favor in all the churches. And men are engaged to carry
it through who are not easily turned from their purpose.

And there has suddenly arisen a class of men whose souls are absorbed
with the cognate idea of Sunday reform, and who have dedicated every
energy of their being to the carrying forward of this kindred movement.
The "New York Sabbath Committee" have labored zealously by means of
books, tracts, speeches, and sermons, to create a strong public
sentiment in behalf of Sunday. Making slow progress through moral
suasion, they seek a shorter path to the accomplishment of their
purposes through political power. And why not? Christianity has become
popular, and her professed adherents are numerous. Why not avail
themselves of the power of the ballot to secure their ends? Rev. J.S.
Smart (Methodist), in a published sermon on the "Political Duties of
Christian Men and Ministers," expresses a largely-prevailing sentiment
on this question, when he says:--

"I claim that we have, and ought to have, just as much concern in
the government of this couniry as any other men.... We are the mass
of the people. Virtue in this country is not weak; her ranks are
strong in numbers, and invincible from the righteousness of her
cause--invincible if united. Let not her ranks be broken by party

A "National Association" has been in existence for a number of years,
which has for its object the securing of such amendments to the National
Constitution as shall express the religious views of the majority of the
people, and make it an instrument under which the keeping of Sunday can
be enforced as the Christian Sabbath. This Association already embraces
within its organization a long array of eminent and honorable names:
Governors of our States, Presidents of our colleges, Bishops, Doctors of
Divinity, Doctors of Law, and men who occupy high positions in all the
walks of life.

In the Address issued by the officers of this Association, they say:--

"Men of high standing, in every walk of life, of every section of
the country, and of every shade of political sentiment and
religious belief, have concurred in the measure."

In their appeal, they most earnestly request every lover of his country
to join in forming auxiliary associations, circulate documents, attend
conventions, sign the memorial to Congress, &c., &c.

In their plea for an amended Constitution, they ask the people to

"Consider that God is not once named in our National Constitution.
There is nothing in it which requires an 'oath of God,' as the
Bible styles it (which, after all, is the great bond both of
loyalty in the citizen and of fidel in the magistrate); nothing
which requires the ob of the day of rest and of worship, or which
re its sanctity. If we do not have the mails carried and the
post-offices open on Sunday, it is because we have a
Postmaster-General who respects the day. If our Supreme Courts are
not held, and if Congress does not sit on that day, it is custom,
and not law, that makes it so. Nothing in the Constitution gives
Sunday quiet to the custom house, the navy yard, the barracks, or
any of the departments of government.

"Consider that they fairly express the mind of the great body of
the American people. This is a Christian people. These amendments
agree with the faith, the feelings, and the forms of every
Christian church or sect. The Catholic and the Protestant, the
Unitarian and the Trinitarian, profess and approve all that is here
proposed. Why should their wishes not become law? Why should not
the Constitution be made to suhf and to represent a constituency so
overwhelmingly in the majority?...

"This great majority is becoming daily more conscious not only of
their rights, but of their power. Their number grows, and their
column becomes more solid. They have quietly, steadily opposed
infidelity, until it has, at least, become politically unpopular.
They have asserted the rights of man and the rights of the
government, until the nation's faith has become measurably fixed
and declared on these points. And now that the close of the war
gives us occasion to amend our Constitution, that it may clearly
and fully represent the mind of the people on these points, they
feel that it should also be so amended as to recognize the rights
of God in man and in government. Is it anything but due to their
long patience that they be at length allowed to speak out the great
facts and principles which give to all government its dignity,
stability, and beneficence?"

Thus for several years a movement has been on foot, daily growing in
extent, and importance, and power, to fulfill that portion of the
prophecy of Rev. 13:11-17, which first calls forth the dissent of the
objector, and which appears from every point of view the most improbable
of all the specifications; namely, the erection of the image and the
enforcing of the mark. Beyond this, nothing remains but the sharp
conflict of the people of God with this earthly power, and the eternal
triumph of the overcomer.

An Association, even now national in its character, as already noticed,
and endeavoring, as is appropriate for those who have such objects in
view, to secure their purposes under the sanction of the highest
authority of the land, the National Constitution, already has this
matter in hand. In the interest of this Association there is published,
in Philadelphia, a semi-monthly paper called the _Christian Statesman_,
in advocacy of this movement. Every issue of that paper goes forth
filled with arguments and appeals from some of the ablest pens in our
land, in favor of the desired Constitutional amendment. These are the
very methods, by which, in a country like ours, great revolutions are
brought about; and no movement has ever arisen so suddenly as this to so
high a position in public esteem with certain classes, and taken so
strong a hold upon their hearts.

Says Mr. G.A. Townsend (New World and Old, p. 212):--

"Church and State has several times crept into American politics,
as in the contentions over the Bible in the public schools, the
Anti-Catholic party of 1844, &c. Our people have been wise enough
heretofore to respect the clergy in all religious questions, and to
entertain a wholesome jealousy of them in politics. The latest
_politico-theological movement_ [italics ours] is to insert the
name of the Deity in the Constitution."

The present movements of this National Association and the progress it
has made luay be gathered somewhat from the report of the proceedings of
the Convention held in Cincinnati, Jan. 31, 1872.

From the Report of the Executive Committee it appeared that ten thousand
copies of the proceedings of the Philadelphia Convention have been
gratuitously distributed; that a General Secretary (Rev. D. McAllister)
has been appointed, with a salary of $2,500; and that a long and
elaborate paper by Prof. Taylor Lewis, of Union College, in advocacy of
the ideas and objects of the Association, will soon be published; that
the number of the Executive Committee is recommended to be increased to
twenty-five, besides including all presidents of auxiliary associations;
that $2,177 have been raised the past year by the Association, and that
a balance of over $90 remains in the treasury. Nearly $1,800 were raised
at this Convention.

The Business Committee recommended that the delegates to this Convention
hold meetings in their respective localities to ratify the resolutions
adopted at Cincinnati; that twenty thousand copies of the proceedings of
this Convention be published in tract form; and that the friends of the
Association be urged to form auxiliary associations. All these
recommendations were adopted.

The resolutions passed were as follows:--

"_Resolved_, That it is the right and duty of the United States, as a
nation settled by Christians, a nation with Christian laws and usages,
and with Christianity as its greatest social force, to acknowledge
itself in its written Constitution, to be a Christian nation.

"_Resolved_, That, as the disregard of sound theory always leads to
mischievous practical results, so in this case the failure of our nation
to acknowledge, in its organic laws, its relation to God and his moral
laws, as a Christian nation, has fostered the theory that government has
nothing to do with religion but to let it alone, and that consequently
State laws in favor of the Sabbath, Christian marriage, and the use of
the Bible in the schools, are unconstitutional.

"_Resolved_, That we recognize the necessity of complete harmony between
our written constitution and the actual facts of our national life; and
we maintain that tho true way to eflect this undoubted harmony is not to
expel the Bible and all idea of God and religion from our schools,
abrogate laws enforcing Christian morality, and abolish all devout
observances in connection with government, but to insert an explicit
acknowledgment of God and the Bible in our fundamental law.

"_Resolved_, That the proposed religious amendment, so far from tending
to a union of Church and State, is directly opposed to such union,
inasmuch as it recognizes the nation's own relations to God, and insists
that the nation should acknowledge these relations for itself, and not
through the medium of any church establishment."

Mr. F.E. Abbott, editor of the _Index_, Toledo, O., who was present at
the foregoing Convention, and presented a protest against its aims and
efforts, says of those who stand at the head of the movement:--

"We found them to be so thoroughly sincere and earnest in their
purpose that they did not fear the effect of a decided but
temperate protest. This fact speaks volumes in their praise, as men
of character and convictions. We saw no indication of the artful
management which characterizes most conventions. The leading
men--Rev. D. McAllister, Rev. A.M. Milligan, Prof. Sloane, Prof.
Stoddard, Prof. Wright, Rev. T.P. Stephenson--impressed us as able,
clear-headed, and thoroughly honest men; and we could not but
conceive a great respect for their motives and their intentions. It
is such qualities as these in the leaders of the movement that give
it its most formidable character. They have definite and consistent
ideas; they perceive the logical connection of these ideas, and
advocate them in a very cogent and powerful manner; and they
propose to push them with determination and zeal. Concede their
premises, and it is impossible to deny their conclusions; and since
these premises are axiomatic truths with the great majority of
Protestant Christians, the effect of the vigorous campaign on which
they are entering cannot be small or despicable. The very respect
with which we were compelled to regard them only increases our
sense of the evils which lie germinant in their doctrines; and we
came home with the conviction that religious liberty in America
must do battle for its very existence hereafter. The movement in
which these men are engaged has too many elements of strength to be
contemned by any far-seeing liberal. Blindness or sluggishness
to-day means slavery to-morrow. Radicalism must pass now from
thought to action, or it will deserve the oppression that lies in
wait to overwhelm it."

As to the probability of the success of this movement, there is at
present some difference of opinion. While a very few pass it by with a
slur as a mere temporary sensation of little or no consequence, it is
generally regarded as a work of growing strength and importance, both by
its advocates and opposers. Petitions and remonstrances are both being
circulated with activity, and shrewd observers, who have watched the
movement with a jealous eye, and heretofore hoped it would amount to
nothing, now confess that it "means business." No movement of equal
magnitude of purpose has ever sprung up and become strong, and secured
favor so rapidly as this. Indeed, none of equal magnitude has ever been
sprung upon the American mind, as this aims to remodel the whole
framework of our government, and give to it a strong religious cast--a
thing which the framers of our Constitution were careful to exclude from
it. They not only ask that the Bible, and God, and Christ, shall be
recognized in the Constitution, but that it shall indicate this as "a
Christian nation, and place all Christian laws, institutions, and
usages, in our government on an undeniable legal basis in the
fundamental law of the nation."

Of course, appropriate legislation will be required to carry such
amendments into effect, and somebody will have to decide what are
"Christian laws and institutions." From what we know of such movements
in the past in other countries, and of the temper of the churches of
this, and of human nature when it has power suddenly conferred upon it,
we look for no good from this movement. From a lengthy article in the
Lansing _State Republican_ in reference to the Cincinnati Convention, we
take the following extract:--

"Now there are hundreds and thousands of moral and professedly
Christian people in this nation to-day who do not recognize the
doctrine of the Trinity, do not recognize Jesus Christ the same as
God. And there are hundreds and thousands of men and women who do
not recognize the Bible as the revelation of God. The attempt to
make any such amendment to the Constitution would be regarded by a
large minority, perhaps a majority, of our nation as a palpable
violation of liberty of conscience. Thousands of men, if called
upon to vote for such an amendment, would hesitate to vote against
God, although they may not believe that the amendment was necessary
or that it is right; and such men would either vote affirmatively
or not at all. In every case, such an amendment would be likely to
receive an affirmative vote, which would by no means indicate the
true sentiment of the people. And the same rule would hold good in
relation to the adoption of such an amendment by Congress or by the
Legislatures of three-quarters of the States. Men who make politics
a trade would hesitate to record their names against the proposed
Constitutional Amendment, advocated by the leaders of the great
religious denominations of the land, and indorsed by such men as
Bishop Simpson, Bishop McIlvaine, Bishop Eastburn, President
Finney, Prof. Lewis, Prof. Seelye, Bishop Huntington, Bishop
Kerfoot, Dr. Patterson, Dr. Cuyler, and many other divines who are
the representative men of their respective denominations."

Not only the representative men of the churches are pledged to this
movement, but governors, judges, and many of the most eminent men of the
land are working for it. Who doubts the power of the "representative men
of the denominations" to rally the strength of their denominations to
sustain this work at their call? We utter no prophecy of the future; it
is not needed. Events transpire in these days faster than our minds are
prepared to grasp them. Let us heed the admonition to "watch!" and, with
reliance upon God, prepare for "those things which are coming on the

But it may be asked how the Sunday question is to be affected by the
proposed Constitutional Amendment. Answer: The object, or, to say the
least, one object of this amendment is to put the Sunday institution on
a legal basis, and compel its observance by the arm of the law. At the
National Convention held in Philadelphia, Jan. 18 and 19, 1871, the
following resolution was among the first offered by the Business

"_Resolved_, That, in view of the controlling power of the
Constitution in shaping State, as well as national, policy, it is
of immediate importance to public morals, and to social order, to
secure such an amendment as will indicate that this is a Christian
nation, and place all Christian laws, institutions, and usages in
our government on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law
of the nation, specially those which secure a proper oath, and
which protect society against blasphemy, Sabbath-breaking, and

By Sabbath-breaking is meant nothing else but Sunday-breaking. In a
convention of the friends of Sunday, assembled Nov. 29, 1870, in New
Concord, Ohio, the Rev. James White is reported to have said: "The
question [of Sunday observance] is closely connected with the National
Reform Movement; for until the government comes to know God and honor
his law, we need not expect to restrain Sabbath-breaking corporations."
Here again the idea of the legal enforcement of Sunday observance stands

Once more: The Philadelphia _Press_ of Dec. 5, 1870, stated that some
Congressmen, including Vice-president Colfax, arrived in Washington by
Sunday trains, Dec. 4, on which the _Christian Statesman_ commented as
follows (we give italics as we find them):--

"1. _Not one of those men ivho thus violated the Sabbath is fit to
hold any official position in a Christian nation_. * *

"He who violates the Sabbath may not steal because the judgment of
society so strongly condemns theft, or because he believes that
honesty is the best policy; but tempt him with the prospect of
concealment, or the prospect of advantage, and there can be no
reason why he who robs God will not rob his neighbor also. For this
reason, the Sabbath law lies at the foundation of morality. Its
observance is an acknowledgment of the sovereign rights of God over

"2. _The sin of these Congressmen is a national sin_, because the
nation hath not said to them in the Constitution, the supreme rule
for our public servants, 'We charge you to serve us in accordance
with the higher law of God.' These Sabbath-breaking railroads,
moreover, are corporations created by the State, and amenable to
it. The State is responsible to God for the conduct of these
creatures which it calls into being. It is bound, therefore, to
restrain them from this as from other crimes, and any violation of
the Sabbath, by any corporation, should work immediate forfeiture
of its charter. And the Constitution of the United States, with
which all State legislation is required to be in harmony, should be
of such a character as to prevent any State from tolerating such
infractions of fundamental moral law.

"3. Give us in the National Constitution the simple acknowledgment
of the law of God as the supreme law of nations, and _all the
results indicated in this note will ultimately be secured_. Let no
one say that the movement does not contemplate sufficiently
practical ends."

From all this, we see the important place the Sabbath question is to
hold in this movement--the important place it even now holds in the
minds of those who are urging it forward. Let the amendment called for
be granted, "and all the results indicated in this note," says the
writer, "will ultimately be secured;" that is, individuals and
corporations will be restrained from violating the Sunday observance.
The acknowledgment of God in the Constitution may do very well as a
banner under which to sail; but the practical bearing of the movement
relates to the compulsory observance of the first day of the week.

Even now the question is agitated why the Jew should be allowed to
follow his business on the first day after having observed the seventh.
The same question is equally pertinent to all seventh-day keepers. A
writer signing himself "American," in the Boston _Herald_ of Dec. 14,
1871, said:--

"The President in his late message in speaking of the Mormon
question, says, 'They shall not be permitted to break the law under
the cloak of religion.' This, undoubtedly, meets the approval of
every American citizen, and I wish to cite a parallel case, and
ask: Why should the Jews of this country be allowed to keep open
their stores on the Sabbath under the cloak of their religion while
I, or any other true American, will be arrested and suffer
punishment if we do the same thing? If there is a provision made
allowing a few to conduct business on the Sabbath, what justice and
equality can there be in any such provision, and why should it not
be stopped at once?"

And this question, we apprehend, will be very summarily decided, when
once the Consitutional Amendment has been secured.

At a Ministerial Association of the M.E. church held in Healdsburg,
Cal., April 26-28, 1870, Rev. Mr. Trefren, of Napa, speaking of S.D.A.
ministers, said, "I predict for them a short race. What we want is law
in the matter." Then, referring to the present movement for a law, he
added, "And we will have it, too; and when we get the power into our
hands, we will show these men what their end will be."

From a work recently published by the Presbyterian Board of Publication,
entitled "The Sabbath," by Chas. Elliott, Professor of Biblical
Literature and Exegesis in the Presbyterian Theological Seminary of the
North West, Chicago, Ill., we take this paragraph:--

"But it may be asked, Would not the Jew be denied equality of
rights by legislation protecting the Christian Sabbath and ignoring
the Jewish? The answer is, We are not a Jewish but a Christian
nation; therefore, our legislation must be conformed to the
institutions and spirit of Christianity. This is absolutely
necessary from the nature of the case."

There is no mistaking the import of this language: No matter if the Jew
does not secure equal rights with others. We are not a Jewish nation,
but a Christian; and all must be made to conform to what the majority
decide to be Christian institutions. This affects all who observe the
seventh day as much as the Jews. And we apprehend it will not be a
difficult matter to lead the masses, whose prejudices incline them in
this direction, to believe that it is "absolutely necessary" that all
legislation must take such a form, and cause them to act accordingly.

Several years since, Dr. Durbin of the _Christian Advocate and Journal_;
gave his views on this subject as follows:--

"I infer, therefore, that the civil magistrate may not be called
upon to enforce the observance of the Sabbath [Sunday] as required
in the spiritual kingdom of Christ; but when Christianity becomes
the moral and spiritual life of the State, the State is bound
through her magistrates to prevent the open violation of the holy
Sabbath, as a measure of self-preservation. She cannot, without
injuring her own vitality and incurring the divine displeasure, be
recreant to her duty in this matter."

At a meeting held at Saratoga Springs, Aug. 12, 1860, ex-president
Fillmore said that "while he deemed it needful to legislate cautiously
in all matters connected with public morals, and to avoid coercive
measures affecting religion, the right of every citizen to a day of rest
and worship could not be questioned, and laws securing that right should
be enforced."

And the _Christian Statesman_ of Dec. 15, 1871, speaking of the general
disregard of the Sabbath [Sunday] in the arrangements for welcoming the
Grand Duke Alexis, says:--

"How long will it be before the Christian masses of this country
can be roused to enact a law compelling their public servants to
respect the Sabbath?"

A very marked and rapid change is taking place in public opinion
relative to the proposed religious amendment of the Constitution. We
have learned of instances of men who were at first openly hostile to the
movement, now giving their influence for its advancement, and clamoring
loudly for a Sunday law. And some who at first regarded it with
indifference, are now becoming its warm partisans. As a sample of this
change of feeling, the following paragraph from the _Christian Press_ of
Jan, 1872, may be presented. The _Christian Press_ is the organ of the
Western Book and Tract Society, Cincinnati, Ohio, and its editor,
speaking of the National Association above referred to, says:--

"When this Association was formed, while we were prepared to bid it
God speed, we did not then feel that there was any pressing need
for the object sought; and as our mission was specially directed to
the Christianizing, enlightening and elevating, the masses of the
people, we have said little in our columns on the subject, being
assured that if the people are right, it is easy to set the
government right. The late combined efforts, however, of various
classes of our citizens to exclude the Bible from our schools,
repeal our Sabbath laws, and divorce our government entirely from
religion, and thus make it an atheistic government--for every
government must be for God or against him, and must be administered
in the interests of religion and good morals, or in the interests
of irreligion and immorality--have changed our mind, and we are now
prepared to urge the necessity for an explicit acknowledgment in
the National Constitution of the authority of God and the supremacy
of his law, as revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and New

With the anti-Sunday movements of the present day, considering their
associations, and the manner and object in and for which they are
carried forward, we have no sympathy. They aim at utter no-Sabbathism,
freedom from all moral restraint, and all the evils of unbridled
intemperance--ends which we abhor with all the strength of a moral
nature quickened by the most intense religious convictions. And while
the indignation of the batter portion of the community will be aroused
at the want of religious principle and the immorality attending the
popular anti-Sunday movement, a little lack of discrimination, by no
means uncommon, will on account of our opposition to the day, though we
oppose it on entirely different ground, easily associate us with the
class above-mentioned, and subject us to the same odium.

Meanwhile, some see the evils involved in this movement, and raise the
voice of alarm. The _Christian Union_, Jan., 1871, said:

"The friends of the measure are not likely ever to agree among
themselves. The Convention which met in Philadelphia on the 18th
inst. to consider this subject, refused to accept a phraseology
which simply recognizes the Deity, and insisted upon including in
the emendation the name of Jesus Christ as well. A party, in behalf
of the Holy Spirit, which is so conspicuously slighted, will be the
next in order; and then the way will be open for a proposition to
recognize the 'Vicegerent of Christ on earth,' as the true source
of power among the nations! If the proposed amendment is anything
more than a bit of sentimental cant, it is to have a _legal_
effect. It is to alter the status of the non-Christian citizen
before the law. It is to affect the legal oaths and instruments,
the matrimonial contracts, the sumptuary laws, &c., &c., of the
country. This would be an outrage on natural right."

The Janesville (Wis.) _Gazette_, at the close of an article on the
proposed amendment, speaks thus of the effect of the movement, should it

"But independent of the question as to what extent we are a
Christian nation, it may well be doubted whether, if the gentlemen
who are agitating this question should succeed, they would not do
society a very great injury. Such measures are but the initiatory
steps which ultimately lead to _restrictions of religious freedom_,
and to commit the government to measures which are as foreign to
its powers and purposes as would be its action if it should
undertake to determine a disputed question of theology."

The _Weekly Alta Californian_ of San Francisco, March 12, 1870, said:--

"The parties who have been recently holding a convention for the
somewhat novel purpose of procuring an amendment to the
Constitution of the United States recognizing the Deity, do not
fairly state the case when they assert that it is the right of a
Christian people to govern themselves in a Christian manner. If we
are not governing ourselves in a Christian manner, how shall the
doings of our government be designated? The fact is, that the
movement is one to bring about in this country that union of church
and State which all other nations are trying to dissolve."

The N.Y. _Independent_, Feb., 1870, spoke of the movement as having the
same chance of success that a union of church and State would have.

The Champlain _Journal_, speaking of the incorporating the religious
principle into the Constitution, and its effect upon the Jews, said:--

"However slight, it is the entering wedge between church and State.
If we may cut off ever so few persons from the right of citizenship
on account of difference of religious belief, then with equal
justice and propriety may a majority at any time dictate the
adoption of still further articles of belief, until our
Constitution is but the text book of a sect beneath whose
tyrannical sway _all liberty of religious opinion will be

For a union of church and State, strictly so-called, we do not look. In
place of this, we apprehend that what is called "the image," a creation
as strange as it is unique, comes in--not a State controlled by the
church, and the church in turn supported by the State, but an
ecclesiastical establishment empowered to enforce its own decrees by
civil penalties; which, in all its practical bearings, amounts to
exactly the same thing. The direct aim of the movement is undoubtedly a
union of church and State; a result which it will so nearly accomplish
as to secure, by way of compromise, the erection of the image.

Some one may now say, As you expect this movement to carry, you must
look for a period of religious persecution in this country; nay, more,
you must take the position that all the saints of God are to be put to
death; for the image is to cause that all who will not worship it shall
be killed.

There would, perhaps, be some ground for such a conclusion, were we not
elsewhere informed that in this dire conflict God does not abandon his
people to defeat, but grants them a complete victory over the beast, his
image, his mark, and the number of his name. Rev. 15:2. We further read
respecting this earthly power, that he causeth all to receive a mark in
their right hand or their foreheads; yet chapter 20:4, speaks of the
people of God as those who do not receive the mark or worship the image.
If, then, he could "cause" all to receive the mark, and yet all not
actually receive it, in like manner his causing all to be put to death
who will not worship the image does not necessarily signify that their
lives are actually to be taken.

But how can this be? Answer: It evidently comes under that rule of
interpretation in accordance with which verbs of action sometimes
signify merely the will and endeavor to do the action in question, and
not the actual performance of the thing specified. George Bush,
Professor of Hebrew and Oriental Literature in New York City University,
makes this matter plain. In his notes on Ex. 7:11, he says:--

"It is a canon of interpretation of frequent use in the exposition
of the sacred writings that verbs of action sometimes signify
merely the _will_ and _endeavor_ to do the action in question. Thus
in Eze. 24:13: 'I have _purified_ thee, and thou wast not purged;'
_i.e._, I have endeavored, used means, been at pains, to purify
thee. John 5:44: 'How can ye believe which _receive_ honor one of
another;' _i.e._, endeavor to receive. Rom. 2:4: 'The goodness of
God _leadeth_ thee to repentance;' _i.e._, endeavors, or tends, to
lead thee. Amos 9:3: 'Though they be _hid_ from my sight in the
bottom of the sea;' _i.e._, though they aim to be hid. 1 Cor.
10:33: 'I _please_ all men;' _i.e._, endeavor to please. Gal. 5:4:
'Whosoever of you are _justified_ by the law;' _i.e._, seek and
endeavor to be justified. Ps. 69:4: 'They that _destroy_ me are
mighty;' _i.e._, that endeavor to destroy me. Eng., 'That _would_
destroy me.' Acts 7:26: 'And _set them at one_ again;' _i.e._,
wished and endeavored. Eng., '_Would_ have set them.'"

So in the passage before us: He causes all to receive a mark, and all
who will not worship the image to be killed; that is, he wills,
purposes, and endeavors, to do this; he makes such an enactment, passes
such a law, but is not able to execute it; for God interposes in behalf
of his people; and then those who have kept the word of Christ's
patience are kept from falling in this hour of temptation, according to
Rev. 3:10; then those who have made God their refuge are kept from all
evil, and no plague comes nigh their dwelling, according to Ps. 91:
9,10; then all who are found written in the book are delivered,
according to Dan. 12:1; and, being victors over the beast and his
image, they are redeemed from among men, and raise a song of triumph
before the throne of God, according to Rev. 14:4; 15:2.

The objector may further say: You are altogether too credulous in
supposing that all the skeptics of our land, the spiritualists, the
German infidels, and the irreligious masses generally, can be so far
brought to favor the religious observance of Sunday that a general law
can be promulgated in its behalf.

We answer: The prophecy must be fulfilled; and if the prophecy requires
such a revolution, it will be accomplished. But we do not know that it
is necessary. Permit us to suggest an idea, which, though it is only
conjecture, may show how enough can be accomplished to fulfill the
prophecy without involving the classes mentioned. This movement, as has
been shown, must originate with the churches of our land, and be carried
forward by them. They wish to enforce certain practices among all the
people; and it would be very natural that, in reference to those points
respecting which they wish to influence the outside masses, they should
see the necessity of first having absolute conformity among all the
evangelical denominations. They could not expect to influence
non-religionists to any great degree on questions respecting which they
were divided among themselves. So, then, let union be had on those views
and practices which the great majority already entertain. To this end
coercion may first be attempted. But here are a few who cannot possibly
attach to the observance of the first day, which the majority wish to
secure, any religious obligation; and would it be anything strange for
the sentence to be given, Let these few factionists be made to conform,
by persuasion if possible, by force, if necessary. Thus the blow may
fall on conscientious commandment-keepers, before the outside masses are
involved in the issue at all. And should events take this not improbable
turn, it would be sufficient to meet the prophecy, and leave no ground
for the objection proposed.

To receive the mark of the beast in the forehead, is, we understand, to
give the assent of the mind and judgment to his authority in the
adoption of that institution which constitutes the mark. By parity of
reasoning, to receive it in the hand would be to signify allegiance by
some outward act.

The number, over which the saints are also to get the victory, is the
number of the papal beast, called also the number of his name, and the
number of a man, and said to be six hundred threescore and six. The pope
wears upon his pontifical crown in jeweled letters, this title:
"_Vicarius Filii Dei_," "Vicegerent of the Son of God;" the numerical
value of which title is just six hundred and sixty-six. The most
plausible supposition we have ever seen on this point is that here we
find the number in question. It is the number of the beast, the papacy;
it is the number of his name; for he adopts it as his distinctive title;
it is the number of a man; for he who bears it is the "man of sin." We
get the victory over it by refusing those institutions and practices
which he sets forth as evidence of his power to sit supreme in the
temple of God, and by adopting which we should acknowledge the validity
of his title, by conceding his right to act for the church in behalf of
the Son of God.

And now, reader, we leave with you this subject. We confidently submit
the argument as one which is invulnerable in all its points. We ask you
to review it carefully. Take in, if thought can comprehend it, the
wonderful phenomenon of our own nation. Consider its location, the time
of its rise, the manner of its rise, its character, Satan's masterpiece
of lying wonders which he has here sprung upon the world, and the
elements which are everywhere working to fulfill in just as accurate a
manner every other specification of the prophecy. Can you doubt the
application. We know not how. Then the last agents to appear in this
world's history are on the stage of action, the close of this
dispensation is at hand, and the Lord cometh speedily to judge the
world. Then an issue of appalling magnitude is before us. It is no less
than this: To yield to unrighteous human enactments soon to be made, and
thus expose ourselves to the unmingled wrath of an insulted Creator, or
to remain loyal to our God and brave the utmost wrath of the dragon and
his infuriated hosts.

In reference to this issue, the third angel now utters his solemn and
vehement warning. To aid in sounding over the land this timely note of
alarm, to impress upon hearts the importance of a right position in the
coming issue, and the necessity of pursuing such a course as will secure
the favor of God in the season of earth's direst extremity, and a share
at last in his glorious salvation, is the object of this effort. And if
with any it shall have this effect, the prayer of the writer will not be
utterly unanswered, nor his labor be wholly lost.

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