America’s Crisis

America’s Crisis

BY
URIAH SMITH

THE Government of the United States of America is a subject of Bible prophecy. Why not? The chief theme of prophecy, next to the coming, work and second advent, of our Lord Jesus Christ, to set up His everlasting kingdom, is the story of the rise and fall of cities, nations and kingdoms on this earth. Why should not our own nation come into consideration as well as others? AMCR 3.1

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Tyre and Sidon, Nineveh and Jerusalem, the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, and the ten kingdoms which arose out of old Rome, all have had their place on the prophetic page. Their rise, history, decline, and fall, were all plainly foretold, and every prophetic utterance concerning them has thus far been fulfilled to the very letter. May we not, therefore, look for like particulars respecting a government so prominent and influential as our own? And if so, ought it not to be a theme of paramount interest to those who have the opportunity to become acquainted therewith? AMCR 3.2

Scanning the field of prophecy, and noting the character of the nations which all agree are mentioned in the Bible, two reasons at once appear why they are thus made prominent in the prophetic page: First, if they have been nations which have had a leading influence in the affairs of men; and, secondly, if they have been so closely connected with the people of God, and the great events in the development of the plan of man’s redemption through Jesus Christ, that the history of the true church, and the Lord’s work in the earth, could not be written without making mention of them. AMCR 3.3

From these facts, as a basis of inquiry, again we ask, Why should not the United States have a place in prophecy? Every reason which has ever existed to cause the history of any nation to be foretold, exists in a tenfold stronger degree to show that this nation should also receive its share of testimony from the pen of inspiration. Under the aegis of a nation guaranteeing perfect civil and religious liberty, religion has had free course and a large following in our own land, and intelligence is so widespread that out of its sixty-five millions of inhabitants over forty-five millions can read and write. In rapidity of development, both in territory and population, this nation has never been equaled by any nation in the world. In the variety and extent of its resources, the amount and skill of its agricultural and mechanical productions, it leads the world; and from the point of view which takes in its power for self-defense and its resources for the future, it is the richest and the strongest nation on the face of the earth to-day. Surely, in the prophetic survey of the great civil and religious developments in the world’s history, down to the setting up of the everlasting kingdom of the Son of God, which is the objective point of all prophecy, such a government cannot be overlooked. AMCR 4.1

Under the impulse of a probability, which partakes so largely of the nature of certainty, one can hardly restrain one’s self from an examination of the volume of revelation to see what nations are noted therein, and to determine their location and chronology. AMCR 5.1

In the prophecy of Daniel, chapter 2, under the form of a great image, the four leading kingdoms of the world, from B.C.606, are symbolized, namely, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, and the divisions of Rome, as represented by the nationalities of modern Europe. Next follows the kingdom of God. Daniel 2:44. AMCR 5.2

In the seventh chapter of the same prophecy the ground is again essentially covered, with further particulars, which could not be well represented by the image. Thus, the lion there represents Babylon; the bear, Medo-Persia; the leopard, Grecia; and the great and terrible nondescript beast, Rome. The ten horns of this beast signify the ten kingdoms that arose out of Rome, and the little horn that came up among them represents the Papacy, which, in the sixth century, reached the position described in Daniel 7:24, 25; 2 Thessalonians 2:4. The next link in that chain is again the kingdom of God. Daniel 7:18, 27. AMCR 5.3

In Daniel 8 we have Medo-Persia and Grecia expressly named, and a little horn, waxing exceeding great, and passing through two phases, to represent again the Roman power, this prophecy also reaching down to the overthrow of all earthly governments. AMCR 5.4

Coming to the book of Revelation, the vision of chapter 12 opens with a view of ancient Pagan Rome, under the symbol of a great red dragon. 1 This dragon gives his seat and power to the leopard beast of chapter 13, which represents Papal Rome; and verse 3 brings to view the time when the latter was wounded to death, which was the temporary overthrow of the Papacy by the French, in 1798. Then follows another symbol of a beast with two horns like a lamb, of which we shall have occasion to speak more fully hereafter. AMCR 5.5

The symbols of Revelation 8 and 9 expositors generally agree in applying to the Barbarians who overthrew Rome, and the Saracens and Turks under the rise and progress of Mohammedanism. AMCR 6.1

Now, we inquire, what portion of the world’s territory is appropriated by these symbols, or, in other words, was included in the area of the kingdoms which they represented? Babylon and Medo-Persia covered all the civilized portion of Asia in ancient times; Greece took in all Eastern Europe, including Russia; and Rome, with the ten kingdoms into which it was finally broken up, between the middle of the fourth and the close of the fifth century A.D., embraced all Western Europe and Northern Africa; the Saracens and Turks appropriated to themselves especially Western Asia and Northern Africa. In other words, all the portions of the eastern hemisphere, which have borne any prominent part in the world’s progress and civilization, from the earliest times to the present, are taken up and appropriated by the symbols already mentioned, respecting the application AMCR 6.2

PICTURE of which there is scarcely any room for doubt, and no very great difference of opinion among intelligent expositors.

But the reader should bear in mind that there is one symbol, the second symbol of Revelation 13, which is not yet applied, and that there is one mighty nation in this western hemisphere, worthy, as we have seen, of being noted in prophecy, which is not yet brought in. That is, all the symbols but one are applied, and all the available portions of the earth, with the exception of our own government, are covered by the nations which these symbols represent. To state it in other words, of all the symbols presented, one alone, the two-horned beast of Revelation 13, is so far unapplied, and of all the countries of the earth respecting which any reason exists why they should be mentioned in prophecy at all, one alone, our own government, remains unidentified. AMCR 8.1

Do the two-horned beast and the United States belong together? Does the former symbolize the latter? If they do thus belong together, all the Biblical symbols find an application, and the whole ground is covered. If they do not thus belong to each other, it follows (1) that the United States is not represented in prophecy at all, by any of the symbols which represent the nations of the earth, which is not probable; and, secondly, that the symbol of Revelation 13:11-17 finds no government to which it can be applied, which is not possible. AMCR 8.2

Let us then look a little further at this symbol of Revelation 13:11-17,and see if our government has developed any features in its past history, or present character, which answer to the specifications brought to view in the symbol. AMCR 8.3

1. John calls this “another beast,” showing that the nation was a different one from any which had thus far been represented by any of the preceding symbols. But those symbols, as we have seen, cover all the available portions of the eastern hemisphere; hence we must look for the power intended by this symbol to the western hemisphere. And when we turn to this locality, the eye is at once attracted by our own country, the great American colossus here arising. AMCR 9.1

2. When the nation intended by this prophecy first came to the prophet’s attention, it was “coming up.” And the point of time is clearly indicated. It was when the preceding, or papal power, represented by the leopard beast, went into captivity (Revelation 13:10), or when, as already mentioned, the Papacy was temporarily over-thrown, in 1798. Was our own nation then coming up? - Most emphatically. The Declaration of Independence was issued only twenty-two years before, and the war for national freedom reached its successful termination only fourteen years before. Hence, in the two important points of chronology and location, are we held to this country, and no other, for the application of the symbol of the two-horned beast. AMCR 9.2

3. It comes up out of the earth. The preceding, or leopard beast, and the four great beasts of Daniel 7, came up out of the sea, that is, arose in territory thickly populated; for waters denote peoples and nations and tongues. Revelation 17:15; Isaiah 8:7. Coming up out of the earth would signify, by contrast with coming up out of the sea, the development of the power in question in a territory new, and previously unoccupied by civilized nations. This, again, points directly to the New World, and to our own country. AMCR 9.3

4. It had two horns like a lamb. Such horns well symbolize the innocent, peaceful, and lamblike professions of this government. The two great principles of civil and religious liberty, - “a State without a king, and a church without a pope,” - have been the great attraction which has drawn the world to America. And this pertains equally to both branches of the really dual government, State and national, which here exists. AMCR 10.1

5. When first brought to view, it was “coming up”. That is, it was in a state of visible, tangible growth and expansion. And it was also coming up in a quiet and peaceful manner, for the words “coming up” (in the Greek, anabatnon) mean “to grow up like a plant out of the earth.” In just this way the United States has arisen. Expanding as it has, from less than three millions of people, when its independence was declared, in 1776, to over three millions and a half square miles of territory, and over sixty-five millions of people, in a little over a century, it presents an instance of national growth that has no parallel in the annals of the world. It has come up, not by conquering and subjugating other peoples, but in a quiet and peaceful manner, so much so that George Alfred Townsend, without any reference to the prophecy, in trying to describe it could think of no better figure than that which the prophet himself used nearly eighteen hundred years before. In his work entitled “The New World Compared with the Old,” page 635, contrasting the rise of this country with that of the other nationalities AMCR 10.2

PICTURES in the western hemisphere, Mr. Townsend says,“Like a silent seed, we grew into empire.”

6. “He exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him.” That is, it will be no second-rate power, but as strong a nation as has ever been seen, since empire began. Our own country, as already mentioned, answers admirably to this condition. AMCR 12.1

7. “He causeth the earth, and them which dwell therein, to worship the first beast.” The first beast, as already noticed, is the Papacy; and to worship any power is to obey it in some particulars which are peculiar to itself, and in opposition to the demands of other powers. In the present case it is further explained by the words of verse 16, that (the two-horned beast) causes all to receive a mark, which is the mark of the beast (Revelation 16:2). The mark of any power is that by which it asserts its claim to supreme authority, and by which its followers are distinguished from those of every other power. AMCR 12.2

In the case of the Roman Catholic Church, in reference to which these expressions are used, the worship and the mark are found in the observance of the first day of the week as the sabbath, which that church claims as its special badge of authority. See Roman Catholic catechisms. AMCR 12.3

This comes into direct conflict with the authority of God, who, for reasons set forth in his word, demands the observance of the seventh day. It is impossible for anyone to obey them both; for they are intentionally placed in antagonism and opposition. Therefore, by his course with reference to these two days, as to which he will observe as the Sabbath, every one, with full intelligence in regard to the issue before him, decides whether he prefers to obey God in opposition to the church, or the church in opposition to God. And it is therefore a striking and corroborative fact that the Sabbath commandment is the only one in which the earth - the land, in contrast with them (the people) who dwell therein - as set forth in Revelation 13:12, can be caused to obey (Leviticus 26:34, 35; 2 Chronicles 36:21), and thus worship the beast. And the contest is now on in this country between these two institutions. AMCR 12.4

8. The nation represented by the two-horned beast is a Protestant nation; for it causes its people to worship the first beast, the Papacy, by religiously regarding some institution of the Papacy, as noted above. Now, if it were a papal nation, its citizens would voluntarily render that worship, or if enforced by the government, it would enforce the worship of itself. But here it is one power enforcing the worship of another power, and that other power is the Papacy; for it is the first beast. Therefore, this power that enforces the worship is a Protestant power, which is another feature by which it is shown that the two-horned beast applies to our own country. AMCR 13.1

9. “He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” It is another striking fact that in this country modern Spiritualism originated, through which many wonders have already appeared, and others, to the full extent of the prophecy, may just as easily follow; for Spiritualism is a masterpiece of evil to deceive; and it, according to the prophecy, is one of the great factors which is to lead the nation on in the oppressive work which it is finally to do. Verse 14. AMCR 13.2

10. It is, lastly, to cause the people to make an image to the beast; and to do this, it says to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image, etc. By this it plainly appears that the form of the government in question is republican, for appeal is made to the people to carry out whatever measure it is desired to secure, and by their votes the question is decided. AMCR 14.1

Let us now group together these features, and note their significance:- AMCR 14.2

1. The power in question must be located in the western hemisphere. AMCR 14.3

2. It comes into view at the time the first beast goes into captivity, namely, about the year 1798. AMCR 14.4

3. It rises in a quiet and peaceable manner, like a plant out of the earth, and in territory previously unoccupied by civilized nations. AMCR 14.5

4. It makes a profession which is perfectly just, innocent, and lamb-like. AMCR 14.6

5. Its progress is so rapid as to strike the beholder with wonder. AMCR 14.7

6. It is the equal of any other nation in power. AMCR 14.8

7. It enforces an institution of the Papacy - the first-day sabbath - which, when so enforced, constitutes the worship and mark of the beast. AMCR 14.9

8. It is a Protestant power. AMCR 14.10

9. It is a nation in which appear great and super-human wonders to deceive the people. AMCR 14.11

10. It is republican in its form of government. AMCR 14.12

And of these ten specifications two things can be said: First, that they will apply perfectly to our own country, the Government of the United States; and, secondly, that if we try to apply them to any other government, they will be found to be utter failures. The two-horned beast, therefore, symbolizes the Government of the United States, and cannot be applied to any other nation. Behind these ten lines of defense the argument for this position lies impregnably intrenched. AMCR 14.13

But a painful sequel follows; for, according to the conditions of the prophecy, some of them already alluded to, this same power is to commit itself to ways that are dark and inscrutable, and, contrary to all its profession of justice and innocence, enter upon a systematic and legal course of religious persecution against those who would obey the truth of God, according to His word. While the beast has the horns of “a lamb,” it speaks “as a dragon.” AMCR 15.1

Into these somber features the whole current of this prophecy at last resolves itself. If the first beast represents the Papacy, as is the conviction of all genuine Protestants, and if that system is utterly subversive of the word of God, being the anthropological horn of Daniel 7, the man of sin and son of perdition spoken of by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2, and the antichrist of John, then to worship that beast is to apostatize from God; and the two-horned beast, by enforcing that worship, shows itself to be an enemy of God and the opposer of true religion. If Sunday, as a rest day, which Rome claims as a mark of her power to rule the church, is the antagonist and rival of the Sabbath of the Lord, as is proved by the Scriptures, then the two-horned beast, by compelling people to receive such mark, arrays itself on the side of evil, and forces men into a position of antagonism with Jehovah. AMCR 15.2

The image which he causes the people to make is an image of the beast. We can determine what an image of the Papacy will be by considering what constituted the Papacy itself in its days of power. As brought to view in the prophecy, it may be defined as an ecclesiastical hierarchy, exercising the self-assumed prerogative of defining heresy, and having the control of the civil arm to punish the same. An image of this would be an ecclesiastical organization, having control of the civil power to carry out its own decisions and purposes. This would of course be a virtual union of Church and State. This the founders of our government intended to guard against, but for just this thing, by a lamentable oversight, they have left the way all open. Such an organization in this country would be a reproduction of the first beast in character, and surely reenact its tyrannical works. The image is not only an image of the beast, but it is an image made to the beast, indicating on the part of those who make the image, an abject deference to, and collusion with, that beast; which, to say the least, is most astonishing in a professedly Protestant country. AMCR 16.1

When people began, years ago, to study these specifications of the prophecy, they were able to draw only one conclusion, and that is that the country represented by the two-horned beast would, in the end, virtually renounce its Protestantism, its republicanism, ignore its professions of lamb-like innocence, and, fired with the spirit of the Papacy, which is the spirit of the dragon AMCR 16.2

PICTURE (Revelation 12:13), which is the spirit of the devil (verse 9), would enforce the worship of the Papacy, would cause its people to receive the papal mark, would virtually unite Church and State, under an image of the Papacy, and give that image power to enforce the worship of itself under pain of death (Revelation 13:14, 15).

This view of the two-horned beast was adopted by Seventh-day Adventists as far back as the year 1851, and the conclusion was consequently adopted and taught that Sunday-keeping would here be enforced by law, contrary to the requirements of God, that in this land there would be a virtual return to a union of Church and State, and that scenes of religious persecution, like those which disgraced the nations of Christendom in the Dark Ages, would be here reenacted. AMCR 18.1

This view of the application of the two-horned beast was taken, and persecution, as here indicated, was predicted, in the publications issued by the people above named, as early as the year 1854. The original articles are found in the Advent Review, Vol. 5, Nos. 9 and 10, dated March 21 and 28, 1854. These were immediately issued in pamphlet form, and another edition was called for as early as 1857. The same views were afterward incorporated into larger works, and have been constantly before the world in Seventh-day Adventist publications, and set forth in their public lectures, from that day to this. But when first advocated, and for many years thereafter, not the least indications appeared pointing to any fulfillment; yet there was the prophecy; its application to the United States could not be questioned; and it followed as surely as the prophecy was true, that this country would commit itself to religious persecution before the end of its career. The position was consequently boldly assumed, in the face of a storm of incredulity and apparent commiseration for believers in so improbable a delusion, that such an unnatural and seemingly impossible work was yet to be done in this country. AMCR 18.2

The whole aspect of the scene has now changed! Spiritualism has shown itself to be the wonder-working power brought to view in the prophecy. After a few years an unwonted interest sprang up on the question of securing a better observance of the first day of the week by law. So-called “sabbath committees” were organized in this country and Canada; and professed Christians began to think that they were numerous enough to demand some political victories in behalf of religious dogmas. Like a clap of thunder from a clear sky, in February, 1863, an association was formed having for its purpose the securing of an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, acknowledging Christ as the Ruler of the nation, and the law of God as the law of the land. This is now known as “The National Reform Association.” The avowed aim of this association is to enforce by law the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath, and to elect no man to office who is not one of their kind of Christians. A general clamor for Sunday reform and Sunday laws is arising from all parts of this country, and in foreign lands as well. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union has fallen into line, with the same idea of securing a reformation by law. A new party, called the American party, has come into existence to champion the same idea in the field of politics. AMCR 19.1

Another organization, called the Sabbath Union, is also in the field for a like object, and lastly, the great Christian Endeavor movement has arisen, and formed what is called “The Christian Citizenship League,” through which the combined strength of all the churches is to be turned to this one end. At the convention of this organization held in Boston in July, 1895, W. H. McMillan said:- AMCR 20.1

“Here is a power that is going to wrest the control of affairs from the hands of political demagogues, and place it in the hands of Him who is King over all, and rules the world in righteousness. Our political leaders have been counting the saloon vote, the illiterate vote, and the stay-at-home vote, and all other elements that have hitherto entered into their canvassings of probabilities; but they have not yet learned to count the Christian Endeavor vote. I want to serve notice on them now that the time is drawing near when they will discover that a political revolution has occurred, and they will be found coming home from Washington and our State capitals without a job.” AMCR 20.2

These sentiments were cheered to the echo in the mighty convention above referred to. Thus these religio-politicians know what weapon to use to secure their ends. The average office holder, threatened with a loss of votes, is the most abject sycophant on the face of the earth. For a vote he will sell himself to any unrighteous decree that religious bigots may demand, and the political demagogue will do deference, on all fours, to a religious boycott. AMCR 20.3

The object which these Christian (?) politicians have ever kept, and still keep, in view, was well defined in a speech by a Mr. Havens in New York, some years ago, when he said:- “For my 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.” AMCR 20.4

And what would this great American Catholic Church be but the perfect image of the great Roman Catholic Church, which the prophecy says will be erected here? AMCR 21.1

As long ago as July 30, 1864, the Banner of Light, a Spiritualist paper, of Boston, Mass., said:- AMCR 21.2

“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.” AMCR 21.3

And now these sinister predictions begin to assume shape before our eyes. Like blood poisoning in the human system, this idea is permeating the whole religious world, and the multitudes who have set their hearts upon it are working for it, not though the gospel, which, when rightly used, is the power of God unto salvation, but through the human instrumentalities of the ballot box and a threatened boycott of all those who oppose their schemes. “Christ,” they say, “shall be King of this nation,” not simply in a spiritual sense, but politically and actually; and they dream of a great theocracy, the control of which shall be in the hands of the professed ministers of Jesus Christ. AMCR 21.4

Their great rallying cry, drawn from an expression used by Justice Brewer, of the Supreme Court, in arguing that Trinity Church, of New York, had a right to send abroad to secure a minister for its services, is that “this is a Christian nation.” And their purpose evidently is to keep this fiction before the eyes of the people till they can force the issue of making this a “Christian government,” by subjecting the State to the dictation of the Church. AMCR 21.5

To this end the Legislatures of the different States have been besieged by petitions for more stringent Sunday laws, or for more severe penalties where they already exist. But most of all have these religious reactionists clamored at the doors of Congress for national legislation in their favor; and Congress has so far yielded to their importunities as to legislate, in direct violation of the Constitution of the United States, in reference to the Sabbath question. This was done in connection with the appropriation to the World’s Fair. Our national legislators went so far as to publicly interpret the fourth commandment to mean Sunday; and so subservient did Congress show itself to be that these religious demagogues now openly boast that they have Congress in their hands, and can force it to so their bidding. They seem incapable of drawing any lessons from the history of the past; and every day their dream of Christianity triumphant, on political lines, expands, and their intoxication from the prospect of coming power increases. They will soon be in the position to fulfill Revelation 18:7. See Isaiah 29:8-10. AMCR 22.1

What do these things mean? - They mean that the complete fulfillment of the prophecy we are examining is at our very doors. And what are to be the practical results of this movement, as it progresses? They are already beginning to be seen in the persecution brought upon observers of the seventh day. In reference to our application of the prophecy, showing that persecution would be the result of this religio-political movement, people AMCR 22.2

PICTURE have pretended to scout, in a facetious manner, any such idea. Thus the Christian Statesman, the organ of the National Reform Association, as long ago as March, 1874, speaking of Seventh-day Adventists, said:-

“From the beginning of the National Reform movement they have regarded it as the first step toward the persecution which they, as keepers of the seventh day, will endure, when our sabbath laws are revived and enforced. One can but smile at their apprehensions of the success of a movement which would not harm a hair of their heads; but their fears are sincere enough for all that.” AMCR 24.1

But religious bigotry stops only with the limit of its power, and these people, now finding on many State statute books, Sunday laws, the offspring of the old adulterous union of Church and State, which existed in the darkness of the Middle Ages, have seized upon these laws, and through them are beginning to set the machinery of oppression in operation against Sabbath-keepers. The method of procedure is usually for some professedly pious church member or minister to act himself as spy, or procure someone else to act for him in that capacity, to detect a seventh-day-keeper at some quiet and useful work on Sunday. Then follows complaint, indictment, conviction, the prison, and the chain-gang. AMCR 24.2

Would the reader believe it? just such scenes as here described have been acted over and over again within a few years just past, in this country, which professes to guarantee to every man the liberty to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. Sabbath-keepers hold that that law which came from the lips and hand of Jehovah, saying, “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,” - a law as much higher than any law of man as the heavens are higher than the earth, - plainly grants them the right, on all days but the seventh, to engage in any legitimate occupation requisite for their own sustenance, which involves no necessary disturbance, or any infringements upon the rights of others. The seventh day being the only day which they can really keep as the Sabbath, there is no other day than the seventh which they can even seem to keep without the appearance of evil. But the law-makers, influenced by the fact they themselves regard the first day of the week as the Sabbath, or Lord’s day, or by the fact that the majority of people so regard it, frame the statutes so that all men must act toward the first day of the week just as if it was the Sabbath, and that they keep it as such, by refraining from labor on that day. For the Sabbath-keeper to pay all the outward regard to the first day that he would to the Sabbath, would be to indulge in a degree of hypocrisy which his conscience will not allow; and the State, by enforcing it, restricts his liberty of conscience, and oppresses him by depriving him of one-sixth of the time available for his support. And this is done because another class of people regard the day as the Sabbath, which he does not. It is class legislation on religious lines, placing one class at a disadvantage, to the advantage of another class. This is contrary to the Constitution of the United States, and the constitutions, or bills of right, of the different States of which the nation is composed. AMCR 24.3

The inconsistency of legislating on religious questions, in a government which declares that nothing of that kind can be done, is at once seen, and the treachery of oppressing people for opinion’s sake, in a government guaranteeing liberty of conscience, is keenly felt. Hence, every conceivable invention is resorted to, to make it appear that this is not a question of religion at all, but only a police regulation, or a civil requirement necessary for the public good, and so to be enforced upon all alike. Such sophistry is too transparent to be entitled to a patient hearing; for Sunday, in its origin and history, in its very intrinsic nature, in root, fiber, branch, and blossom, in foundation stone and finial, is a religious institution, and nothing but a religious institution; hence any law enacted in reference to it can be nothing else than a religious law, call it by whatever other name one may. No responsible jurist ever puts in this plea, that it is merely a civil institution. That is an invention of the ministers, who are urging this movement forward, and by which they hope to blind the eyes of the people; and whenever they gain anything on this plea, in behalf of Sunday, they immediately glory over it among themselves, as a victory for the “sabbath” and “Lord’s day”! Shame on such moral turpitude, and doubly so when practised by a professed follower of Jesus Christ. AMCR 26.1

“But,” it may be urged, “obey the law until it is repealed.” This would do in matters that did not violate the conscience. But no man true to God could say to Him, “Lord, I would obey You, but my fellow-men will not permit me to so so; therefore I will yield to them and disobey You until they shall see fit to repeal the law; then I will return to Your obedience.” On this ground there never could have been a reformer, and the world would to-day be lying in the darkness and death of paganism. Who will thus plead, that man should be placed before God, and man’s law before the law of Jehovah? The Lord says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” AMCR 26.2

The men who founded this republic did not intend that any trouble should ever arise in this land over a question of conscience; but they left the evil principle of a religious law in the framework of their political structure, which, though then dormant, was sure to spring to life whenever the opportunity should occur. Through the late unfolding of truth it is now found that God has requirements upon men with which the laws of the land are in conflict. What ought to be done? - Man ought to obey God, and no court or any judge should entertain any case resting on a law which is found to be invasive of any God-given and unalienable right of man; and the Legislatures of every State where such laws exist, should, at the very first possible moment, wipe them off from the statute books. Then there would be no trouble. But, as long as they are allowed to remain, religious bigots, unfeeling judges, and those who have feelings of personal enmity to gratify, will use them to oppress those whose convictions of duty run contrary to such laws, and who will be true to what they consider right. AMCR 27.1

It will be said again, that, in a country like this, majorities must rule and the minority submit. The answer again is, Yes, in all matter except those of conscience. Questions of that kind are not to be decided by majorities or human authorities. Christ’s rule is, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” AMCR 27.2

And now, to repeat, persecution has begun. That it is persecution, pure and simple, is evident from the fact that all kinds of work, pleasure, and festivities, even of a questionable character, on the part of non-Sabbath-keepers, are passed by without any opposition or protest, while he who observes the seventh day is detected, by those who are willing to stoop to the dirty work of spies and informers, then arrested, convicted, and punished, not for any wrong against his fellow-men, nor the committing of any nuisance, or anything calculated to demoralize or corrupt society, but simply because he believes (and practices accordingly) that the day of the week which is to be kept as the Sabbath is a different day from that which the majority of the people regard as such. AMCR 28.1

Seventh-day Adventists indulge in no spirit of defiance against the laws of the land; they will obey them in every particular wherein they do not conflict with their duty to God; and they are careful to be no cause of disturbance to their neighbors. Yet they are treated in a way to show, as herein alleged, that it is a work of persecution, for every persecution that has ever been waged against dissenters has had the plea of the law behind it. AMCR 28.2

It is certainly a remarkable sight to behold the officers of the law creeping around houses like thieves, and peering into windows and doors like spies, to find a complaint against a Seventh-day Adventist for Sunday work of which they would not otherwise be aware, while the AMCR 28.3

PICTURE rush and roar of business, contrary in much greater degree to the letter of the Sunday laws, are passed by unheeded. Ninety arrests have been made, some of them under circumstances of great oppression and cruelty. The prisoners have served an aggregate of nearly fifteen hundred days in jail and in the chain gangs. Two men have lost their lives as the result of the oppressive measures brought against them, as veritable martyrs to their convictions of truth as any that have gone down in death in the dungeons of the Romish Inquisition.

The secular papers of the land have generally spoken out in loud condemnation of the monstrous injustice and wrong of these things; but the religious press, with a few noble exceptions, has treated the matter with indifference and silence. And, more than this, none of those National Reformers who smiled at our apprehensions in this direction, have any word of remonstrance to utter, as they see the reality beginning to come. AMCR 30.1

For more than forty years we have been predicting such a condition of things in this country. Reader, you may perhaps have failed to be convicted by the logic of the Scriptures and the statements of history that have been presented; but will you now yield to the logic of the facts? If our position is true, which events now transpiring are demonstrating to be the case, the great crisis of human history is upon us, and the decisions of eternity are hanging in the balance. Here and now, in the movements with which it is the lot of the men of this generation to be connected, is to be decided the great controversy which commenced with the defection of the arch-rebel before time began. Shall God or Satan, good or evil, be vindicated, and triumph at last? The power behind truth and righteousness is grandly symbolized in the book of Revelation, by One riding forth upon a white horse, followed by the armies of heaven. The opposing powers are symbolized by the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, this last being the same as the two-horned beast, the symbol of our own government. These three stand for the three prevailing religions of the world, - Paganism, the Papacy, and apostate Protestantism. Revelation 16:13; 19:11-15. AMCR 30.2

The heavenly Rider prevails; the beast and false prophet are cast alive into an all-devouring lake of fire, in which they are consumed, but those who remain loyal to God stand at last on the crystal sea of heavenly victory (Revelation 15:2, 3), and sing the song of everlasting triumph, called the song of Moses and the Lamb. AMCR 31.1

To all who read these pages we earnestly say, These things are worthy of your careful attention; will you give them candid and thoughtful study? Where do you stand? Which side of this controversy will you espouse? What destiny will you choose? AMCR 31.2