The United States in the Light of Prophecy



HAVING given us data by which we determine the location, chronology, and rapid rise of this power, John now proceeds to describe the appearance of the two-horned beast, and speak of his acts in such a manner as to clearly indicate his character both apparent and real. Every specification thus far examined has held the application imperatively to the United States. We shall find this one no less strong in the same direction. USLP 70.1

This symbol has “two horns like a lamb.” To those who have studied the prophecies of Daniel and John, horns upon a beast are no unfamiliar features. The ram, Daniel 8:3, had two horns. The he goat that came against him had, at first, one notable horn between his eyes. This was broken and four came up in its place toward the four winds of heaven. From one of these came forth another horn, which waxed exceeding great. The fourth beast of Daniel 7 had ten horns. Among these, a little horn with eyes and mouth, far-seeing, crafty, and blasphemous, arose. The dragon and leopard beast of Revelation 12 and 13, denoting the same as the fourth beast of Daniel 7, in its two phases, have each the same number of horns signifying the same thing. And the symbol under consideration has two horns like a lamb. From the use of the horns on the other symbols, some facts are apparent which may guide us to an understanding of their use on this last one. USLP 70.2

A horn is used in the Scriptures as a symbol of strength and power, as in Deuteronomy 33:17, and glory and honor, as in Job 16:15. USLP 71.1

A horn is sometimes used to denote a nation as a whole, as the four horns of the goat, the little horn of Daniel 8, and the ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel 7; and sometimes some particular feature of the government, as the first horn of the goat, which denoted not the nation as a whole, but the civil power as centered in the first king, Alexander the Great. USLP 71.2

Horns do not always denote division, as in the case of the four horns of the goat, etc.; for the two horns of the ram denote the union of Media and Persia in one government. USLP 71.3

A horn is not used exclusively to represent civil power; for the little horn of Daniel’s fourth beast, the papacy, was a horn when it plucked up three other horns, and established itself in 538. But it was then purely an ecclesiastical power, and so remained for two hundred and seventeen years from that time, Pepin, in the year 755, making the Roman pontiff a grant of some rich provinces in Italy, which first constituted him a temporal monarch. (Goodrich’s Hist. of the Church, p. 98. Bower’s Hist. of the Popes, Vol. 2, p. 108.) USLP 71.4

With these facts before us, we are prepared to examine into the significance of the two horns which pertain to this beast. Why does John say that he has two horns like a lamb? Why not simply two horns? It must be because these horns possess peculiarities which indicate the character of the power to which they belong. The horns of a lamb indicate, first, youthfulness, and secondly, innocence and gentleness. As a power which has but recently arisen, the United States answer to the symbol admirably in respect to age; while no other power, as has already abundantly been proved, can be found to do this. And considered as an index of power and character, it can be decided what constitutes the two horns of the government, if it can be ascertained what is the secret of its strength and power, and what reveals its apparent character, or constitutes its outward profession. The Hon. J. A. Bingham gives us the clue to the whole matter when he states that the object of those who first sought these shores was to found “what the world had not seen for ages; viz., — a church without a pope, and a State without a king.” Expressed in other words, this would be a government in which the church should be free from the civil power, and civil and religious liberty reign supreme. USLP 72.1

And what is the profession of this government in these respects? That great instrument which our forefathers set forth as their bill of rights, the Declaration of Independence, contains these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And in Article IV, Sec. 4, of the Constitution of the United States, we find these words: “The United States shall guaranty to every State in this Union a republican form of government.” A republican form of government is one in which the power rests with the people, and the whole machinery of government is worked by representatives elected by them. And here, again, we see the fitness between the symbol and the government which is symbolized; for the horns of the two-horned beast have no crowns upon them as do the horns of the dragon and leopard beast, showing that the government which it represents cannot be monarchical, but is one in which the power is vested in the hands of the people. USLP 72.2

This is a sufficient guarantee of civil liberty. What is said respecting religious freedom? In Art. VI of the Constitution, we read: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” In Art. I of Amendments of the Constitution, we read: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” USLP 73.1

In reply to questions as to the design of the Constitution from the committee of a Baptist society in Virginia, Geo. Washington wrote, Aug. 4, 1789, as follows:— USLP 74.1

“If I had the least idea of any difficulty resulting from the Constitution adopted by the Convention, of which I had the honor to be President when it was formed, so as to endanger the rights of any religious denomination, then I never should have attached my name to that instrument. If I had any idea that the general government was so administered that the liberty of conscience was endangered, I pray you be assured that no man would be more willing than myself to revise and alter that part of it, so as to avoid all religious persecutions. You can, without doubt, remember that I have often expressed my opinion, that every man who conducts himself as a good citizen is accountable alone to God for his religious faith, and should be protected in worshiping God according to the dictates of his own conscience.” USLP 74.2

In 1830, certain memorials for prohibiting the transportation of mails and the opening of post-offices on Sunday were referred to the Congressional Committee on the Post-offices and Post-roads. The committee reported unfavorably to the prayer of the memorialists. Their report was adopted and printed by order of the Senate of the United States, and the committee discharged from the further consideration of the subject. Of the Constitution, they say:— USLP 74.3

“We look in vain to that instrument for authority to say whether the first day, or seventh day, or whether any day, has been made holy by the Almighty.” USLP 75.1

“The Constitution regards the conscience of the Jew as sacred as that of the Christian, and gives no more authority to adopt a measure affecting the conscience of a solitary individual than of a whole community. That representative who would violate this principle would lose his delegated character, and forfeit the confidence of his constituents. If Congress should declare the first day of the week holy, it would not convince the Jew nor the Sabbatarian. It would dissatisfy both, and consequently convert neither.... If a solemn act of legislation shall in one point define the law of God, or point out to the citizen one religious duty, it may with equal propriety define every part of revelation, and enforce every religious obligation, even to the forms and ceremonies of worship, the endowments of the church and support of the clergy.” USLP 75.2

“The framers of the Constitution recognized the eternal principle that man’s relation to his God is above human legislation, and his right of conscience inalienable. Reasoning was not necessary to establish this truth, we are conscious of it in our own bosom. It is this consciousness which, in defiance of human laws, has sustained so many martyrs in tortures and flames. They felt that their duty to God was superior to human enactments, and that man could exercise no authority over their consciences. It is an inborn principle which nothing can eradicate.” USLP 75.3

“It is also a fact that counter memorials, equally respectable, oppose the interference of Congress on the ground that it would be legislating upon a religious subject, and therefore unconstitutional.” USLP 75.4

Hon. A. H. Cragin, of New Hampshire, in a speech in the House of Representatives, said:— USLP 75.5

“When our forefathers reared the magnificent structure of a free Republic in this western land, they laid its foundations broad and deep in the eternal principles of right. Its materials were all quarried from the mountain of truth; and as it rose majestically before an astonished world, it rejoiced the hearts and hopes of mankind. Tyrants only cursed the workmen and their workmanship. Its architecture was new. It had no model in Grecian or Roman history. It seemed a paragon let down from Heaven to inspire the hopes of men, and to demonstrate God’s favor to the people of the New World. The builders recognized the rights of human nature as universal. Liberty, the great first right of man, they claimed for ‘all men,’ and claimed it from ‘God himself.’ Upon this foundation they erected the temple, and dedicated it to Liberty, Humanity, Justice, and Equality. Washington was crowned its patron saint. Liberty was then the national goddess, worshiped by all the people. They sang of liberty, they harangued for liberty, they prayed for liberty. Slavery was then hateful. It was denounced by all. The British king was condemned for foisting it upon the colonies. Southern men were foremost in entering their protest against it. It was then everywhere regarded as an evil, and a crime against humanity.” USLP 76.1

Then the Bible and the Bible alone is the Protestant rule of faith; and liberty to worship God according to the dictates of one’s own conscience is the standard of religious freedom in this land. And from the quotations herewith presented, it is evident that while the government pledges to all its citizens the largest amount of civil freedom, outside of license, it has determined to lay upon the people no religious restrictions, but to guarantee to all liberty to worship God according to the Protestant principle. USLP 76.2

Here, then, are two great principals standing prominently before the people: Republicanism and Protestantism. And what can be more just, and innocent, and lamb-like, than these? And here, also, is the secret of our strength and power. Had some Caligula or Nero ruled this land, we should look in vain for what we behold to-day. Immigration would not have flowed to our shores, and this country would never have presented to the world so unparalleled an example of national growth. USLP 77.1

Townsend, Old World and New, p. 341, says: — USLP 77.2

“And what attached these people to us? In part, undoubtedly, our zone, and the natural endowments of this portion of the globe. In part, and of late years, our vindicated national character, and the safety of our Institutions. But the magnet in America is, that we are a republic. A republican people! Cursed with artificial government, however glittering, the people of Europe, like the sick, pine for nature with protection, for open vistas and blue sky, for independence without ceremony, for adventure in their own interest, — and here they find it!” USLP 77.3

One of these horns may therefore represent the civil republican power of this government, and the other, the Protestant ecclesiastical. This application is warranted by the facts already set forth respecting the horns of the other powers. For (1) the two horns may belong to one beast, and denote union instead of division, as in the case of the ram, Daniel 8; and (2) a horn may denote a purely ecclesiastical element, as the little horn of Daniel’s fourth beast; and (3) a horn may denote the civil power alone, as in the case of the first horn of the Grecian goat. On the basis of these facts, we have these two elements, Republicanism and Protestantism here united in one government, and represented by two horns like the horns of a lamb. And these are nowhere else to be found. Nor have they appeared since the time when we could consistently look for the rise of the two-horned beast, in any nation upon the face of the earth except our own. USLP 77.4

And with these horns there is no objection to be found. They are like those of a lamb, the Bible symbol of purity and innocence. The principles are all right. The outward appearance is unqualifiedly good. But, alas for our country! its acts are to give the lie to its profession. The lamb-like features are first developed; but the dragon voice is to be heard hereafter. USLP 78.1