By A.T. Jones
I find that some are beginning to get a little perplexed by not doing what we agreed to the first night, or else they did not get here in time to agree to that. The first night, you know, we agreed to stand by that text of Scripture, and say it is so, that "If any man thinketh he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing, yet as he ought to know." Some who have perhaps come in since these lessons began, and others who have not remembered fully to stick to the text, have begun to say like this: "Well now, all these things are plain that you have set forth, but I do not see how they are going to fit" such and such things that we have held before.
05-002 Don't be a bit afraid. If these things are plain--and they say they are--then look at them. If they are new- -don't try to put new wine into old bottles. To all such who may think these things are new, I say, Do not try to put new wine into old bottles. You cannot do that. Do not get concerned about what you thought before. I am not talking at random on these things at all. I know what I am saying and I know some other things that are coming besides. If you have been thinking right before, this will fit; and if you have not been thinking right, it ought not to fit. Let us study these things together. Have I brought any matters before you that are not actual facts? [Audience: "No"].
All we are studying this week is that one text we started with. Many other things are going to come that we have not yet taken a text for, but we are studying this week this text: "The people who will now see what is soon to come upon us by what is being transacted before us, will no longer trust in human inventions and will feel that the Holy Spirit must be recognised, received, presented before the people."
Now so far we have got along pretty well in seeing what is being transacted before us and some of the things that are soon to come upon us. Let us take what we have and make the most of it, and the rest will take care of itself when it comes.
Now tonight I am going to take up another study right in the same line--of what is being transacted before us. I will simply call attention to facts--things that you can see and things that everybody in the world can see who reads the common daily events as they appear in the daily papers of the world. You can see them, and everybody else can see them. Have we brought up anything in these lessons yet as to what is being transacted before us, that everybody cannot see? [Audience: "No."] As to what is coming upon us, we can tell them. They may not believe what is soon to come, of course, but they cannot help seeing what is before them.
Four years ago last fall I was appointed to write a reading for the week of prayer on "Our present Standing and Work." In that I mentioned some of the thoughts that I referred to the other night, but I call attention to this one particular thought now for our study tonight. Here it is:
Under our Constitution as it is, the total separation of Church and State and the perfect religious liberty thereby assured, have been a beacon-light of progress to all other nations for a hundred years. The American principle of the liberties and rights of men had an irresistible influence upon other nations in all parts of the earth. This is the genuine principle of Protestantism, which is, in short, the principle announced by Christ, that men should render to Caesar only that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.
Against this principle the papacy has constantly maintained that no State could exist without alliance with the church; in fact, that States exist only for the support and for the sake of the church. It is true that the American principle has not been adopted in its clearness by any other nation, but yet its influence has been untold in turning the minds of men from the influence of the papal theory. But just now, when the other nations in their perplexity are courting the support of Rome, the papacy takes advantage of this to reassert the papal theory and to claim that these things are an acknowledgement on the part of rulers and governors that her theory is correct.
Now in view of all this, and just at this time, in fact this very year, 1888 [Here I mentioned the proposed Constitutional Amendment and the National Sunday Bill, which were then before the country, as proposed by Senator Blair, in which Christianity as the religion of the nation and Sunday as the sabbath were to be recognised and then continued as follows:] When this is done, its influence in favour of the papacy will be inestimable. Then it will be said that this nation, which has made such great pretensions to religious liberty and which has been set forth as the model for earthly governments, has been compelled to reverse that which was supposed to be the enlightened order and to adopt the principles which the church has all the time maintained.
Then as this nation has been the model of liberty, enlightenment, and progress to all others, so when its principles shall have been reversed, when the liberties and rights of men are denied, when the nation is carried back to the principles of the papacy in the Dark Ages and persecution for conscience's sake is carried on, the reaction upon other nations will be such as will infinitely confirm and magnify the claims and power of the papacy.
And so will be fulfilled the scripture: 'All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life.' In this way power will again be given to the papacy to make war with the saints of God, even as the scripture shows: 'The same horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of days came, and judgement was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.' Dan. 7:21, 22.
I had not then found this passage, which I shall now read from Schaff's "Church and State." Dr. Philip Schaff, having been in Europe, being a born European himself, and not coming to this country until he was a man full grown, being a graduate of European universities and understanding European affairs better than any other person in the United States and then coming over here and understanding the affairs of the United States to a considerable extent, writes thus in his "Church and State in the United States," page 83:
In conclusion we must briefly survey the influence of the American system upon foreign countries and churches.
Within the present generation the principle of religious liberty and equality, with a corresponding relaxation of the bond of union of Church and State, has made steady and irresistible progress among the leading nations of Europe and has been embodied more or less clearly in written constitutions. . . .
The successful working of the principle of religious freedom in the United States has stimulated this progress without any official interference. All advocates of the voluntary principle [in the support of churches and religion] and of a separation of church and state in Europe point to the example of this country as their strongest practical argument.
Elder Lewis Johnson: We know that is so in Scandinavia.
Elder Jones: Yes, it is known in all Europe. But what we want to know is, that it is so in this country, that that is the influence our country has borne hitherto, and this, in order to see what its influence will be now that it has turned about and is going the other way.
Here is Dr. Schaff's statement as to the principles of the papacy in connection with the German Empire, in 1871:
The Westphalia Treaty of 1648 confirmed the equal rights of the two contending churches. But the pope never consented to even this limited toleration and will always protest against it. The papal syllabus of 1864 condemns religious toleration among the eighty heresies of the age. The Roman Church acknowledges no other church, and cannot do it consistently. She knows no geographical and national boundaries and rallies around the common centre of the Vatican 'vice-gerent of God on earth.' She must submit, of course, to hard necessity, but does it under protest. pp. 91, 92.
So you see, according to that, the principles of the papacy are directly opposed to the principles of the United States Constitution.
I will read a few passages further concerning the papal principles. I read from a book by Gladstone and Schaff, entitled, "Rome and the Newest Fashions in Religion," page 113. It is declared to be an error and condemned as such by the Pope to say that--
Every man is free to embrace and profess the religion he shall believe true, guided by the light of reason.
That is an error condemned by the church of Rome, but that is the doctrine of the government of the United States; that is the doctrine of the Constitution of the United States.
Another error condemned by Rome is to say that--
The church has not the power of availing herself of force or any direct or indirect temporal power. p. 115.
That is an error condemned by the Catholic church. But that is the doctrine of the Constitution of the United States. It is a fundamental principle of the Government of the United States, that the churches shall have nothing to do with the affairs of the government.
Another error condemned by the papacy is to say that "The Church ought to be separated from the State and the State from the Church." p. 123.
All these are condemned as errors by the Catholic church. But all these express the very doctrine of the Constitution of the United States, as its makers established it and intended it to be. And nothing could show more plainly how directly antagonistic are the principles of the papacy and the principles of the Constitution of the United States government.
There is another word I will read. It is the statement of Leo XIII in 1891 as to what the authority of the church is, what her right is. Page 868 of "The Two Republics." He is writing to all the world about the condition of labour and the difficulties between labour and capital, governments and workingmen, etc., and says:
It is the church that proclaims from the gospel those teachings by which the conflict can be put an end to, or at least made far less bitter; the church uses its efforts not only to enlighten the mind, but to direct by its precepts the life and conduct of men . . . and acts on the decided view that for these purposes recourse should be had, in due measure, and degree, to the help of the law and of State authority.
That is the very latest doctrine of the papal church, officially set forth and as in every other, in direct antagonism to the doctrine of the Constitution of the United States as it reads and as it was intended to be, not as it has been made to mean by the Supreme Court of the United States, Feb. 29, 1892.
That is how it is that the influence which this government has had upon the other nations has been to carry them away from the doctrine of the papacy. And, as Dr. Schaff says, this influence has been "steady and irresistible." Well now in the Supreme Court decision, Feb. 29, 1892, and in the legislation of Congress recognising and establishing Sunday as the Christian sabbath, the government of the United States has reversed that order. The Constitution has been disregarded and overridden entirely. The government of the United States stands tonight in the hands of a hierarchy here, which, in order to accomplish its purpose, joined hands with the papacy
Well now as to the influence that this will have upon the their nations, let me read from that testimony that is now in No. 1 of the Bulletin, top of page 16. It touches this question that is before us tonight and the Lord tells what is the consequence of this reversal of the original order of things in this government:
As America, the land of religious liberty, shall unite with the papacy in forcing the consciences of men to honour the false sabbath, the people of every country on the globe will be led to follow her example.
How far then, brethren, is the influence of this nation to go, now that it has turned about? To every nation on the globe. What did the turning about of this nation do? That made the image of the beast. Well then as in view of that fact, other lessons that we have had bring us face to face with the giving of that message in its express words and terms, how far is that message to go? To every nation and kindred and tongue and people. Then as this nation, having turned about, will lead every nation on the globe in the wrong way, back to the principles of the papacy in fact, so it is time for the third angel's message to reach every nation on the globe.
That is the message now. Well then are you ready to go? That being the message that is to go, does it not become every professor of that message to hold himself in readiness to go to the ends of the earth, when God calls him to go? The influence of this is to lead every nation on the globe back to the papacy. The work of the third angel's message is to warn all nations of the earth against the worship of the papacy, and this image of it which brings us back to the papacy. Just as certainly as that influence reaches every nation on the globe, so certainly this warning must go to every nation on the globe. Then every man is unfaithful to the trust which God has given us in the third angel's message, if he holds himself back from the call of God to go anywhere on the globe, isn't he? Then that brings us again face to face with such a consecration as there has never been among Seventh-day Adventists. It brings us face to face with such a consecration that home, family, property, everything is surrendered into the hands of God to let him call us and send us or such means as we have, where he pleases and do what he chooses with us. Are you ready? Isn't it time to get ready?