[ -top- ] [ -prev- ] [ -next- ] [ -bottom- ]
by Dr. John Thomas
Any organization of the world fabricated by human wisdom, must perish; for men have neither knowledge, wisdom, nor virtue enough to build a social fabric conducive to the honour and glory of God, or to the general happiness of mankind in their several relations of life.
Our hope is in the Ancient of Days.
"The earth" may "help the Woman," and consume the dominions of the Horns; but the Son of Man can alone deliver the holy city, crush the Dragon's head, and reconstitute society to the glory of God, and the happiness of all the families of mankind.
When the remnant ceased to "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints," "the earth" began to fail in its efforts to establish civil and religious liberty in the countries where "the remnant of the woman's seed" had witnessed for the truth so long.
The reactionists on the side of arbitrary power began to prevail against both classes of witnesses, and the holy city; and to succeed in re-establishing what they call "order"; that is, such a state of society as existed in France from a.
1685 to 1789, or in England under Charles II; or of which we have more recent illustrations in the case of France under Louis XVIII and Charles X; and of Italy under Austria and the Pope, etc., in 1815!
It is the "order" established by Satan, when he triumphs over the rights of men, and the truth and righteousness of the untraditionized gospel of the kingdom of God.
Satan's adherents sigh for that "order" in Church and State which will enable them to increase their power, augment their earthly treasures for the gratification of their lusts, and perpetuate their grinding and debasing tyranny over the nations.
For a time they appear to triumph.
Indeed, their ascendancy is permitted in the wisdom of God; but its limited continuance is expressly revealed.
The champions of "order" are destined to preserve their ascendancy until, not "the earth," but the Lord Jesus Christ shall appear in power, and gloriously accomplish what "the saints" have hitherto been unable to effect.
It is because of this permitted ascendancy of the dynasties of the world for 1,260 years, that the popular insurrections in the territories of the Beasts and their image, have been invariably superseded by reactions which have re-established the reign of tyranny, hypocrisy, and superstition.
Even the torment with fire and brimstone in war inflicted by Napoleon on the guilty dynasties which had murdered the saints in past ages, at length receded before the resuscitation of the old order of things, which this man of the earth had so signally demolished.
But what Napoleon failed permanently to accomplish will as assuredly come to pass as there is a God in heaven who punishes the guilty.
We rejoice in this assurance; and though we see reaction again showing its fiendish and hypocritical face, and hear it complacently hymning its approaching triumph over the enemies of the image and the beasts, which support his blasphemy against God and his saints, we know that its final struggle is approaching by which it will be for ever deprived of place, and power to "destroy the earth".
Of the witnesses and holy city, without discriminating them, Reinerius, the Inquisitor-General, who shed their blood, writes thus concerning them as a whole: "Among all the sects which are or have been, there is not any more pernicious to the Church (ie., of Rome) than that of the Leonists.
And this for three reasons.
The first is, because it is older; for some say that it hath endured from the time of Pope Sylvester (fourth century), others from the time of the apostles.
The second, because it is more general, for there is scarce any country wherein the sect is not.
The third, because when all other sects beget horror in the hearers by the outrageousness of their blasphemies against God, this of the Leonists have a great show of piety; because they live justly before men, and believe all things rightly concerning God and all the articles which are contained in the Creed; only they blaspheme the Church of Rome and the clergy, whom the multitude of the laity is easy to believe".
"The causes of their estrangement," says Acland, "from the Roman Church are thus stated: ‘It is because the men and women, the young and old, the labourer and the learned man, do not cease to instruct themselves; because they have translated the Old and New Testaments into the vulgar tongue, and learn these books by heart, and teach them; because, if scandal be committed by anyone, it inspires them with horror, so that when they see anyone leading an irregular life, they say unto him, The apostles did not live so, nor shall we who would imitate the apostles: in short, they looked upon all that a teacher advances, unsupported by the New Testament, as fabulous.
'" It is with such people as these my sympathies are found: and it is to multiply such in the world that I write this book.
If the reader would be numbered with this class of witnesses, he must "instruct himself" by the study of the word; he must cease to surrender himself to the clergy of Church or Dissent; but treat all their hypotheses "as fabulous," unsupported by the law and the testimony: for "the scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation through the faith which is in Christ Jesus".